The ongoing multi-sports hall construction in Samdrupjongkhar has failed to meet the deadline even after they were given four months extension.

The construction was supposed to complete by January this year.

The contractor, executing the work, is yet to approach the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) for the deadline extension.

Project manager with Tenzin Geley construction, Sonam Tobgay Waiba, said that there are many works left to be completed. “We will approach BOC and ask to extend the deadline until September this year.”

Sonam Tobgay Waiba said they could not complete on time because of water lock and water table at the construction site.

“It took two months for us to clear the ground,” he said. “The ground and the foundation level should be same but after laying the foundation, the ground level has risen by 1.3 metres.”

He said they had to increase the height of the foundation and it took four months to level it. “It hampered our work.”

Sonam Tobgay Waiba said that the actual foundation was 1.5 metres deep but with the increase by 1.3 metres, it has become 2.8 metres high. “We had to build 20 metres safety wall behind the sports hall and that took another four months.”

He also said they could not work for two months during the summer season.

The project manager said delayed payment and lack of labourers also hampered the work. “We could not procure any materials but we continued the work,” he said.

He said labourers across the border leave after every three to four months. “We approached the labour ministry to allow us to recruit local Indians but they didn’t permit us, saying it should route through employment agencies”.

Officials from BOC said the duration of the construction was 15 months but they extended the time by another four months.

Officials said that if they ask for time extension again, it has to be put up to a committee to decide. “But the project is under small development project and budget is until June end,” an official said. “If the committee decides not to extend the deadline, we will impose a penalty.”

The multi-sports hall construction began on October 6, 2015. The government of India (GoI) is funding Nu 20.23 million for the construction.

Kelzang Wangchuk |  Samdrupjongkhar