Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

Every summer, football enthusiasts in Samdrupjongkhar spent their days at home either watching television or running errands. With temperatures soaring above 35 degrees centigrade, it becomes too hot for football.

The ground remains booked for the rest of the day. Without a lighting facility on the ground, not many matches could be played in the evening.

A football player, Jigme, said, “Setting up the lights at the artificial turf ground is the only option so all the football lovers can get equal opportunity to play. Installing the lighting facilities would help promote football,” he said.

Another football enthusiast, Ugyen, said the town has so many interested football players that in winter the ground remains engaged throughout the day.

However, thromde officials said that work to install lights on the ground has been awarded to a contractor.

Thromde’s chief engineer, Nima Dorji, said the thromde awarded the lighting installation work to the contractor in April to be completed in six months.

He said that the contractor could not start the work since he could not import the materials because of the lockdown. “The contractor will start work soon as he is importing the materials.”

Nima Dorji said the contract package worth Nu 7.03 million is funded by Bhutan Olympic Committee and also includes the development of a tennis court and parking area.

Meanwhile, the dzongkhag Covid-19 task force stopped sporting activities in Samdrupjongkhar after detecting the Covid-19 positive cases from the community in May this year.

Sports lovers said since there are no positive cases reported in Samdrupjongkhar in the past few months, the concerned authorities could consider allowing certain sports.

“There are high chances of people getting involved in gambling such as playing cards and dice if the concerned authorities do not allow the sports even after the second jab,” one of the sports enthusiasts said.

Edited by Tshering Palden