BOC: Samdrupjongkhar, the eastern gateway of Bhutan, where several regional tournaments are held, will house a decent sports facility next year, the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) officials said.

The eight acres football ground cleared decades ago in the heart of the town will wear an artificial turf, paper works for which has already been completed.

Samdrupjongkhar thromde will also have a multi purpose sports complex to house indoor games like basketball, badminton, volleyball and a tennis court. The thromde today lacks proper recreational facilities.

The complex’s construction should have been started in 2013 but the delay in the 11th Plan pushed its work to the following year, which however didn’t take place.

However, the thromde is now confident that work would start soon.

Thrompon Karma Sherab Thobgyal said this is because the land is now handed over to the BOC and the committee would be implementing the project to construct a complex and install the artificial turf.

He said the thromde would have to first level the ground. “This is a part of thromde’s plan but the BOC would be implementing it,” he said.

The thrompon said, once completed, it will not only attract the eastern region but also people from neighbouring states like the North East and Assam.

Meanwhile, an official from BOC, said the approved budget is about Nu 46.66 million. The Government of India under the small development project has financed the project.

The official said work on the turf will start after the monsoon and the contract has already been awarded to a consultant based in Mumbai. “But before that thromde should complete the leveling and refilling of ground, soon,” he said. “After that, it will take about seven months to install the turf.”

Works for the sports complex is also already awarded to another contractor, who will mobilise workers by September.

“Everything is ready and people can expect a new turf for their football ground next year,” the official said. “There is also a provision to build a stadium and a field track in future.”

Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupjongkhar