Thinley Namgay   

Of the 13 major sports infrastructure projects under the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) in the 12th five-year plan (FYP) five have been completed so far.

Of the Nu 285.791 million (M) approved budget for these 13 projects, Nu  183.495M was utilised as of now. Overall physical progress of the projects is 67.38 percent, higher than the financial usage of 64.21 percent.

The accomplished projects are astro-turf football ground at Haa and Paro, tennis courts in Thimphu Tennis Centre, lighting of turf football ground and construction of outdoor basketball court in Phuentsholing, and construction of volleyball courts at Changlimithang.

The development of multi-sports halls each in Haa, Paro, and Tsirang is scheduled to finish in September this year. Each multi-sports hall has a budget of Nu 38.882M and the work started in 2019.

As of May, the work progress in Haa was 77 percent, whereas in Paro and Tsirang the progress was 39 and 65 percent, respectively.

The works were supposed to finish last year, but the project management committee (PMC) extended the deadline considering the disruption by the pandemic in terms of imports of foreign workers and construction materials.

Indoor games such as badminton, table tennis, chess, taekwondo, karate, and boxing can be played in the multi-sports hall.

The construction of the tennis court and lighting of the ground at Samdrupjongkhar is set to conclude next month. More than 80 percent of the work is done and Nu 13.697M of the allotted Nu 14.548M has been used as of now.  The project began in 2019.

The building of a pavilion, toilet and parking at the National Cricket Centre in Gelephu is nearing completion. BOC official said that 99  percent of the work is done and it has a budget of Nu 4.347M.

PMC deferred some projects’ deadlines to next year.

The development of the Indigenous Sports Museum at Changbangdu in Thimphu is expected to be complete by January next year. Currently,  the work progress is only 28 percent and it has an approved fund of Nu 12.204M.

The ongoing work of the new swimming pool in Thimphu with the budget outlay of Nu 35.384M will finish by June next year.

BOC official said that the initial plan was to renovate the old swimming pool at the Swimming Pool Complex. “However, after the review by the FINA (International Swimming Federation), it was not recommended to do anything, as the existing pool was for recreational use, where no standard equipment can be incorporated.”

He said that BOC then submitted a request to GNHC to change the scope of work for the construction of the new swimming pool.

BOC official said that all the ongoing projects are on track and would end on time as prescribed by the PMC.   He said that with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions by the government, the works are progressing.

However, the construction of an indoor archery range with hostel facilities got cancelled due to the land issue, and the budget, Nu 14.403M of this project, will be used for the ongoing construction of a swimming pool in Thimphu.