Finally, there is a confirmation of the construction of the Phapla International Cricket Stadium.
Its construction is about to take place soon as the Ministry of Youth and Sports has published the Phapla Cricket Ground and Sports Village Infrastructure Development Committee Order, 2022, in the Nepal Gazette.
The working mechanism
The government had decided to give priority to the construction process of the Phapla International Cricket Stadium in the current fiscal year’s budget. Hence, according to the gazette, a nine-member development committee will be formed for the same. There is a provision for the government to appoint a person with experience in sports management as the chairperson.
The cabinet meeting on January 24 decided to provide land for the Phapla International Cricket Stadium in Dhangadhi sub-metropolitan city ward 3, Kailali district.
The mayors of the Dhangadhi sub-metropolitan city and Krishnapur municipality in the neighbouring Kanchanpur district will be appointed as members of the nine-member committee. Likewise, the secretary of the Sports Ministry of the Sudurpaschim provincial government, the chief district officer of Kailali, a representative from the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, the head of the Federal Project Implementation Unit in Kailali, the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kailali, and reputed women who have contributed to the sports sector would be nominated as the members of the committee.
According to a source, the Ministry of Sports may give the responsibility of the executive director to civil servants holding the position equivalent to undersecretary to look after the administrative responsibility of the project.
The executive director will be responsible for preparing the project report, DPR of the project, and setting the annual budget, plans and programmes. The executive director will also be a member-secretary of the development committee member.
Fulfilling the far-western dream
Likewise, the development committee will be responsible for preparing a detailed report of the project, conducting a preliminary environmental impact assessment, managing the necessary budget for construction, completing the infrastructure work and bringing the stadium into operation and handing it over to the government.
The committee will serve for three years. According to the gazette, if the Phapla project is not completed in the given time, the Nepal government could extend the working period twice, one year per extension.
In 2015, under the leadership of Subash Shahi, the Dream Phapla campaign was commenced. Since then, in every government, the far-west region has put its effort into building an international cricket stadium in Phapla.
Meanwhile, Shahi has shown gratitude towards the current government for announcing organising the first franchise cricket competition of Nepal.
“This was not just a dream of Kailali, but of the entire far-western region. That is why it was included as a national priority project,” says Shahi. “I hope that after the formation order for the development committee, the construction process will pick its speed.”
“After a long wait and struggle, we have made it happen,” he adds. Shahi is hopeful that the construction process of the Phapla cricket stadium will be completed in an estimated time.
This story was translated from the original Nepali version and edited for clarity and length.