The newly completed astro-turf football ground at Paro sports complex, a Bhutan-India development cooperation project, was inaugurated on 11 May this week by Niteen Yeola, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of India along with Bhutan Olympic Committee’s (BOC) Secretary General, and the Paro Dzongdag.
Following the inauguration, the Secretary General of Bhutan Olympic Association handed over the newly built turf to Paro Dzongkhag Administration.
A press release from the Indian Embassy states that the development of the turf was undertaken by BOC under the Government of India Project Tied Assistance (PTA) Project, Development of Sports Infrastructure, being implemented under the 12th Five Year Plan.
The total project cost was Nu 285.791-million (M) of which Nu 35.552-M were incurred on the construction of the astro turf.
The Deputy Chief of Mission, Niteen Yeola, thanked the Bhutan Olympic Association for the successful implementation of the project and development of sporting facilities in Bhutan under the patronage and guidance of His Royal Highness Prince Dasho Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck.
According to the press release, under the PTA Project – ‘Development of Sports Infrastructure – BOC is developing new facilities and improving existing ones in Thimphu, Haa, Paro, Tsirang, Chukha, Samdrup Jongkhar and Sarpang Dzongkhags.
The project will also undertake the construction of indigenous museum and pavilion at Changbangdu, Thimphu and construction of tennis court, lighting of football field, gallery, road and parking at Samdrup Jongkhar sport complex.
Further, the construction of a tennis court, renovation of the swimming pool complex, development of volleyball facilities at Changlingmethang stadium, roofing and lighting of existing basketball court, and the construction of indoor archery range in Thimphu will also be undertaken.
The components also include the construction of pavilion and parking at the National Cricket Training Centre, Gelephu and construction of additional facilities like a tennis court, skate park, basketball court, and lighting of football ground at the new sports complex at Phuentsholing.
According to the press release, the main objective of this project is to establish a representative and organized sports sector and promote a vibrant sporting culture in Bhutan.
“It will provide people with access to better sporting facilities and will promote a healthy lifestyle in the community as well as nurture talented athletes,” it states.
Meanwhile, the Embassy of India thanked the Gross National Happiness Commission, BOC, the local administrations of Paro, including project contractors, engineers and workers for their support in making this project a success.
“The Government of India is committed to further its development partnership with the Royal Government of Bhutan for the well-being and prosperity of the region,” the press release stated.