Long-standing Promises and Broken Dreams: Myagdi’s Struggle for a Mini Stadium

Beni, Myagdi's prolonged wait for a promised 'mini stadium' continues as officials fail to secure funding, leaving sports and community aspirations unmet for over a decade.

Beni, Myagdi: In what appears to be a recurrent saga of unfulfilled promises and dashed hopes, the residents of Beni, the headquarters of Myagdi, find themselves caught in the crossfire between ambitious public declarations and the stark reality of stagnant progress. For over a decade, elected representatives and officials have been spinning tales of transforming the local public forum into a ‘Mini Stadium,’ raising expectations only to disappoint the eager populace.

Despite years of assurances, the much-anticipated open-air stadium remains a distant dream, with progress lagging far behind the grandiose announcements. The recent 9th Women’s National Volleyball Tournament held at the Khulla Manch in Myagdi’s headquarters last September-October highlighted the glaring disparity between promises and actions.

During the tournament, Tanklal Ghising, Member Secretary of the National Sports Council, pledged a substantial budget of 40 million to expand the open field infrastructure. However, this commitment, like many others before it, failed to materialize, leaving local leaders and residents disillusioned.

Mayor Surat KC of Beni municipality expressed his disappointment, stating, “We were excited by the commitment to put the budget in public speeches and personal meetings as well. He cheated Magdeli; this time the budget did not come from anywhere except the municipality.”

Regrettably, it’s not just Ghising; federal and state assembly parliamentarians, despite their promises, have also fallen short in delivering the much-needed funds for the mini stadium project. The lack of financial support from the federal government, coupled with the absence of prioritization at the state level, has left the project in limbo for the past five years.

The repercussions of the delayed project are felt on the field, affecting the quality of sports played. In football, where 11-a-side matches should be the norm, the inadequate playing field standards have forced competitions to adopt a reduced format with teams of 9-9 players.

Ward president Ramesh Kumar Shrestha lamented the slow progress due to budget constraints, noting a significant change in funding patterns. “In the past, the budget used to come like sprinkles, now it is not the same,” Shrestha explained, highlighting the challenges faced by the municipality with the current year’s budget allocation of 2 million.

Even former Minister of Youth and Sports, Rajiv Gurung (Manange), allocated a meager 8 lakhs during his visit last year, emphasizing the continued struggle for funds. The proposed 96-meter long and 45-meter wide mini-stadium with a concrete wall along the Kaligandaki and Myagdi rivers remains a distant vision.

Dinesh KC, Chairman of the District Sports Development Committee, remains optimistic that with allocated budgets from Gandaki province and the federal government, the mini stadium could be ready in about two years. Plans include expanding the playground and constructing a parapet along the banks of the Myagdi River and Kaligandaki.

The agony of Myagdi’s residents echoes the sentiment of a Nepali proverb – “the fruit of the sky dies even with the eyes.” As the campaign for a ‘mini stadium’ stretches into its 29th year since initiation in 2051, the local MPs, despite their promises, have yet to fulfill the aspirations of building a proper playground in the capital, leaving the dream of a ‘mini stadium’ hanging in the balance.

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