Charanjit Singh Teja
Amritsar, April 25
Swimming enthusiasts are a disappointed lot again as the Amritsar Municipal Corporation has failed to start its swimming pool located at Gol Bagh, though the season has started. According to MC officials, it would take three more months to complete the reconstruction work on the public swimming pool and will be reopened to public next summer.
The swimming pool at Gol Bagh has been lying closed since 2015 as the MC had not provided dedicated swimming coaches, divers, lifesaving guards, technical and sanitation staff to the facility. The state government has eliminated the provision of hiring employees on a daily wages basis in 2015 and in the absence of staff the pool has been abandoned.
Last year, the municipal corporation had sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the reconstruction of the swimming pool, but engineers found that the pool could be made functional after repairs as major changes were required. So, the MC had decided to reconstruct the pool. The old pool and other infrastructure was demolished and the new swimming pool is under construction.
The Gol Bagh swimming pool has good infrastructure. Apart from sportsmen, residents used to come here. The pool did not have coaches, life-saving guards and other employees, but the MC used to operate it by hiring contractual employees.
“After the completion of the swimming pool, the MC would float a tender for hiring a private firm to operate the pool. The firm would further hire coaches, life-saving guards and other staff,” said an MC official.
“It is sad that the swimming pool has been closed for the past few years. There are only two major swimming pools — Khalsa College Senior Secondary School and Guru Nanak Dev University where students or trainees of the Sports Department can come for practice. Given the rising population of the city, more swimming pools should be opened. We have a good potential in the city,” said Naveen Kumar, a swimming enthusiast from Chheharta.
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