Chandigarh pools set to reopen this month

Only professional swimmers will be allowed to use the facilities: Sports Dept

Chandigarh pools set to reopen this month

Young swimmers practising at the all-weather swimming pool in Sector 23, Chandigarh. Pradeep Tewari

Deepankar Sharda

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 6

The UT Sports Department will this month reopen all the 10 swimming pools under its control for the city’s professional swimmers.

Earlier, the department had thrown open the Sector 23-based all-weather swimming pool in January after a gap of 10 months.

The pool was initially opened only for professional swimmers, but later members were also allowed to use the facility.

Ready for splash

Sector 23 all-weather swimming pool, Sector 23 nursery pool, and the pools at Sector 34, 38 (West), Sector 39, Sector 43, Mani Majra, Lake Sports Complex, Sector 50 and Sector 56 will be reopened this month.

“We are trying to open all the pools in Chandigarh this month, but only for professional and competitive swimmers. No membership will be allotted for recreational purposes. As of now, we have made this decision and further steps will be taken as per the directions of the higher authorities,” said UT Sports Director Tejdeep Singh Saini.

When asked about restrictions or closure of swimming pools in coming days amid a spike in Covid cases, Saini said: “Restrictions will be put on the number of swimmers using the facility at a given time. We have already decided not to allot any new membership, and all the swimmers will be asked to follow the mandatory SOPs.”

Saini conceded that the rise in cases was a concern but said “a decision on closure will be taken by the higher ups”.

There are speculations that the Sector 23 swimming pool has been closed since March 25 due to rise in coronavirus cases. But Saini said the facility was shut due to some “technical issues”.

“It will open in a day or so. There were some technical issues with regard to motors that regulate the water temperature during winters. The issue has been sorted out and the pool will be opened soon,” said Saini.

As per the existing guidelines, swimmers below 12 years are not allowed to practice as of now, and only five swimmers are allowed to practice at a time for one hour.

As per the annual roster for the Sector 23 pool, the winter session gets over on March 15. However, it was extended by 10 days this time. Like every year, the pool is expected to open after a 15-day break.

In October last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had given a go ahead for opening of swimming pools for professional swimmers.

During the summer session, the Sports Department opens all the 10 swimming pools – Sector 23 all-weather pool, Sector 23 nursery pool, and the pools at Sector 34, 38 (West), Sector 39, Sector 43, Mani Majra, Lake Sports Complex, Sector 50 and

Sector 56.

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