Shut for more than two years, will it be opened in a year?

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Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is not only known for mortgaging its prime properties but also notorious in badly maintaining public utilities. The civic body claims of spending crores of rupees, the tax-payers’ money, to construct swimming pools, asphalt roads and built flyovers, underpasses and also subways but it has become a habit for it to forget the very existence of these public amenities.

For example, PM Swimming Pool situated at Jayanagar 3rd Block. The swimming pool was a boon for the residents since it made it easy for their children to learn swimming. However, the swimming pool was shut down on the pretext of renovation.

The residents had no objection to renovation of the swimming pool but what has troubled them is the inordinate delay in commencing the renovation work. The management of PM Swimming Pool put up a notice on September 1, 2015 advising the public to make alternative arrangements for swimming.

The renovation or upgradation of the swimming pool was supposed to be completed in a year but it took more than 20 months to commence the work. Mayor Padmavathi performed ground-breaking ceremony on May 11.

“The work was supposed to commence long ago but it got delayed due to some reasons. Now, Mayor has performed ground-breaking ceremony. I hope the work will be completed in a year,’’ Jayanagar MLA B. N. Vijayakumar said.

 

According to sources privy to the BBMP, the delay was due to a dispute between the contractor and the BBMP authorities on removing old and rusted filtration equipment from the spot. “I had to approach the High Court seeking its intervention in this matter. Despite High Court’s direction, the BBMP authorities failed to clear the place facilitating the construction work,’’ said an employee of PM Swimming Pool on condition of anonymity.

There was a proposal to take up the renovation of the swimming pool in 2009 at an estimated cost of Rs 12 crore. However, the authorities failed to create a conducive atmosphere for the contractor to go ahead with the renovation work.

“I agree there was a delay in taking up this work. Let us not dig into the past. We should be happy with the commencement of the work,’’ BBMP Mayor G Padmavathi said.

As per the upgradation plan, two more swimming pools – one for women and one for children – adjacent to the existing swimming pool. The BBMP plans to construct a fitness centre, shower rooms and other amenities.

“The swimming pool will be on par with international standards. It will be used for training swimmers for national and international competitions. The construction of the swimming pools is expected to cost Rs 8 crore,’’ Mayor Padmavathi said.

However, the PM Swimming Pool management is confident complete the work in seven months itself provided the BBMP authorities cooperate with them. “We want all the old equipment to be removed from the spot without any delay. We are committed to complete the work and open the swimming pools for public by March 2018,’’ Raju, a caretaker of PM Swimming Pool said.

Will they, or won’t they? Residents of Jayanagar have to wait and watch.

 

 

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