This pool near Ulsoor Lake is 'missing'

This pool near Ulsoor Lake is 'missing'

Kensington Town Swimming Pool was shut four years ago following a dispute between the Department of Youth Services and Sports and the contractor assigned to maintain the pool.

Kensington Town Swimming Pool near Ulsoor Lake, once a training centre for ambitious athletes, is now in a shambles; a dilapidated building with protruding iron rods and heaps of garbage greet the visitors. Till six months ago, even the BBMP was in dark over the plight of the pool near Ulsoor Lake, which was handed over to the Department of Youth Services and Sports (DYSS) for maintenance and overhaul eight years ago.

B T Ramesh, Engineer-in-Chief, BBMP, said: “Most of our pools are in good condition except the Kensington Town pool. We have some issues with the DYSS, which we need to sort out. When we tried to find out documents pertaining to the pool, we got to know they were missing.”

The pool was shut four years ago following a dispute between the DYSS and the contractor assigned to maintain the pool. The Department had entered into an agreement with the contractor for maintenance of the pool on build-own-operate-transfer basis. The matter is now pending before the High Court.

In February 2008, the BBMP decided to renovate the pool to meet Olympic standards by 2011. The Palike officials told Deccan Herald that the renovation work was delayed due to the dispute, elections and reshuffle of the officials.

Though the Palike officials claimed that the DYSS has taken up some construction, a visit to the pool revealed that the work had not even commenced. The security guards at the construction site said that BBMP officials had been visiting the spot. When contacted, I R Perumal, Principal Secretary, said: “We have no interest in the pool.” shrugging off the department’s responsibility to maintain the swimming pool.

People are not allowed inside and more so if you are a mediaperson. Many swimmers preparing for national and international competitions used to practise here. Kalidas Reddy, a regular swimmer and a resident of Kallahalli in the neighbourhood of the swimming pool, alleged that the DYSS has destroyed the pool.

“It started rebuilding the pool at an estimated cost of Rs 1.35 crore; but today the pool is dead. People seem to have made money at the cost of swimmers’ career,” said an annoyed Reddy.

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