This summer, Delhiites will find themselves at a loss to beat the heat, with all Delhi Development Authority sports complex swimming pools closed till May 15, following a fallout with contractors.
The DDA swimming pools across all their 14 sports facilities - with more than one lakh users, including the more prominent ones like Saket and Siri Fort - have been completely shut.
The pools, usually run by contractors, have ceased to operate due to the clash of interests between the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the contractors.
The opening of these pools, usually scheduled for the first week of April, has now been delayed till DDA makes alternative arrangement.
"There is a tussle with the contractors, who have formed a group and are trying to blackmail the DDA," said Alok Swaroop, sports director, DDA.
"The contractors, who are responsible for everything related to the pools - from maintenance to hiring lifeguards and other staff - have refused to float tenders according to the sum quoted by DDA. They even went to the police to contest our quotation," he added.
"We are now trying to operate the pools on our own, without contractors. There is a delay since we are trying to rope in tenders for these swimming pools," said Swaroop.
"We don't know when these pools will open. Earlier, we told users that they would open by April 30, but now we are pushing the date ahead to May 15," said a spokesperson of the Siri Fort DDA Sports Complex.
Another official at the Saket DDA Sports Complex added, "Unless this problem is sorted out, the pools can't open because there will be no one overseeing the safety of pool users."
The closure, has, however, left users agitated.
"Why couldn't they sort out this matter through the winter months? It's not fair to sort out internal issues like this by inconveniencing us," said Mohit Gupta.