Forget about scams racking the potent MNREGS in UP. The rural employment guarantee scheme initiated by the UPA govt, is set to be used by Mayawati government in UP to usher a swimming revolution in rural parts of the state.
The state government has decided to transform existing ponds in villages of the state (excepting model ponds dug under the MNREGS) to be turned into swimming pools for being used as nursery of promising swimmers in the state.
Said Shatrughan Prasad Pandey, the District youth Welfare Officer in Varanasi, confirming about the ambitious scheme. "We've received instructions from the state government recently to turn village ponds into swimming pools for ushering a new crop of talented swimmers for the state."
Already as many as 70 gram panchayats in the district have been written to inform about the existing ponds in their area of jurisdiction, after which a list of the ponds worthy of being transformed into swimming pools will be drafted and sent to Lucknow for further processing.
"We've written clearly to the gram panchayats about the criterion which will make the ponds worthy of being converted into swimming pools. It should be spread at least in half acre area and must be 50 m long and 100 metre wide. Also it's water must be worthy of swimming," Pandey maintained.
Once the list of the worthy ponds has been prepared by us and sent to Lucknow, the state govt will decide as to which ponds will benefit by the scheme.
The ponds, which will be selected to be covered by this unique scheme, during the first phase of the exercise will be fenced with permanent construction under MNREGS.
During the second phase other infrastructure for turning the ponds into swimming pool will be made, including ensuring proper entry and exit route for water and further changes in the pond to convert into a pool, which will serve as ideal nursery for promising swimmers in the state.
Pandey, however, maintained that none of the model ponds dug up under the MNREGS will be covered by this ambitious scheme.
The official further said the entire idea is to harness the inherent swimming talent of village youths and channelise it towards competitive swimming by turning their ponds into swimming pools.