As summer sets in and water scarcity intensifies, the civic body went against its own preaching and threw open one of the seven swimming pools in the city.
The Priyadarshini Swimming Pool at Mulund, owned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) but handed over to a private trust for maintenance and management, was opened on Wednesday. It has around 3,300 members.
The Mulund swimming pool was shut early last year.
Sources said this was the wrong time to open the pool, as summer has set in and water levels are declining. “There are still four months for the monsoon. In case there is a delay, it will lead to a major crisis,” sources added.
The BMC had asked all private pools to use water carefully and had cut supply by 30 per cent. It had also shut down all its seven pools to save water.
The pool was thrown open at a public function by Sena corporator Prabhakar Shinde. BMC officials said the pool would stay open on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday initially and the days would be extended later.
Mayor Shraddha Jadhav too had recently asked BMC’s garden department to open swimming pools for some “refreshing and energising sports”.
Defending the move, additional municipal commissioner Anil Diggikar, said: “A swimming pool does not require a regular supply of water. It requires a one-time supply and the water is then recycled after filtration.”
In December 2009, civic authorities had cut down piped water supply by 20 per cent. BMC has said that despite heavy rains, which lashed the city in July 2009, water level in the catchments areas of the city’s six lakes has dipped.
Water crisis has worsened since and there have been violent protests opposite the civic headquarters by Swabhimaan, a political non-government organisation.