The public swimming pool at Dadar is facing a fundamental problem: it isn't getting enough water from the BMC. This despite the pool being projected by the Shiv Sena as one of its achievements in the run-up to the civic elections.
Over the last month, there have been instances when members were sent back from the BMC-run facility. The most recent of these was on Saturday, when members were turned away as the pool did not have sufficient water. This resulted in a scuffle between the members and pool management and police were called in to ensure things didn't get worse.
“It is now routine for them to cancel the evening batches, mostly post 6pm. If there is a water shortage, they should fix the problem. Why are they wasting our money,” demanded Avinash Lele, who comes from Parel to swim at the pool.
What has irked members more is that the management hiked the annual membership fee from Rs 2,800 to Rs 4,000. The fee hike was made reportedly to cover maintenance costs, as well as to discourage people from applying for membership. With 2,500 previous members, the management is struggling to accommodate the rising number of new applicants.
Milind Sahane, manager of the pool, said the facility was facing a water shortage. He said they were in talks with the local ward office for better supply.
“People who come in the morning and afternoon batches use up water in the shower room and changing rooms. It's because of this that we are forced to turn people away from evening batches,” Sahane.
“The pool is shut for half a day on Sunday and all through Monday for maintenance. Shouldn't the management sort these problems during these days,” asked Vidya Bhandari, another member.
The Olympic-size swimming pool was shut for repairs for five years. The BMC spent Rs65 crore on its renovation. The new facility has four pools - racing pool, diving pool, warm-up pool and a pool for kids. Overhaul done, it was inaugurated by Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray late last year.