Pool at Gurugram’s Kamla Nehru Park to get an Olympic upgrade
Gurugram district’s only government-owned swimming pool at Kamla Nehru Park in Sadar Bazaar, which has been lying unused for more than two years due to lack of maintenance, is expected to be renovated this year, municipal officials said.Updated:
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
The district’s only government-owned swimming pool at the Kamla Nehru Park in Sadar Bazaar — which has been lying unused for more than two years due to lack of maintenance — is expected to be renovated this year, officials of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) said.
In this year’s budget, the MCG has increased the allocation of funds for sports and health facilities to Rs 70 crore from Rs 10 crore in the last fiscal. Officials said the increased funds would cover the upgrade of the swimming pool at Kamla Nehru Park to an Olympic-size pool.
MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav said, “We plan to convert the pool into the best pool the district has seen. Tenders have been allocated for the same. Work should begin soon.”
The MCG has been planning to renovate the swimming pool for the past two years but no work has begun yet, officials familiar with the matter said.
The 25-metre-long and 12-metre-wide pool has been lying dry and dirty for several years, the changing rooms are broken and unusable and so, the complex has remained shut, a visit by the Hindustan Times on Wednesday revealed.
According to sportspersons in the city, the pool hasn’t undergone any renovation since it was built in 1975. In the absence of a well-maintained pool, swimmers of Gurugram have to travel to other cities to practice.
Anant Kumar, a 22-year-old swimmer, said, “Even though I live in Gurugram, I have to go to Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium four times a week to practice. The overall commute takes at least two hours every day.”
Kumar added that the fee for practising in the pool was much less than that of pools owned by private bodies.
“The fee till 2015 was less than Rs 900 for a month whereas swimming pools in schools or private institutes charge anything above Rs 2,000,” he said.
In February 2018, the district administration had approved the upgrade of the pool to an international-standard all-weather pool, and a plan was to be sent to the MCG for the same, said officials. However, due to land constrain, the plan could not be implemented.
“The plan was to convert the pool into an Olympic-size pool. A pool of an international standard would be much bigger than the present one and would require land from adjoining areas. That would mean damage to the greenery in the park,” said JN Mangla, president of the Kamla Nehru Park Sudhar Samiti.
He added that the pool should, instead, be renovated into a children’s pool.