Pune: Citizens Demand Reopening of Long-Closed Swimming Pool in Kharadi

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Kharadi, 27th October 2023: A sizable swimming pool constructed by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in Rakshak Nagar, Kharadi, has remained locked for years, much to the frustration of local citizens. The pool, which incurred significant expenses during its construction, was initially accessible to the public for just one year before being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, three years after the wave of the virus has passed, the pool remains closed, prompting questions from concerned citizens who demand its immediate reopening.

The pool’s closure, initially attributed to COVID-19, led to the establishment of a quarantine centre in a nearby hostel. Residents of Kharadi expected the pool to reopen once the pandemic subsided. However, due to its prolonged closure, the base of the pool has deteriorated considerably, suggesting poor workmanship during construction. While municipal officials mentioned the pool’s rehabilitation through a tender process, no significant progress has been made in the last four years, leaving citizens frustrated and questioning whether the municipal corporation has simply forgotten to unlock the facility.

Reopening the pool will require extensive repairs, involving substantial financial investments. To facilitate these repairs, the municipal corporation must engage contractors through a tender process. The pool’s infrastructure has suffered due to erosion, and significant repairs are needed for cleaning, changing rooms, and electrical systems. This presents a substantial financial burden, far exceeding the original construction costs. Consequently, citizens now view the issue as more of a problem than a solution.

The Kharadi pool is the only large-scale municipal swimming pool in that area, highlighting the importance of its accessibility to the community. It is lamented that while most of the world has resumed activities post-COVID, the pool has remained closed, resulting in substantial losses for local athletes. The Sports Department of the Municipal Corporation has yet to conduct an inspection of the pool or take action to reopen it. Furthermore, unused beds for COVID-19 patients are still occupying the pool area, adding to the citizens’ frustration.

Residents emphasize that reopening the pool post-COVID would have prevented the extensive damage that now necessitates substantial financial investments for repairs. Experts argue that contractors stand to benefit the most from this situation. To avoid further delays and unnecessary expenditures, citizens demand immediate inspections and repair work by the Municipal Corporation to promptly reopen the swimming pool to the public.

Santosh Bharne, Vice President of the BJP in the city, stated, “We have written to the municipality many times over the past four years regarding the pool’s construction. It has come to light that the work of the pool is of substandard quality. The lake has been awaiting attention solely due to the officials’ apathy. The municipality should commence work without further delay, or else a significant protest may arise.”