THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two years have passed since the swimming pool owned by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) at Vellayambalam was dug up as part of the renovation intended to facilitate organising the swimming events of the 35th National Games. But the fact is that the fate of the pool and the 35th National Games is uncertain, with the officials having no idea of when the renovation would be completed or at what time the games would be kicked off. With bureaucratic lethargy and glitches marring the renovation process, the public have come out openly against the delay. Dr Sarah Varghese, a 77-year-old user of the Water Authority-owned swimming pool for more than half-a-decade, is up in arms against the stalling of the renovation project.
”I swam there for more than seven years. It was a nice place for the beginners and women alike. A lot of people used the pool for learning swimming and for exercise. The officials concerned drove us away, saying that the renovation work would be completed in a year. But it seems endless,” she said, adding that she now has to drive all the way to LNCPE, Kariavattom, for her daily routine.
This is not the case of Dr Sarah alone. An official attached with the KWA said that more than 1,000 children used to train at the pool before its closure.
”There were more than 1,000 children taking part in the swimming training held in four sessions. Besides, another 1,000 came with their families and friends. The pool was abuzz with activity from 6 am to 7.45 pm. The income from the pool had crossed a whopping ` 13-15 lakh a year. Now, the users have shunned swimming as many of them could not find a place similar to this one,” the official said.