The reconstruction work on the Kerala Water Authority swimming pool got under way on Thursday and will most likely be ready for public use by the end of the year.
The pool, one of the oldest in the country and inaugurated in 1962, was demolished in 2009 as part of the preparations of the 35th National Games to be hosted by the State. But the move to redo it had to be dropped, as the National Games Secretariat faced some technical hiccups especially due to the presence of several underground pipe lines serving drinking water to various parts of the city in the construction site of the pool.
The initial plan was to construct a new pool in accordance with the latest international specifications adjacent to the nearby Jimmy George indoor stadium, and renovate the existing pool as a warm-up one for the Games. But since the presence of the underground pipe lines made it difficult for the construction of the new pool, the work on the whole project was suspended by the NGS in 2010.
Now, according to the new plan approved by the NGS executive on April 9, the old pool will be reconstructed with certain modifications to the initial plan at a cost of a little over Rs.4.37 crore. The reconstructed pool will be of 50m x 25m size as against its old size of 50m x 18.5m. The new pool will only have facilities only for 3m and 5m diving, as the idea to restore the old 10m high board diving platform has now been scrapped.
A new filtration plant will also be installed in the pool. The NGS expects that the total costs including equipment will be Rs. 5.5 crore.
The work on the project was inaugurated by Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar in the presence of the NGS Commissioner and Principal Coordinator Jacob Punnoose, Director (Sports) Amit Mallick, and other senior officials.
NGS officials, giving details of the project, exuded confidence on the work getting completed within the next six to eight months and make it ready for public use by the end of the year. The long delay in renovating the pool had often raised criticism among the public and the media in the last three years.