Chennai agencies meet to frame rules to regulate swimming facilities

Comprehensive regulation for swimming pools, particularly in metropolitan areas such as Chennai, will soon be in place for enhanced safety of users.

Officials of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, Chennai Corporation, Fire and Rescue Services and other agencies on Friday organised a preliminary meeting to frame rules regulating swimming pools.

The need for regulations gained momentum after the State government, last month, framed a bill detailing safety norms to be followed with regard to swimming pools in schools. The step followed the death of a nine-year-old boy in the swimming pool at PSBB School in K.K. Nagar in August.

Initially, it was proposed that the regulations be restricted to schools but the government has decided to regulate all buildings including residences as a large number of swimming pools are being constructed in urban areas such as Chennai. A chunk of the new planning permission applications for residential developments in Chennai metropolitan area integrate swimming pools, too. Some of the new multi-storied residential developments in the city have come up with plans for swimming pools on every floor.

Disaster-preparedness experts who have objected to such structures have been stressing the need for comprehensive regulations. Steps have recently been taken by the local administration and Water Supply Department towards better laws in municipal corporations and municipalities to ensure safety measures in the construction and maintenance of swimming pools.

The regulations will facilitate amendment of the provisions pertaining to Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, to regulate construction, maintenance and monitoring of swimming pools. Some of the regulations are likely to be part of development regulations for the Chennai metropolitan area.

According to urban planning officials who participated in the meeting, the regulations will cover aspects such as set back required for swimming pools, deck area, maximum depth permitted, qualification for trainers, duty timings for life guards, maximum number of persons permitted at a point in time in the pool, filtering system and preliminary health checks for swimmers.

More In: Chennai