For the residents of Kozhikode who longed for a swim, lack of a proper swimming pool within the city was a downer. But it won't be any more, as a new pool is getting ready in two months in Nadakkavu, which will be open to the public everyday for a few hours.
The pool, situated behind the Government UP school in East Nadakkavu, is being built as a facility to teach swimming to school students, free of cost.
The construction is in the final phase now. Speaking to The Hindu, A. Pradeep Kumar, MLA, said school students in the city could make use of the pool.
Training in swimming
“The State government insists on students being trained in swimming. There is even a grace mark for all those who learn swimming. But the lack of any such facility has been a problem all this while. The few existing pools in the city are part of clubs, which are on the expensive side. This pool has been a long-standing demand. We will also appoint trainers for the students,” says Mr. Pradeep Kumar.
Students can make use of the pool till evening after which it will be accessible to the public for a fee.
“Since we are planning to give the facilities free of cost to the students, there should be other sources of funds to keep it running. The cost of running the water treatment plant, electricity bills and general maintenance costs will be collected from the public. We are also planning to build a conference hall of 200 seating capacity that can be rented out for functions,” he says.
The pool has a length of 25 metres and a breadth of 12 metres. It is being built using MLA funds to the tune of Rs.70 lakh, out of which Rs.40 lakh has already been allocated.
In addition, the Sports Council will construct a block housing toilets and changing rooms adjacent to the pool.
Maintaining the pool
The land that was in the possession of the Education Department has been handed over to the Sports Council.
The Council has the responsibility of maintaining the pool and its premises.
The pool is coming up at a time when other similar swimming pool projects in the city failed to take off.
A prime example of this is the pool that was to come up adjacent to the Kozhikode beach. It was to be operational by 2002 when it got into a tangle over Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ violations).
Digging and concreting work amounting to Rs.1 crore was over by the time the pool project got into the CRZ tangle.
By the time the court cleared the project, the equipments of the treatment plant had gathered rust. It still remains a non-starter even though there was an attempt to revive it during the LDF government’s tenure.
“It is still a feasible project and could be a useful addition to our sports infrastructure,” says Mr. Pradeep Kumar.
Another plan, which has been on the anvil for long, is a pool that is part of the proposed indoor stadium complex in Chevayur. Problems with the earlier design delayed the project.
The new design has been approved but any progress is yet to happen on the work tendering.