The city police commissioner may soon have the last word on swimming pool facilities in Chennai.

The move is part of larger regulations that will be put in place in the State to ensure safety in public swimming pools. Last August, a nine-year-old city boy died in an accident in the swimming pool of his school here.

After deliberations over the past months, the State government proposes to empower the city police commissioner to issue licences to operate swimming pools in Chennai District.

In suburbs and other parts of the State, the district collector will have the power to issue such licences. Now, swimming pools do not have such a licensing authority.

The licensing authority will make decisions based on the recommendation of a committee comprising representatives of local bodies, fire and rescue services, health department and sports development authority.

The decision will be taken at a meeting convened by the licensing authority on a periodic basis. The commissioner of revenue administration will be the appellate authority in case of denial of licence. A licence fee will be collected from pool owners on a yearly basis. The design approval for the pools will be given by the Chennai Corporation or the local body concerned in other districts.

Stringent conditions for pool users include insurance and medical test for kids, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. timing for school pools, pH value in the range of 7.2 to 8 for pool water, everyday recycling of water and change of pool water every year. Colleges will be permitted to keep pools open till 9 p.m.