Corporation swimming pools to cost a bomb

Plan to rake in revenue through advertisements shelved

April 20, 2018 01:04 am | Updated 07:56 am IST - Chennai

Costly plunge: The Corporation is set to increase entry fees to swimming pools from Rs. 15 to Rs. 50 an hour.

Costly plunge: The Corporation is set to increase entry fees to swimming pools from Rs. 15 to Rs. 50 an hour.

As the summer has virtually arrived, hordes of city-dwellers have been making a beeline to the Chennai City Corporation’s three swimming pools. The number of swimmers has grown from 300 to 2,000 a day at the Marina beach pool alone.

But users will soon be sweating as the Corporation is increasing entry fees to swimming pools steeply, from ₹15 to ₹50 an hour.

The My Ladyes Park pool will soon collect the revised fee. A new private contractor will be identified. The fee for the Marina beach swimming pool will be ₹50 an hour for adults and ₹30 an hour for children.

The revised rates are expected to be applicable at the new swimming pool in Tiruvottiyur, which will be opened this summer.

Officials, however, are hopeful that the number of pool users would only grow. The Marina pool is open from 5.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. It is 100 metres long with seven lifeguards and three coaches. The pool has been conducting summer camps. The My Ladyes Park pool does not conduct summer camps: the facility focusses on training children from a disadvantaged background. This pool is open between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4.45 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A number of special children use the pool in My Ladyes Park. Residents have requested the Corporation to exempt them from paying the revised fees.

Following a request by pool contractors, who claimed to have incurred losses during the December 2015 Vardah cyclone and floods, the Corporation permitted them to generate revenue from advertisements around the pools. But that has now been shelved.

Advertisements were to be permitted in 275 sq m of space in each pool. The civic body asked contractors to earmark at least 50 sq m of space for advertisements on civic issues. Religious and political advertisements are banned. One reason for the proposal being shelved was intervention by the Madras High Court. Corporation officials said the pool entry fee will be reduced if the proposal to generate revenue from advertisements takes off.

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