Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, June 10
Swimming enthusiasts and sportspersons in the city are unhappy as the Municipal Corporation (MC) has failed to start its swimming pool located at Gol Bagh this year. MC officials say they don’t have workers to operate the pool as the state government has eliminated the provision to hire employees on daily wage basis. Veteran swimmers in the city term it a loss to budding sports potential.
There are only two major swimming pools, where any student or trainee of the Sports Department can practice. The swimming pool at Khalsa College Senior Secondary School is also non functional due to the ongoing upgradation and renovation. Now, only one swimming pool, which is at Guru Nanak Dev University, is open.
The Gol Bagh swimming pool has good infrastructure. Apart from sportsmen, residents used to come here for leisure activities. The swimming pool doesn’t have coaches, life-saving guards and other employees, but the MC used to operate it by hiring contractual employees.
This year, the government did not allow the authorities concerned to recruit contractual or part-time employees. In the absence of staff, the MC did not fill water in the pool.
Kamal Kumar, in charge of the pool, said, “We are not able operate the swimming pool this year as workers are not available. Earlier, there were permanent employees for sanitation, maintenance and other jobs. The coach retired a few years ago. We used to run the pool with the help of contractual employees, but the new government has not sectioned these posts.”
District Sport Officer Gurlal Singh, a swimmer, said, “As per the population of the city, more swimming pools should be opened. We have a good potential as several swimmers have brought laurels to the city in the past. The MC should deploy a coach to encourage youngsters. It is sad that the pool is lying defunct.”
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