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Bathinda

Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 12:42 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 12:42 AM (IST)

Work on swimming pool yet to begin

Work on swimming pool yet to begin
The site where the foundation stone of the swimming pool project was laid in December 2016 at the multipurpose stadium in Bathinda. Photo: Vijay Kumar

Sumeer Singh

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 16

After the change of guard at the helm in the state, the fate of a swimming pool project at the multipurpose stadium hangs in the balance. The foundation stone of the swimming pool (that was to be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 1 crore) was laid amid huge fanfare by local SAD MLAs in December, 2016, is yet to see light of the day. The vacant area in front of the gymnasium hall at the stadium was earmarked for a 25-m length all-weather swimming pool.

As the project is getting delayed, budding as well as seasoned swimmers in the city do not have a swimming pool where they can practise. The Municipal Corporation (MC)-run swimming pool in the Civil Lines mostly remains occupied with city residents and players hardly get time to practise there.

“While parents of budding swimmers hire professional swimming coaches for their training at privately-run pools, swimmers from economically weaker sections are left with no option. The practice schedule of players gets hampered on a daily basis at the MC’s swimming pool,” said an executive member of the Bathinda Swimming Association.

Besides participation in national-level swimming championships, swimmers of the district bagged 15 medals in the state-level championship in 2017.

A veteran swimmer said more medals could be earned if the Sports Department was allowed to run its own swimming pool where budding swimmers could practise without any objection.

Sources in the district Sports Department said the foundation stone-laying ceremony was merely a poll gimmick as it was planned conveniently ahead (December 2016) of the Assembly elections in February 2017.

Rajinder Brar, executive member of the Bathinda Swimming Association, said, “With successive governments not paying any heed to the swimming pool project, it has been reduced to be a mere poll gimmick. And it is the budding swimmers, especially those who cannot afford to hire professional coaches or pay high registration fee for private pools, are the worst sufferers.”

When contacted Balwinder Singh, district sports officer, said, “We have written to the authorities to start work on the swimming pool project, but nothing concrete has been done so far.”

Jeet Mohinder Sidhu, president of the association and MLA who laid the foundation stone, said, “We have approached the government to release funds for the swimming pool, but they denied citing fund shortage.”

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