Even as a scorching summer looms over Mumbai, swimming pools in the city have run dry.
Pools at the Olympic sized Raje Shahaji sports complex, Shivaji Park, Chembur, Ghatkopar and other places in the city have put up 'closed' signs for the last many days. Summer vacations are just commencing and the city's children are likely to go without their regular dips, fears the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has taken on the mantle of ensuring transparency in the civic administration.
BJP group leader Manoj Kotak brought the fact to the administration's attention on Monday that the Shivaji Park and Andheri pools have been closed up for a while. The Mulund pool stays closed on alternate days, limiting the administration's efforts to keep it maintained well, Kotak said. Terming the civic arts and sports department as a white elephant, Kotak said that the BMC has often had to spend crores of rupees on repairs to the city pools. Kotak has demanded that the pools be restored to working condition before the summer holidays commence.
Former deputy mayor Shailaja Girkar too alleged that the Sardar swimming pool in Kandivali too has been in a state of disrepair for long, under the guise of renovations. Shiv Sena corporator Anil Patankar too alleged that the Chembur pool too has been closed for some days now. The Brihanmumbai Krida and Lalitkala Pratishthan which is supposed to maintain these pools as well as the Kalidas Natyagriha in Mulund, has been neglecting its duties and leasing out the grounds for commercial purposes, alleged former mayor Shraddha Jadhav.
Additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh assured the house that the swimming pools would soon be opened to public.