As Goa readies itself with infrastructure for the National Games, swimmers in Goa are lamenting having to use outdated swimming pools at Peddem near Mapusa, Fatorda near Margao and Sankhali near Bicholim. Whilst the Goa Swimming Association (GSA) asks, “where are the pools to practice”; the SAG counters, “the government needs to sanction funds for the up -gradation of these pools.”
“The Senior National Aquatic Championship is from September 1 and there is no infrastructure available for our swimmers to practice. The water is bad in Mapusa and the facilities in Fatorda are in need of urgent repairs. How can the government expect our swimmers to do well when they have no proper infrastructure to practice?” asked Digambar Kamat, president Swimmimg Federation of India (SFI).
“The water at the Mapusa swimming pool is so bad that Jerry D’mello has withdrawn due to illness and Talasha Prabhu has sent in her medical certificate stating that she cannot attend practice due to illness,” GSA secretary Abdul Sayed told The Navhind Times.
“I know the facilities in Margao and Mapusa are in dire need of refurbishment. These two swimming pools have passed their shelf life. The SAG needs funds to repair these facilities. Nothing can be done without money,” V M Prabhudesai, Executive Director of Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) informed this newspaper.
The swimming pool in Fatorda was built in 1998. According to figures available, Rs 10 lakh was spent on it in 2008 for repairs of filtration plant and the pools has been running on that fuel since.
“We have just prepared the estimates for the pool in Margao. Work similar to what is going on in Campal will be carried on in Margao. Major emphasis will be on laying a new medium for filtration of water. Chlorine is not going to be used now. Instead a new medium with UV lights and ozone will be set up,” Chief engineer Anil Ringane informed this newspaper.
The swimming pool at Peddem was built in 1978 and no major works were carried on the pool since then, leaving the diving board in debilitating condition; the changing rooms and toilets in bad state and the water in the pool that does not appear healthy.
“The water filtration pump was sent for repairs on Saturday. We are carrying on some minor repair works in Mapusa. Our basic focus now is on trying to get the filtration pumps working. The diving board cannot be repaired without closing the pool. We are trying to do whatever repairs possible by keeping the pool open,” Ringane informed this newspaper.
“I took the Sports Minister to Mapusa and showed him the condition with which our swimmers have to practice. The Chief Minister has promised on the floor of the assembly that he would release Rs nine crores for completion of work in Margao. The department will not be able to complain of lack of funds now,” Digambar Kamat told this newspaper.
“The Campal swimming pools should be ready by October. Work in Margao and Mapusa can start simultaneously if there are funds because estimates for both pools are ready,” confirmed Ringane.