Residents say they are helpless after complaints fall on deaf ears against locals from neighbourhood shanties crawling through drainage line or jumping wall and threatening lone guard before laying out the bar
(Left) Young men (circled) from the neighbourhood using the BMC swimming pool in Malad; (above) youngsters jump over a wall to leave the venue after a pool party
Open in the day for members and at night for youngsters from the nearby slum, evidently illegally, the BMC’s newly inaugurated swimming pool is the latest hotspot for raucous late-night parties in Malad. Unafraid of the only guard on duty, 30-40 youths climb over walls or enter through the drain and spend hours partying daily, allege local residents. “They have drinks at the pool and make noise, ruining our sleep,” one of them said.
Residents allege that despite multiple complaints, the BMC has not taken concrete action. The pool, which opened to the public on April 1, did not have security at night. The BMC appointed one guard for night duty barely 4-5 days back. The pool at Chacha Nehru Garden in Malad West does not have CCTV surveillance, the residents told mid-day.
The outer wall of the pool
A resident from the neighbouring society said, “Many times, there is a loud noise of drums with a group of people entering the swimming pool. The party starts around 1 am to 2 am and goes until 4 am. They get drunk in the pool and have no fear of anyone. They spoil our sleep every night.” Residents said they called the police and the BMC on many nights, but no one did anything.
“Every night, we see nearly 30-40 people sneak into the swimming pool. They have also threatened the security guard into keeping their mouth shut. A few days back, when the security guard was recording videos of youths entering, they snatched his phone and beat him up,” a resident from the adjacent building told mid-day.
The local residents recorded videos of the youths entering and using the pool. In the videos shared with mid-day, young people can be seen using the pool and climbing over a wall to get out. They also crawl through the drainage line to access the pool, they said.
The height of the wall is barely 3-4 feet, making it easy for them to climb over, residents said, adding that even the iron rods do not keep the troublemakers out. Also, many of them climb over the walls of the adjacent societies, which are along the drain, to get inside the pool, the residents said. mid-day also found alcohol bottles in the drain of the swimming pool.
Youngsters climb the wall to get out of the pool at night
According to the security staff, they had demanded additional personnel to secure the pool, but it was not done. BMC’s Deputy Commissioner Kishor Gandhi acknowledged that there have been complaints of illegal use of the pool. “And that is the reason we deployed a security guard at the pool. We instructed him to inform the police if anyone enters the pool at night.”
On lack of video surveillance, he said the BMC did not install CCTV cameras “for the safety of women members and everyone’s privacy.” “In the next 8-10 days, we will issue a tender to appoint a contractor for operating and maintaining security of the pool,” Gandhi said. Senior Inspector Ravi Adane of Malad police station said, “We will increase patrolling at this swimming pool and if we catch anyone, we will take strict action against them. Drinking alcohol and creating nuisance are an offence.”
Approx duration of the illegal party, as per locals