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Mumbai: Pool stop, full stop at Shivaji Park

Updated on: 27 March,2024 06:58 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hemal Ashar |

Swimmers await re-opening as summer looms; assured pass validity extension as date pushed back

Mumbai: Pool stop, full stop at Shivaji Park

The pool is a landmark facility in Dadar

Key Highlights

  1. MGMO Swimming Pool was supposed to be inaccessible till March 24
  2. The re-opening has been pushed back to April 2
  3. The pool authorities also claimed that they have initiated a helpline number

The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Olympic (MGMO) Swimming Pool at Swantantryaveer Savarkar Road. Dadar/Shivaji Park, which has been closed since March 12 for work on pumps and maintenance matters was supposed to be inaccessible till March 24. The approximate 8,000-plus member base of the iconic Dadar pool, many of them already irked by the closure was looking to plunge back into its waters and their exercise routine post Holi. Now, the re-opening has been pushed back to April 2. “The work is on, but we will be unable to adhere to the earlier deadline as a lot needs to be done yet. We are sincerely hoping to finish by April 2,” said the pool management.

Date wait

“Days earlier, this pool had a notice citing the closure date till March 24 which was posted on a banner at the gate. That date was, after a few days, erased/painted over leaving a blank space on the banner of the pool gates. Now, there is information that they are looking at an April 2 opening,” said the pool authorities who did not want to be named. “The repairs and maintenance work of the pool is ongoing and we are unable to restart on March 26, which we have stated earlier. We too want to restart as soon as possible,” they added.

Work on at the pool site; Repairs, face lift on at the pool
Work on at the pool site; Repairs, face lift on at the pool

Validity please

A group of the facility’s members met recently to talk about pressing the management for an extension in their annual membership validity as days have been lost due to closure. The pool management spokespersons assured, “We will be giving an extension. We will have to give it as the pool has been closed for more than a fortnight now, and members have lost out.”

Doubt remains

Members welcomed the announcement though there is some scepticism. “Maintenance is a must for standard operations. Members are paying their hard-earned money towards fees for the Olympic-sized pool.  BMC needs to extend the validity of the pass for the days lost, it is that simple,” said Tarun Bhansali, a member. Jitendra Singh who is also a member stated, “We want our annual pass to be extended. Members have suffered not just physically but mentally too, as there is so much uncertainty as to when we will be able to use the pool again.”

Arunkumar Mishra, Railways and Maharashtra water polo coach, added, “I hope they can stick to their word about the April 2 re-opening. There are question marks especially as we were first informed that it was to be closed only till March 24. Since that was not adhered to, people are also now sceptical about other aspects. We recently had a meeting about the validity of our membership being extended to make up for the days lost.” 

Mishra is also concerned as the junior nationals water polo is coming up within approximately three months and the players need a pool to practise. “We will also see a heavy rush of students to want to avail of the amenities next month, as most exams should be over and parents want their children to be able to access the pool in summer,” said the coach.

Extensive work

The MGMO spokesperson said, “The pumps needed to be changed. We have run trials and all seems on track now. We are also working on getting the broken tiles fixed near the pool. We are installing granite, which will be very good. After all, we want an international class facility. There has been no extensive work done over the past 12 years, just some basic maintenance so, we are doing comprehensive work. The delay has been unfortunate and has inconvenienced members. Yet, we are convinced that it is to everybody’s advantage to do a thorough job once and for all. This large-scale work including additional maintenance is the reason for the date change.”

The pool authorities also claimed that they have initiated a helpline number (18001233060) specifically for queries about the swimming pool.

Apr 2
Revised date of expected re-opening

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