Pune water crisis: State govt orders swimming pools shut for now

The Indian Express had reported on March 13 about swimming pools operational in the city.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published:March 17, 2016 2:52 am

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As the state government on Wednesday directed all the local civic bodies to shut down swimming pools in their respective jurisdictions till the start of monsoon, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said it would implement the directives after a formal communication by the state government.

“I have heard about the state government decision on shutting down all swimming pools in the civic jurisdiction. We would take appropriate steps after going through the official communication,” said Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar.

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Rajeev Jadhav said they had received the communication from the state government late in the evening and would close down swimming pools in a day or two. “The orders would be placed before the appropriate authority and then the decision would be implemented,” he said.

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Kumar said the PMC had already taken a decision for stopping operations of the swimming pools in the city that use drinking water. “PMC does not allow any use of drinking water for swimming pools. The pools that were operating have been using water from other sources,” Kumar said.

In all, there are 211 swimming pools in the city, of which 21 are owned by the civic body. The rest are in the housing societies, hotels, educational institutes, sports complex and commercially run pools.

After the poor monsoon last year, the PMC had decided to shut down operations of all pools in the city but later restricted its decision for pools that use drinking water. On Sunday, The Indian Express had carried out a field visit to swimming pools in the city in the backdrop of water scarcity across the state. Those operating swimming pools claim they do not water meant for drinking purposes. Others claimed they were recycling the water and were not drawing any water from the PMC system.

Meanwhile, the state government has also asked civic bodies to not to allow “rain dance” programme during Holi in their areas to stop any misuse of water. Chief Minister Devendra Fadanavis has appealed to people to go for a “Dry Holi” with no use of water, to ensure the water is not wasted during the scarcity situation.

On the complaints of drinking water being used by contractors for construction of concrete roads in the city, the municipal commissioner said that he was informed by the civic officials concerned that the water used for construction work is not from the drinking water supply system. “We would take reports from the third party overseeing the road construction work. If it is found that the drinking water is being used for concretisation of the road, strict action would be taken against the civic official concerned and the contractor,” he said.
The PCMC, which runs 10 pools, too said five of them used borewell water while the rest used recycled water.

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