Shortage of funds delays upgradation work

MA Stadium’s swimming pool misses deadline

Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, July 4: No good news for enthusiast swimmers at all as the lone swimming pool being upgraded to ‘all weather’ facility in Jammu has missed yet another deadline due to the funds shortage.
The financial crunch has allegedly slowed down the pace of work at the swimming pool, which was undertaken in 2019 at Maulana Azad Stadium, situated in the heart of the Jammu city.
This pool is the only Government facility in Jammu division that caters budding swimmers and the fitness freak.
The facility was supposed to be handed over to its parent organisation–J&K Sports Council–in the month of June this year after renovation, but the work is not yet completed, sources in the Sports Council said.
They said that the renovation cum modification work of the existing swimming pool started in 2019 to reshape it to ‘all weather’ pool. In 2020 due to COVID lockdown, the work remained suspended but it resumed at the end of the year with the unlock exercise, they said.
The work is in progress but at a very slow pace. Firstly it was partially hampered by the COVID second wave and then because of non release of funds, it is moving at snail’s pace, they asserted.
Funds shortage of worth lakhs has led to slow down of modification work, said an official, adding, we have delivered the bills to the concerned authorities but the response related to release of funds on a positive note is awaited.
Some funds were released previously but still, the deadline cannot be met unless funds are not made fully available, the official rued admitting that though the work is in progress but at a very slow pace.
All-weather swimming pool was one of the major demands of the swimmers, especially the trainees, desiring to represent in various competitions, which they have missed since years due to poor infrastructure.
The total expenditure to be spent in the upgradation of the swimming pool into an all-weather facility was Rs 3.50 crores.
The pool was supposed to be ready by the end of 2020 but due to COVID pandemic, the project was delayed, they said.
The pool will have standard depth (national standard) and to be one of the best facilities to hold championships of national level. The facility will have a leaner pool, sitting tiers and changing rooms as well.
Sources said that out of total Rs 351.2 lakh (3.50 crores), an estimate of Rs 303 lakh (3.03 crores) was prepared for the upgradation of the existing pool to all-weather facility while Rs 31.76 lakh was prepared for the construction of a splash pool.
They said that the estimate also included construction of a borewell at a cost of Rs 12.5 lakh and landscaping of open space around the swimming pool at a cost of Rs 3.76 lakh.
Presently, J&K Sports Council has three certified trainers namely Vikas Mangotra, Junior Coach, Vakil Singh (certificate course in swimming), both posted at Maulana Azad Stadium, Jammu and Peer Mohammad Amin (instructor), posted at RCC Srinagar.