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Taking a dip in the pool? Pune, read how well-equipped they are first

Monday, 12 May 2014 - 8:59am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

As the blistering summer heat is making life difficult for Puneites, swimming has become a must-do activity, offering a much-needed break to people of all ages. But given the recent incidents where safety of swimming pools is under the scanner, the latest being the death of a woman in the YMCA pool on Friday, Team dna visited a few of the most-visited pools in the city. Our test parameters included checking number of lifeguards, pool hygiene, capacity of the pool authorities to cope with number of swimmers, and evaluating safety arrangements such as ropes, nets and life jackets. Here’s how well-equipped they are...
  • pool-swimming Taking a dip in the pool? Pune Read how well-equipped they are first Shashank Sane dna

Shahu Tank, Rasta Peth
Experience: The swimming pool was packed to capacity with children of different age groups, along with a few adults when we entered the compound of Shahu tank. As we started walking along the periphery of the pool, we found the filtration plant in working condition, with two big filtering units ensuring that the pool water is hygienic. There were at least 40 children in the pool apart from adults and we saw at least four lifeguards, two at the periphery and two sitting on either sides near the pool. There was a bamboo, rubber float and a rope also lying near the pool. The area near the periphery was a bit slippery, we were asked to step back for safety by the lifeguards. However here as well, non-swimmers could enter the pool paying a fee and no swimming test is conducted for anyone. 
Timings: 6:00am to 11:00am (For visitors) & 1:00pm to 05:00pm
No separate timings for ladies.

Balgandharva Swimming Pool, JM Road
Experience: At the entry point itself, we were asked if we knew how to swim and were told that non-swimmers were advised to either take swimming lessons or not enter the pool. The pool is more than 20 metres in length and had less than 25 children swimming with no adults except parents accompanying kids and swimming coaches. The water was relatively clean. We saw just one lifeguard present near the pool, who said that lifeguards double up as swimming coaches. They have ropes and rubber tyres and floating pads but we couldn’t spot life jackets.
Timings: 6 :30am to 11:30am & 3.30pm to 8.30pm

Shivajirao Bhosale Aquatic & Health club, Shivajinagar
Experience: The place was buzzing with cacophony of children aged 5-10 years, when we visited. It is quite big in area and where almost 25-30 students were being trained. There were two swimming coaches training the kids and we could see only one lifeguard holding a steel rod. Accessories such as floating pads and swim bubbles were provided to the kids. The swimming pool is divided into slopes which are 3.5, 4.5, 5.5 and 6.5 feet deep. Here too, the water was clean and non-swimmers were not allowed in the pool.
Timings: 5:00pm to 6:00pm
No separate timings for ladies.


Late Bapusaheb Kedari Swimming Pool, Shivarkar Garden, Fatimanagar
Experience: The pool had around 40 adults and children swimming at a time. The pool is 25 metres in length and a little overcrowded for swimming. Children were learning with the help of float pads around their instructors. Some people were swimming in the deep area of the pool, which is 6.5 feet. Parents were sitting on the benches around the pool watching their children learn. The pool water was clean, as the filtration plant was working. Other safety equipments such as life jackets, floating tubes and ropes were available. But the biggest safety compromise is that only one lifeguard was sitting near the pool, which is not enough when 40 people are in the pool at a time. The cleanliness and hygiene of the pool, changing rooms and washrooms have been well maintained.
Timings: 6:00am to 10:00am & 4:00pm to 8.00pm
No separate timings for ladies.

SP College, Tilak Road
Experience:We entered the compound in the evening, when it was over-crowded. The pool was larger in comparision to a few others. The water was relatively clean, but a bit smelly. Here, we were asked to undergo a swimming test before entering the pool, being a new visitor. There were two lifeguards and about 30 people in the pool, including children. 
Timings: 6:00am to 9:00am (For guests and students both)

Parsi Gymkhana, Camp area
Experience: We visited this place on a sunny afternoon. Only a certain number of kids were inside the pool, with their parents sitting near the pool. Firstly, we noticed two lifeguards who were constantly by the poolside, keeping an eye on the kids in the pool. By the side of the pool was a warning board for epileptics and alcoholics to not enter the water. However, we found that guest visitors were allowed to go into the pool after paying a fee and without any restrictions, it didn’t matter if they could swim or not. We couldn’t see any life jackets in the immediate vicinity of the pool either. As far as the hygiene was concerned, the water was clean and pool authorities claim it is changed every alternate day by the filtration plant. Though the toilets could have been cleaner.
Timings: 6:30am to 9:30pm
No separate timings for ladies.

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