CHENNAI : In a bid to help Chennai’s Officers Training Academy (OTA) stand on par with other two top training academies in India (Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, and Officers Training Academy, Gaya), OTA is being equipped with an Olympic-size swimming pool conforming to regulated dimensions. Surveillance posts (watchtowers) are being set up near all exit gates.
“Till date in Chennai, there wasn’t really a security breach. Only last December, we had an imposter dressed in the uniform of a Major. However, he was caught immediately. But, this also made us realise that the security inside the campus must be beefed up. Moreover, unlike the north India, the calm in south India makes it a breeding ground for antisocial activities,” said Brigadier MG Sekaran. In order to address this, watchtowers are being built near all the exit gates of the campus.
The main purpose is to provide a high, safe place from which a sentinel or guard may observe the surrounding area. This would ensure dominance over the enemy on the ground and give the guard more time to alert the army, in case of an emergency. Also, the construction of an Olympic-size swimming pool as per regulated dimensions is nearing completion.
Initially, the cadets had to visit the swimming pool in Velachery or IIT Madras campus for training as the pool in the academy is way smaller than the required dimensions. “Swimming in a large pool increases endurance, confidence and prepares you for eventuality during a war. It is must for all the cadets to learn basic swimming skills.
The cadets who are good at swimming are sent to Belgaum for advanced training with complete war gear,” said an officer in the academy. The pool stretches 50 metres long, 25 meters wide, at least three meters deep. Apart from this, the OTA was also recently made accessible for persons with disability. Ramps and railings have been constructed and wheelchairs have been brought in.