THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If things go as planned by the State Sports Council, the international swimming pool at Pirappancode will be inaugurated next month. The announcement, however, coincides with the decision of the Sports Directorate and the National Games Organising Committee to scrap the plan to construct a new swimming pool of international standards at Vellayambalam.
The Pirappancode swimming pool, a dream project launched almost a decade ago, had created much hullabaloo owing to the snail’s pace at which the project progressed. At one point, it even appeared to have swerved off the track. But timely intervention of the Government and the Sports Directorate finally saved the project and before April this year, 90 per cent of the work had been completed. Sports Council secretary P S Abdul Razak said that, ‘’work on the pool is over and the remaining work on the hostel will be completed soon.’’
‘’We have decided to buy 80 cents of land adjacent to the pool complex. A sewage treatment plant will be built on the land. Currently, 75 people can reside at the hostel. Once the project is completed, around 250 people could avail of the hostel facilities,’’ he said. When the construction is completed, inmates of Pirappancode sports hostel, which currently functions in a rented building, will be shifted to the new facility.
But this golden moment is partially eclipsed by the decision of the Sports Directorate and the National Games Organising Committee to drop the plans for a similar pool of international standards alongside the existing pool at Water Works, Vellayambalam. Both agencies were forced to do so after a water supply pipeline was discovered passing underneath the project site. The plan was to construct a 50-metre-long and 25-metre-wide pool.
‘’We have to drop the idea of a new pool. Now, the idea is to renovate the old pool and fill the newly-dug one. We also have to construct bathrooms, shower space and dressing rooms adjacent to the pool and the work will commence once the Kerala Water Authority Chief Engineer submits a detailed report on this,’’ Sports and Youth Affairs Additional Director S Najumudeen said.