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Cuttack’s first swimming pond cries for a facelift

While the pond’s water is getting polluted with garbage, the waiting hall and stairs for diving are lying in dilapidated condition due to lack of maintenance. 

Published: 07th September 2021 08:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2021 08:48 AM   |  A+A-

Choudhury Bazaar Chandan Pokhari in Cuttack.

Choudhury Bazaar Chandan Pokhari in Cuttack. (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: At a time when the State government is promoting sports at every level, the city’s first pond meant for swimming has been lying unused for the last 27 years. Nearly six months after its inauguration by former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik on August 31, 1994, the pond has been wallowing in neglect. Residents and swimmers of the city have been demanding renovation of the pond since long. 

Sources said the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) had renovated the Choudhury Bazaar Chandan Pokhari spread over two acre of land with all necessary arrangements to provide swimming and diving facilities for residents and swimmers. The pond surroundings were also beautified to make it more attractive. It was planned to provide swimming and diving training and accordingly, separate facilities were created for male, female and trainee swimmers.

The then chairman of Cuttack municipality Trilochan Kanungo had played a significant role in converting the pond into a swimming pool. Even few swimming competitions were organised in the pond. But after few months, the facility was closed by the civic body. The pond is used for three days each year on the occasion of Chandan Yatra. While the pond’s water is getting polluted with garbage, the waiting hall and stairs for diving are lying in dilapidated condition due to lack of maintenance. The surroundings of the unused swimming pool are fast turning into a den for drug addicts and miscreants.

Though the civic body had chalked out a renovation plan with an estimated cost of Rs 1 crore in 2016, it is yet to be implemented. CMC Commissioner Ananya Das said, “We had consulted with the Sports and Youth Affairs department and IDCO officials, who inspected the pond and found that it is not feasible for swimming as per the current standard. Apart from being located in an exposed residential area hindering privacy, the depth of the water body was found to be not so enough to serve the purpose. So, we are planning for its beautification as a normal water body.”



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