Affordable Swimming Lessons at Rs. 10: Addressing VMC’s Staff Shortage & Safety Needs in Vadodara’s Pools; 4 New Pools Planned

The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has approved a budget allocation in the 2024-25 fiscal year to provide swimming lessons to school children at a nominal fee of only ₹10. However, the reality is that out of the corporation’s 6 swimming pools, 5 are closed. Only 2 pools are operational. Ideally, each of the 6 pools should have 31 staff members, but currently, there are only 8 staff members for all of them. 

Moreover, safety facilities are also lacking. This raises significant questions about how the corporation will effectively provide swimming lessons to children at such a low cost of ₹10. The shortage of operational pools and staff presents substantial challenges that need to be addressed for the successful execution of this initiative.

Tragic Incident Highlights Safety Concerns in Vadodara

It is noteworthy that on January 22nd, a tragic accident occurred at the Harni-Motnath Pond in Vadodara, resulting in the unfortunate demise of 14 individuals, including 12 school children and 2 teachers. The primary cause of this accident was attributed to the lack of safety measures. In the wake of such incidents, it is evident that safety protocols must be rigorously enforced. It is against this backdrop that the Vadodara Municipal Corporation has announced its budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, intending to offer swimming lessons to children at a nominal fee of ₹10, without any specific arrangements or provisions for safety measures.

Vadodara Corporation's Limited Functional Baby Swimming Pools

Vadodara Corporation’s Limited Functional Baby Swimming Pools

In the precincts of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, there exist 2 swimming pools in Karelibaug, namely, the Rajiv Gandhi Swimming Pool on Waghodia Road, the Sardar Bagh Swimming Pool in Fatehgunj, and the Lalbagh Swimming Pool. Among these, Karelibaug and Lalbagh Swimming Pools are equipped with baby swimming pools. Regrettably, out of these 6 swimming pools, 5 remain closed due to maintenance issues. Currently, only 1 swimming pool out of the 6 is operational, limiting the available facilities for swimmers in the area.

Shortage of Staff in Swimming Pools

In Rajiv Gandhi Swimming Pool, there is a provision for a senior coach, but only 2 trainers are available out of the required 3. Also, there is only 1 lifeguard instead of the necessary 3.

At Lalbagh Swimming Pool, there is no senior coach, one lifeguard is missing out of 3 required, and only 1 trainer is available instead of the necessary 2. Moreover, there is no requirement for a senior coach or a lifeguard in the baby swimming pool at Lalbagh Swimming Pool.

In Karelibaug Pool, there is 1 female coach among 3 senior coaches, 1 lifeguard is available instead of 3 required, and only 1 trainer is present out of the required 3. Similarly, in the baby swimming pool at Karelibaug, there is no necessity for a senior coach or a lifeguard, and there is a shortage of trainers.

Sardar Bagh Swimming Pool lacks a senior coach, has 1 lifeguard instead of 3, and only 1 trainer is available out of the required 3.

Implementation Concerns: How Will They Teach?

The Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s recent announcement of offering swimming lessons for children in the city’s schools at just ₹10 amidst the upcoming Lok Sabha elections has sparked discussions, primarily focusing on the lack of event planning. Among the six swimming pools managed by the Vadodara Corporation, Sardar Bagh’s swimming pool has remained closed for the past five years. 

This brings to light the significant question of how children will be taught swimming for a nominal fee of ₹10 in the remaining five swimming pools. This uncertainty regarding the practical execution of the initiative raises concerns about its feasibility and efficacy in addressing the needs of the community.

Current Situation: No Facilities Available Yet

Current Situation: No Facilities Available Yet

As of now, there are no facilities available for swimming activities in Lalbagh, Karelibaug, and Rajiv Gandhi Swimming Pools, where approximately 1500 swimmers frequent. However, due to ongoing renovation works, both Rajiv Gandhi Swimming Pool on Waghodia Road and Karelibaug Swimming Pool are temporarily closed. 

The onset of summer has begun, and schools are about to commence summer vacations shortly. However, there is no fixed timeline for the availability of swimming pool facilities amidst this period, raising concerns among the swimmers and the community at large.

Security Guard Operator Needed!

According to available information, there is a requirement for a total of 4 operators to manage filtration plants and machinery across 4 swimming pools. However, instead of 4 operators, there is currently only 1 operator available, who is responsible for operating the filtration plant under the Water Supply Department of the Corporation. The remaining 3 filtration plants are being operated by security guard personnel. 

These guards are tasked with various responsibilities such as regulating water levels, chlorine levels, monitoring equipment, and other related tasks within the swimming pools. Additionally, there are vacant positions for managers at the swimming pools, adding to the operational challenges faced in managing the facilities effectively.

All Swimming Pools to Open Soon

All Swimming Pools to Open Soon

Dr. Sheetal Mistry, the Chairperson of the Permanent Committee, has announced that all swimming pools will become operational in the upcoming month. The Corporation has decided to offer swimming lessons to school children at a nominal fee of Rs. 10, ensuring that children have the opportunity to enhance their swimming skills. Regarding the shortage of staff, she mentioned that arrangements will be made to recruit additional staff members in the coming days.

Furthermore, plans have been made by the Corporation to construct four new swimming pools, along with four baby swimming pools, across four zones within the specified timeframe. Therefore, the process of allocating space is currently underway to accommodate these developments.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.