The move has come in the absence of any official rules to regulate the construction, operation and maintenance of pools in the city.
In a letter written to the Ghaziabad Development Authority on June 20, Federation of Apartment Owners Association (FedAOA) proposed guidelines for the maintenance, operation and construction of swimming pools in residential societies across Ghaziabad. The issue has been raised in the absence of any official guidelines for the same.
A comprehensive list of negligent practices and other shortcomings that have resulted in life threatening situations earlier and are a matter of concern for societies were highlighted.
Concerns such as lack of a lifeguard, absence of statutory rules displayed on boards outside swimming pools, dangerous behaviour, inexperienced divers, unqualified staff to manage a crisis situation, dirty pool water that reduces visibility, misuse of equipment and weak swimmers were raised in the letter.
FedAOA’s suggestions included incorporating structural changes in the design of the pools, erection of railings and protective walls on the periphery of outdoor pools, use of pool covers to prevent unauthorised access, making the pool entrance from the shallow end, displaying a warning to residents at the deep end of the pool, a slip-resistant and non-abrasive finish of the pool’s surfaces, providing steps and ladders at the deep ends of the pool, and providing underwater pool lighting to improve visibility after daylight hours.
To enhance safety at the pool area, lifeguard supervision was also suggested for situations when the pool was deeper than 1.5 metre, pool water area greater than 170 square metre, change in the pool depth, and when the pool is used by children less than 15 years of age. The lifeguards should possess a lifesaving certificate from the National Institute of Water Sports, Goa, and be equipped with an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) to cover all crisis situations.
FedAOA also suggested that the use of pool should be limited to the residents of the society, shouting and making loud sounds that can distract the lifeguard should be avoided, and hours of pool operation be fixed.
Guidelines for responsible usage of pool equipment such as changing rooms, chairs, recliners were also included. Safety equipment such as ropes and first aid box should be made available and hygiene be maintained.
Speaking to City Spidey, Alok Kumar, patron of FedAOA and a resident of Arihant Harmony society in Indirapuram, said, "Last year, a young child drowned in a pool in Amrapali Royale society. Various such incidents keep happening every now and then. Once when I objected to a few women who were swimming around 3 am in an inebriated state in my society's pool, they demanded governmental guidelines from me but I had nothing to show. Hence, after speaking to the previous vice-chairman, GDA, I realised that there are no standard guidelines to discipline people near a pool and safety is being compromised. The VC has assured us to look into the issue."