Swimming pools are fun, but are they legal?
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Swimming pools are fun, but are they legal?

The district sports department says that many pools in Noida and Greater Noida run without a licence, flouting norms. So how safe are the residents?

Swimming pools are fun, but are they legal? The photo is for representational purposes only

For many of us, there's nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a quick dip in a swimming pool. But what if we know safety norms are not being followed? The risks involved are huge. And for residents of Noida and Greater Noida, this is a cause for concern.

According to the district sports department, many swimming pools in the twin cities, including those inside private condominiums, are illegal and defy norms laid down by the district sports officer.

Lakshyaraj Tayagi, district sports officer, said, “There should be a trained lifeguard, a first aid centre and artificial ventilators at the pool. The water should be clean and chlorinated, the surface of the deck non-slippery and flat, and the depth of the water clearly written on the pool walls. Renewing the licence every season, from April to September, is also mandatory. But most of these rules are flouted by swimming pools in Noida and Greater Noida.”

Of the 160 swimming pools in the cities, the district administration has received licence-renewal applications for only 93 this season. It has renewed only 54.

“We renew the applications of only those pools that follow guidelines issued by us. We have an inspection team that goes to the pool and gives us a go-ahead for renewal. If anyone is found operating a pool without a licence, they are fined," Tayagi said. The district administration charges Rs 10,000 for every renewal, he added.

Some residents, however, are not happy with the state of affairs. BP Sharma, a resident of Sector 120, Noida, said, “The condition of the swimming pool at Ajnara Apartments is pathetic. Rules are not being followed — the water is unclean and there is hardly ever any lifeguard near the pool. I think this is just calling for trouble.”

Amit Gupta, a resident of Prateek Wisteria, Sector 77, Noida, said, “There are two swimming pools in my apartment, but apart from lifeguards being deployed, no other instructions are being followed. For example, there is no first aid centre anywhere near the pool.”

There are several swimming pools in Noida that haven’t been inspected. The district sports department admitted that because of a lack of manpower, it gives the commercial pools priority. "Visiting one residential society for vetting the pool can take up the whole day. This often makes the process of licence renewal slow," Tayagi said.