Swimmers deprived of the amenities of Chandragupta Jal Vihar, the only government-owned swimming pool in the state capital, for nearly five months could enjoy a swim at the facility this summer.
The pool has been shut down since August 8 last year when the art, culture and youth affairs department took it over from Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC). Gupteshawar Pandey, director-general, Bihar State Sports Authority (the body that will now operate the pool), said: “The process of taking over Chandragupta Jal Vihar was completed around a month ago. We are now re-developing it. We also need to clean the swimming pool. We plan to re-open the facility in April.”
Sources said the art, culture and youth affairs department owns the pool at the southwest corner of Moin-ul-Haque Stadium. The BSTDC had been appointed to maintain it. However, the government decided to take back the pool from the corporation as it used to rent out the facility for weddings and parties.
A source in the department said: “The BSTDC was not looking after the pool properly. It used to rent out the facility for private parties.”
Chandragupta Jal Vihar is a popular destination for swimmers because the charges are nominal to access a 25mx12m swimming pool (half of an Olympic-sized facility), a pool for children, a sauna, a jacuzzi, and locker and changing rooms.
Students and couples have to pay around Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,800 per month respectively. An adult would have to pay Rs 2,000 and a four-member family would have to shell out Rs 4,000 per month. For the April-October season — the peak time for swimmers — the charges are Rs 11,000 for a family, Rs 10,000 for a couple, Rs 4,750 for youths and Rs 6,500 for adults.
Charges at other swimming pools in the city are steeper. At hotel Maurya, an adult has to pay Rs 4,400 plus 25 per cent tax per month to enjoy swimming.