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Stadium pool to open gates

- Low rates draw swimming enthusiasts

Swimming enthusiasts can enjoy some cooling this summer at Moinul Haque Stadium’s Chandragupta Jal Vihar.

The only government-owned public swimming pool in Patna is expected to open for the summer within a week.

The pool available to residents at affordable rates could not be opened till date because of the Election Commission’s model code of conduct. However, Bihar State Sports Authority on Monday issued the work order for the operations within a week.

Arvind Thakur, the director (student, youth & welfare), art, culture and youth affairs department said on Tuesday: “Since the model code of conduct was in place fresh work orders couldn’t be issued. Thus, we couldn’t start the work at Chandragupta Jal Vihar till now. After the code of conduct ended on Monday, we issued the respective work orders on Monday itself. Accordingly, people can expect the pool to open within a week.”

Chandragupta Jal Vihar is one of the most economical options for swimming in the city as its charges are nominal for facilities like the 25x12m swimming pool (half of an Olympic size pool), a kids’ pool, sauna, jacuzzi, locker rooms and changing rooms for men and women.

The monthly fee for children till the last year was Rs 1,500 and for couples it was Rs 2,800. For single adult, the charge was Rs 2,000 and for a four-member family it was Rs 4,000. The last year April-October package was offered at Rs 11,000 for a family, Rs 10,000 for couples, Rs 4,750 for a couple and Rs 6,500 for a single adult.

The charges at similar swimming pools at clubs or hotels in the city are steeper. The pool at hotel Maurya is open for the public too. The monthly charge for a single child is Rs 3,200, Rs 5,500 for a single adult and Rs 10,000 for a family, with 25 per cent extra as taxes in every category.

Since the Chandragupta Jal Vihar is going to open with a delay, residents are eager to utilise the facility.

“The swimming pool has been the first option for me because of its low rates. I had been making enquiries for the past several weeks about its opening as it used to open in April till last year. The summer vacation of my children has started. I want the swimming pool to open at the earliest so that I can send them there,” said Rajnish Dixit, a Kankerbagh resident.

Chandragupta Jal Vihar is owned by the art, culture and youth affairs department but it was initially handed over to Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation for looking after regular operations and maintenance. However, the department took the facility back in August 2012 owing to its poor maintenance.

Heatwave continues

Patna witnessed heatwave conditions for the third consecutive day as the maximum temperature stood at 42.9°Celsius, five notches above normal.

The Met office said the city would continue to face heatwave conditions at least during the next three days. The weather is likely to remain unusually dry. “The westerly winds are strong enough to keep the maximum temperature around 42-43 degrees Celsius over the next three days. The discomfort index — a mixture of temperature and relative humidity — is being measured around 60 to 65, which is quite high for human beings,” said Ashish Sen, the director of India Meteorological Department, Patna.