All housing complexes with swimming pools in New Town must have lifeguards at all times when the pool is in use by residents.
This is one of the several measures listed by the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) in a safety advisory issued by it.
“We have made it mandatory to have at least one trained lifeguard on duty when the pool is open for residents,” an official said.
At all other times, guards trained in life-saving techniques should be posted near the pool, he added.
Setting up barricades around the pool and installation of CCTV cameras in the area are mentioned in the advisory. “We have found out that many children play unattended inside their complexes. So, placing a fence around the pool is very important so nobody falls into the water accidentally,” said the official.
Eight-and-a-half-year-old Mitakshi Bhowmick, who was playing unattended, drowned in the swimming pool at Millennium Tower in Action Area 1 on March 26. She died in a hospital on March 31.
The advisory has also listed the use of signage around the pool mentioning where the deep end of the pool is, along with messages that kids must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
NKDA chairman Debashis Sen said these measures had to be put in place in order to ensure safety of the residents.
“These are very basic measures that must be in place.”
Several housing complexes that The Telegraph spoke to were already setting up fences around the pools and looking for trained lifeguards.
At NBCC Vibgyor Tower, the entire perimeter of the pool is being fenced and guards who can swim have been deployed around the pool.
At Greenwood Elements, the pool has been shut down with immediate effect. “We have barricaded the entire pool area till the time we recruit trained lifeguards as well security guards,” said Dhurbojyoti Basak, of the residents’ welfare association of the complex.
Satnam Singh Ahluwalia, a security and safety consultant and state general secretary of the Central Association for Private Security Agency, said many guards could swim but they needed to be trained in life-saving techniques.
“We often hold workshops to train guards who are especially posted near water bodies in life-saving techniques,” he said.