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  Revamped BP Swimming Complex opened with secrecy
BHUBANESWAR,12 May 2018 (Team Orisports)
 

Swimmers of Odisha, especially Bhubaneswar heaved a sigh of relief as the upgraded version of Biju Patnaik Swimming Pool Complex here in Kalinga Stadium was inaugurated by State Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera today. But the opening ceremony turned out to be hush-hush affair as mediapersons were kept out of the event, thus restricting the attendance only to officers and employees of the Department of Sports & Youth Services (DSYS).

The new 50mx25mx2m-size swimming pool which is claimed to have been constructed as per the standards of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) and completed in a record time of five months by Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO), features 10 lanes.

 

Dedicating the renovated swimming pool to the public, Sports Minister Behera emphasized that the new pool, which has been consltructed at a cost of Rs 5 crore, will encourage swimming both as passion and career for swimming enthusiasts in Bhubaneswar.

He also stated that besides the new pool, the construction of a FINA standard kids’ pool (25mx12mx2m) had also been taken up and it would be completed soon. DSYS Commissioner-cum-Secretary Vishal Dev, Director R Vineel Krishna, Joint-Secretary Manoj Kumar Padhy, Under-Secretary Vedabandhu Mishra, Assistant Director (Sports) Sanatan Sahu and Kalinga Stadium in-charge Barija Mohanty were present on the occasion.

The old Biju Patnaik Swimming Complex, which had been constructed at a cost of around Rs 8 crore, was closed down in August, 2017 in order to accommodate a new gallery for the adjacent Hockey Stadium for Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018. It caused widespread resentment as competitive swimmers were deprived of their regular practice and training.

For the record, the original Biju Patnaik Swimming Complex came into existence on March 4, 2006 and the Sports Department made it functional under `Pay-and-Swim Scheme’ in August, 2006. DSYS also constituted a committee for the management of the swimming complex as an independent unit. A diving pool was added to the complex in 2008 with an additional expenditure of Rs 4 crore.

However, the surreptious inauguration of the renovated swimming complex, not only created discontent among sports scribes of the city, but also raised questions on financial transactions made for the project. When questioned, the DSYS e-mailed a short press release in the evening even though the inauguration took place in the morning.

Though the Sports Director Vineel Krishna tweeted that the renovation work of the swimming pool complex was completed within a record period of less than five months, it actually took more than eight months to do so. According to chronology of occurances, the complex was closed in August last year and the renovation work commenced two months later.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- PHOTOS --------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOP: Sports Minister inaugurates the renovates the renovated swimming pool complex in the presence of his department officers at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on May 12, 2018.
RIGHT: Panoramic view of the renovated Biju Patnaik Swimming Pool Complex in Bhubaneswar on May 12, 2018.

 
   

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