20 Jan 2021  |   03:36am IST

Panjim SAG pool opening: Sunk in delays

The SAG pool in Panjim, used by so many swimmers, especially bidding swimming athletes, has been under renovation for more than a year and despite assurances made to parents , that it would be completed soon, nothing seems to be moving. Café spoke to parents about the situation.
Panjim SAG pool opening: Sunk in delays

Ajit John;

Why does it not surprise us anymore? Projects commenced with great fanfare which then subside in ignominious silence or which seem to stretch on for reasons that make no sense. The swimming pool in Panjim has been closed for more than a year and eight months.  This was done to renovate the pool and prepare it for the National Games which are scheduled to be held in the state sometime in the future. Till date nothing has moved with regards to the possibility of the promising swimmers and divers in the state having a pool to practice in.

Marina Pereira has a daughter who trained in that pool for a year. Minoshka Pereira who is all of 12 has been part of the team of students being trained. She said “It is a very frustrating situation but now the work has stalled. I have to take her to Mapusa, Peddem everyday for training. I have to do this every day.  Recently we had a meeting with the MLA and the Director Subash Phaldessai who promised to ensure it was completed quickly. But fifteen days later nothing has changed. That is the sad state of affairs”.

Zaini Furtado has her son Zach has now stopped taking her son for training in Mapusa. She said “I don’t feel it is feasible or safe to take him to Mapusa. The situation in Panjim is regrettable, now they are giving the excuse of Covid. They seem to have a excuse for everything. Now I intend to take him to another coach who will train him in swimming in the sea. I have to keep him fit.”    

Paresh Vengulekar has been taking his son Pratimesh to the pool for three years. He said “We stay nearby and so we practiced in the morning as well as in the evening. Now that has been reduced to swimming only on Sunday because I cannot take him every day to Mapusa. No one on SAG is helping us. We once took the local MLA and the Director of SAG who promised to have it complete by March. We visited the site fifteen days later and nothing seemed to have moved from the time we visited. Not a single person was working on the pool and now they also give us the excuse of the virus. We need a pool to ensure people stay fit”.

A parent who did not want to be named because as she put said “I have been getting into the bad books of ways too many people. ” felt the authorities were doing nothing to ensure the pool was completed. There is water in the pool for more than six months the parent said they had to ask other places like Ponda to help them. Eventually Mapusa helped them after much argument. The parent said all the attention was being made on constructing a building next to the pool. The pool it seemed would still remain an eight pool and not a ten pool as is required in the nationals.       

Another parent who did not want to be on record said everyone had been affected very badly  and everyone schedules had gone haywire. Training sessions were not happening and the young boys and girls were being affected. He hoped the situation would change soon because travelling to Mapusa was getting a bit too much for some parents to manage every day.

Vasco Alvares who has been involved in the effort to ensure the work completes on the swimming pool and allows the kids to resume training. He said “They have installed a filtration plant but it has not been connected. I learned the contractor has not been paid who has stopped all the work. It is a sad state of affairs.”    

Attempts to contact Director SAG Subash Phaldessai proved fruitless as several call went unanswered. One can only hope the situation improves and a pool is available for the talented swimmers of Goa to blossom.        


Iddhar Udhar