Regular swimmers are unhappy about the water quality at the Sports Authority of Goa’s (SAG) recently renovated Margao swimming pool at Fatorda. According to them, the waters have turned murky and deep green for over three weeks now.
With no sign of the water quality improving, swimmers suspect that a sub-standard filtration plant is the root cause of the problem.
The SAG had undertaken repair and renovation activity of the pool in January 2023, after the Olympic-size pool had remained shut for nearly three years. The entire tiling of the pool was replaced, toilets supposedly repaired and swimmers were assured that a new filtration plant had been commissioned.
The pool was inaugurated informally by the Margao MLA Digambar Kamat in the middle of June this year, after which it was thrown open to the public. However, after just one month of operation in July this year, the water quality started deteriorating going from clear blue to murky green.
Swimmers maintain that the water is so murky in the deep end, that they are unable to sight the swimming lanes and fellow swimmers, resulting in collisions.
There have also been complaints of swimmers suffering from sore throats and similar ailments due to poor water quality.
Swimmers also point out that the floor tiles in the men’s changing rooms have been breaking and several showers are also non-functional.
Angelo Barreto, Curtorim-based businessman and life member of SAG
SAG’s Margao pool manager, Nitin Gaonkar says that the electrical panel in the filtration plant had stopped working, necessitating closing the filtration process for four days. “This has caused the water quality to deteriorate.”
Angelo Barreto, Curtorim-based businessman and life member of SAG, feels that the renovation job of the Margao swimming pool reeks of corruption and shoddy workmanship. “The water quality is pathetic. If someone drowns, the lifeguards will not be able to sight them. It is a tragedy waiting to happen,” he says.
While Dr Sujoy Das, a Margao-based surgeon says, “The pool water, which was blue for the first week, became green and grey by the third week. The filtration plant is clearly not working. It is a tragedy for young, school-going swimmers from Margao, who will be forced to go to Panjim and Quepem to swim. Cannot the citizens of Margao get a decent swimming pool?”
Madhav Talak, a real estate developer and regular swimmer from Margao, says, “The swimming pool maintenance is disastrous. Nobody is shouldering the responsibility for the quality of water. If SAG cannot handle the pool, they must privatise it.”