The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike started the ambitious international swimming pool project at Lakkasandra in 2009 but what was supposed to be a state-of the-art public facility has turned into an eyesore, thanks to its poor maintenance.

No splash of water or swimmers doing the laps of the pool can be seen or heard, instead heaps of garbage , stray dogs, cattle in dressing rooms, slum children defecating and junk is all that the swimming pool is now witness to.

The civil works with regards to the dressing room, toilets, seating area and fence in the allotted 8 acres of land, which was originally a quarry pit, was all done at a cost of Rs 5.5 crore. The remaining Rs 6.5 crore was for equipment like side bars, gym area, lights, and miscellaneous but sadly none of that can be seen in this area. Whether these have disappeared, stolen or were not installed in the first place is not known.

Now, slum children play cricket in the empty pool, the stands for the public are used to dry clothes by locals and slum dwellers. Agreeing that public money had been wasted on such a project, Mayor G Padmavathi said, BBMP's South Zone executed the project in 2009. Before the project could be inaugurated the place was abandoned as there was no one to take care of it. The BBMP then could have then used this place to make revenue, but it seems the officials are least bothered.

"I was told that the place has been encroached by slum dwellers now.  Drug addicts have been found frequenting the place, also the presence of used korex solution bottles, cigarette butts, empty liquor bottles all show how the place has fallen.  Even stray dogs and cattle take rest in the dressing room.  The land is being used as a garbage dump and if the BBMP's revenue department does not take interest, the place could soon witness illegal construction even," she said.

In 2015, Vijay Bhaskar, the BBMP Administrator found out that, the pool construction was of poor quality and there was absolutely no maintenance from the BBMP. Raveendra, the contractor who executed civil works for the swimming pool speaking to Asianet Newsable said, "The work was finished roughly in 18 months. The BBMP had asked another agency to put equipment like, bars, jump board, gym and other requirements. It was BBMP's responsibility for maintenance but they failed in maintaining the swimming pool,” he added.

The pool should have been built according to international standards with hot water section in the pool but due to disregard, the pool is filled with dirty water during rains and stray dogs are seen swimming in it.  BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad, who sought the details about the projects has assured to renovate and ensure its good maintenance.

Local residents and activists who have been regularly asking the Assistant Executive Engineer of Hombe Gowda Nagar Sub-Division about the bad condition of swimming say there is no response from any one. " BBMP has wasted our money on a sub standard project. The children from  the surroundings who go to Jayanagar and other areas to practice hope that the pool will be renovated and come up soon. If the pool is renovated, our children can regularly practice and take part in national events," said MZ Ali, Secretary, Hombe Gowda Residents Welfare Association President.