Chlorine leak at Mulund pool: Corporators demand inquiry

Mumbai: Corporators across parties raised questions about security at a swimming pool run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mulund, after seven people were affected by the suspected leakage of chlorine at the Priyadarshini Indira Gandhi Sports Complex swimming pool in Mulund West on Wednesday. They complained of breathlessness and giddiness and were rushed to the MT Agarwal Hospital.

Seven people, including a fireman, a female coach, two security guards and four housekeeping staff were affected. Seven people, including a fireman, a female coach, two security guards and four housekeeping staff were affected.

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They have been identified as Jitendra Mandavkar,23, Vasudev Jadhav, 29, Nirmala Vayal, 40, Sahil Londe, 52, Pravin Makhwana, 40, Ujjawala Mane, 40, Nohim Shaikh, 22 and Dipali Utekar, 44. Their condition is said to be stable.

Vishakha Raut, leader of the House in the BMC raised the issue at the general body meeting. “The Lalit Arts and Sports Foundation was appointed for the maintenance of the swimming pool.

However, the administration neglected this critical issue, due to which the incident occurred. Additional Commissioner Vijay Singhal was not available though the former mayor held a meeting about the pool,” said Raut.

The leader of the opposition in the BMC, Ravi Raja, blamed the accident on the negligence of the administration, saying said the maintenance of the pool was ignored.

“Will the administration look seriously into the matter only if lives are lost due to tree or a bridge collapse or death due to potholes on the road, “ asked Raja at the meeting.

Further, he said, "The administration only looks after swimming pools until the inauguration or if there is an event being held. For the rest of the time, there is no one to take care of the pools. Those who are appointed for the maintenance fail to do their job"

BJP councillor Prabhakar Shinde questioned how and why the incident occurred, and who wiould be held responsible.

The BMC has 10 swimming pools in Mumbai, of which two are run by a private institution. Private institutions charge Rs 8,000 as annual membership fees.

Rakhi Jadhav, the Nationalist Congress Party's group leader, asked how was the membership fees being paid by around 5,000 members being used. Despite paying hefty charges, why can't people get good facilities and safety?'

Jadhav further pointed out, the BMC gets Rs 22 crore in revenue as annual membership charges, of which Rs 12 crore is being spent on salary of staff, maintenance and so on.

Where is the rest of the money being used, she asked. Eaxh time after receiving complaints, the administration Carrie's out minor repairs but after some months, again a problem arises, observed Jadhav.