Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Rebirth of a DEAD Swimming Pool

Rebirth of a DEAD Swimming Pool

Our elderly people from Bangalore probably learnt to swim in a iconic pool near Hudson circle, but where has it vanished now?

If you have ever walked into the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) office, located near Hudson circle, you would have seen a lovely garden but we you able to spot a swimming pool? Well, if you ask some old Bangloreans, they will tell you the story of the cool, deep pool where some of them learnt to swim. So what happened to this pool? That’s a long story but I’ll save you a trip to the musty archives and tell you where exactly it went.

When I walked into the BBMP office one muggy morning in 2003 (it was called the City Corporation then, (not BBMP) to meet the Commissioner, I was mesmerized by the beautiful heritage building in front of me. And on this 10 acre plot I also spotted a beautiful but dry stone bed – it was a pool built by the British for the public.

SPOT THE SECRET! The underground tank at the BBMP building has an interesting history

I actually caught sight of the changing rooms which were grand looking stone structures. They added to the aura of the heritage building. But the pool itself was being demolished because ‘vegetable vendors and other from City market were frequenting it to have a free bath’.

 I was told that the pool had become an ‘eyesore’. So, the City Corporation had resolved to demolish it and replace it with a garden. I saw workers getting ready to raze the changing rooms. Sprinting to Commissioner’s office, I requested him to save the pool – the structure, actually. He wanted to know why, I promised to give the Corporation their coveted garden if he’d give me the pool. It was a 7.5 lakh litre ready made tank and letting it be covered up with concrete would be a crime.

I told him of my plan to collect rainwater from all the four buildings – the main building, Annexe 1 and 2, and the New Council Hall – into the pool, which would turn into a tank. I planned to erect pillars and beams over the pool and turn it into a garden. I was lucky that The Commissioner agreed to the plan and stopped the demolition with a stroke of his pen.

The result: The heritage buildings remained untouched in the first phase of RWH project. And rainwater from the Annexe buildings flows into the pool which functions as a tank and is full as it was decades ago.

IMPRESSIVE!  The BBMP building near Hudson Circle.

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Mr Shivakumar has several publications and significant number of patents, which are under commercial exploitation to benefit the society. His research experience spans over several fields and areas in applied sciences. He has a "National Award" to his credit, awarded by the Union Government of India in the year 2001 for one of his innovations. He was awarded the "Citizen Extraordinary" by Rotary International in the year 2007. The First Innovation award "Ammulya 2012" for two of his patents was awarded by Government of Karnataka in addition to other state awards and recognitions.