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GOLF ASIAN TOUR EVENT
KGA to host Indian Open
R Satya | TNN
No loo, no water AT ULSOOR LAKE
Bangalore: The Indian Open, the country’s premier Asian Tour event, moves down south for the first time after 48 editions. And the Karnataka Golf Association course, rated as the best in the country in recent times, will get the privilege of hosting this year’s event. Sumit Rathor, president of KGA, confirmed to TOI on Wednesday that the
prestigious event would be held at the par-72, 7227-yard course from October 18-21. “We just signed the agreement with Nimbus, the rights holder, today,” revealed Rathor.
For the record, the officials from Nimbus, Indian Golf Union and the Asian Tour did a recce of the KGA in May and expressed their satisfaction.
The KGA will become only the fourth Indian Open venue since its inaugural edition in 1964. The Delhi Golf Club (DGC), Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) and the Classic Golf Resort (CGR) have been the other hosts. While the DGC and RCGC have been alternating the event for close to four decades, the CGR hosted it twice at the turn of the millennium -- in 2000 and 2001.
The IGU, the governing body of the sport in the country, has planning this move to the south for quite some time now. It is reliably learnt that IGU, with a view to promoting the sport, has been thinking of taking the Indian Open to all the four zones – North, South, East and West. The event at the KGA, which is a regular stop on the PGTI Tour, is likely to boost the game further in Bangalore, which is already a hotbed of golf in the country.
Although the prize money of the event is yet to be confirmed, it is learnt that the sponsors, most likely Hero, are set to hike the prize money from last year’s $1.25 million.
Rathor, meanwhile, was delighted to get the Asian Tour event. “We have been trying to get the event to the KGA for a long time and this was a collective effort of the managing committees of the past,” Rathor said. As regards the facilities at the KGA, Rathor said that the club was planning to add another level to the existing driving range. “What we are planning to do is have another level, after it goes through the General Body for approval, that is,” Rathor pointed out.
“Once it is approved, we are planning to have it running much before the Indian Open and it would be able to accommodate at least 50 golfers at one go,” he added.
Work on the new practice green is already under way and Rathor said that KGA is not leaving any stone unturned for the successful conduct of the Asian Tour extravaganza in October.
Previous hosts (Indian Open): DGC: 26 times; RCGC: 20 times; CGR: Twice.
ACTION-PACKED: A huge turnout during a pro event at the KGA
Tourist Spot Lacks Amenities like Toilet, Water | People Still Not Allowed To Use BBMP’s New Washroom
Sunitha Rao R | TNN
No one cares about POOL SAFETY
Bangalore: Not many cities can boast of a lake in their heart. So it does not come as a surprise that Ulsoor Lake, that’s in the middle of Bangalore, is one of the most visited tourist spots in the city.
A boating facility is the added attraction at the water body spread over 123.6 acres in the central business district of the city. Yet, the sheer lack of basic amenities at the lake is the biggest disincentive for anyone who wants to visit the lake.
A toilet with locked doors that’s gathering dust and cobwebs at Ulsoor Lake stand testimony to the sorry state of affairs. Built by BBMP in 2010, the well-furnished toilet for men and women is yet to be open to public. The front portion of the building has, in fact, become a garbage dump.
“We have been told that water lines are yet to be fixed in the facility. But I wonder, how can BBMP construct a toilet without providing water,” said a staffer of Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), which maintains the boating facility here.
The KSTDC officer said the issue must be resolved by BBMP. “There are over 100 visitors who come to avail just the boating facility. Even in case of dire necessity, there is no toilet facility here. A toilet built for walkers is at the other end of the lake, about three km from our boating facility,” he said.
An 80-year-old volunteer, who is contributing his mite to keep Ulsoor Lake premises clean, said, “The BBMP had pathetically failed to provide basic amenities for walkers and visitors of the lake.” “This is disgusting. In fact, a year ago someone stole the pipelines connected to the toilet. I brought the issue to BBMP’s notice, but nothing happened,” said Lieutenant General (Retd) NS Narahari.
In April 2011, the then BBMP commissioner Siddaiah inspected the lake premises and instructed his subordinates to make the toilet usable. “For some days after the inspection, the toilets were functioning,” said a BBMP spokesperson.
But Ulsoor Lake responsibilities appear to be last on BBMP’s priority list. Top officials and even ward-level project engineers know anything about the toilet problem. “Such issues must be handled by zonal authorities,” said BBMP commissioner MK Shankarlinge Gowda.
East zone chief engineer KS Krishnaswamy said, “I don’t know.” The executive engineer, who looks after the works taken up by BBMP in east zone, said the facility does not come under his preview. A LAKE STORY One of the oldest surviving water bodies of Bangalore, Ulsoor Lake, is more than 400 years old. The lake is at the epicenter of an urban enclave that’s the melting point of cultures. Teeming with alleys and temples, the Ulsoor village on the banks of the lake was gifted to Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore, by the Tuluva rulers of Vijayanagar. Kempe Gowda’s successor built the lake. The village became the core of the British settlement in Bangalore Cantonment when a military station was set up here in 1807. The lake was rebuilt in 1860s by Lewin Benthan Bowring, a British civil servant. The water body has been a wellspring of cosmopolitanism: Bangalore Tamil Sangham and a gurudwara stand on the banks of the lake.
THREE IS COMPANY: The boating facility in UIsoor Lake attracts at least 100 visitors daily
NO ADMISSION: This public toilet built in 2010 is now covered with dust, cobwebs and garbage
Civic Agency Has No Safety Rules In Place For Pools, Doesn’t Do Audits | Many Popular Pools In Bangalore Shut Down
Sunitha Rao R | TNN
Only 10 pools for our swimmers
Bangalore: Two drowning deaths in three days. Sadly, BBMP has no safety rules in place for pools used for commercial purposes. With the number of pools increasing given that many apartment complexes have their own, the civic body doesn't even do safety audits.
The BBMP’s town planning wing admitted to TOI there was no provision in the byelaws to inspect a pool’s safety. “Its high time we amend our byelaws. Pools don’t even come under our trade licence category,” officials said.
BK Hampagol, deputy director, technical, Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Services, said swimming pools don’t come under the purview of his department.
Every February, Karnataka Swimming Association conducts workshops and training programmes on safety measures for swimming pool trainers. But there’s hardly been any participation specially from those who manage pools in the apartments.
This year, of more than 1000 pools in the city only 25 pool operators attended and none from apartments and clubs. “The workshop should be mandatory by Public Health Institute and BBMP should conduct safety audits every year and issue licences to pools. There should be an inspection every year at the time of renewing the licence,” said T D Vijay Raghavan, honorary secretary, Karnataka Swimming association, who conducts the workshops.
What has to be checked?
“Our workshop includes training about safety measures at pools, chemical test, water test, rescue in cases of drowning and life jackets, among other things. The coach should be a certified one. Owners of apartments lack awareness about fencing of the pool,” said Raghavan. He said New Delhi insists of licences of pools based on safety standards.
BBMP must authorize the Karnataka Swimming Association to conduct safety audits of pools. It's a serious issue. Pools in apartment complexes don't have fencing. Any child walking by could easily fall in. Imagine a kid who lost his ball while playing -- it could take just 30 seconds for him fall into the pool while trying to fetch it. Parents should be cautious while sending their children to swim in such pools. Coaching centres have been upgraded because of strict measures taken by the association through frequent audits. At my academy which manages six pools in the city, safety is a priority.
Nisha Millet | OLYMPIAN AND DIRECTOR, NISHA MILLET
SWIMMING ACADEMY TIMES VIEW
As a means of fitness, there are not too many exercises that can beat swimming. Besides, there is the competitive factor. Swimmers from Karnataka have ruled the roost and it’s one of the better organized sports in the state, attracting talent from across the nation. In this scenario, more public swimming pools, well-maintained and affordable, are badly needed. Getting the Kensington pool up and running should be the first step, while a relook at the cost of entry into others is long overdue.
Best Public Pools Have Been Leased Out To Pvt Parties
Ikram Khan | TNN
Bangalore: For a city which produced the most number of swimming champions, Bangalore has only 10 swimming pools, including six private pools. Aspiring swimmers hoping to don the Karnataka colours in national swimming meets have to make do with these, as popular pools were shut down or went to pot.
The first corporation pool at Corporation Circle was closed and in its place, a new annexe of the corporators’ block was built. The Kensington swimming pool at Ulsoor lake was closed in February 2008 and has still not opened. It once attracted the best from the area but now looks like a haunted house, with the pool and changing rooms in a dilapidated condition.
The Sankey Tank pool, which was leased out to a private party and operated as KC Reddy Swim Centre, is now leased to Global Swimming Club, but most of the regular swimmers cannot afford the membership fee and have been forced to quit their favourite sport.
A veteran swimmer and a regular at Kensington pool, M Kumar has won two gold, two silver and two bronze medals in the State Veteran Swimming competitions. He now travels 16km from Fraser Town to the National Games Village (NGV) pool. Said Kumar: “I paid only Rs 16 per hour at Kensington or Sankey, but now I pay Rs 110 per hour at the NGV pool. This is proving costly.”
The Directorate of Youth Services and Sports, it is learnt, has instructed private operators to open these pools to the public at the prescribed nominal rate of Rs 16 per hour for eight hours, but that is not happening.
CAMPS ARE CROWDED
Apart from the high membership fee, all private pools leased out by the corporation conduct swimming camps, which cost Rs 1,700-2,000 for 21 days. These camps and advanced swimming clinics attract a big number — in fact, the attendance at pools is higher compared even to cricket camps. Since the number of pools is few, parents are forced to cough up big amounts.
But in most cases, the solitary instructor employed to conduct the many batches ends up swimming against the tide, and is in no position to teach the large number of kids enrolled in each batch.
Danish Ahmed, a regular at Jayanagar swimming pool, the only corporation pool functioning as per guidelines, pointed out that gaining entry here is tough.
IN SORRY STATE: The Kensington swimming pool at Ulsoor lake
Last edited by gentem; August 2nd, 2012 at 08:42 AM.