Indoor mountaineering wall lies unused due to funds crunchNews — By The Desk on July 6, 2011 at 3:12 PM
Sakaal Times: Acclaimed as India’s best indoor climbing wall, The Raje Shivaji Climbing Wall in Shivajinagar has been lying idle for over six months due to the apathy of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
The climbing wall constructed on the premises of Shri Shivaji Vyayam Mandal at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore, had received overwhelming response from mountaineers since its inauguration on May 8, 2010.
The wall was being looked after by the Mandal with technical assistance from the Pimpri-Chinchwad Mountaineering Association (PCMA) and the users were not charged any fee.
Local corporator Balasaheb Bodke, who is the president of the Mandal, said as the basic infrastructure was provided by the PMC, the Mandal was not allowed to collect any fee from the general public.
“Since the honorarium paid to the instructors was high, it virtually became impossible to maintain the wall as there was no proper source of revenue,” he added.
PCMA secretary Surendra Shelke told Sakal Times the climbing wall had been a boon for sportspersons. National-level gold medalist Azeem Shaikh too has trained on this wall.
“The maintenance of the wall is definitely a costly affair. It is not possible for us or even the Mandal to sustain it for a long period. The PMC has failed to devise a proper revenue sharing model to prevent the closure of the wall,” Shelke added.
“I want this wall to be utilised by mountaineers as it is indeed the pride of Pune,” Bodke said.
He, along with Shelke, has been consistently following up on the issue but the civic authorities have failed to find a way so far.
When contacted, Ghole Road ward officer Vijay Landge said the PMC was trying to work out alternative arrangements for the maintenance of the climbing wall. The PMC is in the process of issuing a tender in this regard, he said.
Landge said earlier advice had been sought from senior officers regarding PMC’s financial support to the project but they had expressed the inability of the civic body to do so. Following this, it was decided to float a tender to outsource the project.
This work has taken two months, because of which there has been the delay, Landge said while assuring that the process would be completed within the next one-and-half months.