Andhra University in Visakhapatnam once boasted of containing the best sports training equipment and arenas in the country. Till the 1960s, AU was the first university to boast of a swimming pool on the premises which was located near the old post office, close to the district collector’s residence. But the pool was drained and not put to use after 1962 when a goat herd drowned in it.
Two years ago, talks came up of reviving the pool and a master plan for sports development was put in place by the then Vice Chancellor Prof GSN Raju. The plan consisted of modernisation of the pool and setting up of modern cricket equipment, including bowling machines.
The Prof had even come up with a plan to construct a new swimming pool in the northern campus near the Engineering College if the old pool was declared unfit for use. But none of these plans came to fruition before the Vice Chancellor changed and the pool is now completely covered in mud. Reportedly, the swimming pool also once served as a water source to wild animals.
DN Sinha, a former teacher at Andhra University told TOI, “I remember those days when the AU campus was more of a wildlife reserve with panthers and wild boars having a free run. The swimming pool also served as a drinking water source for these animals and the tracks always showed. This was also one of the reasons why the pool was drained of water forever apart from the tragic drowning.”