The Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government to undertake measures on a warfooting to keep the beaches safe as immersion of Ganesh idols in Arabian sea is on.
The measures should include deployment of sufficient number of lifeguards on beaches, said a division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka while hearing a public interest litigation.
The bench said the government resolution (GR) of September 8, 2006 on measures to ensure safety of people on beaches in the state should be implemented. The court directed the state to file a compliance report by October 10.
The judges said that several people had drowned as the government had not complied with its own resolution pertaining to beach security.
It asked the government to comply with its GR and implement the measures listed therein to ensure safety on beaches.
The resolution was issued by the Maharashtra government on September 8, 2006 but till date it has not been implemented, it noted.
“According to the resolution, numerous measures have to be taken, which include appointment of lifeguards as per requirement and putting up safety nets on beaches frequented by the people. However, till date the state government has not ascertained how many lifeguards are required per beach. Beaches which require safety nets have also not been identified,” the judges said.
The Maharashtra chief secretary had held a meeting on March 3, 2016, for implementation of the GR and had directed that safety measures such as lifeguards, watchtowers, lifeboats, life jackets be put into operation within three months.
While that period has lapsed, nothing has been done by the state to ensure safety of tourists on beaches, the court said.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Janhit Manch, an NGO, on the issue of beach safety in the wake of the incident off Murud Janjira beach near Alibaug, in which 14 students, ten of them girls, drowned earlier this year.