Harni Lake Tragedy : Gujarat Government Admits Safety Lapses At 21 Out Of 40 Lakes, High Court Urges Accountability

Harni Lake Tragedy : Gujarat Government Admits Safety Lapses At 21 Out Of 40 Lakes, High Court Urges Accountability

The court accepted the affidavit submitted by the government, which acknowledged glaring safety lapses in Vadodara's water bodies, signaling a pressing need for corrective measures and accountability.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 07:04 PM IST
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Harni Lake Tragedy | File

Ahmedabad, February 21: In a significant development surrounding the Harni lake incident, the High Court has accepted the state government's affidavit, shedding light on the alarming safety deficiencies across Vadodara's lakes and a startling revelation that 21 out of the 40 lakes in the state lacked any safety equipment, rendering them vulnerable to accidents.

The aftermath of the tragic incident at Harni lake in Vadodara continues to unravel as the Gujarat High Court scrutinizes the state government's response to the suo-moto case. In a pivotal hearing on Wednesday, the court accepted the affidavit submitted by the government, which acknowledged glaring safety lapses in Vadodara's water bodies, signaling a pressing need for corrective measures and accountability.

No Safety Equipment At 21 Lakes:

According to the affidavit, a startling revelation emerged as the government admitted that 21 out of the 40 lakes in the state lacked any safety equipment, rendering them vulnerable to accidents. Boating activities have been halted across these lakes due to the absence of adequate safety personnel, underscoring the urgent need for robust safety protocols.

Moreover, the affidavit confirmed that all individuals involved in the tragic accident have been apprehended, with detailed information about the deceased's family members provided to the court. The district magistrate's report, presented as part of the affidavit, shed light on the circumstances leading to the incident, providing crucial insights for the ongoing investigation.

Boating, Water Sports Activities Suspended

In response to the tragedy, the state government has taken decisive action, suspending boating and water sports activities across all inland water bodies in the state. Only locations adhering to stringent safety guidelines are permitted to operate, reflecting a proactive approach towards preventing future mishaps.

Recognizing the need for systemic reforms, the Urban Department has formed a committee comprising 13 members tasked with devising a comprehensive legal framework and regulations for activities in water bodies. This proactive measure aims to address systemic deficiencies and ensure the safety of visitors engaging in recreational activities.

Efforts to bolster safety measures extend beyond Vadodara, with initiatives such as arranging life jackets at prominent water bodies like Nal Sarovar and Akshar River Cruise in Ahmedabad. These measures underscore the government's commitment to prioritizing public safety and preventing tragic incidents like the one witnessed at Harni lake.

Vadodara Municipal Corporation Under Scrutiny:

During the hearing, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) faced scrutiny regarding its oversight of contractors operating boats in Harni lake. The VMC admitted to a lack of supervision and security provisions in the agreement with contractors, raising concerns about lax enforcement of safety protocols.

In response to the court's inquiries, the VMC pledged to address these deficiencies and explore avenues for public-private partnerships to enhance safety standards. The court's insistence on accountability underscores the gravity of the situation and highlights the imperative for authorities to prioritize safety over profit motives.

As the investigation into the Harni lake tragedy unfolds, the state government and municipal authorities face mounting pressure to enact meaningful reforms and ensure that such incidents are never repeated.

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