Mumbai/Pune : Shocked at the drowning of 14 students of a Pune college off Murud beach, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday rapped the Maharashtra Government and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai for not putting in place adequate safety measures in beaches in the state.
The court rap came even as parents of some of the 14 students of Abeda Inamdar College who drowned at Murud-Janjira beach in Raigad district on February 1 alleged “negligence” on the part of the college authorities in the aftermath of the tragedy and gheraoed P. A. Inamdar, the president of the Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society.
‘‘It is shocking that 14 students of which ten were girls died after drowning two days back at the Murud-Janjira beach. There is no system in place. There were no warning signals, no lifeguards and no watch-towers,” a Division Bench of Justices N H Patil and G S Kulkarni said while hearing a PIL on beach safety.
The court came down heavily on the state and the civic body for not implementing a Government Resolution on measures to be taken up to keep beaches secure so as to avoid untoward incidents.
In 2006, the high court had passed certain directions after which the Government issued a resolution on the issue the same year. “The government is yet to implement the resolution. You (the government and the civic body) have a resolution directly on the issue but still nothing has been done. Ask the city collector why the resolution has not been implemented,” the court said, while considering the PIL filed by the NGO Janhit Manch.
“There are so many beaches in the city itself like the Juhu beach, Gorai beach, Aksa beach and so on. There is such a crowd in these places, especially children. With no system in place how does the government propose to avoid such incidents (drowning),” the bench said.
Giving the example of how Goa has deployed beach police at the seashore, the court said the Maharashtra Government should also consider the same. The court posted the petition for hearing on February 12 and asked both the government and the corporation to say why the resolution has not yet been implemented.
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