Learn from Goa, watch 'Baywatch' for beach safety measures: Bombay-HC
Ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, Bombay High Court has asked the state and BMC to take all the necessary steps, like installing watchtower, mobile patrol vans, etc., to ensure safety on beaches. Citing famous American drama series 'Baywatch' (which is about lifeguards patrolling beaches of Los Angeles County), the court implored the authorities to use 'modern means' as was shown in the TV series.
The HC bench comprising justices S M Kemkar and S V Kotwal was hearing a petition that was filed by NGO Janhit Manch after 14 college students drowned at Murud-Janjira beach in Raigad district in 2016. The petitioner's advocate Jamshed Mistry said 49 people have drowned so far, yet no display boards have been installed on the beaches demarcating danger zones of the sea.
Further, the bench asked the government and BMC to install display boards properly along with setting up of red flags indicating high-tide. Mistry further said that authorized vehicles or jeeps remain stationary on the beaches, instead of continuous patrolling. "How do you keep watch then," the bench expressed surprise, asking, "Haven't you seen Baywatch? Use modern technology at beaches (as shown in Baywatch)."
Apart from Baywatch, the bench also cited Goa. "In Goa, jeeps patrol beaches all the time. Authorities also don't object to people entering the seas, but they're watched. Lives are important," said Kemkar, adding, the BMC should coordinate with the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority and put up permanent watchtowers. And this should be done by September 10 before Ganesh Chaturthi starts, he emphasized.
Meanwhile, BMC's counsel Sagar Patil told HC that fire brigade is in the process of inducting 93 lifeguards within three months, which will take the total strength to 129. The lifeguards would receive training from National Institute of Water Sports, Goa, before getting appointed. Further, erecting watchtower is also under process, he said. HC has set October 16 as the next date of hearing.