Bombay HC quotes example of Baywatch to direct Maharashtra government to ensure safety on beaches
Ahead of the Ganesh festival, Bombay High Court told the Maharashtra government, 'Haven't you watched Baywatch? Use modern means to esnrue beach safety.'
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the state government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to ensure safety on beaches ahead of the Ganesh festival, and urged them to use modern means, taking inspiration from the American film Baywatch.
Thousands of people throng the beaches in Mumbai on the last day of the festival, which will commence on 13 September for immersion of Ganesh idols.
A Division Bench of Justices SM Kemkar and SV Kotwal was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Janhit Manch on beach safety. The PIL was filed in 2016 after 14 college students drowned at the Murud-Janjira beach in Raigad district. “The government must coordinate with local authorities and ensure that all necessary steps are taken to safeguard beaches ahead of the festival,” the court said.
The court directed the BMC to seek permission from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) to put up temporary watch towers at Girgaum Chowpatty. “The MCZMA shall take (a) decision on it by 10 September. The BMC shall also seek permission to erect permanent watch towers which the MCZMA shall decide expeditiously,” the court said.
The BMC’s lawyer told the court that the corporation recently appointed 90 lifeguards, who will be deployed on the beaches. Besides, jeeps will patrol the stretches too, he said. “The jeeps should not be stationary. They should be moving up and down the beach. Haven’t you watched Baywatch?” Justice Kemkar asked. “Use modern means,” he said.
The court posted the petition for further hearing on 16 October.
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