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  Metros   Mumbai  22 Oct 2018  HC: Reply to petition on drowning during visarjan

HC: Reply to petition on drowning during visarjan

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 22, 2018, 1:57 am IST
Updated : Oct 22, 2018, 1:57 am IST

The petition also pointed out that despite last court order, these casualties have occurred.

18 people had drowned off during Ganesh visarjan.
 18 people had drowned off during Ganesh visarjan.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has asked the state government to file an affidavit to a petition claiming that during the Ganesh festival, over 18 people drowned off the Maharashtra coast. The petition has also pointed out that despite the last court order, these casualties have occurred.

A division bench of Justices S.M. Kemkar and S.V. Kotwal was hearing a petition filed by NGO Janhit Manch that despite high court orders, the state and municipal corporation had done nothing towards the safety of people at beaches. The PIL was filed in 2016 after 14 college students drowned off the Murud-Janjira coast in the neighbouring Raigad district.

Last week, Jamshed Mistry, the amicus curiae (a person who helps the court) and petitioner, informed the court that more than 18 people had drowned during Ganesh immersions in the state. To support his claim, he referred to a newspaper report. He also alleged that the state had done nothing following the last order of the high court. The court then directed the state to file an affidavit in this regard within two weeks.

On August 21, the Bombay high court directed the BMC to arrange facilities such as watchtowers, lifeguards, mobile vans, red flags and warning boards at city beaches for the safety of people before the commencement of the Ganesh festival. The court also asked the state government to coordinate with local authorities and ensure that all necessary steps were taken to safeguard beaches ahead of the Ganesh festival.

It was also informed that in 2017, a provision had been made in the budget to construct watchtowers at beaches. Notwithstand-ing, no steps had been taken by the authorities.

Tags: bombay high court