The Bombay High Court Wednesday expressed shock over the death of ten girls in Murud and asked if the state government had safety rules in place at the beaches across the city and state. The HC questioned the government’s inability in putting up warning signs and lifeguards at the beaches.
“It is shocking that there were 10 girls among the dead. There are so many beaches like Juhu, Gorai and Aksa which women and children visit,” said Justice Kulkarni. He also pointed out the absence of warning signs at beaches where the tourist influx was high. The court’s attention was piqued by the government’s existing resolution of 2006 which was formulated after the high court’s directions on the issue.
Justices N H Patil and G S Kulkarni directed the Collectors of Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Raigad to file their response on the incident. These beach destinations attract a lot of tourists and the court wanted to know their response mechanism in emergency situations.
A picnic of students from the computer science department of Abeda Inamdar college in Pune took a tragic turn after 14 students drowned when they entered the sea on February 1.
“We want to know if the government has implemented its own resolution. The rules are in place. It is just a matter of implementation,” Justice Patil, while hearing a PIL seeking the resolution’s implementation.
The dead, including the 10 girls, were aged between 18 and 20. Comprising 112 students, eight teachers and three non-teaching staff, the group left the college in the morning in three buses for the annual excursion. In the afternoon, while some students were having lunch, others went for a swim.
Witnesses have said that the tide was too strong for the students and it pulled them in. Locals and fishermen rushed to their help. The Raigad police and district administration also joined the rescue operations later. Rescuers managed to save some students, but 13 drowned and the body of one boy was fished out later.
The matter at hand will be heard on February 12 when the government is likely to give its response.