Feel like cooling off with a swim at one of the city’s beaches or waterfronts? Not a good idea, says the fire brigade, which has termed eight of the 10 beaches and waterfronts in Mumbai unsafe.
The eight beaches and waterfronts listed as unsafe in the fire brigade report are Walkeshwar-Worli, Dadar Chowpatty, Mahim, Bandra to Khar, Aksa, Manori, Gorai and Marve. The ‘safe’ beaches are Girgaum-Chowpatty for swimming and guided water sports, and Juhu beach for swimming between YMCA and Ruia Park. The report, prepared by the late chief fire officer, Uday Tatkare, was put together after assessing water currents, pollution levels, presence of rocks and other aspects. It will form the basis of the civic body’s action to ensure safety of Mumbaiites at the city’s beaches and waterfronts.
According to the report, Aksa, Manori, Gorai and Marve beaches, which see several drowning incidents, especially during the monsoons, have strong currents. “The water currents at these places are so strong that they grip the swimmer and pull him into the water. It is very difficult to fight these currents,” said a lifeguard posted at Aksa.
The report also says the waterfronts at Mahim and Bandra-Khar are unsafe for swimming due to the profusion of rocks and the high pollution levels due to sewage discharge.
“There is urgent need to strengthen beach safety in the city. Twenty-four lifeguards for the city are not enough,” said Jamshed Mistry, counsel for Janhit Manch that has filed a PIL seeking beach safety measures.
Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said, “On normal days 30 lifeguards are sufficient and during high tide days lifeguards at beaches will be suitably augmented,” Mhaiskar said.