The Bombay high court, on Thursday, directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to file an affidavit explaining the status of safety measures at the beaches in the city in two weeks.
The division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Niteen Jamdar was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Janhit Manch in 2006.
Raising concern over the rising number of fatalities because of drowning, the NGO had sought directions for the state government to frame and implement guidelines for beach safety, as was done in Goa.
During the course of hearing on the PIL, the home department had, in September 2009, assured the court that lifeguards would be deployed at every beach and all the water bodies across the state.
The state government had also promised to earmark safe areas for swimming on beaches and provide safety net on the boundaries of the safe areas.
The NGO has now filed a fresh plea expressing dissatisfaction about the measures taken by the BMC. Their counsel, Jamshed Mistry, pointed out that the deployment of 525 lifeguards and adequate safety measures along the beaches have helped in reducing the fatalities to a large extent in Goa.
Special counsel for the BMC, Virendra Saraf, said that the situation in Goa is completely different as it is a tourist destination.
The BMC has deployed at least six lifeguards each on various beaches in the city, and has also provided flood-lights on beaches such as Girgaum and Juhu, where crowds remain on the beachfront beyond sunset, he added.