Safer beaches would promote tourism, says Bombay High Court

Against the backdrop of the tragedy at Murud beach where 14 college students drowned, the Bombay High Court today said government should form a comprehensive policy on safety measures at tourist places.

The court, which is hearing a petition on the issue of beach safety filed by NGO Janhit Manch in 2006, had pulled up the court on the last occasion following the Murud incident for not implementing existing government resolution on the issue.

"Tourism is increasing. This (safety measures) will increase tourism activity. You should form a comprehensive policy (on safety measures at tourist places)," the bench said, advising the government to examine the safety measures in Goa which is famous for its beaches.

"Everywhere in the world tourism is big industry," the court observed, adding that it has a great earning potential. "People who visit do not know about beaches, the dangers of going into the sea. You must inform them," said Justice Patil, adding that there should be watch towers and lights on the beaches apart from the lifeguards, and there must be clear instructions on every beach as to how far it would be safer to go in the sea, as this would vary from beach to beach.

Referring to 2006 GR on the issue, the court said there should be "implementation monitoring cell".

"Everything is there on paper... the problem in our country is implementation," said Justice Patil. "We expect the government to form a comprehensive policy in view of the safety of tourists," the court said, adjourning the hearing for four weeks.

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