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With no rescue equipment, Mumbai lifeguards left high and dry

Even after a Rs 2.63-cr proposal was passed in June, essential items like ropes, jet skis, binoculars have not been made available to lifeguards to assist them in rescuing people

With monsoon at its peak, as well as the risk of drowning, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has deployed lifeguards at all beaches of the city. However, these lifeguards are currently working with almost no rescue equipment, despite the fact that a proposal for the same was passed two months ago.

Most lifeguards deployed by the BMC are working without any precautionary or rescue equipment. File pic
Most lifeguards deployed by the BMC are working without any precautionary or rescue equipment. File pic

The proposal to give lifeguards precautionary and rescue equipment was stalled for two years, and several modifications were made to it. It was again held up in May, for re-tendering six items that were highlighted to be costing more than the original price.

In June, the standing committee finally okayed the Rs 2.69-crore proposal and 19 items like ropes, jet skis, binoculars, watchtowers, etc. were to be made available to the lifeguards that would allow them to detect emergency and rescue people faster. However, the BMC has not handed the rescue equipment yet, jeopardising the lives of citizens.

The issue was raised in the meeting of the standing committee yesterday, where corporators ordered the civic body to dispatch the equipment as soon as possible. Devendra Amberkar, opposition leader in the BMC, said, “This is sheer negligence on the part of the administration.

The equipment should reach the lifeguards at the earliest, before the monsoon ends, to ensure that incidents of drowning are curtailed.” An official from the Fire department, on the condition of anonymity, said, “We will find out the reason for the delay and ensure that the equipment is provided to lifeguards at the earliest.”

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