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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 April 2024

Harni boat tragedy: Gujarat govt forms panel to set guidelines related to boating, amusement activities

The government also told the Gujarat High Court that all 20 accused persons named in the FIR have been arrested, and two officers of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) suspended

PTI Ahmedabad Published 21.02.24, 07:55 PM
12 students and two teachers died after a boat capsized in Vadodara in January

12 students and two teachers died after a boat capsized in Vadodara in January File picture

The Gujarat government on Wednesday told the high court that it has formed a committee to frame guidelines related to boating and other amusement activities in the wake of last month's incident, in which 12 students and two teachers died after a boat capsized in Vadodara.

The division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee was hearing a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the Harni lake incident, in which 12 students and two teachers of a school out on a picnic died to the boat capsize.

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The government also told the Gujarat High Court that all 20 accused persons named in the FIR have been arrested, and two officers of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) suspended.

In addition, the state government through its urban development department has constituted a 13-member committee to frame guidelines related to boating and other amusement activities, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi told the court.

The committee has been directed to provide a legal framework for certification and endorsement of such activities within a period of three months, he said.

The government also carried out inspection of boating activities being run in 40 water bodies in the state, and stopped such activities at 21 bodies after finding that they did not have proper arrangement in place, he said.

The court noted that there was no provision for supervision by the civic authorities in the agreement signed with a private firm to carry out boating activities in a lake in Vadodara.

It came down on the VMC for not incorporating the provisions for its supervision of the activities at the lake in its agreement with a private firm which was given the contract for its maintenance and operation.

"We are on only one issue - that you have given this contract to him (private firm) without any guideline, without any deterrence, without any supervision. This is your water body. You are not only liable for maintenance, but you are liable to ensure that safety measures are also taken care of," Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal said.

One Kotia Projects was given the contract for the lakefront development project by the VMC under public private partnership model.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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