‘No entry’ list of beaches gets longer in state
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Gujarat may have the longest coastline in the country, but having some fun in sea is now a thing of the past at most of the prominent beaches in the state.
Following Sunday's drowning incident at Mandvi in which six students died, this exotic beach in Kutch district — promoted by superstar Amitabh Bachchan in the Khushboo Gujarat ki tourism campaign — has become the latest addition to the list of dangerous shores in the state.
With this, the five most prominent beaches of the total 10 listed on the Gujarat Tourism's official website are now inaccessible to the public even as little efforts have been made to secure famous tourists places along the state's 1,600-km long coastline.
The remaining five listed beaches are little known.
"We are in the process of putting up boards restricting entry of tourists into sea. Besides, an audio message will be played at the beach to prevent visitors from taking a dip in the sea," said Mandvi mamlatdar D R Jani.
He said the arrangement will remain in place even after authorities install a safety net and deploy six lifeguards at the beach, where two children had drowned in August. Once these measures are pressed into service, Mandvi will become the first beach in Gujarat to be guarded for safety reasons.
But at other prominent beaches where entry into sea was banned long ago, very little has been done as far as safety of tourists is concerned.
Playing and bathing at the Somnath beach was banned in May. Although it's the most popular beach in the state due to its proximity to the Somnath Temple, there is no provision of lifeguards here.
"There's 24-hour police security to ensure that nobody violets the notification restricting entry into the sea. We do not have the system of lifeguards or safety net in place," said Junagadh deputy collector R B Vasava.
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