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    Increase safety, rescue measures: HC to state

    CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the State Government to consider the representations of a petition which sought increased safety and rescue measures at Puri beach where a series of drowning cases have been reported this year.
     Acting on a PIL writ petition which prayed that for safety of tourists during sea bath at the beach in Puri, a division bench of the HC, comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice BN Mohapatra, directed the State Government to consider the representation of the petitioner and take steps in terms of the direction issued by the Orissa Human Rights Commission.
      The petitioner, Beach Protection Council of Odisha, a registered NGO, had filed the PIL writ petition appealing to the court to issue directions to the State Government to engage 200 trained and qualified lifeguards with proper equipment for safety of tourists and to rescue the victims.
     During bathing at the sea, the petitioner stated, tourists are vulnerable to drowning due to lack of protection and the casualties are increasing day by day. It was further stated that even though the State Human Rights Commission has already passed directions to deploy personnel for protection, till today adequate measures have not been undertaken by the Government.
     The bench considered the petition and issued the direction. Over 20 tourists have died by drowning at the Puri beach in recent times.