Six 'Saptarishi' Statues At Ujjain 'Mahakal Lok' Collapse, Spark Off Political Slugfest (Lead)


(MENAFN- IANS) Bhopal, May 28 (IANS) Six out seven Saptarshi statues installed at 'Mahakal Lok' corridor in Ujjain collapsed as a thunderstorm, with high speed winds, measured at 65 kmph, hit Madhya Pradesh's Malwa region on Sunday.
The massive thunderstorm also resulted the death of at least two persons while three persons were reported injured.
As per the official statement issued on Sunday night, two of the statues had got damaged. At the time when the statues fell, score of devotees were present in the Mahakal corridor, however, no injuries were reported so far. Sources also said that after the collapse of the huge statues, entry of the devotees was banned in the premises.
The 'Mahakal Lok' corridor project, worth Rs 856 crore (total expenditure of two phase project) was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 11, 2022. The second phase of the project will be completed by 2024, according to the Madhya Pradesh government.
The state Congress leadership has raised questions on the collapse of the statues and accused the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government of corruption in developing Mahakal Lok corridor and has demanded a probe in the matter.
The opposition party has set up a seven members panel of senior party leaders to bring out the truth behind the collapse of statues within a year of their unveiling. This includes five MLAs - Sajjan Singh Verma, Ramlal Malviya, Dilip Gurjar, Mahesh Parmar, and Murli Morwal and two members from the state media and communication department- Shobha Oza and K. K. Mishra.
According to Congress state General Secretary, Organisation, Rajiv Singh, the panel will visit 'Mahakal Lok' corridor to assess the damage caused by thunderstorm and high speed wind and will submit its findings to state unit chief Kamal Nath within next one week.
Chief Minister Chouhan, who was in New Delhi to attend the inaugural session of new Parliament building on Sunday, responded to the Congress accusations saying he has reviewed the situation with Ujjain District Collector and was informed that two statues got totally damaged after falling on ground due to high speed winds.
He said that all six statues of 'Saptarshis' which fell onto the ground will be replaced with new ones and went on to accuse the Congress of plying politics on the matter.
"Due to thunderstorm and high speed wind, two people died and three got injured in Ujjain. However, the Congress is seeing this unfortunate incident as an opportunity of doing politics. They (Congress) making false accusations without any facts and trying to mislead the people. All six statues will be replaced with new one under the defect liability period," Chouhan said, as per a statement issued by his office.
Spread over a 900-metre-long area, 'Mahakal Lok' corridor was built as one of the largest such corridors in the country. It is surround by the old Rudrasagar Lake which has also been revived as part of the redevelopment project around the famous Mahakaleshwar temple.
--IANS
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