Powered by

Indore tragedy: Kamal Nath questions time lapse in rescue, promises rapid rescue force

MP Congress chief says PIL will be filed if action not taken on illegal constructions

Kamal Nath meets a survivor of Indore tragedy at hospital Kamal Nath meets a survivor of Indore tragedy at hospital

Madhya Pradesh ex-chief minister Kamal Nath on Saturday said that a rapid rescue force will be set up in the state and placed in districts and urban centres that could reach spots of disasters/tragedies within 15 minutes, when the Congress government is formed.

Speaking to media after meeting the families of those who died in the step-well tragedy in Patel Nagar and other residents, Nath said that in this case, the army was called after 12 hours, indicating a major lapse in the rescue operations. “There was no management and we call this a smart city. It is a matter of shame,” he said.

Later speaking at a press conference in Khargone, Nath said that building code and safety code will also be introduced in the state and strict implementation ensured. 

Nath, along with other senior Congress leaders, attended the birth anniversary celebrations of former deputy CM late Subhash Yadav in his home village Borawa of Khargone. Congress in-charge J.P. Agrawal, ex-CM Digvijaya Singh, Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha, senior leaders Suresh Pachouri, Arun Yadav (son of late Yadav) ex-ministers Sajjan Singh Verma, Jitu Patwari, Jaivardhan Singh, Sachin Yadav (son of late Yadav) and several MLAs were present at the programme.

In Indore, the MP Congress chief also said that following discussions with the residents of the locality makes it clear that the illegal constructions were not removed despite serving notices due to political pressure. “Congress will move court through public interest litigation (PIL) if illegal constructions are not removed in seven days and stringent action is not taken against those guilty,” Nath said. 

He also met the survivors of the tragedy at a local hospital and heard their experiences. Nath said that many of these injured persons did not yet know that their family members had not survived.

The residents told the Congress leader that the district collector and senior police officials kept moving around the tragedy spot for about two hours as if they were passing time. The Indore Municipal Corporation failed in rescue operations and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached only in the evening, though the incident occurred around noon. The residents were also seen angrily pointing out that the illegal construction of the temple was not demolished and demanding immediate action in this regard.

Nath said that people complained to him that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (who visited the spot on Friday) did not talk to them or hear their complaints. “Chouhan is only interested in media bites and events and he thinks that everything could be washed off with compensation.” On Friday, a group of residents were seen sloganeering against the government during the visit of the CM accompanied by Home Minister Narottam Mishra.

Meanwhile, several Youth Congress members were detained after they tried to storm the residence of Indore Member of Parliament (MP) Shankar Lalwani, protesting against the MP’s alleged role in protecting the illegal encroachments. The Youth Congress workers wanted to present a shroud to Lalwani as a mark of protest.

Compensation to farmers

Later at the Khargone press conference, Nath also attacked the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for failing to provide compensation to the farmers affected by unseasonal rain and hailstorm even after five weeks. He said the crops were damaged in 28 districts and claimed that when he was the chief minister, he had got compensations paid to farmers hit by excessive rainfall in Mandsaur and Neemuch within one week. “We want to ask Shivraj ji why hasn’t compensation been distributed yet and when will it be done?”

On the communal flare-ups during Ramnavami celebrations in various parts of the country, he said that processions were taken out and religious programmes held earlier too, but riots were not reported. “Our culture is the culture to unite and there is no place for hatred and animosity.”

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines