Whether it was an ‘Act of God\ or a man-made disaster, the collapse of six statues the Mahakal Lok corridor at the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain on Sunday has had far-reaching effects. Just how far? All the way from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh to Surat in Gujarat, and it has left the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government red-faced.
Six statues of the Saptrishi (seven sages) collapsed due to strong winds on Sunday and another 11 developed cracks. The Congress blamed corruption, and now, Lokayukta Justice NK Gupta has ordered a probe. The Mahakal Lok corridor project was awarded to Surat-based firm called MP Babariya Engineers and Civil Contractor, which lists construction of Construction Of Polytechnic College Building, Hostel Building and Quarters at Agar Malva, MP, and the construction of radiology department building at the Civil Hospital Campus in Valsad Medical College among its projects.
The company’s website says it is owned by the Babariya family, and it began operations in 2006. The company website says it is registered as ‘AA Class’ and “Special Category -I in Building Contractor with the Government of Gujarat.” The company website further says, (SIC) “Since 2014, we have not left out any work unfinished and no litigation with any of our parties. We have a strong work force thoroughly competent and skilled in their disciplines with follow of safety measures.|”
The Congress has quoted experts to allege that the cost of idols was inflated by around 80%. Congress leaders Shobha Oza and former minister Sajjan Singh Verma told reporters in Bhopal that a sitting judge of the high court should investigate corruption and sub-standard work in the project. “The work was hurriedly completed so that PM Modi could inaugurate it in October last year. Due to corruption and sub-standard work, the idols fell even during a mild storm,” the Congress leaders said. The Congress leaders also accused Chinese material was used in the construction of the idols and the Mahakal Lok corridor.
BJP leader and Minister for Urban Development Bhupendra Singh denied all the allegations and said in a tweet, “The Congress which is doing dirty politics regarding Mahakal Lok should remember that the minister in-charge of Ujjain was Sajjan Singh Verma and he was present in the presentation where the tender of our BJP government came in for praise. His signature is also proof of that. So what is their problem now?”