World Culture Festival starts today; Stage unsafe CPWD to Delhi Police

Among red flags: no preparation... for creating levelled firm ground for supporting structure.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Updated: March 11, 2016 12:22 pm
Performers gather for a rehearsal at the venue of the World Culture Festival Thursday. (Express Photo: Oinam Anand) Performers gather for a rehearsal at the venue of the World Culture Festival Thursday. (Express Photo: Oinam Anand)

The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has written to Delhi Police that the stage of the World Culture Festival organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living is unsafe. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with many foreign dignitaries, is set to attend the opening function on Friday evening.

In a March 9 letter to the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Prime Minister’s security, CPWD special director general Upendra Malik listed four counts on which the supporting structure of the stage failed to meet standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

Watch Video | Sri Sri Event: Clearances Pending But Delhi Police Prepares To Ensure Law & Order

The red flags listed in the letter are: no preparation/compaction for creating levelled and firm ground for supporting the structure; inadequate size of base plates resulting in excessive soil-bearing pressure; non-staggering of splice joints creating weak links at same level; use of corroded and worn out pipes.

READ: AOL seeks 4 weeks’ time to pay Rs 5 cr fine, says ‘tough to generate amount in short time’

The festival on the floodplains of the Yamuna is already under fire for alleged violation of environmental norms, with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday levying an interim fine of Rs 5 crore on the organisers.

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CPWD was provided with a model of the stage for structural analysis. On inspection, the letter stated, it was found to be deficient. “The consultant has considered horizontal loads of unidirectional force generated due to wind speed of 4.7 meter per second only against the BIS provision of wind speed of 47 meter per second… the structure is not safe under wind of this speed (4.7 meter per second) too,” the letter added.

The Indian Express had earlier reported on a Delhi Police letter to the Union Urban Development Ministry in which it had warned of a “stampede”, “pandemonium” and “utter chaos” at the venue and the lack of a structural stability certificate for the stage.

The CPWD, Delhi government and Delhi Development Authority — the DDA granted permission for the event — have refused to give the festival stage the mandatory structural stability certificate, police wrote to the Ministry. When contacted, Malik refused to discuss the letter, describing it as a “confidential document.” This is, however, not the first time that CPWD has pointed out that the structure is unsafe.

A detailed report certifying “unsafe conditions” of the temporary stage was sent by CPWD on March 4 and March 6 to Delhi Police. Organisers had agreed to rectify the shortcomings that had been pointed out.

Meanwhile, Delhi Fire Service Director A K Sharma said the DFS has issued the clearance certificate for the event.

“We had suggested some fire safety measures to organisers. Today, after inspecting the site, our officials have issued the clearance certificate to them,” said Sharma.

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First Published on: March 11, 2016 4:28 am
  1. H
    Haradhan Mandal
    Mar 11, 2016 at 3:17 am
    Anything that is 'Culture' has to be sober, simple and humble. This looks like a CIRCUS and a Jamboree of a GROSS and 'UNCULTURED' man who has amed suddenly a w lot of money, and with that , the power and clout (and he is ready to FLAUNT it). A culture of spending money of 25 crores in 3 days IS NOT CULTURE. Culture would have been helping Anganwadi Workers/Seamstress Women financially with these 25 Crores so that they can send their children for study in JNU and HU and get some dignity and respect , they (these MOTHERS) deserve in their life.
    Reply
    1. I
      IML sood
      Mar 11, 2016 at 6:04 am
      See the bias media and a few commentators who always see everything from thie coloured eyes.Just see the poison some Media houses like NDTV is spreading by giving minute to minute bias twisted news just to get cheap publicity. Why Govt. does rein such media houses who misused press freedom to spread a particular type of ideology which can result in confusion and unrest in society.
      Reply
      1. M
        MyTake
        Mar 11, 2016 at 8:34 am
        Watch out for those who are chanting "unsafe" "unsafe" mantra day and noght! They might really cause trouble.
        Reply
        1. T
          TIHAEwale
          Mar 11, 2016 at 5:17 am
          Stage is unsafe says Chai Pakode Wali Dukan
          Reply
          1. P
            Peace
            Mar 11, 2016 at 3:00 am
            They should ensure safety, world will be watching, should not set wrong example like make in India Mumbai event.
            Reply
            1. M
              Mohammed Fareeduddin
              Mar 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm
              Since long we (most of them) asking govt. to remove subsidy. Muslims in general are not in favor of the Hajj subsidy. We consider the subsidy as a subsidy to Air India and not to the Muslim community. Air India's subsidized fare is higher than competing airlines' ordinary fare. However, the government has continued offering the Haj subsidy despite protests from the Muslim community at large. Mr. S Shahabuddin said that Air India's rising costs for travel, and the consequent increases in the Government of India's subsidy, have resulted partly from differences in foreign exchange rates beyond the airline's control. He suggests charter fares should be set at two-thirds of regular IATA fares, but points out that the Haj has higher costs than other charters because two empty flights are required to return the aircraft to India and to position the aircraft in Arabia for the pilgrims' return journey. What is the need for this advice? Another malicious attempt to fan the fire.
              Reply
              1. G
                greenspace
                Mar 11, 2016 at 3:28 pm
                Congratulations AOL and pulling out a wonderful MEGA EVENT.
                Reply
                1. H
                  HARIDAS
                  Mar 11, 2016 at 3:16 am
                  Please be realistic in essment. 47 meter/second is equal to 169.2 km/hour wind speed. Is the political winds in Delhi so severe?
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    babu
                    Mar 11, 2016 at 2:24 am
                    Sir sri vs zakir youth We have sayings KHUDA MEHARBAAN TOE G A D H A PEHALWAAN
                    Reply
                    1. B
                      BharatK
                      Mar 11, 2016 at 10:53 am
                      NEVER trust IE news.
                      Reply
                      1. B
                        BharatK
                        Mar 11, 2016 at 7:38 am
                        Wish the Art of Living a G Success!
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Seema Hareesh
                          Mar 11, 2016 at 6:21 am
                          The Indian Express, whose resident editor is Yechuri's wife, is trying so hard to keep people away from this event. Look at the way these pressutes spread lies, desparate attempts! They simply don't know Art of Living and how they work! You can't take out a single Art of Living followers with your dirty tricks!
                          Reply
                          1. M
                            Mohandas
                            Mar 11, 2016 at 12:37 am
                            Influential and rich can getaway with anything. The poor cant even live in a slum peacefully nor get a lakh loan for a lively hood without threats on his own life. That's fate accompli
                            Reply
                            1. N
                              Neeraj Gupta
                              Mar 11, 2016 at 6:49 am
                              Blatant misuse of funds, political powers! Do you think any one can go on and on with full scale arrangements for just getting the event started on time without an iota of fear that it can be cancelled by the govt authorities, unless he is sure that nothing will happen!!
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Rajnish Sharma
                                Mar 11, 2016 at 8:13 am
                                It is quid pro quo, the Govt. / BJP has to pay back for the pre-poll commitment , its as simple as that...
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Sanjeev Singal
                                  Mar 11, 2016 at 6:28 am
                                  All along Mr. Ravi Shankar has always had complete faith in Govt machinery. Hence, he didn't deem it necessary to seek any approvals or permissions. He had even taken for granted that with some farce proceedings, NGT will make going smooth. Penalties are imposed post an offence and not before an offence. After all NGT's chief too is appointed by devotees of Mr. Ravi Shankar.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sanjeev Singal
                                    Mar 11, 2016 at 6:27 am
                                    Armed Forces are serving these Baba log. CISF is protecting business unit of Mr. Ramdev and Army is building pontoon bridges for Mr. Ravi Shankar. Instead, our military should build roads along China and stan borders.
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      Sanjeev Singal
                                      Mar 11, 2016 at 6:31 am
                                      Mere presence of the PM and the President of India in the opening ceremonies of illegal structures on river beds, river banks or elsewhere lends enormous legality to such illegal structures. A mix of spirituality or religiosity adds further legality. Perhaps Mr. Ravi Shankar too has plans to use these ideas. He has said on record that he will build bio-diversity park at the disputed land (he has already encroached 1,000 acres.) He is very confident that once the PM, who is an ardent devotee of Mr. Ravi Shankar, inaugurates his festival, all permissions will automatically come. Swaminarayan Sect has also built temples at river beds and river banks at many places. One such temple was built in Delhi in November 2005. DDA can provide hundreds of acres of land to such Sects, but does not have any land for building schools, colleges, hospitals and parking places. This is a form of corruption.
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        Sanjeev Singal
                                        Mar 11, 2016 at 6:27 am
                                        These Babas should be kept away from our armed forces.
                                        Reply
                                        1. A
                                          Ashok
                                          Mar 11, 2016 at 4:09 am
                                          I am planning to organize a WORLD marble playing Championship for various age groups. Friends please suggest a suitable name for the event which should have WORLD in it so it will be easier for me to get a Government grant and clearance.
                                          Reply
                                          1. A
                                            Ashok
                                            Mar 11, 2016 at 4:17 am
                                            With all due respect to Sri Sri Ravishankar I was shocked to hear him say Army ka FARZ Banta hai World Cultural Festival ke liye bridge banane ka. Sir you are a Private Citizen
                                            Reply
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