POLITICS has intensified over the fire at Girgaum Chowpatty during the Maharashtra Night event with the Congress demanding Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ resignation, citing serious lapses in fire safety norms, during the general body meeting on Tuesday.
The civic body is still in the process of completing planning in case of emergencies for the Make in India event at BKC grounds and put in place the disaster plan only on Tuesday.
Leader of Opposition, Devendra Amberkar, stated that an expenditure of Rs 10 crore has escalated to Rs 15 crore. “Who gave authorities the right to waste taxpayers’ money. They should clarify how this event is going to be profitable to the city’s people,” he said. “In the face of such blatant violations, the BMC should inquire under whose pressure did the fire brigade issue NOC to organisers,” Amberkar said.
MNS group leader Sandeep Deshpande said permissions for the event had been given under pressure. “In an event attended by VVIPs, which fire officer would have the courage to point out violations and stop the event from happening?” he said.
Congress corporator Pravin Cheda pointed out that the disaster plan for the Make in India at BKC grounds, which should have been passed long before the event, was still pending with the additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh.
“The disaster plan has been pending with Deshmukh for days. What is the point of finishing a disaster plan when the event is about to be over. For an event this big, there is very little infrastructural planning and the organising authorities left it till the last minute,” he said.
Sources in BMC, however, stated that the disaster plans were despatched on Tuesday.
“The fire audit for the venue has already been done and BKC grounds is a regular venue for events. In any case, everyone has to have an individual plan in place as per template but we have sent the disaster plan on Tuesday,” said a civic official.
Amberkar’s demands were opposed by BJP corporator Manoj Kotak, who got the backing of Sena corporators. “The demands are baseless. When the Mantralaya fire happened, no minister from Congress had been asked to resign. This event has brought in investment worth crores and is beneficial to the city,” said Kotak.
Leader of the house, Trushna Vishwasrao lauded efforts of the government and stated that the fire was merely an unfortunate incident. “The fire was an accident but one cannot blame the CM for it. The grand event attracted delegates from various companies from different countries. The businesses they will bring to our city will benefit people of this city as it will bring jobs as well. This initiative has achieved more than Congress has ever done in 25 years,” she said.