Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Monday accused the opposition of politicising the tragic incident of heatstroke deaths at Kharghar wherein the toll has risen to 13.
Guardian minister for Raigad district Uday Samant said all adequate arrangements were made for the Maharashtra Bhushan Award but some people suffered heat stroke as temperatures soared. “It’s wrong to play dirty politics over such sensitive issues,” he said.
The minister said that medical facilities at the venue included blood stock, 600 attendants, 150 nurses, 113 ambulances, and a makeshift hospital at the mango grove. Moreover, some beds were kept reserved at MGM Hospital at Kamothe, Tata Hospital at Kharghar and Apollo Hospital at Belapur. Special booths for medical assistance were in place and manned by trained doctors. He said around 1,050 buses were arranged to ferry people from the venue to railway stations and parking was provided at 21 places.
"All parties need to have a united front when people are in grief," says Samant
“It was a most unfortunate incident. Nearly 20 lakh people attended the event and were provided everything, including water. However, soaring temperatures took a toll,” Samant said, adding that all parties need to have a united front when people are in grief. “We are open for suggestions, but people are just accusing the government,” the minister added.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has expressed deep grief over the incident. “I learnt about the loss of lives. I express condolences and pray for speedy recovery of others who are still undergoing treatment,” he tweeted.
LoP Danve asks for cultural affairs minister's resignation
Leader of opposition in the Legislative Council Ambadas Danve said that the minister for cultural affairs Sudhir Mungantiwar needs to resign owing to this tragic incident, since the programme was organised by his ministry. Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, too, criticised the state government and raised questions on the timing of the event, while the Leader of Opposition in the legislative assembly Ajit Pawar accused the government of recklessness.
Pawar also raised questions over the expenses incurred for the mammoth gathering for the award function. Generally Maharashtra Bhushan award functions are small. No government in the past had spent Rs14 crore on such events.
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