BHOPAL – The Congress on Wednesday said it will approach Madhya Pradesh High Court to seek its intervention over financial irregularities in ‘Mahakal Lok’ corridor of Ujjain.
The opposition also raised question on Ujjain district collector Kumar Purusottam, saying the officer has acted like “puppet of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.”
While addressing a Press conference at party headquarters in Bhopal, Congress MLA Sajjan Singh Verma and Shobha Oza, who were among the seven opposition leaders who visited Mahakal Lok corridor on Tuesday, levelled serious allegations on the ruling BJP. The Congress leaders claimed China’s local material was used for building the statues of ‘Saptarshi’.
“Chinese net was used in Saptarshi statues, and other material used for the same were also not the best quality. The colour of remaining statues has also faded. In the project, there was provision to set up a lab to check the quality of materials used for building statues, but it wasn’t established and the project was inaugurated. Statutes installed there are not more than Rs 3 lakh, but MP government has paid Rs 10-12 lakh for each statue,” Sajjan Singh Verma said.
He further claimed damaged statues were kept in a hidden place and were being redeveloped. “At one side CM Chouhan said damaged statues will be replaced with new one, but we have found that damaged statues were being redeveloped at hidden place. We are levelling questions on basis of our findings during the inspection and challenge the CM Chouhan and Bhupendra Singh (State Urban Development Minister) to prove us wrong,” Verma added.
When asked why the Congress is demanding judicial inquiry into the matter when Ujjain district collector Kumar Purusottam has said that ‘statues collapsed due to gusty wind and there is no need of any investigation, Shobha Oza and Sajjan Verma said, “Ujjain collector should have maintained some dignity of his post, but he made this statement, it shows, he is acting like a puppet of CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. His (Collector) role is also suspected and we would demand an investigation.”
However, Urban Development Minister Bhupendra Singh ruled out the Congress’ allegations and accused the opposition of doing politics on religious issue.
“There is no corruption in ‘Mahakal Lok’ corridor project. Congress is doing dirty politics. We did work honestly and with high standards. Don’t hurt the religious sentiments of the people, this has been their (Congress) character. If they have evidence of corruption, then show it to the people or apologise,” Singh said.
The Minister further said that over 100 Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) statues were made at a cost of Rs 7.5 crore and artwork carried out on them “was only possible on such statues” and cited the examples of Kingdom of Dreams in Gurugram, Haryana, the Akshardham temple in Delhi and other other projects where FRP statues were used.
“Mahakal Lok project was taken considering the religious significance it holds in Ujjain. The work was carried out in high standards…The art is only possible on these statues. It takes a lot of time on statues made of other material and even then You can’t make that art. The agency which made this has a three-year contract and they will replace the statues. The Commissioner (Ujjain) has also given the report that due to high wind speeds, several buildings and trees had fallen in the area,” Singh added.
Notably, six out of the seven idols of ‘Saptarishis’ installed at the Mahakal Lok corridor, developed on the Mahakaleshwar temple premises collapsed and suffered damages due to gusty winds. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of the Mahakal Lok corridor project on October 11 last year.
Measuring more than 900 metres in length, the corridor has around 108 aesthetically ornate pillars made of intricately-carved sandstones that depict the Anand Tandav Swaroop (a form of dance of Lord Shiva), 200 statues and murals of Lord Shiva and goddess Shakti.
Ujjain’s Congress MLA Mahesh Parmar, talking to IANS said, “I had filed a complaint with the Lokayukta and notices were issued. But following that nothing much happened in that case, if an investigation was conducted on the basis of my complaint then today the officials involved in this corruption would have been investigated. Bhagwan Mahakal will not forgive these sinners, justice will be brought upon them.” -IANS