MP: ‘CM’s Chandla stage was made of kerosene drums’

BHOPAL: The stage at Chandla in Chhatarpur on which chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s slipped on July 26 was made with kerosene drums. It was highly risky, stated the CM office in a letter to general administration department with regard to CM’s security.
The CM’s security is in focus because Chouhan had slipped from the stage in Chandla, but luckily he escaped unhurt. When the officials posted at the chief minister’s bungalow probed the cause of incident, they found that security measures were ignored at the meet.

Apart from using kerosene drums to lift the stage, there was no railing on the steps to the stage. Besides, the steps were too small, the officials said, adding that official responsible for making the arrangement did not even inspect the stage. The CM house officials have asked the GAD and home department to strictly ensure compliance of CM safety guidelines.
After his speech in Chandla, Chouhan was waving to the crowd and getting off stage when he slipped. The CM’s wife Sadhna Singh, who was a few feet away, lunged to grab him. Security guards also tried to hold him, but couldn’t prevent him from slipping. “It was an accident, but the CM escaped unhurt. He was rescued by party workers,” said yatra convener and Rajya Sabha member Prabhat Jha, who accompanied the CM during the tour after the incident.
A day after the incident, Sagar divisional commissioner Manohar Dubey suspended a PWD executive engineer for dereliction of duty. Later, the state government issued fresh guidelines for construction of a stage or platform during public meetings of Chouhan. As per the new directives, a sub-engineer or SDOP of the department will be responsible to ensure the quality of stage.
In case a private agency is involved in the construction, the department will seek efficiency and experience certificates from them. It was also decided to cover the platform and stairs with railings to avoid any accident.
Taking a dig at the BJP after the incident, leader of opposition Ajay Singh had asked why an executive engineer of the PWD department was suspended, if the dais of Chouhan public meeting in Chandla was not strong enough.