Madhya Pradesh: The death toll in the collapse of roof of an ancient ‘bavdi’ (a large stepwell) situated in a temple in Indore rose to 36 and as the body of the last missing victim is being retrieved from the debris. The incident happed during the Ram Navami celebration. Initially, it was reported that nearly 25 people were feared to have fallen inside the well.
The temple and stepwell are said to be about 60 years old. Eyewitnesses said that about 20 to 25 people were performing 'havan' on the terrace built above the stepwell. The roof caved in due to excess weight, they said.
Earlier, Indore Collector Dr Ilayaraja T said that one person was missing and the Indian Army, NDRF and SDRF teams are conducting search and rescue operation. "18 people were admitted to the hospital, out of which 2 people have been discharged. 35 people died. One person is still missing. Army, NDRF and SDRF teams are conducting search & rescue operation," said Indore Collector.
According to officials, a team of 75 army personnel along with NDRF and SDRF were engaged in the operation. The Indore Collector said that so many people assembled near a stepwell to do ‘hawan’ and the overcrowding surrounding the stepwell could be the reason that led to collapse of the floor.
CM orders magisterial inquiry
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan along with his cabinet ministers inspected the rescue efforts at the site of the stepwell collapse in Indore on Friday and said that the FIR has been registered and magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
“FIR registered, magisterial inquiry ordered into the incident. Action will be taken against found responsible. The current priority is the rescue operation. The injured will be treated free of cost. PM has also announced ex-gratia amount to the victims. We have ordered an inspection of such step-wells and borewells across the state,” said Chouhan.
CM Chouhan also met the injured victims at a hospital in Indore.
Indore Police Commissioner said that a case has been registered against the president and secretary of temple administration under IPC section 304. The case of unintentional murder registered.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M Scindia expressed grief over the incident of stepwell collapse.
PM Modi announces ex-gratia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the kin of the Indore accident victims, said a press release by Prime Minister's Office on Thursday. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan to take stock of the situation and said that relief work is being carried out at a rapid pace.
A tweet on the official handle of the Prime Minister's Office read, "An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh (each) from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each deceased in the unfortunate tragedy in Indore today. The injured would be given Rs 50,000 (each): PM."
President Droupadi Murmu also expressed condolence over the death of people in stepwell collapse at Indore temple in Madhya Pradesh and prayed for the quick recovery of those injured.
The CM has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs to be given to next of kin of the deceased while Rs 50,000 will be given to the injured.
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