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Fire in Madhya Pradesh: 12 thousand government files are destroyed, and a political dispute breaks out

On Tuesday, the opposition Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got into a political fight after a major fire broke on Monday in the Satpura Bhawan in Bhopal, which houses important departments like health, transportation, and tribal affairs.

The BJP rejected the Congress’ claims of “corruption” and “foul play” in the massive fire that consumed approximately 12,000 government files and ordered a high-level committee to investigate the incident.

Officials from the government say that among the 12,000 burned files were cases involving irregular expenditures during the Covid-19 period and agency funding.

A senior government official, who requested anonymity, stated, “The files of record room, coordination wing, dispensary, complaint wing, family planning, nursing, finance, pension, CM monitoring, public complaint, and blood transfusion wing have been affected the most.”

The official stated that the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and the Lokayukta’s files on 62 complaints against the health department that were pending were also deleted, and that inquiries were ongoing in all of these cases.

The state government spent 434 crore on radiology, pathology, and other departments’ equipment last year. Several complaints about the equipment’s quality were filed in various districts. Files pertaining to investigations into these complaints, according to officials, were destroyed.

The commissioner of the health department, Sudam Khade, stated, “The corporation procured the machines, so the purchase-related data are intact.” The building contained the records of complaints about doctors, services, and quality.

Kamal Nath, a former chief minister and president of the state Congress, claimed on Tuesday that the fire was an example of “corruption.”

“The fire at Satpura Bhawan is extremely worrying. In a tweet, Nath stated, “The state government has informed us that 12,000 files have been destroyed, but this should be investigated by an independent agency to determine whether it was an accident or a conspiracy.” There is a significant amount of corruption involved.

In the meantime, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister, held a review meeting at his house. The state’s health minister, Prabhuram Chaudhary, stated following the meeting that “the CM has constituted a high-level committee for the investigation.”

The claims of a conspiracy were refuted by Chaudhary, who stated, “There were no such important documents in the offices.” The claims made by Congress are not true. 

A member of the high-level inquiry committee appointed by the chief minister, additional chief secretary for home Rajesh Rajoura, stated, “We have visited the site. A forensic team, the ANM wing, and an electrical safety committee are conducting an investigation. We will return tomorrow, Wednesday, and deliver the report within three days.

Congress pioneers additionally brought up the issue on why the organization didn’t utilize the water driven fire stepping stool bought by the state government for ₹5.5 crore to soak burning in tall structures. They went on to say that the hydraulic ladder was just 50 meters away from the Satpura Bhawan.

However, according to home minister Narottam Mishra, “There was no space to use the hydraulic ladder.”

The fire spread to the government building’s sixth floor after beginning on the third floor. According to Harinarayan Chari Mishra, commissioner of police for Bhopal, the fire was put out in 20 hours by the army, 50 fire tenders from the Airport Authority, BPCL, IOCL, BHEL, and municipal corporation, among other companies.

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