A fire that occurred at Satpura Bhawan in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, resulted in the destruction of over 12,000 files and furniture worth Rs 25 lakh belonging to the state government. The Congress party suspects a conspiracy behind the fire, which happened just months before the Assembly election, while the BJP government claims that no sensitive files were lost.
12000 Important Govt Files Gutted In Fire
A massive fire broke out in the six-storey Satpura Bhawan in Bhopal, causing the destruction of furniture worth Rs 25 crore and more than 12,000 important files. The Congress party alleged a conspiracy behind the fire, whereas the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh stated that no sensitive files were affected by the fire.
Satpura Bhawan accommodates various departments of the Madhya Pradesh government. The fire started on the third floor and spread to the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors of the building, coinciding with the upcoming state Assembly polls later this year.
This is the third time in over ten years that a fire has erupted in Satpura Bhawan. Interestingly, the fires in 2012 and 2018 also began on the third floor, shortly before the respective Assembly elections.
Preliminary information suggests that the fire started at 4 pm in the regional office of the Tribal Welfare Department on the third floor. Multiple fire tenders and army experts were deployed to the scene, and it took nearly 12 hours to bring the blaze under control.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, and efforts to extinguish it are ongoing. However, initial reports suggest that a blast in an air conditioner (AC) could have triggered the fire, although this has not been confirmed by the authorities.
Opposition Attacks State BJP Govt
The opposition Congress party criticized the ruling BJP government, alleging a conspiracy in the Satpura Bhawan fire. On the other hand, the state government asserted that no sensitive files were destroyed.
The service records, complaint documents, and budget accounting documents of employees on the affected floors were burnt to ashes. Additionally, the files of complaints registered with the Health and Family Welfare Department and documents related to payments made to hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic were also destroyed.
However, files related to tenders and medicines were not affected as they were stored on the second floor. The hospital administration branch on the second floor remained unaffected by the fire.
The state government stated that documents related to the establishment of various departments were damaged, including those for the Directorate of Health Services, Nursing, Complaints, Accounts, and Commission Branch, as well as Vidhan Sabha questions. The hospital administration branch, located on the second floor, was not impacted.
The government reassured that critical documents were not stored in the affected office and that the documents pertaining to the establishment of the departments are kept separately in the commissioner’s office.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan formed a committee to investigate the cause of the fire at Satpura Bhawan. The committee includes ACS Home Rajesh Rajoura, PS Urban Neeraj Mandloi, PS PWD Sukhbir Singh, and the ADG Fire, who will submit the investigation report to the chief minister.