By Our Newsmen
Asansol / Kolkata, 11 January: NOTWITHSTANDING strictures from Calcutta High Court, Trinamool ruled Asansol Municipal Corporation has remained firm on not allowing permission for Saansad Mela of Union minister Babul Supriyo at Loco Ground in Asansol.
Justice Harish Tandon of Calcutta High Court had yesterday come down heavily on Asansol Municipal Corporation for denying permission for the event for want of proper drainage and sanitation, and had asked Asansol Mayor to revisit the decision within 24-hours.
Following this, accompanied by an assistant commissioner of police, Mayor Jitendra Tiwari paid a visit to the Loco Ground today afternoon to conduct a physical assessment of the infrastructure there.
After the visit, he said that the civic body could not grant permission for the event scheduled from 12-15 January for fear of stampede.
“The stadium is fenced with concrete walls and it can at best accommodate 10,000 people. Since several celebrity singers are scheduled to perform at the event, and even minister Babul himself is a popular singer, at least 2.5 lakh people are likely to turn up for the event. This runs the risk of a stampede and hence, we cannot grant permission for the event at Loco Ground,” Tiwari told reporters in the evening.
He urged the organisers of the event to find an alternative venue, adding that the civic body would readily grant permission for the same if the basic requirements were met.
In response to this, the Delhi-based NGO, which is organising the Saansad Mela at the behest of the minister, has now moved a petition before a division bench of Calcutta High Court seeking a specific direction to Asansol Municipal Corporation. The matter is likely to be taken up by a division bench tomorrow even as the event is scheduled to kick off from 06.30 pm.
The Mela is planned as a mix of performance by celebrity singers and publicising various Central schemes being carried out by the minister who happens to be an MP from Asansol.