With just over 48 hours to go for the three-day World Cultural Festival on the fragile Yamuna floodplains, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has not yet issued a structural safety certificate to the organisers.
Structural safety certificate is mandatory for holding an event of this magnitude. The organisers said they were expecting over 2-3 lakh people at any given point of time. The earlier projection was 3.5 million.
“CPWD , which comes under the Union urban development ministry, has refused structural safety clearance on the ground that organisers had not fulfilled the requisite safety parameters while erecting the temporary structures,” said a government official privy to the development.
On Tuesday evening home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi met CPWD director general Divakar Garg and other senior officials to take stock of the situation. “CPWD officials told the home secretary that they had asked the organisers to meet structural safety standards,” another official said.
“It will be really risky to conduct the event without structural safety certificate,” the official said.
The home ministry on Tuesday asked Delhi Police to ensure full security to the festival in view of “terror threat” in the country. In an official communication, the ministry has advised Delhi Police to take all steps to ensure peace during the event.
“We have also asked the Delhi Police to ensure that no stampede-like situation should arise during the function,” a home ministry official said.