Chaos prevailed at the ongoing Simhasta Kumbh Mela in Ujjain on Monday as high-speed wind and accompanying rain disrupted the smooth conduct of the second ‘shahi snan’ (royal bath).
More than 20 people were injured as many pandals (makeshift tents) collapsed or were waterlogged due to the inclement weather.
A sea of devotees had congregated here to take part in the snan that became all the more auspicious as it coincided with Akshay Tritiya.
Ujjain district collector Kavindra Kiyawat said, “Around 30 lakh people had taken the holy dip before the weather became rough. No casualty or loss to property has been reported.”
An old tree was uprooted in Barnagar under which more than six vehicles got trapped.
A sewer pipe was damaged in the Ramghat area, leading to contamination of the Kshipra waters.
Water flooded camps and fairgrounds in Rudrasagar and Mangalnath area. Saints blocked roads at both the points in protest against poor arrangements made by the government.
The Met department had forecast high-speed wind and rain for Monday but the administration allegedly did not take preventive measures.
Weather office director Anupam Kashyapi said he had regularly been warning Ujjain authorities about weather conditions prior to the outbreak of monsoon.
On May 5, seven persons were killed and around 100 others injured when heavy rains accompanied by lightning and squall flattened and uprooted makeshifts tents of pilgrims in and around the site of the Kumbh Mela. At least 700 temporary structures had fallen or were blown away.
The Simhastha event on the banks of the Kshipra River began on April 22 and will continue till May 21.
(With IANS inputs)