At least 20 people were still undergoing treatment after suffering from sunstroke at the ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’ award function in Navi Mumbai, an official said on Monday.
On Sunday, at least 11 people died due to sunstroke as the function, attended by lakhs, was held in an open ground in Kharghar area of Raigad district.
Forty four people were admitted to five hospitals in and around Kharghar. Out of them, 20 are still undergoing treatment while the others have been discharged, according to the Raigad district information officer.
The Kharghar police have registered accidental death reports (ADR) in connection with the 11 fatalities, an official said.
The deceased included eight women. Ten of the bodies were handed over to their relatives, according to officials.
Lakhs of people had come for the event held on a 306-acre ground in Kharghar. The nearest weather station to the spot had recorded a maximum temperature of 38 degrees Celsius.
Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar visited the MGM Hospital at Kamothe in Navi Mumbai late Sunday night and enquired about the health of the people undergoing treatment there after suffering from sunstroke.
Talking to reporters, he termed the incident as “most unfortunate” and said the priority was to ensure the patients get well soon.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader claimed it was a function of the Maharashtra government.
It is a well known fact that during April-May, the temperature is very high. During these days, the temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius, he said.
“Hence, it needs to be probed as to who had fixed the noon timing for the award function,” the NCP leader said.
Pawar said the function could have been held in the evening and Union Home Minister Amit Shah could have taken a chopper to reach the venue.
Shah on Sunday conferred the Maharashtra Bhushan Award on spiritual leader and social reformer Appasaheb Dharmadhikari at the event.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in a release on Sunday night said, “At least 11 deaths apparently due to sunstroke have been confirmed.” Panvel Municipal Commissioner Ganesh Deshmukh said there was no report of any new fatality so far. Twenty four people were discharged from hospitals after treatment on Sunday, he said.
A police official said the highest number of 15 sunstroke patients were admitted to the MGM hospital. The patients in other hospitals in Navi Mumbai were also recuperating and they were stated to be in stable condition, he added.
Shinde had on Sunday told reporters outside a hospital in Navi Mumbai that at least 50 people were admitted there out of which 24 are still hospitalised while the rest have been discharged after primary treatment. He termed the deaths “very unfortunate”.
The CM said the kin of the deceased will be given a compensation of Rs 5 lakh.
Many of the followers of Shree Parivar (Dharmadhikari’s organisation) had reached the venue on Friday and stayed there till the function concluded at around 1.30 pm on Sunday.
Some people complained of dizziness and other complications on Sunday. Some also fainted at the function ground. They were initially treated at make shift medical facilities and later rushed to hospitals.
Dharmadhikari has a massive following in the state due to his tree plantation drives, blood donation and medical camps as well as de-addiction work in tribal areas.