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Check if all bridges in state are okay, Gujarat HC tells govt after Morbi collapse kills 141

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court asked the Gujarat HC to monitor the probe into the Morbi bridge accident, and whether the families of victims had been adequately compensated.

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New Delhi: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday directed the government to survey all bridges in the state and ensure they were in a proper condition.

The order comes in the wake of the terrible tragedy in Morbi on 30 October when a British-era suspension bridge collapsed on the Machchu River killing 141 people, including 47 children.

The accident has raised many questions on whether the bridge’s contractors, the Oreva Group, was qualified to carry out repairs.

The bridge had been opened to the public just four days before it plunged into the river after a seven-month repair.

The High Court on Thursday also asked for a list of all bridges in the state, with details about their conditions. It said this should be mentioned in a certified report and placed before the court.

On 21 November, the Supreme Court asked the Gujarat HC to periodically monitor the probe into the Morbi bridge collapse, and also whether the family of victims had been given “dignified” compensation.

A top court bench orally observed: “It is an enormous tragedy and this will require a weekly monitoring to see award of contract, credentials of party awarded the contract, attribution of responsibility for those guilty. The High Court has taken charge, else we would have issued notice.”

The bench said the Gujarat HC would “undoubtedly” ensure that a “proper regulatory mechanism” was put in place so that such incidents did not recur.

Meanwhile, a Gujarat court heard earlier this month that Oreva had replaced the bridge flooring but not the cables, which ultimately could not take the weight of the changed flooring.

Nine people have been arrested for the collapse so far, including two managers of the Oreva Group, two sub-contractors who repaired the bridge, security guards and ticket sellers, who may have allowed more people on the bridge than it could possibly take.


Also read: ‘Kept calling but nobody came’: Morbi bridge survivors’ stories of terror & abandonment


 

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