Gujarat: Nine persons were detained the day after 141 people perished in a bridge collapse in Morbi, Gujarat. There were also ticket vendors, security personnel, and representatives of Oreva, the firm that refurbished the bridge.
Four days after the bridge reopened to the public, the enormous catastrophe occurred. Gujarat-based Oreva has been charged with breaking numerous safety regulations that caused it.
The watchmaker Oreva allegedly outsourced the “technical part of the bridge renovation” to a smaller business with an unproven track record, Devprakash Solutions, shortly after agreeing to a 15-year contract with the Morbi city government.
Opening the bridge last week was a “very irresponsible and dangerous move,” Police claimed
The old colonial-era bridge was in need of repairs when Oreva was contracted in March. On October 26, the day of the Gujarati New Year, the bridge was reopened to the public after being closed for seven months. By virtue of its contractual obligation, the company was required to close the bridge for up to eight to twelve months of upkeep and repairs. The police claimed in an anonymous FIR that opening the bridge last week was a “very irresponsible and dangerous move.”
According to the FIR, those in charge of the bridge’s repair, maintenance, and management “did not do the repair/maintenance work” properly. They were aware of the potentially lethal risks but “did not undertake an appropriate quality check,” it continued.
According to officials, tickets were sold for $12 to $17 to close to 500 people yesterday, which led to crowding on the “hanging bridge” and the failure of the ageing metal wires. CCTV footage showed a few people on the bridge wobbling the structure, which could barely support 125 people.
The agreement gave the business permission to increase ticket prices each year through 2037.
Oreva Managing Director Jaysukhbhai Patel had told reporters that the company had finished “100% renovation with two crores” before reopening the bridge last week.
He added that the bridge would hold up for “eight to ten years” after renovation. It didn’t even last a week.
The strength of the bridge was questioned in light of Mr. Patel’s own statements. He had remarked, when asked why the business was selling tickets, “We also don’t want to overrun the sturdiness of the bridge, so to limit the number of access and the throng, we would charge for an entry.”
The business added that it is taking demands to open the bridge for two hours at night into consideration.
According to a group representative, the bridge collapsed because “too many people in the middle of the bridge were trying to sway it from one direction to the other.”