Morbi: As tragedy engulfed Morbi last evening, the blame game began in the city. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituting of five members has been formed to probe the Morbi bridge collapse which led to the death of around 140 people.
Ajanta Oreva company, which was given the job of renovating the Morbi suspension bridge, started its reoperation during the Diwali holidays.
A contract was made between Morbi municipal corporation and Ajanta Oreva company in March 2022 and was valid till 2037. According to the contract, the bridge was to be under maintenance for at least 8 to 12 months by the company. Whereas, the company defying the agreement, reopened the bridge in just five months without intimating the municipal corporation.
The civic body was supposed to carry out safety checks and then issue a NOC or fitness certificate for the bridge’s operation if found fit. However, none of this was done.
Only 25-30 people were supposed to be allowed on the bridge at a time, however, on the day of the mishap, a staggering 350-400 people were on the bridge at the time. Additionally, visitors revealed that they were charged Rs 50 per ticket, whereas the price printed on the ticket is Rs 17 for adults and Rs 15 for kids. The SIT probe should bring to light the beneficiaries of the revenue earned through the ticket sale.
Meanwhile, the state government and the Morbi civic body are being accused of mismanagement. The Morbi bridge is over 100 years old. A much-needed renovation was required because of the poor maintenance of the bridge.