Oreva Company Morbi Bridge: 9 people have been arrested in connection with the cable bridge accident in Morbi, Gujarat. Four of these nine people were sent to police custody by a magistrate court on Tuesday (October 1) while the other five were sent to jail in judicial custody. However, the owner of the company responsible for the poor repair work is still missing.
According to media reports, the Orewa Company, a watch maker, won a 15-year contract for the maintenance of the bridge in March and reopened it seven months later after premature repairs. The Morbi civic body had allegedly awarded the maintenance contract to Oreva without a bidding process.
Serious questions raised on police FIR
The survivors of the tragedy and the opposition have raised questions about the police FIR. All that is to say is that the FIR does not name the top owners or civic officials of Oreva, who signed the contract despite the apparent gap. Opposition parties and locals have accused the state government of sparing big fish and making Oraeva’s security guards, ticket vendors and lower-level employees scapegoats.
Orewa’s farmhouse closed, owner missing
Locals told NDTV that Orewa’s managing director Jaysukhbhai Patel, who had publicly claimed that the renovated bridge would last at least eight to ten years, has not been seen since the accident. At the same time, the farmhouse of Oreva Company in Ahmedabad is also closed and there is no security guard there.
Jaysukhbhai Patel had signed contracts with Morbi Municipal Corporation and Ajanta Manufacturing Limited, which is part of Oreva, better known as a watch maker. The agreement also did not mention any requirement of a fitness certificate before the bridge was opened to the public. In this regard, the prosecution told the court on Tuesday that the contractors who did the repair work of the cable bridge of Morbi did not have the ability to do it. Despite this, these contractors were given the task of repairing the bridge in 2007 and again in 2022.
‘The bridge wires were not changed, only the flooring changed’
Referring to the report of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSF), the prosecution told the court that forensic experts believed that the main wire of the bridge broke due to the weight of the new flooring. The prosecutor told reporters, “Though the forensic report was presented in a sealed cover, but during the hearing of the remand application it was stated that the bridge wires were not changed during the repair and only the flooring was changed… Due to the four-layer aluminum sheet, the weight of the bridge increased and the wire broke due to the weight.”
‘This shows a serious negligence’
Two managers of Orewa Group and two sub-contractors who repaired the bridge have been sent to police custody till Saturday. Five others, including the arrested security guard and ticket booking clerk, are in judicial custody. Police have said that the agency failed to conduct a quality check before opening the bridge to the public on October 26, the day the Gujarati New Year was celebrated. This shows a serious negligence. Let us inform that 135 people have lost their lives in the accident on Sunday. While the treatment of the injured is going on.
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