The Gujarat High Court (HC) on Thursday once again slammed the state government in the Morbi bridge collapse case. Yesterday, the court said that the compensation given to kin of the 135 people who lost their lives in the bridge collapse last month was not enough. “Compensation should be realistic and also the need of the hour is paying appropriate compensation,” the HC said.
The court said that the compensation paid to critically injured was also low and directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit and come out with a policy regarding the compensation.
The court further ordered the Gujarat government to conduct a survey of all bridges in the state and said it wants a list of all bridges and their condition and that there should be a certified report.
A prima facie report by the Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) said that rusty cables, broken anchor pins, and loose bolts were among the lapses that were not addressed while renovating the 150-year-old bridge in Morbi that collapsed into the Machchhu River.
The Morbi municipality, after being pulled up by the high court, attempted to put the entire blame on Oreva Group, which was awarded the contract to refurbish the bridge. Nine people, including four from the Oreva Group, have been arrested so far.
The police FIR said that Oreva Group did not hire any expert agency to assess the load-bearing capacity of the bridge before throwing it open to the public. “’The group had sold 3,165 tickets on October 30 alone and there was no coordination between ticket booking offices on both sides of the bridge,” government pleader Vijay Jani said.