Ahmedabad’s Oreva Farms Sealed in the aftermath of the Morbi Bridge tragedy. Nine people, including managers of the Oreva company, were arrested under various sections of the IPC in the matter.
Jaysukh Bhalodia, managing director of Ajanta Manufacturing Private Limited (AMPL), and director of Ajanta Energy Private Limited (AEPL) and four other comparable entities, leads the Ajanta-Oreva Group. The bridge was under renovation for the past six months, a 15-year maintenance contract of which was assigned to a private firm called Oreva Group (Ajanta Manufacturing Private Limited) by the Morbi Municipality.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a PIL on November 14, seeking direction to appoint a judicial commission under the supervision of the retired top court judge to initiate a probe on the Morbi Bridge collapse tragedy.
A bench of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi registered the matter for hearing on November 14 after the advocate who filed the petition mentioned it for urgent hearing.
On Sunday night, one of Gujarat’s worst misfortunes occurred when a 140-year-old cable suspension bridge collapsed over the Machhu River in Morbi, drowning more than 130 people. Interestingly, the bridge was only recently renovated and reopened. It was called an “engineering marvel” when it was first built at the turn of the nineteenth century to “represent the progressive and scientific nature of Morbi’s rulers,” according to its description on the district collectorate website.
The bridge was given to the Oreva Group for 15 years for operation and maintenance. and it was closed to the public in March this year for renovations, while it reopened on October 26 on the Gujarati New Year. The ticket price for the public to use the restored bridge was Rs 17 per person.
On Sunday, around 6.30 pm, Morbi bridge collapsed, while recounting the harrowing moment, the scenes were unforgettably tragic as people were the injured and the dead.
The late Odhavji Patel is the founder of the Oreva Group. It has businesses in 45 countries and employs 7,000 people, of whom 5,000 are women, in diverse businesses such as clock-making to harvesting water for farmers. Patel’s Ajanta Group also makes power-saving compact fluorescent lamps and clay-thrown Ceramic tiles.
Morbi-based Oreva Group (Ajanta Manufacturing Pvt Ltd), which also makes e-bikes, is under the scanner in the aftermath of this massive tragedy. The mandate to the company was to create a bridge that will give a unique identity to Morbi, better known for its wall clocks, using the latest technology.