Rajkot, Gujarat: The Morbi Tragedy Victims Association (TVA) has accused the district administration of conducting a superficial survey on the financial needs of victims affected by the bridge collapse in October 2023.
The association claims that the survey, ordered by the Gujarat High Court, merely collects information about the compensation received by families and how they used it, neglecting the court’s directive to assess their long-term financial needs.
During the last hearing, the High Court emphasized that one-time compensation wouldn’t suffice for the bereaved families, particularly senior citizens and widows who lost their spouses. The court had also directed the Oreva Group, responsible for the bridge collapse, to provide stipends to widows and pensions to elderly parents of the deceased.
However, the TVA alleges that the district collector, tasked with conducting the survey, has failed to address these crucial aspects. “Government employees are only auditing the compensation amount, not inquiring about the future needs of elderly people or widows,” stated Narendra Parmar, a senior member of the association. “This exercise is futile and doesn’t fulfill the court’s order. We demand a proper survey that considers long-term needs.”
Furthermore, the representation submitted by the TVA claims that the Oreva Group has only paid the education fees of four orphans despite the court’s directive to cover all affected children. Seven children lost both parents, and 13 lost their fathers in the tragedy.
The association also expressed concern about the lack of action regarding medical care for individuals suffering mental trauma due to the incident.
“We urge for neutrality in the survey,” the TVA stated. “Revenue department employees shouldn’t prioritize the interests of the Oreva company but solely focus on the victims’ well-being.”
The next hearing is scheduled for January 31st, where the district collector is expected to submit the survey report with remarks. The TVA’s allegations raise questions about the effectiveness of the current survey and underscore the need for a more comprehensive assessment of the victims’ long-term financial and healthcare needs.
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