In the backdrop of the Morbi bridge collapse that claimed over 140 lives, preliminary investigations have thrown up several irregularities in the maintenance contract of the hanging bridge given to OREVA. The five-decade-old company is one of the most reputed business houses in Morbi. Started by Odhavji Raghavji Patel, the ORPAT, Ajanta and OREVA brands provided job opportunities to hundreds of people in Morbi over decades.
The firm was given the maintenance contract without any relevant exposure to such assignments. The way OREVA was favoured gives way to the speculation that the firm wielded influence on the local administration and political circles.
As per the terms of the contract, the firm was allowed to raise the ticket charges by Rs 2 in 2024. The firm, however, implemented the raise immediately and was charging Rs 17 for a ticket meant to cost Rs 15 and Rs 12 for a ticket worth Rs 10.
The firm did not bother to obtain prior approvals before opening the bridge to the public. It is also alleged that the opening of the bridge on October 26 was a hasty decision, to cash in on the expected crowds due to the ongoing Diwali festival.
Also Read: 9 Arrested In Morbi Bridge Collapse Case