Sandipsinh Zala, chief officer of Morbi nagarpalika, has been placed under suspension by the authorities due to the gross negligence on part of the administration that led to the Morbi bridge collapse on October 30, which claimed over 140 lives.
Zala was grilled by the investigating officer in the case and was questioned about documentation related to the bridge and the contracts awarded for its maintenance and repairs. The police have so far arrested nine persons including minor officials of Oreva, the company that renovated the bridge. None of Oreva’s top bosses has been arrested as yet.
It has been alleged that there had been no monitoring and checks by the municipal authorities about the actual repairs of the 140-year-old bridge on the Machchhu river. Oreva Managing Director Jaysukh Patel declared the bridge open, claiming that the company had completed “100 prcent renovation with Rs 2 crore”.
It is now being revealed that Oreva had outsourced the technical aspect of the bridge renovation to a small fabrication unit, Devprakash Solutions. The FIR mentions, “Those assigned the repair, maintenance and management of the bridge did not do the repair/maintenance work appropriately. They did not conduct a proper quality check.”
After remaining shut for seven months for repairs, the bridge was reopened only five days before the incident occurred. The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) mentions that the cables were not changed by the contractor and the rusted ropes were only painted over.