The government of Gujarat had an MOU with the Ajanta group in 2005 under the PPP model to manage the Morbi cable bridge. The agreement was for the period between 2008 and 2018. Despite the expiry of the contractual date, the group continued with the management of the bridge. The government and the administration made no effort to regain control.
The reason for the contract not being renewed from 2018 to December 2019 was that the firm had asked for a raise in the ticket charges. The firm had submitted that they incurred expenses of Rs 25-30 lakh. However, the firm did not provide any supporting documents to back the claim.
Nonetheless, in March 2022, the new executive council of the Morbi Nagarpalika renewed the contract with the same firm along with increased ticket charges for a period of 15 years.
Apart from the cable bridge, several other spots in the city are also given to the company to manage under the PPP model. However, there are no monitoring mechanisms to handle the crowd in the place.
The local political leadership, leaders in the Nagarpalika, the chief officer, the chairman, the collector, the disaster management set-up, the regional Commissionerate under the urban development department and the fire safety department are to be blamed for the colossal loss of lives. The police have detained the low-rung employees of the firm and spared those who matter in the company or in the administration.
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