Morbi bridge collapse: Renovation firm chief surrenders in court

31 January 2023 06:35 PM
  • Morbi bridge collapse: Renovation firm chief surrenders in court

Jaysukh Patel of Oreva Group has surrendered himself in court in the Morbi bridge collapse case. Patel's firm was tasked with renovating the bridge that collapsed last year, killing 135 people.

Jaysukh Patel of Oreva Group, tasked with the repair and renovation of Morbi Bridge in Gujarat, has surrendered before a court. He was named as an accused in the bridge collapse case that killed 135 people last year.

Jaysukh had been absconding since the days of the collapse.

His anticipatory bail plea was to be heard in Morbi Sessions court tomorrow. But earlier today, the Oreva chief surrendered himself in court.

In a charge sheet, which runs to more than 1,200 pages, it was revealed that 22 out of 49 cables of the now-collapsed suspension bridge were rusted.

Jaysukh has been accused of not getting a stability certificate from a technical institute before reopening the bridge to the public.

Also, the British-era bridge, which underwent renovation, was reopened in six months instead of 12.

Oreva Group, a company known for making wall clocks, was given the contract for the renovation, operation, and maintenance of the 100-year-old suspension bridge over the Machchhu River. The bridge collapsed on October 30, four days after it reopened.

A special investigation team formed by the state government after the collapse had cited several lapses on the part of the firm.

As per the chargesheet, the lapses included no restriction on the number of persons accessing the bridge and no curb on the sale of tickets, which led to unrestricted movement on the bridge, as well as carrying out repairs without consulting experts.

The probe had revealed that the new metal flooring installed by the firm had increased the weight of the bridge, while the rusted cables on which the entire bridge was hanging were not changed by Oreva Group.

Moreover, both contractors hired by Oreva were not qualified to carry out such repair and renovation work.

The probe report also revealed that the Oreva Group did not hire any expert agency to assess the load-bearing capacity of the bridge before throwing it open to the public.

The group had sold 3,165 tickets on October 30 alone, and there was no coordination between ticket booking offices on both sides of the bridge, the lower court was informed in the past by the prosecution.

After the incident, Oreva Group did not cooperate in the rescue operation, as the police have mentioned in the chargesheet.

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