Sunday, November 27, 2022

Morbi bridge repair outsourced to unqualified workers

Public Prosecutor here Harsendu Panchal on Wednesday made some startling revelations in the Morbi bridge collapse case. Citing the FSL’s preliminary report, he has said the cables were not changed by the contractor, rusted ropes were only painted and the flooring was changed.
Panchal filed a detailed report of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in a sealed cover on Tuesday late evening before the First Class Judicial Magistrate here.
Giving some details from the FSL finding, Panchal told the local media on Wednesday, “The FSL report has revealed that the cables were not replaced. The contract was given to the company’s manager and not to the Oreva company. He had given the repair and renovation work to unqualified workers. There was no discussion about Oreva company’s owner Jaysukh Patel and investigation was going on. The FSL report was submitted in a sealed cover to the court.”
Morbi Collector G.T. Pandya told the mediapersons that the rescue operation was continuing and one person was still. “A person from Punjab was missing and his family were being informed about the incident. Search operation will continue till the body is found.” Pandya took over as the Collector ten days ago.
On October 30, a suspension bridge collapsed in which 141 persons lost their lives. The police registered a complaint against the contractor, agency and workers. A total of nine persons — two managers of the Oreva Company limited, two booking clerks, three security guards, and two workers were arrested on October 31.
The First Class Judicial Magistrate on November 1 granted four-day remand of two managers and two workers to the police.
Licenses of 25 boats suspended
IANS: After the Morbi bridge tragedy, the Devbhumi Dwarka administration and Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) officers have suspended the license of 25 boats following allegations that they were ferrying over the permitted numbers.
The boat owners were allegedly ferrying more passengers than permitted or having life jackets on board.
Dwarka Deputy Collector Parth Talsania told IANS, “On regular intervals, the local administration and GMB takes action against the boat owners for violation of norms or regulations, but unfortunately the action taken in the last two to three days is being highlighted because of the Morbi tragedy.”
The officer said that in the last two days the GMB has suspended 25 boat licenses for seven days for ferrying more passengers than permission during the festival days. Now the GMB officers are more vigilant, they are permitting passengers against the availability of life jackets on boats.
The sea distance between Okha Jetty and Bet Dwarka jetty is two nautical miles. Around 170 to 180 boats have licenses to ferry passengers between land and the island. On Normal days the rush is less, but during festival days there is a heavy rush and often for profit the boat owners violate norms, “but the officers will be more vigilant”, said the officer.
Mamata seeks judicial commission
PTI: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said there should be a judicial commission under the Supreme Court to look into the Gujarat bridge collapse, which left at least 130 people dead.
She also wondered why central agencies like the CBI and the ED are not arresting those responsible for the tragic incident.
She alleged that the Gujarat government has failed to help family members of the dead as it is “busy with the coming state election”.
“I am shocked by the incident. I expressed my condolences to the family members of those who have lost their lives…I think there should be a judicial commission under the Supreme Court to look into the Gujarat bridge collapse.”
Banerjee told reporters at the Kolkata airport before emplaning for Chennai.
“Those who have worked to renovate the bridge should be held responsible. Why the ED, CBI and other agencies are not taking action against those responsible for the collapse,” she said.
Banerjee is visiting Chennai as she has been invited by West Bengal Governor La Ganesan to his elder brother’s birthday on November 3.
Banerjee criticised the role of the Gujarat government in the tragic incident but declined to take any question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi “because it is his state”.

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