Morbi Municipality chief officer suspended, days after Gujarat bridge tragedy | The Financial Express

Morbi Municipality chief officer suspended, days after Gujarat bridge tragedy

Blaming Oreva, Zala had said that the bridge was thrown open for the public without securing any ‘fitness certificate’ from the municipality.

Morbi Municipality chief officer suspended, days after Gujarat bridge tragedy
It reopened it on October 26. That’s the first day of the Gujarati New Year, which coincides with the festival season. (AP Photo)

Days after the collapse of Gujarat’s Morbi suspension bridge led to the death of 135 people, the Morbi Municipality’s Chief Officer (CO) Sandeepsinh Zala, who had admitted that the bridge was reopened after renovation without procuring a fitness certificate, was on Friday suspended from his duties, Morbi district magistrate GT Pandya said, according to The Indian Express.

However, the office of the Rajkot regional commissioner of municipalities revealed that no official intimation of the development has been received so far, reported IE.

Also Read | Morbi collapse: Bridge cable ‘rusted’, DSP tells court; Oreva manager says incident ‘will of God’

The CO’s role was under scanner after the investigations pointed towards several loopholes in the allotment of the bridge maintenance repair works to Oreva, a clock-making private enterprise. Preliminary probe suggests that the contractors, who were given the charge of the maintenance project, had no prior experience in the related field and had not undertaken any “scientific assessment of structural stability” of the suspension bridge, reported IE.

Blaming Oreva, Zala had said that the bridge was thrown open for the public without securing any ‘fitness certificate’ from the municipality. The British-era bridge, which belonged to the municipality, was given to Oreva for management and repairs for 15 years, Zala had said earlier.

Also Read: Detailed inquiry need of the hour: PM Narendra Modi in Morbi

In their investigation, the police had found that the contractors employed by Oreva to do maintenance work did not possess any sound technical know-how, reported IE. In his submission before the court, the investigation officer said that the cables were old and “rusted,” stating that the mishap would not have happened had the cables been repaired.

Nine people, including two managers of Oreva, two contractors, two ticket-booking clerks and three personnel in charge of the bridge’s security, have been arrested so far.

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First published on: 04-11-2022 at 14:58 IST