Police Go To Contractor Oreva’s Office, Return As It Was Locked


Gujarat Tragedy: Cops Visit Bridge Contractor's Office. This Happens Next

150-year-old cables of the suspension bridge in Morbi weren’t replaced as part of renovation, say police.

Morbi (Gujarat):

Some police personnel this morning went to the office of Oreva Group, contractor for the renovation of the bridge that collapsed on October 30 and claimed over 130 lives. It was locked, so they returned.

While some reports called this a “raid”, police sources told NDTV that the visit was to cross-check some claims made by the nine staff members of the company who’ve been arrested so far.

The top management of the company — known mainly for making ‘Ajanta’ wall clocks — has not faced any action. That includes its managing director Jaysukhbhai Patel, who had publicly claimed that the bridge will hold up for “at least eight to ten years” when it was reopened — ahead of schedule — on October 26.

Jaysukhbhai Patel had signed the contract with the Morbi municipal corporation.

Relatives of the dead have questioned the BJP government — as have Opposition parties including Congress and AAP, particularly when elections are weeks away — why the police case doesn’t name Oreva top bosses and the civic officials who signed the contract.

The contract said the company was bound to keep the bridge closed for 8-12 months for repairs. But it was reopened after just seven months and fell four days later.

Police have told the court that Oreva was not qualified for the repair work, yet it was given the work in 2007 and then in 2022 for 15 years at a time. Oreva had further hired a little-known firm for the work.


PM Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel looking at a snapped cable of the bridge in Morbi, Gujarat.

The floor of the bridge on the river Machchu was replaced but its cables were not. The cables could not take the weight of the new flooring — four-layered aluminum sheets — and snapped, said the prosecution.

A manager of the Oreva group, one of those arrested, told a local court that the tragedy was an “act of God” while seeking relief, public prosecutor HS Panchal told reporters.

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