Morbi (Gujarat, India), November 05 (KMS): The contractor that carried out “full and final” repairs on Morbi’s British-era suspension footbridge in the Indian state of Gujarat had reportedly spent only Rs 12 lakh, or six per cent, of the allotted Rs 2 crore, a probe has revealed.
Oreva Group had bagged a 15-year maintenance and operation contract to maintain and operate the bridge that collapsed on October 30, killing 135 people. The group’s chairman Jaysukh Patel had announced on October 24 that the bridge was ready and safe to be opened on Gujarati New Year. He said the renovation being carried out for over six months was complete.
A police probe into the renovation has revealed that the company spent a fraction of what was required to strengthen the rickety bridge.
The findings are in line with that of the Forensic Science Laboratory, which found that there was no sign of the structure getting anything beyond basic repairs.
Oreva, which makes clocks and appliances but doesn’t have expertise in infrastructure, had subcontracted the renovation to Dhrangadhra-based firm Dev Prakash Solutions. Investigators have found that the subcontractor too lacked technical expertise required for such work.