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Morbi bridge collapse: Probe reaches civic office, police say no structural tests done during bridge repair

The probe into the suspension bridge collapse that killed 135 people reached the doorstep of the Morbi municipality Wednesday as its Chief Officer Sandipsinh Zala was questioned by the police even as investigators said that the private contractors engaged by Oreva Group did not conduct any “scientific assessment of structural stability” of the bridge during its repair and renovation.

Zala, the CO, was summoned by P A Zala, Morbi’s Deputy Superintendent of Police who is the investigating officer of the case.  The CO was questioned for four hours and was asked to verify documentation related to the bridge contract.

Reported Wednesday, the bridge was closed for seven months for repair after the Morbi Municipality signed a 15-year contract with Ajanta Manufacturing Pvt Ltd, a part of Oreva Group, in March this year.

The Parmars, along with two Oreva managers Deepak Navindchandra Parekh (44) and Dinesh Mahasukhrai Dave (41), are in police custody until November 5.

In all, nine persons, including security guards and the ticketing clerks, have been arrested for culpable homicide (not amounting to murder) apart from other sections of the IPC.

According to Zala, the Parmars had been awarded a fabrication contract by Oreva way back in 2007 for the repair of the bridge. “But at the time, the company was named Vishwakarma. Its proprietors, owners, managers have remained the same in Dev Prakash,” said Zala.

Meanwhile, Public Prosecutor H S Panchal said that the local court had permitted addition of Sections of the IPC (336 and 337) related to hurt and injury due to negligence. Panchal said Section 338 has been kept pending as “medical certificates are awaited with respect to fractures.” Section 338 refers to grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life.


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