Repaired Morbi Bridge in Rs 2 cr, will last 8-10 years, said renovation firm before the collapse
According to paperwork from the municipality examined on Monday, the Ahmedabad-based Oreva firm was given a contract to operate and maintain the catastrophic hanging bridge for 15 years while charging visitors tickets between Rs 10 and Rs 15 each. But at Morbi in Gujarat, the newly repaired bridge collapsed, killing more than 130 people.
The event happened after the business claimed it had employed professionals for the repairs and that the material had been built in line with specifications by specialized companies and would last for at least another eight to ten years, allowing visitors to enjoy their experience worry-free. The managing director of the Oreva firm made this statement just before the bridge’s formal reopening following a seven-month restoration.
On October 26, Jaysukh Patel of the Oreva Group and his family officially reopened the hanging bridge, which was first built in 1887 by the former Morbi king Vaghji Thakor.
Additionally, he added that they had submitted the needs to businesses like Jindal, who then provided the raw materials by the technical criteria. Mr. Patel continued by saying that to regulate admittance and crowd size, a payment for admission was required. They also didn’t want to put too much strain on the bridge’s structural integrity, he said. Pated added that for the following seven years, they would increase entry costs by one to two rupees annually. Additionally, they will provide discounts for students and large groups of visitors with the backing of the Morbi Municipal Corporation President and Collector.
Mr. Patel said during the press conference that Dev Prakash Solutions’ “Prakash Bhai,” a part of Oreva, had been subcontracted by Oreva to complete a section of the renovation project since they had completed some of the 2007 earthquake repairs. According to Mr. Patel, his business will be in charge of management and upkeep, while a business with its corporate office in Ahmedabad has been given the job of installing the lighting. When the lighting work was accomplished, the hours would be extended until later in the night for evening strolls. The company had planned to keep the bridge open to the public until 6 or 6:30 pm.
The Oreva group opened the bridge to the public earlier than anticipated, according to papers. Sandipsinh Zala, the main officer of Morbi Municipality, claimed that the corporate house had not gotten a clearance certificate from the local authorities before opening the bridge after it fell.
Zala asserted on Sunday that the hanging bridge was given to the Oreva Group by the Morbi municipality for restoration. It was out of service for more than six months as a result of maintenance. On October 26th, the company officially opened it without telling them. He also said that they didn’t get a clearance certificate from them before letting people cross the bridge. Documents reveal that in March of this year, the Morbi civic government and Oreva Group “agreed” to operate and maintain the bridge. According to the agreement, the private company would cover all costs associated with mending the bridge and reopening it to traffic after the necessary refurbishment, which would take between 8 and 12 months.
The contract also said that for 15 years, or until 2037, the corporate entity would be in charge of managing the bridge, including O&M, sanitation, providing security, collecting payments, maintaining the bridge, and dispatching the appropriate staff. Additionally, the municipality of Morbi had consented to allow the corporation to charge adults Rs 15 and children under the age of 12 Rs 10 as entry tickets for the first year, with an increase of Rs 2 for each consecutive year.
According to the First Information Report, between 250 and 300 individuals were on the 765-foot-long, 4.6-foot-wide suspension bridge when it collapsed “from the middle” on the evening of October 30.