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Serious lapses: Special Investigation Team report blames Oreva for Morbi

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has criticized the management of the Oreva company for what it has called “grave operational and technical deficiencies” that led to the devastating collapse of a bridge in Morbi, Gujarat, last year. The SIT was blunt in its appraisal of the situation in the full report it delivered to the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday.

The conclusions of the SIT portray a harsh picture of the Oreva company’s slack attitude, which it holds accountable for “one of the most severe and tragic human calamities.” Because of how serious the problem is, the SIT has, at the very least, implicated the whole management of the company, including the managing director and two managers.

On October 30 of last year, the terrible suspension bridge from the British era that over the Machchhu river in Morbi came to an end, killing 135 people and injuring 56 more. The Morbi Nagarpalika had contracted with the Oreva company to restore the bridge, but the SIT’s probe reveals a number of concerning errors.

The corporation made a number of critical errors, including the choice to subcontract the project to a “non-competent agency” without consulting with technical specialists. This choice had a complicated afterlife of architectural faults that surfaced during reconstruction and ultimately had a role in the bridge’s tragic collapse.

According to the SIT investigation, the catastrophe resulted from administrative failures to follow government regulations and a clear technical incompetence when it came to the bridge’s restoration and subsequent safety testing before it was reopened to the public. Without a doubt, the SIT’s conclusions show a lack of diligence.

The report emphasizes that many of the errors made during the bridge’s renovation might have been avoided had the Oreva firm hired a professional expert agency in the area. Even after the repairs were finished, the Oreva corporation need to have gotten a fitness report for the bridge and consulted with the local government before opening it to the public.

Before a division bench led over by Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha P Mayee, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi delivered the SIT’s devastating report. This process is a part of a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that the court started after the disaster on the Morbi bridge.