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Morbi Bridge Collapse: Gujarat High Court questions State Government on how contract was awarded to Oreva Group

01:46 PM Nov 15, 2022 IST | India Legal
morbi bridge collapse  gujarat high court questions state government on how contract was awarded to oreva group
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The Gujarat High Court has today questioned the Gujarat Government on the manner in which it had awarded contract for maintenance of a 150-year-old bridge in Morbi which collapsed killing over 130 people on October 30.

The Court observed that oeven after been served a notice, the Morbi civic body was not represented in the court and have been acting smart.

The order said that the largesse of the state seems to have been granted without there being any tender floated in this regard.

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The Court has called the Chief Secretary and questioned him as to why was the tender for the repair work of a public bridge not floated? Why weren’t bids invited?’

The Chief Justice Aravind Kumar has said that the court will continue to hear the case on Wednesday.

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The municipality of Morbi had given a15-year contract to Oreva Group, which is best known for the Ajanta brand of wall clocks. 

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The Chief Justice asked as to how was an agreement for such an important work completed in just one and a half pages?’ He also questioned ‘Was the largesse of the state given to Ajanta company without any tender being floated?’

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The court also asked for files of the contract from the first day to be submitted in a sealed envelope.

The government in its reply submitted that it worked at ‘lightning speed’ and saved many lives. ‘Nine people have been arrested, and if anybody else is found to be guilty, we’ll definitely book them.

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The court, in its order has directed the Principal District Judge of Morbi to appoint a bailiff. It noted that, though the state has filed an affidavit, some clarifications are needed on the renovation contract.

As per the available information so far Memorandum of Understanding) was signed on June 16, 2008, between Collector and the contractor,’ it noted. ‘This was to operate, maintain, manage and collect rent in respect of the suspension bridge.

The court has asked that MOU period expired on June 15, 2017. Now the most important question remains that as per the this MoU, who had been fixed the responsibility to certify the fitness of bridge..

The Court also wants to know that after the term was over in 2017, what steps were taken by Morbi civic body and the Collector thereafter to float a tender?

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