Contractor violated agreement terms, opened the Morbi bridge months before the schedule


On Sunday evening, the suspension bridge over the Machchhu river in Gujarat's Morbi collapsed, killing at least 132 people. The bridge reopened to the public only a few days ago, following months of repair work by a private firm, but it had yet to receive the municipality's 'fitness certificate.'

According to a copy of the agreement obtained by India Today, the bridge was given to the Ajanta Oreva company for operation and maintenance for a period of 15 years. The contract was signed in March 2022 between Morbi Municipal Corporation and Ajanta Oreva Company and is valid until 2037.

The agreement also states that the company must provide 8 to 12 months of maintenance work. However, the company defied the agreement's terms and opened the bridge in just five months.

Following a meeting with collector, Morbi municipal corporation, and Ajanta Oreva company officials in January 2020, the terms of the agreement were decided. It was decided that the ticket price would be increased by Rs 2 every year. The more than a century-old Morbi city bridge caved in around 6.30 p.m., when it was packed with people.

A criminal case has been filed against the collapse of the suspension bridge over the Macchu under sections 304, 308, and 114 of the Indian Penal Code. The case has been filed against the agency in charge of bridge maintenance and the agency in charge of management.