Published On: Wed, Feb 22nd, 2023

Morbi bridge collapse | Gujarat HC directs Oreva Group to pay ₹10 lakh compensation to kin of each deceased

File photo of search and rescue operations in Morbi, Gujarat.

File photo of search and rescue operations in Morbi, Gujarat.
| Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

Gujarat High Court on February 22 directed the Oreva Group to pay compensation of ₹10 lakh to kin of each deceased of the Morbi bridge collapse tragedy, and ₹2 lakh to each injured within four weeks. The Morbi-based Ajanta Manufacturing Limited (Oreva Group) was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the British-era suspension bridge on the Machchu river that collapsed on October 30 last year.

A division bench of Chief Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice Sandeep Bhatt asked the company to pay the interim compensation.

In a recently released report based on the preliminary probe conducted by the Gujarat government-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) several lapses were found in repairs, maintenance and operation of the bridge, that led to the collapse of the suspension bridge in Morbi last year in which 135 people were killed. These included corrosion on nearly half of the wires on a cable and welding of old suspenders with new ones.

The Managing Director of Oreva Group, Jaysukh Patel, had been arrested on January 31, after he surrendered before a court in Gujarat.

In the chargesheet running in more than 1,200 pages and filed in the court of chief judicial magistrate M.J. Khan by Deputy Superintendent of Police P.S. Zala, Mr. Patel was shown as the tenth accused.

On Tuesday, Oreva Group had made an offer before the high court to pay an ‘interim’ compensation totalling ₹5 crore to the kin of those who lost their lives and people left injured when a British-era suspension bridge collapsed in October last year. The court had, however, said the compensation offered by the company was not “just”.

(With input from PTI)

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