Gujarat High Court on Thursday came down heavily on the state government over the quantum of compensation given to the kin of the victims of the Morbi bridge collapse that killed 135 people.
The High Court observed that the compensation given to kin of the deceased is less. HC said that "compensation should be realistic and also the need of the hour is paying appropriate compensation".
The compensation paid to critically injured is also low, the court observed and directed the state to file a detailed affidavit and come out with a policy for compensation.
The court also ordered the state government to do a survey of all bridges in the state. It asked the state to ensure bridges are in proper condition. The court said it wants a list of all bridges in the state and their condition and that there should be a certified report, which needs to be placed before it.
Rusty cables, broken anchor pins, and loose bolts were among the lapses that were not addressed while renovating the suspension bridge in Morbi which collapsed last month into the Machchhu river killing 135 people, as per a preliminary probe by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). The FSL report also pointed out that the new metal flooring increased the weight of the bridge. According to the prosecution, both the repairing contractors were not qualified to carry out such repair and renovation work.
Police have so far arrested nine persons including four from the Oreva group that was managing the British-era suspension bridge, which collapsed on October 30.
Orvea Group had hired Dhrangadhra-based Dev Prakash Solution to renovate the bridge, which collapsed four days after it was thrown open to the public post-renovation.
As per the First Information Report, at least 250 to 300 people were present on the bridge when it collapsed after one of the cables snapped.
The report also revealed that the Oreva Group did not hire any expert agency to assess the load-bearing capacity of the bridge before throwing it open to the public.
''The group had sold 3,165 tickets on October 30 alone and there was no coordination between ticket booking offices on both sides of the bridge,'' said district government pleader Vijay Jani.
He said the booking clerks, who are under arrest, should have stopped the sale of tickets after an extent but they continued to sell tickets and allowed more people to go on the bridge.
The defence informed the court that three security guards were on duty on the day of the tragedy, two on both sides of the bridge and one in the middle of the structure. While two of the three guards are in custody, the third one fell into the river but survived.
With inputs from agencies
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