The local administration of Morbi covered a hoarding that mentioned Oreva - the company responsible for managing the suspension bridge - ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the accident site on Tuesday. Ahmedabad-based Oreva Group had signed a 15-year contract with the Morbi municipality for the operation and maintenance of the suspension bridge, which collapsed on Sunday killing 135 people and leaving many injured.
The bridge collapsed just four days after its renovation by the company, raising questions on the administration and Oreva - which is best known for making wall clock by the name of Ajanta.
Today, Prime Minister Modi visited the incident site in Morbi. But ahead of his visit, the local administration hid the board of Oreva hanging on one of the towers. The administration put a white cloth to cover the name of the company, which is at the center of the storm.
Not only this, the administration also tried to repair the roads leading to the accident site and Morbi Civil Hospital, where scores of injured patients were admitted. PM Modi was scheduled to visit the site and the hospital on Tuesday. Several pictures of workers working late evening to put tiles and colour the walls of the civil hospital went viral on social media on Monday.
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The opposition parties like Congress and AAP shared pictures of the overnight makeover of the hospital. In a tweet in Hindi, the Congress called the makeover an "event of tragedy". "Tomorrow, PM Modi will visit the civil hospital in Morbi. Before that, the work of dyeing and painting is going on there. Glazed tiles are being installed. There should be no weak points in PM Modi’s image, all arrangements are being made for it. They are not ashamed! So many people died and they are engaged in eventing,” the party said.
Earlier today, ahead of PM Modi's visit, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal targeted the state government asking why a watchmaker was given the contract for the upkeep of a suspension bridge.
Reports say that Oreva had signed an agreement in March this year and was given a deadline of 8-12 months to complete the renovation of the bridge. However, the company opened the bridge to the public five months before the deadline.
Morbi Municipality Chief Officer Sandipsinh Zala on Sunday said the company had not acquired any clearance certificate from the civic body before inaugurating the bridge. He said the hanging bridge was handed over to the Oreva Group for renovation.
The bridge was not in use for over six months due to repair work. On October 26, Zala said the company inaugurated it without informing the Morbi municipality. "They (Oreva) did not acquire any clearance certificate from us before reopening the bridge for the public," Zala was quoted as saying by PTI.
(With inputs from Ashutosh Mishra)
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