Morbi bridge collapse: Municipality’s common board assembly as we speak, to debate response to govt discover


Four days after the state authorities served a discover on the Morbi municipality asking why it shouldn’t be dissolved in view of its “failure” resulting in the Jhulto Pul suspension bridge collapse, the overall board of the BJP-ruled civic physique will meet Monday to arrange its response to the state’s show-cause discover.

Municipality president Kusum Parmar has known as for a gathering of the 52-member common board at 3:30 pm on Monday. The two-point agenda of the assembly contains approving minutes of the final common board assembly, and discussing and deciding a response to the show-cause discover issued by the city growth and concrete housing division of the state authorities on January 18. The state government’s notice had requested the Morbi municipality to reply to its discover by January 25 within the type of a common board assembly decision.

In its show-cause discover, the city growth division cited a report of a particular investigation crew (SIT) constituted by the federal government which concluded that restore and upkeep of the bridge was achieved by a contractor who didn’t have required expertise and that the chief officer entered into an settlement with OREVA Group with out referring the matter to the overall board.

“Before the general board meeting, all the councillors of the municipality have been asked to attend a coordination meeting called by the BJP at 11 am on Monday. At the coordination meeting, the party leadership is likely to guide the councillors as to how the general board should respond to the notice of the state government,” a party-insider instructed The Indian Express.

“While no formal discussion has taken place among the councillors after the state government served the show-cause notice, the general sense among 49 councillors is that the contract signed by the municipality chief officer with Ajanta OREVA Group handing over the operations and maintenance of the bridge to the latter was neither referred to the general board nor had the general board approved of that contract,” the supply mentioned, including, “It was achieved by the president, the vice-president, the chief committee chairman and the municipality chief officer solely.

Therefore, 49 councillors can’t be held chargeable for any failures of the municipality within the upkeep and operations of the Jhulto Pul.”

The authorities discover got here after the Gujarat High Court had, whereas listening to public curiosity litigation (PIL) initiated suo motu after the collapse, noticed that there was a “default” on the a part of the Morbi municipality and had requested the state authorities why it was not utilizing its energy underneath Section 265 of the Gujarat Municipalities Act, 1963 to supersede the civic physique.

Subsequently, a bunch of round 45 councillors of the municipality had, on December 19, met Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel in Gandhinagar to request him to not supersede the municipality as they’d no function within the accident and due to this fact, they need to be allowed to function councillors for the total 5 years. Later, 46 councillors had moved the HC with an software, praying they be listed as respondents within the PIL. However, the HC had rejected their plea, whereas observing that councillors would neither be “necessary nor proper party” and that the applying was filed to “thwart” the proceedings. The state’s discover to the municipality additionally refers to this PIL that’s nonetheless pending earlier than the HC.

The BJP enjoys an absolute majority within the municipality after having received all of the 52 seats within the common election held in 2021. Neither the Congress nor any Independents had managed to open their accounts, leaving the civic physique with none formal Opposition social gathering.

The bridge constructed in 1987 by Vaghji Thakor, the then ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Morbi, had collapsed after its foremost upstream cable snapped on October 30 final 12 months. More than 300 individuals who had been on the deck of the bridge had fallen into the Machchuu river killing 135 of them and injuring 56 others. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the accident website within the aftermath.





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