Gujarat bridge tragedy: Morbi municipality chief officer suspended

The Gujarat government has suspended Morbi municipality chief officer Sandeepsinh Zala in connection with the collapse of a suspension bridge over the Machchu river killing 135 people on October 30.

“Sandeepsinh Zala was the chief officer when the incident took place and to ensure that the investigation is fair and proper, the official is being suspended,” read the order by the urban development department.

A special five-member committee appointed by the government was investigating the role of private company Oreva, the contractors involved in the bridge’s repair and the municipal officials for the tragedy.

Morbi municipality signed off on the agreement with the Oreva group for 15 years without securing the concurrence of the municipality general board, reports say.

Questions have also been raised about the municipality’s hands-off approach when the Oreva group reopened the 139-year-old bridge without its consent.

So far, nine people have been arrested, including two managers of Oreva Group, two contractors hired by it, two ticket booking clerks and three security guards posted at the bridge.