Ban the Gujarat Bridge Contractor and Order Regular Safety Audits of Bridges, Flyovers

“I climbed this bridge for the first time. My sister and I were taking photos on our mobile and suddenly, the bridge collapsed. My six-year-old sister is still missing,” said an inconsolable young boy. His sister is among those who were on the ill-fated suspension bridge in Gujarat’s Morbi that collapsed on Sunday 30th October 2022.

News reports say at least 141 people have died after this newly reopened bridge collapsed. Around 500 people, including women and children, were on the suspension bridge when the cables supporting it snapped. As per the officials, the bridge could take the weight of only about 125 people. 

There is shock and grief, and now there is anger. As a citizen, I want to know why the bridge, which had been shut for seven months for repairs, was reopened on October 26, the Gujarati New Year, without a fitness certificate from the civic authorities?! This decision is why we have a tragedy on our hands today. My state and I are in mourning.

News reports say that as per the contract, 8-12 months were required to be given for maintenance. However, the bridge was opened in 5 months only.

Very conveniently, yet again, we the public are being blamed for these deaths. When will we blame the culprits and fix the accountability issues in our own system? Did you know? The official FIR does not even name the agency! It is high time we identify the responsible authorities, and fix the loopholes. 

Sign my petition asking for the blacklisting of Oreva Group (Ajanta Manufacturing Pvt Ltd), the contractor responsible, from all government projects. Let’s ensure this company and any new companies it may create are banned from being awarded the tender for building, repairing, and maintaining any public infrastructure. This will send out a serious message to all contractors and serve as a strong deterrent to prevent future tragedies.

Through my petition, I also ask the Gujarat Government to MANDATE INDEPENDENT SAFETY AUDITS for all bridges and flyovers (Read: engineering marvels) in Gujarat and to publicize the findings so as to restore the public’s faith in the system.

What is the price that the working class of this country needs to pay to enjoy a short break or to access the limited areas for recreation? As an individual paying hefty taxes, I ask how okay is it if I do not feel safe and confident using public infrastructure? How long will we wait until we take strict measures and ensure quality checks?

Please lend your support. If we stay quiet, we will be responsible for the next tragedy.