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Morbi bridge collapse: Oreva MD surrenders in court

by The Canadian Parvasi

Team Parvasi – Inside

In relation to the collapse of Morbi bridge back in October that ended up taking the lives of as many as 135, the Managing Director of the renovation firm of the bridge, Oreva Group, surrendered before a local court on Tuesday.

Jaysukh Patel, the Oreva Group MD, was named the prime accused in the case and an arrest warrant for Patel was issued last week. He had been missing since and had filed for a bail plea. He surrendered in court on Tuesday and was consequently arrested. Police authorities will seek custody of the Oreva Group top boss on Wednesday.

“Jaysukh Patel surrendered before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) M J Khan which had issued an arrest warrant against him,” stated Dilip Agechaniya, a lawyer representing the victims in the bridge collapse case.

The firm was responsible for restoring and renovating the British-era bridge suspended over the Machchhu river. Days after the bridge’s reopening the bridge, it collapsed while 300 people were reportedly on it.

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Soon after the bridge’s collapse in October, two managers from the Oreva Group were sent to police custody. One of the Oreva managers, when presented in front of the court, reportedly claimed that the collapse was an “act of god.”

Alongside Patel, nine others have been named as accused in the case, including fabrication workers, ticket clerks and security guards in the chargesheet comprising more than 1,200 pages filed by Deputy Superintendent of Police P S Zala in the CJM’s court.

Reports from the forensic laboratory suggest that rusty cables, broken anchor pins, and loose bolts were not replaced while the bridge was being renovated. Forensic reports add that the firm had not enlisted the help of special agencies to ascertain the load-bearing capacity of the bridge before it was opened up to the public, according to media reports.

The Oreva Group maintained in the court that the bridge renovations were a part of their “philanthropic activities” and not a  “commercial venture”. The firm is renowned for producing wall clocks under the Ajanta brand.

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