Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit the Morbi tragedy site later on Tuesday, November 1, where a British era suspension bridge collapsed into Machchu river, killing at least 140 people including 45 kids and over 50 women in a worst human tragedy the state has witnessed in recent years.
As per the details, PM Modi will visit the site where the bridge collapsed on Sunday evening, then visit the civil hospital where some persons who were injured are under treatment and will hold a review meeting of the situation.
On Monday late night, PM held a review meeting at Gandhinagar Raj Bhawan and directed Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and top officials of the state to ensure all assistance is provided to those who are injured and affected in the calamity.
In the review meeting held at the Raj Bhawan, it was decided to observe a day long mourning in the state on November 2nd in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the ill-fated bridge incident in Morbi, an erstwhile princely state and now a major bustling town known for its factories making ceramic tiles, construction materials and wall clocks near Rajkot in Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Also read | Editorial | The burden of tragedy: On the Morbi bridge tragedy in Gujarat
Shocked with the horrific tragedy, the entire town remained closed, mourning the deaths of innocent people, whose week-end stroll at the heritage bridge that remained an identity of Morbi for over a century, turned into a carnage.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat government continued to face series allegations over the tragedy and questions have been raised over how a wall clock and electric bulbs and calculator-making firm was handed over the maintenance of the suspension bridge for 15 years while seemingly neglecting the safety aspects.
After the Congress leaders, who demanded sacking of the Chief Minister, who is also urban development minister of the State, now AAP convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also demanded that Gujarat CM must be asked to resign in the wake of tragedy.
Questions over the contract firm
Both the Congress leaders and Mr Kejriwal asked the Gujarat government to clarify what prompted the authorities to select Oreva, which has no prior experience of building or maintaining any normal bridges, let alone a highly mechanical suspension bridge, for maintenance and management of the 140 year old bridge over the river.
On Monday, Congress spokesman Pawan Khera called the urban development department of Gujarat as “epicentre of corruption” and demanded criminal action against the minister and other officials for their complicity in the bridge incident.
Leaders of both parties also sought to corner the ruling party over pictures and video clips circulated in social media platforms about sudden painting and refurbishment of civil hospital ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit there.
Both the parties on their official Twitter handles posted tweets of photos of the hospital where workers can be seen cleaning and painting a portion of the hospital.
In the pictures and video clips shared widely in social media platforms, workers were seen cleaning and painting a portion of the 300-bed hospital, which is a ground plus two-storey structure of three wings, ahead of PM Modi’s visit.