No fitness certificate issued, says civic official

Diseases: In the wake of the suspension bridge disaster that left at least 35 dead and dozens missing in Gujarat’s Morbi on Sunday night, Morby Municipal Commission Chief Executive S. V. Zala in a shocking revelation said the bridge was opened to the public without a fitness certificate.

Zala, addressing the local media, said, “For a long time this bridge was closed to the public…seven months ago a private company was given a contract for renovation and maintenance and the bridge was reopened to the public on October 26 (Gujarati New Year) by the private company. Nagar Palika has not issued fitness certificate.’

He even claims that it is possible that the company has received a certificate of fitness from the engineering firm, but it has not been presented to the municipality so far. The company, on its own and without informing the civic body, reopened the bridge to the public, he claimed.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel also told the media that usually when bridges are constructed or renovated before they are opened to the public, a technical evaluation is mandatory and the bearing capacity is tested and only after that a certificate of use is issued by the concerned authority and only then can the bridges be opened to the public.

This suspension bridge was built by the rule of the Morbi Sir Vagaji Thakor dynasty about 150 years ago, it is 233 meters long and 4.6 feet wide.


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