Thursday, February 22, 2024

Morbi Bridge: Gujarat High Court hauls Nagar Palika and suggests dissolving civic body

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The Gujarat High Court has hauled Morbi Nagar Palika (MNP) for not taking any initiative to take over the Julto Pul (Morbi bridge) from the private contractor along with being careless with the warnings issued.

A bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh J Shastri said that the communications between the contractor and MNP since last December has been focused on rate of visitors’ ticket to the bridge and not the bridge repairs

The Bench observed that the tenor of the letter by Contracto shows that it was concentrated on the rate of the ticket than the condition of the bridge. T

The Court further said that exchange between the Contractor and the Palika is only for retention of the contract rather than on repair of the bridge, which was very likely to meet the end it had.

The Court asked the Advocate General Kamal Trivedi to take instructions on whether the State government is planning to dissolve or supersede the MNP.

The Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court asked If not this magnitude of a tragedy warrant suspension of the civic body then what is the State waiting for? Either you decide or we will pass orders.

The bench was hearing a suo motu PIL it took up earlier this month to examine the tragic incident of the collapse of the suspension bridge in Morbi, leaving 135 people dead.

The bench on Thursday talked about the Municipality Act, which allows the State to dissolve a civic body in case of abuse of power, default or for incompetency.

The bench said that the tragedy struck in Morbi, prima facie cannot be brushed aside as incompetency of the Nagar Palika.

The bench was told that the State is yet to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the then Chief Officer of the MNP, as they are awaiting the outcome of the criminal prosecution.

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