Gujarat: PM Modi cancels road show, page committee sammelan in wake of bridge collapse
New Delhi, Oct 31: Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is on a three-day tour to Gujarat and Rajasthan has decided to cancel his roadshow to be held in Ahmedabad on Monday following the Morbi cable bridge collapse incident in which over 70 people lost their lives on Sunday evening.
"The Page Committee Sneh Milan program to be held in the virtual presence of Prime Minister Modi has been postponed," the BJP Gujarat media cell said as per news agency ANI.
Speaking to ANI, BJP Gujarat media convenor, Dr Yagnesh Dave confirmed the news that there shall be no programs of celebration to be held tomorrow in the wake of the Morbi tragedy where many are feared dead, including women, children, and the elderly. However the official programmes including PM to lay foundation stone of C-295 Aircraft facility & the programme to dedicate Railway projects worth 2900 cr will be as per schedule.
The bridge, which reopened four days ago after extensive repairs and renovation, collapsed around 6.30 pm, officials told PTI.
"At least 60 persons have died in the tragedy," Gujarat minister Brijesh Merja told reporters.
Eyewitnesses said there were several women and children on the British era "hanging bridge" when it snapped, plunging them into the water below.
A private operator had carried out the repair work of the bridge for nearly six months before it was reopened to the public on the Gujarati New Year day on October 26.
A fire department official said that boats were being used to rescue people from the river.
"We are carrying out rescue work using boats. There are around 40-50 people in the river," the official said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the families of each of those who died in a bridge collapse in Gujarat's Morbi city. Modi also spoke with Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and other officials regarding the incident.
He sought urgent mobilisation of teams for rescue operations, according to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). Several people standing on the bridge fell into the river, local officials said.
"PM Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF (Prime Minister's National Relief Fund) for the next of kin of each of those who lost their lives in the mishap in Morbi. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000," the PMO said in a series of tweets.
"PM @narendramodi spoke to Gujarat CM @Bhupendrapbjp and other officials regarding the mishap in Morbi. He has sought urgent mobilisation of teams for rescue ops," it said.
The Prime Minister has asked that the situation be closely and continuously monitored, and all possible help be extended to those affected, it added. The bridge, which was recently reopened for the public after renovation, collapsed as it could not bear the weight of the people standing on it, the officials said.