SC terms Gujarat's Morbi Bridge collapse an 'enormous tragedy', asks HC to monitor probe
New Delhi, Nov 21: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Gujarat High Court on Monday to hear a plea seeking judicial probe into the Morbi Bridge collapse incident.
A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli also termed the incident which claimed over 130 lives as an 'enormous tragedy'.
On November 1, Tiwari had mentioned the matter for urgent listing, and the top court had said it would take up the matter soon, as reported by PTI.
According to reports, the death toll in the collapse of the British-era bridge on October 30 on the Machchhu river in Morbi in Gujarat has gone up to 134.
''From the past decade, various incidents have taken place in our country wherein due to the mismanagement, lapse in duty, and negligent maintenance activities, there have been cases of huge public casualties which could have been avoided,'' Tiwari has said in his PIL.
The more than a century-old bridge, located around 300 km from state capital Gandhinagar, had reopened after extensive repairs and renovation. It was crammed with people when it collapsed around 6.30 pm on October 30.
In his plea, Tiwari has sought the constitution of a judicial commission under the chairmanship of a retired judge of the apex court to initiate a probe in the matter.
The plea has sought directions to the states to form a committee to survey and conduct assessment risk of old and risky monuments and bridges to ensure environmental viability and safety.
It has also sought a direction to the states to constitute a construction incident investigation department so that fast and prompt probes can be done whenever such incidents occur.
The plea said such departments should also enquire about the quality and safety of any public construction taking place.
It claimed that the authorities in Gujarat also failed to control tourists, and it has been reported that over 500 people were on the bridge at the time of the incident.
''The incident at Morbi has shocked the country wherein due to the utter lapse and negligence on part of government authorities along with the negligence and fault in duty by the private operator has resulted in severe violation of fundamental rights of the people under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,'' it alleged.
The plea said several old bridges and monuments, which attract a large number of tourists, are there in the country and their assessment risk needs to be looked into to avoid such public casualty.