CITU deeply mourns and expresses its Condolences to the bereaved families of 141 people, who died in the bridge collapse at Morbi, Gujarat. The death toll in the bridge collapse tragedy is climbing up; among the victims 47 were children and more than 50 were women. 

The tragic incident once again exposed the disastrous consequence of handing over the public infrastructure management, both at state and the centre, to private corporate contractor that too on liberal deregulated formats from the state-run public works departments with devastating implications of mass human loss. A company, Oreva group specialized in making CFL bulbs, wall clocks and e-bikes, that had no apparent expertise or track record in the concerned field was awarded contract to repair and operate the ill fated hanging bridge for 15 years and charge tickets in the range of Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 for its use. There are questions about the fitness of the bridge; the private company didn’t get the fitness certificate from Morbi municipal administration supposed to be issued by the corporation after examining the use-worthiness. All these point to a major failure of the governance at various levels. Had the Gujarat state Government done proper repair and maintenance engaging state public works department, the tragic human loss could have been avoided. It is also to be noted that chief minister of Gujarat is also the urban development minister of the state and this is under his jurisdiction. The chief minister himself should be hold accountable for the calamitous human loss.

While mourning and condoling the mass loss of lives, CITU also demands a thorough high level judicial probe into the whole matter to investigate that dreadful incident and fixing accountability. Only arresting a few contract company’s officials and security guards would merely cover up the inhuman negligence and callousness of the government of the day. CITU once again reiterates its demand to stop privatisation in the name of contract for repair and maintenance and operation of public infrastructure. CITU also demands public investments and state intervention in strengthening the public works departments.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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