Just hours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Gujarat’s Morbi, where over 130 people died in a bridge collapse on October 30, some patients at the government hospital were selected and briefed about speaking with him, and were shifted to new beds with new sheets in a freshly painted ward.
A ward on the ground floor that was empty has been deep-cleaned and new beds with fresh bedsheets set up. This was where a few of the injured, who were earlier on first floor, were kept for the PM’s visit. Some of the bedsheets had markings of a hospital in Jamnagar, which is 160 km from Morbi.
At least 40 painters worked through the night to repaint the entire exterior of the hospital, besides touch-ups inside the wards where PM Modi met the victims. Toilets got new tiles too.
The hospital has got four new water coolers, too, since the tragedy on Sunday, some of which did not have supply connections.
The Prime Minister visited the site of the collapse on Machchhu river too.
In the middle of election campaign in his home state, rival parties have slammed the PM over “event management over dead bodies”. The Congress and AAP have sought answers from the ruling BJP over how the British-era suspension bridge was reopened without a completion certificate.
Closed since March for renovation, it was reopened last week and collapsed just four days later.
So far, police have arrested staff of the company that had the renovation contract, Oreva Group. It was a “seriously irresponsible and careless gesture” to open the bridge ahead of schedule, the police said in the FIR.
The company was bound by its contract to keep the bridge shut for 8 to 12 months for maintenance and repairs. Since it reopened, tickets were sold for Rs 12 to 17. Some of the old cables of the bridge in Morbi weren’t changed during the seven-month renovation by the Oreva Group, sources said.
The state government has formed a five-member probe committee.
But a Public Interest Litigation or PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court for a judicial investigation. It will be heard on November 14.