Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi said no dhol (drums) or speakers will be used as he went in a procession today to file his nomination papers from Surat’s Majura segment for the assembly elections. He said he’s doing it as a mark of respect towards for the victims of Morbi, where over 130 people died in a bridge collapse. Only a small rally will be taken out, said the senior BJP leader.
There were, however, a microphone and speaker used on stage as he addressed his supporters before proceeding to the election office to file his papers. On the minister’s Facebook page, a live telecast of the rally was available.
Gujarat votes on December 1 and 5, and results will be out on the 8th, along with Himachal Pradesh’s.
The Morbi case is in the High Court, meanwhile, which has sought reports from six departments as the bridge was reopened ahead of schedule by the renovation contractor.
So far, police have only arrested some employees of the company, Oreva Group, while Opposition parties and activists continue to demand action against top officials of the company and the Morbi municipality who signed the 15-year contract.
The 150-year-old bridge over Machchhu river had been shut for seven months for repairs. It was reopened to the public on October 26, the Gujarati New Year, without a fitness certificate from the civic authorities. The contract said it needed to remain closed for 8-12 months. Reopened before that, on October, it fell on October 30, allegedly because the cables weren’t replaced to repaired, and the new flooring was too heavy.
Around 500 people, including women and children, were on the suspension bridge — entry tickets sold for Rs 12-17 — when the cables snapped, sending people crashing into the river. The bridge could take the weight of only about 125 people, according to officials.