by the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
There are crimes and then there are atrocities. The collapse of the bridge in Morbi, Gujrat is one such atrocity that consumed more than 140 lives, it’s an egregious tale of corruption and neglect that is still continuing after the tragedy of a shameful cover-up.
Till the time of writing, the owners of Oreva group and local officials are roaming free, merely suspending a civic body chief is not enough. These people should be charged with murder and prosecuted. Under the BJP regime, certain individual and corporate groups have enriched themselves with government contracts. It’s not that these acts of friendships did not happen before but what use to be a discreet exchange is now an open practice and bad practices have bad consequences. It should be a point of investigation as to why the contract was given to the Oreva group when they have no proven experience in bridge construction. It should also be looked into as to what renovation audits were done by the local administration and who allowed the bridge to be opened.
The hospital that the prime minister visited to meet survivors of the bridge collapse was renovated overnight for the photo-op. I was wondering if PM got so upset that tears came to his eyes, then he will remind the state’s home minister or chief minister to adhere to raj dharma and ask them to resign but I think accountability is a bit too much expectation from our PM, his administration and the party at large.
The government vociferously voiced its displeasure when we are ranked low on the hunger index but buried its head in the sand when confronted with questions about Morbi. What I have come to realize about the current government is that it’s very much into image and event management but falls abysmally short when it comes to results on the ground. The bridge collapse in Morbi reminded me of Covid second wave when people were gasping for breath and were not able to find oxygen cylinders and hospital beds. It was the same story all over again of callous negligence and they expect journalists to sing ballads of praise for PM.
It’s unfortunate that we pay the cost of the incompetence of our chosen politicians and public officials but till the time we wake up as citizens, we will continue to pay such costs.