Morbi Bridge Collapse: Who Built the Jhulta Pul in Gujarat Town and When?
More than 140 people have died so far after a suspension bridge collapsed in Gujarat's Morbi town on Sunday evening.
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At least 135 people died after a suspension bridge collapsed in Gujarat's Morbi town on Sunday, 30 October. While the bridge had become dilapidated in the recent past, it was considered an engineering marvel when it was built during the colonial times.
The 19th century bridge, which is called Jhulta Pul or Hanging Bridge locally, is a major tourist attraction in town. It connects Darbargadh Palace with Lukhdhirji Engineering College over the Machchhu river.
It was built by Sir Waghji Ravaji Thakor, the ruler of the princely state of Morvee, using the latest European technology available at that time, and at the expense of Rs 3.5 lakh. It was inaugurated by the then Bombay governor Sir Richard Temple on 20 February 1879.
Ravaji was born in 1858 and was anointed king of Morbi in 1870, at the age of 12. He was made Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire in 1887 and a Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire in 1897 by the British Crown. He notably built India's first art-deco palace in Morbi. The ruler of the princely state died in 1922.
The bridge, which was 1.25 metre wide and 233 metre in length, had reportedly suffered damage in 2001 earthquake. It had been closed for renovation and repair for the last seven months, and had been reopened to the public on 26 October – on the occasion of Gujarati New Year. The entry to the bridge was ticketed and the walkers were charged Rs 17 per visit.
The decision to reopen the bridge has come under severe scrutiny as it lacked fitness certificate from the Morbi municipality. The municipality had given the contract to manage and maintain the bridge to Morbi-based Oreva Group. A first information report (FIR) has been filed by the local police in the case.
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Topics: Gujarat Morbi Bridge Collapse Jhulta Pul
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