Gujarat Morbi Bridge collapse
At least 141 people have lost their lives because of the collapse of British era bridge in Morbi, Gujarat. While 177 people were saved, several others are missing.
About “Jhulto Pul” suspension bridge
- “Jhulto Pul” is a pedestrian suspension bridge that was inaugurated in 1879 during the resign of Sir Waghji Ravaji, the Thakur Sahib of Morbi (1858-1922).
- The bridge, spanning 233 meters over the Machchhu river, connected Darbargarh Palace and Lakhdhirji Engineering College.
- This 150-year-old bridge is a major tourist attraction in the district. It is seen as an engineering marvel.
Why did the bridge collapse?
- The bridge is capable of supporting only around 150 people.
- However, around 500 people, including women and children, were on the bridge when it collapsed. Several of them were performing Chhath puja rituals.
- The bridge, which was closed down for renovation for 2 years, was reopened for public on October 26 (Gujarati New Year) without undertaking safety tests and receiving fitness certificates from civic authorities.
What is Morbi district famous for?
Morbi district was created on August 15, 2013, having 5 talukas – Morbi, Maliya, Tankara, Wankaner, and Halvad. Before this district was created, Wankaner was part of Rajkot district and Halvad was in Surendranagar district.
Morbi district is famed for its ceramic industry. It houses several hundred ceramic producing factories, mainly medium and small scale units. Over 70 per cent of India’s ceramics are produced in this district. The ceramic tiles produced here are exported to countries in Middle East, East Asia and Africa. The annual turnover of the district’s ceramic industry is Rs.50,000 crore. Its annual export is worth around Rs 15,000 crore. Its main competitor is China.
About Machchhu river
The Machchhu river is a north flowing river that rises in the Madla Hills and drains into the little Rann of Kutch. This 130 km long river flows under the “Jhulto Pul” suspension bridge. The check dam located downstream on Machchhu river was cut open to drain the water and search for people who went missing after the collapse of the suspension bridge.