Citing a report by a Special Investigation Team looking into the Morbi bridge collapse, the Gujarat High Court on Monday said that the civic body and private contractor Ajanta had outsourced repair works to an incompetent agency, reported Bar and Bench.

A bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh J Shastri said that the SIT findings show that 49 steel strands were used in the main cable of the suspension bridge of which 22 were rusted.

“It would also indicate that no structural test or load test was conducted before opening the bridge,” the High Court said. “Even the movement of bridge was not regulated and several design faults were found on the bridge which led to its failure.”

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation it had asked the court registrar to file in the wake of the collapse of the colonial-era bridge on the Machchu river on the October 30 evening, killing 141 persons. The tragedy took place just four days after the bridge was reopened for the public following seven months of renovation.

At the hearing, the High Court also noted the SIT has recommended periodical audits and inspections of all structures used by the public.

“It also recommend that these facilities should be designated to competent personnel apart from storing adequate safety and rescue equipment on site [to be able] to respond to an untoward situation, swiftly,” the bench said in its order.

The High Court also asked the state government to place on record the proposed policy to meet these recommendations and specify the number of pubic structures being used by the public regularly or periodically by the next hearing on January 16, reported Live Law.

Meanwhile, the court-appointed advocates, Varun Patel and Shikha Panchal, who are acting as Amicus Curiae in the case, stated that there is voluminous paperwork involved in the matter and young lawyers are needed to handle it.

“There will be a lot of work,” the High Court said. “Their help would reduce our work and time. Also, I think its time that youngsters do this, as this will help them learn and give back to the society.”