An expert committee appointed by the government to study the reconstruction of the flyover had submitted a report supporting the recommendations of DMRC Principal Advisor E Sreedharan. At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the report was approved. Sreedharan, known as the ‘Metro Man’, had stated that it was necessary to reconstruct major portion of the flyover.
Construction on the Palarivattom flyover was completed in 2016 at a cost of Rs 48 crores. However, it was shut down in May after it was found to be unsafe for use. Major structural faults and cracks were discovered by multiple expert committees. It was closed to traffic, which caused severe traffic jams in Kochi.
The report submitted by E Sreedharan had claimed that the flyover would last for a hundred years if reconstructed. The state government has also decided to entrust Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Limited to raise the money for reconstruction of the flyover from RDS Projects, the contractor.
However, the government’s decision to reconstruct the flyover was not welcomed by all. The Association of Structural and Geotechnical Consulting Engineers had criticized the government for seemingly following E Sreedharan’s recommendation blindly.
Considering the writ petition filed by the association, the Kerala High Court had ordered the reconstruction work should not start without further orders from the court.
The Palarivattom flyover scam involves discrepancies in selecting the contracting company, misappropriation of funds and even abusing official positions. The accused are charged with multiple culpabilities.
Former Secretary of Public Works Department (PWD) Soorej TO, Sumeet Goyal, managing director of RDS Projects Ltd, the construction company; MT Thankachan, former assistant general manager of Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Ltd. (RBDCK), a subsidiary of Kerala Public Works Department and Benny Paul, joint general manager of KITCO, were arrested by Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in connection with the scam.