The Kerala High Court on Wednesday asked the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) to file a report on the Palarivattom flyover, closed 30 months after inauguration, and role of those involved in its construction.
This faulty flyover could be razed and a new one built in its place, observed the HC when the four arrested officials, involved in the flyover’s construction, sought bail.
In a stinging remark, the court referred this badly constructed flyover to popular Malayalam film “Panchavadi Palam”, which tells the tale of a deal among politicians, bureaucracy and contractor.
The film appears to have turned true in the case of the Palarivattom flyover, the court observed.
Built at a cost of Rs 42 crore during the Oommen Chandy regime, the 750-metre flyover was supposed to serve for over 100 years. It was opened in October 2016. But as it started crumbling, it was shut for traffic within three years.
The flyover was built by the Delhi-based RDS Projects for the state-owned Roads and Bridges Development Corporation. KITCO was the supervision consultant for the project.
The bail had been sought by project director Sumit Goyal of RDS Projects, former Public Works Department Secretary T.O. Sooraj, Benny Paul who represented the KITCO and M.T. Thankachen from the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation.
The VACB told the court on Wednesday more arrests were lined up. The court fixed September 24 for further hearing on the bail plea.
Early this week, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked ‘Metroman’ E. Sreedharan to take charge of rebuilding the Palarivattom flyover. On Wednesday, Vijayan said corruption would not be tolerated and no one would be spared.
Reacting to developments in the court, former Public Works Department Minister and senior legislator V.K. Ebrahim Kunju said he didn’t fear arrest as he was not involved in the technicalities of the flyover’s construction.