Kochi: Even as a Vigilance report suggested construction of a new flyover at Palarivattom after demolishing the existing one, Public Works Department (PWD) Minister G Sudhakaran on Thursday ruled out the same, saying the bridge is being "rehabilitated" as per the technical advice of an expert IIT Madras team.
The minister added the Vigilance is yet to submit its probe report either to the state government or to the PWD so far though the agency submitted the same to the court.
"I've not seen the report and hence not commenting on it…but it's not for the Vigilance to suggest on the technicality, rather they should probe whether any corruption was involved or not. We're acting on the basis of a detailed study report submitted by an IIT Madras team," Mr Sudhakaran told DC.
The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) submitted the probe report to the Muvattupuzha special court on Monday. The critical report allegedly named 17 officials of the implementing agency Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala, design consultant Kitco and contractor RDS Project Ltd. The 38-page report reportedly said the bridge should be reconstructed by the contractor RDS Ltd meeting all expenses by themselves if the current repair works fail to strengthen the bridge. The inquiry found that the dilapidated condition of the bridge was due to its inferior and inadequate quality of construction materials.
"There needs to be a clarification. We're not carrying out the repair works but rehabilitating the structure…in other words reconstructing it under the supervision of the IIT Madras team. The works with regard to strengthening of the bridge surface are 90 per cent complete. The flyover will be temporarily opened to traffic soon. After the monsoon, we'll carry out major rehabilitation works," the minister said.The state government ordered the Vigilance probe last month after a detailed inspection by an IIT Madras team found major construction discrepancies that resulted in formation of cracks in girders and piers of the flyover. The first phase strengthening works of Palarivattom flyover missed the June 1 deadline. The second phase repair works will be taken up after the monsoon, by September end. Then the cracks on girders and piers will be rectified using the Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) method, also known as Carbon Fibre Wrappings.