Kochi: An expert team headed by Mr E.. Sreedharan, principal adviser to Delhi Metro Rail Corpo-ration (DMRC), will inspect the Palarivattom flyover on Mon-day to ascertain whet-her it could be opened for traffic after the repair and restoration work.
The decision was taken at a meeting held by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and PWD Minister G. Sudhakaran with Mr. Sreedharan in Thiruva-nanthapuram on Thur-sday. The meeting took place at the initiative of the Chief Minister.
Mr Sudhakaran said a decision on reopening the flyover will be taken after the inspection by the team led by Mr Sreedharan. He also said that Mr Sreedharan had suggested checking the structure with concrete specialists.
Mr Sreedharan will inspect the flyover amidst a political slugfest between former PWD minister Ibrahim Kunju and Mr K.B. Ganeshkumar MLA and reports that an expert team from Chennai IIT had found that insufficient quantity of cement was used for the construction of the flyover.
Mr. Kunju told reporters in Kochi on Thursday that as minister, he had only granted the administrative sanction for the project. “It was not the duty of the minister to supervise the construction work or measure the quantity of cement. It is for the officials concerned to do the supervisory work,” he said and added that Mr. Sreedharan will say many things, but many of them were not practical.
Mr Ganesh Kumar told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that he had given a detailed note to the then chief minister Oommen Chandy on the grave irregularities in PWD, including the Palarivattom flyover. The former PWD minister was privy to all these developments and nothing could have transpired without his knowledge and connivance, Mr Kumar said. He was expelled from UDF for exposing the corruption in PWD, he said.
The 1,000-page report of the IIT team detailing the scientific reasons for the structural weakness of the flyover contains remarks about the lack of sufficient quantity of cement. The report submitted by a team headed by Mr P. Alagusundaramoorthy, professor of structural engineering, stated that instead of M35 grade concrete needed as per the design, the concreting undertaken was M22.
Another technical flaw cited in the report stated that “the short-term deflection of RC girders for M22 grade of concrete is found to be 43.02 mm. The long-term deflection of RC girders M22 grade of concrete is found to be 73.55 mm. The short- term deflection (43.02 mm) and long-term deflection of (73.55mm) are exceeding the permissible limit (26.25mm)”.
The Palarivattom flyover remained closed for more than a month as the government resorted to repair works after the weakness of the structure became apparent. Although the month-long repair has been completed, the flyover has not been opened to traffic due to the persistent doubts over the safety of the structure.