Kochi: Even as the Palarivattom bridge episode unfolds, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is learnt to have asked the state government to enter into an agreement for maintenance with respect to under-construction Kundannur and Vytilla flyovers.
However, the Public Works Department (PWD) has failed to respond to the demand for a tripartite agreement so far despite the NHAI shooting off a letter six months back. Now the Central agency is all set to take a legal course to fix responsibility for maintenance of the bridges.
“We’ve sought a tripartite agreement with the PWD and its contractors to be parties. A set of conditions too were suggested to be included in the pact, mainly maintenance of the bridges post construction. However, they are yet to respond despite sending reminders many times,” said a senior NHAI official on condition of anonymity.
While Palarivattom flyover was constructed by the previous UDF government without obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NoC) from the NHAI, the LDF government obtained nod from the Central agency before constructing the flyovers.
The Aroor-Edapally stretch, where all the three flyovers are located, falls under jurisdiction of the NHAI which is responsible for maintenance of the infrastructure facilities. Vehicles have to pay toll for using the stretch.
“Since we didn't construct it, the state should take up responsibilities including maintenance and warranty,” the official added.
While the NHAI had prepared a detailed plan for six-lane flyover at Palarivattom, the previous UDF government volunteered to construct the bridge and included it under fast track projects.
“We’d planned six-lane facility taking into account the traffic needs for the next 20 years. We feel the current facility at the busy junction is inadequate,” he added.
Meanwhile, first phase repair work of Rs 41 crore Palarivattom flyover is almost finished. Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) said the government is to decide whether the bridge should be temporarily opened for vehicular traffic or not.
The flyover is closed for traffic from May one to facilitate first phase of maintenance work. The major works, that to fix cracks on girders and piers, are slated to be carried out after the monsoon. This after the flyover developed potholes and surface became uneven within months of its opening in October 2016. The contractor, Delhi-based RDS Company Ltd, will bear repair cost....