Kochi: IAS officer held for flyover fraud

KITCO was the technical consultant for the flyover built by RBDCK.

KOCHI: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Friday arrested former PWD secretary T.O. Sooraj and three others in connection with the corruption in the construction of the Palarivattom flyover.

The three are Sumit Goyal, managing director of New Delhi-based RDS Projects which built the flyover, Benny Paul, joint general manager and one of the three officiating MDs of KITCO, and M.T. Thankachan, former assistant general manager of Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Limited (RBDCK).

KITCO was the technical consultant for the flyover built by RBDCK.

The VACB has slapped chargeslike corruption, conspiracy and misuse of funds on the accused.

“The arrest was recorded after the four were summoned to the VACB office on Friday. We have verified their statements and cross-verified with the evidence we received,” a senior official with the VACB said.

The agency also found that T O Sooraj as the PWD secretary took interest to see the construction work is granted to RDS projects and KITCO and RBDCK took stand in favour of the construction company. Sources said that he is also accused in giving Rs 8.25 crores illegally to the contract company.

The VACB had earlier conducted the scientific examination of samples collected from the flyover which revealed that theconstruction was carried out using inadequate cement and steel.

Official sources said that Benny Paul did not properly supervise the work and that P.D. Thankachan was well aware that the construction was below standard.

The anti-corruption agency had interrogated Sooraj on Thursday. Goyal was quizzed about a week ago.

The arrested were produced before the Vigilance Court atMuvattupuzha and remanded. It is learnt that the VACB will seek the custody of the accused soon.
More persons involved in the matter will be interrogated in the coming days, they said.

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