Kochi: The Palarivattom flyover, closed for more than a month due to structural weakness, is set to trigger a major political controversy with CPM leader P. Rajeev seeking a probe into what he described as the 'mystery' behind the state government taking over the construction of the project.
Rajeev said that even as the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had completed a feasibility study about flyovers at Palarivattom, Edappally, Vytilla and Kundannoor, the then chief minister Oommen Chandy informed the Union government that the state would construct it.
The UDF government decision causing a heavy burden on the state finances appears inexplicable, said Rajeev and added that it deserves a probe along with the corruption in the construction. Persons like E. Sreedharan, principal advisor to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, have questioned the technical wisdom of the state taking over the responsibility of constructing the bridges on national highways even at that time, he added.
The political slugfest has commenced even as Sreedharan called for a total revamp of the bridge. A critic of the project from the beginning for its flawed concept, Sreedharan told a local daily the other day that temporary solutions being worked out at present will not be sustainable in the long run.
Another expert in Kochi who declined to reveal his identity told this newspaper on Saturday that some of the technical flaws unearthed could be rectified by applying the right technology. Load-bearing chemical anchoring system could be effectively used for solving cracks, he pointed out. "I believe that the Chennai IIT team will provide the necessary inputs in the matter," he said. Rectifying the flaws will be the feasible solution as against demolition and construction of the flyover afresh as it would be very expensive, he added....