Holding the builders of Palarivattom flyover responsible for its cracks, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday (September 24) directed them to pay ₹18 crore to the state government as damages, while asking the government not to demolish the flyover till October 10.
On September 16, the court had passed an order to demolish the flyover on the National Highway 66 bypass in Kochi after cracks were found on the flyover.
‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan had pointed out that the structural safety of the flyover was affected due to its careless construction. The court had further said that a new flyover would be constructed there under Sreedharan’s supervision.
The flyover was built by the RDS Projects at a budget of ₹48 crore. The contract included a compensation clause, according to which, the builders must pay for the damages. It said that the flaws and defects detected in the construction within 36 months of being built must be rectified by the contractor firm at their own expense.
Palarivattom flyover was inaugurated on October 12, 2016, and was closed on May 1, 2019 after cracks were detected and a report by IIT Madras pointed out its construction flaws.
Meanwhile, the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau had informed the High Court of a scam regarding the construction of the flyover and that it involved several top politicians. Former Public Works Department (PWD) minister VK Ibrahim Kunju was one of those named as accused in the scam. Jailed former PWD secretary TO Suraj is also set to be questioned again in connection with the alleged scam.
Further, the vigilance reports said that builder was in debt and used the money allotted for the construction to clear those. Moreover, the construction of the flyover was not completed and the builder did not have the completing certificate by the authorities when it was inaugurated in October, 2016. The PWD is also set to bar the RDS Projects from undertaking any government-led construction work.