Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 23 (PTI)The construction work would begin soon on a new flyover at Palarivattom in Kochi to replace the existing bridge, which had developed cracks within a year of its inauguration, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday.
The assurance comes a day after the Supreme Court gave its nod for replacing the existing 750-metre long flyover, construction of which began when the Congress-led UDF was in power and commissioned in October 2016 after the CPI(M)-LDF came to power.
Vijayan, who had ordered a Vigilance probe into the alleged corruption in the construction of the flyover which has been closed for traffic after the cracks developed, asserted that those involved would not be allowed to escape.
He said the government had held talks with Metroman E Sreedharan and he had agreed to oversee the construction activities of the new bridge.
'The work will begin soon. He said eight months will be enough to construct the flyover bridge,' the chief minister told reporters here.
When asked whether the cost incurred in rebuilding the flyover will be recovered from the company, which had constructed the faulty bridge or those against whom the probe was on, he said such matters will be decided by the court.
'The Vigilance probe is nearing completion. Those who have indulged in corruption will not escape. Now, it's clear that rampant corruption had taken place in the construction of this bridge. This was just one among the many corruption activities of the last UDF government,' he alleged.
The Vigilance and Anti-Corrpution is probing the role of certain officials and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader V K Ebrahim kunju, who was the PWD minister in the Oommen Chandy government when the brdige was constructed.
The flyover, considered a boon to the severe traffic snarls faced at Palarivattom, had to be closed within a year of its inauguration after cracks developed.
A three-judge bench of the apex court led by Justice Rohinton F Nariman had on Tuesday allowed an appeal by the state government against an order of the Kerala High Court to conduct a load test on the existing bridge instead of its demolition.
Vijayan said Sreedhran and an expert committee from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, had inspected the old bridge and opined that it should be reconstructed. PTI RRT UD VS VS