Kerala govt notice to contracting firm to pay for reconstruction of flyover

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Kochi, Jan 31 (PTI) The Kerala government has sought to recover the cost of reconstruction work of a flyover in Palarivattom here, from a private firm responsible for building the structure during the previous Congress-led UDF rule.

In its notice, the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Ltd (RBDCK), an autonomous body under the state government that manages construction of roads and bridges in the state, directed the construction company to pay Rs 24.52 crore towards reconstruction cost.

Referring to the agreement signed between RBDCK in 2014, the notice said, 'you have failed to provide a defect free structure as required by the Conditions of the said Contract.' Due to failure on the part of the construction firm to provide a defect free structure as per contract conditions, the RBDCK, government and public at large incurred heavy losses.

The notice further pointed out that as per the provisions in the contract the company was liable to pay the cost of rehabilitation works to RBDCK.

'Hence, you are hereby directed to make payment of Rs 22.68 crores and 5 per cent centage charges allowed by government for rehabilitation work.

You are also liable to pay any additional cost that will be required towards rehabilitation work, which will be informed to you in due course,' it said.

In addition to the above cost, the fees and expenses paid to IIT Madras for consultancy and supervision of the subject work amounting to Rs 70.82 lakh is also to be paid immediately as agreed by you during previous discussions, it added.

The Kerala government is rebuilding the Palarivattom flyover in Kochi, which has been closed for traffic since May 2019 after cracks and potholes surfaced within three years of its commissioning.

The government took the decision after evaluating a report prepared by IIT-Madras on the bridge.

Metroman E Sreedharan had also suggested the flyover should be rebuilt and the suggestion has been accepted by the government.

The 750-metre long flyover, construction of which began when the Congress-led UDF was in power, was completed and commissioned in October 2016, when the CPI(M)-LDF was voted to power.

Within three years of its construction, large cracks were noticed in the pier caps of various pillars of the flyover following which it was closed for traffic.

Former Kerala PWD minister and IUML MLA V K Ebrahim Kunju was arrested by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in connection with alleged corruption in the construction of the flyover. PTI TGB ROH ROH