Thiruvananthapuram: The damaged Palarivattom flyover in Kochi will be demolished and reconstructed within eight months, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Thursday.
The chief minister said former MD of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) E Sreedharan has been entrusted with the task to reconstruct the bridge.
Vijayan said he spoke to Sreedharan about the project earlier in the day. "Sreedharan has ensured that the works can be completed within eight months," he said.
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 chief minister announced the reconstruction plan a day after the Supreme Court allowed the government to demolish and reconstruct the structure which is at the centre of a political scam in the state.
The government had earlier decided to demolish the structure based on the findings of Sreedharan as well as a team of experts from IIT-Madras. However, the Kerala High Court stayed the decision and ordered to conduct a load test to assess the strength of the structure. The state government moved the apex court challenging this order.
The chief minister said Sreedharan's finding was that the flyover has to be reconstructed as mere rectification works would not be suffice.
Stating that the Vigilance inquiry into the corruption that resulted in the damage of the flyover is in the last stage, Vijayan said those guilty will not be spared.
"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.