Kochi: The demolition work of the controversial Palarivattom bridge has began on Monday with the workers chipping off the tarring on the road.
The demolition and reconstruction works are being executed by Uralungal Labour Contractors Society under the leadership of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) engineers. Before commencement of work a puja was performed at the site on behalf of DMRC officials.
At the moment 15 workers have been deployed for tar removal work. However, with the commencement of the works related to cutting and removal of concrete pillars, the workers strength will be raised to 60. The works related to reconstruction of the bridge began per the Supreme Court order. The entire work is being carried out under the supervision of Metroman E Sreedharan.
The work at the site will be carried out round the clock. However, the city police have hinted that there would be no traffic restrictions during the first phase of the demolition work. Kochi Deputy Commissioner of Police G Poonkuzhali said the demolition work will be carried out in a manner that does not create any hardship to the public. If required restrictions will be put in place at a later stage, she said.
According to Uralungal Labour Contractors Society chief engineer A P Pramod Kumar the works related to removal of tarring are expected to be completed in three days. Subsequently the concrete portions will be cut using diamond cutters. Though the cutting work is expected to take at least four months, efforts will be made to complete the task early, he said.
The pier caps will be completely demolished and reconstructed. Along with the cutting and removal work of concrete portions, construction of girders and slabs will be carried out simultaneously at the DMRC casting yard Muttom. These will be placed in the specific portions from where slabs are being removed. All work will happen at the same time.
About 35 per cent portion of the bridge is being demolished as part of the reconstruction project. The concrete and rubber waste generated during demolition work will be taken to Muttom yard. Though there was a demand for using the concrete pillars from the demolition site to build a sea wall at Chellanam, no decision has been taken on this issue yet. The DMRC has plans to coat the pillars with iron rods using carbon fiber wrapping technology.