Palarivattom flyover reopened for traffic


Kochi: The flyover at Palarivattom which was reconstructed following major defects and safety concerns was reopened for traffic on Sunday.

The flyover, built at the Pipeline Junction on the National Highway 66 Bypass here, would ease traffic congestion in the city and on the national highway, officials said.

No official inaugural function was held in view of the model code of conduct in force after the assembly polls were announced. Public Works Department (PWD) National Highways division M Ashok Kumar opened the flyover for traffic at 4pm on Sunday.

The flyover was opened after analysing its quality and strength and carrying out weight tests.

Following the handing over of the flyover by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to the PWD, a three-member expert team had conducted an inspection. It was based on the report submitted by the expert team that the government decided to open the flyover.

The work of the flyover, supposed to be completed in eight months, was completed in five months and 10 days.

The inspection team was led by Ashok Kumar. Its other members were bridges division superintending engineer P R Manjush and national highway division superintending engineer S Deepu.

The DMRC had submitted a letter including the load test report to the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation (RBDC) and the PWD on Thursday evening stating that the flyover was fit for traffic from Saturday.

The remaining last-minute works of the flyover were completed by Friday night. Only painting work was pending.

State PWD Minister G Sudhakaran, who visited the flyover at the time of inauguration, congratulated Principal Adviser to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), 'Metroman' E Sreedharan and the construction firm Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society (ULCCS) for completing the work ahead of the stipulated time.

In a Facebook post, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lauded the workers for their dedication in speedy completion of the project. However, he did not make any comment on Sreedharan's contribution.

Sreedharan had recently joined the BJP.

Palarivattom Flyover Opened

While the CPI(M) workers organised a march over the bridge hailing the LDF government for completing the project, the BJP workers also marched through the flyover highlighting the contributions of Sreedharan in building it.

The flyover, built at a cost of Rs 47.70 crore during the previous Congress-led UDF government, was rebuilt within a year following cracks developed in the structure.

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.

The decision to reconstruct it was taken after the Chief Minister held discussions with PWD Minister G Sudhakaran and Sreedharan and evaluated the report prepared by IIT- Madras.

Sreedharan had suggested the flyover be rebuilt and the suggestion was accepted by the government.

Vijayan had ordered the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) to probe into the alleged corruption in the construction.

The then PWD Minister V K Ebrahim Kunju, retired Kerala PWD secretary T O Sooraj and three others - a top official of the company which built the flyover and two officials of a technical consultancy company were arrested by the VACB in connection with the case.

(With PTI inputs)

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