Kozhikode: The quality of public infrastructure in Kerala is dubious as the recent scandals over the strength of bridges and a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) property prove.
An expert committee constituted by the Kerala government to look into the structural flaws of the KSRTC bus terminal and commercial complex at Mavoor Road in Kozhikode City has reportedly ratified the findings of Indian Institutes of Technology, Madras.
The expert committee believes that though the number of pillars cited by the IIT Madras team for strengthening may not be required, at least 60 percent of the pillars will have to be strengthened.
The study carried out by a team headed by IIT expert Prof Alagasundaramoorthy had detected grave structural flaws in the building. His preliminary report had cited that 90 per cent of the pillars will have to be strengthened.
The government’s expert committee held three rounds of discussions with the IIT experts. The IIT experts told the government panel that the recommendations given by them need to be implemented strictly to avoid any construction or structural defect for the next 50 years. The government approved the advice of the IIT experts to implement effective measures for strengthening the pillars.
About Rs 20 crore will have to be spent for the strengthening work as per the assessment of the Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation Limited (KTDFC).
The KTDFC has asked the IIT to submit a detailed report regarding the estimated cost for strengthening the pillars. The IIT report is expected to be received within 15 days. The strengthening works will be taken up subsequently.
The KTDFC had estimated Rs 30 crore for the strengthening of the pillars and removing other structural flaws. However, the state government had appointed another expert committee to study and evaluate the report submitted by the IIT experts.
As per the agreement, the complex should be handed over to Alif Builders after completing the works within six months. It is learnt that many groups including Carnival cinemas have expressed interest in taking over the building.
The KSRTC bus stand will have to be shifted temporarily once the repair works begin in the complex. KSRTC has demanded Rs 3 crore from KTDFC to bear the loss of Rs 3 crore which would be incurred in operating services from Pavangattu. However, the KTDFC has not reacted positively to the demand yet.