Palakkad: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)'s principal adviser E Sreedharan has said that the shoddily built Palarivattom flyover in Kochi should be rebuilt.
"The quick-fixes currently being carried are out not tenable. The best solution is to rebuild the flyover. Girders have to be replaced with new ones. It is not proper to join girders that have developed cracks," Sreedharan pointed out.
"Bridges have a longevity of more than 100 years. No point in trying to maintain the flyover with quick fixes," he added.
The Metro Man pointed out that the very design of the flyover was faulty. "It is questionable if the authorities had properly supervised the construction. Not enough diaphragm was used while joining girders, causing the flyover to tremble while vehicles pass over it. It appears as if enough middle diaphragm was not used on the flyover," he explained.
Sreedharan also sought to know if it was for the state government to build flyovers on national highways.
"The National Highway Authority of India has a system in place. Just to give away contracts, projects such as construction of flyovers should not be started," he said.
Noting that a Vigilance probe had been ordered against the officials, Sreedharan said, "When the flyover is in such a precarious situation, engineering experts should be contacted first not Vigilance. Vigilance cannot correct the flaws in the flyover. The same problem was reported on Thirunavaya and Perinthalmanna flyovers in Malappuram district. Still such a serious dereliction of duty has happened. This cannot be accepted," he asserted.
The four bridges that the DMRC had built based on own design were completed on time in relatively low budgets. "The estimated cost of constructing Edappally flyover was Rs 54.23 crore. The bridge was completed using Rs 33.12 crore. The rest of the amount Rs 21.11 crore was duly returned," he explained.
The bridge, which was opened to the public in October 2016, developed cracked soon at a few spots and subsequently traffic was banned after a month in service. Last month a team of experts from the IIT, Chennai, assessed its condition and advised to fix the flaws.
The Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Ltd was behind the project. Bangalore-based Nagesh Consultants, which had designed the flyover, claimed that the it became weak as a result of the wrong placement of its bearings.