Kochi: The Kozhikode-based Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society has won the contract for reconstruction work of the weak Palarivattom flyover. However, the demolition will commence only after the pending cases in the court are settled.
Official sources claimed that the tendering process was completed within 22 days of handing over the project to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The Kerala government had earlier decided to hand over the rebuilding project to the DMRC based on a report submitted by an expert team led by the latter's principal adviser E Sreedharan.
Though the first phase of renovation works were carried out as per the recommendations of IIT-Madras, the expert panel under Sreedharan had proposed a reconstruction. The panel had noted that renovation works would give the flyover a life of just 20 years and a reconstruction 100 years.
Multiple cases are pending in the High Court related to the flyover. Crucially, in September, the Kerala High Court had barred the demolition of the bridge, as the government desired, after considering a few public interest litigations led against the drastic move.
A verdict is awaited in a petition filed by the Association of Structural Engineers and the RDS Projects, which had built the flyover, seeking a load test of the flyover before its demolition. The Engineers' Association has sought that a load test should be carried out to ascertain the strength of the flyover and the expenses for the load test be collected from the company that built it. But the government contended in the court that conducting a load test would not be safe and the DMRC has been assigned the reconstruction project after considering expert reports and in public interest.
The flyover was built in 2016. Though the lapses in the construction were spotted early enough, two years were wasted in the name of expert studies. After several government-appointed agencies detected faults, the flyover was closed for traffic on May 1, 2018.