KOCHI: Washing his hands off the corruption allegations levelled against him over the faulty construction of Palarivattom bypass, former Public Works Minister VK Ebrahimkunju said officers implementing the project were responsible for the flaws in construction.
“I cannot stay at the construction site counting the number of iron rods and cement sacks to ensure the flyover is strong,” he said.
“Kitco, the project’s design and technical consultant, and Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala, the implementing agency, didn’t do their work properly. The minister cannot be blamed for this,” said the Kalamassery MLA who has been accused by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of ignoring a 2015 Vigilance report alleging widespread corruption in Public Works Department, which he helmed at the time.
Refuting Pinarayi’s allegation, Ebrahimkunju said the report was not based on a detailed inquiry. “It was a survey conducted on the basis of basic information by the Vigilance. A minister cannot take action on a survey. Still, we gave importance to it and took necessary measures,” he said.
The present government took the same actions that he would have taken on the issue, he said.
“I too would have ordered a Vigilance inquiry if we identified flaws in construction and would have taken strict actions against the officers responsible,” he said.