Palarivattom flyover: Modus operandi employed by accused to aid contract firm

Accused No 2 M T Thankachan, former additional general manager of Roads and Bridges Development Corporation-Kerala (RBDCK), worked in favour of RDS construction company.

Published: 09th September 2019 04:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2019 04:53 AM   |  A+A-

The badly potholed flyover at Palarivattom which has been closed for traffic after experts deemed it unsafe for motorists

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Accused No 2 MT Thankachan, former additional general manager of Roads and Bridges Development Corporation-Kerala (RBDCK), worked in favour of RDS construction company. He was in charge of the tender process and execution of the project. He had participated in the pre-bid meeting in which it was declared that there would not be any mobilisation advance for the work and it was entered in the minutes book.

Later, the accused, after entering into a conspiracy with RDS, put a conducive note in favour of mobilisation advance for RDS. The accused also suppressed the lack of necessary documents in the tender submitted by RDS. As the joint general manager of Kitco, it was the duty of Benny Paul -accused No 3 - to execute the construction of the flyover ensuring quality. It was also his duty to evaluate the tender documents submitted by RDS.

The company failed to submit necessary documents to prove its qualification as contractor, but the accused remained silent on it. Even RDS had not produced an MoU with the designer and a document showing that the designer had commissioned two bridges of a similar nature. The accused suppressed the lack of necessary documents and thereby facilitated RDS to be selected as the contractor. If the accused had reported this defect, RDS could not have been selected.

Accused No 4 TO Sooraj, was the PWD principal secretary from 2012 to 2014. During his tenure, he was also member secretary of Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) which provided funds for the flyover project. While there was no provision for the mobilisation advance for the project, as part of the conspiracy hatched by all the accused, the application for mobilisation advance was forwarded by Thankachan to the accused through the office of KRFB. 

Sooraj issued a government order recommending allotment of mobilisation advance of Rs 8.25 crore at an interest rate of a meagre seven per cent. Though an agreement was signed between RDS and RBDCK that 30 per cent from the payment for each running bill submitted by RDS should be deducted as part of recovering the mobilisation advance, the accused misused his official position and ordered to deduct only 10 per cent. 

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