KOCHI: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (VACB) Ernakulam unit on Tuesday quizzed KITCO joint general manager and MD in-charge as part of the investigation into corruption in the construction of Palarivattom flyover. Benny Paul was interrogated for hours at the VACB office in Kochi.
According to a VACB official, Paul was summoned in the morning and the interrogation lasted till afternoon. “KITCO was the consultant of the project and Benny Paul was in charge of Palarivattom flyover project. His statement was vital as he was familiar with the entire project. He monitored the design and construction activities,” an official said.
VACB will interrogate more officials of KITCO and Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Ltd (RBDCK). “Currently, we are recording the statements of persons involved in the Palarivattom flyover construction project. We have to identify the officials who were responsible for lapses in construction. Whether there was any corruption also has to be verified,” an officer said.
Recently, VACB had interrogated former PWD Minister V K Ebrahim Kunju and Sumit Goyal, managing director of RDS Project Ltd which constructed the flyover. After cracks appeared in various parts of the flyover, it has been closed for the past four months. A team from IIT-Madras, which first inspected the bridge, submitted a report to Works Minister G Sudhakaran highlighting flaws in construction.
The tarmac on the bridge got damaged within months of the flyover’s commissioning in October 2016. VACB, after carrying out a preliminary inquiry, registered an FIR against the contractor, officials of RBDCK and KITCO.