Government toughens stand against load test on Palarivattom flyover

The government made it clear that there was no clause in the contract mandating a load test.

Published: 15th December 2019 06:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2019 06:58 AM   |  A+A-

The Palarivattom flyover which has been closed for traffic

The Palarivattom flyover which has been closed for traffic (File photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  The state government has indicated that it is in no mood to relent to the pressure tactics from Contractors Association which has been demanding a load test on Palarivattom flyover to prove the structure in its present condition is use-worthy.The state government has filed a petition seeking to review an earlier order of the High Court directing to conduct a load test to determine the structural stability and load-bearing capacity of the flyover before demolishing it.

The government made it clear that there was no clause in the contract mandating a load test. The court will consider the review petition next week. According to the government, exercising the option of load test was essentially a matter of its discretion. The High Court ought to have considered that the government decided not to exercise the discretion based on cogent and compelling reasons, as pointed out in the expert opinion.

The various expert opinions and reports obtained by the government pointed out that a load test can bear no useful result on the flyover which was already in a distressed condition, the government clarified in its petition filed. It stated that the High Court has failed to consider the interest of the public. The bridge has been out of access for commuters for more than seven months. As it is, repairing and replacing the girders will take nine months. A load test would take another three months to conduct, further delaying the construction.

The government submitted that it has already entrusted the work to DMRC, an organisation known for speedy execution and high quality of work. In the review petition, the government also sought to stay the operation of the judgment directing to conduct the load test.In its earlier order, the Division Bench had directed that the entire proceedings should be completed in three months. t directed the contractor, RDS Project Ltd, to bear the entire expenses for the load test.

Contractors association to conduct load test on their own on Feb 21
Kerala Government Contractors’ Association has taken an adamant stand on the Palarivattom flyover issue, maintaining that they will do a load test on their own if the government fails to do so. The association has said that they would load the bridge with heavy vehicles on February 21 to protest against the government’s decision not to conduct the load test. “The government is trying to manipulate the High Court order which directed to conduct a load test on the flyover and submit a report within three months,” the association said, adding that they will also launch a hunger strike till the flyover is opened for traffic. A convention will also be conducted on January 1, 2020, to sensitise the public on the government’s plot.


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