KOCHI: The collapse of a building under construction at Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) at Kalamassery will be used as a major corruption allegation against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the local body elections next year. The move is considered a tit for tat strategy by the UDF after the front was targeted in the Ernakulam assembly by-election by the LDF over graft allegations in the Palarivattom flyover.
As a result of the LDF campaign, it was able to make deep inroads in the UDF bastion. As a prelude, UDF MLAs in Ernakulam—Roji M John (Angamaly), T J Vinodh (Ernakulam), V P Sajeendran (Kunnathunadu), V D Satheesan (North Paravoor) and Ebrahim Kunju (Kalamassery) and senior Congress leaders in the district visited the construction site on Friday.
“It is a clear case of corruption. How can the government give a work order to INKEL which almost works like a broker? Though it was a much-anticipated project, neither the government nor INKEL gave it due consideration. There was no proper supervision of work. Major corruption is involved and the government is responsible,” said Satheesan after visiting the site on Friday.
He also urged the state government to constitute an expert committee to probe the corruption involved in the construction of the building. “The government should be ready to announce a Vigilance probe in this case. The companies and the persons who took the work on a sublease from INKEL should be probed. The Public Estimate Committee headed by S Sarma, MLA, had also highlighted irregularities in the construction of CCRC building. The government is answerable to the public,” Satheesan added. On Thursday, the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) issued a stop memo to the construction of CCRC following an inspection by the technical wing of the board.
“The report of KIIFB clearly stated that mass corruption was involved in executing the project. They found serious irregularities in the concreting work. Instead of the stipulated materials, the scaffolding was done using bamboo poles. Even the ground was not properly strengthened before the scaffolding was erected. Financial fraud is evident in this project and it should be probed. We will use this against the LDF in our upcoming election campaign as well,” said Abdul Muthalib, district panchayat vice-president and a senior Congress leader.Earlier, Hibi Eden, MP, had also alleged corruption in tendering the work to INKEL.