THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has put up a spirited defence of the upcoming Vyttila flyover in Kochi in the wake of reports that there were lapses in its construction. Following complaints, a high-level meeting, chaired by Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran, has decided to go for a ‘core test’ by Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) to further ascertain the strength of the flyover.
The minister said the government was not shying away from conducting further tests on the ongoing flyover project. Even though three entities — Public Works Department (PWD) NH wing, PWD Quality Control wing and Mar Athanasius College — assessed the construction, the government was committed to checking the strength of the flyover once again, he said.
The high-level meeting also decided to formally request IIT Madras to check the technical aspects of the flyover. “It is to be noted that Prof B Nageswara Rao of IIT Madras has conducted a design inspection on July 1 and had stated in his report that the design and drawings of the flyover were found to be in accordance with standard procedures,” the minister said.
It is a wide group of analysis techniques used in science and technology industry to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage
Rebound hammer test
It is used to assess the relative compressive strength of concrete based on the hardness of the exposed surface
It is a unique tool for the safety assessment of existing concrete structures by running compression tests on the concrete core drilled from the concrete surface
Official at fault
According to the minister, the PWD manual recommends that if there is a major discrepancy in the findings of two agencies, an independent agency should be called for assessment. The results of this independent agency should be final.
However, the Assistant Executive Engineer (Quality Control) did not inform her superiors about her findings, and allegedly leaked the inspection report. “The official’s moves, with vested interest, caused inconvenience to the government, the Works Department and the public. Instead of certifying the test result, the official raised allegations against her superiors leading to her suspension pending inquiry,” the minister said.
Sudhakaran said the Assistant Executive Engineer had faced disciplinary action in the past too for illegal activities. It is wrong to say the official was suspended for pointing out irregularities. “This government has never shied away from taking action against any sort of irregularity,” he said.
The Public Works Minister said the Pinarayi Vijayan government carries out public works strictly adhering to norms. “This flyover is unlike the one in Palarivattom which was riddled with serious flaws in design, reinforcement and supervision,” Sudhakaran said. He said a special committee, chaired by PWD secretary and three chief engineers had been constituted for administrative and technical supervision of the flyovers at Vyttila and Kundannoor.