KOCHI: Ther Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Friday arrested former PWD secretary TO Sooraj and three others in the Palarivattom flyover construction graft case after summoning them to its office here. The others held were construction company RDS Project’s managing director Sumith Goyal, KITCO ex-MD Benny Paul and Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) former assistant general manager MT Thankachan.
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“We’ve collected concrete evidence of corruption in the Palarivattom flyover from its tendering process to construction stage. Sooraj, as PWD secretary, took interest to see the work was granted to RDS. Both KITCO and RBDCK were in favour of that company,” an officer said.
The scientific examination of samples collected by the VACB from the flyover revealed inadequacy of cement and steel used in the construction. “Benny Paul, who was heading the project’s consulting agency KITCO, didn’t supervise the construction. RBDCK (the agency assigned by the government to oversee the construction) officer Thankachan was aware of the inferior quality of construction,” said an officer.
Arrested four produced before Vigilance court
The arrested persons were produced before the Vigilance Court in Muvattupuzha and remanded. The VACB will seek their custody soon. More persons involved in the flyover construction will be interrogated in the coming days. The flyover, commissioned in 2016, was closed in May after cracks appeared.
A team from IIT-Madras, which had first inspected the structure built spending `42 crore, submitted a report to PWD Minister G Sudhakaran highlighting the flaws. Palarivattom flyover was sanctioned in 2014 as part of the UDF government’s Sustainable and Planned Effort to Ensure Infrastructure Development programme, which included 50 infrastructure development projects.