KOCHI: Claiming that the existing Palarivattom flyover has only minor structural issues, the Association of Structural and Geotechnical Consulting Engineers (ASGCE) has demanded the state government to conduct the ‘load test’ on the structure and requested to revoke the decision to demolish it.
“The bridge has only minor issues and they can be easily rectified. Without doing a load test, why is the government adamantly going ahead with the demolition plan?” Kurian Mathew, who retired as the chief engineer of PWD, asked at a press conference held at Ernakulam Press Club on Monday.
The office-bearers of ASGCE said such a demolition would lead to considerable environmental pollution and incur huge financial loss. “The decision to demolish the flyover is not taken by the engineering wing of PWD. The state government should publish the second report submitted by IIT Madras on the Palarivattom flyover. We doubt that E Sreedharan might have committed a mistake while assessing the structure,” said Yakub Mohan George, who retired as the chief engineer of NH Wing of PWD.
The engineers also said the high-power committee’s decision to demolish the flyover was taken without getting an expert opinion. “The committee came to the conclusion without an in-depth study or expert opinion. An environmental impact study of the entire process should be done. Moreover, there is a standing procedure for demolishing a flyover which has been grossly violated,” said S Suresh, former president of ASGCE.
There would be no risk if light vehicles such as cars and motorcycles are permitted on the flyover. “Following the report from the IIT, Madras, around Rs 3 crore has been spent on strengthening the flyover. A decision to demolish it, after spending such an amount, would not be apt,” he added .