Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 02 December 2020 12.44 PM IST

Editorial: The Symbol that Palarivattom flyover now represents


Palarivarivattom is not a mere flyover for Malayalis now. It has become a concrete symbol of corruption.. Alongwith that it also now becomes a reason for showing us the other side of it - non-corruption and truth.

The flyover will be reconstructed under the leadership of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation or DMRC. Interestingly, the government won’t have to spend money for that. The DMRC had built four bridges in connection with the Delhi Metro. In that, there was a balance of Rs 17.4 cr and this amount will be used for completing the work.
We have to set aside politics and will look into the facts that had led to this stage of reconstruction. Because, if we keep on talking politics, the bridge will be falling on our head.

What led to the reconstruction of the flyover was the strong intervention by two persons.

One was Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the other was Publics Works Minister G Sudhakaran. Any one examining behind-the-curtain scenes would be able understand that they performed their responsibility and duty towards the people without any loss of strength.
The flyover was completed during the tenure of the UDF government.

The LDF government had only given a coat of paint. Following this, the flyover’s weak structures came to the notice of the public and controversy ensued.
Despite the demand for demolishing the whole flyover and reconstructing it, the Public Works department on May 1, 2019, took three important decisions.
It was the order to shut down the flyover after examination. Another was a demand put forward to the chief minister for a Vigilance probe. The third one was appointing Madras IIT team for expert study.

The CM immediately ordered a Vigilance inquiry.
In between, Sreedharan’s opinion that there was no need for complete demolition of the flyover hit headline.

Minister Sudhakaran met Sreedharan and asked for a report.

The report he submitted said that there was only need to demolish 10 p c of the flyover and once that is reconstructed, the flyover will have a life of 100 years.
In September 2019, the government issued an order, handing over the work to the DMRC. But the ontractors’ private organisation moved the High Court and got the order that said load testing could be done.

The government appealed against this in the Supreme Court. There the contractors said it was Sreedharan’s ego that had worsened the situation.

Countering this, the Attorney General K K Venugopal asked: “In the sixties, when he was just 30 years, he completed the work of Pampan bridge in 46 days while it should have been completed in six months’ time. Are you not ashamed to say like that against an engineer of such a calibre?”. The Supreme Court also agreed to this.
Here those who committed corruption themselves delayed the reconstruction of the bridge. Otherwise, DMRC would have completed the work by now itself.
Anyhow, who is coming is Metro Man. Though he has said that he may need nine months to complete the work, let us hope that he will complete it before the term of the LDF ends.

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