Palarivattom flyover: only the tip of the iceberg was revealed, says HC; contractor denied bond

KOCHI: On Wednesday he refused to grant bail to the managing director of RDS Projects and the former secretary in the case alleging corruption in the overflight agreement.

Although it was argued that there is nothing to suggest that the quality of construction was poor, since no load test was performed, the court cited refused to accept and cited reports from the Highway Research Institute based on collected samples.

While he denied the bail bonds (BA Nos. 6713, 6721, 6732 and 6734 of 2019) to the first defendant Sumeet Goyal and the fourth defendant to TO Sooraj, Judge Sunil Thomas said at the trial that they are influential and cannot be granted the deposit at this stage. The court also denied bail to the second defendant MT Thankachan, additional general manager of RBDCK for his alleged participation in the bidding process, participation in the bidding meeting, the processing of bids and all other subsequent stages. Bail was granted to the third defendant Benny Paul, former joint general manager of KITCO, since the only accusation against him was that he conducted a technical evaluation of the three tenders.

The court said a broader conspiracy could be involved and that what is revealed now is only one tip of the iceberg. “Prima facie, there are materials that suggest that there has been a dangerous commitment in the quality of the work done that could be for pecuniary benefit. All responsible persons have not yet been identified. It seems that a wider and deeper conspiracy is involved and what is revealed so far may only be the tip of the iceberg. Definitely, the investigation has to move forward with determination and lead to its logical conclusion, ”said the ruling.

When considering the question of whether prima facie collected materials show poor construction quality, the court considered three reports from three different agencies that carried out the site inspection and conducted scientific tests on the collected samples. These reports indicate that there are substantial materials to doubt the resistance of spring caps, beams and other superstructures, depending on the fault.

In revealing the results of the tests, the court ruling also said: There are indications that the spring covers, beams and the overpass as such were designed to achieve a minimum amount of concrete and did not meet the deflection criteria necessary. Even without live load, most of the beams and the tops of the docks exhibited cracks. Some of the cracks were beyond the permissible limits. Cracks were also observed in the unimportant part of the overpass.

The tests performed at the overpass on the site indicated that the quality of the concrete was doubtful. A considerable number of concrete cores extracted from the tops and beams of the pier, which were subjected to several scientific tests failed to meet the minimum standard compressive strength. The bearings above the dock caps got stuck immediately after the road opened and parts of certain bearings were in difficulty.

In light of the visible cracks that have developed on the tops of the docks, beams and other parts of the superstructures, together with substantial materials that indicate the dubious integrity of the concrete used, the petitioners' claim that the proof of Loading was not performed and there was no material to suggest that the construction quality was poor should be negligible.