More arraigned in Kerala flyover corruption case

More arraigned in Kerala flyover corruption case

The flyover on NH-66 at Palarivattom was commissioned in October 2016, but had to be closed in 2019 over safety concerns. Credit: File photo.

While the arrest of a Kerala former minister V K Ebrahim Kunju in connection with the corruption in construction of a flyover in Kerala has triggered allegations of political ploy, the state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau has arraigned a series of officials who were involved in the process of awarding the work.

A day after the minister's arrest, B V Nagesh, who heads the Bengaluru-based Nagesh Consultants that designed the flyover, was also arrested by the Vigilance after being summoned to Kerala. Senior IAS officer Mohammed Hanish, who was managing director of Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala that initiated the flyover project was also arraigned as accused. On Friday, the Vigilance went a step ahead by arraigning four more middle and senior level officials of the Public Works Department who were involved in sanctioning payments of the work.

Government sources said that the fresh moves, which is considered as a measure to resist allegations of political ploy behind the minister's arrest, has not gone down well with the officials. Former public works secretary T O Sooraj was earlier arrested in this case in August 2019.

Meanwhile, the vigilance special court has directed that a medical board should be constituted to examine the health condition of Ebrahim Kunju. Kunju got hospitalised a day ahead of his arrest and he is still in hospital under judicial remand.

The flyover on NH-66 at Palarivattom in Kochi was constructed at a cost for Rs 42 crore and commissioned in October 2016. But it had to be closed in May 2019 following safety concerns and being reconstructed under supervision of Metro man E Sreedharan.