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Retired bureaucrat, 3 others held for alleged graft in flyover

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Press Trust of India Kochi
Retired Kerala PWD secretary T O Sooraj and three others were arrested on Friday by the state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau for alleged corruption in the construction of a flyover here during the previous Congress-led UDF rule, officials said.
They were arrested based on "evidences of corruption" gathered against them in connection with the "poor construction" quality of the flyover, closed for traffic from May 1 after it started developing cracks within three years of being built, Vigilance officials said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has ordered the Vigilance probe into the construction of the 750-metre-long Kochi Palarivattom flyover which was inaugurated in October, 2016.
Sooraj, already facing a disproportionate wealth case, was arrested following his interrogation by the Vigilance sleuths on Thursday at its office here.
Others arrested are a top official of the company which constructed the flyover and two officials of a premier technical consultancy organisation, Vigilance officials said.
According to them, the tender for the construction of the project was awarded during Sooraj's stint as the PWD secretary.
Sooraj, who had faced similar corruption charges while in service, was suspended by the government in 2014 in connection with the charges of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The Vigilance had last week interrogated former PWD minister and IUML MLA V K Ebrahim Kunju in connection with the flyover case.
He has dismissed as "politically motivated" the allegations that he was responsible for the poor quality of the bridge, built when he was the PWD minister.
He, however, had admitted there were problems in the construction.
A report submitted by Metroman E Sreedharan had said the flyover built at a cost of Rs 42 crore was supposed to have a life span of over 100 years.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 7:45 PM IST

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