Palarivattom overbridge: V. K. Ebrahimkunju denies knowledge of lapses
Kochi: Vigilance officials on Thursday questioned former Public Works Department (PWD) minister V. K. Ebrahimkunju in connection with the corruption in the construction of Palarivattom overbridge. He was summoned to the vigilance officer here and was questioned by a team of officials led by DySP Ashok Kumar.
Speaking to media persons after the questioning, Ebrahimkunju admitted that lapses had occurred in the overbridge construction but denied any knowledge about it. Ebrahimkunju said the investigation was to find those responsible for it and assured that he would completely cooperate with the investigation.
The investigation team had informed the Muvattupuzha vigilance court that several persons had to be questioned in connection with the corruption in the construction of Palarivattom overbridge. Following this the probe team questioned Ebrahimkunju.
Ebrahimkunju said that corruption allegations levelled against him by Left organisations were politically motivated. Several CPM leaders had said that corruption and lapses in the overbridge construction would not have taken place without the knowledge of Ebrahimkunju, who was the then PWD minister.
Ebrahimkunju stated that such allegations are baseless and added that the sitting Chief Minister and PWD Minister had not raised such complaints. Stating that he was unaware of the lapses, Ebrahimkunju said that construction of the overbridge would not have taken place had he knew about it.
Ebrahimkunju also said the lapses were not found even when the overbridge was inaugurated. Had the present government knew about the lapses in construction, would the CM inaugurate such a project? the former minister asked.
Reiterating that lapses had occurred during bridge construction Ebrahimkunju said the probe was to identify the culprits.
Stating an example, Ebrahimkunju said that lapses had occurred during the construction of Enathu bridge but corrective measures were taken. He added that there will be stringent action against the culprits.
It must be remembered that Ebrahimkunju was of the opinion that he had only approved the project and that the officials were responsible for the defects.
Vigilance had found that severe corruption had taken place in the Palarivattom overbridge construction. The vigilance had named the contractor, consultancy and overseeing company as accused in the case.