Kerala: ED raids Paliyekkara toll plaza office over alleged corruption in NH stretch construction
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) started a raid at Thrissur's Paliyekkara toll plaza company in connection with the National Highway construction project. The raid was conducted based on a complaint alleging financial irregularities in the project.
Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) who started a raid at the office of the Paliyekkara Toll Plaza in Thrissur on Monday has completed 24 hours. The raid was conducted based on a complaint alleging financial irregularities against the toll plaza company in connection with the National Highway construction project. The Guruvayur Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (GIPL) that operates the toll was charge-sheeted by the CBI for corruption in the building of NH 544 (formerly NH 47). In continuation with this, the ED conducted a search at the toll plaza on Monday. GIPL is a collaboration between two Hyderabad- and Kolkata-based private businesses.
From the toll office, the ED team from Kochi has retrieved a number of documents. The agency intends to extend the investigation to Hyderabad, the location of GIPL's head office.
The complaint against GIPL is that it violated the terms of the concession agreement by constructing poor-quality roads along the approximately 27 km between Mannuthy and Edappally, with a total thickness of semi-dense bituminous concrete and macadam of only 7.5 cm as opposed to the 10 cm required by the agreement at various locations.
Before conducting a raid, ED officers went through the F.I.R. that the CBI had prepared. The ED claims that employees are also complicit in financial fraud. The authorities are investigating the toll plaza employees' bank accounts and financial dealings. The ED is also looking into claims of corruption in the acquisition of tar and the construction of service roads.