No solution in sight to contractors' woes

The impasse over the non-payment of bills to civil contractors who have taken up BBMP infrastructure projects continued on Wednesday with both the Palike and the contractors refusing to budge from their positions.

The Contractors’ Association has launched an indefinite strike, with work on projects worth over Rs 500 crore being stalled, over non-clearance of arrears totalling Rs 1,800 crore.

“The Mayor, who returned to the City from Dubai Wednesday morning, has promised to find a solution. He has stated that BBMP will release Rs 400 crore in the next three to four days towards payment of pending bills.

However, till the payment of the pending bills, we will not resume work on the projects,” said R J Srinivas, president of BBMP Contractors’ Association.

Earlier in the day, BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel met the Finance Department officials to sort out the issue of releasing funds to the BBMP.

“The BBMP has proposed that Rs 1,200 crore be released to tide over the financial crisis and ensure payment of bills. We can only hope for the best,” said Goel.

The Contractors’ Association had, on Tuesday, laid siege to the BBMP head office, demanding the immediate release of the arrears.

The association said works related to construction of stormwater drains, road-widening projects on Hosur Road and Mysore Road and underpass construction at KR Puram will come to a halt till the Palike clears the bills.

“BBMP has not paid us for the past one year and we are facing problems in paying our workers and material suppliers,” said Srinivas.

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