DK, Udupi PWD contractors threaten to stop works

Rs 38 cr dues pending in Mlore division, Rs 20 cr in Udupi division

  If the authorities fail to make the payment, then all the ongoing development works will be stopped, said Association Vice-President Radhakrishna Nayak.

Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday, he threatened to lock PWD office for non payment of bills for the work done. The government representatives of the people and PWD officials will be responsible for any loss incurred due to these measures of the Contractors Association.

He said PWD Contractors of undivided Dakshina Kannada district are facing a grave financial crisis due to the non-payment of their bills by the Karnataka government. During 2010-11 alone, the government has kept pending bills worth Rs 38 crore in Mangalore division and Rs 20 crore in Udupi division.

Nayak said earlier government used to supply the materials and contractors were working on work contracts. But today, the contractors are made to bear the burden of materials as well. The supply of steel, pellets and sand has become very difficult. The cost of these material is fluctuating now and then. Between these problems contractors are manning the contracts by taking private loans by mortgaging jewellery or raising bank or other loans. If the  government fails to clear the bills which are pending since two three years, the contractors have no option but to liquidate their houses and assets or commit suicide, he added.

Member M Mohammed said “Clearing the bank interest and installments have become a difficult task. PWD has to pay me Rs 3 crore for the work undertaken. I have already paid Rs 1.8 crore as interest to the bank. If we approach the court, court directs PWD to clear the bill. However, PWD officials give a standard dialogue, the bills will be cleared as soon as we get funds from the government.”

Citing an example, they said State government had sanctioned Rs 17 crore projects to improve roads of Ujire before Vishwa Tulu Sammelana. However, keeping in mind the deadline and the prestige of the district, the contractors completed the work on time by working day and night. Unfortunately, the government has cleared only Rs 2 crore and the balance of Rs 15 crore is kept pending,” he added. 

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