Twisting the government’s arm in relenting to their demands, the Valley based contractors have stopped renovation work of government residences of some of the top notch politicians and bureaucrats.
The decision to strike the refurbishing, sources that comes in the midst of the contractors having already boycotted the developmental works across the valley from June 20, 2013 onwards.
Notably, the contractors had called for the boycott programme with the anticipation that something “might come in their way”, and government might release the pending bills worth Rs 700 crores it owes them (contractors).
However, as government hardly budged an inch from its stand, the sources said that they (contractors) under the banner of J&K Central Contractors Coordination Committee (JKCCCC) abruptly decided to take the fight to its (government’s) court.
While confirming the halt of renovation works, General Secretary, JKCCCC, Farooq Ahmad Dar said, “We have stopped renovation of residences of MoS Home Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo, Minister for Tourism, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khanday, Speaker, J&K Legislative Assembly, Mubarak Gul and Justice M M Kumar.”
He also announced that JKCCCC would hold a massive rally which will pass through different parts of Srinagar, particularly, the city center of Lal Chowk. Dar added that “callous” attitude of government is forcing more than 70,000 contractors in Kashmir to resort to what “is in the bad interests of commoners, contractors as well as the government.”
On some of the biggest projects hit by the ongoing halt of works, Dar said work on flyovers, commercial complexes, Tehzeeb Mahal at TRC, shopping complex at Ram Bagh, Rs 20 crore drug store at JVC hospital, SIDCO bridge at Shopain, Moghul road has been stopped indefinitely.
“The withholding of massive funds (owing to paucity of funds in Treasuries) is heavily telling upon us. We warn the government to release our pending bills or we would soon announce a 72 hour long hunger strike programme,” he added.
While reiterating that government is insensitive to contractor’s demands, Dar said “The tall claims of the government are farce as it owes us bills worth Rs 700 crores. Such an astronomical amount would make any one to come on roads,” Dar said.
“We don’t understand that despite completing developmental works on time why the government is delaying our payments. We warn the government that prolonged insensitivity towards 70,000 contractors must end,” he said.