After boycotting the developmental works and go for hunger strikes, the Valley based contractors have decided to take their case to the Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on his ensuing Kashmir visit on June 25.
However, the contractors under the banner of Jammu and Kashmir Central Contractors Coordination Committee (JKCCCC) have chosen a different way of highlighting their demands—welcoming PM with presentation of a black flag.
While flaying the state government from backtracking from its promises, general secretary of JKCCCC, Farooq Ahmad Dar, in a statement said that presentation of the black flag as a “welcome gesture” may be unpleasant for the state authorities, but he hastened to add “it is the last thing we can do to mark our protest.”
“The state government’s reluctance in meeting our demands has forced us to greet PM in such an unsavory way. He (PM) is going to inaugurate the Banihal-Qazigund rail section on June 25. We have decided to assemble at the spot and greet him a black flag,” pledged Dar.
Notably, as all the developmental works have been boycotted from June 20, 2013 onwards, Dar showed no signs of calling off the strike until the government relents to the contractors demands.
“Flyovers, commercial complexes, Tehzeeb Mahal at TRC, shopping complex Ram Bagh, Rs 20 crore drug store at JVC hospital, SIDCO bridge at Shopain, Moghul road etc are some of the big projects to have been hit by the ongoing boycott of developmental works,” Dar informed.
“The withholding of massive funds (owing to paucity of funds in Treasury department) is heavily telling upon us. We warn the government to release our pending bills or we would soon announce 72 hour 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 organization 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 it (government) that prolonged insensitivity towards 70,000 contractors must end,” he said.
Dar also flayed the handling of the e-tendering and e-billing process in Kashmir. While pitching for regulations in its functioning, Dar said that the process should be set in motion in sync with the weather vagaries in the state.