Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) Contractors Coordination Committee Thursday staged protest demonstrations at JKTDC headquarters, demanding immediate release of their pending payments.
Protesting contractors said that they were forced to take streets as authorities have failed to release their due payments from past two years.
"We demand immediate release of our due payments, which are pending for more than two years despite chief minster herself released the funds to the state tourism corporation and issued directions to TDC for clearing the liabilities," said Mehraj-u-Din Khan, a protestor.
Ghulam Ahmad Rather, another protestor, said that the contractors' body has time and again taken up the matter with concerned officials and discussed in detail about the grievances and demands pertaining to pending payment on account of various works executed under the instruction of the chief minister.
"The works were executed under 24 hours work schedule to ensure timely completion of these works as the department was under pressure for the allotment of these properties including Hotels, Huts Rooms for Bureaucrats and other dignitaries of the government," said Riyaz Ahmad Qadri, adding, "The contractors executed the non-stop works upon borrowings from banks, friends and relatives. However only nominal payments were released and our hardships were compounded by sudden uprising and disturbed conditions during 2016."
Umar Hayat, a protestor, said that contractors after relentlessly insisting for the due payment and with the personal intervention of then commissioner secretary and the chief minster funds to the tune of Rs 30 crores were released for payment against works executed and handed over to the corporation.
"Unfortunately upon transfer of the funds payment to the JKTDC the employees got our due payment stayed. The stay has been got vacated and the funds transferred are free from any other encumbrance. However, authorities are delaying the process," said InayatBhat.
After staging protest, contractors staged day long sit-in outside the office of JKTDC vice chairman Muhammad Rafi Mir.
"We have called on Mir about our grievance and demands several times in past, appealed him to issue necessary orders for release of payment in our favour to relieve us and our families from hardship and sufferings due to withholding of our due payments. Despite his assurances, nothing was done," said Bhat.
Contractor's body said that they would intensify their protests in case their demand is not met forthwith.