Demanding payment of pending bills worth Rs 200 cr, civil contractors on Tuesday held a protest demonstration outside the office of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir.
The protesting contractors under the banner of J&K Central Contractors Coordination Committee also held a march towards the government treasury at Tankipora and threatened to lockdown its main gate.
Addressing media at the protest site, Farooq Dar, general secretary, JKCCCC said the protest was against the government failure to release their bills which are pending with various departments since first quarter of the current financial year.
The contractors who undertake works for various government departments have also recently threatened to stop work on all developmental projects and boycott tenders from January 22 in case their pending payments are not released.”Government should have cleared the bills of all the contractors in time. It seems government is deliberately ignoring Kashmir and letting its people suffer,” Dar said.
The protesting contractors threatened to come out on the roads and forcibly lock all the treasuries if their payment was not released.”Government is leaving us with no option but to come on road and take harsh steps,”said Dar.
JKCCCC has expressed concern that if government did not release payments and further funds for the development of Valley’s infrastructure, “funds will lapse and also be diverted to Jammu”.”Winter has already set in and the current financial year is also coming to close. If funds for infrastructure are not released, then only either Jammu will be benefited or the funds will lapse,” said Dar. “Government is doing sheer injustice with contractors, which is also affecting developmental works in the Valley. Bills worth Rs 200 crore are pending with government departments which are not being released for unknown reasons,” said Dar. He said despite the completion of works in time, certificates allotted to the contractors by the departments including Finance, Planning and Works are pending with the government. Dar said the contractors are not against online system of government treasuries but the “intention of state government is not clear on this issue,” he added.