Authorities fail to break deadlock with boycotting contractors

The failure of Jammu and Kashmir administration to break the deadlock with boycotting contractors – demanding release of pending bills – have halted all development works in the state.

A senior official informed that Advisor to Governor KK Sharma recently held a meeting with Joint Contractors Coordination Committee (JCCC), which is spearheading the protest against the government for failing to release unpaid liability of Rs 1,024 crore to these contractors. 

The meeting was also attended by the commissioner secretary public works department, chief engineer roads and building Kashmir and representatives of JCCC.

“Government representatives urged the JCCC to call off their strike and resume work on all developmental projects. However, contractors categorically rejected the government offer to resume work unless their  bills are not cleared,” the official said.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir, co-chairman, JCCC, Ghulam Jeelani Purza said “We have decided to continue boycott all developmental works as the state government is not showing any sincerity to resolve our grievances.”

“We were called for a meeting with Advisor Sharma who asked us to call off the strike. He assured us that he would fix up meeting with chief secretary and finance department to resolve our issues, but we asked them to release our payments first,” he added.

“In past government authorities have hoodwinked us by these false assurances. This time we categorically told them to release our payments first then talk of resumption of work. “

Co-chairman of JCCC Farooq Dar, who was also present in the meeting, said, “Government representatives assured us that they will resolve our issues. But we asked them to release payments even if they do it phase wise. “

“We told the advisor that if we will start work our pending payments will continue to linger on,” Dar said adding that advisor assured that he will take up the issue with the governor.

Development works including languishing projects and repair of roads have come to halt as the state government has failed to release unpaid payment of contractors amounting to Rs 1,024 crore.

Normally in April the work on development projects used to be on full swing as the Kashmir witnesses slump in construction activities during winter months due to low temperatures. However this year situation is totally different as the work on all the important projects have come to halt following the boycott call given by joint coordination committee of contractors who are seeking release of their bills amounting to Rs 1024 crore.