Contractors lock CE’s office, lodge protest

Bills worth crores not being cleared

Excelsior Correspondent

RAJOURI, Apr 1: A large number of contractors today locked the office of Chief Engineer (R&B) and held strong protest here demanding release of their pending bills worth crores against various development and road works.
They claimed that the current financial year has ended, but the bills raised against various development works, including roads and buildings in Rajouri district have not been cleared by the R&B authorities. Due to this, the contractors who have done the works are worried. They said the bills are pending for a long time now and the same were not passed even on March 31 or before it by the concerned officers in Rajouri.
The aggrieved contractors of the PWD department on Monday first locked the office of the Chief Engineer PW(R&B) and then lodged strong protest demonstration outside the Executive Engineer’s office. They raised slogans against the senior officials of the department and the LG Administration.
The contractors, protesting under the banner of Contractors Association Rajouri while lashing out at the poor functioning of the department, said that the department has got the development works done by issuing tenders, but they are not being paid for these works. Development works were done by taking loans from the banks, so that the works could be completed on time and the department could release the money without delay. But the bills for the development works done in various areas were being kept pending for a long time and now even after the end of the financial year, the bills were not cleared. Due to this, the contractors are facing difficulty in doing other development works.
Contractors Shafqat Wani, Raja Magare, Sanjay Kumar, Arif Ahmed and Sajid Iqbal who were among the protesters said that they have got the development works done in Rajouri by taking loan. It is alleged that the bills are pending in the concerned AE and JE offices and have not been paid yet. Many times Association members have requested the officials to pay the bills but official do not bother. They warned if the bills were not cleared soon, they would take their family members along with them and stage a violent protest shortly.

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