Members of the BBMP Contractors’ Association staged a protest at the Corporation head office on Thursday against bills kept pending for the last one year. The agitating contractors also allegedly locked the BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel’s office for more than one hour.
Civil contractors have stopped ongoing development works such as construction of underpass, storm water drain and asphaltation of roads.
Vice-president of the Association G M Ravindra said that the BBMP owes Rs 2,000 crore to over 1,300 contractors for the past one year.
“We have met Commissioner Rajneesh Goel many times and he had assured us of clearing the pending bills. But nothing has happened,” he said.
It can be mentioned that contractors had staged a protest last year when M K Shankarlinge Gowda was the Commissioner.
“That time, the Corporation had paid Rs 1,000 crore to contractors in instalments. But in the last one year, no payment has been made. How can we live and continue the ongoing works without money?” he questioned.
Now, the association has decided to continue its stir from Friday.
“We are also planning to take out a protest rally from the BBMP office to Chief Minister’s residence on October 8. In the coming days, contractors working for the PWD and the BWSSB will also join us. Even garbage contractors will join our stir for one day,” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a symposium on segregation of waste organised by Rajajinagar Industries Association, Goel said that they have to pay around Rs 2,000 crore to contractors.
“The State government has to pay Rs 1,200 crore. I have already written to the Urban Development Department in this regard. We are expecting to receive the funds in the next 15 days,” Goel said.
He said the BBMP is yet to receive a loan of Rs 800 crore from HUDCO and another Rs 600 crore as betterment charges. “We will clear their bills at the earliest,” he assured.
Goel also said the Corporation is planning to put contractors bills on its website. “The payment will be made based on seniority. We will not give their amount through cheques like earlier. Instead, we shall take their bank account number and transfer the money through Electronic clearing service (ECS),” he added.