BBMP contractors to halt civic works from July 8 over unpaid dues

Manjunath claimed that despite the civic body having the required funds, it has not cleared their pending bills.
Image used for representation only.
Image used for representation only.Express Illustrations

BENGALURU: Civic works underway in Bengaluru City are likely to grind to a halt from July 8, with the BBMP Contractors Association deciding to go on protest, citing the non-release of payments by the Palike. The association members have alleged that payments to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore due to them, have been pending with the BBMP for over 24 months now. Accordingly, all ward-level works, including road construction, white-topping, lake development, and tasks related to stormwater drains, will be affected.

Speaking to TNIE, contractors association president Manjunath KT said, “We have repeatedly urged BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath to clear our pending bills. However, we have not received any concrete reply from him, compelling us to halt our work from July 8.” Manjunath claimed that despite the civic body having the required funds, it has not cleared its pending bills. Making scathing allegations of bribery against Palike officials, Manjunath stated, “BBMP engineers have cleared bills for the works carried out two-and-half years ago. They have cleared the bills of only those who grease their palms and have kept the bills of other contractors, who refuse to pay bribes, on hold. For some contractors, 75 per cent of the bills have been cleared, while the remaining 25 per cent is kept on hold, with the engineers clearing them only if they are bribed.” 

‘CM’s intervention would help us’

The contractors have invested crores of rupees on machinery and equipment, and have borrowed from banks, and money lenders on high rates of interest. Many are stuck in debt traps and are unable to recover due to the delay in bills being cleared by the BBMP, he said.

Manjunath also expected that the officials would apprise CM Siddaramaiah and Dy CM DK Shivakumar about their protest, hoping that their intervention would push the BBMP to clear the bills before they halt the works.

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