PUDUCHERRY: Pushed to the wall by the PWD with dues pending for six years, the Builders Association of India, Puducherry, has given an ultimatum to the government to pay up in the next 15 days failing which they will stop all ongoing work in the Union Territory including COVID-19 emergency work.
Former chairman S Parthasarathi in a press communication said that over Rs 100 crore is outstanding from the PWD for the work done in the last six years. In the Pondicherry region alone, about Rs 60 crore is outstanding to contractors who have executed work after being awarded tenders.
Apart from this, Rs 40 crore is outstanding for contractors who have done emergency work on nomination basis. The government has also withheld the security deposit and earnest money deposit which have not been refunded.
The association had also conveyed the plight of the contractors to the Lt Governor, Chief Minister, PWD Minister, Chief Secretary, Secretary (Works) and Chief Engineer, urging them to take action and giving a letter requesting settlement of outstanding dues. Already three contractors have committed suicide.
“We invest in this business by lending and borrowing from banks and private financial institutions, which are pressurizing us for payment of interest. Without receiving payment from the government, we are not able to pay the interest at a time when our livelihoods are at stake," he said.
“We had cooperated with the government with a lot of patience till now and cannot any further," he said. Since there was no positive approach from the government, if the outstanding amount is not paid within 15 days, the association along with other construction associations will join together and engage in a series of agitations and stop all ongoing work in the Union Territory including COVID-19 emergency work, he said.