Gorkhatimes

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Contractors stop work on NH 55 for non-payment of bills

Posted by Ramesh Khati on June 15, 2009

Kurseong, 14 June: The Kurseong Contactors Association of National Highway 55 will intensify their agitation if their demands are not fulfilled soon. Following the non-payment of bills to the contractors of NH 55, the Kurseong and Darjeeling Contactors Association of National Highway 55 have jointly stopped all ongoing work on NH 55 since three days ago. The Kurseong Contactors Association NH 55, secretary, Mr Bharat Pradhan, said: “We have been deprived of our bills (about Rs 2.5 crore, including security deposits). The bills have been pending since 1992-93.”
Mr Bharat Pradhan furthered: “Whenever we demand our due bills of the concerned department (National Highway Division 9 – Siliguri) the division officials always tells that the bills have not been released so far by the concerned higher authorities. When we go to Delhi the officials there say that the bills have already been released and the bills would be given from the state authorities.” Mr Pradhan continued: “Besides to the state finance minister, Mr Ashim Dasgupta, we have submitted several deputations to different ministers and authorities on the matter but to no avail. Around six to seven months ago, we had also submitted a deputation to the then minister of road and transport Mr TR Balu, in Delhi.”
With the help of court cases against the concerned department, some contractors have got there due bills with interest, but not every contractor is able financially to take a case to court against the concerned department. Mr Pradhan threatened that within two weeks, if the department fails to release their dues bills, they will intensify their agitation including road blockades on NH 55. The executive engineer, NH Division 9- Siliguri , Mr N Mondal, said that, concerning the due bills, officials are taking measures and soon would send a letter to the chief executive engineer and others concerned regarding the matter.

Source: The Statesman

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