Contractors Association meets LG Ladakh, lists demands

Contractors Association members during a meeting with LG of Ladakh R K Mathur in Leh on Wednesday.
Contractors Association members during a meeting with LG of Ladakh R K Mathur in Leh on Wednesday.

Excelsior Correspondent
LEH, Feb 2: Lt. Governor, R K Mathur today gave a patient listening to the problems raised by the Contractors Association Leh Ladakh led by Chairman Tonyot Tashi Chulichan, Dorjay Namgail Shangstot senior Executive Member, Tsewang Dorjay Gasha, Treasure and Sonam Gyaltson Barzi, senior Member this morning at Raj Niwas. Tonyot, on behalf of over 650 members Association, raised five main points related to the issues they are faced with in the meeting.
He pointed out a glaring issue of existence of an outdated 2012 SOR (Schedule of Rates) still used by Rural Development Department (RDD) to execute their works. This is in stark difference with the way PWD is working as per their updated SoR, 2020 of J&K, and it is being revised and adapted to UT structure, he said.
Moreover, Tonyot brought up the current phase of uncertainty among Ladakh based contractors in view of bigger companies taking over the conventional projects, usually undertaken by them, in the UT scenario. This, he said, is most detrimental to the morale of individual contractors in particular and an unhealthy trend being set having potential long term socio-economic ramifications.
In this regard, he sought LG’s intervention towards seriously involving the Ladakh contractors and evolve ways such as encouraging joint venture (JV) approach enabling the contractors to work with bigger companies and thereby gain experience to enhance their level of experience in times to come.
Tonyot sought that ‘all kinds of civil works’ experience be counted for now in case of application for participating in tenders floated by existing operational organisations in Ladakh like CPWD,NPCC, NHPC,PWD,PMGSY,WABCOS, NHIDCL, etc. He pointed out that Ladakh based contractors have a unique experience of working in high altitude conditions of Ladakh, which must be taken into account while setting guidelines for participation in tenders.
The meeting was fruitful as LG listened to them with great interest and care, and gave assurances that solutions to the problems will be worked out soon.
The Lt. Governor most generously extended the meeting scheduled time of 15-minutes to 45 minutes to discuss other things like PMGSY.CRF, new projects, BADP and Kumbh Mela funds. Any long pending dues were also raised and clearances sought urgently. Contractors appealed to make EMD as ‘one time fixed’ for which ‘any kind of civil works’ experience be made sufficient for participation in tenders floated under this project funds.