Electrical contractors protest against non-payment of bills

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Sept 12: The members of J&K Electrical and Civil Contractors Association (JKECCA) held a protest demonstration today at press enclave here against the non-payment of their pending bills despite completion of work two years back.
The protesting contractors alleged that the Power Development Department (PDD) has not been paying its dues to the sub-contractors despite completion of the work since years together. “We are 200 sub-contractors who were engaged for creating Power Development infrastructure under the flagship programme (RAPDRP-B) at various worksites and started working on the project from four years. We were promised that whatever works allotted and undertaken would be paid on submission of the bill within 15 days and complete payment at the completion of the works. Despite completion of works from more than two years, the payment has not been paid yet,” Mohammad Iqbal Wani, President of the Association said.
He said the contract was given to the EMC Company in 2014 and they were roped in for the augmentation of transmission lines but despite completion of works, the pending dues have not been paid yet. “We are working since four years and were paid some amount earlier but the major portion of the payments is still pending. When we approached the company who has almost closed its office, they refused to pay the amount saying they do not have any such of guideline from the PDD. Now we are left high and dry making huge losses,” Iqbal said
Another contractor, Sameer Ahmad said that they are dying a slow poisoned death as they are paying huge rates of interest to the banks. “We have raised huge amount of bank loan and are paying interest at the rate of 13%. We apprehend serious repercussions if our payments are not released,” he said
The protesting contractors alleged that the officials stationed at PDD have been indulging in rampant corruption, un-ethical, non-technical, unruly ways of behavior and high-handedness, thus ruining the future prospects of the entrepreneurs engaged themselves in good faith with clean hands, hence robbed of their valuable expertise, time and investments.