Kashmir Contractor’s Aghast Over ‘Discrimination’

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‘State Govt Owes Us Rs 1000 Cr, E-tendering Harming Us’

SRINAGAR: Claiming that only 30 percent of the developmental works have been completed this year in Kashmir so far, the Jammu and Kashmir Central Coordination Committee (JKCCC) has accused the state government of discriminatory tactics against the Valley based contractors. 

Alleging that the state government was deliberately withholding the release of an amount of rupees 1000 crores, which it owes to the Valley based contractors, the JKCCC said that by applying different yardsticks and discriminatory attitude against Kashmir based contractors, the state government  is working for the development of Jammu region at the cost of the developmental works in Kashmir.

In a meeting presided over by JKCCC General Secretary, Farooq Ahmad Dar, and the issues of discrimination facing the contractors were discussed thoroughly. The attending members besides voicing their concerns also asked the government to address the issues of the state government employees.

Addressing the meeting, Dar said that the boycott of the official work, once and often, by the government employees impedes the execution of various developmental works in Kashmir.

“By meeting out a discriminatory treatment to us, the state government is doing no good to its employees also. If promises have been made with the employees, then the words must be turned into action as the boycott of the administrative affairs badly hits the pace of construction work here,” Dar said.

Coming to the concerns of the valley based contractors, Dar lamented that despite 9 months of the current fiscal gone by, 70 percent of the developmental works are yet to be completed.

“Claims of fast-track development by Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah occupy a lot of space in the local newspapers. But, how many of them know that the same government owes more than rupees 1000 crores, which were supposed to be spend on the developmental works here,” Dar said in the meeting.

“Time and again, our payments are withheld for extorting money from the executors of any government work. Despite approaching government umpteenth of times, the fate of more than 70,000 contractors continue to be same on the ground in Kashmir,” he added.

As the weather vagaries play a lot of spoilsport in the completion of the developmental works on time, Dar added that the exemption of the Jammu region from extreme weather conditions always gives it (Jammu region) an edge in the time-bound completion of developmental works in the state.

“The weather for the last six months in Kashmir has not been conducive for execution of developmental works in Kashmir. And the biggest factor that impedes the completion of any construction work here is the lack of funds as the  withholding of the massive amount of money by the state government makes us helpless in finishing our works on time,” lamented Dar.  By applying different parameters with us, Dar further added that the height of injustice gets further manifested with the stakes claimed by the state top bureaucracy and close-ones of Omar Abdullah in the state financial plan.

Dar added that the job of rendering the state financial plan as ‘Wet’ was the sole job of chief only. But, he lamented that some influential lot have got easy access in handling such affairs now.

“Sitting on the plan, these elements has not rendered it ‘wet’ so far as incurring losses of crores of rupees on the Valley based contractors. By resorting to such tactics, the sole prerogative of the state government is make the Kashmir based contractors to dance to its tunes,” accused Dar.

He also criticized the state government for implementation of the E-tendering in J&K. Demanding that the electronic process be put to an immediate end, Dar said that more than 80 percent of the contractors have suffered from the implementation of E-tendering so far in the state.

“The weather vagaries in Kashmir will never allow E-tendering to benefit the contractors in Kashmir.  During the winters, a huge chunk of the contracts are slipped out of our hands as the snapping of the electricity supply makes us inaccessible for Internet purposes. We are suffering losing contracts worth hundreds of crores during the weather ae4saon and appeal the government for its immediate rollback,” Dar said.

He also thanked the opposition Peoples Democratic Party for supporting the cause of the contractors, Dar said that such nice gestures always reflect the concern; the party has for economic development in J&K. (KNS)

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