Non-payment of dues : Contractors lock up Engineers office

Bijbehara: Contractors from South Kashmir’s Anantnag district staged a protest outside PHE office in Bijbehara on Saturday against bills kept pending for the last two years. The agitating contractors also locked the office of Executive Engineer PHE Division for more than four hours, disallowing employees to enter or exit from the office.

Contractors Association president Muhammad Sultan Dar said that PHE department owes Rs 2 crore to over 1,300 contractors for the past two years. “We have met Chief Engineer PHE many times and he had assured us of clearing the pending bills. But nothing has happened,” he said.

 “How can we live and continue the ongoing works without money?” he questioned. Now, the association has decided to continue its stir from Saturday.

 “We are also planning to take out a protest rally in the coming days.  Contractors working for other departments will also join us,” he added.

 Due to the protest, the work was badly affected in the office. Confirming the incident, Executive Engineer PHE Division Bijbehara Bashir Ahmed said that they have already brought the matter into the notice of higher ups and requested them to clear the liabilities of these contractors. CNS

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