Claiming that the Public Works Department has not cleared outstanding bills in excess of Rs. 58 crore, the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Districts PWD Contractors' Association has threatened to go on a strike.

In an official release, the association said that if the outstanding payments were not cleared within a week, its members would stop work on all ongoing development projects and lay siege to the PWD office.

Speaking to presspersons here on Wednesday, association vice-president K. Radhakrishna Naik said that during 2009-10 the Government had unpaid bills worth Rs. 38 crore in the Mangalore Division and Rs. 20 crore in the Udupi Division. Payment for work carried out in 2007-08 and 2008-09 were also pending, he said.

Stating that the Government supplied the material until a few years ago, Mr. Naik said that this practice had now stopped and contractors were made to bear the burden of the construction material as well. It had become worse because of the fluctuating prices of building material.

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