A contractor died on Sunday as he could not afford the treatment

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC)’s inability to clear the pending bills to contractors has allegedly claimed the life of a contractor, Kuncham Chinna Muttaiah.

The VMC is stated to have not cleared bills to the tune of Rs. 10 lakh to him for more than one year.

His family members said that Muttaiah died on Sunday as he ran out of finances to get treatment for brain tumour from which he had been suffering.

He constructed culverts, community hall etc in the city.

The deceased was unable to repay the debts borrowed for the works. Neither had he money to undergo treatment, the family members said.

The co-contractors staged a sit-in protest in front of the VMC office here on Monday and raised slogans against the officials’ apathy towards contractors and clearing of the bills. They expressed the view that Muttaiah would have survived had the Corporation released his bills.

Not just Muttaiah, there were many contractors who were in a hapless condition after executing the works awarded by the VMC, they said pointing at 70-year old K. Papa Rao.

“I ran from pillar to post to get my bills cleared but in vain. The VMC has to pay me Rs. 6 lakh.

For the last two years the bills have not been cleared. All the investments were deadlocked. The pressure was so much that I suffered stroke and paralysis,” said Mr. Papaiah.

Municipal Contractors Association vice-president A. Ankeswara Rao said that the VMC had not cleared the bills to the tune of Rs. 170 crore. The contractors executed various works, including those taken up under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme.

Though the contractors were making rounds to the corridors of the Corporation, the officials hardly respond, he said, adding, “Municipal Commissioner Md. Abdul Azeem has asked us to meet on November 22 again when the issue was brought to his notice.”

Association organising secretary Raja Babu, and office incharge Srinivas were present.

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