Contractors are up in arms against the VMC for “inordinate delay” in payment of bills. The contractors have decided not to take up any new works until the corporation clears their dues.
The VMC has not cleared the bills pertaining to works taken up under general funds as well as JNNURM programme in the city in the last two years. The corporation has to pay Rs.18 crore under general funds, and Rs.20 crore to Rs.25 crore under the JNNURM head.
Engineering officials are keeping silent when the contractors have revolted against the delay.
The contractors, in unison, have told the higher-ups that none of them would take up new works as long as the bills are not cleared.Pending dues
Municipal Contractors’ Association vice-president A. Ankeswara Rao says, though contractors are making rounds of the corporation offices, the officials are hardly responding.
Four contractors died after they carried out the VMC works. The bills of Kuncham Chinna Muttaiah hade been cleared after his death.
The corporation is yet to clear the dues of G. Venkatesh, M. Nageswara Rao, and G. Balaswamy. Their dues would be Rs.50 lakh.
The saddest part is that the corporation could not pay a mere Rs.2 lakh to the family of Balaswamy, he says.
Mr. Rao, mincing no words, says “the corporation conducts ‘burra kathalu’ to remind people to pay taxes. In some cases, it snaps water connections as well. What should we do now? There is none to respond in the corporation. The association is contemplating suitable protest programme shortly.”
The contractors have been agitating ever since the dues touched Rs.170 crore. The VMC, however, cleared a major chunk after it borrowed from HUDCO.