The non-payment of pending bills for Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) projects has taken an ugly turn with a contractor committing suicide over the huge debts he had incurred to execute the work. Girish (46), a resident of Chikkabidarakallu, ended his life at his residence on Tuesday.
Although the amount the BBMP owed him is not clear, the BBMP Contractors’ Association maintained that he was under tremendous pressure to repay loans he had raised from private sources.
Girish, it is learnt, was a PWD/BBMP-recognised class 3 contractor who executed civil works.
About Rs. 1,600 crore is yet to be released by the BBMP.
Association president R.J. Srinivas, who met the family on Wednesday, said contractors had not been paid for nearly 16 months. Many contractors, he said, had borrowed heavily from private money lenders at a rate of 5 to 10 per cent interest per month. “With payments being delayed endlessly, those who had borrowed are in a debt trap. Girish owed his lenders close to Rs. 1 crore and had also wanted to sell his house. But the party that had evinced interest in buying the property backtracked and Girish had been set a deadline for repayment before November 30,” he said.
The association gave Rs. 25,000 to the victim’s family and will extend further aid.
The Mayor and BBMP Commissioner were not available for comment.