The Kerala Government Contractors’ Association has demanded that Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan immediately convene a high-level meeting to solve the crisis in the construction industry.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Association State president Varghese Kannampally said that though the Central and State Governments, in their respective budgets, had announced increased capital investments for developmental projects, the construction sector was still in a limbo. The Association would publish a list of demands and suggestions that could help solve the crisis on October 8.

A recent State committee meeting of the Association has also decided to stage a hunger fast in front of the Secretariat on October 21, he said.

The issues plaguing the construction industry were increasing in number by the day, Mr. Kannampally said, pointing out that the strike launched by the lorry owners’ association after the government imposed time restrictions on tipper lorries had severely affected ongoing works. No goods were moving anywhere in the State, resulting in work coming to a standstill for many crucial projects.

The government would have to interfere without delay if the maintenance and repair work on the Sabarimala roads would have to be completed before the government-stipulated deadline of November 15, he said.

The other decisions of the Association’s State committee meeting included one on setting up ward-level committees against the ‘nokkukooli’ system (‘pay for no work’). The committees would be constituted involving politicians, social workers, representatives of workers’ unions and persons from the construction industry as well, he added.

Association district president P.R. Ashok Kumar was also present.

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