Staff Reporter

It has to clear bills to the tune of Rs. 30 cr. to contractors

Contractors have slowed down the works due to non-payment of bills

Dues will be cleared in ‘due course', says officials

VIJAYAWADA: The finances of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) seem to be in disarray for the past few months.

The corporation has to clear bills to the tune of Rs. 30 crore to contractors for the works taken up under JNNURM as well as from the general funds during the last five months. Though developmental works have not come to a halt, contractors have slowed down the works as they are anxious about the dues. The VMC has taken up various works, including housing, restoration of roads, construction of drains, underground drainage and water supply, mainly under JNNURM programme. Some of the works that have not been progressing well as per the schedule were taken up with general funds. While pending bills pertaining to JNNURM works are said to be of a value of Rs. 25 crore, the remaining bills are related to works taken up with general funds, official sources say.

Some of the contractors, who have executed works under JNNURM, are making rounds to the corporation enquiring about their pending bills. As the contractors are “agitated and anxious” about the dues, the officials are assuring them that the dues would be cleared in “due course”. Municipal Commissioner G. Ravi Babu is likely to meet the contractors soon and assure them of clearing the bills at the earliest. Though the officials are trying to persuade them to continue the works, the contractors are said to be sceptical of the Corporation's capability to clear their dues.

As the underground drainage works have left most of the roads unmotorable, any failure on the part of the corporation to complete the restoration and recarpeting works before the end of summer could lead to another period of suffering for the people once monsoon sets in.

Also, the fast approaching municipal elections would also be a hurdle to completion of the pending works, as the corporation would not be able to either speed up the works or complete the pending works once the EC issues notification, sources said..

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