TWAD contractors stage protest demanding settlement of ₹360 crore dues

The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board (TWAD) Contractors’ Welfare Association staged a protest on Wednesday demanding settlement of dues pending for over a year and other demands.

Several members gathered near Rajarathinam Stadium, Egmore, and raised slogans seeking immediate action to be initiated on their charter of demands. Association president T.L. Ramesh said the board prepared estimates based on the minimum wages provided by the Labour Welfare and Skill Development Department in 2017. This had to be withdrawn to protect workers from unduly low pay.

Instead, wages must be fixed in tune with the current schedule of rates released by the Public Works Department, which had been the practice for five decades, he said. The association demanded that bills totalling ₹360 crore, which had been pending, must be settled immediately. Water distribution and maintenance of infrastructure for combined water supply schemes had been outsourced to about 1,500 contractors across the State.

Members wanted the TWAD to discontinue the package tender system as it excluded the local and small contractors from participating in the bids. Alleging that it would only benefit large firms as the cumulative worth of the work was high, Mr. Ramesh blamed the officials for such a practice. The State government must intervene to allow all contractors to participate in the tender system.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 12:28:28 pm |