Contractors stage protest; several detained

SRINAGAR :Dozens of government contractors were detained by police here as they tried to take out a march to press for immediate release of their payments for completed developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir.
The contractors under the banner of J&K Contractors Co-ordination Committee (JKCCC), who claim that the government presently owns them Rs 600 crore for completed works spanning last two fiscals had called for a protest at the Press Enclave to protest this undue delay.
The protesting contractors said that it was the government failure that left them with no option but to take to the streets to protest against government’s inaction to pay them.
Ghulam Jeelani Purza Chairman of the JKCCC told Kashmir Reader that contractors are reeling under an enormous financial strain due the non release of payments by the government and it is also hitting the prospectus of further development works.
Purza said that they have been ditched on several commitments made by the government  for the release of this payments , reiterating that the fraternity will discontinue all the developmental works in whole of state if their payments are not released till 31 of March.
As they tried to move out on the busy residency road in a procession, policemen foiled their attempt and took dozens of them into preventive custody.
“We have left with no option but to come on the roads to highlight our problems in view of non-seriousness of the government to release the over Rs 600 crore for the completed works,” committee’s General Secretary Tariq Ahmad Baba said.
He said they had one-to-one meeting with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on February 4 and got an assurance from him that the payments would be released soon.
“However, the government failed to keep its promise,” Baba said and threatened to stop all developmental works if the government failed to release their payments before the end of the current financial year.

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