SRINAGAR: Members of Hot Mix Plant Association on Saturday staged a peaceful protest against withholding their payments despite execution of works carried out by Roads and Buildings Department in order to construct roads.
Protesters assembled inside the press enclave here and raised slogans against Minister for Public Works Nayeem Akhter, Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu and Roads and Buildings Department Chief Engineer.
The protesters demanded the government should immediately release their payment before Eid-ul-Azha. They said a whopping amount of Rs 30 crore is outstanding on account of different works executed in Kashmir Valley.
President Hot Mix Plant Owners Association, Bashir Ahmad Khan said that Nayeem Akher should have courtesy to release the entire pending amount on the account of the physical achievement carried out by R&B department. “He gets updates on daily basis that how much of the work has been done. On that count he should release our payment,” he said.
Khan said that Hot Mix Plant Association delegations held several meetings with Nayeem Akhtar who assured them release of payments sooner. “His (Akhtar’s) promise turned out to be hoax. We are still waiting for the release of our hard earned money,” he said.
Khan added that R&B Chief Engineer Hamid Sheikh does not pay attention to their requests despite knocking his door various times. “His response is as usual that government will not pay because it does not have funds. You go and stage a protest then only they might think about your demands,” he was quoted as saying to the contractors.
The protesters said that they have taken huge amount of loans from the banks to run their businesses. “We have failed to pay our monthly loan installments. As a result we have to pay higher interest rates,” Khan added.
He said that due to payment blockade, they were unable to purchase material for road macadamization.