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Foot our bills, contractors tell GMC

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  11 July 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Contractors threaten self-immolation with the civic body not clearing their bills for de-silting of city drains

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 10: Contractors engaged in cleaning and ‘de-silting’ of drains in the city by the GMC are a worried lot as the civic body is yet to foot their bills.

As many as 27 contractors got contracts in November 2014 for cleaning and ‘de-silting’ drains in the city for three years. The work, according to the contracts, was supposed to be completed by March 2015. The time periods set for maintence of the drains are April 2015 to October 2015, November 2015 to October 2016 and November 2016 to October 2017. The bills, according to the contracts, were supposed to have been cleared at an interval of three months. However, the contractors got their complete bills of the period from November 2014 to October 2015 in May 2017. However, the bills of the period from November 2015 to October 2016 have not been paid as yet even though the bills are ready. Two contractors, Jiten Saloi and Ujjal Chudhury, let the media know of this on Monday. They were accompanied by other contractors.

Saloi said: “It’s only commission that makes top-level officials not to clear the bills even as they are ready. We have to face untold suffering for not being able to pay labourers their dues. On March 15, 2017 the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) released Rs 14.84 crore to the GMC to foot our bills. However, the civic body is yet to release the funds to clear the pending bills of the contractors. We’re to get around Rs 12 crore from the civic body till date, and our contract is going to expire after three months.”

Ujjal Choudhury, another contractor, said: “A section of contractors did move the Gauhati High Court against the civic body for not footing their pending bills. In its ruling on a writ petition, the High Court set a deadline of 90 days from November 8, 2016 for the civic body to clear the bills of the contractors. However, the civic body is yet to foot the bills, and that led us to resort to file a contempt of court case against the GMC. The High Court has issued a notice to this effect. Now the GMC says that it’ll go for re-verification of the works done by us. How come it re-verifies works done a year ago? It’s unfortute for an agency that’s at the helm of affairs of the city resorts to such tactics. It’s goondaraj that’s going on in the GMC. If we don’t get our dues even after completion of works, we’ve no way out but to opt to extremes like self-immolation.”

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