FROM A CORRESPONDENT
Tura, May 2: The ban on stone quarries in West and South West Garo Hills has affected construction works in the region. In view of this, the All Garo Hills PMGSY Contractors Union has dashed off a memorandum today to Meghalaya Chief Minsiter Dr. Mukul Sangma seeking his immediate intervention.
“We appreciate the action on the part of the Government in this move against illegal mining, which was neither benefitting the State nor the GHADC with losses in royalty. However, this has created a lot of inconvieniece to PMGSY, ADB projects, DRDA projects, State developmental works, Forest projects and individual house constructions, which has come to a standstill”, the union said in its letter.
The union said that since PMGSY projects are time bound with a deadline, it would be difficult for them to complete the projects on time with the ban on stone quarries.
“Though the forest department auctioned the materials seized by them, the amount auctioned does not even cover 10% of the total required materials. Since the ban is only for the districts of West and South West Garo Hills, contractors working on projects in East, North and South Garo Hills are not facing this problem, thus the progress of work in those three districts will not be hampered”, the letter stated.
They requested that if they are uble to complete the projects by the deadline, i.e. June 2017, the ongoing projects should be given an incomplete fil bill and the 2.5% earnest money deposits and the 7.5% security deductions from the running bills also be returned to the contractors.
The union has also expressed their concern on increase in forest royalty, which was reviced recently. “As the Detaild Project Reports (DPRs) of the projects currently under process do not take this revision into account, the contractors would incur heavy losses if it were to be deducted from the current bills”, they said.
They further requested that the deductions from the projects that commenced before this revision maintain the status quo and deductions be only made as per the previous forest royalty that is given in the DPRs.