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Increase in hills premium demanded

A Correspondent

Haflong, July 2: Urging for increment of hills premium in the APWD’s Schedule of rates from the existing 20 per cent to 30 per cent for all kinds of works and supplies executed in the twin hill districts, Dima Hasao Contractors’ Association submitted a representation to the Commissioner and Special Secretary to the Government of Assam, PWD Department recently.

The representation signed by the president of the Dima Hasao Contractors’ Association stated that the contractors of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong wanted necessary action on various issue. It stated that the hilly regions of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong were heavily rain-infested areas where due to lack of cohesiveness and porosity of soil, consolidation took more time, resulting to soil erosion and repeated landslides in highly steep hills leading to high cost of construction.

Sky-high rapid rise in the prices of materials had caused hike in wages of all categories of labourers. Also, since skilled labourers were not locally available, particularly in Dima Hasao district, they had to be brought from other plain districts, which was difficult for the contractors of the hill districts to afford.

Besides, imposition of high taxation under GST was also a major blow to good quality of works unless it was compensated by means of increasing the schedule achieving of rates. Due to lack of good road communication, particularly in Dima Hasao district, cost of transportation of materials was high which also had to be shouldered by the contractors.

The memorandum stated that the contractors were left with no option but to seek increment of schedule of rates in the ninth addition of hills premium from the existing provision of 20 per cent to 30 per cent. They urged upon the authority concerned to take necessary action in this regard so that good quality of work could be achieved in the hills districts.

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