Mangalore, July 28: Members of the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Public Works Department Contractors’ Association have decided not to take up any asphalting and road projects until the state government clears their pending bills.
Addressing media persons at Press Club in Mangalore on Saturday, Radhakrishna Naik, President of the DK unit of the Association said that bills amounting to Rs. 90 crore for various completed projects are pending for the past several months. About 150 contractors in the two districts have been suffering owing to this attitude of the government and none of them is willing to come forward to take up any project and no tenders would be taken up unless the government clears off all pending bills, he said.
In spite of handing over appeals to former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and C T Ravi, District in charge Minister, DK, no steps have been taken, Mr. Naik said.
Shivaram Shetty, President, Udupi unit of the Association, said that contractors have been incurring financial losses as they have already invested money on the one hand and the government was not making their payments on the other. Payment of interest to banks is also an additional ordeal for them, he said. “If not our profits, the government must at least give us back our invested money”, he said.
Stating that in spite of non-reciept of payment from the government, Mr. Shetty said that contractors had been taking up asphalting of potholed roads in the region out of social concern. “But now we have had enough. People think that contractors get money from the government and still abstain from repairing roads but they are not aware of our problems”, he said.
Mr. Shetty also said that many roads have developed potholes because of the government’s negligence. “The government is supposed to resurface roads at least once in six years. There are many roads in our region which have not been resurfaced even after 10-12 years. Such roads will but naturally develop potholes”, he said.