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news details
Construction company stops payment to contractors, sub-contractors; workers go on strike
Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover hits yet another roadblock
5/20/2018 10:55:38 PM
Jehangir Rashid
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, May 20: The joy about the inauguration of first phase of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh (JCRB) flyover here in the summer capital of the state has been short lived since the work on the remaining portion of the flyover is suspended over the past 10 days.
Workers carrying out the job on the construction of flyover have gone on strike since their wages have not been paid over a period of time. The workers had in fact carried out a protest demonstration on the completed portion of flyover a day before the same was thrown open for traffic even though only for one side.
Early Times has learnt from sources that the contractors and sub-contractors working on the project have not received any payment from the company that has been assigned the task. Following this the contractors and sub-contractors have not been able to pay towards the workers thus resulting into suspension of work.
"Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) has been making payments towards Simplex, the company involved in the construction of flyover on regular basis. However, the contractors and sub-contractors engaged by the company are not receiving any payment. This has resulted into a situation where the construction work has been halted on the remaining portion of JCRB flyover," said sources.
It would be in place to mention here that first phase of JCRB flyover from Barzulla Bridge to Bakshi stadium was inaugurated by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on May 11. The stretch was thrown for one way traffic bound for Hyderpora, Rawalpora, Rangreth, Humhama and Budgam with no vehicle being allowed to move from the opposite side.
"Due to the controversy that has come up over the payment issue none of the officials of Simplex was present at the inauguration of the first phase of flyover. Simplex is seeking compensation for the machinery damaged due to the 2014 devastating deluge. Since the machinery was insured the demand is not genuine and it is here the trouble started," said sources.
Sources said that due to demonetization announced in November 2016, Simplex is facing huge difficulties in completing the projects it has taken up in the different parts of the country. The money being received by the company in Kashmir is being diverted to the other sites where construction is going on over the past few years.
"The JCRB flyover project is funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and there is no issue of finances in the same. The ADB through ERA has been releasing the payment to Simplex. The company instead of paying the contractors and sub-contractors has been utilizing the money for development projects in other parts of country," said sources.
Sources said the company higher ups have shown their willingness to withdraw from the project and have said that they are ready to pay some penalty in this regard. The company officials have been maintaining that they have faced losses due to the delay in the completion of work on JCRB flyover.
"If the company withdraws from the project then it would be difficult for the government to find an alternate so that the work on JCRB flyover is completed. Given this situation the people of Srinagar and some other districts would have to yearn for jam free traffic movement to and fro summer capital of the state," said sources.
The work on two and half kilometers long JCRB flyover was started in March 2013 and the project was expected to be completed in three years. However, the 2014 flood and 2016 summer agitation in Kashmir meant that the flyover would many deadlines. The government has revised the deadline for completion of the project as September 30, 2018.
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