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news details
Years on, Irrigation dept fails to clear liabilities of contractors for de-silting works
Full of silt, canals across Jammu await de-silting again
1/22/2021 11:21:39 PM
early times report
jammu, Jan 22: The Irrigation and Flood Control Department has so far been failed to clear the liabilities of contractors to the tune of around Rs. 10 Crores incurred by department for de-silting of various canals of Jammu province in last few years.
However, annual routine de-silting of the canals, the canals across Jammu especially the city areas have been looking more like garbage nullahs with full of silt, garbage, polythene carry bags, which needs de-silting.
Sources in the department informed Early Times that liabilities of the contractors to the tune of around Rs. 10 Crores have been pending for the last many years. "Even for the last concluding financial year the department has not clear the liabilities since last year, while the liabilities of last couple of years is still pending", a contractor said, adding that many contractors, who have done the works to the tune of over Rs. 40 Lakhs, they have been paid merely Rs. 10 Lakhs, while over 75 percent of their liabilities are pending with the department since years.
"In the hope of getting clear the liabilities of previous years, we have been doing the de-silting works but it has become a routine of the department to not clear the liabilities, due to which the pending liabilities have been piled up to such extent", the contractors said.
Sources in the department informed that earlier the department had been inviting tenders for de-silting works without having the availability of the funds for the de-silting works. "Due to less funds the pending liabilities piled up and reached to such a level", the official said.
However, despite pending liabilities of the contractors, the condition of canals across Jammu region especially in the city areas is pathetic with garbage heaps scattered all around, polythene bags, wastage of shops and houses entering into them, turning them into garbage nullahs.
"Majority of people as well as shopkeepers residing along the canal areas have been dumping the wastage in the canals, thus polluting them badly. People lack sense about the preservation of water bodies and this lack of sense is detrimental for the health of water bodies. If the throwing of wastage, garbage, polythene carry bags will stop, the de-silting works will require very less funds but it is a far cry", an official said.
Chief Engineer Irrigation Department Hamesh Manchanda accepted that liabilities of contractors have been pending since last few years. Manchanda said that the liabilities of contractors of year 2020 have been cleared in full, while the upcoming de-silting works would also be completed without creation of any new liability.
About the pending liabilities of contractors, Manchanda said that if the revised budget estimates would be approved by the administration, the department would take permission to clear some of the pending liabilities. "At-least since last one year, no new liabilities are being piled up and the liabilities of last few years will be cleared gradually", he said.
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