GUWAHATI, Oct 11 - The All Assam Water Resources Contractors’ Association has announced that it would resort to a daylong picketing programme in front of the office of the Chief Engineer of the Water Resources Department (WRD) from 10 am on October 23.
The Association said in a statement here today that the programme would be executed in protest against the failure of the Union Government to release its remaining amounts against the funds meant for the Flood Management Programme (FMP) under the Eleventh Five Year Plan. Besides, it said the programme would be executed also in protest against the failure of the State Government to release its remaining amounts of the funds meant for the Twelfth Five Year Plan FMP.
It has also warned that it would intensify its agitation as per the demand of the situation in the days to come.
The Association has alleged that the Union Government is yet to release an amount of around Rs 1,600 crore and this has affected the existing contractors of the WRD severely. Therefore, it asserted that the WRD should not invite new tenders for any work till the old bills of the existing contractors are settled. Or else, it will create conflicts among the new and the existing contractors, who are yet to get their bills cleared by the Department.
The Association has demanded further that the State Cabinet should adopt a resolution restricting any decision to award WRD contracts at below the quoted rates. The practice of awarding contracts at such below the quoted rates has been affecting the quality of the WRD works and this is one of the reasons behind the growing severity of the flood problem, asserted the Association.
It has also called for steps to determine the groups of work while floating WRD tenders to facilitate participation of all categories of contractors in the tender process.
Besides, it demanded that the running or final bills against the current FMP works should be sent to the offices of the executive engineers concerned by the Assistant Executive Engineers concerned. Further, it said the office of the WRD Chief Engineer should initiate measures to submit the progress reports of the ongoing works to the Association. Both these demands should be met by October 25, said the Association.