The Manipur government is draining the economy of Manipur by ways of handing contract works of the Water Resource Department to outside-based companies instead of awarding the contract to local contractors, alleged the Water Resources Department Contractors’ Association (WRDCA).
Opposing the government's action, WRDCA members on Monday staged a sit-in protest in front of the Water Resource department at Khuyathong in Imphal West, demanding to provide contract works to local contractors instead of giving it to the non-local firms.
Speaking to the media, WRDCA president Th Debendra claimed that most of the local contractors have been side-lined on excuses of not fulfilling the criteria to meet the targeted bids and the contracts have been handed over to non-local companies BIPL, Key Stone and others.
He said, as a consequence, the local contractors including their work forces which includes local labourers and engineers are facing hard times in running their families.
Highlighting the past roles of the local contractors in the irrigation system of Manipur, he informed that projects such as Thoubal Dam, Khuga Dam, Thoubal Project Dam, Dolaithabi Dam, Sinda Dam were all taken up by local contractors.
Admitting that the local contractor faced shortages of machineries in the past, he said now the local contractors are well equipped with adequate numbers of machineries.
Alleging that there is biasness among the local contractors and outside companies in the billing process, he pointed out that outside based companies get a 20 per cent advance payment, while the local contractor frequently waits for three-four years to get the payment.
“Awarding of contracts to outside companies may bring infrastructure development in the state, however in other aspects, the economy of the state is draining away,” said Debendra.
Informing that the state government remains deaf ear to their demand despite repeated memorandum submitted to the authority concerned, the president once again appealed to the state government to consider their demand in the interest of the indigenous groups and economy of Manipur.
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