The developmental work in the city may come to a halt with the municipal contractors deciding not to take up any new project.
The Delhi Municipal Contractors Association has said that they will not take up any new project as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is yet to clear their dues worth Rs 700 crore.
The MCD had in its budget 2011-12 sanctioned a sum of Rs 1.55 crore to all councillors to carry out developmental project. However, the contractors who are supposed to execute these projects have refused to carry them out.
The MCD had passed its revised budget for 2010-11 making the provision for the additional funds and had said the councillors can book their work orders by March 31. The funds will lapse after March and will not be carried forward. However, the contractors are wary of taking up new works as they feel there is no guarantee of the money being released in view of the fact that payment of hundreds of crores of rupees are already pending.
"As far as taking up new work is concerned, we have decided not to participate in the tender and none of us will take up any new project especially the ones that are carried out of councillors' funds. For the time being, we will be doing the work that we have taken up but if the situation becomes bad, we might stop carrying out any work altogether," said Sunil Vohra, president, Delhi Municipal Contractors Association.
"We had a meeting with them last week wherein we had assured them that payment will be released by month-end. But it seems they are trying to blackmail us and are politicising the entire issue. There are many other contractors who will be willing to take up work so developmental work will not be affected," said Yogender Chandolia, chairman, MCD standing committee.
The cash-strapped civic body has been struggling to clear payment to contractors and in the past too contractors had gone on strikes after not getting payments from the MCD.
"I have spoken to the financial advisor of the MCD and have asked him to release at least some of the payment which we owe them as soon as possible," said Jagdish Mamgain, chairman, MCD works committee.