The 16-day strike by the contractors working for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was called off on Thursday, following an assurance made by the civic officials regarding outstanding dues.
As per the assurances made by MCD Commissioner K.S Mehra and Standing Committee chairman Yogendra Chandolia, a partial amount (Rs 168 crore) of the over Rs.600 crore dues, till Sep 30, 2009, will be paid immediately. The remaining Rs.450 crore will be provided later.
"Our dues were not paid for the past 18 months. Nearly Rs.650 crore is due to the contractors by the MCD, so we went on a strike July 21," Delhi Municipal Contractors Association president Sunil Vohra told IANS.
According to the association, about 3,000 municipal contractors were engaged in the strike.
Vohra also claimed that MCD was not cash strapped and recently got Rs.2,100 crore from various sources but yet was not ready to pay the contractors their due.
"Over Rs.600 crore has been received from the income tax department as the first instalment of lease amount for the civic centre and the Delhi government has released Rs.1,500 crore to the MCD. Still, MCD has been claiming that it does not have the money to pay," he said.
About the status of Games projects, Vohra said it's "difficult" to complete the Games projects by Aug 20, as MCD has said.
"The civic body officials are putting extra pressure on the contractors to finish the projects and they have not paid them for past five months. Moreover, the Games works are getting delayed as other government agencies like MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) are digging up the newly-laid roads for their work."