Goindwal Sahib (Tarn Taran)
Unpaid for the past few months, contractors have stopped the Rs 200-crore modern jail project at this holy town, causing 1,500 labourers to lose their jobs.
Sunil Hi-tech, a company that the public works department (PWD) had hired for the project, had sublet the tasks to small contractors. After the company has defaulted on payment and the contractors have not gone to work for more than two weeks, it seems difficult to meet the completion deadline in May. Once ready, the jail will hold 2,780 inmates on 84 acres. In the past two years of quick progress, 60% of the work was finished.
Some of the contractors said on the condition of anonymity that the company had been fooling them for long. “We cannot resume work until we are paid.” said one of them. They are letting no vehicle on to the site. Trucks are dumping even the construction material outside. Nearly 1,500 labourers left jobless have been unpaid for three months.
Sunil Hi-tech administrative officer Deepak said the company has not received its payment from the PWD but, hopefully, the issue would be resolved in a few days. The state government plans to detain a large number of protesting farmers, employees and political activists in this jail. Five new barracks to hold 900 inmates will come up.