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Tender issue: J&K to lodge complaint against centre

The government will take the matter of discrimination on regional lines "at the earliest" with the centre, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2007 20:45 IST
Arun Joshi

Jammu and Kashmir Government will lodge a formal protest with the centre over the tendering process adopted by the IRCON, a government of India enterprise that has been advertising its works in Kashmir Valley for Kashmiris only.

The government will take up this matter "at the earliest" with the Centre, Health and Medical Education Minister Mangat Ram Sharma has disclosed.

He was responding to the question on government's reaction to the issue raised by MLAs from Jammu region about this "discrimination adopted by a Government of India enterprise". The MLAs from Jammu region had made a noisy protest over the "discrimination" being meted out to two other regions of the state by IRCON.

The tender notice of the IRCON -- Indian Railway Construction Company -- specifically mentions that the contractors from the Kashmir valley alone are entitled for the works and supplies for the railway track being built there. "This is as per guidelines of the Government of India that the contractors of the Valley alone should be allowed to bid for the work contracts," according to Anshuman Sharma, General Manager IRCON, responsible for the construction of 117-Km-long rail link between Qazigund and Baramullah in the Kashmir Valley.

Mangat Ram Sharma said, "The Jammu and Kashmir Government will lodge a formal protest with the Centre and demand that necessary corrections be made."

He said that such a thing was "unacceptable".

"The state cannot be divided on the regional lines. If the tendering has been done on the basis of particular region that would have to be reversed and the works open to all regions in the state."

The state subject term denotes permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir, but IRCON General Manager made it clear that for railway track works, only the Valley residents were entitled.

The government in Jammu and Kashmir said that "such discriminatory phrases and actions were unacceptable".

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First Published: Feb 04, 2007 20:45 IST