Bring down price of construction materials: govt. contractors

They stage a ‘standing protest’ citing ineffective price control mechanism

Expressing solidarity with the Statewide agitations against the price hike of construction materials, the district committee of the Kerala Government Contractors Federation (KGCF) staged a ‘Nilpu samaram’ (standing protest) in front of the Kozhikode Corporation office on Thursday. They said ineffective price controlling mechanism was troubling thousands of contractors who were earlier awarded various Public Works Department (PWD) projects.

The federation leaders said the prices of construction materials at the time of awarding the works and after the lockdown period were vastly different. This was apart from the variation between the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) rates and the Kerala Public Works Department rate for the completion of infrastructure projects, they said.

“The Delhi Schedule of Rates (DSR) fixed by the CPWD, should be adopted as a model while awarding works in Kerala. It is a reasonable rate that is adopted by a number of departments and public and private undertakings,” said P.V. Jaleeludheen, a functionary of the federation. He said the previously sanctioned contract should be revised so as to reflect the latest changes in the material cost.

Delay in fund allotment

He added that contractors in Kozhikode were worried about the delay in allotting funds for completed projects under the Chief Minister’s Local Road Rebuild project. “The formalities to clear files should be simplified,” he said.

The federation members organised similar strikes at Elathur, Cheruvannur and Beypore on Thursday, in adherence to COVID-19 protocol, urging the State government to introduce a price controlling mechanism to rein in the unfair trade of quarry products, cement, steel, tar and electrical and plumbing materials. Many of them also sought the government’s intervention to bring back the migrant labourers who left during the lockdown period.

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