Kohima, Aug. 10: The Nagaland Contractors and Suppliers Union today began the first phase of its agitation in protest against the government’s failure to pay its pending bills, amounting to over Rs 30 crore.
However, the state government said it was not in a position to release the bills till the Special Investigation Team (SIT) completes its probe into the matter and verifies the bills.
The union rejected the government’s decision, and claimed that all the bills were genuine.
The first stage of agitation will comprise a poster campaign throughout the state.
Saying all the bills have been certified by competent technical engineers, the union’s vice-president, K.L. Setuo Rutsa, and secretary Imsunok Jamir said the question of re-evaluation of bills did not arise.
The union said the cabinet has denied the payment of bills of more than 400 genuine registered members.
The state government has constituted three teams to probe the claims into the payment of bills pending under various departments, including Rs 6.61 crore in PWD (housing) department, Rs 18.19 crore in PWD (roads and bridges) department and Rs 11.02 crore in the public health engineering department, coming to Rs 35.83 crore in all.
Reiterating that the claims were “entirely genuine”, the union’s president, Pele Khezhie, said the verification was not required when part payment had been made against the pending bills earlier. In view of what it described as delay tactics and the arrogance of the state government, the union said it was now compelled to resort to an agitation to fight for its genuine rights.