Bhubaneswar: The All Odisha Contractors' Association on Monday gheraoed the residence of Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Mallick in Bhubaneswar alleging step motherly treatment meted out to them. They said, rather non-Odia contractors are being shown undue favour by the State government.
Pressing for fulfilment of their 27-point charter of demands, the contractors' body alleged that the State Government has been intentionally neglecting the local contractors. President of All Odisha Contractors' Association Prabhat Das alleged that more than 90 percent construction works undertaken by the State government are being awarded to non-Odia contractors.
“Odia contractors are left with contracts hardly worth Rs 500 crores while a lion’s share of it is being awarded to the non-Odias. The State government must ensure that non-Odia contractors are not allowed to participate in tenders up to Rs 200 crores,” Das demanded.
“Besides PC culture, a new trend of taking shares is on the rise. Construction work that can be completed with a budget of Rs 100 crores is being pegged at an inflated cost of Rs 500 crores. The money is then shared among all concerned. Such activities are being carried out at the behest of the third floor. Corruption has reached an all time high which will break the backbone of the State,” Das alleged.
However, Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Mallick rued that the demonstration was staged without any prior information. "The Association had earlier apprised me about the matter and I had assured to resolve it after discussion with Finance Minister and Finance Secretary. However they resorted to protest today which is unconstitutional and illegal," Mallick said.