‘Unpaid’ workers pull down newly-built bus bays in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Demanding immediate release of pending dues, labourers who were engaged in the construction bus stops ahead of the recently-concluded men’s Hockey World Cup, today staged road blockade near Sishu Bhawan Square by dismantling the bus platforms.

The agitators alleged that though three months have elapsed since the completion of the bus stops at different locations in the Capital city, the contractor agency has not cleared their payments. As a mark of protest, they dismantled a bus stop near Sishu Bhawan and blocked the road by placing the parts of the razed structure on the road disrupting vehicular movement. Later police intervened and cleared the road blockade.

According to reports, the State government had constructed 127 bus stops in different parts of the city for its ‘Mo Bus’ service, which was launched ahead of the Men’s Hockey World Cup.

“I have not received my wages from the contractor even after completing the work three months back. When we blocked the road, police stopped us,” said Priyabrata swain, an agitating labourer.

“We are living in a pitiable condition as we have not received the payment from the contractor. How will we sustain ourselves?” asked Jagannath Behera, another labourer.

Accepting the charges, contractor Prashant Mohapatra said when the State government has not cleared the bills, how can he make payments to the labourers.

“As my dues have not been cleared, I am unable to pay them (labourers). I am yet to get Rs 11 lakh from the government,” said the contractor.

No comments from Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) authorities could be obtained despite repeated attempts.