Defence Projects likely to be stalled if Ministry fails to clear dues worth Rs 1600 crore : MESBAI
New Delhi : Military Engineer Services Builders Associaton of India (MESBAI) has warned the Central Government over non-clearance of pendiBuilderapproxinately worth Rs 1600 crores and has threatened to stall all the construction work at the buildings of Ministry of Defence.
The Association has claimed that the construction, maintenance, and renovation work at various defence buildings will be stopped due to non-clearance of dues and lakhs of construction workers will become unemployed if the contractors are not paid their dues.
Since 1 and half Year , MESBAI has faced a lot of problems due to non-clearance of dues. Presently , MESBAI has 73 branches across India. MESBAI is the only Association which has been recognized by the Ministry of Defence. MESBAI looks after the basic constructional requirements of all the three wings of Defence Services and it even takes care of their maintenance and renovation.
It not only just constructs the buildings for the security forces but also builds runways for them. MESBAI supplies trusted and trained workforce to the Military Engineering Services and also develops the furniture for the security forces. Almost all MES Builders have not been paid for a long time, whic has made it very difficult for their employees to raise their family.
Praveen Mahana, President MES Builders Association of India, on this issue said, "Our association members are facing a lot of problems as they failed to get the payment. This has been the case for the last about 1 ½ Year . The issue of non-payment has been raised with the Officer Engineer-in-Chief, MoS Defence, Defence Minister, and the PMO. However, the government hasn't given us any relief till date. The members of the association also staged a protest on February 1, 2018 in this regard. The workers aren't being paid and it has been very tough to continue with the construction work for they faced a lot of trouble in buying materials from the market."
Balbir Singh Vij, the Honorary General Secretary MESBAI, said, "The timing of payment of bills of the contractors is quite important in this process because without payment they will neither be in a position to monitor the work of defence and neither can they pay employees and workers. All the plans for defence related work will be disturbed and will have serious consequences. If they do not get the payment, they will not be able to meet the day-to-day requirements."
The association has stressed that the amount of Rs 1600 crore has been released for the defence construction work. They have urged the Ministry of Defence to clear the outstanding payment and provide immediate relief to the contractors. They have also appealed that the officers must be instructed not to accept any tender outside the allotted budget and if the budget for this year has been fully spent, then the tender for the approved works, maintenance, and special repairs should be stopped with immediate effect.
The association has decided to raise the issue of no payment of contracts to the contractors via media. The festive season has begun but the contractors have not been paid till date. If the funds are not released until October 28 and the contractors' payments are not made, then the builders will have no choice but to stop all the ongoing work. In case of non-payment, the contractors will stage a protest on 29 and 30 October 2018.