“No work on Rambagh-Jehangir chowk flyover till government clears our payment”

Company employees unpaid from past few months’

Srinagar: The simplex infrastructure company has made it clear that it has stopped work on Rambagh-Jehangir chowk flyover since the government has withheld their payments.

Sources in the company said that various issues have been cropping between the government and the simplex infrastructure as the later was demanding money for the damages it incurred during the 2014 floods.

“During the 2014 floods, the company incurred a loss to the tune of 40 crores,” sources said. “That time they told us we will be fully compensated. But now they say they will pay only 20 crore for damages”.

Sources claimed that the company’s infrastructure and machinery costing 40 crores got damaged during the floods.

The Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) has outsourced the work to the simplex infrastructure private limited which is constructing the Rambagh-Jehnagir chowk flyover.

“The government has also retained our money as guarantee till the first phase of the project runs smoothly,” sources said.

“As the first phase of the project has taken-off, the money is yet to be released”.

Due to this, the sources in the company claimed that they are not been able to pay their employees from past three months.

An engineer working with the simplex infrastructure on the Jehnagir Chowk Rambagh flyover confirmed the company was not paying them.

“We will not work as well till our dues are not paid,” the engineer said.

The company sources said that the company employees have been told to wind up men and machinery from the site.

“The work is completely stopped. Nobody knows when the government and the company will strike a deal. Or will they ever?” sources added

When asked why the work was stopped on the project and why the company employees remained unpaid from past three months, commercial head of the simplex infrastructure C.P Gupta told The Kashmir Press that the work was stopped due to “payment issues” with the government.

Earlier it had come to fore that the company had cited lack of work ethics and work culture as reasons to stop working on the project

On May 11, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti inaugurated the first phase of the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh expressway corridor from the Amar Singh College area to the Barzalla Bridge.

The project is estimated to be built at a cost of Rs 350 crore by the ERA. The Asian Development Bank-funded project is expected to decongest the traffic on the road towards Barzalla and the Srinagar airport and the time to cover the area would also be reduced to a great extent.

The officials claim that the whole four-lane flyover, spanning more than one-and-a-half km would be made functional by the year-end.

The first phase of the flyover project was thrown open after it was started in July 2009 and was scheduled to be completed in three years. The work on the project was later started in September 2013.

However, its first phase alone took five years to get completed.

Several reasons were put forward for the extension of deadlines among them the notables were the 2014 floods and the year 2016 pro-freedom uprising.

The director Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), Farooq lone snapped the call several time when asked why the work on the project was stopped.

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