DIBRUGARH, Feb 8 � Construction work at the Rs 5,600 crore Assam Gas Cracker Project came to a grinding halt today, with all the thirteen prime contractors enforcing a cease work, demanding release of their payments.
The prime contractors alleged that Brahmaputra Cracker & Polymer Limited (BCPL), owners of the project, has been defaulting in payments, especially in releasing the �price reducing schedule� (PRS) amounts, totalling several crore rupees. The PRS amount is normally 5 per cent of the total contract value, and is mostly contested by contractors as unjust and biased.
A meeting between officials of BCPL, the project management consultant, Engineers India Limited and the prime contractors was held today, where the BCPL management gave an undertaking to sympathetically consider the prime contractors� issues. The BCPL managing director, J K Singh Teotia was not present in the meeting. He had earlier tendered his resignation from his post on January 24, but his resignation is yet to be accepted by the BCPL Board. However, the prime contractors are refusing to rest on assurances alone, as today�s meeting was attended by junior officials of BCPL, who cannot take administrative and financial decisions. They are also demanding clearance of their PRS dues before March 31.
Meanwhile, the BCPL Sub Contractors� Association is furious that the prime contractors are raising a non issue, even as the sub contractors are being denied their payments for months together. The prime contractors owe the sub contractors upwards of Rs 20 crore. To their chagrin, neither EIL nor BCPL is willing to talk to them, saying their existence is not officially recognized. Furious, the sub contractors have threatened to go on an indefinite cease work from Wednesday. The sub contractors� spokesman, Girin Gogoi said they have apprised the Dibrugarh district administration of the developments.