Military contractors have threatened to stall the construction work in armed forces premises if their dues, Rs 1,600 crore in total, are not paid by the government.
The Military Engineer Services Builders Association of India (MESBAI) that looks after the basic construction requirements of the three wings of defence services said in a press conference that lakhs of workers would lose their jobs if the dues were not paid.
"The construction, maintenance and renovation work at various defence buildings will be stopped due to non-clearance of dues worth Rs 1,600 crore. Also, lakhs of construction workers will become unemployed if the contractors are not paid their dues," MESBAI president Praveen Mahana said.
"Since last year, MESBAI has been facing a lot of problems due to non-clearance of dues. The issue of non-payment has been raised with the Engineer-in-Chief, MoS Defence, Defence Minister and the PMO. However, the government has not given us any relief till date," Mr Mahana alleged.
Mr Mahana said the members of the association had staged a protest in February but didn't get relief from the government.
"However, the government has not 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," he said.
He said a protest will be staged on October 29 and October 30 if the government does not clear the dues.
MESBAI has 73 branches across India and is the only association which is recognised by the Ministry of Defence.
With inputs from agencies