MES threatens to halt construction works by August

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New Delhi, Jun 22 (UNI) Military Engineers Services (MES) Builders Association of India has threatened to halt all construction works by August, if the government does not take immediate steps to offset their 'unbearable losses' on spiralling cost of raw materials.

''We will be forced to stop all the construction works by next two months, if urgent measures are not taken by the Defence Ministry, to help us absorb losses due to abnormal price hike in cement, steel, bitumen and other building materials,'' Association President Varinder Kumar Garg told UNI.

He said the builders are suffering hefty losses of about 25-30 per cent for executing the construction projects of the Defence Ministry since 2002.

The prices of cement has seen a significant rise of about 60 per cent, steel about 90 per cent and bitumen about 200 per cent over the past six years, he explained.

The Association, which has about 5,000 members, has urged the government to revise the escalation formula for adjusting the rising input costs and asked for reimbursement of losses suffered since 2002, he said.

Mr Garg informed that the association has decided to hold protests and demonstrations with its workforce of about 50 lakhs skilled and unskilled labour along with 25,000 engineers across the country in the next two months and will ultimately stop the construction work if government does not heed to their request.

Necessary documents were submitted to the Defence Ministry for the purpose in 2004, Mr said adding ''but there has been no response since then from the final authority.'' ''Acceptance will save the lives of millions of builders and workers, while the denial will pave the way for them to approach the court,'' Mr Garg said.

UNI MP SBA BST1533

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