Published On : Sun, Aug 7th, 2016

Double standards at Bawankule’s best in dealing two truant contractors

The Minister directs officials to put a defaulter firm in black list but spares a company run by his brother for the same fault.

Nagpur: The “energized” Guardian Minister now-a-days grabbing the headlines, most of the times for wrong reasons. Displaying double standards is one of the reasons. The Minister sometimes directs his ministry officials to put a truant contractor in the black list but at the same time maintains a studied silence over the “proven misdeeds” of a company run by his brother. A recent case is a pointer to the double standards Bawankule applies to.

A firm named M/s M F Jain is undertaking work at Khaparkheda Thermal Power Station and 3X660 megawatt extension project of Koradi but defaulted in paying wages to its workers and labourers since the past 3-4 months. When the matter reached the doors of Bawankule, he issue a diktat to Mahagenco officials to put the defaulter firm in the black list and directed the Chief Engineer to pay salaries to the workers.

On the other hand, when the Jagdamba Construction Company, run by brother of Bawankule, defaulted in paying pending dues of 128 workers amounting to over Rs 5.31 crore, he maintained a studied silence even after the matter was brought to his notice. The minister neither gave relief to the deprived workers nor directed the concerned officials to initiate action against the guilty company. This double standards adopted by Bawankule left the workers and citizens of Kamptee Assembly constituency furious.

Moreover, when the 128 workers met the Chief Engineer and sought relief, he raised his hands and pointed fingers towards Bawankule. His argument was that without a specific direction from the minister nothing can be done in this regard.

Notably, the 128 deprived comprise some aged and outsiders. The rest are young and belong to Kamptee-Koradi-Mouda Assembly constituency. Taking a serious note of the matter, the Assistant Labour Commissioner Lokhande, on May 12, 2016, had directed the Koradi Chief Engineer to make payments pending dues to the workers as Principal Employer. However, the Chief Engineer, shirking his responsibility directed the main contractor L&T to look into the matter. The L&T, in turn, issued directives to its petty contractor Jagdamba Construction Company to resolve the issue. But the company, till to date turned a blind eye to the directive audaciously as the company is being run by brother of Bawankule, a minister after all. The pending dues issue is hanging fire since the past three years forcing the affected workers to run from pillar to post for the elusive justice.

The issue could assume the shape of an intense agitation by the said workers if their pending dues (Rs 3 lakh each) are not paid within a reasonable period and the Mahagenco would be at the receiving end.

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