Losses forcing contractors to stay away from road works in Bastar

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Sep 2018 10:42:33


 

By Harjeet Singh,

JAGDALPUR,

 

Contractors complain that they get merely 30-40% of money as relief for loss from insurance companies. Home department gives only Rs 50,000 as compensation if damaged vehicle’s cost is around 40 lakh


With the continuing incidents of arsoning and violence by Naxalites, this is forcing contractors to stop construction of roads in the interior regions of Bastar. So far in two years, 310 vehicles engaged in road construction work have been burnt by Naxals and passenger buses were also targeted.
The compensation amount received from insurance companies and Home department is very negligible for the loss incurred by the construction companies. This is the reason why the contractors are reluctant to take up construction works in the interior region infested by Naxalism.


Naxalites have been setting afire the vehicles including JCBs, Hyvas, tractors and trucks engaged in road construction in Narainpur, Bijapur, Dantewada, Sukma and Kanker districts. In the last two months, four dozens of vehicles engaged in road constructions in Gadiras, Meerpur in Sukma district, Phulgatta, Bhadrachalam in Bijapur district and Narelighat in Dantewada, have been set ablaze.


With the heavy losses incurred by contractors, the construction works in interior regions are going on at snail’s pace. The government claims to have provided enough security but vehicles and the construction materials are being set ablaze by Naxals at frequent intervals. The contractors working in the Naxal affected regions in Sukma and Dantewada informed that they do construction works by putting their and the lives of their employees at risk in most sensitive areas and Naxalites set ablaze their machineries and vehicles engaged in the construction works.


The contractors said that they not only suffer financial losses but the frightened labourers run away leaving the work thus affecting the construction work badly. Contractors complained that they get merely 30-40 per cent of the money as compensation for the loss from insurance companies.


Home department gives only Rs 50,000 as compensation if the damaged vehicle’s cost is around Rs 40 lakh. In this way, the compensation is very less. Vehicle owners have to pay Rs 35-50 thousand as premium per year to insurance companies. Naxalites have not spared even passenger buses. The Red rebels have set ablaze several passenger buses plying on Jagargunda, Bailadila and Konta roads in Bijapur.


In 2005, the outlaws had set afire a passenger bus in which three persons including a child had died. Recently, a youth was charred to death in a bus set ablaze by Naxalites in Neralighat in Dantewada. The extremists have so far set ablaze two dozen buses of Kushwaha, Amritraj, Gupta and Bharat Travels.


However, before setting afire the buses, Naxals ask passengers to get down but goods and materials kept in the bus is gutted in fire. It is also alleged that the contractors themselves get their old vehicles torched by Naxals for compensation claim. However, insurance companies are not confirming this allegation.
According to information received from police sources, in the initial investigation it was found in the arsoning incident on Kistaram-Kansaram Bhadrachalam road, new vehicles of contractors were not even touched by the Naxals, while dozens of old vehicles were torched.


Police have prepared a list of suspected contractors who might have links with Naxals.Meanwhile, India Insurance Company Limited Manager Lakhpati Borkar informed that the insurance of vehicles is done on specific terms and conditions. In accident or arsoning incidents, compensation is provided on the basis of report from the surveyor.