Thiruvananthapuram: The government has ordered the local bodies to supply bitumen to contractors for road works costing less than Rs 30 lakh. The contractors find it difficult to transport 10-20 barrels of bitumen required for rural road construction from the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Kochi. The PWD took the above decision to stop the pilferage of tar being taken out from the BPCL.
The government in its order dated February 27 stated that local bodies’ secretaries should get the bitumen for annual road construction schemes. The contractors say that if they get the bitumen directly, the bill has to be produced. But if the local bodies’ secretaries get the bitumen, it will be done as per government norms without hassles.
“Many panchayats are not buying the bitumen directly and the contractors face the brunt. When the local panchayat buys the bitumen, it is not expensive as we buy it directly from the BPCL,” said Varghese Kannampally, president, Kerala Government Contractors Association.
The department has received complaints alleging that bitumen smuggling is rampant. The secretaries have to meet the loading and unloading charges initially which will be reduced from the final bill on bitumen....