Contractor Commits Suicide over Unpaid Loans, Protests against BBMP
A 32 year old man, known by the name Ravi Kumar, committed suicide at Nagarabhavi. The deceased, who used to live with his parents, is alleged to have taken this extreme step because of non-payment of the bills. The body was discovered hanging from the ceiling by parents when they realised that Ravi has not stepped out of his room since the morning. Ravi Kumar used to live with his parents in their house. He was a contractor at Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.
The officials from Janana Bharathi Police Station have taken the body for post-mortem. The unfortunate event has, however caused protests and a rift between the contractor’s association and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). It was learnt that the struggle of contractors are not new. They have been demanding their dues for a very long time and BBMP has been failing them repeatedly on the grounds of submitting the departmental reports.
Although the police investigation has just started and they have refrained from making any presumptions. The police officers are currently waiting the reports of post-mortem to decide the next course of investigation. They have denied any allegations of foul play. This is the clear case of suicide, reasons are yet unknown. On the other hand, the BBMP Contractors’ Association, during their protest at the head office, argues that Ravi Kumar was forced to take this step because of the massive loan amount. The details regarding the said loan are still uncertain, but as per the sources, Ravi was anxious to repay the loan. He had secured the loans from private sources at a very high interest rate.
Association’s president, Mr. R. Ambikapathy has claimed that Rs. 1.5 crores were due to be paid to Ravi by BBMP for his services in the last three years. Ravi would still have been alive if the payment was dispatched on time. There is a long queue of contractor’s still waiting for their payments to be cleared. Such irresponsible behaviour by the government wing has made their life a misery. The suicide of Ravi Kumar has only fuelled the situation leading to the widespread protests by the fellow contractors.
In the light that the quality reports have been submitted for four divisions, Mr. T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, BBMP administrator has reassured all the contractors that the payment procedure will be speed up and more teams will be created for efficient working of the civic department. The delay supposedly took place because of the formal proceedings which could not have been avoided. Since the department now has all the clearance it will start the process of clearing the payments to the contractors as soon as possible.
Despite the reassuring statement made by the officials, there is distress and unrest prevailing in the BBMP Contractors’ Association who demands a strict action against the civic body. They demand the justice for deceased Ravi Kumar and his family and full payment of their dues at the earliest. They said they have been through a lot of turmoil and are now seeking a closure.