Secretariat construction continues to be hit due to shortage of skilled labour

The Roads and Buildings Department is hopeful of further relaxation in the restrictions in the coming days so that the ongoing construction works on the new integrated Secretariat complex which are affected by lockdown are carried out to meet the deadline.

Launched in mid-November with a deadline of one year for handing over the fully constructed complex to the government, construction works suffered a setback after the onset of the second wave of the pandemic. With a section of workers contracting the virus, a major chunk of them left for their native villages and did not return.

Senior officials said the Holi festival and recent elections in West Bengal were other reasons for the workers, engaged mostly from the northern parts of the country, to leave the city, and they did not return owing to the restrictions imposed. “Not even 25% of the more than 1,200 engaged are on site because of various reasons,” an official supervising the works told The Hindu.

The contracting firm executing the works and the department are firm that only skilled workforce should be engaged in the works of the prestigious project that would become an icon for the State. “We could mobilise material like steel, cement and others in spite of lockdown. But, we are running short of skilled hands for taking up the works,” the official said.

When asked as to why the contracting form was not mobilising the labour force available locally, he said people who left were skilled workers with expertise in various aspects of building construction. There is shortage of fabricators, carpenters and other skill sets.

Senior officials said a major chunk of works pertaining to basement slab, a key component of the ₹ 616 crore project, have been completed. Reinforcement of steel for erection of pillars and other works are underway for expeditiously completing the balance works. They are however not confident that the construction of the iconic complex would be completed within the stipulated deadline unless the lockdown restrictions are eased.

Crime Today News | Telangana



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