Indore: The Indore Development Authority (IDA) and Public Works Department (PWD) are facing an acute labour shortage and even the ones they are getting are not skilled as a result of which the crucial projects are going to get further delayed.
Work on all projects was stopped due to lockdown, but IDA and PWD received permission to restart their projects a few days back.
A PWD official, who did not want to be named, said that when work was restarted it was difficult to find labourers as most of them have migrated. "While earlier over a 100 labourers were working in these projects, now only 30-40 are working and they are not very skilled and cannot operate machinery used in these projects. Therefore, very little work is taking place and we fear that the projects will get further delayed," the PWD officer said.
BENGALI SQUARE FLYOVER
At the construction site of Bengali Square flyover there were only 30 to 35 labourers on Saturday. The project was started with more than 120 labourers and other staff. The labourers who are working at present have no experience of operating heavy machinery. Also, the Madhavrao Scindia statue is in the middle of the Bengali Square, which is proving to be a big hurdle for the PWD.
Grijesh Sharma, engineer PWD (Bridge department), said, "The construction work has started but we only have general labour. We need skilled labourers, but they have gone back to their hometowns. We are in the process of hiring such skilled labourers. Looking at the present scenario, I cannot say how long the project will take for completion".
For shifting the Scindia statue he said, "we are in talks with the IMC as they have to shift it. But since IMC is busy in managing COVID-19, the shifting could take time."
At Pipliyahana Flyover, which IDA is constructing, there were only 30 labourers and only a few of them appeared to be working on Saturday afternoon. These labours too are not highly skilled.
Chandrashekhar Pamecha, IDA engineer in charge of the project, said "we are facing a shortage of labourers. All our labourers have gone back to their homes. Only the local labourers are now at work. We are expecting to complete the project by August this year provided there are no additional hurdles."
IDA official said that the work of the left lane is about to be completed, but slabs have to be placed in the other lane, which requires skilled labourers.
It appears that both these agencies took so long to restart their work that most of the skilled workers who were from outside the state were forced to go back home.