Policy

Construction industry face workers shortage as government allows work to re-start with caveat

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 15, 2020 Published on April 15, 2020

Worker shortage could hit the construction industry’s effort to resume activities after the government allowed work to re-start at project sites as part of the guidelines framed for the extended lockdown period that ends on May 3.

Migrant workers comprise at least 80 per cent of the total 44 million workforce in the construction sector.

“Considering the ongoing scenario, the move to start at least some of the construction activity on project sites, even with limited workforce, is certainly welcome. That said, since many migrant workers had left for their villages post lockdown 1.0 announcement, we will have to wait and see how many are actually left to resume work,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK Property Consultants.

In a partial relief to the construction sector, the revised guidelines issued by the Home Ministry on Wednesday for the extended lockdown period, allowed continuation of works in construction projects, within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities, where workers are available on site and no workers are required to be brought in from outside (in situ construction).

In a move to kickstart at least some pent-up economic activity, the government has permitted activity to resume in non-Covid-19 hotspots, provided they follow strict social distancing guidelines. However, the guideline clearly mentions that no construction worker will be brought from outside and only those currently available on the site will be able to resume work.

“That aside, it will definitely help real estate to some extent. However, the fact that Covid-19 hotspots will not be able to resume activity from April 20 is a dampener for markets such as MMR - a highly-impacted zone which, as per ANAROCK data, currently has the highest under-construction residential stock of nearly 4.65 lakh units. This accounts for 30 per cent of the overall 15.62 lakh under-construction stock across the top seven cities,” Puri said.

As far as construction activity in non-hotspots is concerned, developers will need to focus on resuming construction on projects that are already nearing completion and have a completion deadline within 2020, he added. Ends/

Published on April 15, 2020

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