Labour shortage hits work, Kharar flyover deadline pushed to December
Five years on, only 76% work completed and seven deadlines missed due to various roadblocks with only 200 men working at the site instead of 300Updated: Aug 09, 2020 23:18 IST
The much-delayed Kharar flyover now has an eighth deadline of December 2020 as shortage of skilled labour due to the lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak has hit work and impacted the previous time limit of November.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had handed over the Rs 368-crore project to Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which began construction in November 2015 with completion planned in three years by December 2018.
Over five years however, only 76% of the work was done even as seven deadlines expired from December 2018 to January 2020, then March and on to June, July, September, November and now December 2020.
“We are trying our best but face labour shortage,” says Bhavnesh Kumar, manager, NHAI.
“From 300 labourers earlier we are now left with only 200 as most of them have gone back to their native places and are unable to return due to the lockdown. Construction of the bridge at Khanpur will take some time and we are expecting the work to finish by the year-end,” said an L&T official not wishing to be named.
Work on the flyover was suspended on March 22 after the lockdown, but resumed from April 20, with authorities hoping to finish it by September amid restrictions on movement of traffic.
Kharar sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Himanshu Jain, who is supervising the project, said he had issued several deadlines for various works on the flyover, but labour shortage was a problem. “We are hopeful that the project will be completed by the year end,” he added.
The national highway where the flyover is coming up connects Chandigarh to parts of Punjab, besides Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
This leaves Kharar as a major bottleneck. About 50,000 vehicles were crossing the stretch on an average before the lockdown.
Among disgruntled locals, Kartar Grewal, a resident of Kharar, says, “The delays are endless and it has become a challenge to cross the stretch. Often ambulances are held up. I request the state government to intervene and expedite the project.”