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As migrants leave Mumbai, major infrastructure projects in city stuck

PUBLISHED ON MAY 28, 2020 11:47 PM IST

Lakhs of migrant workers leaving the city has badly hit ongoing infrastructure projects worth crores.

Officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which had more than 11,000 labourers at various project sites, said more than 50% have left. RA Rajeev, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We are yet to assess the impact, but migrant workforce leaving the city has affected projects.”

Earlier, MMRDA had also said that Metro-2A (Dahisar-DN Nagar) and Metro-7 (Dahisar E-Andheri E), which were to be commissioned in December 2020, will be delayed by three months owing to the delays caused by the lockdown.

Apart from the Metro corridors, MMRDA is also constructing the decades-old 22km sea-bridge Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) connecting Mumbai and Navi Mumbai and several bridges in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

An official said, “Almost all projects of MMRDA are facing problems owing to lack of labour force. There is a sort of anxiety among labourers, making them leave the city despite being provided with food and shelter at work sites.”

MMRDA has also started works on phase-2 of the makeshift Covid-19 hospital at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) grounds. The new facility will also have 1,000 beds, of which 100 beds will serve as the intensive care unit (ICU), while the rest will have both, oxygen and non-oxygen facilities, officials said. The work is expected to be completed in another 15-20 days.

AV Shenoy from Mumbai Mobility Forum said, “Infrastructure is heavily dependent on labour force and the problem of migrant workers is likely to continue till the end of monsoon. We are likely to lose out on almost a year’s work in the bargain.”

Meanwhile, the Central, Western, Konkan and South Central railways operated nearly 30 Shramik special trains from Maharashtra on Thursday. The trains were operated to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Kerala.

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