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GMDA, MCG infra projects hit by shortage of manpower

By Kartik Kumar, Dhananjay Jha, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON MAY 18, 2020 12:03 AM IST

The progress of several civic projects of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has been impacted by a shortage of manpower, said officials on Sunday.

The worst-affected projects include the Huda City Centre underpass, the multilevel parking at Sadar Bazar, flyovers at Shankar Chowk and Basai Chowk.

Despite receiving the permission to resume work on April 21, these projects have either completely come to a standstill or are progressing at a snail’s pace due to the labour shortage.

Last week, the MCG’s engineering wing had prepared a list of projects that have not been started within 15 days of allotment of the work order and had accordingly started levying fines on contractors for it. It was only then that officials discovered that many contractors were unable to start work due to a severe shortage of manpower.

“In the projects that were allotted prior to the lockdown, all executive engineers have been directed to levy penalties on contractors. In the projects that were allotted since the lockdown, we have received many replies from contractors saying they are low on manpower as they are struggling to find daily wagers amid the coronavirus crisis. We are reviewing such replies on a case-to-case basis and are directing the contractors to submit an application asking for an extension of the deadline,” said Raman Sharma, chief engineer, MCG.

At the Sadar Bazar multilevel parking, which was allotted prior to the enforcement of the national lockdown on March 25, excavation work has started. However, MCG officials privy to the matter said the work has not progressed since then.

“The contractor has not been able to progress as he has not been able to find any manpower since then. Most of the workers at the site were migrant workers who have now returned home. It is likely to take another two weeks for the work to resume,” said an MCG official privy to the matter.

Due to shortage in manpower, the work on the under-construction flyover at Basai Chowk is progressing at a very slow rate, said GMDA officials.

“We have 15 to 20 daily wage earners at the site but we need at least 50 workers to put the work in full gear. There is a huge manpower shortage as most of our workers were migrants who have either left for their homes in other states and are waiting for their turn to be sent back by their respective state governments. In such a situation, we cannot expect our contractor to complete the project as per the schedule,” said a GMDA official familiar with the matter.

GMDA’s underpass work at Huda City Centre is also progressing at a slow pace because of unavailability of daily wage workers, while the work at the Shankar Chowk flyover has not restarted at all due to acute shortage of manpower.

“Migration of daily wage workers is happening at a big scale and most migrant workers have left for their respective home states. Their migration, along with the fear associated with the pandemic, has affected several ongoing projects. Work on the Basai Chowk flyover and the underpass at Huda City Centre will take time to resume in full gear until daily wage workers are available again. Manpower shortage will hence delay these projects,” said VS Kundu, chief executive officer (CEO), GMDA.

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