Bengal real estate body seeks govt help to bring labourers back at construction sites

    Kolkata, Apr 18 (PTI) A real estate developers'
association in West Bengal has sought permission from the
state government to bring labourers back at the project sites
after the Centre allowed to resume construction works with
some restrictions during the ongoing lockdown, an official
said on Saturday.
    The industry body urged the state government to allow
movement of workers from their home towns and native villages
after the Centre had given its nod to restart construction
activities from April 20 on those projects where labourers are
already available at the sites.
    "We have written to the state government seeking
permission to start works at the construction sites and
reopening offices in a partial and phased manner," Credai West
Bengal president Sushil Mohta told PTI.
    But the challenge with most of the projects has been
availability of workers as many labourers hailed from
districts and they left for their homes immediately after
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the lockdown, he
    "We have also urged the state to allow us to bring
labourers back from their home districts such as Medinipur,
Murshidabad, Bankura and other areas," Mohta, also chairman of
the Merlin Group, said.
    Citing a similar experience, National Real Estate
Development Council, Maharashtra vice president Ashok Mohanani
said majority of workers are migrant labourers and have
returned to their native places at this time.
    "Reverse migration has hit the real estate sector
which has resulted in a labour shortage," he said.
    There are 8.5 million workers in India engaged in
building and other construction activities.
    The guidelines issued for restarting economic
activities during the lockdown "do not allow travel of
labourers to construction sites", an industry expert said.
    Labourers available at construction sites can commence
work from April 20 in strict adherence to social distancing
norms, he said.
    "We have committed to undertake sanitisation exercise
at sites and ensure that social distancing norms are
followed," Mohta said.
    The industry has also sought permission to bring
construction materials at the sites during the ongoing
lockdown imposed to check the coronavirus outbreak, he said.
    Real estate sector has been passing through a
challenging time due to financial crisis, he added. PTI BSM

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)