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Lockdown: Realtors hail govt move to allow construction with limited labour force, say raw materials availability an issue

Realtors hail govt move to allow construction with limited labour force, say raw materials availability an issue

The real estate industry on Wednesday said the government”s decision to allow construction on those projects where labourers are already available on sites will solve the problem of migrant daily wage workers but said availability of raw materials may be an issue.

NAREDCO President Niranjan Hiranandani said, “The government has issued an order which allows staggered reopening on the stalled construction work to partially resume from 20 April 2020, subject to terms and conditions. The real estate industry acknowledges the positive impact this will have in handling the migrant crisis.”

The relaxation has come at the right time as the situation was very grim to keep construction workers at the site afloat, he said.

Credai National Chairman Jaxay Shah said the directives issued by the Ministry of Home affairs will boost the country”s economic growth in a slow but steady manner.

“We, however, await the directives by the state government,” he said.

The realty sector remains the second largest employer after agriculture and halt in construction activities will have a long-term impact on the realty sector, Shah noted.

“We therefore urge the government to allow construction activity and supply chain in a staggered manner. We are already taking care of the workers and construction can begin amidst the present conditions. We are also ready to start construction at those sites where labourers are already present with subject to the supply chain,” Shah said.

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants said: “Offering some relief to the construction sector, 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.”

The move to start at least some of the construction activity on project sites, even with limited workforce, is certainly welcome, Puri said.

“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 back to resume work. Migrant workers comprise at least 80 per cent share of the total 44 million workforce in the construction sector currently,” he said.

CREDAI-NCR President Pankaj Bajaj said, “We are awaiting clarity. It seems that Noida construction may be allowed outside the hotspots, But practically it seems impossible. Labour has to stay in-house. Most projects are at the finishing stage. At such stage, labour does not stay in-house.”

“The other problem is supply of raw material. Large restrictions are still in force for the production of those goods. Nearly 200 different items go in the construction,” Bajaj said.

Supertech Chairman R K Arora spoke about the challenges for starting construction work.

“We require different types of labour in consultation i.e. labour, mason, carpenter, plumbers and bar binders, etc and all are not available at site. Work without construction materials will not be possible since industry related to construction are not allowed till May 3,” Arora said.

“By allowing in-situ projects, to commence construction work is a step in the right direction. Upon successful experience, construction activities should be allowed across all projects,” said Ashish Bhutani MD and CEO Bhutani Infra.

The decision to resume construction activities will help in job creation, said Ankush Kaul, President (Sales & Marketing)- Ambience group said.

Vikas Bhasin, CMD, Saya Homes, said: “Permitting construction activities although with conditions is the right approach and we wholeheartedly welcome it. But the implementation will be subject to guidelines issued by respective states, we will have to wait and watch for clarity to emerge.”

Rajat Goel, JMD, MRG World, said, “Allowing in-situ projects, falling within the boundaries of Municipal Corporation to commence construction, while following social distancing norms is a step in the right direction. This will immensely help the daily wage labourers.” PTI MJH MKJ