The election season in the State has hit the construction industry in Bangalore hard. Over the last 10 days, a large number of projects in the private sector that employs migrant population from north Karnataka have been affected severely. This trend is likely to continue till the formation of the next government, industry sources expect. While government work had been affected for nearly a month as fresh tenders have not been opened and work orders not issued, it is the reverse migration of workers from the northern districts of Gulbarga, Raichur, Bidar and Bijapur that has hit the construction sector badly.
“Workers started leaving Bangalore for their respective villages ever since the nomination process was completed. Participating in campaign is easier than working at construction site and it fetches more money for them,” M. Ramesh, member of the national executive of the Builders’ Association of India, told The Hindu. Labour shortage has severely affected the industry, he added. “Besides money, I am told that food and liquor is supplied free.” According to him, parties appoint agents to specifically identify such workers and take them in hordes.
Mr. Ramesh, however, said that interior works such as tile laying and carpentry had not been affected since these were taken up mostly by workers from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other north Indian States. “Masonry work is the one that [has taken a beating],” he added.