R. Jagadeeswara Rao

VISAKAHAPATNAM: Recession has taken a toll of the once blooming house construction activity in the city. Now severe shortage of labour, which has an adverse impact on the real estate sector, especially on construction activity in the city and in fast developing areas like Madhuravada, has further accentuated the problem, thus making the picture grim for the realtors.

According to builders’ association sources, majority of the labour force, engaged in construction activity, used to come from the neighbouring districts of Srikakulam and Vizianagaram. At any given point of time, the number of labourers engaged in house construction work here is nearly 10,000. Now, they chose to migrate to other cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, apparently in search of greener pastures. This shortage had resulted in increased demand and a hike in daily wages.

The wages for a male labourer used to be Rs.100 to Rs.125. Now they demand a daily wages of Rs.200 and above. Similarly, the daily wage of a skilled labourer had gone up from Rs.200 to Rs.250 to Rs.300. The shortage was more acute during the election time when a considerable chunk of labourers went to participate in the campaigning by various political parties.

As much as 13 lakh sqft of constructed area in the form of apartments, commercial complexes is ready for sale in the city. With a view to attracting buyers, builders had slashed rates of flats considerably. In areas like Madhuravada, the prevailing rate was around Rs.2,500 per sqft a few months back. But now builders offer at a rate of around Rs.2,000 per sqft and even less. But there are not many takers. People have a feeling that rates will further come down. But builders assert that there would not be any further slashing, and rates are likely to go up because of the recent political developments in the State. ‘We are hoping for good times once again’ said a builder.