Kochi

Contractors seeks code of conduct for public works during lockdown

A resident feeds strays in his neighbourhood during lockdown

A resident feeds strays in his neighbourhood during lockdown  

All construction activity involving public infrastructure had come to a grinding halt due to the lockdown

Government departments must publish a code of conduct for stakeholders in the construction industry so that all urgent public works can be completed by May 31, before the onset of the monsoon, the Kerala Government Contractors’ Association has demanded.

All construction activity involving public infrastructure had come to a grinding halt due to the national lockdown declared to contain spread of COVID-19. Thus, engineers and other officials concerned were not able to attend to even urgent works which could not be done once the monsoon began. In this context, a code of conduct binding government officials, contractors, their workers and suppliers of different materials would be of tremendous help, said Varghese Kannampally, State president of the association.

Urgent works such as laying of water pipelines too were held up, despite contractors being willing to execute them, due to unavailability of the supervisory staff. The other works included those undertaken by the Health Department, declogging of drains, construction of culverts and repair work of schools. All these must be brought under the ambit of essential services. The government departments concerned must depute engineers and other officials at least on alternate days to ensure speedy completion of pending works during the summer months.

On their part, contractors were taking steps to provide relief to workers deployed by them. The government must pitch in by opening relief camps to accommodate them, thus making available minimal work force to take up different works, Mr. Kannampilly said. He added that bills up to April 15 could not be encashed at the treasury due to the stalemate.

The November-May season is traditionally considered working season for public works in Kerala since rains would take a break in the State during the months.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 1:13:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/contractors-seeks-code-of-conduct-for-public-works-during-lockdown/article31284419.ece

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