Construction sector takes first baby steps

There were indications of revival of activities at construction sites after a hiatus, albeit on a dull scale, as the sector awaits a higher degree of relaxation of restrictions in the district categorised as an Orange Zone.

In the absence of bus and train services, labourers from villages in the radius of 10 to 15 km from the city who constitute the workforce for the construction industry have not been able to turn up in full strength as yet.

Builders have been told by the district administration that they will have to make arrangements for the stay of the labourers at the construction sites in compliance with the social distancing requirements.

“The activities have nevertheless resumed at sites where there are facilities for stay of labourers,” S. Anand, Managing Director, Jeyam Builders, said.

Builders have been given permission for one-time movement of labourers from the villages to the work sites. The activities could be resumed partially with less than half the strength of the workforce, Mr. Anand said.

The construction activities can be sustained only after restoration of the transport facilities. But not all builders are prepared to take the risk of resuming activities due to the sudden spurt in COVID-19 positive cases in the neighbouring districts of Ariyalur and Perambalur, Babu, a building contractor said.

Meanwhile, small industries have received guidelines from the Industries Department for reviving manufacturing activities from May 6. But, proprietors say they have been left high and dry by the government without cash infusion at such a critical juncture.

Alongside waiving of interest for the entire duration of the lockdown months, and postponing payment of GST and loan dues to banks, the MSME sector was keenly awaiting announcement of cash grants to revive manufacturing activities. The small industries have been pushed into a precarious situation, R. Ilango, president of Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:04:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/construction-sector-takes-first-baby-steps/article31503078.ece

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