Tiruchirapalli

Labour woes hit construction of new barrage across Kollidam

Construction work on the regulator across Mukkombu in Tiruchi.

Construction work on the regulator across Mukkombu in Tiruchi.   | Photo Credit: M_SRINATH

Acute labour shortage has hit the construction of a new barrage across the Kollidam at Mukkombu.

The construction work, being undertaken at an estimate of ₹387.60 crore, began in June 2019. The new regulator is being constructed 75 metres away from the damaged structure on the downstream of the riverbed.

L&T, which bagged the contract, began raising piles in August. After two months of brisk work, the northeast monsoon and subsequent discharge of surplus water into the Kollidam from Mukkombu for about one and half months. The work, which again resumed in November, gathered momentum from December.

The Public Works Department (PWD) officials of River Conservation Division, Tiruchi, who oversee the project, had laid a roadmap for completing “below the ground level” work within May as the period from January to May was considered ideal for carrying out construction. As planned, the work made rapid progress until the third week of March. But, the lockdown from March 23 again put the brakes on the works.

Though the work resumed after a gap of about 45 days after the State government announced relaxation on lockdown measures, the exodus of migrant workers including skilled workers is reported to have slowed down the progress of work.

Before the lockdown, it is learnt that nearly 210 workers had been engaged for the project. Close to 90% of them were migrant workers. About 120 workers employed at Mukkombu project have returned to their native States. Only about 70 workers preferred to stay back at the project site, resulting in delay in the progress of work.

To make up for the shortage of workers, the contractors engaged labourers available in rural areas of Tiruchi district but they were unable to accelerate the pace of work.

R. Baskar, Executive Engineer, PWD, WRO, Tiruchi, told The Hindu that migrant workers, who had gone home, had expressed interest to return back to the project site. Efforts are on to bring them back, he said.

A site engineer said that e-pass had been applied for 40 migrant workers. They would be flown to the State as early as possible.

As far as the progress of work, Mr. Baskar said that about 40% of work had been completed. Of the 484 piles, 382 had been erected. Eighteen piers had been raised out of 55 piers. Fabrication of gates and hoist platforms had been completed. Out of 1,650 meters, the diaphragm wall had been constructed for a length of 850 meters.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 7:38:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/labour-woes-hit-construction-of-new-barrage-across-kollidam/article31890815.ece

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