Andhra Pradesh

Absence of skilled force being felt

As more than 50% of the skilled construction workers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal who returned home due to the pandemic situation are yet to return to Chittoor district, construction activity continues to remain paralysed, particularly the work in some industries and big ventures that requires certain specialised skills.

In Sri City about 2,000 workers from northern States used to be engaged in regular construction activity.

Work resumed in the industrial belt after a hiatus of three months, but the absence of the northern workforce is ‘very glaring’, admits a contractor executing work for a major company in Sri City.

"Regular construction activity could be handled by the local workforce but the skilled workforce from northern States is required for executing some specific industrial tasks. Not even half of them have returned so far," says Public Relations Officer (Sri City) Ravindranath Chivukula.

A couple of months ago, building works related to foundation, ceiling and pillars resumed, but the finishing works such as granite polishing and interior designing remain suspended in Tirupati, Chittoor, Srikalahasti, Madanapalle and other parts of the district, says Srinivasulu Reddy, a contractor in Tirupati. A majority of the contractors prefer workers from the north considering their flexible approach in collecting wages compared to their local counterparts, he admits.

Other major areas where migrant workers are required are mango gardens and pulp industries. "Exactly when the mango season commenced in April, the migrant workers had left for their native places, jeopardising the interests of seasonal traders and pulp units. However, their numbers were promptly replaced by the local force," explains Deputy Director (Horticulture) B. Venkateswarulu.

Meanwhile, a good number of skilled artisans from Rajasthan who work on porcelain and ethnic art of various sorts meant for interior decoration have started returning to Chittoor in small numbers.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 12:47:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/absence-of-skilled-force-being-felt/article32768450.ece

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