Tamil Nadu

Public Works Department resumes work at major project sites in Tamil Nadu

The department has also re-started heritage restoration work at Humayun Mahal, Chepauk with minimal labour. A file photograph of the Mahal from last year.

The department has also re-started heritage restoration work at Humayun Mahal, Chepauk with minimal labour. A file photograph of the Mahal from last year.   | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

Officials say finding workers for the various projects is a challenge during the lockdown, as many have left for their hometowns

Some of the project sites of the Public Works Department across the State that had not been able function since the COVID-19 lockdown have been abuzz with activity for the past few days. However, finding sufficient labourers for the projects remains a challenge for the department.

The department is focusing on resuming work at major project sites to avoid delays. Work is in progress to construct medical colleges and hospitals in 11 districts. Most of these projects, costing between Rs. 340 crore - Rs.380 crore, were kicked off in March.

PWD officials said foundation work for buildings is being carried out for projects in Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram and Namakkal districts and preliminary work is on for buildings in Tiruppur, Dindigul, Krishnagiri, Tiruvallur and Nagapattinam districts. The medical colleges with hospitals are being provided with three sets of buildings for the institution, residential quarters and the hospital.

“We have resumed these ambitious projects with 40-50% of the labour force and the workers are being accommodated at the construction sites. Several of the migrant workers have left for their native places over the past few weeks,” an official said.

Labourers at the construction site have to follow strict norms, including physical distancing and hygiene practices. There are many restrictions, including on the number of workers in a particular space, the official said.

The tendering process for the medical college projects in Udhagamandalam, Ariyalur and Kallakurichi districts have been postponed to June, for after the lockdown ends. Most of these works are set to be completed by 2021.

The department has also re-started heritage restoration work at Humayun Mahal, Chepauk with minimal labour. “We are continuing with roof work at Humayun Mahal. About 30% of the work has been completed so far. Instead of the usual 150 skilled labourers, only about 50 of them are at work now,” an official said.

One of the major heritage works lined up is the restoration of the historic ‘Kuthiraivandi court’ building in Coimbatore for which tenders would be soon finalised. This old munsif court was built in 1863 for housing family courts and is now in decrepit state, officials said.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 10:43:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/public-works-department-resumes-work-at-major-project-sites-in-tamil-nadu/article31701877.ece

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