Covid-19 pandemic hits construction of new Secretariat

Workers of the Disaster Response Force team spraying disinfectant at the Secretariat area in Hyderabad.  

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has had its impact on the ongoing construction of the new integrated secretariat complex.

A section of the labour force engaged in the construction works contracted Covid-19 and was quarantined while another chunk of workers left the work place amid fears of surge in the number of cases in the second wave which was felt since March this year. As against 1,000 workers engaged in the works on a daily basis, less than 200 are working at present, thus slowing down the entire construction process.

“Works have been slowed down since the onset of the second wave of Covid-19. Even those engaged now are working under fear of contracting the virus,” a senior official said adding steps were taken to administer the first dose of the vaccine to those engaged in the works.

According to officials, more than 100 workers were immobilized because of the virus while several others left the work place citing domestic and other problems. As a result, labour intensive brick work and other components of the construction suffered a setback while there was also shortage of fabricators, carpenters and others that would be engaged in centring works.

Razing of the old secretariat complex started in July last year and completed by October and the possession of the more than 25-acre sprawling site had been handed over to construction major Shapoorji Pallonji group which won the contract for constructing the integrated complex in November. Completion of ground levelling and commencement of basement works took some time and the main works commenced early this year with accommodation and other facilities for workers arranged at the work site itself.

The contractor was given deadline of one year from the day of handing over the site in November third week for completion of construction of the integrated complex. Given the uncertainty prevailing over the situation coming back to normalcy, there is all likelihood of works not getting completed before the deadline.

According to the designs approved by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, the seven-storey integrated complex with close to 7 lakh sq.ft area would be spread over an area of 600 ftX300 ft building coverage amounting to 9.7% of the 25.5 acre land. Ground works related to the basement had been completed to date and works on basement slab had commenced on Friday. “It will take roughly about 30 hours to complete 20 per cent of the basement slab,” the official told The Hindu.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 6:31:47 PM |

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