BENGALURU: The long delay in the repair of Varthur bridge has had an adverse impact on the construction industry in Whitefield, with contractors and builders suffering heavy losses. With trucks not being allowed to ply on the bridge since June 11, trucks transporting construction material to Whitefield have to take a longer route, which is also heavily congested with traffic and full of potholes, due to which, delivery personnel are charging much higher rates.
The earlier deadlines issued for completion of the repair work, which began on June 11, were July 31 and August 31. As per the latest update from officials, the completion of work will take two more months.
G Prasad, a Whitefield-based contractor, said that the cost of construction material has increased by 30-40 per cent post-closure of the bridge.
“The alternative road, which is 20 km longer, has traffic jams from 8.30 am to 11 am, and later, from 4 pm to 8 pm. On top of that, if it rains, there is no limit to the delays. The middlemen use these delays as the basis to charge more for their wares, making it very tough for us,” he said.
Another contractor, N Jayasheela, said the cost of a particular brand of cement had increased from `280 to `340 per sack, while cost of iron rods had risen from around `38 to `53 per kg. Sharing his plight, he said, “While my orders would get delivered in a couple of hours, now, they could take two-three days, as they only transport larger quantities.”
Suresh Gowda, a builder and owner of Sanjeevini Projects from Whitefield, said, “It is also affecting daily-wage labourers. When construction material reaches the site late, on some days, the labourers have no material to work with, and most contractors will pay them only half their wages. Jayasheela says even if labourers have no work on a day due to delay in delivery of materials, he pays them full wages, thus increasing his own losses. Having hoped for quick repair work on the bridge, he is now disillusioned, and says he is not sure whether the work would be over in even a year.