SRINAGAR: After most skilled and non-skilled non-local workers fled the Valley following attacks by militants on non-native truck drivers and labourers, the Jammu and Kashmir government has now decided to hire non-locals and provide them campsite accommodation and security in the militancy-hit Union territory.
The Valley is now facing a shortage of workers putting developmental works in a limbo. This has made the administration explore possibilities of arranging skilled labourers from outside the UT.
A source said in order to encourage non-local skilled labourers to return to the Valley, the government is willing to provide accommodation and also arrange security for them.
“Round the clock security men will be deployed to ensure the safety of non-local workers in the Valley,” he said.
Most non-locals skilled and non-skilled workers left the Valley after the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K into two Union territories (UTs) by the Centre on August 5. Some of the non-locals, who had stayed behind, left after militants started targeting them.
At least 11 non-local workers and traders have been killed in militant attacks since August 5.
Around 1,800 projects, worth Rs 2,000 crore, are on in Kashmir and shortage of workers mean that many of these projects are likely to miss their deadline. Non-local labourers form a major chunk of the workforce for government projects.
The shortage of skilled and non-skilled workers is also affecting industrial units in the Valley.
The official said the government has directed all 10 Deputy Commissioners in the Valley to engage local labourers to meet the shortage.
He said the DCs have been asked to ensure that work on languishing projects is resumed immediately after exploring the possibilities of engaging local labour.