Without migrant workers, infra projects delayed

NHAI projects worth Rs 14,410 crore have been hit in the State due to labour shortage 

Published: 29th August 2020 03:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2020 03:23 AM   |  A+A-

Migrant labourers walking back home during lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic

Migrant labourers walking back home during lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic. (File photo)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The migrant exodus, witnessed at the peak of the lockdown phase, has started hurting different sectors. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) estimates that projects worth Rs 14,410 crore have been hit in Tamil Nadu due to labour shortage.

“This includes the Rs 295 crore worth six-lane road development on a 33-km stretch between Chennai and Tada and Rs 777 crore worth six-lane on the Sriperumbudur-Karaipettai stretch among others,” says NHAI regional manager Pawan Kumar.    

It’s not just the roadways, the railways are also facing labour crunch. Track  improvement works as well as other important works have been hit due to  non availability of manpower, says railway contractor K Venkatesan. Industry sources say the labour shortage can be bridged only after transportation services resume in full swing. The CMDA is also suffering without labour supply, as its project to build a new bus stand at Kilambakkam is being delayed. The project was launched last year.      

“Attempts were made by contractors to bring labourers by buses, but it had to be aborted as one of the workers tested positive,” sources told Express. “A few locally available workers have been hired, but it’s not enough. Works are progressing, but slowly.”

It is to be noted that migrant labourers left the State in hordes after the lockdown was imposed, as many of their wages were not paid. Without money, they were evicted from their places of stay. A lot of them went to their native villages, far away in north and east India, by foot or by cycle, as there were no other means.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp