HYDERABAD: Shortage of skilled labourers is badly hitting the construction industry in Hyderabad, with more than 25 per cent of projects being delayed due to it. It is mostly the shortage of masons, bar benders and carpenters that is causing problems to builders and contractors.
“Right now, at least 10,000 masons, bar benders, carpenters among others are immediately needed in Hyderabad. But there is severe crunch of skilled workforce. As a result, many projects are being delayed,” said K Gopala Krishna, director of Gowra Hallmark Townships and treasurer of Telangana Real Estate Developers Association (TREDA).
Shortage of skilled labourers has been a consistent problem over the years for builders and contractors with youth showing disinterest in entering a sector like construction field which involves laborious hard work. With the influx of new career opportunities like jobs in malls, security agencies and as cab drivers, the shortage of labourers in construction field has increased further.
“When compared to working as a mason or bar bender, working as a salesman or bill collector in a mall or working as a security guard appears much more appealing to the youth of today. Besides better salary, these jobs appear to be white- collar compared to working in the construction sector. The number of youth joining the construction sector is, therefore, decreasing which, in turn, is affecting the industry adversely,” explains P Dasharath Reddy, TREDA president.
A skilled worker makes a lot of difference to a project. A project takes less time and consumes less construction material if built by skilled labourers than by unskilled. The quality and safety of a building also depend a lot on the skill of the labourers. Thus, shortage of skilled labourers not only delays projects but also affects the quality and productivity.
Today, many villas and world-class apartments are coming up in Hyderabad. But not just shortage of labour during construction but even after the completion of projects problems are persisting during maintenance due to shortage of skilled plumbers, electricians and carpenters among others,” said Gopala Krishna.
To address the problem, the city-based National Academy of Construction (NAC) is conducting skill development courses in trades like site supervision,
store-keeping, masonry, plumbing, electrical work, carpentry and bar bending on a large scale. Every year the NAC trains about 20,000 construction labourers and yet shortage of skilled labourers plagues the sector.
“As of now, we are training about 3,000 youths in construction-related skills. We conduct three-month courses and we are also providing placements to them. We have a database of about 500 builders and contractors to whom we give the list of people trained with us. Not just builders from Hyderabad but those from other states also approach us for skilled labourers.
We take up many campaigns to lure youth into taking up skill development courses. Till now lakhs of youth have been placed and and rose in their careers. But they also face problems at sites like delay in salaries and lack of proper maintenance by contractors. These make even the trained youth look for alternative professions,” said I.Shanti Sree, director of draining and placements, NAC.
‘North Hyderabad a Good Option for Home Buyers’
P Venu Gopal Reddy, managing partner of Lakshmi Infratech and member of Telangana State Labour Board, says North Hyderabad gives best returns for home buyers and investors. In an interview with Express, he speaks about the care to be taken while buying a home. Here are excerpts:
How is the mood in the Hyderabad realty sector now?
Compared to a year and a half ago, the Hyderabad realty market is stable now. Sales are taking place at a consistent pace. For instance, we are building a gated community project with 60 villas at Kompally, and all the villas have been sold. Though there is a lot of unsold inventory in Hyderabad, the situation as a whole is better now. There are signs of recovery.
What have contributed to the recovery?
The end of political uncertainty with state’s bifurcation and the Telangana government’s projection of Hyderabad as an attractive investment destination are the major factors. Many north Indians are showing interest to buy homes in Hyderabad and prices are at an all-time low now. In fact, this is the ideal time to buy a home.
Which areas do you think are the best for buying a home now?
It depends on the buyer. Areas in West Hyderabad have become very expensive. I suggest northern Hyderabad areas like Kompally and Alwal are best to reside and are showing good appreciation. But any area with good connectivity and facilities like schools, hospitals and shopping centres is a good option. Not just location but quality of construction has also to be considered.
What is your take on the quality of constructions in Hyderabad?
We have good quality but even that can be improved. When compared to any other city, home cost is less in Hyderabad and obviously that also shows up in quality.
How can a buyer spot a quality venture?
Almost all the apartments or villas constructed by reputed and experienced builders are of good quality. They should check whether the project has got GHMC or HMDA approval and know about the past projects of the builder to assess the quality of the property he intends to buy. Also training and employing more number of skilled labourers in construction is needed to improve the quality of construction.