SIDDIPET : While the pandemic threat has yet again started taking a toll on the livelihood of people, the State government too is struggling a lot, especially for expediting works pertaining to various irrigation projects. Mallanna Sagar is one among those projects that are yet to be completed and according to sources, all its pending works are currently progressing at a snail’s pace, owing to the resurgence of Covid and the imposition of restrictions.
As the government considered Mallanna Sagar one of its most-ambitious projects, the authorities were striving hard to expedite all the works in a record time and get the project ready by the end of May. However, due to delay caused by the pandemic threat, the authorities were forced to postpone the deadline by another three to four months.
According to sources, around 90 per cent of workers associated with the construction of Mallanna Sagar hail from neighbouring States such as Maharashtra and Bihar. While a good number of these workers, who left the State during the first wave, have not yet returned, another group is set to head home, owing to virus and lockdown scare.
1,500 workers yet to return
When Express spoke to a few officials, it was understood that about 1,500 workers, who went to their native areas during Holi, have not been able to return to Telangana due to restrictions imposed in their respective States.Meanwhile, the situation has worsened after several administration officials and the authorities of various departments contracted the virus and went into quarantine.
When Express interacted with a top official, in-charge of monitoring the project, he said that while they were facing an adequate shortage of workers, the situation suddenly worsened after a good number of labourers began heading home last month after rumours that the government might reimpose the lockdown started surfacing in the State. Though the contractor concerned had arranged temporary shelters at as many as 11 places, the employees felt that they might be left in dire straits, just like last year, if the government reimposed the lockdown. As many as 7,000 workers live in these temporary shelters.
Many labourers test positive
Meanwhile, around 20 workers from each camp have tested positive for the virus and are currently undergoing treatment at separate camp. Project Superintendent Engineer (SE) A Venu told Express that they have deferred the deadline for expediting Mallanna Sagar works till August-September, though they had planned to bring 12 tmcft of water into the project by the end of May. Venu also said that though the contractor has been paying the workers more to avoid exodus, virus and lockdown scare are forcing them to leave.