HYDERABAD: The pace of execution of the ongoing irrigation and infrastructure projects in the State has slowed down due to the lockdown and non-availability of labourers. The impact on various projects has reduced the pace by around 10 to 50 per cent, depending on the location of the project.
According to a contract agency, workers and labourers have not been present in full strength at most of the work sites. Engineers of contracting companies, engineers of Water Resources Department and other technical staff too are not attending to projects in full strength due to the impact of both Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown. The non-availability of public transport is also affecting the movement of labourers and officials to and from construction sties, sources said. At some places, transportation of cement and other materials to the project sites is also getting affected.
The shortage of labourers is being faced at the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) too. Other irrigation and drinking water projects which have been hit include Wanaparthy and Balakistapur water grid project, GHMC Kukatpally drinking water project, Devadula lift irrigation scheme works — whose pace of execution was affected by 30 per cent, Ramappa-Pakala lift irrigation scheme works, by 25 per cent, Thotapalli works, by 35 per cent and Sitarama lift irrigation scheme works affected by 20 per cent, according to contracting agencies.
The contracting agencies added that the pace of drinking water projects at 29 urban local bodies (including municipalities and Nagarapalika clusters) had been reduced by 50 per cent. Besides irrigation and drinking water projects, the Raydurg gas insulated sub-station (GIS) works, intended to improve power supply infrastructure in the IT corridor of Hyderabad, have been affected with works slowing down by 50 per cent.
Special Chief Secretary of Water Resources Department Rajat Kumar told Express that irrigation project works had not completely halted. He admitted that the department was facing issues with lack of labourers and the works slowing down somewhat. “When compared to the first lockdown, the problem is less this time,” he said, and pointed out that before the official imposition of the lockdown, some villages had imposed a self-lockdown, which had impacted the attendance of the labourers.
Kumar, however, said that desilting of irrigation tanks and jungle clearance works, which were linked to NREGS, were going on smoothly.
“The department is executing around Rs 4 crore to Rs 5 crore worth of NREGS works every day,” he said. He added that during the first lockdown, there were problems with regard to supply of equipment and other materials. But, such problems are lesser this, he added.