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Indian construction industry reeling from worker shortages
Migrant construction workers who fled India’s cities when the pandemic started are too scared to return their former jobs, causing grim economic implications.
Among them were the 80 percent of construction workers who left Mumbai after work came to a standstill, the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry revealed.
With lockdown measures eased, over 10,000 building sites remain abandoned due to severe labor shortages.
Real estate developer Rajesh Prajapati said they tried their best to bring back migrant workers, even offering them air tickets, COVID-19 health insurance, and weekly checkups by doctors, to no avail.
Property giant Hiranandani Group, which continued to pay its workers during the lockdown, managed to convince only around 30 percent of its 4,500 workers to stay on site.
Real estate demand has plunged nearly 90 percent in Mumbai, with weak sales and the lull in construction affecting credit access.
Analysts say that as firms reeling from its battered finances and stalled projects, it is compounded by a lack of workers.
Pankaj Kapoor, CEO of Mumbai-based consultancy Liases Foras, described the situation as a double whammy with the pandemic diminishing demand and construction workers not being available.