CM Asks MMRDA to Hire Locals for Pending Metro Construction Projects

CM Asks MMRDA to Hire Locals for Pending Metro Construction Projects

Given the lack of workers in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked officials with pending metro projects to hire locals for construction and other labour. It’s no secret that the lockdown imposed in March and April has led to the returning of thousands of migrant labourers residing in the state. Keeping this in mind, the CM discussed these issues with the authorities of the MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority).

The CM met with the Commissioner of the MMRDA R A Rajeev while the meeting also included State Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta, as well as other senior officials from relevant departments.

“Local people should be given employment immediately where Metro and other infrastructure projects are stuck due to lack of labourers,” a statement put out by the Chief Minister’s Office said. The MMRDA is reportedly working on five of the six under-construction Metro corridor projects in the city. 

The CM also asked authorities to make sure construction sites maintain hygiene by frequently draining pits and clearing out debris ahead of the monsoons as diseases like malaria and dengue can wreak havoc on the population.  

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Officials have said that around 1,000 employees have rejoined work in June and a further 1,200 are expected to join in July. These workers will be deployed at existing Metro lines including Dahisar East - Andheri East (Metro 7), Wadala - Ghatkopar - Thane - Kasarvadavli (Metro 4), as well as Kasarvadavli - Gaimukh (Metro 4A).

Senior officials from the MMRDA have maintained that although the projects haven’t been halted, they are only operating at 30 per cent of the usual capacity. Other officials added that simply replacing the old workforce with new won’t be feasible given that adequate training and skills are required for the job.

It was clear a few weeks ago that the coronavirus lockdown will significantly impact a large number of existing infrastructure works in the city, particularly Metro lines. Several public projects are expected to get a revised deadline to account for the lost time.