Metro Lines 7 and 2A Delayed Until May 2021 Due to a Shortage of Out of State Workers

Metro Lines 7 and 2A Delayed Until May 2021 Due to a Shortage of Out of State Workers

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had around 16,000 workers before the government started special Shramik Trains for workers to go back to their home states amidst the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. 

This meant that many workers have returned home in March or April and haven’t returned back to the city. It is said that the MMRDA currently has only around 3,500 workers left, which is vastly insufficient for the number of pending projects in the city.

MMRDA Commissioner R A Rajeev said that this will lead to the delay of construction on Metro lines 2A and 7. Though these metro projects were expected to be finished by December 2020, the lack of workforce has pushed the tentative completion date to May 2021.

The commissioner mentioned that the first batch of special trains with labourers returning to Mumbai was expected to arrive in August, but has now been pushed to December.

“With the lockdown, highways were closed and trucks were not moving initially. When they did, labour was not available to load/unload material. Industries and manufacturing units were closed and when they resumed shortage of men impacted supplies. The momentum gained over the last two years has been lost,” the commissioner added.

Read - 11.86 Lakh Migrant Labourers Sent Back Home In 822 Shramik Trains From Maharashtra

While some workers are said to be returning back to the city, it’s only a fraction of the workforce required. The MMRDA-appointed contractors who are tasked with finding suitable labourers have reportedly said that it may take two to three months for the entirety of the labour force to return. 

The MMRDA, for its part, is making sure that no time is lost in waiting for the labourers and has published advertisements on newspapers to encourage locals to join the MMRDA’s workforce. However, the MMRDA commissioner seemed hesitant, saying “but local people do not have the skill sets required for construction and infrastructure work.” 

“They are trained for industrial and manufacturing work. We have to get workers from other states”, he added. Expressing some hope in the midst of these delays, the commissioner mentioned that only Metro lines 2A and 7 will be delayed, while the rest of the projects have a much later deadline which he says will allow the contractors to make up for the time lost until now. 

Also read - CM Asks MMRDA To Hire Locals For Pending Metro Construction Projects