Construction sites shut, but labour paid and looked after


All labour are off construction sites in labour camps at the worksite or at contractor sites, and are also being coached on sanitation, hygiene and social distance. Announcing this at an online press conference on March 24, CREDAI-MCHI, an apex body for realty firms of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, assured that wages would be paid in full to the labour.

CREDAI-MCHI President Nayan Shah said, "This is not the time to worry about profits and losses. We will make sure no wages of any laborer will be deducted and they will get 100 percent wages." This at a time when the industry is losing Rs 7,000 cr per week as a result of the COVID-19 induced shut-down of work.

While facilities like food and drink, groceries and provisions and even medical checks by visiting doctors, take place at the worker camps, CREDAI-MCHI is also working with the municipal corporation to make facilities available for Covid-19 quarantine in Powai. A municipal training center has been converted into a quarantine facility for over 250 patients.

The government, in turn, has responded to a plea to make funds available to pay worker wages, has announced Rs 1,000 per month to all registered workers and to those in the process of registration.

"This is a temporary phase and the business will be back on track in some time. As soon as the virus threat is over we will try to restore normalcy," Shah added. Taking care of workers at the site itself, helps enforce social isolation and also ensures that when the situation is normal, the labour is ready and waiting to get started. "Directly and indirectly 18 lakh workers will be affected by the pandemic. I feel once the all-clear is sounded, the industry would take 4-6 weeks to come back on track," explained Shah.

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