The ongoing lockdown in Tamil Nadu will delay delivery of apartments to homebuyers in and around Chennai by at least two months, say building industry sources.
A large chunk of guest workers and masons from other states and other districts in Tamil Nadu have already left for their hometowns, and movement of construction material from other states too has come to a grinding halt, they say.
“Of the three lakh guest workers in the construction sector, 1.5 lakh have left Chennai and suburbs during the past one week. As of now, concrete work alone could be executed, and there is no scope for carpentry and painting, as material is not available,” said S Ramaprabhu, state secretary of Builders Association of India. Constructions are happening only in about 25% of housing projects now, he said, adding that even those construction sites are making do with available stocks.
Chennai and its adjacent districts have about 3,375 housing projects comprising units ranging from 8 to multiple blocks under various stages of construction.
Stakeholders in the construction sector say the industry is staring at a crisis similar to the one that prevailed during the complete lockdown in 2020. As the TN government’s lockdown protocol permits only insitu construction, material such as brick, cement and msand alone could be sourced locally.
Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) Tamil Nadu chapter president Suresh Krishn said ferrying material, including locks and tiles from northern states and even from the neighbouring Karnataka has been stopped during the complete lockdown. Whilelocks are sourced from Delhi and tiles are procured from Gujarat.
“Such factors have affected the scheduled completion dates of housing projects. This will delay handing over of apartments by two months to the homebuyers,” Krishn said.
The Chennai Civil Engineers Association president, S Jagadeesan, said adequate manpower was not available in brick industries as well.
“It may lead to shortage of construction material that could be sourced locally. Already, the construction sector was facing a situation similar to the complete lockdown last year,” he said.