Construction activities in and around Chennai have slowed down as migrant labours are visiting their hometowns to cast their votes. While the labourers are travelling home depending on the different phases of the election which take place in their states, it has delayed the progress in completing housing projects in the city.
Ajith Chauhan hailing from Varanasi, who is employed as a skilled labourer at a construction site in Okkiyampet at Thoraipakkam on Rajiv Gandhi Salai (Old Mahabalipuram Road), said that a group of workers are travelling on May 1. “About 40-50 persons among our peer group would be visiting Varanasi. The aim of the travel is to exercise our franchise on the polling day in our Parliamentary constituency, which is also clubbed with other social events on the following days,” he said. The group is residing at Pattaravakkam near Ambattur.
This has reflected on the ongoing projects to a certain extent as the construction sector in the city largely depends on the migrant labours belonging to Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Developers said that issue has cast a shadow on the industry and it is feeling the pinch. Chennai chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) vice president S Sridharan said that there was a partial impact. “We are already facing it after 20 per cent workers from Andhra Pradesh left to their state for voting in the assembly and Lok Sabha polls on April 11. Now, it is the turn of labourers from West Bengal,” he said. Lok Sabha elections are scheduled in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh in seven phases till May 19.
Though the elections would end a day’s time, the labourers usually take more than a week to return from their hometowns. “If it is a week’s time for those from Andhra , labourers from West Bengal would take ten to return. This apart, workers from parts of Tamil Nadu will move to their native places for voting on April 18,” Sridharan said. Meanwhile, Flat Promoters Association, Chennai South members said that there would be a delay of 10 days in completing the projects. “It will only have a marginal impact,” association president Thamil Selvan said.