The exodus of migrants following the lockdown has extended the wait for home-buyers to own a new house as real estate industry is struggling to complete residential projects.
Though the developers have been given a six-month deadline by RERA to complete the existing projects, they are finding it difficult to get the labourers back and resume construction activity.
While buyers have taken home loans from the banks and are paying their instalments or have availed moratorium, there will be delay in possession due to shortage of labour.
Talking about the issues faced by the industry, Jaxay Shah, president of CREDAI and MD of Savvy group, said, “There are many issues, the first being the liquidity crisis. The banks that approved loans in January are now doing re-evaluation. Loans are not available post Covid but there is also issue in pre-Covid loans.”
He added, “AUDA and the corporation have collected cheques from us for the plans and are depositing it despite us requesting them to wait for some time. Due to labour issues, the delivery will be late.”
Shah now wants the government to ply special trains for migrants who want to return to work. “We request the government to help us get our labourers back from Bihar, Jharkhand and MP. Just like they sent special trains to take them home, they should have special trains for those wanting to return.”
Ajay Patel, president of GIHEDCredai, told Mirror, “If the government helps us get labourers back, we can start our work. When relaxation was announced during the lockdown, about 350 developers who had their labourers on site got permits and started work, but later they also left for their hometowns.”
The developers are working with limited labour and that is the main reason the real-estate projects and the industry is affected, he said.
“We also hoped the government would reduce stamp duty at least for six months. That would have benefited people and the market would have started breathing again. This sector is 96% ‘atmanirbhar’ and supports 289 industries but there is not much the government has announced for real estate,” said Patel, adding that work has begun on 100 sites with only 10% of the labourers.
Talking about the challenges faced by the sector, Dipak Patel of Siddhi Developers told Mirror, “The labourers had gone home for Holi and around then lockdown was announced.
So, there are many at home who want to return but are afraid, looking at a number of cases. Out of three of my sites, construction has started on only one and that too with very limited labourers.”