August is what the developers community, and the contractors have predicted by when most labourers will be back in the city.

By Varun Singh

When lockdown was announced in the country one sight that people cannot get out of their heads is, migrant labourers walking back to their homes.

People walked in hoards, some used two wheelers, tempos, trucks to reach their native place.

However, with phase wise relaxations in the lockdown things are changing. The developers and even contractors say that by August most labourers will be back in the city.

They also say that every year during March to June they do face labour shortage, though this year the intensity was higher.

Also Read: Reverse migration a challenge in post COVID India

During the festival of holi, most migrant labourers leave for their homes. says Anand Gupta, Spokesperson, Builders Association of India.

According to Gupta during this period they face a shortage of close to 20-25 per cent of labourers and hence focus is shifted on important work.

This year thought the situation is a bit different, many labourers have gone away. But Gupta is hopeful and sure that by August, most of them will return and the real estate industry in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) shall be back on tracks.

“Migrant labourers will come back, yes they are gone, like earlier years, though this time they went back in large numbers. But they will soon find their way back to the workplaces in the cities. By August we are hopeful that many will be back at work,” said Gupta.

According to Syed Shakir, a South Mumbai based contractor, many labourers have already started their return journey to cities like Mumbai.

“All my sites are operational, for a reason, that I took care of my labourers. Labourers left from sites where they were left without any help,” said Shakir.

Meanwhile, Shakir says that most labourers have already started their return journey for cities like Mumbai.

“If there is a working force of 500 people in a village then there’s work only for 100 people. The remaining labourers are returning and mostly by August, everyone will be back,” said Shakir.

According to Shakir, earlier during the period between March to June work would get impacted by 30 per cent as labourers would go back to their native place. This year it was impacted up to 50 per cent.

Surprisingly, Shakir also says that the labourers who have started their return journey are mostly from Bengal region and some parts of Bihar, while labourers from UP are a bit tad slow in their return this time.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked centre and states to facilitate return of migrant workers to their native place within 15 days.

Also Read: Maids ask, will employers show their COVID reports?

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