Construction workers and labourers in their need to search for work remain helpless in the current situation.
Samrala: Labourers flee from their villages to the city to sustain their livelihood, but in the end it’s all a failed attempt as the business has fallen due to stricter restrictions and curbs in the state. Saleem Shah, a labourer who was engaged in the work of locking tiles says that he has been sitting empty handed with no work for the last one and a half months. Earlier he used to earn Rs 400 a day but now can’t even make it to 200. “There is no guarantee of money in contract based labour too as we are all stuck.”, he said.
On the other hand, the people who sell building materials are not too pleased with the curfew imposed by the government by which they can only open their shops till 12 o’clock. Mewa Singh Guron, Manager of Panesar building materials store says, “Our earnings have halved since this closed lockdown. Before we were busy all day with the customers and they needed us for the cement plus other stuff but now we are in dire need of their purchase. They won’t step out of their houses owing to the fear of getting the virus.”.
The contractors who employed labourers and further invested into building homes and such are facing a shortage of workers since most of the outsiders have gone back to their own states. Nirmal Singh, a contractor quotes, “People from Punjab are left to work while others have gone, it has become very difficult for these local labourers to earn money. The contracting business has reduced by 40 percent.”
The construction work has taken a hit in the cities as well since these lockdown like conditions came into play. The labourers’ and contractors are suffering from the fate of lack of work and financial stability.