Pune, India (Urban Transport News): The dream of Punekers for getting metro in Pune will take some more times as the metro construction sites now facing a shortage of workers. After the announcement of the lockdown in Maharashtra, about 2,000 construction workers left the ongoing work of the Pune Metro Rail project, said sources.
Most of the workers belong to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Now, Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha Metro) fears that it might again miss the deadlines set for the prolonged project.
Maha Metro had given them assurance that they would get vaccinated and regular meals, and their dues would be cleared on time. But, the fear of infection drove them away, putting the authorities in a tough situation.
“We had started vaccination for employees and told them they need not worry about anything, as work will go on. There were no issues with stay or food — everything is managed at labour camps. But many of those who still left are bachelors or don’t have connections around the city. The common sentiment is that in case they get infected by COVID, there will be no one around for them and they will suffer. Now, work will obviously be hampered and we might end up missing deadlines,” said Hemant Sonawane, Spokesperson for Pune Metro Rail Project.
Maha Metro had faced a similar problem in June last year while the Centre had announced a countrywide lockdown due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. After unlocking lockdown about 75 per cent of workers were joined the metro construction sites.
Presently, construction on two metro lines Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad was going in full swing. MahaMetro earlier fixed a deadline for its 8-km Pimpri-Dapodi route to be operational by June this year. The route from Vanaz to Garware College was to start by August 15, 2021.