Labour crisis continues in valley;Hire local workforce, Govt asks babus

Srinagar: Stung by the exodus of migrant labourers, Jammu and Kashmir government has asked officers to explore the possibilities of engaging local workforce to resume the stalled developmental works in the valley.

On August 2, the state government issued an advisory asking tourists and Amarnath yatris to leave the valley citing militant threats. Three days later, Modi-led government abrogated Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories. The move triggered a panic reaction with non-local laborers making an early exit from the valley. 

 

Feeling the pinch, government has now asked officers to explore the possibilities of engaging local laborers to resume the developmental works in the valley. Sources said district commissioner Srinagar has been directed to explore the possibility of arranging local laborers for sewage treatment plant being constructed by UEED at Rainawari.

“Besides, the contractors from outside the state be contacted and asked to resume the work for which assurance shall be given to them that they will be provided full support boarding and lodging at the site of work with necessary measures for safe stay in case they feel threatened,” the directives read.

Sources said departmental heads have told the government that due to the exodus of skilled labour force and non-availability of mobile phone facilities, they were unable to communicate with sub offices and divisions for the feedback.

Projects worth Rs 2000 crore are at different stage of works in the valley. Prior to the lockdown, government was expecting to complete 1800 languishing projects by the end of this year.

An official of Roads and Buildings Department said most of the semiskilled and skilled work force hail from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and other states.  “It will be difficult to restart developmental works without skilled non-local labourers. Construction works can be restarted only when skilled labourers are available here,” said the official.

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