Bengaluru Migrant Crisis may Hit Metro Work

With migrant workers getting restless, tension is brewing at various labour camps, particularly those set up by contractors engaged in Namma Metro work. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) was among the first to resume construction work on April 23.

“It’s harvest season in north India and these workers want to return home. Normally, contractors manage to get new workers when one batch goes back. But now workers aren’t coming to Bengaluru because of Covid-19 and train services too have been suspended. This will affect work,” said a senior BMRCL official.

However, officials are hopeful of opening the Kanakapura Road stretch (Yelachenahalli –Anjanapura section) on August 15. “Most of the work on this stretch has been completed. So the deadline is on track. It’s also possible to meet the November deadline for the Mysuru Road stretch (Mysuru Road-Kengeri), but other corridors may be delayed,” an official said.

Anil Gupta, a worker from Jharkhand, said: “The contractor isn’t paying us salaries. We are staying in crammed rooms and there is no safety.” BMRCL employees’ union vice-president Suryanarayana Murthy, said: “Being the principal employer, BMRCL should ensure contractors take care of the workers.” BMRCL MD Ajay Seth wasn’t available for comment.

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