The construction work of Delhi Metro’s Phase-IV project had finally kicked off at the end of 2019, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the acute shortage of construction workers, as well as financial uncertainties, have affected the project’s pace.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had started construction work of Phase-IV on 30 December 2019, through ‘piling work’ at Haiderpur Badli Mor, and upcoming Janakpuri West-RK Ashram Marg corridor. Just when the construction work gathered pace, the national lockdown was imposed in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Last month, when construction work was permitted with precautions, only a third of workers were available compared with the workforce before the nationwide lockdown as many of the construction workers had left for their native villages.
According to Delhi Metro, before the lockdown, there were nearly 3,500 workers. But, at present, there are 1,000-1,500 workers. The DMRC has stated that due to shortage of workers, the pace of work is suffering. The corporation has also stated that the deadlines will have to be modified accordingly as the labour issue will impact the work progress.
At present, Delhi Metro Phase-IV work is still in preliminary stages and the contracts are being awarded gradually, according to DMRC. Since 22 March 2020, the Delhi Metro services are completely closed. Due to this, DMRC suffered a loss of about Rs 600 crore in passenger and non-passenger revenue.
According to Delhi Metro, in order to ensure that DMRC was in full preparedness when the lockdown ended and the construction work resumed, the architects, engineers, designers and contractors of the corporation had continued to work in the background, using an online mechanism (Building Information Modelling) devised by DMRC, through which drawings, designs, and 3D models were being uploaded as well as approved online.