Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, authorities have suspended all the developmental works to contain the coronavirus. People were asked to maintain social distance and stay at home.
However, the administration has decided to start some developmental works but the workers have to adopt all safety measures to contain COVID-19 infection.
“All the line departments shall immediately start the identification and execution of such works which cannot be done during the normal days ago then traffic congestion hampers the work and a proper mechanism shall be put in place,” reads the directive to departments by the government, a copy of which lies with news agency KINS.
An official of Roads and Buildings Department said they have been asked to identify works and start their execution. “We don’t know how long this lockdown will continue. So it has been decided to start some works immediately but we have to ensure all safety measures are in place,” the official said.
“For resumption of developmental works, the government has issued directives to officers that works should be started by exploring the possibilities of engaging local as well as non-local laborers,” the official added.
The Kashmir has a limited working season from April to October and the region’s developmental activities are worst affected when there is some disturbance in the Valley. The developmental works have been affected in Kashmir since August last year when government issued an advisory to tourists and migrant laborers to leave the valley.
“When we started working on developmental projects, the lockdown began here. More than 20,000 non-local laborers arrived in Kashmir in March and are also stranded here,” said a contractor Mohammad Ashraf.
He said the contractors can only work when they give assurance to the government they will provide full support boarding and lodging at the site of work with necessary measures for safe stay of laborers.
Government has already allowed cement factories to resume their operations. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole has said cement factories operating in Kashmir can function normally.
He said these factories can work provided they adopted all safety measures to contain COVID-19 infection
“Laborers are here they want to work. Where will they go in absence of any work,” he has said.
There are around 20,000 migrant laborers stranded in Kashmir. Most of these migrant workers are running out of money and food and are desperate to go back to their native places.(KINS)