B S Prabhurajan Mysore, Apr 6 UNI | 4 months ago

The construction works activities in the Mysore region has affected until the Lok Sabha polls to be held on April 17 with a temporary labour shortage.

Nearly 40 to 50 per cent of workers particularly the youths in the construction sector are expected to switch to canvassing as political parties are going all way out to woo voters in the last phase of campaigning.

Almost 90 per cent of the construction workers in the city come from rural areas in the Nanjangud-Chamarajanagar belt and commute to Mysore daily by local trains.

Ravindra Bhat, a builder with a slew of apartment projects on hand, said work tends to go on at a slow pace around 10 days before the elections.

This was a trend invariably observed during every election year, he said.

A mason is paid between Rs.450 and Rs.500 a day, while an assistant is paid between Rs.300 and Rs.350 a day on construction sites. But, this does not include food and it entails hard work from 1000 hrs to 1730hrs. As 30 to 40 per cent of the workers disappear in the run-up to the elections, it is safe to assume that they are either paid the same amount or more, he added.

Venkatesh and Mariyappa both from Chamarajanagara district a daily wage worker, said during canvassing there was little work other than walking in groups raising slogans or going door to door to distribute pamphlets and appeal for votes. It is a good break and less taxing and as the earnings are equal, if not more, it makes sense to campaign for a few days during elections before reverting to construction work.

"We are getting more then what we earn every day, however, the same work will be continued after the elections," they claimed. Mr Bhat said most builders prepare for this in an election year.

We speed up the work and deploy more number of workers as the elections approach and again in the final stages of completing the project to make up for the lag."

However, 90 per cent of builders with apartment projects and multi-storeyed structures on hand tend to employ outstation workers as they are perceived as reliable and hard-working. Thus, these projects are not affected that much.

However, work on individual houses and buildings tend to get temporarily stalled during elections.

In the meantime the real estate operators also slow down their business since, the money transactions are restricted during the elections period and large money could not be transfer, besides strict enforcement of election commission orders. However, the business operation will be normal soon after the elections results announced on May-16.

(Posted on 06-04-2014)