Construction grounded

The week-long tipper-cum-JCB strike has taken a toll on the construction sector in the city with the transportation of raw material like sand and boulders turning out to be a big problem.

Even the preliminary work of Kochi Metro has been hit. As of now the work on the North RoB and Salim Raja flyover is progressing at a slow pace. In the case of the former, the scheduled partial opening of the side bays for traffic may miss the November 15 deadline.

“Now the transportation of raw material like M-sand and bituminous concrete to the site is a serious problem. In the case of the North RoB, tarring could not be done as the necessary raw material could not be transported there due to the strike. We’ve resorted to availing of a goods auto but it cannot be used for material being brought from outside the state. Further, the operators of the earthmovers and the JCB have also been part of the strike,” a metro official said.

The strike has also affected both individual parties and big-time construction companies. “Sure, the strike has affected our work as the transportation of raw material is a big problem. Also most of our work needs heavy machinery like a JCB,” A.R.S. Vadhyar, managing director, Yasoram Builders, said.

“It was a big relief for us when the district administration started distributing online passes for sand. Then we could buy the material at one-third the cost of what is available in the black market. But the unexpected tipper-strike has jeopardised all this as I couldn’t unload the material for the construction of my new houses,’’ said Narayanankutty, a resident of Panangad.

The sudden provocation of the strike was the new directive preventing the operation of tippers from 6 pm to 6 am. This is besides the restriction during school hours.

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