Retention of workers will help realtors in post-Covid world

May 21, 2020 4:04 PM

As per reports, as many as 15.62 lakh housing units are currently under construction across top seven cities in India. Of this, nearly 4.66 lakh units are to be delivered in 2020.

real estate, real estate in India, labour migration, covid-19, lockdownThe realtors who realized the importance of valued laborers are likely to sail through with lesser hiccups and will also deliver the projects faster than the ones who could not prevent the migration of workers.

Lockdown has created an unprecedented situation that has affected almost every industry and sector all over the world. In India too, the situation is more or less the same. One of the challenges that many industries and sectors are facing is the migration of labour to their home town. Millions of laborers come to places like Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad from other states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan for daily work. Many realtors, thankfully, have recognized the implications of labor migration and took steps that is helping a great extent after the resumption of work permission is being given.

As per reports, as many as 15.62 lakh housing units are currently under construction across top seven cities in India. Of this, nearly 4.66 lakh units are to be delivered in 2020. Instead of assessing the financial losses, the developer community is focused on the welfare of the people associated with them, including laborers. Almost all the big players in the real estate sector have retained the workers by providing them food, shelter, and in some cases petty cash to help them sustain in these tough times.

The work that started off as a humanitarian step is now coming out as a masterstroke. Moreover, the real estate sector has over the past few years seen many such halt of construction. The reasons to those halts were not related to labor migration but to rulings from NGT and various courts. The point is that realtors are expected to deliver projects on time and try to make up for the lost time through the use of various means.

In the current situation, it is quite obvious that major realty players have retained laborers but the challenge would come in delivering the projects as fast as possible. Though competent authorities have given extension in delivery deadlines, a good realtor will try his best to narrow the margin as much as possible. Projects where construction was happening will definitely get delayed by 5 to 8 months but addition of one or two months in case of already stuck up will make no difference. Another solution that is going to work would be to increase the labour cost by increasing the work shifts, which will help in delivering faster.

However, the situation might be tricky for developers who have not retained the laborers. Even after the lockdown is over, the work at their sites will depend on the coming back of laborers. The chances of many laborers not coming back are high due to the fear psychosis created by this incident. This will lead to shortage of labour and further project delays.

In conclusion, the realtors who realized the importance of valued laborers are likely to sail through with lesser hiccups and will also deliver the projects faster than the ones who could not prevent the migration of workers.

(By Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder & Chairman, Signature Global, and Chairman, ASSOCHAM – National Council on Real estate, Housing & Urban Development)

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