Polls hit works of major projects in AP

With many of the workers leaving for their home towns to exercise their franchise, major irrigation projects, including the Polavaram, and other construction activity taken up in Amaravati, in Andhra Pradesh are facing severe crunch of workforce. This has affected the progress of works. However, in neighbouring Telangana, works of major irrigation projects have been going on at a brisk pace. The Kaleswaram project has even had a wet run recently.
According to the AP government officials, the situation has become troublesome since the last week of March. From a week before Holi, which is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the northern states, the workers started leaving to their native places and soon, the elections began and more people left for their home towns. According to a senior official at the Polavaram project, there is a 30-40 per cent deficit of workforce and this slowed down the work.
For the water resources department, completion of Polavaram Project is already a tightrope walk as it plans to divert the water from the project by virtue of gravity into canals, by July. However, the situation is expected to continue like this till the seventh and last phase of elections conclude on May 19. 
At the same time, the senior official said that there has been a slight improvement in the situation now compared to the first week of April. There are few more phases of polls in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, from where many of the workers come and there will be some problem till the polls end, he added.
Last week, when Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the progress of the works in Polavaram and Amaravati, the engineers informed him about the crunch in workforce. Naidu directed them to engage more workers and complete the work on his two dream projects on time.
Another official said that they do face problem with the workforce but being an election year, it is more severe. Once the polls are over, there will be an improvement in the situation and we will be able to engage more workers, he said.

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