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Real estate developers are preparing steps to ensure construction remains unaffected by the Maharashtra government’s move to impose a partial lockdown in the state amid a daily surge in covid-19 cases.

Construction will be allowed only at sites having residential facilities for workers. Outside movement from the sites will be avoided, except for transporting construction materials.

“Unlike last year’s lockdown, we are relieved that at least construction activities can go on where labourers are already present at the site. The government has mentioned that labourers need to get vaccinated at the earliest and till their vaccination, they need to get their RT-PCR test done. This won’t affect large and medium-sized developers as they are already taking the necessary precautions at the sites. But this will affect small developers and also redevelopment projects as they do not have enough space for labour camps," said Pritam Chivukula, co-founder and director, Tridhaatu Realty.

The Union government has stipulated construction workers to either get vaccinated at the earliest or carry a negative RT-PCR test result certificate, which will be valid for 15 days.

Defaulters will have to pay a fine of 10,000 for the developer of the construction site and repeated defaults may lead to the site’s closure.

“Labourers are the most vital and integral part of the real estate industry and taking utmost care of them is our paramount responsibility. We are ensuring that regular sanitization of the construction sites are done and proper accommodation is provided to the labourers at the sites," said Ashok Mohanani, president, National Real Estate Development Council, Maharashtra.

He said regular health check-ups and vaccination awareness programmes for workers are being conducted. RT-PCR test has also been made mandatory for all migrant workers returning from their hometowns as per government guidelines.

lf a worker is found positive, he or she would be allowed medical leave and cannot be discontinued during the period of absence. The worker will also be entitled to full wages that he or she might have earned had he or she not contacted covid-19.

"A situation of complete lockdown once again will see mass exodus of migrant workers as seen in 2020 and with monsoon to arrive in next few months it will have a major impact on the overall sector and economy at large having recovered post national lockdown. So with new guidelines and preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19 we immediately initiated RT-PCR test for all our 300 plus construction workers at our new project site at Chandivali," said Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson, Nahar Group.

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