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Construction Sector in Sri Lanka in Crisis over Coronavirus Fears

Infra News - Published on Mon, 17 Feb 2020

Image Source: CMS
Construction work on major projects in Colombo as well as highway projects which employ Chinese workers remain stalled since the coronavirus outbreak, with Sri Lankan workers refusing to report to work while Chinese workers have been asked to stay indoors. Sri Lanka’s Chamber of Construction Secretary General Mr Nissanka N Wijeratne said fears over the possible spread of the virus had has a big impact on the progress of ongoing projects with much of the work on hold for over three weeks. He said “Lankan workers are reluctant to return over fears that they may fall ill while the Chinese workers fear discrimination.”

He said “Many Chinese workers had gone back to their homes for the New Year holiday but are unable to return now with restrictions on travel in their own country as well as restrictions put in place here. We urged the Chinese Embassy to ensure that they return soon as their absence is having a big impact on project progress.”

Mr Wijeratne also voiced concern about the discrimination being faced by Chinese workers, saying that unnecessary fears were being harboured by Lankan workers who were keeping way from work.

Nearly 30%-40% of the workers on major Chinese projects in Sri Lanka are nationals of that country while local companies too have started employing workers from China. While officially there are only around 15,000 Chinese workers in the construction sector here, unofficially close to 100,000 are believed to be working here.

Source :

Posted By : Nishith Sharma on Mon, 17 Feb 2020
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