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The construction industry today is a whirlpool of opportunities and advancements progressing at a very fast speed. It is vital because of the desperate need for infrastructure development. The level of a country’s development is reflected by its infrastructure. It could be said that the construction industry is the infrastructure of the infrastructure industry. Construction Industry is the second largest employer after agriculture, employing about 31 million persons in the country.
According to the “Construction Industry Report -11th Five Year Plan” published by Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC), the present asset creation potential of the construction industry is estimated at Rs. 3,10,000 crores. The share to the GDP works out 12 %, and in terms of the employment generation construction sector provides employment to 14 % of employable citizens. The manufactured goods (Construction materials and Equipment) accounts for approximately 8.6% of GDP included in the gross share defined above.
With over 105 bn pounds of investments promised by various private players in the next five years, India’s infrastructure is set to improve rapidly with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent. India requires investments worth 37 bn pounds every year for the next four years to support the planned infrastructure enhancement activities. The Planning Commission of India has estimated that investment requirement in infrastructure to the tune of about Rs. 14,50,000 crore or US$ 320 billion during the 11th Five Year Plan period.npssml
According to the Report released by ‘Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India(ASSOCHAM) in March 2010, Construction Industry is estimated to create 15.13 million new jobs in the country by the year 2015. It is therefore established that construction, as an economic entity has a profound impact on the GDP and overall economy of the Nation. Combining the potential for employment & providing the critical infrastructure for practically every economic activity, the construction industry plays a decisive role in the development of the nation.

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IN KARNATAKA – AN EVERGROWING, EVERGREEN INDUSTRY: Karnataka presents huge business opportunities for the construction industry, as the State is embarking on major infrastructure development projects in roads & flyovers, industrial infrastructure and power. Shri. V P Baligar, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Karnataka, delivering his inaugural speech at EXCON 2009 in the year 2009, said that the State Government is developing rural roads of about 10,000 kms at the cost of Rs 2,500 crore. It is spending US$ 1 billion every year towards infrastructure projects pertaining to roads and flyovers in Bangalore. npssmlThe Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike will be spending Rs 22,000 crore – about US$ 4 billion, in the next 4-5 years, for various infrastructure project’s. The Bangalore Metro Rail projects estimated project cost is Rs 10,000 crore. Karnataka is the first state in India to promote as many as four minor airports in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. It has brought many regulatory changes to give fillip to infrastructure industry – the State has reduced the stamp duty from 7.5 to 6%, effecting about 20% decrease to give big boost to construction activities. The State is developing tier I and tier II cities across the State, towards which it will be spending US$ 200 million every year. To rebuild infrastructure in North Karnataka, which was affected by recent floods, the State government will be spending US$ 500 million in the next two years. According to Karnataka Industrial Policy(2006 to 2011), a minimum of 5,000 acres of quality industrial infrastructure would be created during each year of the planned period. Such Industrial Areas will be developed in an integrated manner reserving up to 25% of the area for housing and other social infrastructure. The State needs 1000MW of power – it has approved power projects with a total capacity of 20,000 MW and is spending Rs 5000 crore every year on power generation. Bangalore has the distinction of being the destination for a large number of Multi-National Companies in knowledge based industries and technology driven sectors and is today recognised as one of the Top 10 Technopolises in the World. According to a report released in February 2010, by the retail estate research firm, Cushman & Wakefield, Bangalore is the top real estate destination for commercial and industrial sectors. It has become third preference for residential and hospitality sectors in India for real estate investment. The report reinforces the result by adding that Bangalore may witness the demand of 34 million sq. ft. for office space in the next three years.

CONSTRUCTION LABOUR – PATHOLOGY OF INDIAN INDUSTRY: India has a total workforce of 459 million involved in the organised and unorganised sectors. Of which 433 million work in the various unorganised sectors. According to National Commission for enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS), only 6% of the unorganised workers are organised. There are 26 to 30 million people working in the construction sector. In Karnataka, there are 2.35 crore workers, of which 1.73 crore workers are engaged in the unorganised sector. It is estimated that 12 to 15 lakh workers are involved in the construction activities in the state. The employment in the construction sector is characterized by its causal nature, temporary relationship between employer and employee, uncertain working hours, contracting and sub contracting system, lack of basic continuous employment and amenities and inadequacy of welfare facilities etc., Agrarian background, migratory nature and a very high degree of transitory employment characterize the profile of employment and labour in the construction industry. Government itself considers construction as a major source of employment generation in rural areas, where agriculture and landless laborers are provided employment on a temporary basis in construction activities to compensate for unemployment during the non harvesting seasons, droughts, floods and other natural calamities. npssml The construction workers are vulnerable to wide variety of health hazards and accidents due to non-existent legislative protection despite the enactment of the Act in the year 1996. With the exception of few states, majority of the states have not framed rules for the Act. Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi are the states which framed State Rules to implement the Act. The main advantage of the construction sector in employment generation lies in the fact that it (i) absorbs rural labour and unskilled workers (in addition to semi-skilled and skilled) (ii) provides opportunity for seasonal employment thereby supplementing workers’ income from farming; and (iii) permits large-scale participation of women workers.

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