AIZAWL, June 29 - With over 80 percent of migrant workers leaving for home, Mizoram, whose construction industry heavily depends on migrant workers, is facing acute shortage of masons and labourers.
A majority of migrant workers engaged in construction here are Muslims from neighbouring Assam.
According to Aizawl Mosque Committee general secretary Mamon Majumdar, there was a floating population of around 5,000 Muslims in Aizawl. A majority of them were masons, locally referred to as ‘cement mistiri’ and their helpers often hailed from Silchar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts of Assam.
“Though I can’t give the exact figure, we have estimated that around 3,500 to 4,000 people have returned to their home state following the outbreak of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown,” Majumdar said.
A similar number of migrant workers was staying in different district headquarters. These migrant workers from different places in Mizoram had also left for home.
In early June, more than 1,300 migrant workers from Jharkhand, mostly engaged in works under the state Public Works Department also left for their home state.
There is therefore dearth of skilled workers in masonry among the local people.
Concerned over migrant workers dominating masonry in Mizoram, the central Young Mizo Association had some years back launched a series of training camps in masonry for local youth.
Central YMA president Vanlalruata said about 1,000 local youths have passed out from their series of training in masonry. This figure is far from enough for meeting the local need.
Many construction works in Aizawl have come to a standstill due to shortage of migrant workers.