With lockdown imposed, electricians and plumbers have difficulty procuring raw materials for their work.
Bengaluru: As fewer people are availing the services of electricians and plumbers during the ongoing lockdown , they are finding it difficult to procure raw material and run their businesses.,
Mahesh P of Arya electricals said, “We have closed our shop altogether because of the lockdown. We don’t get calls from customers. Even if we do, we do not visit them too far because of the lockdown.”
They are not even able to get the raw material from the hardware stores because of the lockdown. “We are not able to procure materials and even if we do, the price of materials has also doubled and customers are not willing to pay higher prices for our service.The factories have stopped running, we take contracts for buildings but that is also halted because we are not getting materials for that,” added Mahesh.
Electricians are not able to take building contracts even though the construction of buildings is allowed; it is only with in-situ labourers. Due to hardware shops being closed they are finding it difficult to procure materials too.
Shuyab Khan, an electrician said, “I have stopped giving services. I am not able to take up wiring contracts for buildings because getting materials is difficult . The shops which are open in the morning are too crowded, I often don’t find the material that I need. The cost has also increased, metre wire has gone from Rs.15 to Rs 21 now.”
Murthy C who offers plumbing services is apprehensive to go to work because of the pandemic. He said, “I will be risking my family but I still go if there are any emergencies nearby like broken taps or leakages here and there. I used to have a turnover of at least Rs 40,000 to 50,000 a month but now I am barely making anything.”
Rupachandra, another plumber, had a different problem altogether. “I often get stopped by police on my way to work, some allow and some don’t, if the work is not construction related.” He also added that he only gets 20 percent of business since lockdown started and that it is difficult to procure materials.
Chaluve Gowda, Professor of Economics at Maharaja First Grade College said, “These are tough times, the government should announce relief packages of at least Rs.10,000 to these workers. It has become difficult for them to even pay rent. The government should facilitate them to conduct their business and give them assurance that they will get through these tough times.”