Contractors lose time due to rainfall

The Middle East's MEP sector is faced with making up lost time following the heavy rainfall experienced in the region during January.

January’s rainfall caused several sites to stop work due to travel problems of operatives.
January’s rainfall caused several sites to stop work due to travel problems of operatives.

The Middle East's MEP sector is faced with making up lost time following the heavy rainfall experienced in the region during January.

Unusually large volumes of rain fell across the UAE in particular, causing widespread flooding.

A total of 105mm was reported to have fallen on Dubai in one day; the previous record for a single day in January was 85mm.
 

In general minimal damage of MEP plant was experienced, however many firms were confronted with problems of transporting labour to site.

Some construction sites closed completely during the period while others operated with reduced numbers of operatives, hence lower productivity.

"Some of the buses [transporting labourers] could not reach the sites after four to five hours of the driver being on the road," explained Drake & Scull executive director Khaldoun Tabari.

"There was no productivity at all for two days [on some sites]," stated Trans Gulf Electro-Mechanical director Prakash Khatri. "We're working overtime and longer hours to catch up, it's the only way we can meet the targets."

"There is no change in the deadlines and even if we are one day over we will be penalised," he stressed.

Further working days were lost during January due to the visit of US President George Bush and a series of national and international holidays. However, most contractors spoken to by MEP Middle East agreed that over the long-term the days lost will have minimal effect on project programmes.

Some even believe that the event has raised productivity: "It was a good motivator; spirits rose because people don't often get to see rain," explained Voltas business development manager Ralph D'Souza, Voltas.

"When was the last time you got a rainy day off?" he asked. The firm was able to transport its labourers from their base in Al Quoz, but opted to close some projects due to the wet weather.

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