(MENAFN - Arab News) The construction industry across the country has been hit hard by the soaring summer temperatures and Ramadan with productivity down 40 percent and many projects delayed say experts.
Output has dropped because workers are not allowed to work under the blazing sun from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The onset of Ramadan has also affected productivity they say.
Working at night in Jeddah and elsewhere is not helping because there is a ban on heavy trucks on major roads because of Ramadan traffic. Workers are working at night but productivity is still down because of the intense heat they say.
The mega projects affected are the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh Haramain High Speed Rail project in Jeddah and Makkah developmental projects in Makkah King Abdulaziz International Airport project in Jeddah and infrastructure projects in Jeddah and elsewhere.
'Construction work has been reduced by nearly 40 percent in the Kingdom due to the heat and Ramadan" said Nabil M. Abbas a Saudi engineer and representative of the Federation of Consulting Engineers.
Mohammed Minhaj senior engineer at a leading civil engineering consultancy company building bridges and underpasses in Jeddah said the combination of summer and Ramadan has affected their work.
'The rising temperature in recent days has affected our projects in the city."
Mohammed Mazhar a senior official executing mega projects in Makkah said that the 'soaring temperatures are definitely affecting the construction industry. Laborers cannot work at the same pace at this time because they have to battle the heat."
The sale of concrete mixture the main ingredient for construction work has declined drastically over the past few weeks because of the lower productivity said a senior executive of a leading company selling the product in Jeddah who preferred to remain anonymous.
He said that some of the construction companies have not been able to pay their workers because of the slowdown over this period.
Contractors who carry out maintenance and minor construction jobs are looking for workers but are not able to find any during the day. Rowdah Street in Faisaliah district which normally has many day laborers looking for work is deserted due to the heat and Ramadan.
Meanwhile Labor Ministry officials said that special inspection teams are checking to see whether companies are complying with the midday ban.
The ministry has registered 187 cases against errant employers who forced their workers to work under the blazing sun. Last year it registered 280 violations. The ban will remain in place until Sept. 15.