Amid fear and desperation: The hands reshaping Gurgaon’s skyline

“Darr toh lagta hai sahab, par majboori hai isliye karna padta hai (Of course, there is fear, but I have no choice but to do this work),” says Amarjeet Kumar, 35, as he puts down his blue helmet on a table and sips tea at a makeshift stall in Sector 65 near Golf Course Extension Road in Gurgaon. Several under-construction buildings and skyscrapers — including luxury condominiums and shopping complexes — loom over the stall in the Millennium City’s evolving skyline.
Kumar says he is unaware of the mishap at a construction site in Sector 77 a few days ago, where four labourers died and one was injured after falling off the 17th floor of a residential project while dismantling a crane. But, he is not surprised. “Harr ek-do mahine mein ek haadsa hota hai (Every month or so, there is an incident like this),” he says.
Every time he goes up, he is aware of the “risk”. “Shuttering involves being suspended on a platform at a height. One can slip, a hook may give away, a rope may break….”
He recalls an incident from 2019 when he was deployed at a construction site in Greater Noida. “We were perched on an iron platform on the 19th floor, when a fellow worker fell to his death… At that time, one thinks of one’s family. Who will take care of them if I suffer such fate?”
But mostly, he avoids dwelling on it, Kumar says. “It is up to fate.”