Pradeep Pattanayak

Around 2500 plumbers from Kendrapara district, who were a part of the construction team that prepared the stadiums and infrastructures for the FIFA World Cup 2022 kick started in Qatar, are currently a happy lot, basking in self-satisfaction for playing a crucial role in the success of the event. 

If football lovers across the globe are enjoying the game, it is partially possible due to these labourers who worked day in day out to complete the job by the set deadline. 

According to a report, around 2500 plumbers from Kendrapara district have been working with HBK Engineering Trident Company and L &T Company which are engaged to construct stadiums and develop infrastructure. On December 2, 2010, it was decided that Qatar would host the FIFA World Cup 2022 and these labourers have since been working on several projects. 

Samar Sahu, who works as an emigration consultant and manager of Mahaveer Travels, said over the phone he had arranged VISAs and other required documents for the plumbers to go to Qatar. Similarly, Biswanath Mahalik, a resident of Khadipal village under Pattamundai block who is working in Qatar, said he has been working at the iconic Lusail stadium at Lusail since 2014 where the title clash will take place on December 18. 

He said he had engaged around 400 plumbers, fitters and foremen in the construction work of Lusail stadium, which is the largest stadium in Qatar. Apart, some other plumbers and fitters are also working on different stadiums. 

A visibly elated plumber Anil Kumar Malik, a resident of Pattamundai area, said plumbers in Kendrapara district have a demand in everywhere. Their skill is their identity. 

The successful journey of plumbers can be traced to the State Institute of Plumbing and Technology (SIPT), set up at Pattamundai in 2010. The trained plumbers and fitters of this institute are now working for several companies while some are working independently. 

However, the Pattamundai plumbers were in demand during the period when there was British rule as well. According to some elderly villagers, in 1930 there used to be a water plant in Kolkata (then Calcutta) where young plumbers of the area worked.