Kerosene Godowns on the left, government Pier off Cardogan Street just in front of it.
Source: SOAS MS 381233
The workers are standing near a winder. This equipment can wind up a steel wire. The winder is fixed by a thick rope at a steel bar in the foreground. The steel wire runs along the road to a machine (or something similar). This machine can be pulled towards the men by either turning a crank handle on the winder or, more likely, by using the chain pull on the left side of the equipment, the wire will then coil around the spindle. The gear train makes it easier to pull the wire.
These activities can be road works or might be something in connection with the power or telephone lines on the right side of the photo.
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