Railways Generates More Than 5.5 Lakh Mandays Of Work For Migrant Labourers

Railways Generates More Than 5.5 Lakh Mandays Of Work For Migrant Labourers Indian Railways employees work on a railway track in dense fog in New Delhi. (Photo Credit: RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • Railways has made payment of Rs 1,336.84 crore to contractors for the 165 infrastructure projects being implemented in 116 districts of these states till August 14, 2020.

Reaching out to migrant labour, Indian Railways has provided job opportunities for the worst affected workforce during the pandemic and generated more than 5.5 lakhs mandays of work under the Gareeb Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan in six States such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Railways has made payment of Rs 1,336.84 crore to contractors for the 165 infrastructure projects being implemented in 116 districts of these states till August 14, 2020.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is closely monitoring the progress made in these projects and generation of work opportunities for the migrant labour of these states under the Rs 2,988 crore scheme.

According to Railways, 11,296 workers have been engaged in this Abhiyaan as Goyal has directed Railway administrations at the zonal level to act proactively to ensure migrants’ are engaged in projects and paid accordingly.

Railways has appointed nodal officers in each district as well as in the States so that a close coordination is established with the State Governments.

The state-run transporter has identified railway works which are being executed under this scheme.

The works are related to (i) construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings, (ii) development and cleaning of silted waterways, trenches and drains along the track, (iii) construction and maintenance of approach roads to railway stations, (iv) repair and widening of existing railway embankments/cuttings, (v) plantation of trees at extreme boundaries of railway lands and (vi) protection works of existing embankments/cuttings/bridges.

It may be noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a massive employment-cum-rural public works campaign named Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to empower and provide livelihood opportunities in areas/villages witnessing large number of returnee migrant workers affected by the devastating Covid-19 on June 20 this year.

The Prime Minister announced that an amount of Rs 50,000 crore would be spent for building durable rural infrastructure under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.

This Abhiyaan of 125 days is being undertaken in mission mode, and involves focused implementation of 25 categories of works/activities in 116 districts, each with a large concentration of returnee migrant workers in six states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Public works undertaken during this campaign will have a resource envelope of Rs 50,000 crore.

The Abhiyaan is a convergent effort between 12 different Ministries/Departments, namely, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport and Highways, Mines, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, New and Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture, to expedite implementation of 25 public infrastructure works and works relating to augmentation of livelihood opportunities.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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