Indian Railways asks zones to create jobs for returnee migrants

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 25, 2020 Published on June 25, 2020

Vinod Kumar Yadav,Chairman, Indian Railways   -  THE HINDU

Asks zones to take adopt cost-cutting measures to tide over revenue shortfall owing to Covid-19-prompted national lockdown

Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman, Indian Railways, has instructed all Zonal Railways to employ migrants who have returned to various States, stated an official release.

Zones have been instructed to create eight lakh man-days of jobs which would require spending of ₹1,800 crore, it added.

In another move, Indian Railways has asked its zones to take a slew of cost-cutting measures to tide over the revenue shortfall following the Covid-19-prompted national lockdown. Additionally, they have been instructed to get sanction for proposed works, monitor them on a daily basis, and submit reports to the Railway Ministry every Friday till October-end.

In a meeting of the Railway Board Chairman with General Managers and Divisional Railway Managers on Wednesday, around 160 infrastructure works related to the railways were identified. These projects engage thousands of workers, and would generate roughly eight lakh man-days of employment by the end of October 2020, added the statement.

MGNREGS projects

These works can be executed through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). They involve construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings, development and cleaning of silted waterways, trenches and drains along the track, construction and maintenance of approach roads to railway stations, repair and widening of existing railway embankments or cuttings, plantation of trees at extreme boundaries of railway land and protection works of existing embankments or bridges.

Yadav instructed the Zonal Railways to appoint nodal officers in each district as well as in the States so that close coordination is established with the State government. The Chairman directed the Railway administration at the zonal level to act proactively to ensure migrants are engaged in projects and paid accordingly. This will involve focussed implementation of 25 categories of works, spread over 116 districts, each with a large concentration of returnee migrant workers in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha. Public works to be undertaken during this campaign will have a resource envelope of ₹50,000 crore, added the statement.

The instruction follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to put in place a massive employment-cum-rural public works initiative named Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to empower and provide livelihood opportunities in villages witnessing large number of returnee migrant workers affected by the devastating Covid-19.

In a separate move, Indian Railways’ Financial Commissioner Manjula Rangarajan has asked Zonal Railways and Production Units to undertake several cost control measures across the board including steps to control staff, fuel, operational and other costs, review uneconomic rail links, and inspection work, among others.

Published on June 25, 2020
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