The Ministry of Railways on Wednesday said it will generate 8 lakh man days of employment opportunity for migrants in various infrastructure projects worth Rs 1,800 crore in the next 125 days till October 31.
Reviewing the progress of 'Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan', the Railway Ministry has instructed Zonal Railways to expedite execution of all ongoing infrastructure works in the identified 116 districts across six states - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand.
"Around 160 infrastructure works have been identified which are to be expedited. These would engage thousands of workers and roughly generate 8 lakh man days of employment by the end of October 2020. Around Rs 1,800 crore would be spent in these districts," the ministry said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the public work scheme worth Rs 50,000 crore that intends to provide immediate job opportunities to migrant workers who have returned to their hometowns amid coronavirus crisis. Out of an estimated 1 crore migrant workers who have returned to their villages in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, 67 lakh workers are expected to benefit from this scheme.
Addressing the review meeting, Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav directed Zonal Railways to appoint nodal officers in each district as well as in the states so that a close coordination is established with state governments. He also directed Railway administration at Zonal level to act proactively to ensure that migrants are engaged in projects and paid accordingly.
The ministry has also identified number of railway works which can be executed through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). The works are related to construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings, development and cleaning of silted waterways, trenches and drains along the track. This also includes construction and maintenance of approach road to railway stations, repair and widening of existing railway embankments, plantation of trees at extreme boundary of railway land and protection works of existing embankments/ cuttings/bridges.
Zonal Railways have also been instructed to get sanction of proposed works under MGNREGS, monitor works on daily basis, and submit report to ministry every Friday till end of October 2020.
"This scheme of 125 days will work in mission mode, will involve focused implementation of 25 categories of works in 116 districts, each with a large concentration of returnee migrant workers in 6 states," Railway Ministry said.
Public works to be undertaken during this campaign will have a resource envelope of Rs 50,000 crore, it added.
The scheme will be a convergent effort between 12 different ministries and 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.
By Chitranjan Kumar