Stepping up efforts to provide jobs for pandemic-hit migrants, Indian Railways has expedited execution of infrastructure projects in six states to generate eight lakh mandays of employment opportunity till October end this year.
Launched under the ambitious Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan initiative, the public transporter would implement infrastructure projects worth Rs 1800 cr in 116 districts of Odisha, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand in the next 125 days in a mission mode to ensure employment in these states badly affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Railways has identified around 160 infrastructure works to be expedited in the districts and appointed nodal officers at district and state level to provide jobs for the locals who have returned from big cities due to the coronavirus.
Inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 20, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan is in operation in 116 identified districts of six states.
In a recent meeting participated by all railway zones and PSUs, Chairman Railway Board VK Yadav reviewed the progress of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan and instructed all concerned to expedite the various categories of works in the districts.
Since all these 116 districts have a large concentration of returnee migrant workers, railway projects are expected to be a big help in the localities.
Addressing the meeting, Yadav instructed Zonal Railways to implement the works in close coordination with state and district authorities and also to ensure migrants’ are engaged in projects and paid accordingly.
Besides, the state-run transporter has also identified many other rail 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, construction and maintenance of approach road to railway stations, repair and widening of existing railway embankments/cuttings, 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.
Taking nothing to chance, railways has asked Zonal Railways to monitor the works on a daily basis and submit a report to the Ministry every Friday till the end of October, 2020.
Modi has launched the Abhiyaan, a massive employment-cum-rural public works campaign to empower and provide livelihood opportunities in areas/ villages witnessing large numbers of returnee migrant workers affected by the devastating COVID-19.
The Prime Minister announced that an amount of Rs 50,000 cr would be spent for building durable rural infrastructure under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.
This Abhiyaan of 125 days, will work in mission mode, will involve focused implementation of 25 categories of works/ activities in 116 districts, each with a large concentration of returnee migrant workers in these states, according to railways.
The Abhiyaan will be a convergent effort between 12 different Ministries/Departments, namely; Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture, to expedite implementation of 25 public infrastructure works and works relating to augmentation of livelihood opportunities.