Railway plans to generate work under MGNREGS

Railway plans to generate work for migrants under MGNREGS

PTI/File photo

With large number of migrant workers returning their home states, the Indian Railways is planning to generate jobs under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) by engaging them in railway works.

The railways aims to engage workers for constructing station approaching roads, foot over bridges, cleaning station areas, yards, building boundary walls and other activities, said a railway official.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who held a meeting with top officials of zonal railways couple days back, asked them to prepare a roadmap to provide jobs under MGNREGS in railways. He also asked zonal railway officials to prepare list of workers for engage in railways in co-ordination with deputy commissioners.

Though railways generallly hires skilled workers through private contractors, a senior official in national transporter said that the railways plans to directly engage workers for unskilled works. Since large number of migrant workers returning to their home states and seeking jobs under the MGNREGS, the railways can engage them for works, said the official.

Some of the places including Allahabad, Udaipur, Warangal and Maduri, the railways earlier engaged workers under the MGNREGS scheme.

The demand for jobs under the scheme is so high that in May this year total 417.7 million days of work generated against 339 million days same period last year.

Over 58 lakh migrants returned home in Shramik Special trains and another 20 lakh returning in other mode of transportation. The demand for jobs highest in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh says government data.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while annoucing Rs 20 lakh crore package to revive economy, enhanced the allocation to MGNERGS by Rs 40,000 crore which over and above Rs 61,500 announced in 2020-21 budget. With this, the total allocation for the scheme will be Rs 1,01,500 crore and the governmed aimed to generate 300 crore mandays of jobs.