160 railway projects of 9 lakh mandays for migrant workers: Chairman

The Indian Railways has identified over 160 projects through which it will generate over nine lakh mandays for the migrant workers who have returned to their native places during the nationwide lockdown, Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav said on Friday.

Yadav also said that the Indian Railways might not be able to run all the trains in the near future looking at the Covid-19 situation across the country.

Interacting with the media through video conferencing, he said: “So far Railways has received Rs 620 crore from Central Covid fund. And 160 projects have been identified for migrant workers to generate nine lakh mandays of work under Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan in six days.

“The railways has run the Shramik Special trains from May 1 to transport the stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists. Since May 1, the railways has transported over 65 lakh workers across the country in over 4,500 Shramik Special trains.

Asked about the national transporter’s plan to run all the trains, he said: “Occupancy in trains from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal to big cities is increasing day by day, indicating improving economic situation. We are keeping watch on occupancy of special trains and very soon will begin more such trains based on demand, and the Covid situation.”

Yadav also said that it might not be possible for Railways to run all trains in near future given the Covid-19 situation across the country.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in India on Friday cross 4.9 lakh mark with 17,296 fresh cases and 15,301 fatalities due to the pandemic.

To a question over the private operators, the Chairman said that Railways has asked for request for qualification from private train operators in the first week of July.

The Chairman also said that the national transporter, during the nationwide lockdown and till June 25, operated 4,210 parcel trains out of which 4,091 were time-tabled trains. He said that the railways transported 1.72 lakh tonnes of consignments and earned Rs 62.54 crore from it.

Yadav also said that the zonal railways are regularly identifying and notifying routes for these special parcel trains.