The Railways is in talks with state governments to get labourers back at worksites of its largest infrastructure project, the Dedicated Freight Corridor, after its workforce reduced to 15,000 from 40,000 due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation Limited (DFCCIL), the implementing agency of the project, has till now managed to get back 7,000 labourers, taking the number of workers at sites to 22,000 from 15,000.

It brought them back by arranging buses and getting bulk bookings on trains.

To facilitate their movement, the agency also submitted letters to district administration and arranged for e-passes for contractors.

Of the 7,000 labourers, who have returned, around 3,250 are highly skilled workers needed for technical works like electrification, mast casting, track works, operating high-end machines, which cannot be done by local workers, officials said.

“Before the (COVID-19) lockdown we had around 40,000 workers and within 15 days of the Shramik Special trains starting, we were reduced to around 15,000 workers. We are now facilitating the return of around 20,000 more on special trains through bulk bookings or by buses. We now have around 22,000 workers at our sites, but we need to get the full workforce back,” DFCCIL managing director Anurag Sachan told.

Source:- Daily Shipping Times