Post pandemic, cities face a shortage of labourers
Post pandemic, cities face a shortage of labourers|Image source: Unsplash
Maharashtra

20 labourers airlifted from Guwahati to fix workforce shortage in MahaMetro

MahaMetro has earlier brought back labourers from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh. But these workers were either brought by buses or special trains. This is the first time that the workers are brought back by flights.

Salil Urunkar

The Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MahaMetro) has airlifted 20 labourers from Guwahati to address the shortage of workforce for the ongoing Pune Metro project in the city.

MahaMetro has earlier brought back labourers from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh. But these workers were either brought by buses or special trains. This is the first time that the workers are brought back by flights.

The daily wage workers who used to earn Rs 500 or Rs 600 daily by working at the Pune Metro sites never thought that they would board a flight to land in Pune city. These labourers had reached Guwahati by the special Shramik trains and thereafter they went to their respective villages by using local transport means. When the unlock phase began, these workers got calls from MahaMetro to return to the site for work.

The workers too wanted to return to work by they had no bus transport or trains available for travelling to Pune. So MahaMetro asked them to form a group of 20 and sent them flight tickets. The workers were also tested for Covid-19 before arriving at the airport. Thus, these workers could cross a distance of 2500 kilometres in just a few hours and reached Pune.

The workers were then taken to the labour camps at Rangehills. They were again tested for Covid-19 and asked to stay in quarantine as per the procedure. The quarantine period of these workers has just finished and they have resumed work on the Pune Metro sites.

Although Durga Shankar Mishra, Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary of India has stated that the number of workers required for Pune Metro project has reached to its fullest, the MahaMetro had a really tough time to manage for the labourers.

The workers working at various locations of the Pune Metro project had left for their native places after the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March month. The workers preferred to board the Shramik trains and thereafter the labour camps of Pune Metro were left empty. Till then the MahaMetro had taken care of all the workers including their food and accommodation. As a result, the total number of workers went down to 2200 from 5500.

After the unlock phase was announced, the MahaMetro started bringing back all of its skilled workforces in order to resume operations. In the initial days, several buses and trains were arranged to bring back the labourers from as far away as Jharkhand. Hence the work on priority stretches of Pune Metro gathered pace.

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