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Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has intensified its efforts to retain its workforce post the outbreak of the second COVID-19 wave, a top company official told news agency PTI.

"What has happened after the first wave (of COVID-19) is that much of the labourers went back to their villages and towns. With huge efforts, I can talk about Larsen & Toubro, we brought many of them back," company's CEO and managing director S N Subrahmanyan told PTI.

The company said it has been able to retain almost 70% of its 2,45,000 contract labourers at its various project sites on account of medical care facilities and other support measures during the pandemic.

During the first wave of the pandemic last year, the company had witnessed a similar situation when labourers went back to their villages after the government imposed the lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Explaining the present situation, the L&T MD said that around March-end, "we had about 2,45,000 labourers on our rolls. It has come down to about 1,71,000 now. So, there has been some people who have gone back, one could say that. But we have intensified huge campaigns at all our sites, especially (at) the labour camps...to tell them that they are safe with L&T," he said.

Subrahmanyan is of view that the labourers should stay back at their current places, as in the hinterland there is a certain amount of COVID infection and due to lack of medical infrastructure at these places, there are hardships.

The lockdowns announced by the various state governments, especially in the western and southern India where most of the labourers migrate from the eastern part, has also in some way or the other helped in curtailing movement of people too much from one place to the other, the L&T MD said.

"We do hope, if the cases come down, we will be able to retain and move forward as we go on," he explained.

India has been seeing a decline in daily Covid cases as well as seeing an uptick in the number of patients recovering from the infection. On Sunday, the country reported 2.4 lakh covid cases, which is the least number of cases that it has seen since 16 April and the seventh day when less than three lakh cases have been reported.

For the quarter ended March, Larsen and Toubro's (L&T) consolidated net profit rose 3% to 3,293 crore compared to 3,197 crore in the same quarter last year. The consolidated revenue from operations in Q4 grew by 8.69% year-on-year to 48,088 crore from 44,245.28 crore reported in the year-ago quarter. In Q4FY21, the company's order inflows declined by 12% on a yearly basis to 50,651 crore.

(With inputs from PTI)

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