Nogpoh: The North Khasi Hills district unit of Khasi Students' Union (KSU) has vowed that it would not allow the resumption of the Tetelia-Byrnihat railway project nor allow the Northeast Frontier Railway to survey for the extension to Shillong, until a strong mechanism like the Inner-Line Permit (ILP) under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, is placed and complete all the entry-exit points in the state.
Ferdynald Kharkamni, the KSU unit's president reminded the government about the union's protest against the railway line at Ronghona in Ri Bhoi district in 2017 in which several KSU members were arrested and jailed.
Kharkamni said that the railway line without the safeguards in place would contribute to the complexities of managing the flow of illegal immigrants on the roads.
The union demanded setting up a facilitation centre of the Labour Department at the entry point so that all migrant workers are properly registered under the Meghalaya Inter-State Migrant Workers Act and issued a certificate which would allow them to work in the state for only 179 days.
Kharkamni urged the people not to confuse the Umling point with the exit point, which will be build either at Byrnihat or 13 Mile.
He further stated that the Ri-Bhoi Deputy Commissioner RM Kurbah was directed to strengthen the district task forces under the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016, to ensure that the headmen mandatorily submit the details of migrant workers in their respective villages to the nearest police station or outpost."Those who do not comply with the rules of the Act shall be punished according to the relevant provisions of law," he added.
Prestone Tynsong, Deputy Chief Minister asserted that without taking all the stakeholders on board, the state government will not move forward with the railway project.
He further informed that the project is now the responsibility of the Ri Bhoi district administration and the state government has entrusted the latter to sit down with concerned stakeholders to clear the air on the project.