From A Reporter
SHILLONG, June 15: Even as the construction of the railway line at Rongho in Ri-Bhoi district has been halted due to protests by Khasi Student’s Union (KSU) activists on May 27, Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma has pitched for a railway line from Shillong to Sohra.
Sangma was speaking to mediapersons after his meeting with North East Frontier Railway (NEFR) officials at the state secretariat on Thursday.
It may be mentioned that tension in the state has increased over the proposed railway project in Ri-Bhoi district as the KSU is against the project. In the ensuing tension the city and parts of the state witnessed cases of arson leading to the arrest of a number of KSU members.
“In the meeting we have suggested the North East Frontier Railway (NEFR) to connect Shillong with Sohra (Cherrapunjee) by railway for tourism. We want the railway network in the state to be beautiful and the Railway project should be taken beyond Shillong and into Sohra,” Sangma said.
The Chief Minister added, “The Shillong to Sohra railway line will become a separate and dedicated railway only for tourism and it will be the most sought after train ride for the people who would ultimately want to visit Meghalaya again and again.”
Asked whether the construct work on Railway at Ri-Bhoi will continue, he said, “I have asked the officials of NEFR to work out the models to bring about all the facilities required like the facilitation centre and when all concern are satisfied then only we will be able to dispel the apprehension.”
On the issue of influx, Sangma said, “Even before the legislative measure we have set up an interim measure like the district task force, sanctioning and posting of the labour inspectors in all the blocks to deal with the issue of migrant workers which ultimately have an impact on influx.”
The Chief Minister said that similar kind of facility in every railway station in the state should have a facilitation centre where the same centre will be available in the proposed entry and exit points along the road network.
In this connection, he said “We will start the project in having a facilitation centre at Mendipathar Railway station.”
Sangma further said that there is an actual requirement of railway line to connect the state of Meghalaya.
“We have done it in the western part and now we are trying to do the same in the eastern part and the most important part is that this project connecting Shillong by Railway has been approved as a tiol project in 2010-11,” he said.
He informed that during the meeting with NEFR officials they had discussed that Meghalaya railway connectivity should be designed in such a way that will open up new opportunities for the state and those people who would like to utilize the railway line to promote the state as a high end tourist destition.
“With the connection of railways the farmers will also get the best remunerative price,” he said.
CM backs railway project in State
From A Reporter