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Rs 16,000 crore railway project for M’laya submitted
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUL 9:
Published on 10 Jul. 2009 12:35 AM IST
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Meghalaya government has submitted a proposal of Rs 16,000 crore railway project to the railway ministry connecting Jogigopa in Lower Assam to Silchar via the southern slopes of Meghalaya, bordering Bangladesh. Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee said the intention of having this mega railway project to improve the mobility of goods not only to the rest of the country, but also to Bangladesh. Estimated at the cost of Rs 16,000 crore, the railway line will connect Jogigopa in Assam’s Goalpara district which would pass through Baghmara, Shella-Dawki in Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills, East Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills districts then Badarpur in Barak Valley of Assam. Chief Minister DD Lapang is expected to take up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee to expedite the mega-railway project, besides the decades-old Azara-Byrnihat and Dudhnoi-Mendipathar railway line during his upcoming visit to New Delhi. “The survey work for the 24 km Azara-Byrnihat in Meghalaya side has been completed and the project has been estimated at Rs 547 crore only under Meghalaya sector,” Chatterjee said He, however, said that the project is delayed due to land acquisition in Assam. Of the 24 km proposed railway line, 12 km of the railway line will fall in Meghalaya’s Byrnihat under Ri-Bhoi district, while the rest falls 12 km in Azara under Assam. On the Dudhnoi-Mendipathar railway line, Chatterjee said the survey work for 19 km railway line from Dudhnoi in Assam to Mendipathar connecting East Garo Hills of Meghalaya is yet to take place. The project cost of the railway line is estimated at Rs 82 crore and it will cover 10 km in Assam and nine km in Meghalaya. “We have asked the district magistrate of East Garo Hills to start the land acquisition process,” Chatterjee said. Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent H Pala has urged the Railways Ministry to introduce railway lines in Meghalaya to exploit its vast mineral and tourism resources. The State is rich in various mineral resources, including coal reserves. Only with the help of railways such resources can be exploited and utilized,” Pala said in a letter to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee

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