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Mukul’s Plea in Favour Of Railways in M’laya
Shillong, Mar 18 (AGENCIES):
Published on 18 Mar. 2011 11:35 PM IST
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People in Meghalaya are being ‘pushed to pay’ for the high cost of essential commodities imported through road transportation and the Indian Railways are the only solution to ease this ‘suffering’ of the common man.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma making a strong plea in favour of railways in Meghalaya said in the Assembly today: “the State must be open to some good things (railways). Now the people are being pushed to pay for the high cost of road transportation.”
He said attributing influx to railways is a misconception that needs to be ‘erased and dispelled.’ “In any case, influx is still going on with the help of locals,” he added.
Informing the House that the State is trying to curb influx, Sangma said, the traditional heads and the land transfer Act are some of the mechanisms currently at place playing a vital role in discouraging influx.
He, therefore, added that the State mustn’t lose out on the opportunity provided by the Central government to connect the State with the rest of the country through railways.
“The State lost out on several occasions to have rail links fearing influx; but we need to have railway lines in Meghalaya,” he said in the Assembly.
Meghalaya is one of the few States in the country not having railways. Most of the essential items in the State are imported through road transport and therefore prices of these items have always been on the higher side compared to the rest of the country.
Currently, the State has three major railway projects in the pipeline. The Tetelia-Byrnihat is one of the most important amongst these. The railways plan to open a depot at Byrnihat.
The other projects being Dudhnoi-Mendhipathar in Garo Hills and the Byrnihat-Shillong project. Eighteen kilometres of land has been acquired for the Dudhnoi-Mendhipathar project.
But the other two projects have met with hurdles with NGOs demanding effective mechanisms to curb influx at place before railways are brought into the State.

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