M’laya govt for end to railway project impasse

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SHILLONG, Sept 14 (Newmai): In spite of the Centre already having sanctioned almost Rs. 8000 crore for infrastructural development including the two railway projects in Meghalaya, the latter have been languishing due to local concerns.

In this backdrop, Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad Sangma conducted a review meeting of the current status of the railway projects in Meghalaya and said that his government would soon take a call on the matter after taking all the stakeholders into consideration.

The two railway projects which include the 21.5 km Tetelia-Byrnihat and 108 km Shillong-Byrnihat rail line have remained non-starters following the stiff opposition from the anti-railway groups.

Having completed the review meeting which was held with railways officials, Conrad later informed that close to Rs 8,000 crore had been sanctioned by the Centre for the infrastructural development including the two projects in the state.

Informing that he had multiple meetings with the Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal who had expressed concern about the delay in the implementation of the projects, Conrad said that work on the two projects have been stopped.

“We have reviewed and discussed the current status of the two projects. These are projects for which the Centre had already sanctioned the funds but because of local concerns that are there both have been stopped at present,” he said.

Asked about the stand of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government on the issue, Conrad said that the railway project is an important infrastructure development which can change the economic scenario of the state.

He further informed the government would soon hold discussion with cabinet ministers and different political parties on the issue.

“We just took stock of the situation and we would now discuss with other cabinet colleagues and political parties and take stakeholders into account and then decide how to move forward,” he said.

NGOs in Meghalaya are demanding for a comprehensive and effective mechanism for checking influx issue before the introduction of railway in the state.

Earlier in December 2016, the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) reiterated their opposition to the proposed rail link from Assam’s Tetelia to Byrnihat and then to Shillong.

Meghalaya govt seeks early completion of road projects

Seeking to remove all bottlenecks and problems which are hindering the early completion of road projects in the state, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government convened a meeting with officials from the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) here on Friday.

After the meeting, the chief minister informed that this was the second review being held in the last six months to review the road projects including national highways in the state.

He said that the meeting also discussed the various hurdles and bottlenecks that were there from the state government and different departments including forest, revenue, PHE and others.

“So we have reviewed all that to ensure these projects are moving fast. The Centre has earmarked almost Rs 7,000 to 8,000 crores for Meghalaya and it really depends on how fast we move and ensure that permissions are given for these road projects,” Conrad said.

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