Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday informed the Assembly that the government desires to have railways in Meghalaya provided people give their consent to have a railway network in the state.
“There is opposition towards the railways from the people and so the government has not been able to proceed forward to have a railway network in the state,” Sangma told the assembly during Question Hour.
However, the government is actively engaging with the central government and trying to explain the people’s resistance to railways in the state.
Sangma added that he had several meetings with union Railways minister Ashwini Vaishnav and explained to him about the opposition.
“I have informed the Government of India that we will proceed forward only after discussion and consultation with the stakeholders of the state. We would like to go ahead but it will be done only after we engage and take people on board,” he said.
Moreover, he said that the Railways minister said that the project would only be taken up in earnest when the state government and also the people of the state willingly approve.
Earlier, Transport Minister, Dasakhiatbha Lamare said that at present there is no work going on the railway line in the state linking Byrnihat-Lailad-Shillong.
However, survey work and land acquisition have been completed for the Tetelia to Byrnihat stretch and the land owners for that stretch of land have been compensated.
But following the survey and land acquisition, there was opposition from the NGOs, Lamare said adding, now the work has been halted, but efforts are on to convince the people to have railways for the economic upliftment of the people.
Lamare said, the railways would bring prosperity and the state government is trying not to shelve the project and dispel reports that the NF Railways have abandoned the project.