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Neither closing nor forcing rail project in Meghalaya : CM Conrad Sangma

Rail Project Will Improve Trade And Economy Of State

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HT Bureau

SHILLONG, Sept 15: The Meghalaya government is neither closing nor forcing the railway project.

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Stating this here on Friday, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is open to the project.

“There is no question of closing it, but there is no question of forcing it also”, Sangma said.

According to him, there are challenges and concerns with the project, and that the government is trying to address them. He also said that the government is open to considering other options if the current project is not feasible.

“From a development perspective, we all would want to see that railway should come to a capital and it would improve the overall connectivity. It would improve trade and economy,” Sangma said. “However, then there are challenges. There are concerns and the different stakeholders have different concerns,” he added.

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Sangma said that the government is committed to carrying everyone along, and that it is trying to find an amicable way to proceed with the project.

He also said that all options are open, and that the government is not forcing the project.

“In the meantime, certain funds were parked for a certain project and since it is not moving forward obviously the central government will ask questions on how long we will keep this money. So either we give it back or we divert it to another project within the state itself and try to utilize that money so that it doesn’t go to waste. Hence, we are exercising and trying to find out if there are other regions in the State, who would be open to the idea of a railway and that exercise has started,” Sangma  said.

Asked if implementation of inner line permit (ILP) will pave the way for railway lines in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region, Sangma however said ILP is a mechanism in place to address illegal immigrants and concerns of the people, but there are other mechanisms that could also be there to address the concerns.

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“Therefore…ILP is not the concern, the concern is illegal immigration and infiltration and some stakeholders feel that ILP can help in addressing those concerns. There are other ways also that is why we introduced the MRRSA and other mechanisms. So, we feel that discussions are on. Stakeholders have mentioned that these are conditions so let us see how it goes along. We will keep engaging and we will try to resolve the issue,” he added further.




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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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