SHILLONG, July 31 - Meghalaya Government has put on hold railway construction works, till ‘comprehensive mechanisms’ to deal with influx and illegal migrants are put in place.
Emerging from a meeting with 13 NGOs here, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma made the announcement recently. “We have decided to hold the work of the railways till comprehensive mechanisms to tackle influx and illegal immigration are put in place,” Sangma said.
He said that the decision of the Government would be conveyed to the Indian Railways to put on hold their work. Land acquisitions have been completed for the 22-km track and survey work was on.
The Khasi Students’ Union is spearheading the opposition to railways.
The cost of Tetelia-Byrnihat railway project is estimated at Rs 496 crore and an allocation of Rs 150 crore had been made in 2015-16 and Rs 160 crore for 2016-17. The railway line is for goods trains.
Explaining about the comprehensive mechanism, Sangma said a slew of measures would be undertaken to discourage influx and illegal
He said that the State Government has identified several sites for creation of entry and exit points.
Work on some of the entry-exit points are at an advanced stage, like two in Jaintia Hills and four in Garo Hills.