Talks on railway only with Centre, asserts HYC

SHILLONG: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) has asserted that the Union government is the proper forum to discuss about railway in the state and not the North Eastern Frontier Railway (NFR).
The HYC statement comes in the wake of NFR’s offer to hold talks with NGOs who are opposed to railway in the state.
“If we have to discuss the matter, we will discuss it with the Union government which is the proper forum. Railways is not the proper authority for discussions,” HYC president Robert Kharjahrin said.
Reiterating that they don’t want railway in the state until laws dealing with influx are implemented, he said that the organisation would first see how the state government handles the issue of influx.
“We will not accept railway whether for freight or passenger,” he said while demanding that a strong law must be implemented to deal with the issue of influx in the state.
Earlier, successive governments had advocated introduction of goods train in the state since transporting goods by train is much cheaper than the roadways.
It may be mentioned that several attempts of the state government to connect Shillong with railway has failed as NGOs fear that it would facilitate large scale influx into the state and the indigenous people would be outnumbered by outsiders.
The construction work for the Tetelia-Byrnihat project had even started but it was halted a few years ago while the necessary survey for the Byrnihat-Shillong railway has already been completed.

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