SHILLONG, Jan 18: The state government has not taken any steps for the resumption of the stalled Tetelia-Byrnihat railway project apparently due to opposition from pressure groups.
Only two-three km stretch of the 21-km and Rs 385-cr project falls in Meghalaya.
A senior official of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) said no work was undertaken on the Meghalaya portion after the members of Khasi Students’ Union had stopped the work three-four years ago.
“We have had discussions with the Meghalaya government on several occasions but there hasn’t been any positive response,” the official said.
He said the NFR is constantly trying to convince the government to give permission for the work.
Stating that the railway is positive and work for railway lines is going on throughout the country and the world, he said the Ministry of Railways approves projects when a state government approaches it.
The official said although work on the Assam portion is going on in full swing, yet the project will be held up at one point in time since no work is going on in Meghalaya.
He also said that the Meghalaya government can now consider giving permission for the work since the entry point at Umling has become functional.
The Centre is looking to connect all eight states in the Northeast with railway. But the pressure groups in Meghalaya fear such projects would encourage the influx of illegal immigrants to the state. They are demanding a comprehensive and effective mechanism for checking influx before the introduction of railway in the state.
The only other railhead in Meghalaya is up to Mendipathar in Garo Hills.