Coming in favour of railway line in Jaintia Hills

Shillong, Oct 20: Cabinet Minister Comingone Ymbon is in favour of introducing railway lines in Jaintia Hills as according to him, it would benefit the people of the region.

“I welcome the railway. I have seen those countries which have railways, the people get a lot of benefit from it,” Ymbon, who represents Raliang constituency in West Jaintia Hills, told reporters on Friday.


“Last time, I went to Garo Hills to hoist the flag on Independence Day. After hoisting the flag I went to the railway station in Mendipathar and I have seen the people of that area, they are getting a lot of profit because to travel from Mendipathar to Guwahati, taxi drivers used to ask for Rs 280 per head but by train it is only Rs 30. They would start from Mendipathar by 7 am and they will return by 7 pm. Small farmers are carrying one or two baskets of fruits or any production from there, they can sell to Guwahati and they get a lot of profit, even for essential commodities also, I enquired that time in month of August from a shop I was told that the price of rice in Resubelpara was Rs 31 while here in Shillong, it is Rs 44 – that much is the difference”.

According to the minister, if the railway comes, people in Jaintia Hills region would also be largely benefited. “We have so many resources like limestone, like coal, which if transported by trucks would cost almost Rs 2,000 per tonne. I think if we transport by railway may be it will be Rs 500 per tonne and Rs 1500 will come to your pocket,” he added.

He did not want to comment on the NGOs’ continuous opposition against railway heads.. Ymbon however said in view of the fear  against influx, the state government had already passed an official resolution urging the Centre to immediately implement the inner line permit (ILP) in Meghalaya.

“Now, the ball is with the central government. Let the central government approve that,” he added.

The state government has recently decided to explore the possibility of introducing railway connectivity in East Jaintia Hills.

This was after the proposed two railway projects in the state– the 22-km Tetelia-Byrnihat tracks and the 108-km Byrnihat-Shillong line are facing roadblocks due to strong opposition from different quarters including pressure groups apprehending influx.The cost of the Tetelia-Byrnihat project is Rs 496 crore.

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