The Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organization (CoMSO) has rejected the idea to discuss implementation of railway projects without the Inner Line Permit (ILP).
“We are very clear that no ILP, no discussion on railway. It is only after ILP is implemented, then we may have a thought on railways. Railway without mechanisms to regulate entry and settlement of illegal immigrants is not acceptable in our state,” CoMSO chairman Robertjune Kharjahrin told reporters on Wednesday.
He said that the confederation is not even thinking of meeting the Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi District as there is no need to discuss railway without ILP.
Asked about the suggestion made by some political parties for allowing the introduction of goods trains, Kharjahrin however said there is nothing to differentiate between a goods train and a passenger train.
“A train is a train as the moment a railway track is constructed you cannot say it will be used only by goods train. Let us not have any differentiation between the two, let us have ILP in place first and then we will have a discussion on railway,” he added.
It may be mentioned that the Centre has proposed two railways projects in the state– the 22-km Tetelia-Byrnihat tracks and the 108-km Byrnihat-Shillong line.
The Tetelia-Byrnihat project will be implemented at a cost of Rs 496 crore. However, these projects have faced roadblocks due to strong opposition from different quarters apprehending influx.
Recently, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong has said resuming the construction work of the Tetelia-Byrnihat railway project will not be possible without taking all stakeholders on board.
“Until and unless we carry everyone on board, I don’t think we can go ahead with the railway line,” Tynsong had said while informing that the district administration of Ri Bhoi was asked to hold meetings with all stakeholders on this regard.