Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday informed that the government is yet to receive the No-objection certificate (NOC) from the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) for implementation of the railway projects in the state.
“I have taken up with the Minister for Railway, Government of India and urged that these are matters that we need to consult and take our stakeholders into confidence and hence, we require time to discuss matters with them and only once we are able to resolve and come to some kind of understanding would we want to go ahead with things. So that is the status as of now,” he said.
Sangma said the government is engaging with different stakeholders if goods trains can be introduced as it will help the state’s economy, farmers and everybody.
“We are discussing as I said we are very clear on our stand that we would like to engage with everybody, discuss this matter and take it forward in an amicable way,” he added.
The chief minister also informed that during his last visit to New Delhi, the minister has expressed that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is deeply concerned and he would like to see all the capitals of the states connected with railway lines in the larger interest of the nation in terms of ensuring that the overall economy prosper.
“Obviously, the prime minister has good intentions while he intends to push our state and the railway ministry to achieve this.”
The chief minister admitted that the inner line permit (ILP) is one of the ways to address the apprehension of influx and said that is why an official resolution was passed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly urging the Centre to implement ILP.
“But then ILP is not the only way, it is one of the ways. So if we get ILP then that will be great if not, how do we move forward, what are the other options – so all these aspects have been discussed because as I said the crux of the matter is not that people are against railway, it is not that people are saying that it has to be ILP, it is not that people are saying that it has to be x,y,z – the issue is influx and the protection of our identity,” he said.