Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday said the State government is still looking at other regions of the State for implementation of the railway project.
Speaking to reporters, Sangma said that the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) people are correct that there is no question of closing it (railway project) but there is no question of forcing it also.
He said the first project (in Khasi Hills) is facing some hurdles as there are constraints and the government needs to address those concerns and that is taking time.
“In the meantime, certain funds were parked for a certain project and since it is not moving forward obviously the Government of India will ask questions how long will you keep this money. So either we give it back or we divert it to another project within the State itself and try to utilize that money so that it doesn’t go to waste and hence, we are exercising and trying to find out if there are other regions in the State, who would be open to the idea of a railway and that exercise has started,” Sangma said.
He said, “I have expressed the same to the railway minister and the railway minister had told me he is open to that idea. Therefore, we will examine it from that angle and see if there are other projects we can move forward with and if it is there, we would like to do that otherwise it will be a loss for the State in terms of finances as the money has already come in for certain parts of the railway.”
Asked, Sangma said ILP is a mechanism in place to address illegal immigrants and concerns of the people but there are other mechanisms that could also be there to address the concerns.
“Therefore…ILP is not the concern, the concern is illegal immigration and infiltration and people feel that ILP or some stakeholders feel that ILP can help in addressing those concerns. There are other ways also that is why we introduced the MRRSA and other mechanisms.
So we feel that discussions are on. Stakeholders have mentioned that these are conditions so let us see how it goes along. We will keep engaging and we will try to resolve the issue,” he added further.