The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has decided to approach the newly elected MDA 2.0 Government in order to get a fresh view on the 108-kilometer Byrnihat-Shillong railway project.
According to reports, railroad officials would try to get in touch with the state government in an effort to get rid of the obstacles that were in the way of the ambitious railway project.
In response to the demands of the pressure groups in this area, the MDA Government had put the railway project on hold and made no effort to revive it. These groups demanded that they be able to discuss the railway projects only after the Inner Line Permit or any other similar mechanism to protect the state's indigenous communities was implemented.
Because they feared that the trains would bring large numbers of people into the state, these pressure groups have been opposing both the passengers and the goods trains.
Due to ongoing protests by politicians and pressure groups against the railway project, no work has been done in Meghalaya because of concerns about influx and risks to the state's indigenous communities.
The Tetelia-Byrnihat railway line, like the Byrnihat-Shillong project, has also failed to materialize in Meghalaya despite making significant progress in Assam, where over 75% of the actual construction work has been completed.
Last year, Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma acknowledged in the Assembly that the central government exerted "huge pressure" on him to implement railways in the state. However, he made it abundantly clear that the state government will not proceed with the railway project without involving all relevant parties.
It is possible to recall that Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw stated on the floor of the House during the most recent first phase of the Budget session of Parliament that the 108-kilometer-long Byrnihat-Shillong railway project is experiencing a serious problem with law and order brought on by KSU.
The minister had stated in a written response to the question on February 10 that the KHADC must issue a NOC in order to acquire land for the railway project.
The minister provided additional information regarding the project's current status, stating that a final location survey (FLS) could not be conducted within a 5-kilometer radius.
According to the minister's statement, "all activities, including land acquisition, are held up on this account."
The minister stated that the Tetelia-Kamalajari (10 km) section of the 22-kilometer Tetelia-Byrnihat project has been completed and commissioned. According to the statement, work has been resumed in the balance section in Assam, while work in Meghalaya has been halted due to a problem with law and order.
The project received Rs 125 crore in funding in 2019, followed by Rs 300 crore in funding between 2020 and 2023.
There will be a total of 100 bridges along the Byrnihat-Shillong railway line, the longest of which will be 701 meters.
Byrnihat, Sohkhwai, Lailad, Umsong, Umar, Nongsder, Kyrdemkulai, Umroi, Umpling, and New Shillong are the ten stations on the proposed route.
There will be 31 tunnels in the proposed project, each with a length of 39.06 kilometers. Tunnels will account for as much as 36.03 percent of the total length of the rail. It is proposed that the longest tunnel will be 4.14 kilometers long.
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