At a time when the Central Government is talking big about connecting all the capital cities of the north-eastern states by rail link, the railway project between Tetelia in Assam and Byrnihat in Meghalaya still remains a distant dream.
The project had to be stalled after the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), the influential students’ body of Meghalaya halted the railway project last year.
According to the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), the construction work between Tetelia and Kalmajaria in Assam was in completion stage, but the work was yet to resume in the small portion of Meghalaya after it was halted last year.
Now the NFR authority is keen to start a dialogue with the new National People’s Party (NPP) led government in Meghalaya to resume the project.
Notably, the cost of the proposed 20.5 km railway line linking Tetelia in Assam and Byrnihat in Ri Bhoi of Meghalaya is estimated around Rs 496 crore.
The length of the track in Meghalaya is just 2.5 km.
The KSU which has been opposing the project has been demanding that the Meghalaya Government puts in place effective mechanism to check influx including setting up of entry and exit points before introducing railways in the State.
However, NFR officials also said that they have not received the land for the construction of 108 km Byrnihat-Shillong railway project and so far, KHADC has not given no objection certificate (NOC) for the project from Byrnihat to Lailad, a village around 17 km from Byrnihat.