Urges State Government to create better education infrastructure instead
From A Correspondent
Shillong, July 16: The Khasi Student’s Union (KSU) has asked the State Government to provide better education system in all parts of Meghalaya, before contemplating to set up a railway line in Khasi-Jaintia Hills region.
Addressing a public rally at Sohra on Saturday, KSU general secretary Donald V Thabah said that lack of proper opportunities in the field of education in other parts of the State has led to an exodus of bright students from interior areas to Shillong for better or higher studies and jobs.
Peeved at the raids conducted by police to arrest KSU activists, the students’ leader said that the State Government should rather use its resources to address the problem of drug abuse rather than hunt for members of the union as they are no terrorists.
While enlightening the people about the possible ill effect the proposed railway line will have on the people of the area and the State as a whole, Thabah asserted that this is not the first time that the KSU has stood up against railway projects in the State, adding that its stand is consistent since the idea of a railway line was first mooted in1988.
The KSU general secretary warned that once railways come to the State, influx problem will be rampant like in the states of Assam, Tripura and Sikkim.
Thabah also lashed out at Chief Minister, Dr Mukul Sangma for trying to mislead the people that railway in the region will promote tourism.
“Thousands of tourists come to Shillong everyday without benefitting the locals of the area anyway. Moreover, the tourists usually come directly from Assam and other neighbouring States as there is lack of any proper entry or exit point,” the KSU general secretary said.
It may be mentioned that the KSU is spearheading a campaign against the railway line in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region.
On May 27, a protest meet against the proposed Tetelia-Byrnihat railway line by the KSU turned violent. Ri Bhoi and Shillong police have since arrested several KSU leaders and members, accusing them of indulging in series of arson, including at Ronghona, the railway station site in Ri-Bhoi district, where heavy machineries were set on fire that day.
Besides the KSU, other groups in Khasi and Jaiñtia hills too are opposing the proposed railway line and have asked the government to forget about the railway project at the moment and instead first prioritise implementation of a comprehensive mechanism to deal with the problem of influx.
The organizations contend that Meghalaya is already linked with the railway map of India through a 129-km-long railway track linking Mendipathar in North Garo Hills district to Guwahati,
The train station at Mendipathar was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a video conference from Guwahati on 30th November 2014.