SHILLONG, February 04: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has decided to deny a No Objection Certificate for the proposed railroad project up to Byrnihat. The decision of the KHADC was taken after consultations with local Chiefs which include the Syiem of Raid Marwet and the Basans of Raid Nongkseh, Ummulong in a meeting held on Friday, the 4th of February.
Briefing the press, Chief Executive Member of the KHADC, Titostarwell Chyne said that the Government has sent letters of reminder up to 11 times to the KHADC for the proposed railroad connectivity from Tetilia to Byrnihat.
He said that the Government has sought the authorization from the KHADC for many years to start with the railroad project but the Council has clearly stated that it will not approve the authorization for the railroad project, and the Government from its end has written up to 11 times to the KHADC, which prompted for the meeting of all local Chiefs to be called and in the meeting, it was unanimously decided that they will deny the proposal for railroad connectivity and the decision will be forwarded to the State Government as well.
On being asked, he said that the KHADC has its part in protecting the local indigenous people and as per the views of the public, they do not want a railroad connection as yet due to the fear of migrant influx and added that if railroad is brought to the state then as a small community, they will be subsumed and cease to exist. He stated that at present the KHADC is not talking about goods trains or passenger trains, but oppose all intent to bring in railroads.
As per the statement of the CEM, the areas that will be affected by the proposal for railroads is about 47,673.63 sq/m from Pahamlang village to Ronghona village and about 16 landowners.