HAFLONG, Jan 1 � The Joint Action Committee for Heritage Line (JACHL), a conglomeration of 21 organisations comprising apex bodies of different communities, like the students� union, NGOs of Dima Hasao, etc., has expressed gratitude to Railway Minister S Prabhu, MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and others for their positive gesture and assurance from the Railway Minister to retain the heritage metre-gauge line, i.e., the Harangajao to Mahur rail line of the NF Railways.
This was stated by JACHL vice chairman Jhon Poithong at a press meet today held at the Office of the Jadikhe Naisho Hosom (Dimasa apex body), which was attended by Kalyan Daolagupu, vice chairman, Liton Chakraborty, joint secretary and representatives of Hmar Impui, Kuki Inpi, Dimasa Mothers� Association, etc.
NC Hills Autonomous Council Chief Executive Member Debojeet Thaosen, who is also the chairman of JACHL, confirmed yesterday that he was informed of the same by Rijiju, who contacted Railway Minister S Prabhu regarding the heritage line. The Railway Minister had assured that the heritage line would be retained as desired by the people of Dima Hasao.
This news of the assurance to retain the Harangajao-Mahur metre-gauge line as a heritage line spread throughout the district as a New Year greetings from the government.
Mention may be made here that the NF Railway had way back proposed to retain the 50-kilometre metre-gauge line from Mahur to Harangajao as a heritage line, which was not covered by the ongoing Lumding-Silchar gauge conversion project of the NF Railways. Without this rail line, a sizable population of different communities would be deprived of rail communication having economic ramifications.
The JACHL, under the leadership of Debojeet Thaosen, submitted several memoranda to the concerned ministries and also met the MoS for Home with prayers for retention of the said heritage line which will not only benefit the people of Dima Hasao but also help the entire Barak Valley and other neighbouring States. Members of the JACHL have also reasoned that NF Railways would also be in profit if this heritage line is properly maintained with the cooperation of the populace of the Dima Hasao who depend much on the railway line for their everyday activities.