RESUBELPARA, Jan 18 � Meghalaya will enter the rail map of the country by April this year. Planning Commission member BK Chaturvedi today visited the upcoming railway station at Mendhipathar in North Garo Hills. He was on a visit to inspect the progress of the line that is set to connect Meghalaya with the rest of India and was happy at the progress of the works.
He said the line would be completed by March next and opened in April for freight and passenger traffic.
The 19.7 km line is set to connect Dudhnoi in Goalpara district of Assam to the town of Mendhipathar, the first rail connection in the State.
The PC member said that the progress of the line was satisfactory and the expectation that it would be opened in March should be met. Chaturvedi said, �The line is coming through fast and we expect the March deadline to be met. We expect the coming of the rail network to boost trade in Meghalaya. The coal trade for example will get a bigger market with the coming of rail link. We expect a lot of benefits to the people of the region and congratulate the people of the region for being pro-progress�, he said.
On the plans of the Railways to ensure that the State capitals of NE States are connected through rail, Chaturvedi said the plan was in progress. However, the rail line to Byrnihat is still stuck in limbo on land acquisition issues, he said. He, however, hoped progress of the said line would be made soon.
The PC member said the terrain provided challenges that were being met through the sheer genius of engineering including the highest bridge in Arunachal Pradesh to ensure connectivity.
The coming of the rail network to the State is expected to provide a huge impetus to the economy of the region and bolster trade. Chaturvedi was in Arunachal yesterday to review the upcoming railway line there too.