SHILLONG, Dec 7 � Railway lines were needed in Meghalaya for development in agriculture, floriculture and infrastructure, Congress leader Dhaniram Shandil said today while allaying fears of influential NGOs that it would lead to an influx.
�There is a need for the Railways to make Meghalaya a modern State in keeping with the growth of the State in all sectors,� AICC secretary, in-charge of Meghalaya, Dhaniram Shandil said here.
�I am optimistic that agriculture, floriculture and infrastructural development will be boosted with the advent of the Railways,� Shandil said.
�We want to develop this hill State in line with modern developed States, but at the same time, lifestyle and interests of the indigenous people will be safeguarded,� he said.
He said that people in Himachal Pradesh had a similar fear until last year when 13 km of railway lines were constructed.
Two influential NGOs in the Khasi Jaintia Hills have opposed the Centre�s proposal to introduce railway lines connecting Lanka in Karbi Anglong district of Assam and Sutnga in Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya.
The Khasi Students Union and Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Peoples had met Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to express opposition to construction of a railhead at Byrnihat in Ri-Bhoi district.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said, �Since Meghalaya is completely dependant on road transport, the cost of goods has gone high bringing additional burden on the common man.�
Shandil and Sanjay Bapna were in the State since December 4 and will leave today. � PTI