SHILLONG, June 22 - Sharing equal concern with the NGOs on the issue of influx, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has asked railway authorities to have a �facilitation centre� at Mendipathar to check illegal immigrants.
After independence, the Guwahati-Mendipathar (North Garo Hills) is the only railway network that connects Meghalaya with the rest of the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the train from Mendipathar on November 30, 2014.
Currently, a passenger train runs daily connecting Mendipathar with Guwahati through a distance of 127 km. The four-hour journey has assisted the people to travel safely and in a short time, in the otherwise violence-prone motorways of the region.
In this regard, Sangma visited the railway station on Wednesday and met North Eastern Frontier Railway officials and enquired about the different provisions available at the station.
He held a meeting with the Divisional Commercial Manager of NF Railway, Rangiya Division. The Chief Minister asked the railway authorities to have a facilitation centre, at the station.
�The facilitation centre will serve as an alternative to Inner Line Permit whereby the authorities can verify the identity of the passengers and put a check on illegal immigration,� Sangma said.
He added that creating the facility in the railway station will enable the government to have a filtering mechanism and also ensure safety of the travellers.
With this suggestion and plea to the railway authorities the Chief Minister has also sent a signal to the agitating NGOs opposing railway network in other parts of Meghalaya that the Government is equally serious to check illegal immigrants into the State.
Sangma has reiterated on several occasions that even if the railways connects the State Capital and goes further down south to Sohra (Cherrapunjee) adequate steps would be taken so that illegal immigrants dont take advantage of this network.