Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda today said there will be no fund constraints for the railway project in Meghalaya and more than Rs 6000 crore has been sanctioned for it. “The railway connectivity in Meghalaya is being treated by the government as a national project and for such projects there will be no constraints of funds,” Gowda, who is in charge of statistics and programme implementation, told reporters here. He said Rs 6000 crore plus has been sanctioned for the 108 km railway project which is aimed at connecting Shillong with the rest of the country by 2021. Gowda, who was here for a review meeting of railways, national highways, health, steel and arts and culture ministries, said the railway authorities have utilised Rs 240 crore until last year and targeted to utilize Rs 200 crore this year.
About Rs 250 crore have been deposited with the concerned district authorities for land acquisition for the project. The railway project has, however, been halted following arson by Khasi Students Union activists earlier this year in which heavy construction equipments worth several crores of rupees was damaged. “Any developmental projects should be taken up after consultation with the aggrieved persons and we should resolve their problems also … The chief minister has initiated some steps on how connectivity should be made and the concerns of the students should be taken into consideration,” he said.
The union minister said that with the coming of the railways, there will more tourists visiting Meghalaya and at the same time there will be ample employment opportunities. On the issue of health, Gowda said the expansion project at the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Institute of Health and Medical Science is doing well. “The scheduled time to complete the project is August 2018 and it will be a world class health institution in Meghalaya,” he said.
The government has provided Rs 156 crore for the cultural centre here which is expected to be completed in time, while his ministry has sanctioned Rs 10.9 crore for strengthening of the statistical divisions. Gowda also said that 95 per cent of the MPLAD schemes have been implemented in the state, where Rs 9025 crore of central funds is coming for various projects.
The state and the Centre are expected to sign an MoU within two months for close coordination for providing real time data, he added.