The Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain today said the Centre has fixed a target to connect all state capitals to Delhi by rail to help farmers sell their products. “We have already fixed the target to connect all state capitals to Delhi through rail,” Gohain said, while addressing a program meat the ICAR-NER here. “It(railways) will not only help in intercommunication but will also help the farming community to export their produce to different parts of the country and fetch them high income.” According to the union minister, Railways will also help in bringing visitors to Meghalaya and its people stand to benefit from the tourist inflow.
“Not only will the rail bring in tourists, the cost of importing and exporting materials in the state will also go down by using the goods train services,” he said to opposition to railways in the state on the grounds that it would cause influx of immigrants into the tribal state. Criticising the Congress government in the state, Gohain said, “Meghalaya government has not taken interest in railways. I don’t understand why they have kept the project halted.” A new government will be in place in the state in 2018 and will take foreward the railway connectivity work and work for land acquisition, he said. “Because land acquisition was not done, the project has come to a standstill,” he added.
Earlier, Gohain reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement saying that focus on a second green revolution in the north east should be through organic farming. He said the ICAR has initiated different programs for doubling the farmer’s income in the next five years by 2022 on a pilot basis in their adopted villages. “The abundance of natural resources, congenial climatic conditions and a large number of educated youths make the region suitable for India’s second green revolution,” he said. He said, north east continues to buy foodgrains but its demand-supply gap has narrowed down in the last decade.