Mendipathar (North Garo Hills), Sept. 8: S.K. Sangma and Simre Marak are waiting for the day when a train passes through Mendipathar.
“I have never made a train journey and it would be a dream come true whenever a train comes here,” said Marak, a college student.
Mendipathar, 130km from Guwahati, will finally find a place in the railway map of the country.
Sangma was equally ecstatic. “I have travelled by train in other parts of the country but never in my hometown. I would love to see a train chugging past,” he said.
Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma, who laid the foundation stone of Mendipathar station at Mendipathar College today, said it was a historic day as the state can now look forward to being connected through rail.
“The advent of railway in Meghalaya will bring in lots of benefits. More importantly, it will also usher in a positive mindset,” the chief minister said at the function.
He admitted there were several constraints in bringing railways. “We have to overcome these obstacles. It is just the beginning as we plan to overcome all problems,” he said.
He said the state would have been more prosperous if it had been connected earlier by the railways.
Citing an example of how places become prosperous when connected by railway lines, Mukul Sangma said Dimapur in Nagaland is considered a business hub because of its rail link.
“Very soon places like Shillong and Mendipathar have the potential to become business hubs once they are connected by rail link,” he added.
Urban affairs minister M. Ampareen Lyngdoh said she has been dreaming since childhood of a train passing through her state.
The first train is expected to chug into Mendipathar railway station by March 2013.
, as the 19.47km broad gauge line from Dudhnoi to Mendipathar is being constructed at a cost of around Rs 144 crore.
The track will cover areas such as Nolbari-Deuripara, Boromiapara, Chotomiapara, Mataranga, Manikganj, Horingkata and Bakenang-Tilapara.
Northeast Frontier Railway general manager R.S. Virdi said the survey work for the 102km Byrnihat-Shillong railway line has been completed and work on the Tetelia Byrnihat line will be completed by 2014.