Nagaland Parliament Secretary for Transport meets NF Railway officials on rail connection

Nagaland State Transport(NST) department, in an attempt to hasten introduction of railway connectivity in the State, held a meeting at Dimapur with the officials from North East Frontier Railway (NEFR) and Dimapur district administration. According to official sources Nagaland Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Communication P. Paiwang Konyak, who chaired the meeting yesterday, said that for the past few years, in spite of many struggles by the state government and the railway department to introduce railway connectivity in the state, targets have not been achieved due to some lapses. He said that the state or the department cannot solely be blamed for the lack of development in the state. It is also the people’s responsibility to realize why ‘we could not take our state forward in terms of development’. Mr. Paiwang said that NGOs in the state have a vital role to play social organizations have to come forward to assist the government in implementation of any development project in the state, as most of the projects have either been abandoned due to land ownership problem or lack of availability of required land for the project. He said that Article 371 (a) is a privilege for the Nagas but at the same time it is also pushing the state backward as the Article ‘holds back development due to land ownership by an individual’. However, the parliamentary secretary said that he will knock on the door of whomever concerned to see that the project for railway connectivity in the state becomes a reality. Chief Engineer (Construction) NEFR Maligon Madan Sen, while interacting with members, said that the state government and the railway department had done a railway line survey from Dimapur to Zubza earlier but the survey was abandoned due to exorbitant asking land rate of Rs. 60 per square feet while the railway authority of India had fixed the rate at Rs. 25 per square feet. The second phase survey was also abandoned as the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment did not give a clearance for the railway line to pass through the Rangapahar zoological park. The Chief Engineer also said that the railway authority has taken up the third phase survey and an estimate has been prepared for 88 Km of railway connectivity from Dhansiripar (Assam) to Zubza at the cost of Rs. 2440 Crore, which will require 944 Hectares of land for the connection. Those who attended the meeting include Commissioner Secretary (Transport & Communication) Neihu C. Thur, Deputy Chief Engineer (Construction) Railway Dimapur Ranjit Das, officials from both the Department of Railway, Nagaland State Transport and Dimapur district administration, sources said.