Thousands witness historic event

From Cosmos Sangma

Mendipathar: It was history in the making, witnessed by thousands of people, as the first passenger train left Meghalaya’s first and only railway station at Mendipathar in North Garo Hills district en route to Assam’s Guwahati city, approximately 130 kms by road, after being digitally flagged off by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday evening.

The Prime Minister launched the train service from Guwahati digitally via a live satellite feed putting Meghalaya, particularly Garo Hills, for the first time into the railway map of India. The train was flagged off from Mendipather by Lok Sabha MP Purno A Sangma, Meghalaya Planning Board Chairman Salseng C Marak, state transport minister H D R Lyngdoh and Meghalaya chief secretary Barkos Warjri along with a host of other dignitaries including MLAs from Mendipather, Kharkutta and Bajengdoba.

Several thousand people from Garo Hills and even neighbouring Goalpara district of Assam flocked to the Mendipather railway station to witness this historic event.

As the diesel engine powered passenger train blew the horn to embark on its first journey from the soil of Garo Hills there was a mad rush to get on board as both young and old jostled to get into the bogies and be a part of history as it happened.

Some of the dignitaries who boarded the train for a brief part of the journey, from Mendipather up to Dudhnoi, included chief secretary, Barkos Warjri, additional chief secretary Y Tsering, additional director general of police S K Jain, district police chief J F K Marak and senior magistrate C N Sangma, among others.

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