SHILLONG, March 03: Ri Bhoi district will witness the coming of trains with the commissioning of the Tetalia-Byrnihat railway line in March 2018 even as work on this project is currently underway.
Delivering his address in the Assembly on Friday, Meghalaya Governor, Banwarilal Purohit said that the state now figures on the rail map of the country with the commencement of the train service between Duhnoi-Mendipathar-Gauhati in the North Garo Hills District.
He informed that under the ambit of Regional Connectivity Scheme, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Centre and the State has been signed to encourage private airlines to operate flights from Umroi and Baljek airports to connect other state capitals in the region.
According to him, construction of Inter-State bus terminals in Shillong and Tura have commenced and likely to be operationalized soon at Tura.
On the road connectivity in the state, the governor said important ongoing projects such as construction of 2-lane Jowai Bye-pass under SARDP-NE Phase-A has been completed, which will address the traffic congestion in Jowai town.
He on the other hand said that the 2-laning work of Shillong-Nongstoin-Tura road also under Phase-A of SARDP-NE is about 96% completed.
Besides, improvement of NH-40 between Shillong and Dawki (80 km) and construction of Dawki bridge, improvement of NH-62 between Assam-Meghalaya border to Dalu to Baghmara (161km) and 2 laning- of Tura-Dalu NH-51 (48km) will be taken up under JICA funding.
Meanwhile, the governor also announced that the Taxation department is fully geared up for the smooth implementation of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) in the state.
According to him, this new indirect tax regime will be the most significant indirect tax reform in the country which will merge the two spheres of indirect taxation currently collected under the Central Sales Tax Act.
“The state will, however, retain the taxation power on sale of high speed diesel, motor spirit and alcohol for human consumption and tax collection under MVAT Act is expected to increase by about 15% annually,” he added.
On the other hand, the governor said that the Excise department has taken steps towards generating more revenue even while complying with the restriction imposed by the Supreme Court on opening of wine shops along the National and State Highways.
“The rate of tax as well as the rate of transport pass fee and import pass fee for IMFL, Beer, Wine has been increased,” he said.
Stating that the irrigation potential created has been doubled between the year 2011 and 2015, the governor said that efforts are on to ensure that the entire cultivable area in the state gets covered with sustainable irrigation facilities by the year 2022.
With regards to forest and environment, Purohit said that community participation on scientific wildlife management is being encouraged.