State

Govt ready to talk to Harijan Colony leaders

Chief minister says imbroglio will be resolved in phases

Shillong, Nov 1: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday said the state government was open to talks with leaders of the Harijan Panchayat Committee that is opposing the move to relocate the residents and that the Harijan Colony imbroglio will be resolved in phases.

To a query on the deadline to relocate the residents of the colony, also called Them Iew Mawlong, Sangma said the government’s acquisition of the land was the first phase and in the next two phases, the target will be to shift the office of the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) from the Bivar Road building and relocate the SMB employees.

“We will resolve this in a phase-wise manner taking one section at a time as that is the way to resolve such a complicated issue,” Sangma said.

“Finally, we will go into the phase where we will find in an amicable manner in which we will be able to ask the others or relocate the other people but that is a process we will see and move to as it goes along,” he added.

The phased action was recommended by the High Powered Committee on the issue.

The SMB office is being shifted and over 40 households have already moved into the quarters, Sangma informed.

On the panchayat committee’s objection, the chief minister asserted that all steps are being taken as per the law and the “ownership of the land has been taken by the government as a tripartite agreement”.

He said the leaders of Harijan Colony “are emotionally charged”.

“We are ready to talk to them. We are ready to discuss with them and find an amicable way to resolve this issue. We need to find a solution to this as it has been pending for too long,” Sangma said.

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