Govt to provide alternative land to Harijan Colony residents
Shillong, April 13: The state government will identify a land for relocating 342 households of the Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong.
The government has entrusted the task to Urban Affairs Department and Shillong Municipal Board (SMB).
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, after chairing the first meeting with the leaders of the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) at the main secretariat, told reporters that he conveyed to the delegation of the HPC very candidly that relocation has to take place as per the recommendation made by the High Level Committee (HLC) which was constituted by the state government in 2018.
“I have also told them that alternative places for them are also being considered by the government where they can shift if not in one place, maybe to different places,” he said.
“So right now we have instructed the SMB along with the Directorate of Urban Affairs department to identify appropriate land and come back and then the government will take a final decision on that,” he said.
Tynsong said the HPC has been requested to discuss with their community people and come back to the government in the next meeting which has been scheduled on April 25.
“May be in the second meeting, I will be able to tell you exactly what is the status of the issue of relocation of the Harijan colony to other places,” he said.
The High Court of Meghalaya had indicated that it would like to see that the matter is settled at the earliest possible before they proceed further with the case.
Tynsong said, “We are on the job and few places have been identified but I cannot tell you right now as we are yet to finalise everything so let the report be given by the concerned SMB as well as by the urban affairs department then I will be able to tell you exactly where is the location to be shifted for these friends, who are our brothers and sisters staying there in Harijan colony.”said.
He said the HPC will go back and take the confidence and the consent of each and every citizen who stays in that Harijan colony.
On shifting of those identified as government employees to their respective quarters, the deputy chief minister said that repairing work of the SMB quarters is still on and once that is done shifting will take place.
On the number of illegal settlers, Tynsong however, said, “The 342 households in fact they are all employees not only the employees of the existing strength but the employees of may be 10-15 years back and then again their children continue working.”
As per the inventory report submitted by the Shillong Municipal Board, a total of 184 employees and their families have been identified as legal settlers.
These include families of 128 employees of the SMB and 56 others who are working in the different government departments.
The HLC was constituted by the state government to find a feasible solution for the relocation of the Sweeper’s Colony from Them Iew Mawlong following the 2018 violent protest at Motphran.
Following the recommendations of the HLC submitted on September 28, last year, the Meghalaya government had on October 29, taken over the land at Iew Mawlong after releasing a premium of Rs 2 crore to the Syiem of Hima Mylliem, in its bid to relocate the Colony..