Meghalaya: Govt to take possession of Harijan Colony within a week

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma declared after a Cabinet meeting here on Thursday that the Meghalaya government is on track to take possession of the land at Harijan Colony within a week by following “necessary processes.”

Employees of the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) who are currently residing in the Harijan Colony will be shifted to the staff quarters on the site of the Board’s temporary office on Bishop Cotton Road.

The Cabinet examined the High-Level Committee’s (HLC) report, which was recently submitted to the state administration. In addition, the Committee gave a presentation on the report and its recommencement. At the meeting, detailed talks were held on the case’s origins, problems, and numerous events that occurred during the HLC’s three-year exercise.

The HLC was established by the state government on June 4, 2018, to propose a suitable solution for the relocation of Harijan Colony from Iew Mawlong following confrontations that became violent and paralyzed life in the city for weeks.

Following the meeting, the CM told reporters that the HLC had made three recommendations, the first of which was on land ownership. He stated that there has been some uncertainty over who owns the land and who has authority over it.

“The state government and the Shillong Municipal Board have inked an agreement to acquire possession of the land from the Syiem of Hima Mylliem,” the CM stated.

The Syiem of Mylliem, the state government represented by the Urban Affairs department, and the SMB have signed a tripartite agreement to that effect.

The HLC also recommends that the SMB office be moved from its current location on Bishop Cotton Road to the old Meghalaya Basin Development Authority.

Furthermore, the HLC has recommended that permanent SMB personnel living in the Harijan Colony be relocated to the SMB quarters on Bishop Cotton Road.

Employees from roughly 57 families are employed in various departments, according to the CM, and over half of them have already evacuated from the Colony.

He added, “The Committee also suggested that additional personnel be relocated from Harijan Colony to a specified area by their parent department.”

Meanwhile, the Committee has instructed the Department of Urban Affairs to devise a plan and present it to the Cabinet for the relocation of non-government employees from the Colony.

The CM further stated that the government will meet with inhabitants of the Colony to discuss the issues and try to resolve them in a way that benefits everyone.

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