Meghalaya | Harijan Colony issue: HLC to submit report soon, says Dy CM
By Ibankyntiew Mawrie | SHILLONG:
Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, on Friday, told the Assembly that the High-Level Committee (HLC) is in the final stage of preparing the report regarding the proposal to relocate the residents of Harijan Colony.
“The HLC will again sit very soon and will submit the report to the government at the earliest,” Tynsong said in response to a question raised by West Shillong legislator Mohendro Rapsang on the last day of the budget session.
When asked why the HLC took so long to submit the report, Tynsong said several issues had cropped up since they formed the committee.
"They would need to be sorted out and corrected," he said.
“When the notification was issued by the government on June 4, 2018, the committee met and collected all details. We found out that even the present form of the agreement between the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) and the Syiem (Chieftain) of Mylliem was not that clear. It was vague,” Tynsong said.
He further asserted that based on findings, the committee had to study the issue of land ownership.
“Taking all these issues into consideration, it takes a lot of time because we need to also have a detailed discussion with stakeholders – like the SMB, the Syiem and the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC),” he said.
The Deputy Chief Minister also mentioned the announcement made by the Centre in 2019 to include Shillong in the list of Smart City projects.
“We were lucky that the Government of India considered Shillong as one of the smart cities in the country. We are thinking of redeveloping several places in Shillong,” he said.
Raising a supplementary question, East Shillong legislator M. Ampareen Lyngdoh asked whether there would be an allocation of smart city schemes in certain areas.
“The Urban Affairs department is working out a proper and detailed plan on this. Not only Mawlong Hat (Harijan Colony) but where-ever necessary (the scheme will be rolled out),” Tynsong replied.
Tynsong said that the State Government is contemplating on redeveloping Mawlong Hat as it is a primary commercial hub.
“But right now, I’ll not be able to say anything. The committee has to submit the report to the government and, only then will we be able to share all the details,” he said.
When asked whether meetings on the preliminary findings between the stakeholders were held since June 4, 2018, to try and bring out an amicable solution, the Deputy Chief Minister replied in the affirmative.
Besides this, Lyngdoh asked if she, along with the other four MLAs of Shillong city, could interact with the government so that they could be made aware of the problem.
In response to this, Tynsong said, “The rule of the committee is to prepare a detailed report and recommendation and, to submit it to the government. Once the report is submitted, I am sure the government will take the necessary steps on how to proceed further.”
Meanwhile, Mawlai legislator P.T Sawkmie asked the Deputy Chief Minister to provide the details concerning the Supreme Court’s standing order on the matter.
“Further discussions on this matter cannot be held as it is subjudice,” Tynsong replied.
North Shillong legislator Adelbert Nongrum asked why he was not included in the committee despite being a representative of the area under question (Harijan Colony).
To this, Tynsong stated that “the notification came out from the government (Urban Affairs Department), so I don’t know. I will examine and find it out. The issue here is how to get the matter addressed effectively. Asking why Mr A or Mr B was not included is not necessary.”
“This is a long-pending issue, and we are serious about it. We are committed to solving this problem permanently,” the Deputy Chief Minister added.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)