Govt firm on relocating residents

SHILLONG: Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Wednesday made it categorically clear that the government is firm on relocating the genuine settlers of Harijan colony saying they have been given enough time and they have to obey orders.
Tynsong also heads the High Level Committee (HLC) tasked with finding out ways and means to relocate the genuine settlers.
Talking to media persons here, Tynsong also said that the bounden duty of the state government is to make sure that all citizens of the state live peacefully without any fear. “They are our brothers and sisters and it is our duty to protect everyone,” he said in reference to the threat issued by the banned HNLC to take action against the residents of the colony.
Tynsong said that the issue of relocation keeps returning to centre stage simply because the government wants to move them out but they remain reluctant.
He said that the colony in its present form is not fit at all for habitation especially for children and newborn babies and the area has more or less turned into a slum.
He said that the government has kept the area under watch 24X7 even before the threat from the HNLC after receiving request for security from the residents.
When asked about the Harijan Panchayat Committee issuing a seven-day deadline to Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) to withdraw the notices which had been issued to all units in Harijan Colony failing which they would file a contempt in the court, Tynsong said, “Who are they to demand that we should withdraw the notice.” He said that the HLC has directed the Shillong Municipal Board to ascertain the genuineness of the settlers and they should approach the civic body with their papers before the government takes action.
“They have to obey the order so that we know who the genuine settlers are,” he said.
“We are so lenient and we have given them enough time,” he said while adding that the settlers cannot claim that it is their land and that it was leased out to them by the Syiem of Mylliem.
“We are there to help out the genuine settlers and they don’t have to worry about anything,” he said.
He also said that NGOs from outside can always approach the state government for any clarification and should not go by whatever anyone says.

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