By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Principal Secretary, Urban Affairs Department, P Naik has asserted that the proposed New Shillong Township is the only hope to save Shillong from further de-congestion and informed that the Government is according priority to the land acquisition process for the same.
Talking to media persons here in the city recently, Naik said, “We have to go a long way and Shillong Township is the hope to save Shillong.”
The ongoing land acquisition process for the project has been dogged by controversy as farmers from the area had claimed that the land in possession of the Government at Mawdiangdiang was sold without their knowledge and consent by one Unikey Kharkongor of Laitumkhrah.
According to Naik, the proposed NST is a prestigious project for the State and the Government is ensuring that the land for the township is acquired at the earliest.
Though the land acquisition for the project started way back in 1995, the township is yet to take proper shape. The State Government has so far acquired 370.266 hectares of land at a total cost of Rs 33.73 crore and it is contemplating to acquire more land at a budget of over Rs 800 crore.
“The 370 hectares which we have acquired has been allocated to different departments,” Naik said.
As per statistics, the State Government acquired 101.79 hectares of land in 1995-96, 17.20 hectares in 1998-99, 131.16 hectares in 2003-04 and 120.11 hectares in 2006-07.
Reacting to a query on the present status of the project, Naik said that the survey has been completed for Phase-1 of the area which Governments intends to acquire after following due procedure.
It may be mentioned that the State Government has so far allocated land to IIM, Shillong and NIFT besides other government departments.
So far, the Government has allotted 206.22 hectares of land to different departments while the remaining 164.04 hectares are yet to be allotted.
The State Government recently also approved setting up of the New Shillong Township Development Agency (NSTDA) to explore the possibility of speeding up the land acquisition process.
The existing New Shillong Township area comprises of 2030 hectares but after the survey, the proposed Township area was revised to is 2760 hectares, Naik informed, adding that roads, water supply, drainage and sewage will be the top-most priority of the Government in the project.