Nagaland rues proposal of M’laya govt to swap land

SHILONG, Nov 28: The Nagaland Government has expressed its displeasure over the proposal of Urban Affairs department to go for swapping of land where Nagaland Medical Lodge construction is supposed to be executed in the New Shillong Township.
Nagaland Ministers for Public Works, Housing and Mechanical, Tongpang Ozukum on Saturday said that Nagaland (PWD) Housing Department has all the legal papers’ to prove that the land was bought on lease for 30 years and few item of works have already been executed.
“The Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya should give a serious thought on their proposal for swapping of land of Nagaland Medical Lodge with another plot of land after 8 years of the lease agreement. This is not an issue between Nagaland (PWD) Housing Department and Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya but “It is a matter of trust and confidence between two state governments,” the minister said.
Making it clear that they are yet to receive their proposal letter officially, the Minister however said that they have seen on social media that a proposal by Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya in September this year to Principal Secretary, Home, Nagaland where the department offered a new plot of land measuring 2.34 acres which is located half kilometre away from the present location for which a fresh lease agreement has be signed again with Government of Meghalaya.
According to the Minister, the Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya has also offered to bear the expenses of the works already executed at the Nagaland Medical Lodge including the boundary walls at the proposed new plot with the same specifications but Nagaland (PWD) Housing Department cannot accept such a proposal coming 8 years after the signing of the lease agreement.
It may be mentioned that a Foundation Stone Laying’ programme was scheduled in 2018 for the commencement of the remaining works but it could not be held due to some local problems.
The minister from Nagaland however said that Meghalaya Chief Minister had assured his
Nagaland counterpart to resolve their local issues at the earliest and allow them to go ahead with the programme as planned.
Ozukum recalled the second meeting with the then Urban Affairs Minister, Hamletson Dohling, last year but they have unexpectedly proposed to swap the land citing some local issues.
“However, we made our stand very clear that their proposal is unacceptable since every procedure, right from the land acquisition was done legally and with mutual understanding.
Uzukum said that that the proposal letter written by Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya came as a big surprise as they were expecting a positive response considering the discussions and negotiations done with Meghalaya government on many occasions and most importantly, the assurance given by the Chief Minister of Meghalaya himself followed by a declaration to go ahead with the proposed construction works at Medical Lodge by the then Home Minister, James Sangma during the 50 Years Celebration of Nagaland House, Shillong last year.

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