‘Department told to relocate Harijan Colony govt staff’

SHILLONG, Jan 13: Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong on Thursday said that instructions have been given to the Urban Affairs Department to immediately shift the government employees staying at the Harijan Colony at Them Iew Mawlong.
“We have already directed the Department concerned to take necessary steps as already decided by the Cabinet,” Tynsong said while speaking to reporters.
He said that the state government has already taken over possession of the land at Them Iew Mawlong after it was handed over by the Syiem of Mylliem.
Earlier, a senior official had informed that the relocation of the staff of Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) from the Harijan Colony will begin after the civic body shifts its office temporarily to Lumpyngngad cottage near the Chief Secretary’s official residence at Bishop Cotton Road, followed by the renovation of the staff quarters at the present temporary office.
It may be mentioned that the exercise of shifting the SMB office has already started. According to the official, the SMB will need to renovate its present temporary office opposite Sherwood Bungalow following the shifting. The official said the staff quarters have to be renovated as the Board had to dismantle some partitions to have an office.
The official further stated that the exercise of shifting the staff will begin after the staff quarters are renovated. The state government will allot quarters to 128 employees.
Earlier, the Deputy CM had stated that the “illegal settlers” at Them Iew Mawlong may come under the purview of the Meghalaya Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1980 as the state government will enforce the Act once all the employees of the SMB and other departments of the state government are shifted from the area.
The state government had earlier taken over the land at Them Iew Mawlong, measuring about 12,444.13 square metres, after executing a tripartite lease deed whereby it paid a premium of Rs 2 crore on October 29 to the Syiem of Hima Mylliem.
The lease deed was signed between the government, the Syiem of Mylliem and the SMB after the state Cabinet had accepted the recommendations of the Tynsong-headed High-Level Committee.

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