Livelihoods of residents of MTC campus on line
SHILLONG, June 22: The livelihoods of 33 tenants and occupants, over a hundred families including those of the employees in the Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) premises at Jail Road is at stake as they run helter-skelter for some refuge amid eviction notices and no assurance of relocation to make way for a Rs 200 crore plus megaproject.
The state government intends to build a MTC complex similar to MUDA complex, housing, shops, food stalls in line with an urban shopping complex.
It was informed that earlier when the tenants and occupants were informed about this during the meeting with the Managing Director, they were assured verbally to be accommodated in the new complex with new rent rates fixed by the Corporation. However, it was never recorded nor it appeared in the minutes of the meeting and when the eviction order was served, the aggrieved party moved a lower Court for a stay order.
Furthermore it was informed that the tenants are yet to recover from the financial setbacks brought in by COVID-19 and they are slapped now with the eviction notice.
The contention of the aggrieved parties, some of them who have been earning their livelihoods from pre-statehood days, is that the same yardstick should be applied in their case as was done in Polo and MUDA complex where the earlier tenants were accommodated.
Meanwhile, TUR member, Angela Rangad, said, “We do not need another mall whether it is in Barik or in Khyndai Lad and it is not going to benefit anybody. The taxpayers’ money will be used for a useless thing.”
Pointing out that the area is already congested, she said that it should rather be a space for hawkers, an open space for people to sit, have tea, coffee and some music.
“A hawkers’ market at that level will not only support the hawkers but also the citizens of the state. Many of the ordinary people are dependent on hawkers from vegetables to even clothing,” she added.
She further suggested that it could be imagined in such a way that is accessible for the old and young.
Stating that malls across the country are shutting down as they are not doing well, she said, “In a small town like Shillong, it is not going to sustain or benefit the people but a handful of people looking for contracts for the construction.”
It may be mentioned that the state government’s intention to construct a mall at Barik point had earlier attracted huge opposition from several quarters with the project now being shelved.