HPC yet to get back on relocation plan

SHILLONG, Dec 8: The Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) is yet to respond to the invitation of the state government to resume talks on the relocation of the Harijan Colony.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, also the chairperson of the High-Level Committee (HLC), said the HPC was invited by the commissioner-secretary of the Urban Affairs Department for talks.
“I wanted to sit since Puja. We have given a detailed presentation (on the relocation plan) and they sought time for discussing among themselves,” he said.
“I fail to understand why the HPC members are yet to come for the meeting although we have communicated to them that we want to sit soon,” he added.
Tynsong dismissed speculations that the HPC-HLC dialogue has hit rock bottom with a case pending in the high court. “We can’t force them to come for talks but we have given them an option. It seems they are not ready yet,” he said.
The state government had in September handed over the relocation blueprint to the HPC. It contained details of shifting 342 families from Them Iew Mawlong to the renovated quarters of the Shillong Municipal Board on Bishop Cotton Road.
HPC secretary Gurjit Singh confirmed the receipt of the blueprint and said the committee would consult engineers and architects to understand it before taking a final call with the consent of all the Harijan Colony residents.
According to the relocation plan, 30-40 flats or units would be constructed in 12 new blocks on the SMB premises measuring around 2.5 acres.
The government would have to demolish the existing buildings as they are not strong and reconstruct the dwelling units for which necessary instructions have been issued to the department concerned.

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