Govt to go ahead with relocation

Harijan Colony impasse

SHILLONG, March 18: Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Saturday said the state government will go ahead with the proposed relocation of the 342 families of Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong in deference to the directive of the High Court of Meghalaya.
He said the government is awaiting a response from the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC).
“We had invited the Harijan Panchayat Committee in November last year for the resumption of talks. But they had sought time to respond to the government’s proposal on relocation. We had again written to them for the talks. Let us see if they respond to our invitation,” Tynsong, who is also the chairman of the government-constituted High-Level Committee (HLC), said.
On Friday, the High Court of Meghalaya had asked the state government to resolve the matter by April.
The government had given time till April 10 to the HPC to submit its response to the proposal for the relocation of the families to the premises of the Shillong Municipal Board at Bivar Road.
In an order, a division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Wanlura Diengdoh had requested the parties to resolve the matter by April so that relocation, if any, can take place within the next two or three months and the matter given a final quietus.
During the hearing, the government had informed the court that it has given time till April 10 to the HPC to respond to the proposal on relocation.
The next hearing will be held on April 24.
The government had given three months’ time to the HPC after submitting the relocation blueprint to its members.
“We did not accept their request since we felt three months’ time is too long. We decided to write a letter asking them to reply within April 10,” Urban Affairs Minister, Sniawbhalang Dhar had told reporters on Wednesday after a meeting with the members of the HPC. He said the government will move forward on the basis of the HPC’s reply. “The matter will be placed at the meeting of the HLC,” the Minister had said, adding the government would try to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Earlier, the government had committed to resolving it after the Assembly elections.

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