SHILLONG: The Meghalaya government has decided to allocate an additional 1.4 acres of land for the relocation of Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong to a plot opposite the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) office.
This decision comes in response to the inadequate space on the existing 2.14 acres, which proved insufficient to accommodate the 342 families residing in the Harijan Colony.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, after meeting with the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) members on Thursday, stressed on the necessity of the additional plot.
“The existing area in the municipal board campus is roughly 2.14 acres (with all the quarters), and it’s not enough to accommodate 342 families. So, we identified another additional plot, which is 1.4 acres,” stated Tynsong.
He further announced a “final” meeting with the panchayat committee in the second week of January, expressing confidence that the matter would be resolved in that meeting.
Tynsong addressed various aspects, including units, the approach to the site, and play areas for children during the meeting.
HPC Secretary Gurjit Singh affirmed that the meeting concluded on a positive note.
The committee plans to discuss the meeting’s points with the members of the 342 families from the Colony to gather their views and responses.
“I will take suggestions from Harijan Colony residents on what transpired at the meeting today, and accordingly, we will take this forward with the government,” said Singh.
The Meghalaya High Court, on November 8, had granted permission to both the parties to meet following the state government’s proposal to increase individual plot sizes, as requested by the residents in September.
The Court has also issued a directive to submit a report on the meeting’s outcome in the next hearing this month.
Last year on August 31, the government had declared its intention to build housing flats on the 2.5 acres of land owned by the SMB to relocate the 342 families.
“At present, our plan involves demolishing the existing units and proceeding to construct a multi-story flat system, adhering to the Meghalaya Development Urban Authority (MUDA) bylaws,” Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong had announced at that time.