The 342 families staying in Sweepers’ Colony at Them Iew Mawlong will be relocated to the existing official quarters of the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB), as per a decision taken by the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, on August 31, as a permanent solution to the long pending issue.
After chairing a meeting with the Urban Affairs department in presence of the minister in-charge, Sniawbhalang Dhar, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said, “After taking into consideration all issues, we have decided to relocate the 342 families of Sweepers’ Colony from Them Iew Mawlong to the existing quarters of the SMB located just opposite of the quarters of the leader of Opposition.”
The official quarters, located at Bishop Cotton Road, had earlier been converted into temporary offices for the SMB.
Tynsong, while informing that the Urban Affairs department has been instructed to bring all the details of drawings, estimates for construction for the new quarters, also announced the government’s decision to construct housing flats on the 2.5 acres of land.
“Now we will demolish the old units and accordingly construct a flat system of 5 or 7 stories as per Meghalaya Development Urban Authority (MUDA) byelaws,” he said.
He added, the urban affairs department was asked to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) for construction of the new housing flats within a period of one and a half months. According to him, the proposal was to construct 12 blocks for accomodating all the 342 families.
Tynsong further informed that he would immediately convey the decision of the government to the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) in a meeting to be held after the end of this month.
He also maintained that the government will not accept beyond 342 families, the list of which was also submitted before the Meghalaya High Court.
When asked, the deputy chief minister said, “I don’t like to use the word “if”. The government will meet them (HPC) then it is ultimately up to them (to decide on the matter whether they accept or reject the government’s decision).