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It’s govt’s responsibility to relocate Harijan Colony residents: Adelbert Nongrum

The Meghalaya High Court had recently asked the state government to resolve the issue of relocation of the residents of Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong immediately after the election.

SHILLONG:

North Shillong MLA Adelbert Nongrum said that it is the responsibility of the government to relocate the residents of Harijan Colony.

The colony falls under North Shillong constituency.

It may be mentioned that the Meghalaya High Court had recently asked the state government to resolve the issue of relocation of the residents of Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong immediately after the election.

Speaking to The Meghalayan, Nongrum said, “It is the responsibility of the government to relocate them. The government did not even include me in the High Level Committee (HLC), which is an insult in the eye of the public because of this irresponsible attitude of the government. I will not compromise for the sake of vote bank.”

He added that the government has no political will to relocate. The Voice of the People Party (VPP) MLA said that genuine employees need to be relocated while the government will have to deal with illegal settlers.

“The barrier (leading to Harijan Colony) needs to be removed as it has led to congestion in the city,” Nongrum said. 

The high court in its order of February 16 said, “The State should make every endeavour, immediately after the election, to resolve the matter since it has been represented on behalf of the State on previous occasions that several parcels of land had been identified for the resettlement of the members of the first respondent body,” the division bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said in its order on February 16.

The bench said that the matter has been adjourned for a considerable period of time on the joint representation of the parties and that an amicable settlement will be arrived at.

In its previous order passed on October 21, last year, the court had asked the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) to respond to the proposal of the state government for relocation of 342 families within four weeks.

On September 29, last year, the state government had presented the blueprint to the HPC during a meeting, which indicated its decision to construct multi-storey flats at the existing official quarters of the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) for relocation of the families.

The state government had outrightly rejected the April 25,2022, proposal of the HPC that 200 square metres of land be provided to each of the families within the European ward besides bearing the cost of construction of their homes.

After the meeting, HPC secretary Gurjit Singh had expressed concern that the government had rejected its eight-point resolution.

“The government has instead come up with its own blueprint. Therefore, we will first study the blueprint. We will go back to the people of our community to discuss and take a collective decision.Then, we will come back to the government,” he had said.

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