The state government is hoping to wrap up negotiations with the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) on the proposed relocation of the 342 families of the Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong soon.
“We will finalise the matter soon. There is some part we are still negotiating. Hopefully we will be able to complete it at the earliest,” Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Sniawbhalang Dhar told reporters after a meeting chaired by the Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Home (Police) and Chairman of the High Level Committee Prestone Tynsong on Wednesday.
Dhar said in the last meeting, the HPC had requested some modification of the blueprint earlier presented by the state government on the relocation.
“However that time, we were yet to examine their request but today we did and will invite them for discussion,” Dhar added.
The HPC had agreed to accept the blueprint prepared by the government but has made some suggestions for modification in certain areas.
The deputy chief minister, however, refused to disclose the details regarding the modification sought by the HPC and said, “It is still under negotiation. Please don’t be in a hurry as you will know in a very short time.”
On Tuesday, the Meghalaya High Court had observed that the issue related to the proposed has been dragged on for far too long.
Hearing a petition on the matter, the division bench had said, “Since the state and the respondents are still trying to negotiate an amicable settlement, the court’s interference is not warranted.”
“However, it has been repeated on several occasions that the matter has dragged on for far too long. The matter will appear six weeks hence in the hope that a solution is reached by then,” it added. The next hearing will be held on August 30.
It may be mentioned here that the government had come up with a blueprint after rejecting the April 25, 2022 proposal of the HPC that 200 square meters of land be provided to each of the 342 families within the European ward besides bearing the cost of construction of their homes.
On August 31, 2022, the state government had announced its decision to construct housing flats at the 2.5 acres of land belonging to the Shillong Municipal Board for relocation of the 342 families.