Meghalaya: Harijan Colony issue could be solved this year, says deputy CM

Shillong: Meghalaya government is determined to solve the relocation issue of the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) and a meeting between the parties is likely next week. 

“I think more or less this year we should be able to resolve the issues,” said Deputy Chief Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar on Friday.

Asked if the State government has had any meeting with the HPC recently, he said, “We are yet to have. Maybe next week we can call them if they are ready. From our side, we are ready to show them the formula.”

Regarding the request of the HPC for additional space, he said the state government is yet to talk to them about it, and if the request is genuine, the government will listen.  

On the observation of the Meghalaya High Court that the issue is dragging on and not reaching a conclusion, he said, “The issue has lasted for the last 50 years plus, and we are just five and half years in the government. It will take time.”

The Meghalaya High Court had earlier observed that the proposed relocation of the 342 families from the Harijan colony at Them Ïewmawlong had dragged on for far too long.

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Hearing a petition on the matter, the Division Bench comprising Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Chief Justice and Justice W. Diengdoh, the judge 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.

Also Read | Meghalaya: Why this 53-year-old returned to ‘study’ after 35 years  

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