Shillong: Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Thursday defended the government over the delay in taking possession of the controversial land in Shillong’s Harijan Colony or Sweepers Colony.
Earlier this month, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had announced that that the government will take possession of the land within a week after receiving the report of the High Level Committee (HLC). The state government is yet to take possession of the land.
The deputy CM said Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned as a premium for the land which is to be taken over from Syiem of Hima Mylliem (Traditional Heads). “Once this payment is made, physical possession of the land will take place,” said Tynsong.
Asked about the interference of other groups from outside the state into this matter, Tynsong stated the government understands their concern for their own community but the state was following procedure as per law.
Tynsong, who is the chairman of the HLC, said, “They (the residents) should not be scared. During the course of preparing the HCL report, we had directed the Shillong Municipal Board to conduct an inventory. We wanted to know exactly how many were residing there. How many work in state departments and how many who do not. But they refused to co-operate after three attempts.”
“You are safe; the government is not here to throw you out but to find out the exact number of settlers. Once that is done, we will be able to provide a solution,” he added.
Regarding the issue of Land Transfer Act, Tynsong said there was no question of Land Transfer Act in this since the land belongs to the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB).
“Let us go back to the agreement between the Hima Syiem Mylliem and the SMB, 1954. They should look at that agreement. Whether the agreement was with the Harijan body or the with SMB. If the agreement mentions that agreement was signed between these two then I have nothing to say,” stated Tynsong.
The deputy chief minister assured that the Cabinet will sit again for another meeting to discuss the issue.
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