SHILLONG, June 06: The High Level Committee (HLC) has directed the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB), Urban Affairs department and Law department to submit all documents and court cases relating to land at Them Iew Mawlong within this week for the committee to study in detail on the matter.
The HLC was constituted by the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government to find a permanent solution following the violent protest by angry mob who are demanding for immediate relocation of the Harijans from Them Iew Mawlong (Sweepers’ Colony). It is headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.
Speaking to reporters after its first sitting held here on Wednesday, Tynsong said, “After this, the committee will accordingly recommend a feasible and permanent solution to the state government for relocation of the Sweepers’ Colony, which has been a long pending issue”.
Stating that the terms of reference of the committee is to examine all relevant records and documents relating to the relocation of the Sweepers’ Colony, he however said, “But before that, we need to know the factuality about land and occupants which ultimately will enable us to take a call on the issue.”
Asked, the HLC chairman said that the decision to constitute this committee does not mean that the government wants to buy time but to show that it really means business by finding ways and means to solve this issue. “We are committed to reach a solution,” he said while assuring that the committee will try its best to complete the exercise at the earliest possible.
The deputy chief minister further said that he does not see any problem to relocate the Sweepers’ Colony. “By relocating them it does not mean deprivation but it is for the good of everybody because we don’t know the sentiment of the mob,” he said.
Asserting the need to build a strong case, Tynsong said that the committee is also waiting for the details regarding the number of employees working under the Shillong Municipal Board. According to him, it would be too early to say whether there are illegal settlers on the land.
On Tuesday, opposition Congress while coming down heavily on the three - month old NPP-led government for its failure to ensure peace in the state has demanded institution of a judicial inquiry to resolve the long pending issue related to the shifting of the Sweepers’ Colony from Them Iew Mawlong.
Contrary to this, the deputy chief minister however said that it would be meaningless to institute the judicial inquiry since the main cause that led to the violent protest was already known to the government.
The other members of the committee also include home minister James K Sangma, health minister AL Hek, sports minister Banteidor Lyngdoh, urban affairs minister Hamletson Dohling and chief of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) Pynshngain N Syiem.