SHILLONG, June 11: Several NGOs have asked the state government to ensure that the High Level Committee (HLC) that was constituted to look into the Sweeper’s Colony issue stays committed to its task and does not relegate its actions to simply calming down the present situation regarding this issue.
“We have made our stand clear that we do not want to see that the HLC is constituted not just to calm down the situation but it should be serious in resolving the long pending demand for relocating the sweepers’ colony,” the president of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Lambokstar Margnar said here on Monday.
Marngar had made this statement after a joint delegation of the KSU, Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) and Ri Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF) had met the Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong to discuss this issue here on Monday.
While there is no fixed timeframe for the committee to complete the exercise, Marngar said that the four organizations will be keeping a close watch on the functioning of the committee.
The HLC under Tynsong’s chairmanship was constituted following the recent five - day violent protest by an angry mob which has led to the ongoing imposition of curfew in Motphran and 13 other localities.
On the other hand, FKJGP president Wellbirth Rani said that the joint delegation had also maintained that the four pressure groups would be compelled to step in and lead the protest if the HLC is just buying time in resolving this issue.
“If the government fails to shift the sweepers’ colony from Them Iew Mawlong at the earliest, we will take the issue forward,” he said.
Meanwhile, the joint delegation also asked the members of the United Sikhs organization visiting the state to restrain from interfering and attempting to communalise the situation.
“We have also demanded the chairman of the committee not to include any representative from the organization (United Sikhs) as they have no right to be part of the committee,” Marngar said.
The KSU chief also said that Them Iew Mawlong is under the jurisdiction of the Syiem Mylliem and it cannot be called ‘Punjabi line’.
Meanwhile, Tynsong has informed that the HLC will sit again after receiving detailed survey map of the land from the Directorate of Land Records and Survey.
“We have asked the Directorate to complete the task within 10 days so that we can decide on our next course of action,” he said.
Tynsong said that the question of Land Transfer Act does not arise because the land measuring around 33,000 square feet clearly belongs to two owners - the Shillong Municipal Board and the Hima Mylliem.
On the proposal of the United Sikhs, the chairman of the committee also maintained that it is not a question of representation from any organization but the committee’s job is to see that recommendation is made to the state government as soon as possible.
“A committee is a committee and I cannot just include (members) based on the wishes of some groups,” he said.