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Meghalaya Govt to take final call on relocation of 342 families from Them Iew Mawlong on June 7

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SHILLONG, MAY 7: The state government has decided to hold the another round of meeting with the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) on June 7, for take a final call on the relocation of 342 families from Them Iew Mawlong even as it maintained that there will be no consideration for “illegal settlers”.

Addressing media persons after the meeting held with the HPC delegation, deputy chief minister incharge home (police) Prestone Tynsong said, “Ultimately, today we had few important discussions as far as relocation issue is concerned. As you understand once we decide for relocation means it is a permanent one…so we discussed (certain issues) and they (HPC delegation) were very positive about it.”

He however informed that the HPC has requested the government to allow them to discuss the outcome of the meeting with their people before they come back for the final round of meeting on the issue.

“They (HPC) requested us to give one more time for them to go back and sit down and discuss with the families and on June 7, we will meet again and then final decision will be taken,” Tynsong said.

The deputy chief minister also informed that the Director of Urban Affairs and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Shillong Municipal Board (SMB)are on the job to examine and verify the RTI reply of the SMB that there are only 194 government employees out of the 342 families in Them Iew Mawlong.

This came following the HYC’s demand to remove 148 “illegal settlers” from Them Iew Mawlong based
on the RTI reply.

According to him, the government is waiting for the urban affairs and SMB to complete the process of verifying the matter.

Further, Tynsong also informed that there was a major fire incident at Them Iew Mawlong way back in the year 1996, where almost all quarters were totally gutted down and destroyed and in the process few papers and documents were also lost.

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“So, ultimately what happened was lately infact the director of urban affairs in the year 2008 and 2009 has given direction to the MUDA to again conduct a fresh survey on the presence of those families in Them Metor, where they have done it. As I said to you still based on the RTI replied by the CEO of SMB, I can’t say anything right now as now the MUDA and Director, Urban Affairs is on the job verifying this reply,” he said.

“Therefore as far as this number is concerned I will not say anything right now. Let the verification be over and once the verification is done, I will be able to come out clearly that yes these are the numbers,” he stated while adding that the government also has to be guided by the Manual Scavengers Act while dealing with the issue.

Asked, the deputy chief minister said that the government cannot consider accomodating “illegal settlers” while resolving this long pending issue.

“We have maintained from day one that we are not concern about illegal settlers, we are concern only about legal settlers. That is why I have asked the departments concerned to verify the RTI reply. If there are illegal settlers and those who have not contributed to the state, we cannot consider for them,” he said.

Furthermore, the deputy chief minister said that the government is firm in its decision to relocate the 342 families from Them Iew Mawlong.

“We have already presented the blueprint to them and this is the fourth meeting (we had to discuss on the same). Yes, there will be some modification but I already told you that we wanted to have complete shifting (of the residents from that area). I am talking about government intention. Right now again yes or no please be patient please wait for June 7.”

Stating that critics will always be there, Tynsong said, “In 2018, government had constituted the high level committee (HLC) and after that in the meantime some people say government is buying time, they did not do anything but so many issues were there in between but let me tell you one thing the government is dedicated, government is firm in its intention and will make sure relocation is to happen for interest of the people of the state.”

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