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Meghalaya to relocate illegal settles of Punjabi Lane in Shillong

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Cabinet on Thursday has decided to relocate “illegal settlers” of Punjabi Lane in Them Lew Mawlong area in Shillong based on the recommendation of the High Level Committee (HLC).

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed that the HLC has recommended the Urban Affairs department to find a suitable location for relocation of people who reside in the area as those serving with the state government will be relocated to the official quarters of the concerned departments.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, “The Urban Affairs department has been asked to come up with a proposal and present it to the cabinet and after examining all those aspects… the government will take a call on that.”

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He tweeted about the meeting and gave the updates in a thread.

According to the chief minister, there were three main recommendations regarding the ownership of the land at Them Iew Mawlong, shifting of the employees of the SMB, other departments and relocation of “illegal settlers”.

Sangma informed that the process of signing an agreement and taking possession of the land by the state government and the SMB from the Syiem of Hima Mylliem has already started.

“A tripartite agreement (between the Syiem of Hima Mylliem, Urban Affairs and the SMB) has been signed and the final procedure to actually take over the possession of the entire land is in process and it should be completed within a week’s time,” he said.

The chief minister said that the HLC has also recommended the process of shifting the SMB office from the Bishop Cotton road which is the location where different quarters were made, to a temporary location at the old MBDA office.

He added that another suggestion was to facilitate the movement of the permanent SMB employees who are staying in the Sweeper’s Colony right now to the official quarters built for the purpose.

On the request for shifting employees of other departments, Sangma, however, said there are close to about 57 families and of these 50 per cent have already moved out from Sweeper’s Colony and gone to different locations.

“The committee has also recommended that we should further request the others also to shift from Sweepers’ Colony and go to designated locations which their parent departments will give,” he said.

Earlier, the inventory report submitted by the Shillong Municipal Board had stated that a total of 184 employees and their families have been identified as legal settlers.

These include families of 128 employees of the SMB and 56 others who are working in the different government departments.

The Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC), claiming to be working for the benefit of the residents, has expressed opposition to relocating the residents from the area.

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