The state government has sanctioned Rs 2 crore to pay a one-time premium to the Hima Mylliem for taking possession over the plot of land at Them Iew Mawlong, where the Sweeper’s Colony is presently located.
Informing this on Thursday, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said that the government is taking steps according to the recommendations made by the High Level Committee (HLC).
“And the first step right now is that the government has to immediately take possession of that plot of land which agreement was already signed between the Syiem of Hima Mylliem and the government of Meghalaya,” he added.
Asked when the government is likely to take over the land, Tynsong, who headed the HLC, informed that a few days back, the finance department has accorded sanction of about Rs 2 crore for payment as a one-time premium to the Syiem of Hima Mylliem.
“Very soon this amount will be transferred to the account of the Hima Mylliem and once that is done physical possession of that plot will take place,” he stated.
The deputy chief minister also refused to comment on the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC)’s statement rejecting the HLC recommendations by saying “whether you accept it or you reject it, I have nothing to say right now and I knew they went to court also, I don’t want to comment anything on this.”
Urging the delegations from outside the state to cooperate with the government, Tynsong said, “We understand their concern for their own community even if we have such similar cases outside the state means the government has to do something.”
“So my only appeal and request be it the government, be it the NGOs or be it anybody please don’t forget the government of Meghalaya or government of Punjab or government of Delhi or West Bengal or any government within the nation, we are being guided by the Constitution of India. We cannot cross that as there is a line already drawn so we have to perform and we also have to be guided in totality as per the Constitution of India. Therefore, they should not be scared, they should not be afraid, they should not worry about it,” he added.
The deputy CM further said in fact during the course of preparing the report of the HLC, the Shillong Municipal Board was directed to conduct inventorization to know the numbers of people who are settling in the plot of land.
“We wanted to know exactly how many people are there, who work in different departments of the state government and how many who do not. We really wanted to get the exact number of those settlers out there but I am telling you we tried three times they refused. When you refuse means there is something wrong,” he said.
He also requested the settlers to cooperate with the state government.
“I would like to request from the government side please cooperate with the government. Why don’t you cooperate with the government, why don’t you allow inventorization to take place and you will be safe. You are safe, we are here not to throw you out but we are here to find out the exact numbers of settlers over there and once that is done we will be able to tell them okay solution is here we will do this we will do that,” he stated.
To another question, Tynsong however maintained that in this particular case, the question of land transfer act does not arise since the land belongs to Shillong Municipal Board.
“Let us go back to the lease agreement between the Syiem of Hima Mylliem and the SMB 1954, go back to the agreement whether the agreement is with the Harijan themself or the agreement is with the SMB,” he said.
“If the agreement 1954 mentioned directly that it was signed between the Syiem of Mylliem and the Harijan I have nothing to say but the agreement I am telling you I have gone through, I have studied and checked, the original lease agreement signed was between the Syiem of Mylliem and SMB which proofs that the land belongs to the SMB,” he added.
On the allegations that the government is taking up the issue because of the upcoming bye elections, the deputy CM said, “If we don’t submit they will say why we don’t submit why the government is sleeping over the committee. When we submit they say why we submitted during the bye election. I think there is no end to that.”
He however assured the people of the state that the government is dedicated and sincere in resolving this long pending issue.
“Bye election will end on October 30, so you have to see beyond October 30. Are you trying to say that we will just dump this issue, we will not,” he said while adding “the cabinet has already sat once and we are going to sit more after the bye election.”
According to him, such allegations are only political games of some vested parties and vested interest people.
Meanwhile, Tynsong also slammed the opposition Congress for not taking up this issue when it was in power.
“Nobody did anything (on this issue) during the Congress government. I was with Congress from 2003 till 2018, nothing we discuss about this issue but from 2018 when we took over the government, we constituted the committee and also report has been submitted and not only submitted cabinet has already discussed once and we are going to discuss more about the report and recommendations made by the HLC,” he stated.