Demanding the state government to denotify five villages in Ri Bhoi from the list of census town, a delegation of the Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shnong Umroi Umiam Area (SKRSUUA) led by Umroi MDC, Rangkynsai Kharbuki on Tuesday met the Urban Affairs Minister, Sniawbhalang Dhar requesting his intervention on the matter.
Speaking to reporters, Kharbuki said that the five villages – Umdohbyrthih, Umroi Madan, Labansaro, Jaiaw Pdeng, Nongrah – were included under the census town in 2011 without the knowledge of their respective dorbar shnong.
The matter only came to light last year when these villages were deprived of rural development schemes like Jal Jeevan Mission, Solid and Liquid Waste Management of the Swachh Bharat Mission on the ground that they fall under the census town, he said.
Demanding that the villages should be retained under the census village, Kharbuki said this is because of the fact that they are not eligible to be included as census town.
“They are yet to meet the criteria of a census town which states that the population should not be less than 5,000 and that 75 percent and above of the male working population being engaged in non-agricultural works,” he said.
He said 90 percent of the people in the five villages belong to the below poverty line and are mostly farmers.
“Therefore, we have met the urban affairs minister for his intervention and after examining the proposal assured to take necessary action for denotifying the villages from the list of census town,” Kharbuki said.
Seeking action against those responsible for including the villages in the census town, the MDC said the headmen should be taken into consideration on any decision taken related to census town.
Meanwhile, the headmen of the five villages requested the state government to complete the process of denotifying within December. “We want the government to retain the villages under the census village as we don’t want to lose in term of rural development,” they said.
According to them, implementing schemes meant for census towns in the rural villages will only be a wastage of public funds.