United Democratic Party (UDP) leaders along with the traditional headmen from different parts of Shillong jointly inspected the PWD Barik Point office premises today as the Government plans to build a shopping mall at the site.
Opposing the Government’s move to construct a shopping mall on 3.5 acres of land, the UDP after discussion with the Rangbah Shnongs has decided to give a written statement to the government by next week.
UDP general secretary and former Nongthymmai legislator, Jemino Mawthoh said that the inspection was conducted after listening to the concerns expressed by the different stakeholders.
“Most of the headmen are also against the construction of a shopping mall in this area. After discussion with them, we have decided to give a written statement to the government by next week,” he said.
The state government through the Urban Affairs department had last year, invited companies to take part in a competition to display their architectural designs for construction of the proposed world-class iconic structure at Barik junction under the Smart City Mission.
Supporting this idea, Mawthoh said, “As you know we have been harping time and again about the congestion of the city, so we feel, it will be a good thing if we can convert this piece of land into something else which will be more attractive and which will also serve the purpose of the different section of people of the state also the city of Shillong.”
“Shillong is beautiful and if you look at the city because of unplanned growth, it is going down day by day. Therefore, we feel if we get an opportunity like this if there is space, if there is land, let us convert it into something which is appealing and attractive so if people come from outside when they see this place, they will have something to take back home,” Mawthoh further added.
Moreover, he said with land being surrounded by educational institutions and other institutions including a hospital, to have a shopping mall will only aggravate the congestion and the pollution in the city of Shillong.
Stating that the ISBT is going to be made functional very soon, the UDP leader also suggested the government to instead construct the shopping mall at the Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC) premises at Khyndai-lad, as it is already a commercial area.
“But don’t make this place (PWD land) into a shopping mall. This is our opposition and this is what we feel. We would like to implore upon the government of the day that they need to consider the concerns expressed by different stakeholders,” he said. EOM