Shillong Municipal Board Directed To Create Living Space For Harijan Colony residents

Harijan Colony in Shillong. Image Source: ShillongTimes
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The Meghalaya state government has recently directed the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) to immediately shift its office to a designated site by November-end.

The direction is for creating the path for shifting its employees from Harijan Colony to the Shillong Municipal Board quarters at Bishop Cotton Road,

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said, “We have also instructed the SMB to repair the quarters so that its employees staying in that place (Harijan Colony) can be accommodated.”

It is to be noted that, the Meghalaya government has decided to shift the residents from Harijan Colony which is also called Punjabi Lane, in phases to the building that housed the office of the SMB that will be turned into living quarters.

Tynsong further informed that the government has instructed the Urban Affairs department to undertake a beautification project for the area to be vacated by the settlers.

He further stated that around 40 families employed with different departments have already moved out of the colony. The government had earlier written to these departments to provide quarters for their employees residing in the colony.

Meanwhile, the government of Meghalaya has consistently maintained that all due processes would be followed in relocating the residents of the colony. Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma had also said the government is willing to hold talks with the stakeholders on the matter.

It may be mentioned that, the state government had last month taken the Harijan Colony under its possession that had been at the heart of controversy since a communal flare-up in May 2018.

The Harijan Panchayat Committee that is mostly represented by the Sikh residents said they will not move from the land which is considered by them a gift from Syiem of Mylliem almost two centuries ago.