* RELOCATION OF RESIDENTS
Shillong, June 4: The Meghalaya government will constitute a High-Level Committee (HLC) to find a permanent solution to the long-pending issue of relocation of the residents of Them ïew Mawlong (Harijan colony).
On Monday, the State government held a series of meetings at the State secretariat which included all political parties of the State, traditional heads and hawkers association respectively.
The HLC will be headed by Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, and the other members to be included are Urban Affairs Minister Hamletson Dohling, Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander L Hek, Agriculture Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh, CEM of KHADC Pynshngain N Syiem and Home Minister James K Sangma.
The member secretary will be principal secretary Donald Phillips Wahlang and the committee will have the power to co-opt any other members if necessary.
“We’ve asked the Urban Affairs department to immediately submit a report in detail to this committee regarding the current position of the sweeper’s colony including the legal aspects, past history and all issues concerning authorized and unauthorized occupants of the colony, in order to get actual status of this particular problem right now,” Conrad told journalists.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister appealed to the agitators to stop their protests since his government has ensured to find a solution to the long-pending issue.
“The solution is not on the street but on the table and we are ready for discussions and talks,” he added.
Conrad also said the mayhem, which continued for the last four days, has financially and economically affected daily labourers, farmers, taxi drivers, hawkers and shopkeepers.
Home Minister James PK Sangma said flag march has been conducted by the army and as of now the situation is tense but under controlled.
When asked if any timeline has been given to the committee to complete the exercise, Conrad said that he would be asking the committee to complete the job as soon as possible and submit the report at the earliest.
On being asked whether the current stand-off in the city was communal in nature, or whether there is a political agenda which led to the current situation, the Chief Minister said, “It is not appropriate to comment anything on this.”