FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, April 17: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has opposed the move of the state government to hand over 18 acres of land in Upper Shillong to the Indian Air Force.
According to the KSU Upper Shillong circle, vice-president, Shngainlang Sohkhlet, the state government intends to hand over land belonging to the Animal Husbandry and Veteriry Department to the Eastern Air Command.
“It has come to our knowledge that the government proposes to hand over the land to the Eastern Air Command for the construction of a golf course,” Sohkhlet alleged. According to the KSU, the proposal was made during the 19th meeting of the Rajya Sainik Board held on December 4 last year.
According to the KSU, the land which the government intends to offer to the Eastern Air Command is used by the Animal Husbandry and Veteriry Department for grazing cows reared by it.
According to Sohkhlet, recently there were reports that the state government is planning to acquire over 1000 hectares of privately-owned land to ensure that the catchment areas are kept protected from unwarranted human activities.
“Even in land proposed to be handed over to the Eastern Air Command there are catchment areas,” the KSU activist said.
The KSU also said that it did not want Upper Shillong to be converted into a cantonment area.
“We want the state government to immediately scrap this agreement. We also urge the dorbar shnongs in the area to unite and confront the government on this issue,” Sohkhlet said.
Earlier in the day, the KSU activists met the Deputy Director of the Animal Husbandry and Veteriry department and handed over to him a letter opposing the move of the government.
However, last year, Rajya Sainik Board official WJB Sturgeon told reporters after the meeting that the air force wants to set up the disaster magement centre adjacent to the Eastern Air Command’s headquarters in Upper Shillong and for this purpose it will require at least 18 acres of land.