After four years of communal strife, the residents of Shillong’s Harijan Colony, also called Punjabi Lane and Them Iew Mawlong, have agreed to relocate themselves. The majority of residents of the colony are Dalits and Mazhabhi Sikhs. The colony is spread across 3.33 acres and can accommodate 342 families.
For the relocation, all 342 families are accommodated in the same location, with 200 sq. m. of area per family in Meghalaya’s capital, Meghalaya’s European Ward.
The Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act, 1971, excludes the European Ward from the Act, allowing non-tribal people to purchase property, including land if a competent authority approves the transfer. Non-tribal people are not permitted to purchase land in nearby areas.
For the relocation, the other condition is that there should not be any gurdwaras, churches, temples, or schools. They are also allowing 60 community shopkeepers to run their businesses and facilitating each family with Rs. 20 lakhs.
Mr. Tynsong said, “We have instructed the Urban Affairs Department to prepare the proposals for submission to the HPC. The government is identifying 2-3 locations for the relocation“.
After a meeting with State government representatives on Monday, HPC chairman Gurjit Singh said, “We realized that we cannot fight the government forever. We have never been against relocation and we are ready to move if the government fulfills our demands.”
The next meeting is scheduled before or on May 15.
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Published By: Aman Gupta
Edited By: Vanshika Sahu