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Meghalaya to share blueprint for relocation of Dalit Sikhs

The government has decided to relocate all the 342 families of the colony to the new location which has an area of 2.5 acres of land, he said.

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Shillong: The Meghalaya government has decided to share the blueprint for relocation of Dalit Sikhs from Harijan Colony at Them Iew Mawlong to Bishop Cotton road of the Shillong Municipal Board office.

On Thursday, the High-Level Committee’s (HLC) headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong held a meeting with the Harijan Panchayat Committee (HPC) and discussed about the government’s move to relocate the 342 families of the colony adjoining Iewduh, the commercial hub of Meghalaya capital Shillong.

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“A detailed presentation was given to the HPC on the proposed relocation plot in the existing quarters of the Shillong Municipal Board at Bishop Cotton road. We have also informed them that a hardcopy of the blueprint will officially be given to the HPC on Friday,” Tynsong said.

The government has decided to relocate all the 342 families of the colony to the new location which has an area of 2.5 acres of land, he said.

As per the technical assessment of the Urban Affairs department it’s possible to relocate all the 342 families in this location. The government has proposed to demolish the existing building at the site to make way for the new construction.

Terming the outcome of the meeting as “positive”, HPC Secretary, Gurjit Singh said the meeting discussed the blueprint prepared by the government.

“Once we receive the blueprint, we will discuss with all the residents of the Harijan colony and then decide accordingly,” Singh said.

Earlier, the HPC had said that the residents are against moving into high-rise buildings and all they want is the land and also the cost of building their houses.

“We will build our houses. The current quarters where we are staying has not even lasted 20 years as it was built by the government through different builders,” the Panchayat leader said.

The residents contend that the land where they dwell currently was gifted to them by the Syiem (chief) of Mylliem to their forefathers in 1853.

However, the State Government and the Shillong Municipal Board signed a tripartite agreement to take possession of the land from the Syiem of Mylliem.

For more than two decades, several indigenous Khasi civil society groups have demanded from Meghalaya to relocate Sikh residents, living there since British times, from Sweepers Lane as most of them are “illegal settlers”. 

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