SHILLONG | April 26, 2019:
Urban Affairs Minister Hamletson Dohling on Friday that the State Government is eager to shift the 128 employees of the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB), who are currently residing at Them Metor, to the temporary office of the board located at Bivar Road opposite Brookside Bungalow.
“We are eager to shift the 128 employees of the SMB to the temporary office at the earliest. But in order to shift the employees, we first need to shift the temporary office to another place. We had already requested the General Administration Department (GAD) to allow the SMB to use to building near the Chief Secretary residence as it’s a temporary office,” Dohling said while taking to reporters here today.
He said that the building near the Chief Secretary residence is currently being used as the office of the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority.
“We hope that the GAD would hand over the building to convert it as the temporary office of the SMB,” he said. According to the Urban Affairs Minister, the temporary office of the board actually is the quarters constructed for the employees of the SMB.
“But due to various reasons they could not be shifted. But the priority of the present Government is to shift the 128 employees of the SMB to the quarters which has been allotted to them,” Dohling said.
When asked about the illegal settlers at Them Metor, he said that the Government is not concerned about the illegal settlers. “Our concern is only the welfare of the employees of the board. We will wait for the time to decide on the illegal settlers. But I would like to make it very clear that we do not recognize the illegal settlers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Urban Affairs Minister informed that the High Level Committee (HLC) constituted by the State Government to find a solution for shifting of the Them Metor is likely to meet on the first week of May.
“I am aware that the High Court had directed the State Government to approach the civil court for eviction of the people residing at Them Metor. We will decide on the future course of action in the next meeting of the HLC,” he said.
It may be mentioned that while disposing off the petition filed by the Harijan Panchayat Committee, the High Court had earlier directed the state government to approach the Civil Court if they want to evict or remove the sellers, adding that the Civil Court will pass a proper judgment after giving equal opportunity to both the parties and decide the title in accordance with law.
The High Court was of the view that the matter is purely civil in nature, so it needs to be addressed by the Civil Court after taking appropriate evidence on record and giving fair and equal opportunity to both the parties to be heard.