SHILLONG | May 10, 2019:
The High Level Committee (HLC) today directed the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) to re-conduct the inventorisation exercise of the residents at Them Metor in the form of public notice.
The HLC took this decision during its meeting today, which was held after a gap of nearly four months. The last meeting of the committee was held on December 2018.
“We have directed the SMB to re-conduct the inventorisation of the residents of Them Metor in the form of public notice. The notices will be pasted in each and every housing unit located in the area. The SMB has given one-month’s time to complete the exercise,” HLC chairman Prestone Tynsong, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, told reporters after the meeting here on Friday.
According to Tynsong, the people who are settling Them Metor would need to submit documents to the CEO of the SMB to prove that they are legally settling in the area.
“This probably is the second and last opportunity to prove that they are legal settlers,” he said.
When asked about the action to be taken against the people who fail to submit the documents, Deputy Chief Minister said that the committee expects the people, who are residing at Them Metor, to cooperate by coming forward to submit their documents.
Meanwhile, Tynsong assured that the genuine settlers should not feel afraid as the Government would ensure that they are fully protected. “We have 128 employees of the SMB and another 56, who are serving in the different departments, are currently residing at Them Metor. Therefore, the Government would ensure that they are protected,” Tynsong said.
It may be mentioned that the staff of the SMB did not got the cooperation from the people residing the Sweeper’s Lane during the first inventory survey which was carried out last year. Besides listing the houses, the SMB was supposed to take the head counts of the people residing in the area as part of the exercise. The SMB was not able to make head accounts of the people residing in the area since majority of the houses were locked.
When asked how much more time the committee would take before it submits its recommendations since one year had already passed, Deputy Chief Minister said that the question of deadlines does not arise since the time of reference of the committee is to find a permanent solution to this long pending issue.
“It is not a matter which would be resolved overnight. But I am confident that we would be able to come up with a permanent solution to this problem,” he said.
When asked whether the committee had discussed on the order issued by the High Court asking the Government to approach the civil court for evicting the settlers from Them Metor, Tynsong replied in the affirmative.
“But our focus at the moment is to find an acceptable solution to this long pending problem,” Deputy Chief Minister added.