Meghalaya wants ‘extra’ defence land back

Centre should hand over portions of defence land occupied by the armed forces in the heart of the capital city to the Meghalaya government, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said on Friday.

Shillong: Centre should hand over portions
of defence land occupied by the armed forces in the heart of
the capital city to the Meghalaya government, Chief Minister
Mukul Sangma said on Friday.

The land not required by the defence should be handed
over to the state in view of the fact that the capital city is
growing and getting increasingly congested, Sangma asserted
in the assembly.
He said people were facing problems and the Centre
was expected to comply with the state?s request to vacate
‘excess land’ in the city, occupied by the defence forces.

The Chief Minister pointed out that infrastructure,
meant for ‘decongesting’ the capital city of traffic snarls
could not be built because of this.

Sangma said that the government had received several
complaints against the defence forces, vis-a-vis occupation of
land in various parts of the city, even as he informed that he
had taken up the matter with the Defence minister.

The Chief Minister, however, said that the state
government was trying to solve the issue on ’mutually
acceptable’ terms.
Replying to a query raised by legislator Paul Lyngdoh,
Sangma said, “Except for some complaints about restrictions of
using roads via those establishments, government is not aware
of any harassment by the armed forces”.

Lyngdoh had asked whether the government was aware that
local populace living in the vicinity of defence land was
facing harrowing time.

Members from both the ruling and Opposition expressed
concern over the defence forces occupying land in and around
Shillong and called for immediate action to retrieve the same.

A good chunk of the area of the capital city is
occupied by Army, CRPF, Assam Rifles, Air Force, BSF and other
security agencies who have some of their key regional
administrative offices here.

PTI

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