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Shillong Airport project: PAC summons Meghalaya CS, state officials

The committee has summoned Chief Secretary Kropha, Deputy Ri-Bhoi district Deputy Commissioner Pooja Pande besides top officials from the departments of Revenue, Transport and PWD (Building).



Shillong: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly today summoned Chief Secretary K S Kropha and other officials of state government on charge of failing to comply with its report relating to the delay in completion of the Shillong Airport project.

"We have decided to summon them (officials) to appear before the committee on May 24. The concerned departments have failed to come up with the 'action taken report' till date as was indicated in the findings of the committee, a report of which was placed before the state Assembly in the last session," PAC Chairman Paul Lyngdoh told reporters after an internal meeting held here.

The committee has summoned Chief Secretary Kropha, Deputy Ri-Bhoi district Deputy Commissioner Pooja Pande besides top officials from the departments of Revenue, Transport and PWD (Building).

Lyngdoh said, "The departments do not seem to have had the courtesy of going through the committee report and they ought to come up with adequate and sufficient answers."

According to him, the state government officials are to reply in the light of the new Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act passed by the Parliament.

The Chairman further alleged that the district administration, through the Deputy Commissioner of Ri Bhoi, has acted in an 'arbitrary manner'.

Lyngdoh, citing the new Act, which clearly states right to fair and equitable compensation, said, "It is surprising that this has not been given due importance by the state government as the departments of revenue, transport and PWD seem to care very little."

He also informed that the committee will take appropriate steps to ensure justice is given to the land owners. 

Stating that all are interested to see Shillong has an airport of its own, Lyngdoh said, "But this should not be at the cost of trampling over the rights of individuals."

The PAC had taken up an inquiry which began last year after 15 land owners alleged that though their lands were acquired but not a single penny was paid to them as compensation.

The PAC had pointed several deficiencies and irregularities in its findings which were submitted to the government.

As per the PAC report, anomalies were detected in the land acquisition deal for the airport.

The committee had also asked the office of the DC (Revenue) Ri Bhoi to furnish a list of officials, whoever so are allegedly involved in the release and disbursement of compensation money, so the committee can fix responsibility.

From Zee News

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