Citizen flags illegal construction

Shillong, Sept 21: A residents of Nongrimmaw and Lumsohra have alleged that illegal construction has been undertaken at the government occupied land at Laitumkhrah which houses the quarters of the Shillong Municipal Board.
In a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills district, Isawanda Laloo, the complainant, Wankitbok Pohshna said that these quarters are also home to many illegal activities, unauthorised constructions and unknown settlements.
“The residents surrounding this colony have been trying to knock the door of the authorities on the unabated unauthorised building constructions that has been going on, a petition was also sent to the then Minister Urban Affairs in 2011 who is also the local MLA (Ampareen Lyngdoh) on the unchecked slum that was mushrooming in the heart of the city,” the complaint read.
The complainant also said that no concrete step was taken to address the issue during the period when the incumbent MLA held the urban affairs portfolio and after a decade now apart from unauthorised constructions there is likelihood of electricity theft as the units have been erected without permission granted by the authorities.
He also pointed out that since the colony stands congested with no facility for parking, the occupants of these illegal dwellings park their vehicles on both side of the Umpling road which hinders essential vehicles to pass during emergency situations.
The complainant also accused the Shillong Municipal Board which is the custodian of the colony of not taking care of this property which has allowed illegal settlement to go unchecked for the past several years.
Citing a reply to information sought under the RTI Act, the complainant said that the SMB had issued a demolition notice to few settlers; however till date no action was taken on the ground while the constructions continued defying all relevant building bye-laws.
Meanwhile, he also apprised the DC of rampant dumping of waste in the Thangsniang stream which runs through the area.
“Unless authorities stop the illegal construction at Goralane or unless the present state government steps up plans to decongest the uprising slum, the issues faced by the residents of Laitumkhrah will persist and if goes unchecked will lead to stressed like situations in the near future,” he warned.