Shillong, Sept. 19: The expansion of Shillong airport in Umroi could reach a dead end as a section of landowners has threatened not to part with their land, which has already been surrendered to the Meghalaya government.
Today, the dorbar shnong (village council) of Umden Mission under Umroi constituency, along with landowners, threatened to refrain from giving away land for the expansion of the airport as the government was yet to compensate them even after 10 months.
The council, along with the landowners, also served an ultimatum to the government to release the compensation money amounting to Rs 11.44 crore within this month. Otherwise, they will reclaim their land.
Umden Mission headman D. Nongdhar said the government was “playing games” with the landowners . “The landowners decided to part with their land keeping in mind the larger interest of the state. However, after the land has been given, the government is trying to play games,” Nongdhar alleged.
The bone of contention also lies in the opinion that when their land was measured three years ago, the government had agreed to pay Rs 33 per square feet as compensation.
Umden Pyllun youth leader G. Pyrtuh said over and above the Rs 11.44 crore that has been sanctioned, the landowners now want the government to pay the interest which has accrued from the amount, as agreed upon earlier.
“If the government does not pay heed within this month, the landowners might not even part with their land,” he said. “If we do not part with the land, we are being labelled anti-development. But after we have parted with our land, the government is not paying the compensation,” Pyrtuh said.
He also said the people would not allow the government to come to the area and measure the land afresh.
During the autumn session of the Assembly, transport minister Abu Taher Mondal had informed the House that Rs 50,62,32,146 has been handed over to the Ri Bhoi deputy commissioner for payment as compensation to the land owners.