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Tussle over Tura shopping hub

- Urban affairs minister to look into stalled marketing centre issue
The marketing hub in Tura. Picture by Saidul Khan

Tura, June 20: The Meghalaya government will look into the stalled inauguration of the newly constructed marketing hub at Ringrey.

Opposition by South Tura MLA John Leslee K. Sangma has resulted in the monthslong delay in its opening. The MLA has threatened to move court if the government goes ahead with the inauguration.

The two-storey building, which was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2.6 crore and completed in December last year, has been under the scanner for “architectural defects”.

The project was undertaken through the Centre’s backward region grant fund.

According to guidelines, a market hub should have a parking space, proper pit drainage, protection and retaining wall. However, the Tura Municipal Board and urban affairs department has flouted all these norms.

Already there is leakage inside the building. The parking lot will be constructed on either side of the building. The lower primary school that is situated to its right will be shifted to a suitable location.

The school, which currently has two classrooms, will be provided six rooms, toilets and a playground. The delay in inauguration has angered many entrepreneurs, who are contemplating filing a suit for allotment of the building.

Urban affairs minister Ampareen Lyngdoh has directed the department to oversee the immediate construction of the parking space.

“Any operation from the complex would mean that Meghalaya urban development department has flouted its own rules. It would set a wrong precedent,” said the MLA.

On the eviction notice served to vegetable vendors in Ringrey, who will be accommodated in the marketing hub, Sangma said, “I have asked them not to shift to the newly constructed hub, as it does not have a parking lot. They have agreed to this. This has also been conveyed to the urban affairs minister, who has assured us that she will look into it.”

The oldest Ringrey vegetable market here operates on a footpath, leading to traffic congestion.

The marketing hub was aimed at allowing vegetable vendors and others to move to a permanent location. It has 101 rooms, including restaurant space and 45 stalls for the sale of vegetable, meat, pork and fish.

In October last year, Sangma had threatened to move a privilege motion against community and rural development minister Prestone Tynsong in the Assembly for misleading the house regarding construction of a marketing hub.

During question hour, Tynsong, while replying to a question on the status of urban marketing hub at Tura, had told the Assembly that the construction of the hub had been completed in compliance with the existing Meghalaya building bylaws.


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