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Tara Ghar to be guesthouse

Shillong, July 20: The Meghalaya government is contemplating to convert a bungalow, formerly an official residence of chief minister into a guesthouse.

The bungalow is known as Tara Ghar, located opposite Nan Polok (Wards Lake) here. “We are contemplating to convert Tara Ghar into a guesthouse to accommodate only state guests visiting the state but not for guests within the state,” Meghalaya general administration department (GAD) minister H.D.R Lyngdoh told The Telegraph today.

Work to renovate the house is under way, the minister said, adding that he would soon pay a visit to the house to see its condition and the progress of work.

Former chief ministers of Meghalaya like J.D. Rymbai and late E.K. Mawlong had stayed at Tara Ghar during their respective tenures. A few years ago, there was a move to dismantle Tara Ghar to pave way for the construction of a new Assembly building. The move, however, failed because of opposition from some organisations on the ground that the bungalow is one of the heritage buildings in Shillong and it should be preserved.

In November 2012, a PIL (public interest litigation) was filed by Informed Conscious And Responsible Existence (ICARE) in the erstwhile Gauhati High Court Shillong bench against the proposed move to construct a new Assembly building at Tara Ghar.

The court had also ordered that Tara Ghar should not be demolished.

Some of the former chief ministers of Meghalaya have even avoided staying at Tara Ghar.

The GAD minister, however, said he did not know why such people (chief ministers) preferred not to stay at Tara Ghar.

Some said the house was jinxed and that’s why some VIPs, including a few chief ministers, did not want to stay. The minister said the official residence of the chief minister of the state is the house being occupied by the present chief minister Mukul Sangma.

The chief minister’s bungalow is known as Good Wood at Oakland near Polo Grounds, which was constructed at the cost of around Rs 10 crore.