House hope after 15 years

A 15-year wait for a new Meghalaya Assembly building looks set to end with the Speaker discussing the matter with engineers of PWD (buildings) today.

By Rining Lyngdoh in Shilong
  • Published 24.09.16
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Shillong, Sept. 23: A 15-year wait for a new Meghalaya Assembly building looks set to end with the Speaker discussing the matter with engineers of PWD (buildings) today.

Speaker Abu Taher Mondal discussed the need to speed up the process of floating an expression of interest (EOI) to find consultants who can provide structural designs for the building in accordance with its area, which is approximately 80 acres. He said the EOI would be floated soon.

The new Assembly building will be constructed at Mawdiangdiang, near North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), about 15km from here. The cost of the project will be known after a detailed project report is prepared.

"After approving the structural design, a tender will be floated for constructing the new House," the Speaker said.

The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly has been functioning from rented buildings for over 15 years, after the 125-year old heritage structure which housed the legislature at Khyndai Lad here was reduced to ashes in an inferno on January 9, 2001.

Meghalaya legislators have not been able to construct their own House since 2001, the delay being caused by the search for an "ideal" site by a high-powered committee constituted to do so. The committee has been chaired by various Speakers, including Mondal. Besides, whenever the committee managed to settle on a site, there was opposition from certain groups to the location.

Apart from the old site at Khyndai Lad, at least three locations were selected in the past years by the committee for constructing the new Assembly. With the present site at Mawdiangdiang having been finalised, there is hope that the new building will see the light of day in the next few years.