Kohima, November 29: Nagaland (PWD) Housing Department has expressed ‘shock’ over the proposal of Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya to swap the land opposite of NEIGRIHMS, Shillong where Nagaland Medical Lodge construction is going on.
Nagaland Housing Minister Tongpang Ozukum in a statement here Saturday said ‘Nagaland (PWD) Housing Department has all the Legal Papers’ based on which land was bought on lease for 30 years while few items of works have already been executed in the said plot.
“Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya should give a serious thought on their proposal of swapping land of Nagaland Medical Lodge with another plot of land after 8 years of the lease agreement,” he said.
This is not an issue between Nagaland (PWD) Housing Department and Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya but it is a matter of Trust and Confidence between two Governments, he said.
The Housing Department is yet to receive the proposal of the Urban Affairs Department’s letter officially, but we have seen in the whatsapp, he said.
A proposal letter was written by Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya dated 30th September 2020, addressing Principal Secretary, Home, Nagaland offering a new plot of land measuring 2.34 acres which is located half kilometre away from the present location and a fresh lease agreement to be signed again with government of Meghalaya, he said.
The Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya also offers to bear the expenses of the works already executed at the Nagaland Medical Lodge including the boundary walls at the proposed new plot with the same specifications. But Nagaland (PWD) Housing Department cannot accept such proposals after 8 years of the lease agreement, he said.
Maintaining that ‘Foundation Stone Laying’ programme was scheduled on July 11, 2018 for the commencement of the remaining works, he said it could not be held due to some local problems.
However, Ozukum said Meghalaya Chief Minister gave assurance to Chief Minister Nagaland to resolve their local issues at the earliest and allow Nagaland to go ahead with the programme as planned.
Following which, Ozukum said he also met Meghalaya Chief Minister, Home Minister, Minister in-charge of Urban Affairs and some other leaders on the same issue.
In the second meeting with Hamletson Dohling, the then Minister, Urban Affairs Department on November 14, 2019, unexpectedly, they proposed to swap the land citing some local issues.
However, Nagaland made its stand very clear that their proposal is unacceptable since every procedure, right from the beginning of acquiring the land was done legally and with mutual understanding.
“The proposal letter written by Urban Affairs Department, Meghalaya was a big surprise to us because we were expecting a positive response from them considering the discussions and negotiations done with Meghalaya Government on many occasions and most importantly, the assurance given by Chief Minister of Meghalaya himself followed by a declaration to go ahead with the proposed resuming of construction works at Medical Lodge by the then Home Minister, James Sangma during the 50 Years Celebration of Nagaland House, Shillong on October 26, 2019,” he said.
Therefore, Minister Ozukum expressed hope and believes that Meghalaya Government will honour the lease agreement signed in 2013 and allow the government of Nagaland to go ahead with the pending works without further delay.
(Page News Service)