Shillong Oct 15: Deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong said that nothing has been finalised on building a shopping mall at Barik, and the design selected earlier for constructing an iconic structure was not specifically meant the area at Barik.
Tynsong said that an earlier design was given special recognition but not specifically for the area at Barik, and the design can be utilised for in other places too to build an iconic structure.
Asked if a shopping mall would be built by the government at. Barik instead of an iconic structure, Tynsong said, “We have not yet finalised on shopping mall. When there are various suggestions we welcome them and the best suggestion will be considered.”
The area at Barik belongs to the state PWD (roads) and the offices there would be relocated to another place if a decision is taken to utilised for any project.
The proposed construction of an iconic structure at Barik point in Shillong city was initiated under the Smart City Mission by the Meghalaya urban affairs department.
However questions are being asked what will happen to the iconic structure project now as chief minister Conrad K Sangma has changed his urban affairs minister from Hamletson Dohling to Sniawbhalang Dhar.
There has opposition against the move of the MDA government to change from an earlier plan to build an iconic structure to constructing a shopping mall at Barik.
Whether he would go ahead as urban affairs minister with an earlier decision of the department to build an “Iconic Structure” at Barik point under Smart City Mission where an architectural design had also been finalised, Dhar has earlier said, “we will take the best decision after discussing together.”
The United Democratic Party (UDP) which is part of the MDA government, has already raised strong objection against any move to build the shopping mall.
The Khasi Students Union also opposed the state government’s move to change its decision from building an Iconic Structure to constructing a shopping mall at Barik point.
Former Urban Affairs minister, Hamletson Dohling had in 2019 come up with a build an inconic structure at Barik under Smart City Mission, after which, firms were invited to participate in a competition to display their architectural designs for the construction of the proposed iconic structure.
The state government had already spent Rs 12 lakh for the purpose.
Five firms which include the Department of Architecture, Science and Technology NEHU, Design Cell Faws Design Shillong, Flying Elephant Studio Project, Bangalore, M/s Kshestra, Hyderabad and Visio Architecture Ltd Port Louis, Mauritius, had participated in the competition.
Out of five firms, a design prepared by the Flying Elephant Studio Project, Bangalore was selected.