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Stalemate continues over much delayed Nongstoin district jail

SHILLONG: At a time when prisoner occupancy rate in Meghalaya as on December 31, 2016, stands at 132.2 per cent as per the publication of National Crime Records Bureau, the under-construction Nongstoin District jail continues to be in stalemate with no signs of any deadline as to when the project will be completed.

However, sources said that the revised estimates for the project were approved recently by the state Government and it was hoped that the construction of the project would begin soon. No construction has taken place in the site for years.

The delay in completion of the Nongstoin Jail has been unprecedented given that the project was conceived more than a decade ago.

The work on the project stopped in 2014 following non-approval of the revised cost estimate. The Government had initially earmarked Rs 6.25 crore on December 20, 2003, for the construction of the jail on 10.35 acres of land.

However, the assistant executive engineer (PWD) had submitted a revised proposal of Rs 20 crore to the Home (Jails) Department to complete the project.

The work was finally stopped in 2014 even though construction was almost complete. It was learnt that the Department was also skeptical about the location of the jail, which is in a valley and the movement of prisoners can be visible from the hillocks surrounding it.

Many NGOs in West Khasi Hills in the past few years have submitted their memorandum demanding the government to complete construction works within the scheduled deadline.

The delay in the completion of the Nongstoin district jail has led to overcrowding of the Shillong District Jail as under trial prisoners as well as convicts from West Khasi Hills had to be accommodated here due to lack of space.

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