27 families residing in Star Hall demand proper resettlement

Gangtok, 02 Nov:

Twenty-seven families living in the Star Cinema Hall complex since 1971 have said that they are being asked to vacate the complex without any resettlement offer.

The Chief Minister and the State Government had assured that they would be provided an alternate location but that has not happened, according to these families.

It may be mentioned that the Government plans to dismantle the Star Cinema Hall complex and build a multi-purpose shopping mall cum refreshment centre in its place. Those residing in the complex were to be given flats in another complex located at Arithang. However, all the families were not provided accommodation in the new complex.

Owner of one of the restaurants at Star Hall, Sashi Basnett,informed that the Municipal Corporation had given them license to operate a bar cum restaurant in the building in 2015.

“We have been directed to close down our place stating that the place of our business is illegally occupied. At the time of issuing the license, the place was not illegal and now it has suddenly become illegal. Let the government provide us an alternate place,we are ready to obey the government’s decision,” she said.

Chandra Shekar Gautam, Shashi Basnett, Tenzing Ongmu Bhutia and Pawan Agrawal told media persons that they are ready to negotiate withthe State Government with suitable rehabilitation and resettlement proposal. These families are running business establishments like restaurants, fast foodstalls andother small business outlets in the said building.

A member of one of the families informed that police personnel came to their place and pasted notice with direction to vacate the place on last working day before the Dasain holidays. However, they informed that no formal order has been given to them.

The occupants of the said building are paying ground rent at Rs 40,000 per annum to the government and were paying monthly rent till 2009.

However, the State Government has not charged any rent after 2009 till date.