SHILLONG, May 19 (PTI): Meghalaya deputy chief minister Sniawbhalang Dhar announced that the Shillong District Jail here would be shifted to the New Shillong Township.
He said the decision has been finalised after the Urban Affair department agreed to provide 25 acres of land for the construction of the new district jail at the New Shillong Township.
“We have decided to shift the Shillong district jail from Jail road to New Shillong,” Dhar told reporters after conducting an inspection of the jail here on Thursday.
“Apart from providing land, the urban affairs department has also agreed to construct the new district jail,” he said.
The deputy chief minister said the land where the district jail is presently located will be handed over to the urban affairs department.
He informed that the capacity of the new district jail will be 1,000 unlike the old jail with only 170 capacity.
“Once completed, we will be able to segregate the convicts and the under-trial prisoners,” Dhar said, adding that the new jail will have better facilities.
At present, the Shillong District Jail has 464 inmates against its capacity of 175 inmates.
“Of 464 inmates, 448 are males and 16 females,” he said.
The Shillong District Jail was established in 1897 on 5.5 acres of land. It caters to UTPs from the East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and South West Khasi Hills districts.
In its performance audit report on management of prisons, the CAG had recommended the state government to consider setting up jails in all districts and accelerate the trials of UTPs in a time bound manner.
The report had stated that overcrowding of inmates in four out of five district jails in the state was due to lodging the convicts and under-trial prisoners together and prolonged detention of people without trial, especially in Shillong and Jowai district jails.
The CAG had also stated that the delay in the construction of new jails has forced the inmates of the existing jails to live in inhuman conditions without safe drinking water and adequate number of toilets.