Shillong, Oct 25: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Oct 25 out rightly rejected the Meghalaya Building Bye Laws, 2021 for “encroaching” into the Sixth Schedule areas. As per reports, the decision was taken at a meeting of the executive committee which discussed at length the agenda note brought by the Executive Member in-charge Building Bye Laws Paul Lyngdoh. The Meghalaya Building Bye Laws, 2021 was published by the Urban Affairs department on March 9, this year.
This has superseded a government notification issued by the Principal Secretary of the Urban Affairs Department on February 1, 2019, which had notified the three Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), – KHADC, and JHADC as well as GHADC to implement the building bye-laws in areas outside municipalities.
Speaking to the newsmen, KHADC chief executive member Titosstarwell Chyne has questioned as to how the government expects the same building bye laws which are implemented for town areas and urban areas will be applicable in rural areas.
“Therefore, the people from rural areas will never accept the new building bye laws of the government,” he said.
Asked if this was an act of betrayal on the part of the government, Chyne said, “The government has not only betrayed the ADCs but has betrayed the people of the state.”
He reminded that the state government’s decision to empower the ADCs was after following protests by the people especially from Upper Shillong and others as they do not want to fall under the purview of the building bye laws of the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA).
“This was the reason why the state government has decided to empower the ADCs as one of the authorities for implementing the building bye laws but now it is just the opposite,” he regretted.
He informed that before framing the new bye laws, the urban affairs department had convened meetings with the ADCs three times adding during these meetings, “We have discussed about the bifurcation in order to demarcate the jurisdiction.”
He also cited an example that the state government in its notification issued on February 1, 2019 had notified that the ADCs will have their own power to issue building permission in areas under their respective jurisdiction.
The EM further alleged that there was no action taken on the agreement made in the meetings held earlier that the ADC can implement their own building bye laws as per suitability of the villages under its jurisdiction.
MUDA has encroached beyond its jurisdiction: KHADC
DP MDC, Paul Lyngdoh further said the MUDA Building Bye-Law is a politically sensitive issue and had been the main talking point during previous district council elections.
“The issue now is that MUDA has encroached beyond its jurisdiction firstly by claiming the ADC areas which are above 50,000 sq ft and we say areas which are under the ADC jurisdiction, the ADC should have its sole right to issue the building permission.”
The EM said as per the new building bye laws of the government, no one can issue building permission in areas under the ADCs.
“The MUDA also does not have any authority as it only seeks to give building permission to areas 50,000 sq ft and above and government lands. The question now is what will happen to the lands falling outside the provision since the new bye laws has not mentioned about who should have the authority to do so,” he said.
It may be mentioned, in the previous years, a tussle emerged between the KHADC and the state government over the MUDA Building Bye-Laws.