SHILLONG, May 16: Hispreaching Son Shylla, who represents Nongkrem constituency in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has accused the previous Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA-II) of misleading the people of the state on the issue of the MUDA building byelaws.
“The people were made to unnecessary suffer for more than one year just because the former chief minister had misled the people on this issue,” Shylla had said on Wednesday, a day after the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government led by the NPP has decided to withdraw the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) from implementing the building byelaws in scheduled areas.
Shylla also pointed out that the MUA government in a tripartite meeting held with the KHADC and the traditional heads on December 14, last year had claimed that since the subject matter is still before the Meghalaya High Court a petition will be filed by the Urban Department before the Court to apprise on the decisions taken.
Shylla, who is also the former Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the KHADC however said this was misleading because of the fact that the PIL filed by one Tirot Sing in 2015 was already disposed of by the Meghalaya High Court after the government had withdrew a notification issued on November 5, the same year to keep in abeyance the implementation of the building byelaws in the entire state.
Accusing the Congress of bulldozing the district councils, the Nongkrem MDC said that the Dr. Mukul Sangma - led government in the said meeting had asked the KHADC to notify the town committees and furnish the list to the urban affairs department, which will appoint the same as local authority under the Meghalaya Town and Country Planning Act, 1973 for the purpose of implementing the Meghalaya Building Bye-Laws outside municipal areas.
“This is an act of bulldozing the KHADC when section 1 sub-section (2) of the Meghalaya Town and Country Planning Act, 1973 clearly states that it shall extend to the whole of Meghalaya excluding the Autonomous District Councils,” he said.
He also said that there has been no resolution adopted by the district councils in the state to indicate that they have welcomed the Act to be implemented in their respective jurisdictions.
“In fact, who is the urban affairs department to order the district council to notify the town committees?” he asked.
Shylla further alleged that the reason for the former Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma to insist that the state’s building byelaws is extended beyond the municipal area is because Shillong may not qualify for getting funds under the Smart City project of the Centre.
Hailing the decision taken by the MDA government on the issue, which had witnessed stiff opposition in the past, Shylla said, “While the previous Congress government only good at harassing the people, the issue is now resolved by the present government just in one hour.”
“The Urban affairs department yesterday (Tuesday) also clarified that the High Court has disposed of the case and it is here we need to realise that leaders cannot just mislead the people of the state,” he added.
When it was pointed out that both the KHADC and the traditional bodies were privy to the last year’s decision of the government and failed to raise objection, Shylla said, “They were helpless since Mukul just bulldozed during the meeting.”
The state government has also asked the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) to come up with its own building byelaws.
The former KHADC CEM said that the district council will have to work hard and ensure that the building byelaw is in place at the earliest keeping in mind the need to regulate building constructions under its jurisdiction.