SHILLONG, June 13: With the apprehension that the administered area may be included within the ambit of the Meghalaya Town and Country Planning Act, 1972, the BJP MLA representing South Shillong Constituency, Sanbor Shullai had demanded that the state government ensures that this administered area is exempted from the purview of this law.
This has come after the BJP backed Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government has decided to withdraw the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority from implementing the Meghalaya Building Byelaws, 2011 in areas under the jurisdiction of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.
The government in the tripartite meeting held last month with the KHADC and headmen had also assured to pass an Ordinance for amending the 2004 Act by re-inserting section 1 sub-section (2) of the 1972 Act, which states “it shall extends to the whole of Meghalaya excluding the autonomous district”.
Shullai’s demand was made on Wednesday through a memorandum submitted to the chief minister Conrad K Sangma wherein Shullai said, “The Act, 1972 cannot be made applicable to Administered Area by virtue of the fact that the same are schedule area under the administrative control of the KHADC.”
Quoting an order of the Guahati High Court, Shillong bench while pointing out as to why the Act 1972 should not apply to the Administered Area, he said, “…though these areas (Shillong Administered Area) comprised in the Municipality of Shillong for the purpose of municipal administration, they are still governed by the laws and rules framed by the district council for other purposes.”
The Shillong Administered Area comprised of that part of Shillong Municipality for the purpose of municipal administration and these areas are Laitumkhrah, Malki, Mawkhar, Jaiaw, Mawprem, Kenches Trace, Laban and Lumparing, it stated.
He also pointed out that the notification dated August 18, 1937 had also defined the Shillong Administered Area to mean “all areas outside British India in which the Municipal Board of Shillong or the Cantonment Authority for the time being exercised jurisdiction.”
“The area known as Administered Area came into being where only the subject matter of sanitation and civic duty was administered by the municipality now Shillong Municipal Board,” he said.
Further requesting the government to withdraw the notification dated January 13, 1989 before passing the Ordinance, Shullai said that the Act, 1972 was also adopted vide this government notification which made the Act applicable to all the areas.
Shullai also alleged that the Meghalaya Building Byelaws, 2011 was illegally extended jurisdiction over Administered Area and Schedule Area under the powers of the notification dated January 13, 1989.
Shullai also said that the Chief Minister has been requested to convene a meeting with the law department and the stakeholders before passing the Ordinance.
“The Chief Minister has assured us that he would study the matter in depth,” he said.