Govt served legal notice on changing of entry point location

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SHILLONG, April 17: The government of Meghalaya has been served a legal notice by the Dorbar Shnong of Pahammawlein over the former’s decision to shift the location of the site for the entry point into Meghalaya from 19th Mile, Pahammawlein.
Ina notice sent to the government on Wednesday, the Dorbar Shnong’s lawyer, Subhasis Chakrawarty said that the proposed move of the Government of Meghalaya to set up the Entry Point at Umling is unconstitutional, which will inevitable result in wasteful expenditure of scarce public resources.
The Dorbar Shnong also said that the legality of setting up the entry point (Facilitation Centre) after the Toll Plaza in 20th Mile has not been properly and objectively examined by the State Government.
In this regard, it also said that the setting up of the entry point cum Facilitation Centre in Umling, after the Toll Plaza will have a harrowing and traumatic effect on the individuals who have already paid toll tax at the Toll Plaza, but denied entry into the state for not having valid documents.
It was also pointed out that such individuals will have to pay the toll again on their way out. In this backdrop, it was pointed out that the Government is contractually and legally bound to let any individual use the National Highway, once toll is paid by such an individual.
The presence of several State (P.W.D) roads before the proposed location in Umling, which gives unhindered access to any migrant to escape the verification of documents at the entry point was also highlighted.
This, according to the Dorbar Shnong defeats the very purpose of setting up the entry cum facilitation centre which is to keep a check on influx of illegal migrants.
For maximum effectiveness, the entry point cum facilitation centre should be set up close to the inter – state border, according to the Dorbar Shnong.
It was also pointed out that since Pahammawlein is underdeveloped, there was hope for the improvement and uplift of the economic condition of the village with the setting up of the entry point.
The Dorbar Shnong is also of the view that the decision of the Government to relocate the entry point, after completing 95% of the acquisition process for a long period of three and a half years in the 19th Mile is unjustified and questionable.
Stating that the marginalized, illiterate and poor sections of the society will be the hardest hit if they have to pay the toll twice on being denied entry into the state, the Dorbar Shnong said that the State Government cannot go against the basic principles of natural justice or set up an ineffective mechanism which is unlawful simply because it wants to cut costs.
In this backdrop, Chakrawarty has informed the State Government that the Dorbar Shnong reserves the right to take appropriate legal action in the matter.
It may be noted here that the state government is proposing to set up entry / exit points in different districts of the state as a part of the comprehensive mechanism to keep a check on influx and illegal immigration.
While the erstwhile MUA government had selected the land at Pahammawlein as the site for the entry point in Ri Bhoi district, this was later changed by the present MDA government to Umling with the argument that the acquisition of land for the project is running into hundreds of crores of rupees which can be saved if the site is shifted to the Transport land at Umling.