SHILLONG, Jan 16: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has decided to take legal recourse against what it has termed as ‘illegal encroachment of the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority into scheduled areas’.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the ruling People Democratic Forum (PDF) in the KHADC held on Monday and attended by 23 MDCs from United Democratic Alliance (UDA), UDP, HSPDP and KHNAM.
“We have unanimous decided to file a fresh petition before the Court against the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) on the matter,” KHADC chief PN Syiem informed after the meeting.
He said that the continued illegal encroachment of the MUDA by implementing the building bye-laws beyond its jurisdiction has to a great extent affected the people residing in the scheduled areas.
They (people) are subjected to unnecessary harassment in view of the directions to the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) and Public Health Engineering (PHE) not to give electricity and water supply to newly constructed houses without building permission from the MUDA.
He informed that the district council is preparing to draft the petition which will be filed soon after the Meghalaya High Court resumes office on January 28.
Earlier, the KHADC was only impleaded as a party in a similar petition filed by one Tirot Sing. “However understanding that this may take time, we have decided to file a fresh petition to ensure the intervention of the court is speeded up,” he said.
It may be mentioned here, the state government has implemented the MUDA Bye-Laws in the scheduled areas in compliance with the order passed by the High Court on the petition filed by Tirot Sing.
This came after the state government’s decision to keep in abeyance the implementation of the MUDA building bye laws outside the municipal areas.
Reacting to a query, Syiem said that in fact the state government should have filed a petition against the order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court to the Supreme Court.
“However it is surprising that the state government is keeping quiet and instead went ahead and implemented the bye-laws which is totally against the wishes of the people,” he added.
Recalling that the state government and the KHADC in a meeting held earlier last year unanimously decided to study documents on the matter, the Council’s chief however said nothing concrete has come up till date from this meeting.
“The state government was not able to show the documents to prove that the KHADC had given its consent for implementation of the building byelaws in its jurisdiction, which indicates that it only wants to bulldoze the people,” he said.
On the High Court’s order with regards to the petition filed by the Shillong Cantonment Board, Syiem said, “We hope that if the Cantonment is allowed to implement its own bye-laws, the same will be for the district council, especially when it is a constitutional body.”