Mukul asks KHADC to recall VAB

Govt to examine MUDA building bylaws, service rules

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said on Wednesday the KHADC needed to recall and amend the Village Administration Bill to avoid any conflict with laws passed by Parliament and implement it effectively.
Sangma met members of the Synjuk ki Rangbah Shnong ka Bri u Hynniewtrep (SKRSBH), a conglomerate of traditional heads, on Wednesday. Unlike in February when the SKRSBH staged a walkout, Wednesday’s meeting was ‘cordial’ and discussions on the Village Administration Bill (VAB), MUDA’s alleged encroachment on scheduled areas and service rules took place without a glitch.
Speaking to media persons on VAB after the meeting with SKRSBH, Sangma said, “For an effective implementation, the most appropriate approach for the KHADC is to recall the Bill and take necessary measures to amend the Bill so that none of the clauses incorporated in it come in conflict with laws passed by Parliament.”
Sangma said the KHADC had responded to the queries of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on August 31, but it all depends on the MHA. “The crucial issue is that the Bill needs to become an Act and all hurdles need to be dismantled which calls for fine-tuning of the Act and it all depends on the MHA as it may or may not call for further amendments,” he said, adding, “The State government and the Synjuk will take up the matter.”
He said the government would forward the replies of the KHADC to the MHA after it has examined the replies.
KHADC CEM P.N. Syiem said he would convene a meeting of all MDCs to seek the majority views whether to recall the Bill or not. However, Syiem also said that the VAB is pending with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. “We had sent our comments to the queries on 12 subjects to the government and now it is up to the government to forward the same to the Governor to be sent to the Union Ministry,” he added.
MUDA encroachment
The chief minister said process of formulating bylaws will be worked out separately for municipal and scheduled areas.  “In keeping with the safety concerns, unforeseen natural calamities, some legislative measures need to be worked out and it will be done so in such a manner that the whole operation of building by-laws will segregate the municipal areas from the scheduled areas,” Sangma said.
“A certain relief will be given to residents who have been subjected to various constraints with regard to getting occupancy certificates and electricity and water connections, which can be easily facilitated,” he added.
Service rules
Another bone of contention between the chief minister and the traditional heads is the amendment of the Rule 20 (B) of the Meghalaya Services (Conduct) Rules debarring anyone in the service, except previous sanctions, to hold office or membership in any community-based organizations, associations and traditional bodies. In this connection, the chief minister said, “We will further examine the issue at an appropriate level.”

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