Shillong, Aug 9: The United Democratic Party (UDP) today said that the tussle between the Meghalaya government and the district council with regards to the issue of jurisdiction to implement its respective building byelaws should end.
“This needs to be resolved at the earliest so that common citizens are unnecessarily not harassed,” UDP legislator from Nongthymmai, Jemino Mawthoh said.
According to Mawthoh, the State government should clearly demarcate the areas with urban and rural characteristics so that schemes meant for the two sectors are properly distributed and implemented.
He pointed out that in urban towns desigted as census towns - Nongthymmai, Madanrting, Pynthorumkhrah, Mawlai and Nongmynsong - MLA schemes are under Community and Rural Development (C& RD). “They are not availing urban schemes despite having urban characteristics.”
The UDP legislator also said that many areas outside municipal jurisdiction are on the verge of urban collapse.
Mawthoh also said that the district council and the State government should sit together for a thorough deliberation on the matter to resolve the legal tangles and uphold the interest of the common citizens.
“Interpretation of existing laws appears to be more politicized rather than making an effort to resolve the matter thereby making the issue more complicated,” he said.
Mawthoh said that political actors should not play to the gallery and instead provide solutions to ease the problems faced by the public.
The Nongthymmai MLA said that what is most astonishing is that those opposing the encroachment by the MUDA into the Sixth Schedule areas are now on collision path.
“This is an indication of lack of understanding on how to resolve the issue,” Mawthoh pointed out.
He was also of the view that there is no clarity on the part of the government and district council on the urgency of streamlining urban administration and magement to cater to the growing urbanisation and the stress and strain of urban living in terms of civic amenities, congestion, health, safety and security.
Mawthoh said that urban centres should be seen as engines of growth and development.
“There is a need to have a uniform policy under the provisions of the law for systemic growth of urban centres. There is no denying the fact that there is a need to have an authority to ensure proper enforcement of urban administration and magement, to oversee that building codes and building laws are strictly adhered to,” he pointed out.
The Nongthymmai MLA also said that MUDA has failed in this respect. He said that building laws have been flouted due to nepotism and corruption.
He also questioned the competency of the district council in bringing out its own building bye-laws.
“Whether the District Council has the wherewithal in terms of expertise, manpower and resources to implement the same?” Mawthoh asked. Mawthoh also demanded that MUDA should immediately withdraw the notification of preventing citizens to avail electricity from MeECL and water connection from PHE as temporary relief to those who have already constructed houses. “Mechanism should be simplified. One should keep in mind that public should not be harassed,” Mawthoh added.