Guwahati: The Shillong Cantonment Board has asked Lady Keane College -- one of Northeast India's first colleges -- to pay Rs 45 lakh as a service charge as the college is located on defence land.
As per reports, in this regard, an order has been issued by the Shillong Cantonment Board seeking to pay an approximate amount of Rs 45,25,956.
''You are kindly requested to make a necessary payment regarding the provisional service charges which have been calculated for the period w.e.f. 1.4.2022 to 31.3.2023 at an approximate amount of Rs 45,25,956/-," PTI quoted the board's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vijay Rajak as saying in the order.
"The amount of service charges are worked out by the board on the guidelines issued on this behalf by the Govt. under Section 109 of the Cantonment Act 2006," he added.
As per Rajak, the Arunachal Pradesh Government, the Forest Department and the Weaving Department of the Meghalaya Government and the Meghalaya Electricity Corporation Ltd that have properties in the cantonment board area pay their statutory taxes and charges annually.
Reacting to the order, Lady Keane College's Principal Khlur Mukhim asserted he was shocked and finds the order dated July 29 ''absurd to say the least'' as according to her college predates all other establishments set up post-Independence, ''not to mention the Cantonment Board here.''
''The college was founded during the British era in 1935. With a legacy of over eight decades of eventful existence, the college has to its credit a record of very distinguished service rendered to the cause of uplift and empowerment of women through the spread of liberal education," he added.
Meanwhile, following the development, the college authority is taking up the issue with the State Government to correct this 'anomaly' which could jeopardize its functioning.