Shillong, July 10: The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Wednesday urged the state government to consider returning its Land Bill for fine tuning it further.
A delegation of the KHADC executive committee under the leadership of its chief executive member Teiñwell Dkhar met Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong in the state secretariat seeking his intervention into the delay in getting approval of the Governor to various Bills passed by the Council.
After the meeting, Dkhar told reporters that the Land Bill was passed by the Council in 2014 but the Bill is still pending with the government.
“In view of this, we request the state government through the Deputy CM to return the Land Bill along with suggestions to which he has assured that the matter will be looked into,” he said.
Dkhar said, once the Bill is returned, the Council will study the Bill and if required, necessary amendment will be made before resending it to the Governor for his assent.
He informed that over 39 Bills passed by the KHADC are pending with the state government for the past many years and the delegation has also urged Tynsong to look into this issue seriously.
Executive Member in-charge Land, Titosstarwell Chyne said the present Executive Committee has taken a decision not to introduce new Bills till pending Bills passed by the Council in the past are approved.
Chyne said that the Land Bill is very important as it seeks to restore the rights of indigenous community over their land.
“In the absence of such a law, the Council at present has the authority only to maintain land records, but not land registration. The passage of this Bill will confirm the rights of indigenous community over the land,” he claimed.
At present, land registration is being done through the revenue department of the state government under the Indian Registration Act.
When asked what if the Land Bill of the Council clash with the Indian Registration Act, Chyne said, “We wanted to the government to return the Land Bill so that the Council could further fine tune the Bill and at the same time see if the Bill would clash or not with the Indian Registration Act.”
According to him, as of now different Himas under the jurisdiction of the KHADC has to register their land with the state government.
He also informed that the delegation has urged the deputy chief minister to intervene into the sudden stopping of stone and sand quarry, which has affected livelihood activities of the people to a great extent.
“He (Tynsong) has told us that the state government would soon amend the Minor Minerals Concession Rules, 2016,” he said adding that the people will have to apply for mining lease and quarry permit.
Stressing the need to strike a balance between livelihood activities and protecting the environment, Chyne called upon all to work together in this regard.