SHILLONG, Feb 3 - The Meghalaya Cabinet has given the right to grant building permission to Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in the 6th Schedule areas in an apparent move to appease traditional heads. Earlier, the power was vested in the Urban Affairs Department.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said recently the Urban Affairs department would, however, continue to be the nodal agency to grant building permission in municipal areas and other areas under the Shillong Master Plan.
“The stakeholders have been demanding that the right to give building permission be given to the ADCs and so, we have decided today to grant that right,” Tynsong said.
The ADCs, however, have acute shortage of manpower and do not have an engineering wing. Tynsong allayed the fear and said that the “stakeholders” have assured that an engineering wing would be put into place in the respective district councils soon.
There are three ADCs in the State – Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills district councils. The Deputy Chief Minister justified the move, saying it was a question of jurisdiction.
“The stakeholders have always argued that in areas falling under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, the Urban Affairs Department should not have the authority to grant building permission,” he said.
The traditional heads have been demanding this right and demanded from the Government that the State Building Bye-laws be simplified and also the building permission fees be reduced.
However, Tynsong said that the district councils would have to apply the present building bye-laws. “There will not be any separate building bye-laws,” Tynsong said.