The Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) has rebutted the claim of the Dolois that the former is violating an apex court order by not allowing the chieftains to collect toll taxes at exit points.

The ‘Dorbar Ki Daloi Ka Ri Jaintia’ has installed customary tax collection centres at Dein Thare and Mookyndur where vehicles enter East Jaintia Hills from the West, Rattacherra and Nartiang-Khanduli for vehicles going to Assam, Dawki for vehicle exiting to Bangladesh and Saphai for vehicles exiting to Assam via Karampani.

However, in a recent memorandum submitted to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, the Dorbar ki Daloi said the Congress-led Executive Committee in JHADC had issued an instruction to discontinue the custom and tradition of the Jaintias and directed the Dolois to stop collecting customary taxes.

JHADC also received a legal notice from the advocate of the Dorbar Ki Daloi KaRi Jaintia, Amit Kumar, alleging that the council has violated the Supreme Court order. The autonomous body had replied that it was the Dorbar Ki Daloi that was violating the court order.

The Supreme Court Order says, “Until further order, the person(s) occupying the post of Dolois of the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council who are Traditional Chieftains may continue to function, subject to various instructions framed by the Autonomous District Council under the Sixth Scheduled to the Constitution.”

A former member of the district council said, “Subject  to various instructions’ framed by the JHADC is the point to be noted. The JHADC Establishment of Elaka and Village and Election, Appointment, Powers, Function and Jurisdiction of Dolois/Sirdar and Waheh Chnong Act, 2015, has clearly stated in the Sanad Section 5 that ‘you shall collect the tolls/tax of the Elaka according to the Custom, Practice and usage approved and empowered by the District Council’.”

Also, JHADC has recently been equipped with the Administration Act and has to frame rules and regulations. But the council has not formulated any rule yet as the Village Administration Act was recently passed and has not approved or empowered any Doloi to collect tax or set up toll gates/ tax collection centres.

“The Supreme Court in its order has clearly stated that the Doloi should continue to function as per Instructions framed by JHADC. However, it has not yet framed any instructions. Thereby, the Dolois have clearly violated the Supreme Court Order,” said a letter from the EC, JHADC, addressed to the West Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner.

JHADC has also informed that if no proper action is taken by the District Administration and the State, it will move the matter to the apex court.

Source: The Shillong Times

The Kharkutta unit of the National People’s Party (NPP) has sought MP Conrad Sangma’s intervention in repairing the dilapidated link roads between Meghalaya and Assam, including the one connecting the commercial hub of Daranggiri, for better trade and tourism.

In a letter to Sangma, who is also the party president, NPP leader Rupert Momin said the four broken link roads between the states — Kharkutta-Daranggiri, Mendipathar-Krishnai, Khaldang (Resubelpara)-Krishnai and Adokgre-Dupdhara — need immediate attention.

Transportation on the 15-km link between Kharkutta and Daranggiri, which is under the North Eastern Council (NEC) Department and has the largest banana market in the Northeast, has turned into a nightmare for both local traders and tourists. “People in this area earn their livelihood by farming and selling the produce to Assam. They are facing difficulties because of the road’s decrepit condition,” Momin said.

Kharkutta in North Garo Hills district is a favourite among tourists, but the broken link road has also led to a steady decline in the number of visitors.

The damaged road between Khaldang in Resubelpara and Krishnai (25-30 km), another important link between the two states, has hit local producers. “All agricultural products from the (North Garo Hills) district headquarters are transported to Goalpara district headquarters through the road,” the letter stated.

The 30-km Mendipathar-Krishnai link road, also under NEC, is not motorable. A railway station (Mendipathar) has been inaugurated recently and “as per norms, the link should be a double-lane road”, said Momin.

“Mendipathar College is a premium institute here and hundreds of students come from other districts as well as Assam. But the decrepit road is a big hurdle for them,” he added.

Similarly, the link road between Adokgre and Dupdhara in Assam has been lying without repair for years and has hampered local business and tourism, the NPP leader from Kharkutta said.

Source: The Shillong Times

The two-day office picketing-cum poster campaign organized by North Garo Hills Tribal Contractors’ Association against PWD and PHE department regarding the non-payment of pending bills under Resubelpara Division ended on August 18.

A delayed report said that the Association had not received any response from the state government.

The contractors said that they are very much upset over the anti-people stand of the government

“We are demanding our pending payments. It has been almost five to six years that funds have not been released by the government which is hampering our lives since most of us took it as our profession and runs the family”, the contractors said.

The Association in its meeting held after the expiry of the office picketing condemned the state government for its failure and decided to organise future course of action.

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