Traditional institutions to nominate members to civic bodies

Union Minister for Urban Affairs Kamal Nath with Meghalaya Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh during their meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Centre okays Meghalaya proposal

From CK Nayak

 NEW DELHI: The Centre has finally given its green signal to Meghalaya Government to allow traditional institutions to nominate members to the urban civic bodies with certain terms and conditions.

This was conveyed by the Union Minister for Urban Affairs Kamal Nath to his Meghalaya counterpart Amapreen Lyngdoh who called on him on Tuesday.

“Nath accepted the proposal of the State Government to nominate members to the civic bodies through the traditional heads with mutually accepted terms and conditions,” Lyngdoh told The Shillong Times.

With this Municipal elections, which could not be held in the State in the last four decades, will not become a reality soon.

Nath also agreed not to deduct 10 per cent from the JUNRUM fund which was done earlier since the State could not hold elections to municipalities. “This way the State would be benefited by crores of rupees,” she said adding “we will start consultations with the traditional bodies, who are stake holders, shortly.”

“I urged the Union Minister to delink elections with the release of funds for the ongoing projects and he agreed to that,” Lyngdoh said.

The State is losing mainly in the flagship programme of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), which was launched in 2005 stipulating implementation of reforms agenda consisting of 13 mandatory reforms and 10 optional reforms, both at the State and the local body level. “Some of the reform agendas are complex issues for Meghalaya as they overlap with the provisions of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution,” she pointed out.

Considering their opposition the government would like to leave the nomination process to the traditional bodies in Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills with mutually accepted reform process and quota and criteria for tribals and women.

Meghalaya despite best of efforts on the part of the State Government as well as court orders has failed to hold elections to its municipalities in the face of stiff opposition from several quarters.

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