- NET Web Desk
The Meghalaya government has instructed the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) across the northeastern state to immediately shut-down all toll gates installed by them along the National Highways (NH) & State Highways (SH).
Governor Satya Pal Malik earlier this month spoke to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on the affairs of the ADCs, their failure to submit Utilization Certificates (UCs) and the urgent need to remove all illegal toll gates erected by the tribal councils along the NHs and SHs.
According to the District Council Affairs (DCA) Minister – Lahkmen Rymbui, who attended a meeting convened by the CM and the representatives of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC), reported that the state administration have issued directions to the councils on the required matter.
Addressing the mediapersons on Thursday, Rymbui informed that the state government has not questioned the authority of ADCs to collect taxes under their respective jurisdictions, but highlighted that they lack the right to erect such toll gates along the NH and state highways.
“We have asked them (Councils) to close down all toll gates immediately and the JHADC and KHADC representatives have agreed to do that,” he said.
The minister claimed that there are no documents indicating when the ADCs began operating the toll gates.
“Our point of contention is that the ADCs are not empowered by the law for any collection along the national highways and state highways,” he added.
As per Rymbui, the administration assured to provide all necessary assistance within the parameters of law. The discussion also covered the challenges experienced by ADCs, and their failure to submit UCs for various developmental initiatives.