SHILLONG | Feb 11, 2019:
The United Democratic Party (UDP) today released its party manifesto for the February 27 polls to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC).
Talking to reporters after the release of the manifesto here today, UDP senior working president Bindo Mathew Lanong said that the party will try its best to ensure that the various issues mentioned in the manifesto would be implemented if the party gets an opportunity to form the Executive Committee (EC) in the two ADCs.
Lanong said that the party would do away with the policy of appointing acting Syiem in the various Himas.
According to the UDP senior working president, there is no justification for appointment of the Acting Syiem unless the matter is pending in the court.
“I am surprised that the Executive Committees are continuing to appoint the Acting Syiem despite there being no urgency to make the temporary appointment,” Lanong said. He said that they would ensure that there is an appointment of the full-fledged Syiem in the all the Himas.
The UDP working president said that Paragraph 3 of the Sixth Schedule clearly points out that the district council has the power to appoint Syiem, Doloi and others traditional heads like the Rangbah Shnong as per the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills Appointment of Chief and Headmen Act 1959.
He further said that they would also take steps to keep a check on the rampant illegal felling of trees in the forest areas falling under the Council while expressing concern over the menace of timber smuggling which are taking place especially in the Council plantation at Aradonga and Lailad in Ri-Bhoi.
“We need to protect the plantations along the forest areas falling under the Council. The KHADC officially own a total number of 12 forest areas. But sadly there are no trees in majority of these forest areas due to the lack of initiative on the part of previous Executive Committees of the Council,” the UDP senior working president.
Meanwhile, Lanong also stressed on the need to strengthen the village courts to ensure speed disposal of justice to settle petty cases of poor people.
“Such courts should be set up in villages so as not to trouble the public who stay far away from the courts of the DC/SDO,” the manifesto states.
The regional party also stated in its manifesto that the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills (Land Revenue) Regulation, 1953 has become an old law and needs to be amended.
Also the UDP stated that the Khasi Social Custom of Lineage Act, 1997 of the district council needs to be discussed thoroughly by all stakeholders.