Govt perparing to issue ordinance to further empower ADCs

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IMPHAL, Nov13: The state government is preparing to issue ordinance on the amendment of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971, for the effective functioning of Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) of various hill districts of the state.

According to a highly placed official source, on the proposal of the Hills department for amendment of the Act of 1971 in pursuance of the cabinet decision taken on October 12 last month, the proposed amendment alongwith draft ordinance was placed for consideration of the cabinet on October 27 last.

The source said, the cabinet after due consideration has directed that a committee headed by chief secretary and comprising of principal secretary (Hills) as member-convenor and secretary Law as member should re-examine the proposed amendment to be placed before the ensuing cabinet sitting.

On the other hand the constituted committee in this connection has re-examined the draft amendment and felt that under chapter 6 Section 46(1) (2) (3) and (4) ‘Deputy Commissioner’ should be replaced by the ‘State Government’ so as to have effective control over the functioning of ADCs in the state, and the same has been incorporated in the revised draft, besides under Section 47(1) – Supersession, the word ‘Deputy Commissioner’/ Addl. Deputy Commissioner’ should be replaced by the ‘State Government’. This substitution is considered necessary in order to have effective control and supervision of the ADCs in the hill areas of the state, the committee observed said the source.

In case of the DRDA, a decision to transfer chairman of governing body of DRDA to chairman of ADC has already been taken. On the other hand, as recommended by the Hill Areas Committee on September 16, last, the committee also endorse that Deputy Commissioner be the Executive Director of DRDA as prescribed under the Central guidelines and in this regard hills department has issued an official order on October 5 last month, the source added.

In the case of Deputy Commissioners in valley districts, the DCs of valley districts are also the executive directors of the DRDA in valley districts and the chairman of governing body of DRDA is the Adhyaksha of Zilla Parishad. As per Central government guidelines either the DC or the CEO, Zilla Parishad can be posted as executive director DRDA. Project director DRDA is to be posted exclusively for DRDA works.

The official source mentioned that, in the process of re-examination DP was consulted. DP observed that they do not have enough IAS officers at the senior time scale level who can be posted in the six ADCs, the consent of the officer concerned is required to be obtained. This will cause difficulties in the posting of unwilling officers. Selection and super time scale of IAS officers have represented against their posting to ADCs.

The official source said, in view of the position explained, the committee suggested that, executive director of the governing body of DRDA be the Deputy Commissioner of the concerned district as decided earlier, Deputy Commissioner/Addl Deputy Commissioner be placed/substituted by the state government, Chapter 6 Section 46 (1) (2) (3) (4) and Section 47(1) of Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971. Amendment of Section 32 – in sub-section (1) of Section 32 of the principal Act, in between the words “shall be” and “a Chief Executive Officer”, the word “a principal secretary” is suggested in the draft amendment. And the same report of the committee has been submitted to the state government for the consideration of the cabinet the official source added.

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