Shillong, Nov 13 (IANS) The Meghalaya government has sent the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 to Governor Tathagata Roy for his approval, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said on Wednesday.
However, Roy told journalists that he is yet to receive the copy of the ordinance.
On November 1, the state cabinet had approved the amendment to the Meghalaya Residents, Safety and Security Act (MRSSA), 2016 that requires registration of all non-residents, including tourists visiting the state
Tynsong said the government had sent the ordinance to the Governor on Tuesday for his approval.
“The Governor Secretariat office till 11 a.m. today (Wednesday) is yet to receive any papers from the government,” Roy told journalists.
Asked to comment on the Ordinance approved by the Cabinet which is aimed to check illegal immigrants and to ensure the safety and security of the people of Meghalaya, Roy said, “Until I have seen the ordinance and draft of ordinance I cannot say anything.”
Earlier, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the ordinance is yet to be implemented in the state as the government is still waiting for the governor’s approval. He said the ordinance will be regularized in the next session of the state Assembly.
Tynsong said the state government will also have to redraft the rules for implementing the ordinance.
Though the amendment has led to major concerns among tourists planning to visit Meghalaya, the Deputy CM said the ordinance is not to restrict people from entering the state but for the safety and security of all those who visit the state.
Noting that the amendment was not like the Inner Line Permit (ILP), Tynsong said the Ordinance is aimed at making registration mandatory for non-residents entering Meghalaya.
However, permanent residents of Meghalaya both tribals and non-tribals, as well as central government employees and paramilitary forces are exempted from the registration process.
“But a person who is not a resident of Meghalaya and intends to stay more than 24 hours in the state will have to furnish information to the government. This is done for the interest and safety and security of all those who visit the state,” he said.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that the rules will be circulated to hotels, guest houses and home stays to ensure that people visiting the state are registered with the government.
Earlier, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had also allayed fears and apprehensions about any harassment arising out of the Ordinance.
Sangma said the registration process would be designed keeping in mind the convenience of the tourists.
“We intend to make this registration process a very simple process. There will be four to five to maximum six phases that a person needs to enter and once he does that on a mobile phone he will receive a QR code that’s the registration process,” the Chief Minister said.
He said the system of registering may take an individual less than a minute.
“It is as simple as a person getting down at the airport and by the time he reaches his vehicle he receives the QR code. Hotels will simply scan the QR code. There is no question of standing in line or going to the Deputy Commissioners office to get the different type of papers. Everything will be done online,” the Chief Minister added.