About the Department
The Revenue Department is a Department which looks after the administration of land and land records in the state. In 2006 Relief and Rehabilitation has been merged with Revenue Department. Similarly, on the 2nd of March, Disaster Management was also merged with Revenue Department and was renamed as Revenue and Disaster Management Department vide Notification No. RDG4/2003/55 dated 02.03.2006
Under the VIth Schedule of the Constitution, overall management of land rests in the Autonomous District Councils but powers of the state Government. Under the Constitution also exist side by side. However, statutory responsibilities still remain with the Government in the Revenue and Disaster Management Department.
The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 has undergone major restructuring in 1984 and consequently Rules have been suitably modified in consultation with the Deputy Commissioners. The Act amended in 1984 has prescribed a time limit for the completion of Land Acquisition proceedings, which minimized the delay in such proceedings, although it also depends upon the availability of funds with the requiring Departments. Proposals for Land Acquisition by Central Government Departments, Corporation and other organizations are referred to the Land Acquisition Advisory Board which reexamines the socio-economic impact of such, acquisition. This Committee also includes representation of the District Councils as members. The recommendations of the Committee are purely advisory in nature and a final decision is to be taken by the Government.
The Meghalaya Land Transfer of Land Regulation Act, 1971 was enacted to prohibit transfer of land from a tribal to a non-tribal and from a non-tribal to another non-tribal. This Act however does not apply to areas in European Wards, Jail Road and Police Bazar of Shillong Municipality and Monza VI of West Garo Hills. To administer the Act only the Deputy Commissioner and Sub-Divisional officers were declared a competent authority.
The Meghalaya Land Transfer of Land Regulation Act of 1971 aimed at preventing the alienation of Tribal Land and to a certain extent it had been fairly successful in protecting the customary rights over the land. The Act was ammended in 1991 to provide that the prohibition of transfer of land from a tribal to a non -tribal and from a non-tribal to another non-tribal shall not apply in cases where land is required (i) as a place of public religious worship by any community or as a burial or cremation ground and (ii) for implementing a scheme to promote the interests of the tribals in field of education or industry.
The Revenue and Disaster Management Department administers the land in the State and maintains the Land Records. Lands in Meghalaya have not been surveyed since the British regime except in few villages in Garo Hills. Therefore no records-of-rights exists in the State. The Meghalaya Land Survey and Records Preparation Act, 1980 provides for a cadastral survey of land in the state and the preparation of land records, showing the occupancy and possession of land (s) by person (s). The act was ammended in 1991 by an ordinance to enable the District Councils to implement the provisions of the Act as the scheme of Cadastral Survey has been decided to be implemented by the District Councils with the financial and technical assistance from the state Government.