Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Assembled after the first General Election, 1972


The Assembly met at 9.00 A.M. on Tuesday,  the 3rd April, 1973 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon. Speaker, in the Chair.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Mr. Speaker :-  Let us begin with the business of the day by taking up Starred Question No. 34.

STARRED QUESTIONS 

(To which oral replies were given)

House-Rent allowance to the employees serving in Meghalaya

Shri H. HADEM  asked :

*34

Will the Minister-in-charge of Finance be pleased to state

 

(a) Whether it is a fact that house-rent allowance was paid to the Government employees ?

 

(b) Whether the said benefit had been extended to the Lower Primary and Middle English School teachers too ?

 

(c) If so, what are the main provisions in considering such cases ?

 

(d) Whether the telephone connection of the District Transport Officer, Shillong who is also the D.T.O. for Jaintia Hills

 

(e) If so, why ?

Shri B.B. LYNGDOH (Minister, Finance) replied :

34 (a), (b) & (c) - The house-rent allowance was sanctioned to the State Government employees, including members of the All India Services, serving in Meghalaya who are stationed and residing in the Urban Areas of Shillong and Jowai including the localities within a radius of 5 miles from Shillong and Jowai, and also in the Town Committee Areas of Tura. The house-rent allowance  was sanctioned due to shortage of residential accommodation. The benefit was also given to the employees of the Government of Meghalaya posted in Gauhati.

(d)

 Yes.

(e)

Due to non-payment of outstanding telephone bills.

Shri H. Hadem :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the Government is aware of the fact that Primary and Middle English School teachers serving in interior areas are facing difficulty of not having free accommodation ?

Mr. Speaker :-  It is a new question.

Shri H. Hadem :-  It is not a new question Sir, it is supplementary to 34 (b),

Mr. Speaker :-  Oh, yes.

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The Primary and M.E. School teachers, if they are Government servants are entitled to get House-rent allowance within the areas specified and not in the interior.

Mr. Speaker :-  The question is whether the Government is aware the these teachers serving in other areas also are facing the same difficulty.

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  It may be so but the Government decision is for the Government servants including the Primary and M.E. School teachers provided they are Government servants.

Shri H. Hadem :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I mean the Government servants serving outside the 5 miles radius.

Mr. Speaker :-  The question is that the Government has made this decision but whether the Government is aware of the difficulties of the teachers outside this area ? Has the Government received any petition from them?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- No. Mr. Speaker, Sir, 

Shri S.N. Koch :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether this is meant for the employees of the District Council also ?

Shri. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- No, only for the State Government employees.

Shri. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the Government is aware that in view of the cutting of the telephone connection the people from Jaintia Hills have to come to Shillong even for a small matter?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, that may be so.

Mr. H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker,  Sir, may we know what steps were taken by the  Government to reconnect the telephone.

Shri. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the matter has to be scrutinised and the bill paid then the telephone will be connected.

        (Starred Question No. 35 - Not put, Member being absent) 

Water Supply Scheme of Tikrikilla and Williampur.

Shri Manindra Rabha asked :

* 36. 

 Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Health Engineering be pleased to state -

 

(a) Whether the water supply scheme of Tikrikilla and Williampur, has been started ?

 

(b) If  so, when will this work be started ?

Shri G. A. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.)  replied :

36.

(a) Williampur water supply scheme has already been started but the proposed Tikrikilla water supply scheme is under investigation.

 

(b) The work on the Tikrikilla water supply scheme will be started after the scheme is sanctioned.

District Officers posted of Jaintia Hills.

Shri H. Hadem :  asked

37. 

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state

 

(a) The number of District Officers so far posted to Jaintia Hills and who are they ?

 

(b) The other District Offices not yet opened for Jaintia Hills District ?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister)  replied :

37.

(a) The following District Level officers have been posted to Jaintia Hills.

 

(1)

Deputy Commissioner,

 

(2)

Executive Engineer, P.W.D. (R & B).

 

(3)

Division Soil Conservation Officer.

 

(4)

Superintendent of Police

 

(5)

District Information and Public Relations Officer.

 

(6)

District Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Officer.

 

(7)

Fishery Officer.

 

(8)

Assistant Employment Officer.

(b) The following District level posts have been created for posting in Jaintia Hills and they are expected to be filled up soon :

 

(1)

Executive Engineer, P.H.E. Rural Water Supply.

 

(2)

Assistant Development Commissioner.

 

(3)

Civil Surgeon.

 

(4)

Assistant Registrar of Cooperative Societies.

 

(5)

District Agricultural Officer

 

(6)

Assistant Director of Cottage Industries.

Rehabilitation of Refugees form Bangladesh.

Prof. M.N. Majaw   asked :-

*38. 

Will the Minister-in-charge of relief and Rehabilitation be pleased to state whether there are any refugees from Bangladesh who have been rehabilitated by the State Government of Meghalaya?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Relief and Rehabilitation)  replied :

38.

No.

Full proof method to distinguish between Indian citizen and Bangladesh refugee.

Prof. M.N. Majaw   asked :-   

39. 

Will the Minister-in-charge of Home be pleased to state -

 

(a) Whether the State Government have evolved full-proof method by which they can distinguish between Indian citizen and a Bangladesh refugee ?

 

(b) If the answer be in the negative, how does Government propose to ascertain presence or absence of Bangladesh refugees in Shillong ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

39. (a) & (b) - Bangladesh citizens visiting the State are required to have a valid Passport and Visa. Besides these documents, they are required to have a Restricted Area Permit which can be issued only with the prior approval of the Government of India. Instructions have been issued to the Border check posts not to allow any foreigner  to enter the State without the required documents. Under the Foreigners (Reporting to Police) Order, 1971, a house-holder or other person is required into report to the nearest Police Station about the arrival or presence in his house-hold or in any premises occupied by him or under his control of any foreigner, if he knows or has reasons to believe that there is foreigner. Besides, Police make periodical checks for detecting the presence of foreigners who are staying in the State without valid travel documents.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the Short Notice Question No.1 to be asked  by Mr. Upstar Kharbuli, to be replied by Minister-in-charges of Forests. You should read it.

Permits of collection of sand gravels, form Umiew and Wahumkhrah streams, etc.

Shri Upstar Kharbuli asked :

1.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Forests be pleased to state -

 

(a) Whether Government is aware of the fact that the Syiem of Mylliem has given permits for collection of sand, gravels, etc., from Umiew and Wahumkhrah streams ?

 

(b) Whether it is a fact that the Government has also settled the mahals of the above streams with different parties ?

 

(c) Whether it is a fact that the parties settled by Government cannot carry out the collection works for being interfered by the lessees of the Syiem ?

 

(d) If so, what steps Government proposes to take in the matter ?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests) replied :

 1

(a) -Yes

 

(b) -Yes

 

(c) -Yes.

 

(d) -The Khasi Hills District Council has been requested to direct the Syiem of Mylliem not to interfere with the works of the Department

Shri Upstar Kharbuli :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, is it a fact that the District Council is not agreeing with the State Government for issue of permits ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, the District Council had been requested some time back indicating that they have agreed that the State Government is the authority.

Mr. Speaker :-  Let us come to Short Notice question No.2 asked by Mr. Upstar Kharbuli to be replied by Minister, Forests.

Cadre posts and Non-cadre posts in the Forest Department

Shri Upstar Kharbuli  asked

 2. 

Will the Minister-in-charge of Forests be pleased to state

 

(a) How many cadre posts and non-cadre posts are there in the Forest Department?

 

(b) The number of Senior Officers in each of the cadres serving in the Forest Department at present?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Forests) replied :        

2. (a)

I.F.S

Super time scale

Senior Scale

Junior Scale

Total

Cadre post ...

1

4

.......

5

Non-cadre post...

Nil

1

......

1

1

5

......

6

 

State Service .....

Nil

1

3

4

 (b) Senior Officers holding the above posts are -

I.F.S Super time scale Senior Scale Junior Scale Total

Cadre post ...

1

4 Nil 5

Non-cadre post...

...... ...... ...... .....
 

State Service .....

...... 1 1 .....

Mr. Speaker :-  Short Notice Question No. 3.

District Co-operative Officer in the Jaintia Hills District 

Prof. M.N. Majaw  asked :

3.

Will the Minister - in-charge of District Co-operation be pleased to state -

 

(a) The name of officer in-charge of District co-operative Societies in the Jaintia Hills District ?

 

(b) When was he appointed to this post ?

 

(c) Whether the Government propose to appoint him as the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies in the Jaintia Hills District ?

 

(d) If so, whether this appointment will affect the chances of promotion of the tribal Assistant Registrar in the Khasi Hills and Garo Hills Districts ?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Co-operation ) replied :

3

(a) -Shri S.R. Dey.

 

(b) -The officer was posted as Sub-divisional Deputy Co-operative Officer, Jowai on 24th August, 1963. He was promoted to the post of Sub-Registrar of Co-operative Societies on 26th August, 1972.

 

(c) -The case of this officer is under examination.

 

(d) -Does not arise.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(Replies to which were placed on the Table)

Fertilizers received by the Department of Agriculture from Fertilizer Corporation of India.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot  asked :

 74.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state

 

(a) The quantity of fertilizers received by the Department for January 1973 till March, 1973 ?

 

(b) The quantity supplied to Nongstoin Block during the above months ?

 

(c) The rate at which fertilizers are disposed of ?

 

(d) Basis on which distribution was made ?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture, etc.)  replied :

74. 

(a) The Department of Agriculture does not receive the fertilizer. Fertilizer Corporation of India gave the following quota of Nitrogenous Fertilizers to Meghalaya dealers in the months of January - March, 1973 

 

Ammonium Sulphate

Urea

January

......

......

.......

......

......

162

345

February

......

......

.......

......

......

436

195

March

......

......

.......

......

.......

396

181

        Besides the Nitrogenous Fertilizers, the dealers received in these months 1,300 tonnes of Super Phosphate, 500 tonnes of Potash and and 300 tonnes of Mixture (all sold).

(b) -

Ammonium Sulphate

Super Phosphate

Suphala

Mixed Fertilizer

37070 kg.

8000 kg.

100 kg.

2100 kg.

(c) 

-Ammonium Sulphate - Rs. 549 plus taxes per ton.

 

Urea - Rs. 955 plus taxes per ton.

 

Super Phosphate - Rs.525 plus taxes,

 

The rates are fixed by the Government of India.

(d)

There are 480 retailers. They buy fertilizers form the whole sale dealers as per the demand in their areas. Many individual cultivators specially the potato growers of Mylliem Block come to Shillong and prefer to buy the fertilizer direct form wholesalers.

 
 

License to set up a flour Mill in Meghalaya

Shri Upstar Kharbuli  asked  :

75.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Industries be pleased to state 

 

(a) The parties that have applied for a license to set up a flour Mill in Meghalaya ?

 

(b) The names of the main partners of these parties respectively ?

 

(c) The name of the party which was recommended by the Government of Meghalaya for this flour Mill?

 

(d) Whether all the partners of that firm hail from Meghalaya ?

 

(e) Whether residential qualification of the partners forms one of the criteria to get such recommendation?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, of Industries)  replied.

75

(a) and (b) - the names of the parties together with the names of the main partners are indicated in  the list placed on the Table of the House.

 

(c) -M/s Hill Valley Roller Flour Mill, G.S. Road, Barabazar Shillong.

 

(d) -No.

 

(e) -No.

Water Supply for Paham    

Shri Manindra Rabha asked :

76.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Health Engineering be pleased to state 

 

(a) Whether the work for Paham Water Supply has been started ?

 

(b) If not, when it will be started ?

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister-in-charge of P.H.E.) replied :

76.

(a) -Yes.

 

(b) -Does not arise.

Number of crops cultivated in the Zigzak Seed Farms, Garo Hills during the years 1972-73.

Shri Samarendra Sangma  asked :

77. 

Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state - 

 

(a) The number of crops which were cultivated during the year 1972-73 in the Zigzak Seed Farms, Garo Hills ?

 

(b) The expenditure incurred for each of such crops and the production during the year 1972-73 ?

 

(c) The names of persons directly responsible for the management of the Zigzak Seed Farms, Garo Hills?

 

(d) The names of person working under him category-wise ?

 

(e) Whether the water pumping set and the Cubuta Tractor of the Zigzak Seed Farm are still in good condition. ?

 

(f) If not, the reason thereof ?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture, etc.) replied :

77.

(a) -Rice I.R. 8 improved variety (Area 2 acres)

 

(b) -Rupees 7,351. This includes pay of staff, Chowkidar. Regarding production, the yield was only 8 quintals of rice.

 

(c) -(i) April 1972 to 25th August, 1972, Shri C. Sangma, Assistant Agricultural Inspector, the Farm Supervisor.

 

(ii) -From 26th August, 1972, Shri P. Sangma, Agricultural Demonstrator was the Farm Supervisor.

 

(d) -One Chowkidar, Shri Gangaram Hajong, 4 (four) casual labourers.

 

(e) -Yes.

 

(f) -Does not arise.

Improvement of water supply for Mawkhar, Wahingdoh, Umsohsun and Riatsamthiah.

Prof. A. Warjri asked :

78.  

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

 

(a) Whether it is a fact that Government has lately received representation from Public representative regarding improvement of water supply for Mawkhar, Wahingdoh, Umsohsun and Riatsamthiah areas ?

 

(b) If so what actions have been taken in this matter ?

 

(c) Whether Government is aware of the acute scarcity of water in the said areas ?

 

(d) If so, what temporary remedial measures have been taken to relieve the people of this acute shortage ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minster-in-charge, Municipal Administration) replied :

78.

(a) -No.

 

(b) -Does not arise. However the Municipality has taken steps to augment supply of waster daily through tank-wagons.

 

(c) -Yes.

 

(d) -Does not arise in view of (b) above.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us now pass on to item No. 2. of the list of business.

        The Minister-in-charge of Municipal Administration to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya (Amendment) Bill,, 1973.

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Municipal (Amendment) Bill, 1973.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Municipal (Amendment) Bill, 1973.

        The Motion is carried. Leave is granted.

        May I ask the Minister to introduce the Bill

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Municipal (Amendment) Bill, 1973 be introduced.

          The motion is carried. The Bill is introduced.

         (The Secretary read to the title of the bill)

Discussion under Rule 50.

Mr. Speaker :- Now, we will pass on to item 3. We will continue with the discussion on the motion under Rule 50 of the Assembly Rule which was moved by Prof. Majaw yesterday. Mr. Mawlong to continue the discussion, but he is absent.

*Prof Peter G. Marbaniang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the 25th of March round about 11 o'clock in the morning, I was informed that the Naga students reading here in Shillong would take out a procession to protest against the screening of a Hindi film in one of the Cinema Halls here, namely, the Anjalee Cinema. As I thought that  I would be knowing many of them, I rushed to meet the leaders;  of course, they had already started the procession. But all the same, I met the leaders, had talk with them and told them how to proceed in the matter. Then after that they continued with the procession which looked very peaceful where there were girl students also taking part and the majority, of course were boys. Then again, about one O'clock, I again went to the Anjalee Cinema just to see what happened to the procession. I was told that  a few of the student leaders had gone to see the management to hand over a protest against the screening of the film. So, I also went to see those student leaders. There was the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills, the Addl. District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police and the members of the management. Then we started discussing about the situation. From my side I told the students that it might be a wrong approach to ask the management to stop the film because the management had already sold tickets and there were people coming from outside Shillong also to see this film, as this film was screened here in different parts of Meghalaya. So, I told them the best way is to go and see our Chief Minister and to ask the student leaders to rush to Kohima and meet the Chief Minister of Nagaland so that they may take up the matter with New Delhi as I feel that no useful purpose would be served by protesting against the film as it has been passed by the Censor Board, and this film has been shown in Manipur where it continued for weeks together. It was also shown at Dibrugarh and at Gauhati, in all the  cinema halls in different parts of India also. So I told them that the best way would be to interfere with Delhi, and in fact, the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills also suggested to them to go to the court and get an injunction if they feel that the film had hurt their sentiments and we also showed them many ways. Then the student leaders at least agreed to our suggestion. But unfortunately, when the leaders were about to go down to tell the students, there was shouting of slogans by a section of students who were agitated. They had turned rather violent; had broken open the main gate and entered inside. Well, after that I believe the police lathi charged which they have done also rightly because the hall was full. It was a packed hall  that day. All those people who wanted to see the film had gone inside the hall, and there were children, grown-ups and all that. The police had to take this action because if these boys managed to scare the people inside  the hall, I am sure there would have been a stampede resulting out of that assembly. When I saw that lathi charge had started I rushed to the portico of the hall and asked the students to stop and from there I rushed back to meet them and said "look we had agreed with your leaders and you can carry out some other approaches and not the one you are carrying on. They were very agitated especially after the lathi-charge. Naturally the film had hurt their sentiments. We don't want that it should be shown here. I explained to them but, unfortunately, they were in such an agitated mood that it became very very difficult and a section of them started pelting stones when I was there in their midst talking to them. Well, I found that the situation had really gone out of control and if I remained  there I would have been one of the victims. So, I withdrew well inside. But on my part, I had tried my best to see that the procession was a peaceful one. I was afraid because there were girls also in that procession and after that I came back as I could not do anything and later I came to know that about 30 of them were arrested and some policemen received injuries. In fact, when I was standing there I was helping one policeman who was hit by a stone on the nose and who was bleeding profusely and when I saw that I could not do anything, I had to run away.

Mr. Speaker :-  Before we continue the discussion, let me inform the House that yesterday as I was going through the proceedings on this subject, I came across unfortunate remarks made by one hon. Member describing the Central Reserved Police as a Expunged by the Speaker. This is highly undignified and I will order for an expunction. So also the motion here did not intend to discuss about whether the film had really insulted the feeling of our Naga brethren or not, otherwise, I would have requested the Exhibitor to exhibit the film to all the hon. Members so that we can discuss fully. But yesterday there were certain remarks against the picture also. In the mean time, I will inform the House that a few days ago I received this telegram.

        "R.S. Lyngdoh Hon'ble Speaker Meghalaya, Shillong.... great financial blow stop Meghalaya Governments good gesture is also new about. Ye Gulistan Hamara has saddened us stop it is a fiction made with utmost love respect for tribal brethren stop tried to project natural beauty of Meghalaya and Eastern States to rest of India stop Exemption of Tax by Meghalaya is indeed a kind gesture for films made in that colorful region stop we are grateful to hon'ble Captain Sangma stop Demonstrators may please be conveyed that no offences was ever desired at any time you all have helped us immediately during shooting stop withdrawal of film a great financial blow stop Meghalaya Governments good esteem is also shattered stop you may please intimate a talk mentioning this telegraphic appeal of our with blessings from hon'ble Captain Sangma as well as Shri Martin Naryan with Naga brothers in Meghalaya who perhaps would  kindly understand the right perspective of the makers honesty of purpose stop we expect your advice and active help stop regards..... Atmaram Bhupen......"

        So, in view of the telegram and in view of the fact that this particular subject to be discussed here is only the clash between the Police and the Naga Students living in Shillong on the 25th of March, 1973, I will not allow any hon. Member to discuss the pros and cons of the film.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  On a point of clarification, Mr. Speaker, Sir, would it be possible for the hon. Members to at least point out how the provocation came ?

Mr. Speaker :-  Had you intimated to me that particular intention of yours, I would have requested the Exhibitors that the picture be shown to the hon. Members otherwise  it will remain in the dark. You have your opinion, somebody will have another opinion and some body else will have yet another opinion on the subject matter but the question is how we can avoid clashes between the public and the Police in future.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, sometimes on these motions we had to be very brief and yesterday it was permitted by the Deputy Speaker and we were able to bring out the arguments for the cause of the clash. Would it be permitted within limits. ?

Mr. Speaker :-  But I have already disallowed. So, in that light, I think all the hon. Members will be benefited to focus on the discussion on this subject. Before that I will allow the discussion up to 9-45 a.m.  Then I will call upon the Chief Minister to reply.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Sir, Speaker, Sir, it is really unfortunate that such an incident happened in our town and my hon. friend from Mawhati had expressed a sense of sympathy and concern about the incident which occurred on the 25th of March 1973. I would also  like to share his concern. I do agree and I am proud also to be in this part of the country and know that our hill men are very much conscious and aware of their customs, usages and way of life and that they will never allow that these should be shattered by any stumbling blocks. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you won't allow us to discuss about the film about which I do not have much knowledge. I don't know how far these feelings had agitated our young friends but I do also agree if there is anything which goes against their customs and usages or reflects on their standing as tribals or as the people of Nagaland. I do appreciate that it should be protested but what I do not fall in line with is the way they exercised their protest. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this question had also come up in the Assembly of Nagaland. If you read the Hindusthan Standard  of Friday March 30, 1973, you will find that one Mr. S.C. Jamir and Mr. K.V. Kedistu had raised a call attention motion with which the Chief Minister, Mr. Hokishe Sema, has had occasion to reply and the reported reply is like this : "About 300 Naga students both boys and girls  assembled near the Anjalee Cinema hall and started breaking open the main gate and prevented the ticket holders form entering the auditorium and hurled brick bats towards police. The Meghalaya Government was taking the matter "urgently and with sympathy". All the arrested students were released on the following day, when they "expressed regret for the incident." The Nagaland Government has also taken up for the withdrawal of cases against the students with Meghalaya Government."

        Here Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Chief Minister, of Nagaland who very well understood the tribal way of life, customs and usages will be more concerned than the students but he didn't mention (i) about the cases of the police here in which the hon. Member has had the occasion to mention, that it is not good to condemn outright the police right form head to bottom on which I do not find any rhyme or reason for the complaint and (ii) Mr. Speaker, Sir, nothing has been mentioned in the protest against the Chief Minister while the Chief Minister replied to this question here. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do fall in line with my colleague Prof. Marbaniang who has had the occasion to witness the happening there.

Mr. Speaker :-  The rule of etiquette is that either you say the hon. Member from Laitumkhrah or call him by his full name Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang has had the occasion of being there and seen the incident with his own eyes. In this regard Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like our Naga friends who were demonstrating in front of the Anjalee Cinema Hall, to go through proper channel either through our State Government or the Government of Nagaland or Government of India. I hope it is very fortunate for the educated Naga friends who are here in our State to cooperate with us in maintaining the law and order. But instead it was seen that they resorted to this kind of action. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the time at my disposal is very limited. I will only make some observation on the excesses committed by the police since mention about it has been made in this august House. It is very unfortunate indeed that in this august House the police have been condemned for their action. Mr. Speaker, Sir, to say that there is no law and order in the State I do not think any one of us will agree or say that because there are loop-holes here in the police department. I do not think we can outright condemn the police. Sir, if there is no law and order, I say that there should be no Police Department at all. It is very essential that instead of condemning the police, we give constructive suggestion that these loop holes and unwanted elements be removed.

Mr. Speaker :-  The Police might have committed some excesses sometimes somewhere, but the people should not be allowed to take the law in their hands.

Shri D.D. Lapang :-  Of course Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is correct that they should not be allowed to take the law in their own hands. We have had the occasion to see that the C.R.P. personnel have sometimes done wrongly. This wrong action of the C.R.P. greatly hurts the  feelings of our Meghalaya people. Sir, I would also like to submit that the presence of the C.R.P. here in our State, in my opinion, does not seem to be helpful at all. They are all foreign to us, strangers to us because they do not know the sentiments, the feelings and way of life of our Hill people. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that the presence of these C.R.P. personnel here in our State will rather do more harm than good and my humble submission Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that instead of  bringing these forces from outside it is better that we should strengthen our own State Police force in order to see that the law and order is maintained, our way of life undisturbed, our sentiments and attitude unaffected and also all these unpleasant disturbing elements will not occur any more in the future. With these few words I take my seat.

Shri Hoping Stone Lyngdoh :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir,  we are really very sad when we have heard the untoward incident and the memorandum of the Naga students relating to such incident a few days ago. We have also talked about the law and order position in our State. There were really such happenings on that day here in the Headquarters of the State of ours. That might be the first or second happening between the Police and the youth of other States here. Sir, I am not going to say anything more on the pros and cons of the film shown on that fateful day in Anjalee Cinema Hall because I did not see that film myself. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we have seen in the memorandum of the Naga students, we can only express that the film itself was derogatory and prejudicial towards the interest of the Naga people as a whole. When we look at the memorandum, we cannot but conclude that these are the reasons of the sad incident that took place on that date.

Mr. Speaker :- That is doubtful Mr.  Lyngdoh. Let the people of Nagaland set the ball rolling. If there is anything prejudicial to the interest of the Nagaland people, al of us may take the opportunity of seeing the film and say that it is really damaging to a section of the people in the country, and then we may also protest.

Shri Hoping Stone Lyngdoh :-   Anyhow, Mr. Speaker, Sir, what has happened just because there was a demonstration by the Naga students. I for one cannot blame them because if anything happens affecting the interest of a particular community or against the interest of any tribe, it is but natural that tribe or community should do something in defence. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I cannot say anything regarding this, but now the question is on public order. As the hon. Member form Mawhati has briefly stated on what really happened there, I share with him and as the hon. Member sated that the Nagaland Chief Minister has had the occasions to reply to the question. But the Chief Minister of Nagaland just believed what the Government from here has sent a message. He did not come to Shillong, did not see the film himself, did not also see the incident. He just believed only in what the Police from here have reported to him. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I for one am very concerned to see that these things do not occur in future. Sir, as the hon. Member has said, there was pelting of stones by some students on police for which we are really very sad. But Sir, not only students were throwing stones, but the police also have thrown stones on the demonstrators. In fact it is the duty of the police not to throw stones, but they could use only their lathis to protect themselves and to disperse the crowd of demonstrators.

Mr. Speaker :-  Mr. Lyngdoh if you did not see the incident yourself it is not good for you to charge the police basing on the reports of some-body.

Shri Hoping Stone Lyngdoh :-  I did not charge the police, I just express on what has happened on that day and also on the basis of the memorandum and the statement of the hon. Members who had been there. So I just remark that I also share with them. Now, Sir, since these things were happening here, I suggest that we should keep a good relationship and maintain a spirit of good-will with the Nagaland people. So, Sir, since these things had happened here, and since this is the first of its kind, it is really an incident which affects the interest of even the people from outside. The people from outside will think that our Government of Meghalaya had dealt a very severe blow on the Naga Community. If the people form outside see that the policemen of the Nagaland Government had attacked minority Khasi Community who are there, what would be our feeling nobody could describe. With these facts Mr. Speaker, Sir, I therefore, impress upon the Government to send a clarification to the Nagaland Government and also to regret for the incident by telling the truth of what had already happened here so as to ensure safety of the Naga people, the minority who are here in this State and especially the students who had been here in the State only for educational purpose and not for anything. With these words, Sir, I also take part on the motion which has been moved by the hon. mover.

Mr. Speaker :-  Now, I will request the Chief Minister to make a statement.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is indeed a very unfortunate incident that took place on the 25th March, 1973 at the Anjalee Cinema Hall in Shillong. Before I make a statement, I would like to inform the House of the details of the incident. On the 25th March, 1973, at about 11 A.M. two Naga student leaders of Shillong met the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills, and told him that about 600 Naga boys in Shillong wanted to hold a demonstration as a mark of protest against exhibition of a Hindi Film entitled "YE GULISTAN HAMARA" at Anjalee Cinema. According to them, the film hurt the sentiments of the Nagas. The Deputy Commissioner, after hearing their views, advised the two Naga student leaders to take up the matter in a proper way before the Film Censor Board and the Government. The students leaders apparently were satisfied with the advice and assurance of the Deputy Commissioner and left. Immediately, after they left, the Deputy Commissioner telephoned Prof. Peter Marbaniang, M.L.A.  and requested him to talk to the Naga student leaders and the Naga students requesting them not to create any law and order problem. Prof. Marbaniang met the Naga students who had then assembled in front of the St. Anthony's College and explained the matter to them in detail. The Naga students told Prof. Marbaniang they would proceed to Anjalee Cinema Hall and hold a peaceful demonstration outside the Cinema Hall premises as a sign of protest against exhibition of the film.

        Shillong Police Station, on receipt of the information at about 11 A.M. that some Nagas were proceeding for holding demonstration outside Anjalee Cinema, deputed two sections of Police force with some Officers under the command of D.S.P. (HQS)  Shillong with a view to meet any situation which might arise out of the demonstration. A Magistrate was also posted, being detailed by the Deputy Commissioner. At about 12.30 P.M. about 300 Naga boys and girls arrived in front of the Cinema Hall. Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, A.D.M. and other Officers also arrived and were watching the situation.

        The Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police, anticipating trouble, called the leaders up into the Manager's room and requested them to persuade the crowd to disperse peacefully. The Naga boys blocked  the traffic on the main road and started picketing on the main gate of the Cinema Hall stopping entrance of the cinema-goers. The Police Force attempted to persuade them not to block the entrance gate as well as traffic on the road but the crowd paid no heed to it. Prof. Marbaniang, M.L.A. and Shri C. Y. Kithan, Special Officer, Government of Nagaland,  who arrived there also tried to persuade the crowd not to resort to violence and to leave the place peacefully. Gradually, the crowd became more violent and started breaking open the main gate, collapsible Diana Shutters, and assaulted Shri Swell Marbaniang S/o Saran Diaong of Laitumkhrah, Shillong while he was entering the Hall with ticket. The mob then started pelting stones and brickbats towards the Cinema House and the Police personnel on duty. The Police tried their best to push back the mob and to prevent them from forcibly entering inside the auditorium but the mob resisted the Police and resorted to heavy brick batting toward the police and spectators due to which the A.D.M, Addl. Superintendent of Police, Deputy Superintendent of Police (HQ) four Sub-Inspectors and 17 other Police personnel sustained injuries . As the situation turned very serious and was likely to cause loss of live and heavy damage to property, the Additional District Magistrate, Khasi Hills declared the assembly unlawful and Police was ordered to use necessary minimum force to disperse the rioters. Police made a mild cane charge which dispersed the rioters and were able to arrest 30 Naga rioters who formed part of the unlawful assembly.

        Considerable damage has been caused to the Cinema House Twenty-six rioters sustained minor injuries in the incident.

    In connection with the incident three cases were registered at Shillong Police Station which refer to Shillong Police Station Nos.69(3)73, u/s 148/149/447/332/333 I.P.C., 70(3) 73 u/s 147/307/325 I.P.C. and 71(3)73 u/s 147/148/149/447/336/42. I.P.C. and investigation has been taken up. The arrested persons have been released on bail. Precautionary measures were intensified to avoid recurrence of any untoward incident. The exhibition of this particular film has been stopped with effect form 30th March, 1973.

        Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the exhibition of that film may have hurt the sentiments of many young Naga boys and girls but I was confident that this incident could have been avoided if the proper procedure or constitutional methods could have been used. They could have lodged a protest against the exhibition of this picture even if there are some features of the film. "Ye Gulistan Hamara" which had hurt the sentiments of many young Naga boys and girls staying in Shillong. In fact immediately in the morning. I tried to get the details of the incident and I was then informed that the Naga student leaders might come and see me at about 1 P.M. I was waiting for the Naga  leaders anxiously but they did not actually come. After this incident had taken place I got a telephone call form the Chief Minister, Government of Nagaland and whatever information was available at that time with me, I have conveyed it to him in reply. I expressed my regret and sorrow that such an incident had taken place. But at the same time I had to tell him that I cannot allow the law and order to be at risk. It is not only in the case of the Naga students, to whatever community the students may belong whenever law and order situation arose or caused by a particular group of people naturally appropriate action will have to be taken by the Police to control the law and order situation. I have not seen the picture myself. But we were told right from the beginning that the picture is based on fiction and it was aimed at encouraging national integration. It is known to the hon. Members that shooting took place in some parts of Shillong, Khasi Hills and Arunachal Pradesh. There is not the slightest doubt about the objective of the picture. It is a fact that the Government of Meghalaya thought it desirable to encourage shooting of films within Meghalaya and that exemption of amusement tax was allowed on their request. But I must make it very very clear that this exemption was granted without seeing the picture or the film. It was given in good faith. I would like the House to realise this fact that there was no other intention in this, But it was  thought that if shooting of films could be encouraged within the State of Meghalaya. , it would also be a source of income to the State. In fact, one of the producers, who happened to meet me along with actors and actresses, was telling me that time may come when Shillong may take the second place to Bombay in respect of film industry. They found the scenery, the background and the people very suitable for the purpose. It may not be out of place, I would like to inform the House as a reference, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the film party was staying in the Pinewood Hotel some young folks wanted to have a glimpse of one actress. She was just returning form the shooting at that time. Unfortunately, however, the lady could not come out and show her ace to the crowd. There was thus some disappointment and lot of stoning or pelting of stone took place there. When I got the information about it I was very unhappy and I conveyed my regret through the General Manager.. The people came to our State for a good purpose and they resided in the Government Hotel. But they had to be treated in that way. I had the occasion to convey my regret personally to the lady and she told me that it was not the fault of the young folks. She expressed that she was at fault for not coming out. She said that in some place when they came out because the young folks  wanted to have a glimpse, they were instead mishandled, but here in this area she found the people to be different. She gave as full credit to the people here and she requested me to convey her apology for the incident. Mr. Speaker, Sir, whatever it is, I must inform the House that according to the report available with me, and I am not going to contest there may have been some element or a feature in the film which might  have hurt our Naga friends. But it is a fact that the film or the picture was a very popular one. This film was screened for 7 days and the total sale of tickets was Rs.21,483.00. There were three shows every day and almost every day the House was full. It is a fact that the request was made to the Deputy Commissioner by the Naga students that the screening should stopped on that particular day, that is, on the day of occurrence which is 25th March, 1973. But the house was already full. Now, I would request the hon. Members to put themselves in the position of the Deputy Commissioner. The capacity of the house was 1095 and the house was already full. There was a demonstration outside to prevent the show. There was an attempt to break through the gate. Now, if the Police did not resist and prevent the entrance into the auditorium, what would have happened inside the auditorium. We can imagine the position of 300 versus 1000. Hon. Members may well realise how often the people get excited when sometimes there is little dislocation while the film is being screened. There is always shouting at the operators and the management. So, I would request the hon. Members through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to be realistic and to consider whether it would have been possible at that very moment and on that very day for any authority to stop the show. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not also correct, as observed by the hon. Member who initiated the discussion, that after the incident the house became empty. I have got the  figures on this. Whatever it may be, one fact is there that this film was censored by the Board of Censor of the Government of India. That was also another reason. Therefore, the only alternative available to the Government at that time was persuade the Management to stop the show.

        This film should have been screened for 3 weeks without the official pressure. But because of the tense situation and because of the sentiment expressed by certain sections of the people, we requested the management to stop screening of the picture. But on the last day, that is, on the 29th of March, the house was completely full and hundreds of cinegoers had to return disappointed. I am not going to justify Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the film should have continued to be shown when there is a strong resentment by a section of the people and they happen to be our fellow hill tribals. We thought it desirable, taking into consideration about the actual continuance of the law and order situation, that it would be better to deprive the cinema lovers or the particular film lovers in this District of the benefit of witnessing this film and we decided that we should persuade the management to stop it without verification whether there are actually certain features of the film which may hurt the feelings of a particular tribal community. The Government has also decided to take up this matter with the Government of India. I have myself written a D.O. letter to the Union Minister of State, Information & Broadcasting, conveying to him the resentment of our Naga boys and girls and requested him to see if something could be done regarding this matter. I have also written a letter to the Chief Minister, Nagaland that because of this sentiments expressed by the Naga students, I have already written a letter to the Minister concerned to take up this matter with the Board of Censor and a copy of the letter has been sent to the Chief Minister of Nagaland with a request that he may also take up the matter. I have done this only because of the strong feeling of our Naga boys and girls. I have not had the occasion myself to see the film. In fact, I was about to see the film but while that incident took place, I thought I should not do so. Since this incident has taken place in our own State and being its Chief Minister, I thought it would not be advisable for me to see the film. 

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  Let it be screened in Nagaland.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  I am not talking about Nagaland. I am just talking about the sentiments. I am not going to blame anybody. Well, this is what I have to tell the House through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that there has been a complaint yesterday that there occurred a case of assaulting and beating of some of the Naga students. They were chased upto Laitumkhrah and that some of the boys were searched from the restaurants and residences. I have verified about it. There was also the allegation about the arrest of 3 Mizos. According to the report available, those who were engaged in the pelting of stones and who entered through the collapsible gate, all of them could not be arrested on the spot. Those who could be identified were chased upto Malki Police Point, and of course for identification and for interrogation 3 Mizos were brought to the Shillong Police Station and they were released later on. Whatever it is, if there is a specific complaint against the excess of the Police in the discharge of their duties and if such complaint is sent to the Government, I will have the matter enquired into by the Magistrate. But it will not be good to condemn the Police. I would also request the hon. Members to realise the  responsibility of the Government whether the Government could remain silent when there is a law and order situation without tackling it. Therefore, let us not try to blame each and everybody. As I said, it is very unfortunate that such incident has taken place. In fact, after a few days, few Naga leaders came to me and saw me in my bungalow. I told them all about it and I also told them that my Chief Secretary has seen the picture and after seeing the picture, he had contacted the Chief Secretary of Nagaland, the Chief Secretary of Assam and so on and so forth, indicating to them that since there is a resentment and strong feeling, something must be done about it. Therefore, I would express my sorrow that such a thing has happened. I entirely fall in line with the hon. Member from Mawhati that these students have come to study here. We should treat them as our guests and we should treat them as our brothers and sisters. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had the occasion and I had the privilege and honour to be invited as the Chief Guest on the Naga students Freshers' Day. I was so happy to learn at that time that there were as many as 600 Naga boys and girls. Later on, I was told that there were about 1,000 students and I told the students that it was a matter of privilege for me and my State to give them education through the educational institutions located in Shillong. Shillong has been the centre of education in the past and it will continue to be the seat of education for the future in the entire North Eastern Region. With  the coming up of the Indira Gandhi Hill University it will become a very important centre of education in the entire North Eastern Region. Therefore, let us not exploit certain law and order situation that has taken place on a particular day. I would request through you, Sir, the hon. Members to treat these people as our honoured guests and give them all opportunities to continue their studies in a brotherly and sisterly atmosphere which will really help to attain concentration on their education for which purpose they have come to this beautiful town of ours. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am really very sorry that such incident took place. But I feel that this incident could have been avoided. However, sometimes what could be avoided easily could not be avoided and it took place. But I would request all, let this incident not in any way lead us to any misunderstanding. Let us realise that it is the duty of the administration to tackle such a situation in the interest of others. I hope such occurrence will not take place in future. I would also like to give assurance to the hon. Members that the interest of the young Naga boys and girls who are residing here will be safeguarded and I will see that they have their education in an atmosphere of mutual friendship, understanding and goodwill.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, the mover of the motion submitted that in connection with the incident a Commission of Enquiry be appointed and in future such police attrocities will not be occurred. May I know the mind of the Government.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, I have already said that if any specific complaint about the police excess is brought to the notice of the Government we will set up a Commission of Enquiry headed by a Magistrate. That much we cay say. But we must be very clear about such complaints as alleged by the hon. Member because beating a person under the police custody itself is an offence. Let us have a specific complaint.

        (At this stage the Speaker left the chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair).

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are at the outset very happy that by bringing this particular motion before the House we have been able to elicit form the Government, form the Chief Minister in particular, the sentiment and sympathy for the Naga people. But with regard to the specific proposal by the Chief Minister that if there is any complaint he will take action on it. May I point out that the memorandum which was given to the Chief Minister, Meghalaya, on 1st April, 1973 signed by the General Secretary, Naga Students' Union where the General Secretary has written that "I on behalf of the Naga Students' Union request you to kindly take immediate steps to bring those at fault to book" What more specific complaint is required ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  This is a general and not a specific complaint brought to the notice of the Government. Because basing on some memorandum or representation no action can be taken. Now, it was complained yesterday that police was breaking lathi on somebody's back. Such cases will not be allowed. Therefore, a specific complaint should be brought and the Government will set up an Enquiry Commission by a Magistrate.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. The memory of the students was not so excellent to remember the faces of the assailants but the Police had very excellent memory to remember many faces and they were chasing people even at Laitumkhrah ; they really deserve Bharat Ratna (Laughter).

        Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our main concern is that many of the cases will not be substantiated because it is difficult to remember the faces of the assailants. Moreover whenever anybody is attacked he will turn his back to defend himself. So I would request the Government to issue strict instruction to the Police that when a person is arrested on the spot he should not be beaten neither in the Police Station. I have seen whenever Police arrest anybody for drinking or for causing some trouble how they beat even after arrest and I wish if I had a camera I could have taken some snaps, of course if my camera is not broken by the lathis. (laughter)

Shri E. Bareh :-  Your stomach may also be broken. (laughter)

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  It seems  the hon. Member is more interested to do the job of Police. It is then he who should get Bharat Ratna.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Will the Chief Minister give any assurance about the removal of C.R.P. ?

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  The Chief Minister in his reply already clarified the matter. If any specific incident is brought to the notice of the Government then action will be taken.


Resolutions

        Let us come to item No. 4 - Resolution. Resolution No.1 to be moved by Prof. M.N. Majaw.

Prof M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this Assembly calls upon the Government immediately to settle all the outstanding land compensation cases before the 30th April, 1973 in view of the widespread discontentment on this. Sir, this is a very old subject where hundreds of people coming to Deputy Commissioners and Sub-Deputy Collectors praying for payment of compensation. I will begin with by referring to a most ancient of these cases, which is 19 years old, the famous Mawphlang-Balat Road which goes at a stretch of 48 miles form Mawphlang to Balat. Nineteen years, ago, this road was constructed by forcibly taking away the lands either of the public or of the private individuals. This road meanders through the hills of Mawphlang to the relatively warmer climate of Balat which passes through several Khasi villages, several Raj lands, several Rikynti lands and several private lands. Since this road is under the control of the P.W.D.  the practice in those days was that the P.W.D. would be given the permission from the Government before entering into private negotiations with the party concerned along the road with the payment of compensation. Unfortunately, the details of the negotiations as well as the files relating to the matter are missing. Even the corresponding file in the Directorate and the corresponding files in the Secretariat also are missing. There are constant reminders, constant requests from different parties particularly from the village of Shangplein which is 25 miles along the road asking for compensation. I had occasion to personally help to search for the files in the Government Office and ultimately we found a part of the file in which mention had been made by the S.D.C.  that he took so much money and distributed to so many, but there is not a single receipt for any payment made. I repeat there is not a single receipt for any of the payment made along the entire Mawphlang- Balat road of 48 miles long. I really do not know how much money was given and what amount of compensation has been paid by the Government as there is not a single receipt. There are statements of Officers given that these payments were made but there is no receipt whatsoever. There is only one receipt for which the Officer brought back the money that could not be distributed to the Nazir and the Nazir gave him a receipt that he had deposited  the money in the Treasury. Apart form that, there are persons who are supposed  to have received money but without a single receipt. We even went to  the Accountant General's Office to hunt for receipt, there too, no receipt, and the reply given by the Government after many many enquiries stretching from those days is that it is still being investigated into and there is a huge case of defalcation, or the accused persons are still under examination. But I humbly submit Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, that is not the responsibility of the land owners.......

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  Prof. Majaw, are you speaking about the long standing dues to be paid to certain persons as compensation ?

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Yes. To settle the outstanding land compensation cases before 30th April which is my proposal. So it is in that particular note that we know the feeling of the land owners -God knows what is what. It is the duty of the Government to pay and the Government has got to pay for the land acquired form the people who own them. Suppose I buy a match box from the shop keeper and without paying for it I walk away, that match box still belongs to the shop-keeper who sells it until I have paid for it. I have gone through the Land Acquisition Act and had the land been acquired through the Land Acquisition Act, then the Government would authorise the P.W.D.  to enter into the area and start construction of the road and the process would be carried on but since the outstanding due was caused through private negotiations, until the Government pays the cost of the land, the land still belongs to the sellers. So I maintain that there are portions of Mawphlang-Balat road which still belong to the private land owners, since they have not received any payment for their land. In one case, a sum of Rs.2,000 was given as a paltry sum with specific instruction that it was only an advance and the balance will follow later, now we will not discuss....

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- When was that, when was the advance paid ?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  About 14 years ago, it was paid as an advance. It is clearly stated that it is an advance and for the rest of the time, the people have been asking for the balance and the Government did not even give a reply. It was stated  that they have received the advance, but there is no receipt for the advance that the Government had paid. This simply shows the honesty of these people who had said that they had received an advance even when the receipts were not there, but they have threatened to block the road. We have persuaded them not to block the road but to try with whatever methods to get back what they have lost. Now there is another case also, where the Hon'ble Minister for P.W.D. admitted that the P.W.D.  cannot go ahead with the construction of roads because the Land Revenue Department has not yet cleared the land compensation. So it was notified in the Gazette that it is going to clear but between notifying and giving, there is a gap of one to two years or the Officer of that departments is too overburdened, he cannot pay attention to it and the people say that unless they are paid their compensation, they will not give any more land. Take for example the Dwarksuid- Tyrso road, a very very important road which runs into the heart of Bhoi area. This road has somehow gone ahead and at the time when the list of land owners has been prepared there was a definite commitment made in the public meeting that within 6 months payment of compensation on this road will be made and now 4-5 years have passed but not a single naya paisa was paid by way of compensation for land along the Dwarksuid stretching up to Liarbong and the people in the area refused to give any more land even though they want the road so badly, they said they cannot trust the Government when their old due has not been paid. They refused to let the Government take their lands unless the Government clears the old dues. And in the process the P.W.D. is sucking its  thumb waiting for the almighty Revenue Department to release the compensation money so that the roads can be constructed. Likewise, the Umsning -Jagi Road which runs through the heart of the Bhoi area, in which lands were taken for the construction  of road, the road was completed so far and we congratulate the P.W.D. for completing such a difficult road going through difficult terrains in so short a time. And now when we go to the compensation side, we find that for half of the length of the road compensation has not been paid. People from those areas go over and over to the D.C.s office and I would like to remind the Government that these people are very poor. Whenever they come to Shillong they have to spend a few rupees and when they come to the D.C.s Court, the Officer-in-charge knows very little Khasi language and the top boss in charge knows even fewer words. It is usually the small boss who knows a little bit more of the language, who speaks to them in broken Khasi which do not at all enter into the intelligence of the poor people, neither can they cope with Government  nor with the Officer, and as a consequence they have to spend two or three days here because it costs money for them to go back to their village and come back for their work here. I know this happens about 20 and 30 times, and I feel that this matter can be settled quickly. The complaint of the Revenue Department is that they are short of staff. Well, they should appoint more staff. There and hundreds and thousands of educated young men and women who  can be appointed in lower category to assist in this job. We have had occasion to discuss how an S.D.C. got appointment to the Senior Land Acquisition Officer's post. The people in the village protested that he is not a tribal and so someone who is a non-tribal and who is also a junior is appointed. He can only say 'Khublei". They experienced great difficulty and the poor villagers had to hire the service of the lawyer by paying Rs.50 to lodge a complaint and then a complaint is given to the Land Acquisition Officer. He could reply in English only and the poor villagers had to get it translated by hiring another lawyer paying another Rs.50 or so. In this way, it goes on and and on from weeks to weeks, from months to months and from years to years. So this Department is bleeding the poor people and then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there comes a time when there will be terrible frustration. There is a limit to patience, there is a limit  to patience even when some Members have to go out now to have a cup of tea. There is a limit to patience of the public when they would refuse to give land for construction of roads. So I would humbly submit that before we come to such a pass, let this Department shake itself of the inertia. If they wish to employ young men, there are so many intelligent, educated young men who can be sent for training for this Land Acquisition Officers' post so that we can get persons who know the language of the tribal people. I can assure the Government that if co-operation and good will are shown by the Government, I am sure I can persuade the people in my Constituency to give the Raj land free where there is no cultivation or investment of money. I know that because we have discussed in the Durbar in the public meeting that in those areas where there is Raj land and where there is no loss of money or investment, we can persuade the people to give the land free without compensation for construction of the roads but first show your god-will by clearing the old compensation cases.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh ;- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the resolution moved by the hon. Member and I will be very brief since the hon. Member has already discussed at great length. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have always discussed this question of payment compensation to the land owners specially in Khasi Hills and the Government have always replied that these are the old compensation cases which are due to be paid by the Government of Assam. But Sir, it is also a fact that all the assets and liabilities of the Composite State of Assam are to be shared by the State of Assam and our State. So Sir, the resolution moved by the hon. Member is very correct and timely moved so that our State which is a newly born State where we have promised to the people that we will do justice will see that these things are expedited and that the negligence and indifference shown by the Assam Government will not be repeated. In fact, we have pledged to the people that our new State will be a model State to serve them. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would therefore, mention certain roads which I know very well that the Government have not yet paid the compensation which is due to be paid. Some old roads a part from those which the hon. Member has mentioned, like that of the Lyngkhat-Tmar road in the border areas in the South Eastern side of the Khasi Hills District, for which about 10 to 12 years compensation has not yet been cleared because of the malpractices by the persons who make the survey and by the man who asses the amount of compensation to be paid to the land owner. Though it has been for the last 10 years the records which are maintained in the Deputy Commissioner's Office still show that compensations have not yet been cleared by the Officer who is entrusted with the work. The same thing happens with the Sohiong-Pariong road. It is also seen that while paying compensation for certain roads, no proper payment was made to the deserving people, some of them have been paid while others have not been paid up till now, though in the same section  of the road and sometimes, compensation was paid to somebody else and not to the right land owners. There is another old case and that is the Army Centre stationed at Laitkor. The Military have occupied the land belonging to the people of that area, to establish a Military Station there and the land owners have been paid only half of the compensation, though it is more than 5 years now. This has caused resentment among the people and there were also some incidents that took place where the land owners-forcibly destroyed the fences of the Army Centre because of the fact that the Military authorities have encroached upon the area and the land owners did not want to part with their land because compensation was not paid to them. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will also mention certain very important spots, and that is the Happy Valley Military Centre. The Military used this spot for firing practice and the poor land owners always have been disturbed by the military people while practicing in the area and they not only disturbed the spot where the bullets hit but it also disturbed the whole area where the land owners and the poor people are residing. They are suffering very badly because their cultivations have been disturbed every now and then.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  Whether previous information has been sent to the Government regarding this ?

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have seen with my own eyes and though, it is not in my Constituency the people came to me always showing papers and documents that their land have been damaging by such firing practice. The Government have made negotiation after negotiation, letter after letter has been sent but they have been able to settle the matter. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there must be something wrong in the Land Revenue Department of the Deputy Commissioner who is supposed to settle this thing with  the Military Estates Officer. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will also mention briefly about the roads which have been opened, and one of them is the Sohiong-Pariong Roads. For  a portion of this new road that been constructed, the land compensation for the lands damaged has not yet been paid for the last 2 years. Now the Nongshillong-Jakrem road has been constructed but the land compensation has not yet been paid to the land owners for the last 2 years. The construction of this road has damaged the paddy fields of the local cultivators and they are facing difficulty in finding lands for cultivation. Then Sohiong-Weilyngkut Road is another road which has to be constructed further but the land compensation has not yet been paid for the whole length. The Nongstoin- Rambrai Road was constructed for the last two or three years  but the land compensation was not paid up till now. Then the Mawshynrut-Nongshram Road. This is a new road which links the Khasi Hills District with Garo Hills. It is supposed to be the State Highway in the near future but I regret to say that the land compensation has not been paid to the people. Once in 1971 the Minister went to inspect the road and he promised to the people that on his going back to Shillong he will look into their compensation cases so that the same will be paid within a few months. But Sir, up till now nothing has been done and since then the Minister never visited the place. Yes, during the visit of the Minister the people had blocked the road and they had gheraod him and in order to escape, he promised them that their land compensation will be paid within a few months but up till now it has not yet been paid. Another road the Wallang-Nongspung road was constructed and the Minister last time went with me to the area and the people have voiced to him that their land compensation was not paid to them and the land compensation for one portion of that road from Mawkneng to Wallang was some time back paid but not to the land owners. Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, these are the few examples and I believe in many other areas of the State also the position is the same. Roads have been constructed but the land compensation has not yet been paid, as it is in the case of seven or 8 roads in my area. When I had the occasion of talking the Minister for Public Works Department for construction of roads as I know there is sanction in the Fourth Five Year Plan but he said that unless we get the land first we will not construct roads because of complaints. The then Assam Government used to construct the roads and then get the land later on. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we on our part are ready to give the land for the construction of roads because we want more roads to be constructed for speedy progress  and development of our people and the State as a whole. As the Mover of the resolution  has said, we will co-operate with the Government, we are here Sir, to cooperate with the Government to make land available for the purpose of road construction. In fact in my area, we have never demanded land compensation for the Raj Lands,  for examples, we have not demanded compensation for the construction of Mairang-Nongstoin Road form Umjei near Kynshi to Markasa because it is a Raj land. We demand land compensation only  in the case of private lands. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hope that the Government will accept this resolution to pay all the dues on account of land compensation within this year because a new Plan will come up by 1974. So, Sir, let us start this new State with new development and let us clear the old pending matters so that the promises of the Government to the people will be fulfilled. With these few words Sir, I support the resolution.

Shri H.E. Pohshna :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in supporting the resolution, I am going to be very brief. Sir, we have been talking in the early hours of the day about pelting of stones on both sides. Similarly the question of compensation. When we go to the civil administration they say the Public Works Department  has not given us any report; when we go to the Public Works Department they say that we are waiting for the report  and comment of the civil authorities and when we go to the Public Works Department Executive Engineer, he says I am waiting for the report of the S.D.O. and when we go to the S.D.O. he says I am waiting for the report of the Overseer and so on and so forth. Anyway Sir, we have come here to suggest ways and means how to solve this very very important problem which sometimes throws a very very bad shape on the people and they sometimes express dissatisfaction on the Government and the Ministers who made promises to our people. Therefore, Sir, I was getting the Meghalaya Gazette every time and when going through the Meghalaya Gazette every time for any land taken in the towns or urban areas they used to have some Gazette Notification that the land bounded by so and so in  the north, by so and so in the west, east and sought is going to be acquired but with respect to the rural areas nothing of the sort  has been given. Therefore, Sir, although the Government, the present Government is not solely responsible for this delay, but at least since they have substituted the previous Government as one used to say that justice delayed is justice denied, I request the Government to give serious attention to this resolution. I can cite an example about one road from Muktapur to Borghat in which two residential buildings have been destroyed at the time of construction of the road. The owner of the houses was there, the overseer was also there. The only consolation given to the house owner is only a slip of paper one inch in breadth and three inches in length saying that the house of so and so, destroyed for road construction, length of so much fee, breadth of so much feet. Now, 4 years have passed and the owners were expecting for some sort of compensation for their loss of the residential buildings. In this way, one year passed and nothing has been done. Then the second, and the third years passed and last month we went to the office of the Executive Engineer, but there was not trace of the records. Sir, of course, the Government is not solely responsible; but there is something wrong in the machinery of the Government, that is going against it. Therefore, I do not like to lengthen my speech and I would like to suggest to the Government at least to find a way out so that our people in the rural areas can have full confidence in the Government and though they want the roads, while getting the roads, they also want due compensation for the loss of the their houses, of their cultivation, and that also is not because they are responsible for it. The Government itself is responsible because they have been making payments of compensation to others. On the other hand, I say, Sir, that delay is dangerous. I can cite an instance that there are occasions where there is no record of the location of the place and also that the man who has been affected with this loss dies and when another enquiry comes - oh' no.

(Voices - Succession Certificate)

        Yes for the Succession Certificate they will have to go here and there and will also have to face many troubles to get the same. On the other hand, if the cost of land for this year is Rs.200 per bigha in another year it may be Rs.400 per bigha and so on and so forth. Therefore, Sir, although I cannot blame the Government - the present Government - for all this delay because they have come only very recently but at least I would like to request the Government to pay serious attention to the matter and take prompt action so that our people will not suffer unnecessary hardship and unnecessary loss.

*Shri H. Hadem :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in supporting the resolution I would like only to draw the attention of the Government to the fact that we always come to the House with questions, motions and resolutions on this particular matter i.e. about land compensation due on account of road construction as such, I think it is high time now that the Government would please expedite the question of payment of land compensation. In this connection I have to bring to the notice of the Government that at least in my constituency and also in the areas nearby in the border of my constituency, there are some roads for which compensation has not yet been paid whereas construction had been completed about 15 years back. Of course, the hon. Member who has just spoken does not blame the present Government but anyway we are hoping that everything will be expedited and as such, I would like to request the Government at least to see that compensation for the lands due to construction of roads for the whole length of the roads should be expedited because it is not possible for us to avoid the responsibility because we, as representatives of the people, have to face the public and the land-owners and we are always blamed for this delay. Probably the Government while replying will just tell something as to why construction could not be completed in some cases because the long pending compensation has not been paid and your land owners were not willing to part with their lands, and it is not understood why for some portions of the Jowai-Nartiang road compensation has not been paid while for most of the entire length of the road compensation has not been paid and there are some portions for which compensation has not been cleared and now the land-owners are submitting applications that their dues also be paid by the Government for the whole length from Lynsing to Barato. Sir, the Government did not pay compensation to the land owners even for a single part of the whole length of the Raliang - Sahsning Road while most cases have been disposed of by the Government and the compensation paid. But there are some cases and we don't know the reason why the Government up till now have not cleared the dues. So, Sir, with these few words, I would request the Government at least not to compel us to come up, to the House every now and then with this particular subject. We would rather request the Government that in future to pay the compensation before taking up the construction of the roads. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat. 

Shri E. Kurbah :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also would like to take part in the discussion with regard to land compensation just to remind Government that land compensation is not paid for this or that reason, the reports of the overseer, the S.D.O. or the S.D.C. and so on and so forth. But I would like to remind the Government with regard to land compensation that it should take necessary steps so that the cultivators who own lands will be able to earn something by getting this land compensation form the Government. I would like to point out one or two things since the hon. Member from Pariong has pointed out that there are so many parts of the roads for which compensation has not yet been paid. With regard to the diversion of the Mawngap Road upto Marbisu Gate, that road had been constructed for two years and the cultivators from Marbisu had taken loans form the State Bank of India at the time when the construction of the road was going on. Due to the construction of this road a large part of the land owned by these people was damaged  and in the meantime the Agent of State Bank of India has pressed these cultivators to repay the agricultural  loans given to them but, unfortunately, they were not able to pay the loan because a major part of the land was affected by the construction of the road. I would like to request and remind the Government also to see that land compensation is paid to those people who are still suffering very much up till now. This is a very important road joining the areas between Shillong and Tura. If the Government consider their problem and pay the compensation to them, I think they will be able to repay their agricultural loans to the State Bank. The people say that they will wait for payment of compensation for some time, more and if they are not paid their due compensation they are going to stop the contractor to construct that particular road. So in this respect, Sir, I would like to request the Government and the Chief Minister particularly to at least take up this mater of land compensation as early as possible.

           Then there is another road, i.e., the Mawmaram-Mawmih Road on which we have also talked with the Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department last time. Here I would like to remind the Minister and the House, that when the Minister, Public Works Department went to the area one day, he was stopped on the way by a woman who demanded payment of land  compensation. The Minister replied that she should write an application and produce with other land documents to the S.D.O. and then the S.D.O. will forward her application to the Deputy Commissioner and then he will be able to settle the matter. But up till now that poor woman comes to me requesting and reminding me to go and meet the Government and request them to expedite payment of land compensation due to her and other affected people. So Sir, I would also like to request the Government earnestly to see that land compensation in these two places is paid in time so that the roads can be completed in order to help the poor cultivators and at the same time the people will not obstruct construction of the road otherwise it will be a loss to the Government and public as a whole. With these words, I once again request the Government through you Sir, to take early steps in the matter of payment of compensation to all the genuine land owners. With these words, I resume my seat.

Shri D.N. Joshi :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while taking part in this resolution, I would like to draw the attention of the Government through you that in the area called Umroi of the Bhoi area, the Defence Ministry, Government of India have acquired 3,100 acres of land for building up of a cantonment there. The Government have assured of paying compensation to the land owners and under the scheme the Government have made hasty and haphazard assessment of their lands and property to be handed over to the Military. In Umroi area there are many farmers and Graziers who have been living there for 20 to 25 years or more, but it so happened that these Graziers were completely denied of their rights to get compensation for their crops and also plots of lands affected by the building up of a Military Centre there. The genuine person who ought to have got compensation for their land hardly got anything whereas certain fictitious persons who own  no lands or have not done anything at all in the lands got compensation. Sometimes, it happened that some of those genuine sufferers also were given some compensation but the compensation was not adequate. But Sir, the graziers did not get anything by way of land compensation at all up till now. Sir, the Military authorities have already given notice that those people who are still occupying lands or who posses land in that area would be ejected because they have drawn up schemes to build up a cantonment there and that the affected people would be paid compensation, but not compensation is yet paid to the land owners and the graziers, the genuine sufferers of the area. So I request  the Government through you , Sir, to see that these effected genuine suffers are duly compensated  for the acquired lands of theirs so that they may seek new settlement elsewhere for their livelihood and Government also should see that those people who are thus uprooted from their place get rehabilitated and settled in  some other places so that they  may carry on their normal avocations of life.

*Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :-  Mr.  Deputy Speaker, Sir, much has been said by the hon. Members who have spoken before me regarding this land compensation matter. I  just want only to mention a few roads in which land compensation has not yet been paid to the land owners up till now. The Nongkhlaw- Mawshut road and then the Mawshut-Riangmaw road and Mairang-Kynshi-Myriaw road up to Mairang-Ranikor road in which land compensations have not been paid to the land owners up till now. There is also one road, namely, the Patharkhmah-Umsong road in the Bhoi side of Nongkhlaw Syiemship where the Government have not paid any compensation as yet. This may be due to the fact that there are only a few S.D.Cs. appointed by the Government to settle the problems of making land compensation although from the Public Works Department side, the overseers and S.D.O. and Executive Engineer have already submitted plans and estimates covering the lands taken over by the Government. As I said there are very few S.D.Cs in our State to look into the question  of land settlement and this has caused delay in making payment of land compensation. So I would propose to the Government that more S.D.Cs. should be appointed so that land compensation may be paid within a short time and with these few words, I resume my seat.

Prof. Alexander Warjri :- Mr. Deputy Speaker,  Sir, I stand to oppose the resolution not because, that compensation should not be paid, but because of the timing fixed on 30th April, 1973. It is impossible, for the Government to pay compensation within such a short time. These compensation cases have been pending in the land Record Office; so many of them have been pending actually. As pointed out by my friends from the other side, it is not the fault of the present Government. As  already pointed out by some hon. Members some of these cases Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, had been there right for the last 4 to 5 years and so on. Therefore, it is very difficult for the Government of Meghalaya to deal with these cases all at once and as such, it has taken quite a long time for the Government to settle these cases. Within this short span of time, as the hon. Members might have seen from the Gazette that had been distributed from time, in nearly every publication, we see cases or declarations that had been published for payment of land compensation to the various people and it is not a fact that the people living in the interior have been neglected. As a matter of fact the majority of such cases are from the interior. Of course, as I have stated just now, compensation should be paid as early as possible but what I am interested Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is not so much of compensation to be paid; we want progress, we want development. Because compensation cannot be paid, the road had to be stopped. This should not be so and it is not reasonable. Stopping of payment of compensation will affect only one or two individuals, but stopping the progress and development would affect the general public as a whole. Therefore, I say that while compensation should be paid, roads should be constructed. And in this regard, I would advise, the Government to adopt a definite policy to compensate for the lands. New methods or machinery should be invented or established immediately by which the Government can settle these cases in a much quicker way, i.e. land compensation. For example, I would suggest that more S.D.C.s should be appointed, more S.D.C.s should be recruited and one S.D.C.s should be attached to a Division which is under an Executive Engineer so that these compensation cases can be taken up as early as possible.

        Another thing Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of the House is that many development programmes had to be stopped because compensations have been claimed on certain lands that neither belong to an individual who claimed or to somebody else. But these lands belong to the Raid. And if for these lands compensation had been asked and if there is anybody who has the right to compensation for those particular plots, I think they should have been the people of Raid. But here we have seen people demanding compensation for these lands belonging to the Raid also. With these few observations Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I oppose the resolution not so much because no compensation has been paid but because of he shortness of time.

Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not welcome the resolution but I like the resolution because we can ventilate the grievances of our people and also we can put forward suggestions to the Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a well known fact that there are many pending compensation cases especially in this district. The main question is why there are so many pending cases in this district. No. (1), according to my experience, I found that the main bottleneck which stands in the way for speeding up compensation, is the peculiar land tenure system in which the Government is at a loss to understand as to the established right of ownership on a particular plot of land. (2) There are people who have claimed over the same plot of land and therefore, this is the No.1 problem for which many compensation cases could not be finally disposed of. (3) Then I found that there are cases  also  which the records do not tally with the statement of the land owner and also with the records taken by the officers. This is also another factor that the Government has failed to pay all the compensation and besides that, the man who is supposed to get compensation will claim that the Government has taken so much of land and will say why they are going to pay only this much, they have damaged so much of the trees, they have recorded only 100 trees whereas the man claimed that they had damaged 700 trees. Besides that there are other types of difficulties also. Another one which I found is that suppose the alignment of the road is going from one particular area where the road is constructed causing damage to a particular area whereas the people claimed that the damages have been done even beyond 50,60 or even 300 ft. away from the road. These are also other difficulties and such incident I have found in the Umniuhtmar Road where the particular line of the road is going from one area and the people are claiming compensation even upto the distance of 200 feet. Another difficulty that I have come across is that we do not have a uniform law under which we are acquiring lands as in some cases we have done through negotiation and in some other, through acquisition.

Shri H. E. Pohshna :-  One a point of clarification , the hon. Member had said that people have claimed compensation upto the distance of 500 feet away from the road.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, these are the cases which I am citing as examples. These are the difficulties I have stated before the House. These are discrepancies for which the Government has to take precaution. As I have already said, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Acts and the Rules under which we are acquiring the lands are also not uniform. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir,  in opposing the resolution I urge upon the Government, through you to speed up settlement of pending cases of compensation. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker,  Sir, I rise to support the resolution. When speaking on land compensation, I sometimes feel tired because this is not the first time that we are talking about it. We have spoken about it more than 5 or 6 times since this august House came into being. There are cases,  as the hon. Mover of the resolution pointed out, which are pending for the last 15 or 16 years, for example, Mawphlang Balat Road. Uptil now the poor land owners, I am not speaking about maharajas, have not received a single paisa for the damage done to their trees, their cultivation and so on. Now, as the hon. Member from Sohryngkham has pointed out, there are clashes also between the record kept by the Land Records office and the land-owners. I do not agree that such clashes should be there. If there are enough S.D.C.s and enough persons to deal with them, I believe that it will not take much time to settle the cases and that these clashes will never happen. Now, if there are S.D.Cs, what is the difficulty to go to the spot with the land owners concerned and to calculate the trees how many trees are there and to take proper measurement of the area utilised or acquired by the Government. Why should  there be any clash if such proper enquiries are made ? Last year we have already spoken about the appointment of more S.D.C.s. Now, at this juncture, I would like to request the Department or the Government to give us light as to how many S.D.C.s  are there and how many of them have been newly appointed for the quick performance and for the quick payment of land compensation. If there have been no new appointments, I feel that we must be tired of saying or speaking in this House, specially if our needs or the needs of the people at large are not complied with by the Government.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  May I now request the Minister-in-charge to reply ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is really very difficult to say anything on this resolution because the resolution is a specific one. The Mover of the resolution wanted all compensation cases, though they may be pending for 15 or 20 years, should be completed within 30th April, 1973 and today it is already 3rd of April. Again, the hon. Members who supported this resolution also urged upon the Government to expedite the matter, which means, technically speaking, they do not support the resolution as they do not specifically, mention the date of 30th April. 1973. To this I can say that we are trying to dispose of all the cases as early as possible.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  How many years ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Do not be in a hurry please. Please give me some time.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :-  On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if a Member speaks, I think he should address the Chair.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Should I get a ruling from you or from the Chair ?

Shri H.E. Pohshna :-  We do not oppose the question of time. We just said and emphasise the action to be taken because there is already a mention of the time and it does not mean that we oppose it.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  What my colleagues is trying to say is that there is no more scope or there is no more time for attending to the work because the date fixed is 30th April which has already passed.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  No, no. It has not passed. 30th March, has passed but not 30th April. We mean 30th April, 1973.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Members who supported the resolution did not mention the specific date. They have just said in the near future.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, again on a point of order, when the Hon'ble Minister was replying to my question, he has replied directly to me saying 'you.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :-  I did not say 'you'

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we supported the resolution, we meant 30th April, 1973. Though we said 'in the near future' we meant 30th April, 1973.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Anyway, 30th April is in the future.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :-  Therefore, if we refer to these cases, I would like to inform the House through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that this Land Acquisition Act is the Indian Government Act and we were authorised to implement it only in March, 1972. For so long we were in the Autonomous State, this Act was implemented by the Assam Government. Only when we became a full-fledged State, then we can implement this Act. Therefore............

Shri Maham Singh :-  Is it not a fact that this Act was extended to the whole of the District in 1952. ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we do not dispute the extension or the validity of the Act, but the power to implement it.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, from 1952 this Act was implemented and the Autonomous State adopted the Act.

Shri E. Bareh, (Minister, Revenue) :- We were authorised to implement or to carry on the provisions of this Act only from March last year. But most of the hon. Members who have spoken said that these cases were very old cases.  

Shri. Maham Singh :- May we know when the Land Acquisition Act is extended to this District of Khasi & Jaintia Hills ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, subject to correction, as pointed out by the hon. Member from Mawprem, this Act would have been extended to the whole Khasi & Jaintia Hills District in 1952. But at that time, we sere in a composite State of Assam and this being the Central Act, though this was extended to the whole of Khasi and Jaintia Hills District in the composite State of Assam. It was only from 21st January, 1972 that the power given to the Government of Assam has come to us.

Shri Maham Singh :-  Now, it is clear, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, according to the provisions of this Act itself, it will take a long time to complete the acquisition proceedings as the hon. Members have said that there are long pending cases which are 15 years, 7 years or 6 years old. At that time all the roads were constructed without proper acquisition proceedings. When we took over, we find according to the law that we cannot pay compensation unless we acquire that land, and Government should have exclusive right over that land for which we are to pay compensation. Therefore, we have to adopt the land acquisition proceedings and when we adopted this, we find that all the roads constructed are without records - no maps, no drawings, nothing of the sort. Therefore, we have to do it again right from the beginning so that we can acquire the land in a proper way according to the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, and that takes some time. Even if there is no dispute or no complication it will take ordinarily at least one year or one year six months to complete the proceedings of the Land Acquisition Act. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, through you, I would request the hon. Members to understand the difficulty of the Department that in spite of our sincere desire to expedite matters, there are legal complications that stand in our way.

        One of the hon. Members wanted to know how many S.D.C.s are there. I would inform him through you, Sir, that in Jaintia Hills, there is one S.D.C., in Khasi Hills, there are 4 S.D.C.s, one more to be appointed for the Nongstoin Sub-division, and in Garo Hills, there is one S.D.C., one more to be appointed for Samsanggiri Sub-division. There is also a complaint that there is discrimination among the tribal S.D.C.s and the non-tribal S.D.C.s and a particular case was brought to the notice of the Government that why a senior tribal S.D.C.  was placed under a junior non-tribal S.D.C. I think I have replied to this question once because unfortunately, our tribal S.D.C. had not done his survey training. Therefore, we cannot put him incharge of the land acquisition. Had he done his survey training, there is no point in depriving him.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :-  Let him have the training.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :-  I agree cent per cent with the hon. Members who has just passed a remark. We are ready to send him for training, but it is impossible for our tribal people because as you know, they do not know any other language except English. If he is sent for training to Gauhati or any other place, they will start lecturing in Assamese which most of  them cannot understand.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  To Bombay or Delhi.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- That is a suggestion which is subject to consideration. One hon. Member referred to the case of the graziers in Barapani whose lands were taken over. I think in this particular matter, I can only say this much. Though the graziers are to be paid compensation, they are to be paid only for the building and the cost of Development of the land and standing crops and not for the land because they are not entitled to any compensation. Regarding the Military Cantonment in Barapani, we have already received half of the Amount. But because another half of the amount is yet to be  received, that is why we do not want to pay more compensation. So we  are waiting for the final sanction from the Government of India so that the whole amount can be paid to the land owners at a time. Therefore, I hope the provisions of the Act also prohibit the Minister-in-charge to commit anything with regard to the payment of the whole compensation within the 30th of April. We have to go according to the provisions of the law and I think the hon. Mover of the resolution, having heard all our difficulties will agree that it is impossible for us even if we wanted or even if we have money in hand, to pay compensation within 30th April, 1973. But we can only assure the House through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that this is a very live question and we are trying to rectify the irregularities done in the past so that we can pay compensation to the land owners. So many hon. Members have mentioned about roads. I quite admit that the compensation on the land where roads were constructed has not been given not even half. I agree that being the situation we cannot do anything. So I think the hon. Mover of the resolution after hearing the Department's difficulty the difficulties that stand in the way of paying compensation because after all we have to pay them in the long run, would kindly withdraw his resolution.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- Sir, on a point of clarification. In his reply the Minister has told us about many difficulties. Of course there are difficulties but he has not replied clearly to the question of the Barapani area where lands have been acquired by the military authorities. He has also conveniently forgotten to reply to the question of compensation of the outstanding cases, one at Laitkor where the military authorities have acquired land and the other case is the Firing Range at Happy Valley.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I cannot reply for each and ever case. I have said in general about many roads and bridges where compensation has not yet been given because of certain difficulties either from the point of law or for the land tenure system. I have mentioned in general.  I have got the list of all pending compensation cases in the whole State of Meghalaya.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh :- The Minister-in-charge has not replied to the question of compensation for lands which have been acquired by the military authorities for Cantonment in Laitkor.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- So, far as these areas are concerned we are looking into the matter. Actually this was done by the Assam Government and we have referred the matter to the Assam Government and now we are waiting for their reply. So far as the Firing Range of Happy Valley is concerned at the moment I may not be able to state the exact position. However we will look into the matter.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just now the Hon'ble Minister said that he has got the full list of outstanding cases for compensation -

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- I said I have got the list but I have not got the details of each and every case.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I  have full sympathy for the difficulties of the helpless Minister and his helpless department. But we must distinguish the two categories of compensation. I moved this resolution for the payment of outstanding cases for which payment could have been made even this afternoon or tomorrow, but these are not being done. They are absolutely ready for payment; only to take out money and to give it. But nothing is being done . That is why I have had the occasion to liken this Government machinery to a buffalo cart sometimes going forward sometimes backward. For example the Umsning road even half of the compensation has not yet been paid although notifications have been issued, list is quite complete, maps are there and above all there are no rival claimants except one person and that is also not for anything but for not including his land. So in this case rivalry is not there. Even then compensation could not be paid. There is another case at Mawhati, i.e., Mawhati Forest road. There were of course 3 rival claimants. I went to that place 2/3 months ago and now there is only one claimant found genuine who will get the money. But he is going to the S.D.C. for months and months together but no compensation was given. These are very clear case; there is no legal bar. Now take  this Dwar -u-Ksuid road. Apart of this road passes through my constituency. There is not a single rival claimant. I am very grateful to the Executive Engineer, Shillong, South Division, who has taken so much trouble to prepare such a detailed map, but 4 years gone, but no payment of compensation had been made. We may easily imagine if for such simple case, four years were taken to settle the case, how long it will take in those cases where there are many legal and procedural matters involved. Therefore I would urge upon the Government to do something at least for these outstanding cases.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if these cases are ready for payment of compensation we will certainly pay it within this week. We will check up all these cases and will definitely pay if all the the procedure and rules are completed.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Thank you. With this assurance from the Minister that the cases which are immediately ready for payment will be paid within this month, I withdraw my resolution.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Is it the sense of the House that leave be granted to withdraw the Resolution (voices : yes, yes). The resolution is with the leave of the House withdraw. Let us pass on to the next resolution to be moved by Shri H. Enowell Pohshna.

Shri H. E. Pohshna :-  Sir, I beg to move this resolution in view of special problems confronting the border area of Meghalaya and in view of the abnormal geographical situation which keeps this area isolated from the main streams of economic development of the State, that this Assembly is of the opinion that a special development Scheme be formulated for the border areas by a separate planning body under the Government of Meghalaya to be implemented and supervised by a separate Department of  the Government of Meghalaya.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  Motion moved.

Shri H. E. Pohshna :-  I do not want to take much time in this resolution because it has come up so many times in the Governor's Address as well as in the discussion of the budget. But while moving this resolution, I just want to say a few words and bring a few points which are mentioned in this resolution and to request the Government through this House to accept this resolution. Sir, we are here inside this House talking about the people of the State and the country as a whole who are marching towards the achievement of so many developmental schemes, towards the progress and prosperity of our State of our beloved country - India. But there are people - while the rest of the country are fighting to progress, are going from progress, to progress while the rest of the country are going for economic development or upliftment, there is a section of our people in our State who are struggling for existence. To be frank Sir, this problem, has become a special problem  it is not a simple problem because it is not due to idleness, not due to the natural calamities, not due to the failure of crops, that the border people have suffered form this problem has become a permanent problem because it is affected by the partition. The emergence of Bangladesh has given some rays of hope to the people living in the boundary of our State that something will happen, some improvement will be made and that the border trade along the boundary lines will be opened, but things have not turned up as expected. Sir, I say at this moment that people are dying slowly and silently and in the jungles along the border areas in the State of Meghalaya and in the border of Bangladesh. Believe it or not, Sir, I know that hundreds and thousands of people have crossed the boundary line in their fight, in their struggle for existence in order to earn their livelihood. It was due to this question, the other day Sir, some of them have come to demonstrate before the House but it is to be noted that our people are always against demonstrations therefore only few have come to Shillong. Coming to the fact, I say with full knowledge that they have crossed to Bangladesh, they have crossed over to Tripura State, they have crossed to the Cachar District, they have gone to Mikir Hills, and they have gone to other parts of Assam in search of their livelihood. These are the people who have  got a special problem well-known to the Government. I know Sir, on the other hand as stated here that due to the abnormal geographical situation which keeps them isolated form the big markets of the country, over and above all that, there is no more trade not even a smallest trade. Further supply of rice is very short in the border area. There is also a great bottleneck for transportation of their produces, Sir. Therefore, Sir, as I have said, I won't take much time so I would urge upon the Government at this moment to look seriously into this matter and while seeing it Sir, I do not say that the Chief Minister and the Government are not serious, but the degree of seriousness should be changed  altogether. No doubt the Government have given test relief to these people, schemes for the relief of these people but to whom this scheme is entrusted for implementation.? We have entrusted these schemes for implementation as an additional duty to the B.D.O. along the border. If that be the case, when it is like that, is it a way to solve a special problem ? therefore I say that the special schemes which the Government have in hand should be entrusted to some other responsible departments Sir. For example, we are grateful to the Chief Minister for the border trucks that have been supplied for the carriage of border produce. These trucks are plying from one place to another, whereas their destination is not known and we do not know where they ply or whether it is for the benefit of the border people or not, we do not know, Sir. They ply as they like. Why I say like that, because when I  met the the Minister-in-charge of Transport, I said that these will not help I even have gone to the extent of writing to him suggesting that there is no market for our people in the limited area of the State of Meghalaya, why didn't he allow the trucks to go upto Gauhati and other places where we can find markets. Our Minister was sympathetic then and there and sent the report to the department concerned. It has taken about three months, but where is that suggestion of mine, it might have gone into the river of the no return-that is all I know, Sir. They are serious-our Ministers are serious, the Government are serious, but the implementing Officers are not serious, Sir. The B.D.O.s , I  remember when they were entrusted with the relief and rehabilitation of the refugees from Bangladesh, were very very active; they were very smart when they were carrying bundles of currency notes 5 rupee, 10 rupee and 100 rupee notes, in their jeeps going here and there. But in the case of the border areas what has been done ? I wrote to the Deputy Commissioner suggesting some relief to the starving people where is the fate of my letter ? The Chief Minister may ask me to cite some instances. It is not an instance. The very way of implementing the schemes has created a great dead-lock in the progress of the schemes. Therefore Sir, I say in this resolution that in view of this special problem the Assembly is of the opinion that special development schemes be formulated for the border areas. Already, the schemes are there. I know our Chief Minister had made some schemes, but these schemes are almost a repetition of the schemes of 5 years' back at the initiation of our own Chief Minister who happened to be a incharge of border areas during Assam time. We have made many schemes and the schemes are almost the same, and these schemes of course have given some relief to the people but these have not become permanent solutions to their problem, Sir. There should be a separate planning body of Government of Meghalaya to implement and supervise such important schemes. Why I say like that because everybody knows that the transport difficulty, communication in the border area has become a very great bottleneck to our transport. But  if we go or if a commission is appointed to go and asses and evaluate the progress of the roads constructed in  the border areas compared with the implementation of the roads under the normal areas for the last 15 or 20 years, they  will find most of the bazars, and market in the border area have not been reached by the border trucks granted by our Government. What is this ? There is no seriousness in the construction of border road. Something is wrong there, why then this delay in implementation of the scheme, the crash programmes have been given to the areas. What are these crash programmes have been given to the works ? They  are giving some relief to the people but not to the extent that the Government wants. Therefore Sir, in my opinion a separate Planning Body for the border areas should be created under the Government of Meghalaya and also a separate department for implementing the scheme meant for the border areas should be created. Otherwise if it is as at the moment, for example, if the fishery Department which is meant for the general schemes is utilised for the border areas it will not take much interest because it will consider it only as an additional duty. Regarding Soil Conservation when we total hundreds and lakhs of rupees spent under the Soil Conservation for the border areas under reclamation and the area implemented by the scheme as shown in the paper will  exceed the actual area of the border areas. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are blaming nobody. This problem has attracted the serious attention of our Chief Minister. I do suggest that a Planning Body under a separate Department for border areas is very very essential. Sir, I do not think that it will incur loss to the State because the areas of border itself comprise about one-third of the State as a whole. The people in the border areas are hard hit at the moment while other are joining schools, colleges etc and are in the main stream of civilization, they are struggling at home for existence. This is a very serious matter and we should look into the welfare of these people. From the medical point of view, I request the Minister, Health to pay serious attention to this matter. I doubt whether there are proper medical facilities in the border areas and there are no permanent doctors there. I learn that there is a scheme for giving medical aid to the border area and the jeep is there which is meant for helping the needy people in the border, but even this jeep has been utilised for the pleasure trips of the Officers of the Department. The people have suffered a lot due to mal-nutrition. Can we cite an instance where there is a permanent doctor or any dispensary in the border areas, except in Nongtalang, Dawki and Cherrapunji. Can we cite instances of these people living in the border areas who have got money to transport the patients ? Can they travel for a long distance to the Civil Hospital at Shillong ? This is a very serious problem. Therefore, before I resume my seat, I would request, the Chief Minister to take this resolution with al seriousness that something should be done and treat the border problem as a special problem. There should be a separate body to draw up the schemes for these people and there should be a special body to implement the schemes otherwise Sir, I am afraid that inspite of the sincerity of the Government and in spite of the best efforts of our people, the money that is meant for the border areas might go to the drains. Sir, with these few words I once again press this resolution for the acceptance of the House. Although it does not mean that I know better than others in giving suggestions, but as a man representing the border areas and as a man who has been cooperating with the Chief Minister all along in his attempt to uplift the economic position of our border people, I request that this is the time that he will go to Delhi with more concrete schemes and also to implement the schemes not as a part of the duty of the B.D.O.s and engineers of the Department but as a Department specially created for the border areas.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the resolution moved by the hon. Member from Nongtalang. We know that the border problem has been there for a long time and it has become very critical during recent years because of the closure of border markets and because of the certain of the friendly State close to ours. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the problems of the border people know no bounds, besides lack of communication, there are no markets. The products are mainly perishable jungle products. So these things should be marketed immediately otherwise these will perish and due to non-existence of market, it has become very difficult for the people to bring their products for marketing. Of course few of the schemes have been introduced by the Government but this has helped and nothing at solving the problems of the people. Though a few lakhs of rupees have been given in the form of test relief, it could hardly be divided into a few paise to each individual. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before anything can be done, the Government should first define properly the areas falling within the border, that means either by issuing a notification declaring such areas which should come under the border areas so that proper planning could be done. Of course, I support the resolution on the ground that it is high time that should look into the border areas and it is high time that a new department should be created solely to look after the border areas so that proper development schemes could be drawn up and the living standard of the people raised. At present they are suffering very much. But we expect that the Government should accept this resolution and plan certain thing to develop the welfare of the border people in the years to come. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the resolution moved by the hon. Member from Nongtalang and in this connection. I will be very brief bringing only certain observations that I want to express. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the mover of the resolution wants that the Government should appoint a separate body to look after the border problem. The problem, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is well known, the problem is outstanding. The problem of the border people is not only a State concern because this border areas problem which we are talking here in this resolution, is not a border problem with Kamrup or Assam State, but as I have said, it is an international boundary and it is an Inter-national border with the implication of international law, trade, markets, and so on. So Sir, our people there in the border areas right from the beginning of our independence are facing great difficulty and the acute difficulty they are facing is basically financial hardship as the people have been very  much hard hit economically. And Sir, subsequently other problems come up as the hon. mover has said that the people of the border areas have been physically lowered down; they have lost their strength. The problem has affected their health and their physical potentiality for exercising and progressing in their economic struggle. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the mover of the resolution has said the Government is not serious enough to look after the border people. I will remind you Sir, that just the other day the Minister who has come from the border areas uttered that these people who came for demonstration are not the people from border areas. He suspected that they are the people from Jaiaw Mawkhar etc. and he did not care that 450 people are starving in the compound of this Assembly and our Ministers did not recognise the people, he did not know that they are the people who have come from Shella constituency represented by the Minister himself. So Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, the Government and the Ministers are not serious about the border problem though they may look serious in their face. Therefore, I for one agree with the mover of the resolution that the Minister is not serious in looking after the border people and to improve the economic condition of the border areas. As  the mover of the resolution said the Government is not serious for looking after the border areas and the problems of the border people. Now I will cite an example. Since 20 years ago the Government of Assam had constructed crash-roads to further the economy of the border people but uptil now Sir, 50 per cent of the areas or more than 50 per cent of the border markets of hats have not been accessible by roads. Say from Shillong to Rongku there is no road and the entire region of that area Sir, is inhabited by 10,000 people. From Shillong to Diar Valley bazar near Umniuh there is no road, the Balat bazar Shella bazar and the Dawki bazar are the only three bazars accessible by road that is by all weather road. I agree that the Government have not yet taken up seriously the border problem and how to solve the economic condition of the people in the border areas. Another thing I will say about the border people that because of deterioration in their health so physically they have come down. We are sorry that the Government has not attempted seriously to improve the health services of these people in the border. For instance there are dispensaries but no doctors. There is one dispensary at Dawki and one at Pongtung, at a stretch of 20 mile distance and a doctor from Shillong is visiting these dispensaries once a week. Here in Shillong and its suburb the position is far better compared with the people in the border areas. We are having here at least one doctor in a dispensary. But there in the border areas one doctor from Shillong is to visit the dispensary once a week and this shows that the Government is not serious about the border areas. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir,  now we have a lot of schemes, we have a lot of scope to improve the economic condition of the border people and the Government should try to take up schemes for changing the method of cultivation. There are lots of flat lands which can be used for cultivation of food grins say a paddy because the cash crops have no markets as it is now. We should shift from the cultivation of cash crops to grain crops. There is a big field at Shella, Balat etc, and if we irrigate the land by means of gravity irrigation from the river down to the fields for cultivation of paddy, it will improve the economy of the people with less expenditure.

        (At  this stage the Speaker occupied the Chair) 

Mr. Speaker :-  May I know how many minutes more you require ?

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  I almost come to the conclusion Mr. Speaker, Sir. So Sir, we must help the border people to change the system of cultivation so that the produce will not be only cash crops to open transported to some other markets but also to produce food grains for their need. Another thing Sir, the net-work of road communication must be expanded so that border hats and border markets will be accessible by roads and the last suggestion Sir, is that  we must attempt  to open dispensaries and post doctors and nurses in those dispensaries in the border areas in order to help the suffering people of the whole entire region.

Mr. Speaker :-  Mr. Lyngdoh you  have said that and you need not repeat it.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :-  So Sir, with these few words I support the resolution moved by the hon. Member that if we are sincere and serious and look at the problem of the border areas not only of our State but Government of India itself we must recommend or appoint a separate body to look into it for a permanent solution. So, Sir, with these few words I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :-  We must remember that the question of health, education and other developmental works is necessary not only for the border areas but also for the whole State. But, so far as the resolution is concerned the intention of the mover is only to focus the attention of the Government on the economic problems of the people living in the border areas. So, we must confine the discussion only to the economic problems and to the other means which we may find as alternative means to the closure of the markets in the border.

        Before I call upon the other hon. Members to participate, I want o place one very urgent matter before the House which affects the authority the sanctity and the privilege of this House. I was reported by the Secretary that the summons No.7/MLA/72/4358, dated Shillong the 2nd April, 1973, which was issued to Professor Kapila Charrerji, Editor, Publisher and Printer of the Weekly "The Young India" who was found guilty of certain charges, but in spite of the fact that the Marshal had met him personally and in spite of the fact that the Marshal who had briefed him with the contents of the summons, that said Professor Kapila Chatterji had refused to accept the summons.  So , according to procedure if I have the leave of the House, we have to take some more stringent measures. Do I have the leave of the House that this matter be taken up now so that I will take necessary steps. (Voice- Yes). So may I call upon Mr. Pugh, Member, Privileges Committee, to move the resolution.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Member, Committee of Privileges) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, with special leave of the House I beg to move the following resolution :-

        "Whereas the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on 2nd April, 1973 by a motion adopted Report No. 2. of the Privileges Committee.

        Whereas in pursuance of the above motion, summons to receive reprimand at the Bar of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Chamber, Shillong on Wednesday, the 4th April, 1973, at 9-30 a.m. was issued to Prof. Kapila Chatterji.

        Whereas the said Prof. Kapila Chatterji refused to accept the summons when duly tendered to him by the Marshal of the House.

        And whereas the presence of Prof. Kapila Chatterji in the House is necessary to receive reprimand at the Bar of this House and since Prof. Chatterji did not avail of the opportunity provided to him by this Assembly for appearing before this House.

        Now, therefore, this House resolves that a warrant for the arrest of Prof. Kapila Chatterji be issued to enforce his presence before this House on Wednesday, the 4th day of April, 1973.

Mr. Speaker :-  Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the resolution as moved by Mr. D.D. Pugh for issue of the warrant of arrest against Prof. Kapila Chatterji be issued under my seat and my name.

(The Motion was carried)

        Now, I will take  all necessary steps to issue the warrant of arrest, Mr. Lapang will you come and take over ? We will continue the discussion for 10 minutes. Well, I will give the chance to only one Member then the Chief Minister will reply. I think 20 minutes will be sufficient for the reply.

        (At this stage Shri D.D. Lapang, Chairman occupied the Chair).

Shri D.D. Lapang (Chairman ) :-  Any hon. Member will take part ?

*Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to oppose the resolution moved by the hon. Member from Nongtalang in connection with the economic problem that is being faced by the border people. Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, as the hon. Mover himself has admitted that in the past he had been co-operating closely with the Government, I think he understands that the Government is quite serious about this and that it will be receiving serious attention of the Government and I feel that it would not be necessary at all to bring this resolution to this august  House. But the hon. Member if at all, feels that the Government is not functioning or is not doing justice or not sincere in tackling the problem of the border people I think it would be best to approach the Government in his own capacity. Of course, from the speeches of the hon. members from the other side I myself am very much moved because I also come from a district where our Meghalaya State is bordering with Bangladesh and I know the economy of the State everywhere it is almost the same whether it is Khasi Hills or Garo Hills or Jaintia Hills. The hon. Member himself said that there was hope with the emergence of Bangladesh but it is most unfortunate today that nothing has happened to relieve the sufferings of the people residing in the border areas. But then the hon. Mover again recommended that some Planning Department should be created solely for tackling the problems of border areas but in my thinking Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not know how far it may well be at  this juncture. It is a very serious problem and unless we go deep into this matter, unless we study the pros and cons of this problem, it will not be easy to tackle this problem effectively even if we set up a separate Department for this. Now time has changed but our landscapes, our customs have not changed and even if the Government today is to take up some ways and means of tackling the problem, the Government is not in a position to think of new ways or methods to tackle these problems because, as I said, the landscape is the same and our people are the same and there is not much scope to improve the economy of our people.

        In order to solve this, I know the Government is taking keen interest and is seeking help form the Central Government itself. Generally some experts form the Central Government came to Shillong and went to Tura and also went around some villages to help study the economic problems of our State. I think on this matter the Government is quite aware of their responsibility and therefore, I do not agree with  my friend from the other side when he said that the Government is not sincere in tackling the problems of our people. Sir, he has also mentioned that some people from the border areas come here to ventilate their grievances and that the Government or the Minister or the representative of that area did not care for them or did not show the least sincerity towards their problems, or did not even hear to solve their problems. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, I cannot say much about the presence of these people. I know they are poor, I know they are in difficulty and I know they have grievances. But  Sir, is this the way of redressing their grievances ? I know my people in Garo Hills, in my Constituency also, are suffering like them, but none of us being representatives of the public have ever though of bringing them here and giving them punishment instead of giving relief. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is not correct to say that we are apathetic to their demands and needs. But I would like to request the hon. Members from the Opposition not to resort to this sort of method, because I feel that instead of giving relief to our own people, we are giving them punishment and adding to their sufferings. I think I am not at all exaggerating if I say that, because when I say them two or three days before I , was unhappy and in fact I could not take my food because I know that my people did not have proper food, did not have proper sleep. Even  to answer to the nature's call they did not have any proper place. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, why should we bring these poor people here ? They have come here to demonstrate and get their grievances and troubles redressed, but what did they get they were simply adding to their own sufferings and difficulties. So it would have been better if they send their own representatives or consult them because to redress their grievances, it is no use coming here. Then the hon. Mover has also said that among our people residing in the border areas some have crossed over to Bangladesh and  Tripura because their problem could not be tackled by the Government But Mr. Chairman , Sir, I do not think that our people have done so because we all know that the Bangladesh Government has emerged as a sovereign State where the economic problems are greater than ours. So I do not believe that our people have crossed over to Tripura and Bangladesh.

Shri H.E. Pohshna :-  Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to take the hon. Member one day to Cachar and Tripura because we cannot cross over to Bangladesh.

Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Our people were already there even before the emergence of Bangladesh. The hon. Member may be able to take me to Cachar or Tripura and show them to me who actually were already there. Then now about the crash programme, there was a schemes for relief to the border people. Now the hon. Mover has strongly criticised  the attitude and activity of the B.D.O. and here again Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to say and request the hon. Member who said that the people were not satisfied with the functions of the B.D.Os, to realise that it is the duty of every one of us to help the B.D.O.s and let us act as liaison officer-between the Government and the public. Sometimes it is very difficult for the Officers wherever they go to take up certain schemes for the people as the people did not get ready or like to accept the schemes because they do not know or understand what will happen to them. Now regarding Crash Programme, I would like to mention here that the intention of the Government is to provide employment to the unemployed people in the rural areas. Now they will have to come for one day or two days some will start at 8.30 a.m. some at 8 a.m. and some of them at 10 a.m. But whenever the B.D.O. or Overseer-in-charge of these schemes tries to tell them that the time is already past, you cannot work today and you will not be paid the salary and when they get angry they say this is the money given by the Government for us and not merely for the overseers or B.D.O.s. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, what I am trying to say is that Government officers should know their sincere co-operation and help them.  As far as possible they should also go to the interior places especially to those places where the people are illiterate and poor and try to convince the people to co-operate with all the officers concerned so that the works will be executed carefully.  Well Sir, since the time at my disposal is very short, with these few words, I resume my seat.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, in the first instance, I would like to thank the hon. Mover of the resolution for giving me an opportunity to apprise the House of the various schemes which have been initiated by the Government. In  the first instance, I would like to refer to the discussion put forward by the hon. Member from Pariong, Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh. He has stated that the Government is not at all serious about the problems of the border people. Sir, I myself, was born and brought up in the border village of Garo Hills. As a child, as a boy, I lived in the border village and I must inform the House, through you, Sir, that I has the opportunity in those days to enjoy the best of my life. Life was so easy, life was so enchanting and the life was full of prospects. That was the life during my childhood days and it continued till the partition of the country. Even as a boy, there was no difficulty for me to earn a couple of 100 rupees in a weekly bazar even by maintaining a tea stall. I know the conditions obtaining at present also. Even though I refer to my personal life I am very serious about the border problems. Some of my colleagues also came from the border area and they might have had the occasion to have the best of their life. Before the partition of the country, it was the border areas and the border people how have the best of life. People were more advanced in every sense and in every field. I myself, apart form the other reasons, due to the economic condition of the border areas, have to leave that village and settle down at Tura. The mover of the resolution was kind enough to give at least some appreciation of my work in this particular matter. He has also made a reference to my interest regarding the problems of the border people. When I was a Minister in the composite State of Assam, I myself, with the  approval of the Government, initiated various schemes which were supplementary schemes of the Government for giving relief to the border people. Schemes were initiated to help the border people in the different fields of activity with a view to improving the economic condition of the border people. But I must confess that though these schemes were intended to give full benefits to the border people the results were not satisfactory. When Meghalaya came into being, even as the Government of the Autonomous State, it initiated the schemes for the economic rehabilitation of the border people. I may inform the House, through you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that when the Autonomous State came into being, I along with my colleagues, had the occasion to discuss this problem with the Government of India even before we take over the administration of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya,. We had the occasion to inform the Government of India of the need for going in for special development programmes for the economic rehabilitation of the border people. The people suffered for the last many years after the partition of the country. Therefore, it would not be correct Mr. Chairman, Sir, to say that this Government is not at all serious about the border problem. I would request the hon. Member to realise under what handicaps and difficulties we have to work to achieve that objective to rehabilitate the economy of the border people which constitute about 25 percent of the entire State of Meghalaya. Sir, if  I am correct, they constitute about 32 per cent of the State population. In this connection, it was suggested that the border areas should be well defined. We must also know  which are the villages which  will be included in the border area development programme. Up till now, we are depending on the recommendation of the Vaghaiwall Commission which was appointed to go into this question of the border area and to submit recommendations to the then composite State of Assam and to give suggestions as to which village or Elaka, not only in the district of Khasi Hills but also in the Jaintia and the Garo Hills districts and in those days, it included Mizoram as well-should be regarded as a border area so that whenever any special development programme or supplementary programme is taken up, it can be enjoyed by these people. I have also pointed out to the concerned department that the area which was defined by the Vaghaiwalla Commission does not hold good now. It may be desirable therefore;  to re-define the boundary of the border areas early. The hardships and difficulties may differ from place to place  even in the same district. The need of additional help from the Government may also therefore differ from one place to another.  I have already given an indication that there is the need for re-assessment and to divide the area into different categories district-wise like A, B, C and to ascertain the magnitude of the problem and to determine what type of additional help to be given to the border people under special programme or supplementary programme to give both interim relief and long term relief. Mr. Chairman  Sir, another hon. Member has suggested to the Government that a separate Planning Board should be set up for the border areas. But my reply to this is that Government cannot agree to this because planning is to be done for the entire State. There is already a State Planning Board. In the recent meeting of the State Planning Board, it was agreed that the special programme or the supplementary programme of the border should be subject to scrutiny by the State Planning Board. I do not see any reason why there should be another Planning Board. There will be no proper coordination. We know that the State Planning Board's works are also scrutinized by the State Planning  Committee. They see what are the schemes which will benefit the border people and what are the special and supplementary schemes or programmes. There should be only one body. Otherwise there will be no coordination. The second suggestion is that there should be a separate Department to look after the border areas. To this I should say that we have already a set up separate Department since 1972 for the purpose. In the allocation of portfolios the hon. Members would see that there is a department known as the Border Areas Development Department. Here I am being assisted by the Minister of State. Recently we have discussed about the implementing agency. It was pointed out by the Mover of the resolution that this Department should be set up for supervising implementation of various schemes. As I said, we have already considered it desirable to have a separate department to look after the implementation side and the proper execution of the schemes meant for the relief of the border people and for their economic rehabilitation. It is not possible for the Government to have a separate agency right upto the block level because the schemes are not being executed separately. Schemes are there meant for the State as whole and the people in the border areas will get the same benefit. Several schemes are being implemented or repeated in all the fields like education, health, agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and so on. Therefore, there is no need for setting up a separate executing agency. We have already set up a separate Department at the Secretariat level just to see that the special additional and supplementary programmes meant for the benefit of the border people are properly implemented. It is in this context I should say that it will not be possible for the Government to agree to set up a separate executing agency at the block level. We have also taken up with the Government of India for these programmes. After we took over the administration we submitted special programmes, outside the Plan, to the Government of India specially for the benefit of the people in the border areas costing, for a period of 5 years Rs.13,18,20,000. These schemes are under the scrutiny of the Government of India. This includes a number of schemes, comprehensive schemes, like feeder roads. For the Khasi Hills  alone we have suggested as many as 25 feeder roads then  for Jaintia Hills 9 feeder roads and for Garo Hills 9 feeder roads. Other schemes included are fruit preservation, horticulture, land reclamation, small irrigation, co-operation, cottage industries fisheries, education, dispensaries, water supply and so on. I am glad to inform the House that when the Government of India took time to agree to include all the roads, because the schemes are to be scrutinized, we gave emphasis to as many as six roads to be taken up on a priority basis. Now, about the Mawsynram-Balat -Gomaghat- Moheshkhola Roads, I am glad to inform the House that the Government of India has agreed to this and the work of construction is now in progress. The Jowai-Jarain-Muktapur Road has not yet been agreed to. But the Dalu-Baghmara Road has also been agreed to and  the work has been started but the Garobadha-Ampati -Mahendraganj Road has not yet been agreed to. Therefore, it will not be correct to say that we are sleeping over the very important problem. However, the Government of India has agreed in principle that in addition to these schemes which will be available in the Plan, some additional programmes will have to be taken up for the relief of the border people. If I remember correctly, for other activities about Rs.18 lakhs have been set apart for the border areas for the current year and for the next year Rs.20 lakhs have been allotted. But I know that this will not be sufficient. We have, therefore, taken up a number of short -term programmes with our meagre funds without depending on the Government of India alone. These programmes are test relief, marketing of border produce, transport subsidy and so on. I know that the schemes drawn up are not being implemented in a way they should be implemented. I agree that there are some anomalies. There have been complains that the trucks are being misused and these complaints have been brought to my notice. After having learnt that there have been some anomalies in the implementation of the schemes, I have called an emergent meeting of my colleagues in the Cabinet along with the Secretaries and instructions have been issued to the Deputy Commissioner and their assistants to look into this matter. We have also decided to strengthen the department in the Secretariat level so that whatever schemes are being implemented can be properly supervised. I hope that the special programme for the border areas would be agreed to and sanction accorded by the Government of India. It is in that context that I congratulate the hon. Mover of the resolution so that we can focus the problem. But as regards the specific demand of a separate Planning Board, I cannot agree to that. But as far as separate Department is concerned, it is already there. With these few words, I would request the hon. Member, having heard what I have said, to kindly withdraw his resolution.

Shri H.E. Pohshna :-  I am grateful to the Chief Minister that through this resolution, he has given much enlightenment about the assurance so far given by the Government. I also congratulate the Chief Minister for the schemes. While I am going to withdraw my resolution - only today I came to know that there is a separate Department - the Border Areas Development Programme - I would request - and I also congratulate him as he has also congratulated me (laughter), that he will take us into confidence while making all these programmes especially the implementation of the programmes. I know Mr. Chairman, Sir, that our Chief Minister is more serious because he has got more responsibility than us. If the people die, he is more responsible. We want to fully co-operate with the Government in all the schemes especially in the implementation of the schemes. With these few words, I congratulate the Chief Minister for the schemes and I hope I shall be able to get the time to congratulate him more for the implementation of the schemes. With these few words, I withdraw the resolution.

Mr.  Chairman :-  Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw the resolution ? (Voices Yes, Yes) The resolution is with leave of the House withdrawn


Adjournment.

        Now, the House stands adjourned till 9 a.m. on Wednesday, the 4th April, 1973.

 

R.T. RYMBAI

Dated Shillong

Secretary

The 3rd April, 1973

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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