Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled after the First General Election

The Assembly met in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong at 9 A.M. on Friday 7th December, 1973 with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Questions No.3.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(Replies to which we placed on the Table)

Aerial spraying of paddy crops in Garo Hills District

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked:

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

(a)

Whether there was any aerial spraying of paddy crops in Garo Hills District this year (1973)?

(b)

If the reply is in the affirmative, the name of the agency which perform the work?

(c)

The total area involved?

(d)

The total quantity of pesticides utilised for the purpose?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied:

3.(a)

Yes. 

(b)

-M/s Jacks Aviation, a Division of M/s. William Jacks and Co. (India) Private Ltd. New Delhi. 

(c)

-20,000 acres. 

(d)

-12.5 tonnes of Malathion Ultra Low Volume. 

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Regarding 3 (a), is there any agreement entered upon between the Government and the M/s. Jacks Aviation.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) :- Yes Sir. 

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, can we have the information from the Minister the date of the Agreement entered into between the Government and the Firm. 

Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) :- That I require time, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know the amount of expenditure for this?

Mr. Speaker :- The total expenditure.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the State Government has to bear only the cost of pesticides to the tune of Rs.1,93,125. As far as the aerial operation is concerned, the Government of India bears all the cost.

Mr. Speaker :- We wants to know the cost of operation borne by the State Government. 

Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the cost of operation is 1 lakh.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Agreement, was it in a form of a contract?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 

Shri M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know if the 20,000 acres in Questions 3(c) represent a total area which the Government intends to or has sprayed or will other areas also be sprayed?

Mr. Speaker :- It is argumentative. 

Shri M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I mean to ask will further areas be sprayed in the Garo Hills District. 

Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) :- It will be, if the Government of India sanctions the amount, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next Unstarred Questions. 

T. A./D. A. drawn by the Minister during 1972-73

Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked:

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

(a)

The total amount drawn as T. A./D. A. by each of the Council of Ministers during 1972-73?

(b)

The number of journeys performed by each Minister above to New Delhi during the same year?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister Finance) replied:

4. (a)-

Name Minister

Amount of T.A/ D. A. drawn

Shri W. A. Sangma ... ... 21,946.55
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh ... ... 11,952.36
Shri S.D.D. Nichols -Roy ... ... 16,790.60
Shri E. Bareh ... ... 9,645.90
Shri S.K. Marak ... ... 11,873.70
Shri D.D. Pugh ... ... 12,548.10
Shri Grohonsing Marak ... ... 9,0140

(b)-

Name Minister 

Numbers of journey to Delhi

Shri W.A. Sangma ... ... 8 (Eight)
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh ... ... 6 (Six)
Shri S.D. Nichols-Roy ... ... 9 (Nine)
Shri E. Bareh ... ... 3 (Three)
Shri S.K. Marak ... ... 3 (Three)
Shri D.D. Pugh ... ... 5 (Five)
Shri Grohonsing Marak ... ... 1 (One)

Short Weight and Measures in Shillong Town

Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked:

5. Will the Minister-in-charge of Weights and Measures be pleased to state-

(a)

The number of cases detected for short weight and measures within Shillong Town during 1972-73?

(b)

Action taken against such defaulting traders?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister Finance, Weights and Measures etc.) replied:

5.(a)

-7(Seven).

(b)

-Out of 7 (seven) cases, complaints have been lodged for 6(six) cases in the District Court, Shillong to prosecuted the offenders for violation of the provisions of the Meghalaya Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act and Rules. The cases are now being tried in the District Court, Shillong. As for the other case, the accused offender preferred an appeal and the same was admitted and considered by the Department with warning. 

Milk and milk products in the Khasi Hills District

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir asked:

6. Will the Minister-in-charge of Veterinary be pleased to state-

(a)

Whether Government are aware of the fact that tremendous quantity of milk from Khasi Hills District is being transported daily to Gauhati?

(b)

If Yes, what steps taken by the Government to stop this?

(c)

Whether it is a fact that there exist a serious scarcity of milk and milk-products in the District?

(d)

The daily quantity of milk handled by the department to supply to the consumers in Shillong and other adjoining areas?

(e)

Whether it is a fact that the Government has failed in the procurement of adequate quantity of milk from the milkmen of Bhoi areas?

(f)

If so, what are the possible reasons?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Veterinary) replied:

6:(a)

-Yes.

(b)

-Milk trade is still free in the State, hence Government has no hands to stop it. 

(c)

-No.

(d)

-On an average 1,350 litres of Milk are daily handled by the Department.

(e)

-No, it is not a fact.

(f)

-Does not arise.

Shri M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding No.6 (b), the reply of the Government is that milk trade is still free in the State and Government is that milk trade is still free in the State and Government has hand to stop it. Is it the Government's intention to introduce any form of collection or royalty, or any form of legislation whereby some royalty may be collected?

Shri E. Bareh, (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government have not taught that. 

Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to Unstarred Question No.7. 

Grants for Irrigation Projects etc.

Shri Raisen Mawsor, asked:

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

(a)

Whether it is a fact that Government has decided to stop distribution of grants for minor and small irrigation projects and other agricultural purposes?

(b)

If so, the reasons thereof?

(c)

The new methods Government proposed to take to help the cultivators?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied:

       7 (a), (b) and (c)- No, but the matter is under consideration of the Government for departmental execution of the irrigation schemes. 

Grants-in-aid for Fisheries Ponds for Jaintia Hills District

Shri Lewis Bareh asked:

8.  Will the Minister-in-charge of Fisheries be pleased to state-

(a)

The total amount paid as grants-in-aid during 1971-72 for development/constructions of Fishery Ponds for the Jaintia Hills District (to be stated separately for border area and rest of the district)?

(b)

The total number of applicants for the said grant in-aid?

(c)

The names of applicants who received grants-in-aids (to be shown separately for border area and rest of the district)?

(d)

Whether the list of the recipients were duly notified in each case?

(e)

Whether the list of the recipients were duly notified in each case?

Shri Grohonsing Marak (Minister of State for Fisheries) replied:

8.(a)

-The total amount paid as grants-in-aid during 1971-7 for Jaintia Hills is Rs.40,000.00 for General Subsidy and Rs.4,000.00 for Border Area. 

(b)

-Total number of applicants applied for grants in aid for 1971-72 is 9 only. 

(c)

-Names of applicant who received grants-in-aid for 1971-72 for General Subsidy and Border Areas Schemes are placed on the Table of House.

(d)

-Yes.

(e)

-Yes.

Seindol Hahim Road

Shri Raisen Mawsor asked:

9. Will the Minister-in-charge of PWD (R &.B) be pleased to state-

(a)

Whether Government propose to open a road from Seinduli via Langpih to Hahim under the Fourth Five-Year Plan?

(b)

If so, what action has been taken by Government? 

Shri Darwin D. Pugh [Minister of State, PWD. (R and B.)] replied:

9.(a)

-No Sir.

(b)

-Does not arise. 

Schemes for Small Irrigation Grants 

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh asked:

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

(a)

Whether it is a fact that Schemes for Small Irrigation Grants are being discontinued? 

(b)

If so, whether alternative have been introduced?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied:

        10. (a) & (b)-No, but the matter is under consideration of the Government for departmental execution of the irrigation schemes. 

Shri M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we request the Secretariat to provide the members with the Question one night earlier as was done in the past?

Mr. Speaker :- It should have been the usual practise that half an hour all questions will be found on the table of all the Members. So I request the hon. members to come a bit early and find the question. 

Shri M.N. Majaw :- May I point out Mr. Speaker, Sir, that Ministers have an advantage since they are dealing with the Questions and Answers they have a very long time to prepare and marshal arguments in whatever way they wish. It is to their advantage and it is quite disadvantaged to us. 


Statement by Minister's 

Mr. Speaker:-We may take it up in the Rules Committee. Let us pass on to Item No.2 of today's List of Business. Before I invite Mr. Lapang to call the attention of the Minister, I am sorry to inform the House that I forget that I have already allowed the Minister Incharge of Finance to make a statement on the floor of the House.

*Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your permission I want to make a statement by way of clarification of the legal aspects of the Assam Agricultural Income-Tax Act, 1939; as adapted for Meghalaya. On a further scrutiny it appears that the provisions of the Assam Agricultural Income-tax (Amendment) Act, 1950, were extended to the Tribal Areas of Meghalaya specified in Part A of the table appended to paragraph 20 of the Sixth Schedule excluding  so much areas of the Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills District which were known as Khasi States immediately before the commencement of the Constitution. But this Assam Agricultural Income-tax Act, 1939 (Assam Act IX of 1939) was adapted by the Autonomous State of Meghalaya Adaptation and application of laws Act, 1971, vide Notification No.LJ.153/71/5 dated the 8th December, 1971, and thus this Act was extended to the whole of Meghalaya, except the 9 Wards of Shillong Municipality which form part of Khasi States of Mylliem Prior to the coming into force of the constitution of India.

Mr. Speaker :- Since the Minister has made a statement I would like that all the hon. Members should get a copy of the statement and the same is being distributed to them. 

        Calling Attention by Mr. D.D. Lapang. Mr. Lapang. 

*Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to call the attention of the Minister, Revenue under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Assembly to the problem faced by the people of Meghalaya and Kamrup District of Assam when the people of Kamrup District of Assam when the people of Kamrup destroyed the bridge, threatened the people and were measuring their land for the purpose of collecting revenue. 

        Sir, in this connection, I have had the occasion in the recent past to bring to the notice of this august House that the pole of Pilangkata area which includes the villages of Pilangkata, Maikhuli, Patharkuchi, Nongthymmai, Nongspung Pyngker, Umtaranga and Iongkhuli are clamoring under shadow of doubt and insecurity due to territorial uncertainty. 

Mr. Speaker :- No arguments please. 

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is true that on the 16th of November, 1973, at 3.30 p.m. the village was raided by the people of Kamrup along along with one truckload of police including armed police and damaged one bridge and took away all timbers and planks and also threatened the people. 

Mr. Speaker :- Did you say invaded or raided?

Shri D.D. Lapang :- I used the word damaged, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- You said the people of Kamrup invaded or raided?

Shri D.D. Lapang :- No, Sir I said the people of Kamrup with a truckload of police damaged the bridge and took away planks and timbers and warned the people not to walk on that bridge. The bridge belongs to the people of that area and in 1971-72 and 197-73, the Bhoi Development Block sanctioned certain amount of money for having that bridge constructed on that road. The then D.C. Mr. Bagchi along with the B.D.O., Mr. Kynsai Jones had been to the spot before construction of the bridge. 

Mr. Speaker :- As far as  possible please avoid bringing in the names of the officers. You can simple say 'D.C. and 'B.D.O,'.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Further, Sir, the people who claim themselves to be officers of Kamrup administration came, as told b\y our people, for measuring the land for purpose of collecting revenue and I is also reported by the people of Pilangkata that if revenue is not paid to the pole of Kamrup, the land may be taken away and occupied by the Government f that part of the State. Sir, the people of the area came and met the Revenue Minister and it is indeed a matter of gratitude to the Revenual-Minister for the prompt action that he has taken by sending the Special officer to investigate into the matter who was assisted by the O.C. Nongpoh P.S. We along with the party reached there on the 28th of November and on our way to Pilangkata we met the pole who gathered on the road and when we asked why they gathered on the road, their reply was that on the 27th November, a day before our arrival there, they had a meeting in one L.P. School adjacent to Pilangkata village in which they resolved that they will do harvest and that the people of that area are reported to create troubles from time to time. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would express that there is a great urgency of the matter and if nothing can can be don to the people of this area, I am afraid, these people are really in a very awkward position and are feeling a lot of difficulties. They are living in a very insecure part of the State. I would request the Minister concerned to give a statement and assure the House that some thing will b done so that these people can have a sense of security in the area.

*Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Shri D.D. Lapang, MLA submitted a petition dated 27th November, 1973 informing that the people of Kamrup created lots of trouble to the people of Pilangkata area in Meghalaya and that on 16th November, 1973 they destroyed one bridge and demanded revenue to be paid to Kamrup District.

        Prior to that, one petition dated 0th November, 1973 was received from Hain Singh and Jabesh Marak on 6th November, 1973 at 3 p.m. one SDC from Kamrup accompanied by Assam Police force came in truck No.ASN.2191 and destroyed the bridge of the Beltola-Pyngker Road, damaged the Road and threatened the public and demanded that no one should pass through that road. They also damaged that no one should pass through that road. They also damaged the Signboard. They further told those people to pay revenue to the Kamrup District failing which punishment will imposed on them.

            On the receipt of the potions, the Chief Secretary took up the matter with the Chief Secretary, Assam requesting him to instruct the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup not to take any action which may likely create a situation of panic or tension along the border. If there is any misunderstanding regarding the boundary, the ,matter may be taken up at Government level instead of local authorities acting in their discretion.

        The Secretary, Revenue Department also took up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup on the same line. The Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills has been instructed to enquire into the matter and to submit his report with the least possible delay. The enquiry is being made by the Deputy Commissioner and his report is being awaited.

        The Revenue Department also deputed the Special Officer, the Additional Assistant Director of Surveys and also the Surveyor to the place of occurrence to obtain first-hand information about the occurrence. The officers have also submitted their report. The Government is seized of this situation and further necessary steps will be taken to maintain the integrity of the boundary of the State of Meghalaya.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know if the Government has taken any steps to protect the people living in that area from further harassment?

Mr. Speaker :- Has the Government taken any step to protect the people in that area from further harassment?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Sir, in this regard we are awaiting the report of the Commissioner and as soon as the report is received we will take steps. 

Mr. Speaker :- Do you mean to say that the Government will not protect its own people in the meantime before the report is received?

 Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- We have to do as the Deputy Commissioner is seized of the matter and when the report of the D. C. is received, all possible steps will be taken by the Government.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Sir, this is a very serious matter ; it appears that Government is taking it very lightly. 

Mr. Speaker :- I think the hon. member does not understand that Government has taken serious note of it. But the only question which the other hon. Members want to know is whether the Government has really taken steps to protect the people from further harassment.

 Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Sir, the reply of the Government is not at all satisfactory. The Government lives on notes and files it is awaiting for a reply from the D. C. 

Mr. Speaker :- He says the report and not the reply. 

 Prof. M.N. Majaw :- How long that report will take. 

Mr. Speaker :- It is expected very soon. 

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek a clarification. The Minister has not mentioned whether the Government has received any other complaint from Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh in this regard. 

Mr. Speaker :- On the same issue?

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :-Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- No, at least I have not received. So, it cannot be discussed here. The matter is still in the level of the hon. member and the Government outside the forum of this House. 

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I request the Government to see that security of the people living in that area is protected pending the report of the Deputy Commissioner. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a fact that the Deputy Commissioner is the appropriate on the spot to look after the law and order to protect the people. The Deputy Commissioner on his own account has  to report to the Government on any policy matter.


Motions

Mr. Speaker :- Item No.3 i.e., general discussion a on Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1973-74. I think it can be taken up on individual demands in cut motions. This is only my suggestion. So we take up item No.4. i.e., Private Members Business. Motion No.1 to be moved by Shri S.D. Khongwir. I will give only 20 minutes for this motion.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss about the desirability of immediately placing adequate number of Khasi Knowing Police personnel in each of the Police Beat Houses/Out-posts in the District of Khasi Hills.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can raise a discussion. 

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Police Department plays a very very vital role in the State because it come into close contact with the public and we have a close contact with the Police personnel almost every day. That is why Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very very essential to have an active and efficient Police Department. But the only point that I want to raise here in this Motion is with regard to the posting of Khasi knowing police personnel in the various Police Beat Houses and Out-Posts in the District of Khasi Hills. Why I say this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is because on several occasions here in Shillong, our people experienced great difficulties in contacting the Police which do not understand Khasi hills dialect. The Police personnel posted at various Beat Houses and Out-Posts cannot and understand the local language.  We have got several Beat Houses here in Shillong. We have one Beat House at Garikhana and also many Police Out-Posts in the interior. But it is a problem for the local Khasi people to contact Police Officers who do not know the local language. On many occasions, Mr. Speaker, Sir, even in my own locality at Mawlai, people use to come and report to me whenever there is an accident in that area and I have to ring up the Police Beat House and if I am fortunate, I get the O.C. of the Beat House and can communicate over to him in English about the accident. But no other occasions, we find that whenever we try to contact the Police over phone we get the peculiar sound only like 'blap'...'blap'...'bla. This is because the O.C. May not be there and somebody else has spoken in different language. So all other police personnel cannot understand the local Khasi dialect and use to speak in their own language which is very very difficult for the local people to understand. 

Mr. Speaker :- I think that 'blap'...'blap'.. sound is due to road traffic (laughter).

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already stated that sound came from the other end of the telephone which is very difficult to understand. It must have been either in Bengali or Assamese and therefore, it is difficult to communicate the incident to the Beat House. But we are expected to rush immediately to the Beat House and report the matter personally. I have specifically mentioned only with regard to one District and I have, on several occasions, visited areas of Khasi Hills District. But with regard to Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills Districts I have got no knowledge at all. Another aspect of the matter, is with regard to investigation by the Police personnel. We have experienced on a number of occasions that the police Officers or Investigating Officers of the Police Department do not understand the local Khasi language and that is why it becomes difficult for officers to carry on their investigation work especially in the interior areas almost all the pole speak only Khasi language. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to read out a passage that I have taken from a book. 

Mr. Speaker :- Which Book?

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- This is the "Police Investigation and the Courts" by V. Mitter at Page 53. He has written like this : "Now every-body cannot tackle a witness successfully. If we take first thing first, it is very essential to thoroughly understand the language of the witness, his dialect, if only he expresses himself in his own dialect and it would be a share pleasure I the investigator can also express himself freely in that dialect. They say imitation is the best flattery, and to able to understand and speak in the language of the witness would enable the investigation to win the confidence of witness would enable the investigator to win the confidence of the witness, and thereby he would talk to him freely". So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I brought out this Motion I  would like to impress upon  the Government to see that this dialect difficulty between the Police and the public, be removed. I would also request the Government to see that Police personnel posted either here in the Beat Houses or in the Beat Houses or in the Outposts of the interior should know the local dialect. With these word I resume my seat.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion moved by the my friend form Mawlai. I fully endorse the views expressed by him. I have personally experienced, on more than on occasion, when I have to travel more than 15 to 20 miles in my constituency to help my people who are in trouble with the law just to help interpretation with the police officers and Investigating Officer. On many occasions, the Investigating Officers have been sent of the interior can hardly understand the language. I remember in one case particularly where at least two or three times the people have to go back to the thanas or outposts just because they did not understand each other. This is a very important motion, Sir. As my hon. friend from Mawlai has just said, and quoted from that book that the important thing is that the witness should be able to understand the language of the law. I can tell if memory is alright, that I have read in some of the papers some time back that even in England in the industrial estates where large number of Indian immigrants and others are there, the English police men are even asked to learn some of the languages like Hindi so that they could make proper investigation because of the Indians did not know English properly. In Shanghai, if I am not mistaken, there was a time in the early part of this country where a good number of police were Sikhs from the Punjab. But these people could not be employed as police men there, if they did not know the local language. So naturally, Sir, the importance of the local language cannot be denied. Here in Meghalaya also, if at all we send Police-men to the interior, not only bear houses in the town where we can help interpreting the language some how or other-it is very important they should know the Khasi language if the outpost lies in Khasi District or Garo language if the outpost is in Garo District as is being done in other States of India.

Mr. Speaker :- I have allowed 20 minutes but I will give another five minutes more. Any other Member who would like to participate?

 Prof. M.N. Majaw :- They are all happy with the Police, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 

Mr. Speaker :- May I call upon the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to reply?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the question of language in the Police Department specially with the personnel dealing with rural people is very very important an we agree that the Police officers should know the language of the people with whom they are to deal with. Every effort is being made to post the Khasi knowing officers and personnel in each of the Police boathouses and outposts in the District of Khasi and Jaintia Hills. However, Sir, as we are today, as you yourself had made a remark, were very short of Khasi or Garo knowing Police officers and staff. We did try in the last few months to make all efforts of recruiting the Khasi and Garo knowing Police personnel and officers. However, it has been noticed that the response is good, it will take quite some times to have these Police personnel and officers posted in these areas because of the considerable time taken for training. As I understand, it will take at least 1 years for training before he is fir for regular police duties. So in the circumstances, as we are placed today, I would request the Members to appreciate the difficulties that we face in this matter and also I would further request the hon. members to help in creating an atmosphere of good response from our youths to join the Police force. So far as investigation is concerned, I had the experience, when I was practicing in the court, of reading Police diaries on investigations conducted by officers who did not know the language of the areas. It was really very difficult to understand the case from the Police diaries on investigations conducted by officer who did not know language. here also we agree fully with the expression made by the hon. members and in this respect, we have recently decided that the Police officers serving in any District must know the language of that District.

Mr. Speaker :- Is that compulsory?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary affairs) :- Yes, Sir. 

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to Motion No.2. The hon. member is absent. No.3 - The hon. Member is absent. No.4, Mr. F.K. Mawlot to move. But this motion also concerns the Police. 

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the policy of Government of Meghalaya relating to the duties and activities of the Police Department. 

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and I will give 20 minutes, time for discussion. 

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. friend from Mawlai has moved this motion which is almost the same but mine differs a little because it concerns with the policy of the Government. 

Mr. Speaker :- The motion of Mr. Khongwir deals with only one specific item. Here you are to deal with the policy of the Government relating  to duties and activities. It is more general. 

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Police department is the strength of the State. But I feel a little bit down-hearted in this House today that we are discussing this subject of Police when the Minister-in-charge of Home is not present. I do not know who will listen to it and who will take note of it. 

Mr. Speaker :- I would like to inform hon. Member that in the Cabinet system of Government, there is a collective responsibility. Even if the Minister-in-charge is absent other Ministers will reply on his behalf and in this connection, I will inform the House that I have received the information from the Chief Minister that he is leaving for New Delhi today to attend the National Development Council and he has already authorised his other colleagues to reply and to handle all the questions relating to the Departments under his charge. 

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for the information. It is the experience here that we meet all these difficulties of understanding the Police in the investigation of cases as already stated by the Members and it is also a policy matter of the Government. It is the experience where that we meet all these difficulties of understanding the Police in the investigation of cases as already stated by the members and it is also a policy matter of the Government. I do not understand why for the people who want to enroll themselves as Police personnel, it is compulsory for them to learn Bengali and Assamese languages, whereas Khasi or Garo languages wee not made Compulsory. 

Mr. Speaker :- The minister has just replied that the Police Officers and the Police personnel should learn Khasi or Garo language in whatever area the yare posted. 

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Whether that is compulsory, Sir, I hope that Government has taken step to the effect that Khasi and Garo languages be made compulsory. we can then hope that our Police Department will improve in the matter to investigation of cases which will take place from now on. 

        I would like to maintain to mention something with regard to the activities of the Police. I think the Government has not issued strict directives for discipline that our Police personnel are to keep. What we have seen in this State of ours is that our Police personnel get drunk from drawn till night, and whenever the go anywhere to investigate cases, they could do nothing because they are completely drunk. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I say this with very deep feeling in my heart which touches not only he Police themselves, but it touches the heart of the people because when they are drunk they harassed them. In our Kamrup-Meghalaya border there are disputes from time to time and when the people from that area reported the matter to the Police at Nongstoin or Sonapahar and Baroko, they found that the Police personnel who were deputed were drunk. But instead the people had to bring them back. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if there is do discipline in the Police Department, how can we expect that justice can be done to the people.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary affairs) :- While intervening in this very very serious charge on the Police personnel, I would like to know from the Member who had made the report if he can cites specific cases to Substantiate the charge that he had made.

Mr. Speaker :- I would like to point out to the member that he should not refer to any name of the Police personnel but to refer only to the instances of the case or the places of occurrence. 

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have not mentioned any name of the Officers. I have tried to avoid. I want to cite only the names of -laces where the Police personnel have done so. Sometime back in 1972, there was an occasion at Sonapahar proper where the Police men who was completely drunk entered the house of a lady and he was caught. He was made to parade around the village by the people. Another incident, Mr. Speaker, Sir, took place very recently when the Police personnel from Nongstoin when to Tinghiang village to investigate the case there., They were also in the same condition and what the did was worst. The have arrested and beaten the people. kicked them with their shoes and boots. (At this stage, the speaker left the chamber and the Deputy Speaker, took the chair). They even brunt their eye lashes of the accused. This is a shame. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Police officers are supposed to take care of the law and order. whereas the have gone to such an extent by encouraging the pole to take the law into their own hands. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hope that from now on this practice will not be repeated. 

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have also come across such instances of drunkenness even here in Shillong. At night, the Police Officers patrol along the town when they are already drunk. If they find any man in the street, they arrest drunk. If they find any man in the street, they arrest and take him to the doctor. Whereas, they themselves never go near the doctor because they are drunk. They have no courage to go near the doctor. If we are to keep the discipline and dignity of the Police personnel, first of all, we have to tell them that whenever they are on duty they should not drink. A policeman ought t have good manners and he must be a responsible person and ought to be the one who understands the people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that politeness do not cost any thing but pays good dividend. I hope from now on this practice in the Police Department should be repeated. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I take my seat, I urge upon the Government to take serious note of this occurrence especially of the two incidents which I have stated during the course of my speech. 

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Motion brought by the hon. member is about the policy of the Government. So far as the Police Department is concerned, it is certainly very important Motion which needs a through discussion. I appreciate the point expressed by the hon. member in so far as it concerns the policy of the Government in this respect. But the hon. Member had the occasion to refer to certain cases of drunkenness. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think that is not at al relevant to the Motion moved by the hon. member. It is also very unfortunate that. 

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- I have not said that the Government encouraged drunkenness, but it did not check.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, how can checking of drunkenness be linked up with policy matter. Drunkenness entails punishment to be inflicted on the man who committed that crime. 

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- I have mentioned in my Motion about the policy of the Government relating to the duties and activities of the Police Department. 

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Too much of interruption. Sir, I request the Hon. Member to have a little patience. 

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may we understand from the hon. member that is not the policy of the Government to have a healthy Police Force?

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would request the hon. member through you, to have patient and not t resort to reaction and counter reaction. I fully appreciate the Motion brought by the hon. member which seeks to discuss the policy matter. We have heard that the Police Department is lacking behind and could not perform its duties satisfactorily. It is a fact that there is dearth of personnel or officers which know local dialects, as has been stated by the hon. Member. In this connection, I would like to point out that the Government should have made this job more attractive, for instance by giving more attractive pay and allowances, attractive facilities to this service. Mr. Deputy, Speaker, Sir, at the same time I do appreciate the steps taken by the Government to raise the standard of the Department. It is very essential that we should raise the standard raise the standard, the highest standard of the police personnel. So, the steps taken by the Government is very much welcomed. At the same time, in raising the standard of the police Department we should raise the standard of qualifications of the police personnel and officers. In doing so we should make this job more attractive by giving more facilities and conveniences so that we can attract people of good aptitude and responsibilities. With these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also fall in line with the policy of the Government.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy, Sir, I feel that it is one most important duty of the Government to see that the police force is more active and more vigilant. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, a short while ago we had discussed the calling attention motion of one of the hon. Members regarding the problem faced by the inhabitants of his sate leaving in the area bordering Kamrup in which the people of Kamrup had entered into the territory of the State of Meghalaya, destroyed the bridges, threatened the people there, measured their houses and also threatened the people there, measured their houses and also threatened to collect revenues from them. Mr. deputy Speaker, Sir, I consider that our police force had been negligent in their duties and had failed to give protection to the inhabitants of our state leaving the said area bordering Kamrup district Assam. The Hon. Minister in his reply stated that the law and order has to be looked after by the Deputy Speaker, Sir,  I consider that our police force had been negligent in their duties and had failed to give protection to the inhabitants of our State leaving the said area boundaring Kamrup district of Assam. The Hon. Minister in his reply stated that the law and order has to be looked after by the Deputy Commissioner but also the duty of the police force. They should be more vigilant to see that the people from outside the State do not come to threaten our people living in the border areas. In this matter I do not know whether the Government has called for any explanation from the Deputy Commissioner or from the police personnels. This is a serious matter and we cannot allow our personnels. This is a serious matter and we cannot allow our people to be subjected to such harassment. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we find also many check gates had been erected along the Shillong-Gauhati Road. Regarding this also our Government did not take any steps to remove these check gates which had been erected without authority by the people from outside the State. Surprising by also no case was registered by our police force against those persons who encroached inside our territory, destroyed bridge and threatened the pole. With these few words I resume my eat. 

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- I would request the Minister-in-charge to reply.

Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a very important subject and I would also request you to kindly allow at least four or five minutes more for discussion.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also request you to allow two or three minutes more in view of the importance of the motion. 

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- The time has been allotted by the Hon'ble Speaker i.e., 20 minutes only.

Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, of course the time is allotted by the Hon'ble Speaker, but taking into consideration. 

(At this stage the Hon'ble Speaker took Chair)

Mr. Speaker :- I can give some more time if the House desires in view of the importance of this motion. But there are many motions and resolutions to be moved by other hon. members also they may not like the idea of giving more time to this particular motion alone. 

Shri S.N. Koch :- At least two or three minutes may be allotted. 

Mr. Speaker :- Only 15 minutes were spent in disposing of resolution No.1. So 5 minutes have been skipped over but I thought that other remaining motions were more important than this one. 

        Besides wasting time I cannot rule the will of the House. You may spend the whole day in discussing only one motion, it is upto the House to decide whether it will be to your advantage or disadvantage. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- A case has been made out that a few minutes may be given for this Motion in view of the fact that in the two proceeding Motions a few minutes have been skipped over. It is not upto the will of the House, it is upto your discretion and wisdom as to whether the time given to us should be divided among the remaining Motions or we may devote sometime more on this particular Motion. 

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Rule 63 it is within your power to allot time. But it will be a very unfortunate precedent if the ruling that you have given is reconsider now. 

Mr. Speaker: - Already a few minutes have been taken on this issue. The case has already been explained. But it appears that the majority of the Members are concentrating only the drunkenness of police officers and no other reference has been made to other activities. Now I ask the Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs to reply. 

*Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do appreciate the concerns and desire of the hon. members to improve the standard of working dignity and decorum of this very very important Department of the police force. But we emphatically deny the charge leveled against the Government that if it is  indifferent toward indiscipline and bad behaviour on the part of the police personnel. Only some time back we have heard a case cited by the hon. member from Nongstoin in which two senior Police officers were reported to be in drunkenness while on duty. The Government took very serious view of this an went to the extent of suspending these two officers. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, just now the Minister-in-charge said that the Police Department took a very strong attitude and suspended these two officers. Sir, I would like it to be on record as to whether it is the police Department which has suspended these two officers or it was the Government over and above the police Department. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary affairs) :- It was he Government I said So, what I would like to suggest to the hon. members that it is not for the Government machinery alone to be able to raise the standard so far as the police Department is concerned. This can be done with the co-operation of the leaders and the public and especially the elected representatives of the people by prompt reporting of such incidents to the Department concerned. Also I would like to state that Government would always welcome constructive criticisms and suggestions that go for the improvement of the behaviour and conduct of all the Government officers and staff. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member need not enter into the details otherwise we will take the position of the Court.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I meant is that the case was so serious involving the activities of the police force as a whole. It has affected the local people of this area, some of whom had been arrested and even the head-man of that village himself was not allowed to scot-free but was arrested. So we demand institution of an Enquiry Commission.

Mr. Speaker :- I have already understood the submission of the hon. Members and the mover this motion that a Judicial Enquiry be appointed by the Government Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh has also suggested some sort of further enquiry to be made into this particular case. I can only say that to involve the whole House on this particular issue is too premature. The House can set up a proper time when there is a demand that such incident is not being looked into properly by the Government. But  I agree with Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh that the Government must look into the matter thoroughly for the satisfaction of the people so that peace to the area is resorted.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, I beg to seek more clarification. 

Mr. Speaker :- I have already given my ruling on this issue. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary affairs) :- In this connection, I would also say that some times as human being we are being led too quickly to generalize one instance here and one instance there and we are prone to blame the whole society or the whole Department. that is a wrong notion. Therefore I would request the hon. members as responsible leaders of the people, not to generalize leaders of the people, not to generalize and make the blanket charges on the whole police force. Sometimes because of this generalization, it leads to certain prejudice among us. However, when we receive a report from any quarter we never decide the case without investigation. For instance, the case as has been mentioned by the hon. member from Nongstoin about Tynghiang village  incident just after the case has been registered by the villagers investigation has been conducted but it was found that the allegation was unfounded. Therefore, I would again request the hon. members as responsible representatives of the people to take cognisance of all these things and that we should act with certain constraint by not generalizing the whole police force from one instance but at the same time to verify the incident an find out the truth of the report of any such incident.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek clarification from the Minister. In the course of his reply the Minister has stated that the incident at Tynghiang was investigated and was found incorrect. If it was so, than I demand that another enquiry Commission should be set up by this Government. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not aware any of incident or of any case that we will have to involve the whole House in such incident. There are various ways to tackle the issue. So far as this case is concerned, I have stated that the police department is a very important department in which both the people and Government should cooperate jointly. As the hon. members have stated that for raising the standard and improving the performance of the police force, the Government should cooperate fully with all the police force, the Government should cooperate fully with of all side of the House as well with members of the general police. This will go a long way in adding to the dignity, decorum and efficiency of the police force. The hon. Member from Mawprem had also referred to the inefficiency of the police personnel in taking action in matters of urgent incident. As a matter of fact, the police personnel can always act under the orders of the Deputy Commissioners or District Magistrates who have got full power in their charge. Unless they received an order from either of the above authorities, the policeman personnel are not expected to take any action, 

        Regarding Check gates in the G.S. Road as referred to by the hon. member from Mawprem, the matter was taken up by the Government with their counterpart, the Government of Assam, because it was found that this road is a boundary between the district of Kamrup and the district of Khasi Hills. The middle of the road is the boundary an recently this road has created complications with the Government of Assam.  As such, as have stated earlier, the police personnel could not act expect by a definite order of the competent authority concerned.

 Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding the case of the Tynghiang village, the Minister has contradicted him-self saying that the enquiry report has been submitted but the complaint is no true. He has also contradicted himself because of the fact that in the incident at Tynghiang, two of the police personnel from Nongstoin Outpost have been suspended by the Government. 

Mr. Speaker :- The minister was giving the example that whenever a report was received by the Government and whenever it was found correct, the officers were also suspended or arrested. 

 Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Regarding this case at Tynghiang as some hon. members have referred, it is a case of atrocities committed by the police personnel against some local people as a result of drunkenness of the policemen. The case of atrocities committed by the police personnel against some local people as a result of drunkenness of the policemen. The case has been taken up by the Court no doubt investigation has been made and the person complained against to suspected to have been absconding. That is the truth. 

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not correct to say that the Police Officers can take action only on the orders of the Deputy Commissioners. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in all cognizable cases the police may take action and arrest as soon as they find the offence had been committed. They may also act on the orders of the Deputy Commissioner or any Magistrate. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have said certain cases like this in which the destruction of the bridge is being done under authority of certain Government. 

Mr. Speaker :- The discussion is closed and now we will come to Motion No.5 to be move by Prof M.N. Majaw. For this motion I will allow 13 minutes.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a matter of fact from the point of view of policies, I should not have brought a Motion of this nature which would guide the Ruling Party in the better functioning of this Government but since the.

Mr. Speaker :- May I draw the attention of the hon. Member what definition do you have on politics?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I am coming to that, Mr. Speaker, Sir. In a sense, good politics is based more on service of the people than on belonging to this party or that party opposite. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, since we are discussing the real functioning of politics, namely, service to our people, I would like to beg those who sit facing us who have the fortune to do so to consider that what is now being discussed is not out of any political motives or any other intention except with the intention of bringing good Government and real service to our people. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, each and everyone of us was elected by our people. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, each and everyone of us was elected by our people. Every single one here to repeat from the phrase of Abraham Lincoln, have come into this House through a democratic process, in a democracy where the Government is of the people by the people and for the people, but the real criterion by which this Government will be judged is whether it will really be a Government for the people and of the people. Now that the election is long over and that part "of the people" is finished, but what is still there to be implemented is by the people or for the people particularly for the people. I would remind  this house Mr. Speaker, Sir, that out of a population of almost 11 lakhs of people, 8,55,000 live in the interior forming what we call a rural population, and only a mere 1 lakhs live in urban areas. So to a large extent, the people that we referred to in the State are those who live in the interior in the far-flung places where it would take 5 to 6 days for a poor man to travel to the capital of Shillong. Twenty-six years have gone by Mr. Speaker, Sir, since we achieved Independence and the question of the poor living in the interior is whether within these 26 years these people are found in a different position or are still exactly in the same position as before. So, far, the poor man in the interior is still ploughing the same fields, still cultivate in the same manner he still receives his new born child and buries the dead, and his joys and sorrows are wrapped around within a few miles of his surroundings. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when in the long struggle for a separate State, we gave a  promise to the people that we would bring about a Government and administration for people, by the people and of the people. The administration should have a real and substantial meaning for the smallest and humblest man in the interior, especially in those areas where the rural population in the State is 8 lakhs or 10 lakhs. I also submit, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the vast majority of our people are poor. This little booklet circulated today gives us the per capital income at Rs. 381 per year per head that come to about Re. 1.40P. per day I ask, Mr, Speaker, Sir, is there any living person today who can live on Re.1.40P. per day even a beggar? How can be sustain himself and his children on Re.1.40P. per day. This is below the poverty level. The vast majority of the people are living today at a sub-poverty level. The criterion of the success of the Government of this State will lie upon this whether it can bring true service to the poor man who lives on Re.1.40P. per day and also to those 8 lakhs living in the interior. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think we should have greater de-centralisation of administration so that Government does not really mean a Government locked-up in Shillong with there Ministers move about in luxurious cars, demanding whatever they want and officers at their back and call and telephones to the right to the left. No, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is not the meaning Government. A man, far away in the interior, living a poor life in thatched house, leaking throughout the rainy season and shivering in winter, he wants a government which has a real earning for him. It is not merely, Mr. Speaker, Sir a matter of distance, the geographical distance of so many miles from one place in Meghalaya to another given spot, say Shillong. If it not merely a matter of location or the means of communication. It is a question of awareness. Is the man in interior, a poor farmer, aware that here exists a Government? Is he aware that there is a Government that is Government that is supposed to take away or relieve at least his sufferings? Is he aware that there is a that is supposed to feed him or help him? This awareness has to be felt; it has to be created. If the Government is only locked up here in this high plateau and if a man has to trudge and travel and to come up to Shillong, what does he know of the Government? Once in a blue moon, a Minister will turn up with phalanx of Policemen with red caps on their heads with a foreboding appearance; and the Minister travelling in a pompous car (laughter). All the poor man can do is to come forward very humbly and very sheepishly in all simplicity and proffer his hand to welcome the Minister or, at most, he may send his children to place a welcoming garland upon the Minister.

Mr. Speaker :- With the aspiration that one day one of his children will become a Minister. 

Prof M.N. Majaw :- I doubt it, Sir. Even in his most drunken and wilder dreams, I doubt it. Our simple villagers do not have such aspirations, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Their humble drama are tied up with their lands and their fields. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out to these great friends who face us that the leadership in these Hills is a guided leadership. There is no such thing as blind following as we sometimes find in the Plains, there if a leader takes the rank and file into the drain or to the top of the mountain, they follow him blindly, but the fact remains that here it is a guided leadership. The path of the Hills State is filled with the corpses of valiant champions of the Hills, who yet died politically because they went against the people.

Mr. Speaker :- It is too early to predict Mr. Majaw. It is not a forum to preach a sermon where you can place your submission.

Prof M.N. Majaw :- But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, history teaches us for the future and, therefore, the more the Government take itself to the people the more the Government can make itself aware to the public the better for its own health and also, even from its own point of view, for survival in the future. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, from the replies that may be given it  may be said that the Government is certainly helping these people in the interior in the form of grants- It is a big and fantastic show Mr. Speaker, Sir that grants, petty grants of only Rs.200, Rs.300 and Rs.400 are given for a fishery, for a little pond. A man with no money spends on year travelling up and down to Shillong, and in giving out all kinds of donations here and there; the whole amount of the grant of Rs.400 is frittered away and with the little that remains with him he perhaps buys a radio or a wrist watch and, as a result, the fishes die (Laughter); and the agricultural grants likewise meet with the same fate. I need not expatiate further; we know more from experience. Instead of spending these lakhs of  rupees in giving grants, the Government should accumulate this money and stop all grants of this nature. Suppose you are allotting four lakhs of rupees, as agricultural grand to be given out to 4,000 persons; instead of that take 4 lakhs of rupees, have a phased programme, but bulldozers and take the bull-dozers or tractors or power tillers into the villagers, cultivate the fields for the villagers in that area according to a phased programme, buy bulldozers an take the bull-dozers or tractors or power tillers into the villages, cultivate the fields for the villagers in that area according to a phased programme, finish 5 villages this year, another 5 next year, and another 5 the following year. But do not give grants. Utilise that money on new methods of production or new methods of agriculture, straighten out the curves where you have hills, use the follow fields for more paddy fields and bring move flat areas under cultivation. These things can be done in the villages. Apart from these, Mr. Speaker Sir, wherever there are occasions when the villagers come forward to offer there co-operation we should gladly accepts such offers. I find it fit to mention here, as well as in other forums, where the villagers voluntarily offer to help, especially in the matter of drinking water we should sympathetically examine their proposals. Now, Sir, in our area, the Bhoi area, we have 360 villages and every village has asked for drinking water; and of these 350 villages I think only about 15 or 20 have drinking water facilities. But is many villages that I have visited, the people are willing to give free labour, willing to provide stones and stand, if the Government would come forward and provide the pipes and the cement. But the reply from the Government is "Oh, we need an engineer, we are short of staff and and engineers", as though we need a nuclear physicist to tech the people in the interior that water flows by gravity that the source of water should be at a higher level. Why, it will naturally flow if you can conserve water at its source with cement and stones and stand and then lead the water by a single pipe to the centre of the village, all in one day. they do not want a sophisticated system where by they are to press or flush and water is switches on by pulling own a chain. They simply wants a water tap in the centre of the village, and they are willing to work free. But the Government says "We shall consider this. This is something new. We need a lot of money, labour, stone and sand and we never thought of getting these free. But what about those contractors " And Oh, Oh..

(Laughter) (interruption)

... and so, Mr. Speaker, Sir, because of all these, in the plethora of office files and papers the generous offers and cooperation preferred by the villages are lost. Is it not the failure of the Government? The failure take itself to the villagers, especially when the villagers themselves are coming forward to help. We do not have enough engineering personnel to provide for every single village. When the villagers come forward to offer their services why cannot these be utilised? One of the methods that can be adopted by the Government is to formally recognise, after careful consideration, the villagers elected by the village Durbars in addition to the recognisation given by the Syiems of the Khasi Hills and the Nokmas elsewhere. The local Administration and the State Government also should register and provide a seal to every village Durbar so that the village Durbars assume some official status before the Government; a status of responsibility to execute some of the functions necessary for implementing some of the schemes which can be entrusted to the village Durbars. These are some of the ways by which the work of the Government can be decentralised and handed over to the villagers. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the best Government is that which rules the least, as Mahatma Gandhi said. The Government with its vast paraphernalia living in the Olympian height of Shillong cannot function efficiently or execute work minutely unless there is decentralisation. On many occasions the people from the villages have to come up to Shillong wasting their time for getting a small thing done from the Government.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fully support the motion that has been moved by my hon. friend. While I fully endorse the ideas and opinions which he has expressed, I would only cite one example which we find now that the administration is not decentralised. We required decentralisation of administration in the State. We require decentralisation of administration in the State. Sir, even the Block Development Officers who have been posted in the interior for performing the duties of the Government have got no power. For example when there was scarcity of rice during the last few months and rice was allotted to the wholesale shops in the rural centres the Block Development Officers could not issue that rice to the Fair Price Shop, for distribution among the poor villagers without the permission of the Deputy Commissioner from Shillong. In other activities also the Block Development Officers and the staff of the Block have got no power to do anything excepting to run up and down to Shillong. As the hon. Member, Prof. Majaw......

Mr. Speaker :- You should say hon. Member from Mawhati.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Sir, the Government has promised to decentralize the administration by creating a Sub-division at Nongpoh. Bud uptil now no Sub-division has been created.

Mr. Speaker :- At no time the Government promised to have a Sub-division at Nongpoh. An administrative unit was proposed for Nongpoh.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Whatever it may be that Administrative unit may not have any powers. More power should be given to the Government Department in the interior.

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Sir, for quite some time I was wondering whether my friends on my right would resort to the usual practice to bringing resolutions and motion before this House. I am very happy that that misconception has been cleared to day and Sir, this paper has come to my possession recently which I think would be a very interesting reading. A very big public meeting was held nearly more than a month ago i.e. on 3rd November. Some people have described it as precedenced or unprecedented and I am not qualified to describe it as precedenced or unprecedented. There it was resolved like this "on account of all these various misdeeds of the All Party Hills Leaders Conference Government which are only illustrative, the people of Meghalaya who have gathered here today in this mass rally unprecedented in the history of the State hereby express total lack of confidence in the All Party Hills Leaders Conference Government and call upon it to resign forthwith and seek fresh mandate from the people and in case the All Party Hills Leaders Conference Government does not respond to this demand of the people, this meeting hereby resolves to call upon the people of the State to non-cooperate with the State Government and to work tirelessly for its overthrow by constitutional and legal means at appropriate time" Here I get some feeble questions from my right, Sir, wanting me to point out the relevance between this operative potions of this resolution but certainly Sir, I see some relevance here and that is the meeting calls upon the people of the State.

Mr. Speaker :- From what book you are reading?

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Sir, it is my proud privilege to disclose the identity of the book. Sir, this book is about the misdeeds of the All Party Hill leaders Conference Government and the resolution was passed by the people of Shillong on November 3, 1973.

Mr. Speaker :- If it is written by some anonymous person, how can the House take cognizance of it. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Sir, it was published under the name of Shri U. Kharbuli, MLA (loud laughter). Sir, I am not citing this with the purpose of ridiculing anybody but it make me very very happy that this resolution at least has not been acted upon in the letter and spirit by the hon. Members who might have been present in that rally. Sir. I am very grateful to the hon. member from Mawhati for this motion. It is not possible for me to emphasise as to how timely and how important it is for the Government to act upon the spirit of this Motion. There is certainly a great need for decentralization of administration and executive power in the State. It so happened on many occasions even for a very small matter we have to come running to Shillong, to the Ministers, to the Deputy Commissioner and some other higher officers and the officers in the field. Sometimes on more than one occasion they have not really been invested with any substantial power. Now, Sir, for example, the member who has spoken me has mentioned that in Block Development Boards, we find the Deputy Commissioner has been appointed as the Chairman. It is often very difficult to have frequent meetings of Board because the Deputy Commissioner cannot find time to attend and on very many occasions, the Chairman cannot attend the meeting Board and sometimes he had to do something which was not within his power to do i.e., to find somebody in his place to officiate as Chairman. In one meeting of the Block Development Committee at Mairang, the District Planning Officer was authorised by the Deputy Commissioner to go to the Mairang and preside over the meeting. I would ask the Minister here on whose authority of the law can a Deputy Commissioner pick up somebody and say' "will you please go to that Block and preside over it". If our officers can act in such a manner without being duly authorised by the Government or by law, I feel Sir, we will not have a Government which will amount to the rule of law. Now Sir, it is necessary also that the Chairman of the Block Development Committee should have very intimate knowledge of the working of a particular Block. It so happened once that the Chairman forgot to append his signature to the resolution passed in the Block Development Committee meeting and this leads to non-implementation of the resolution. We have so many times to go to the Deputy Commissioner protesting against the non-implementation or wrong implementation of the decision of the Block Development Committee but only to find that the Deputy Commissioner is not there since he is accompanying the Governor and in the next day he is with this Minister or that Minister or he has gone to check the representatives are members of this Block Development Committee have been put in a very awkward position in that we cannot perform our duty effectively. Therefore, Sir, in view of the shortness of time and with and with all emphasis at my command I feel, that if this Government really to perform its task, to fulfill its promises and is really to act upon its frequent appeal calling for Members' cooperation and co-operation of the people, this is the time for them to take immediate measures to reap the benefit of this co-operation for the development of this State.

Mr. Speaker :- Now the time for discussion is up, and I ask the Minister to reply. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have great expectation that the discussion would be very serious and of very high standard because it concerns the policy and principles of the Government in the country and in the State. But I am rather disappointed, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the discussion had been really more on the question of detail rather than on principle and policy. We all realise the need to bring some to the people, but at the same time we realise the practical difficulties of achieving that goal to the fullest extent. We do not have history of the greater city Sates in which the Government of the people, by the people and for the people was to the full extent meant that people and for the people was to the full extent meant that people, meet together and decide everything. But from then on we are to move to greater and larger countries and States in which it is practically impossible to have the Government at every level and at every village. Yet, in spite of that so far as our country is concerned, a vast country like India yet the decentralization policy has been followed to a large extent in which the whole country is being divided into States. I remember we had 16 States an now we have 21 States and in the States also we have the Districts and we are in the process of even dividing the States into more Districts so that we can get financial consideration as is being followed in the various States in India. But here in Meghalaya. I think we have the least complaint on account of this compared with other. Other States have 88 million people yet they have one Chief Secretary compared to us with just a million people. So at least the Chief secretary is serving one million people instead of 88 millions. Over and above that, apart from the size, we have the unique institutions in Meghalaya and Assam of having the District Councils, constitutional and administrative bodies. Other, States have a District consisting of millions of people. Here, we have districts consisting of a lakh or two or three lakhs. So far as Meghalaya is concerned, we have the least cause to complain on this ground and then we have the blocks. In this State with type population of just about a million, we have 24 blocks. So far as the principles of decentralization and policies is concerned, I think we have the least complaint in Meghalaya. In the Governor's Address, if I am not mistaken, and also in the policy statement made from time to time, we have declared as a policy that with funds available, we are going ahead to create more subdivisions and more administrative units and even more districts. With this desire, as the hon. members have pressed, we are bringing the administration nearer and nearer to the people. So far as Meghalaya is concerned, I think the hon. members must agree with me that in this State, we have had really effected the decentralization to a very large extent. By that I do not mean that we are satisfied. As a matter of fact, as I have stated, the Government has adopted the policy of further decentralization at various levels like creating new Districts, new subdivision and news administrative units, specially in view of the difficult terrain and communications in our hill areas. So this is really a very important thing. In the plain States, they followed the policy of adopting or creating Panchayati Raj. Some States have adopted and some have not. What is its efficacy? What the result? It is not for us to comment here. So far as the policy is concerned, we agree fully with this motion in further decentralization within the financial strain and limitations. We are very much in agreement with this policy ; as a matter of fact, as referred to in the case of Nongpoh unit. We have gone ahead and it is only a question with the representatives of that area. First of all, the suggestions regarding the boundaries of this unit take time and also the suggestion for the head-quarters of the unit because if we can implement our policy which I have stated -as the Speaker has said we have not promised and we have not made any certain decision that Nongpoh unit will be raised to a subdivision. But it is in relation to the policy as we have stated to create civil subdivisions and districts and a time may come when finances are available to create more subdivisions and districts and Nongpoh may be one. Therefore, the representatives of that area have taken more care in thinking and considering the possible boundaries of the unit of the limits a of the unit and also the headquarter and so on. We are waiting for their final suggestions. Therefore, we have not slept over the matter and in fact, officers are being already proposed to take charge of he administration of the unit. I do not know how it is relevant  with so many things that the hon. member from Mawhati has brought, for example like the pompous cars. In fact, compared to other States, I think we in Meghalaya have not complained about this. It is a matter of congratulation because big foreign cars are being piled in other States while here, we have only one foreign car used by the Chief Minister. All other Ministers are using common man cars.

Prof M.N. Majaw :- Common man walks.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- I would rather suggest that the Ministers should walk to visit their areas. But it is so irrelevant to link the decentralization of policy with ambassador cars and also water supply in the constituency into the matter of decentralization with water supply. Sometimes we are only wasting our time on this very important policy. We are bogged down into details leek water supply, pompous ears and so on. I would request the hon. member, though I really welcome very much the co-operation, constructive suggestions and criticism from all Members of the House, not to bring in such matters which are not relevant. As we have already stated, even if we have been travelling as for as we can consistent with our duties, we cannot really get the full knowledge of the whole States. We welcome the suggestions and opinions of all public leaders. I would, therefore, request the Hon. members to be more constructive and more concise so that we shall benefit on all sides when we discuss in the House. We have only 10 days' time and we can hardly use this time to cover all area of the State. So we need to used this time to cover all area of the State. So we need to used this item in a most judicious way. Sir, the hon. member from Nongkhlaw has said whether the Chairman of the Block should be the Deputy Commissioner or any other persons. So far as this question of decentralization is concerned, however, it may or may not be relevant to this matter. It may be brought in the subject of C.D. by cut motion or by any motion. Regarding this matter of having official Chairman like the D.C or to have any non-official Chairman.........

Shri H. Hynniewta :- Sir, I rise on a point of order. The Minister is challenging to decision of the Chair. The Chair has allowed this discussion and it means.......

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Sir, I have not challenged the Chair. I simply said whether it is relevant or not?

Shri H. Hynniewta :- Sir, therefore it amounts to the Chair being accused of allowing irrelevant discussion. 

Shri B.B. Shallam :- May I raise a point of order?

Shri H. Hynniewta :- I will not yield, Sir, to him. He should say that he rises on different points. So Sir, although I do not think this is the intention of the Minister, but  is trying to run down the character and the importance of our criticism. It is open to him to do so. But it is not for him to say that we are raising irrelevant question. It amounts to reflection on the Chair. How can the chair be allowed to be accused of allowing irrelevant discussion in the House?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister for Parliamentary Affairs) :- I want to point out in this regard that it is a relevant question in the Department of C.D. I have not challenged that it is out or order. I have not said so. it is a question whether it is relevant to the subject.

Shri H. Hynniewta :- The question is whether he has raised a relevant discussion. That is the point. He has admitted, Sir, that means that it should be raised by way of Cut motion during the discussion on the Demands of the C.D. Department. He has said Sir, he has repeated it  again. I think the point of order has now tuned down his sense of unhappiness on the decision of the Chair to allow this discussion (Laughter). So, Sir, I would request him not to repeat it. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a question of being more constructive and more relevant. For example, I have referred to Water Supply at  Mawhati.

Prof M.N. Majaw :- No question should be made about the Water Supply of Mawhati, the questions is irrelevant. 

Shri H. Hynniewta :- So, Sir, the basic question is whether the discussion is relevant. If you allow the Minister in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs to accuse us of raising irrelevant issues in this House keeping in view that the Hon'ble Speaker who was present in the House at that time did not exchange our remarks from the proceedings of the House, I think it is not open to the Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs to accuse us of the irrelevance because as far as the House is concerned, his opinion is as good as mine. If he accused us of the irrelevance, I can also accuse him of challenging the decision of the chair but he does not intend to challenge the ruling of the Chair, but to add a little more liveliness to the discussion of the House, I would request him not to press on with the accusation of irrelevance. In order to relieve you, Sir, of the unpleasant duty and to come to a decision about it because, Sir, when the point of order has been raised, whether you like it or not, your wisdom or discretion has to be exercised. So, Sir, in order to relieve you of this unpleasant duty and to come to a decision about it, I would in the same smiling way, but at the same time very seriously, request the Minister not to press on his charge of irrelevancy. Otherwise, Sir, I would have to request you to give your ruling.

Mr. Speaker :- I have heard very patiently the points of order which practically are no points of order at all. It is not only the question of misunderstanding, but it is really wrong on the part of the Minister to say that whatever has transpired here is irrelevant or parts of the speeches of the hon. members are irrelevant. Otherwise, the Minister or nobody else should have pointed out at the correct time and pointed out to the House that such points are irrelevant. But since the most important point for discussion here is regarding the suggestion made by the hon. member from Nongkhlaw, Mr. Hynniewta as to the Chairmanship in the Block Development Board. I think this is the point. It is a matter of police whether the Government agrees to his suggestion or the Government has its own policy. He wants only to get a clarification from the Minister whether the case is under examination or is already working whether the case is under examination or is already working is some of the Blocks or the Government had its own policy. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister for Parliamentary Affairs) :- But Mr. speaker, Sir, it is not a challenge. The whole issue is a misleading question. I have not challenged the matter so far as it concerns the chairmanship of the Block Development Committees. It might be consider in other ways and in other forms. 

Mr. Speaker :- I think the hon. Minister does not also understand that this particular point has already been raised and he may not have the occasion to reply thrown a challenge, it is up to the Government. 

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Community Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I interrupt because as far as it concerns the C.D. Department which under my charge, the question of chairmanship whether official or non-official and the roll of the BDC are under the active consideration of the Government. We are now finding out ways and means how to put it into action.

Mr. Speaker :- So the discussion is closed. Let us pass on to Motion No.6 to be moved by Prof. Majaw.  

Prof M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I move that this House do now discuss the functioning of the Public Works Department of the Government of Meghalaya. 

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and I fix half an hours time for discussion. 

Shri H. Hynniewta : -Sir, can you not give more time as the subject is very wide besides the amount of money set apart is very big and therefore, the allegation also are more numerous. I think Sir, it is  fit case for more time. 

Mr. Speaker :- In that case, let me allot one hour for discussion and to-day I will give a chance to the mover. Then we will carry it over to the next private Members' day. 

Prof M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will confine myself, in this motion, only to the functioning of the PWD because although we are often being accused, even a few breathes ago of being destructive and not constructive, we must admit that there are some areas where praise is due and others where brick-bats are due and there are plans in the PWD (I have spelt it out as the Public Waste Department) that have been very carefully enunciated and drawn up, sanctioned an financed. We are all aware of this. 

Mr. Speaker :- First of all, please withdraw the phrase "Public Waste Department".

Prof Martin Narayan. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have referred to it in the terms used by the public itself. 

Mr. Speaker :- Anything referred outside the House can not be brought inside the House. 

Prof Martin Narayan. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as far as plans are concerned, there are certain expenditure on plans drawn up by the Public Works Department there is also sufficient finance; there should therefore be no difficulty in the implementation of these plans to a great extent. Of course, there should be more plans and more finance, but that is a different matter which I would not like to discuss. The only thing that struck my mind is with regard to the functioning of these plans and their implementation, and how these funds are being utilised. Now, this discussion will take into account plans, than rates, personnel including appointment as also the rates that PWD at present maintains. As far as road are concerned, implementation of scheme under roads includes one which is one of the most important roads in this State namely the G.S Road. This on gigantic road from Shillong to Gauhati, of about 64 odd miles, sad to be a very beautiful road in British days. Similarly, as far as the road is concerned, an interesting road is the Shillong-Dawki road. But what do we find to-day? Mr. Speaker, Sir, this G.S. Road has been "beautified" by quarry stone, boulders, pipes and dirty culvert, which have been lying there for more that one year, which have carefully accumulated for years together in the area, creating a hazards fro drivers, resulting in frequent accidents. I have not been able to make out the total number of records of accident. I have not been able to make out the total number of records of accidents that have occurred along the G.S. Road caused by the wrong planning or ludicrous or awkward placement of these house pipes. That is why the occurrence of accidents along the G.S. Road is very high. Also, Mr. Speaker, Sir, because of this fact, a whole year transpires between the decisions to implement the scheme and the actual implementation, By the time the financial sanction is secured, there is another sanction to be secured i.e.,  technical sanction. There are a number procedures for the calling of tenders and then the selection of qualified contractors and so on and so forth. By the time the actual work, beings, the rate for the different materials has considerably gone up and this puts the selected contractors into endless difficulties resulting in their inability to complete the allotted work in time. Sometime, contactors on the G.S. Road is taken up part by part and just when repairs on a particular portion are completed, another contractors will dig up the same road, and therefore, the drivers who ply on this road, quite often give good business to the pole who sell spare parts. Now, Me. Speaker, Sir, I really do not know whether all the hume pipes placed along the G.S. Road are actually to be used there or to be used elsewhere. It is a kind of godowns. In that case if these hume pipes are subject to frequent transfers, it will be a wastage of money to lift these huge concrete pipes and carry them to other places where they are to be used. Therefore I put it to the House that at least something tangible should be done so that these pipes are permanently laid along the G.S. Road and that culverts are dug and constructed along the G.S. Road and that culverts are dug and constructed along the G.S. Road properly, to avoid huge wastage of money. As it is now, how many times the road is dug up? And gravel or stones should be place there in such a manner that there is no hazard to drivers along the road. Now, let me take another famous road, the Umsning-Jagi road, the only road that runs through the heart of the Bhoi area. This is the most under-developed road in this State, the one and only road in the centre of the Bhoi area. This road will form part of the National Highway but improvement works on this important road are at a stand still. An engineer was deputed to look after this road, but just when the work was to be started, he was transferred elsewhere and another engineer was posted in his place. And that new man look after the road happened to be someone who is already overburdened with works of another Division stretching upto Balat and Dawki. Though this very man had been asked to look after this road, how can be efficiently perform his work when his duties are so vast? Sometime ago, I happened to travel along this part of the road. As soon as I got down from my jeep, I tried to secure the help of the Muharri who lived at that place, but he was not available. There was nobody there. Some of the staff had taken leave and some of them were heavy repair works along that road. This is actually the case even today. many hon. Members would also want to mention something regarding some other roads, and my hon. friend from Nongkhlaw has said that if some more time is granted, other members will definitely participate in the discussion. Now, about rates. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not possible for them to execute their orders honestly, it is not possible for them to execute their orders honestly for the rates maintained by the Government, by the PWD are still old rates maintained by the Government, by the PWD are still old rates of 1950 or 1955. They are even 50 per cent lower compared with the present price index.

Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw, you may continue on the next day when the Private Member's business will be taken up.


Adjournment

        The House stands adjourned till 9 a.m. on Saturday the 8th December, 1973.

R. T. RYMBAI
Dated Shillong, Secretary,
the 7th December, 1973. Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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