Monday, July 10, 1978

The Assembly met at 9.30 A.M. with the Speaker in the Chair.

        The day was devoted for transaction of Private Members' Business.


        Starred Questions Nos.14 & 16 with supplementaries thereto and No.17 were disposed of Questions Nos.13 & 15 were not asked as the questioners were absent.

        Unstarred Questions Nos.104 - 131 with supplementaries on Nos.104 - 107, 109-110, 112-117, 119, 121, 1213-126, 128 - 130 were also disposed of.

        The Speaker apprised the House of the fact that out of 17 Starred Questions and 203 unstarred Questions admitted and sent to various departments, 17 starred Questions were replied to.


        Shri. Manik Das (MULF) made a reference to the strike notice served by the Meghalaya Electric Supply Workers Union for going on an indefinite strike from the midnight of July 11-12, 1978.

        The Minister for Power, Shri. H. Hadem, made a statement informing the House that the Union had not yet been recognsied and declared that the proposed strike was illegal as per provisions of the Industrial Dispute Act. He stated that the Union had not given a final verdict and the Management was trying to negotiate the issue in a spirit of give and take.


        Shri. E.K. Mawlong (ULP) called the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to the column appearing in "Ka Lyngwiar Dpei" in its issue dated July 1, 1978 under the caption "G.P. Singhania versus Government Order."

        Shri. B.K. Roy (MULF) raised a point of order to the effect that the matter could not be raised as the case referred to was sub-judice. The Leader of the Opposition, Shri W.A. Sangma, and Shri. Maham Singh (MULF) also opposed the notice.

        The Chief Minister, Shri. D.D. Pugh, made a submission to the effect that since the matter was controversial, it need not be raised at all. The House agreed to this proposal.


        Shri. S.P. Swer, Member, Committee on Privileges, moved sanction for extension of time for submission of the report of the Committee on Privileges relating to the complaint of breach of privilege moved by Shri. M.N. Majaw, M.L.A. on the 29rh November, 1977, against Shri. S.N. Koch, Ex-M.L.A. till the 10th  November, 1978, which was agreed to by the House.


        The Chief Minister, Shri. D.D. Pugh, caused the Report of the Education Commission 1977 (Meghalaya) to be laid on the Table.

6.    MOTION :

        (i) Shri. S.P. Swer (ULP) moved the following motion :

"This House do now discuss the plight of the school children and the teachers due to dispensation of L.P. Schools under the Most Backward and Specially Backward Scheme in the State."

        He dwelt at length on the numerous hardships and inconvenience faced both by the teachers and the students in the Primary Schools set up under the scheme.

        The Minister for Community Development, Shri. M.N. Majaw, apprised the House that the Government had decided to maintain these schools through the C.D. Blocks upto February 28, 1979.

        (ii) Shri. H.L. Nongsiang (ULP) moved :

"This House do now discuss the need to restrict export of timber outside the State."

        He complained that 80% of the timbers extracted in Meghalaya were exported outside the State. He wished that the Government should restrict the export in consultation with the District Councils. He also put forward the suggestion that the Forest Development Corporation should take upon itself the export of timber.

        Shri. S.P. Swer (ULP) suggested that only sawn timbers should be allowed to be exported instead of logs as at present to generate rural employment.

        Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (ULP) felt that the continuous export of timbers from the State for the last 20 years or so had brought very little benefit to the State. He was against unscientific exploitation of forest resources.

        Shri. Mozibar Rahman (IND.), Shri Akramozzaman (MULF), Shri. Mukul Das (IND.) and Shri. G. Mylliemngap (ULP) also expressed identical views.

        Replying to the discussion the Minister, Forest, Shri. R. Lyngdoh, apprised the House that as per international norm, in hilly areas 60% of the land should comprise of forests but regretted that Meghalaya had only 37% of the areas under forests, out of which only 10% constituted reserved forests and forest lands. He expressed Government's concerned over wanton felling of trees for the purpose of exporting them and informed the House that Government would examine the question of exporting them and informed the House that Government would examine the question of amending the existing forest laws in consultation with the District Councils with a view to restricting the export of forest resources outside the State.

        (iii) Shri. S.P. Swer (ULP) moved :

"This House do now discuss the manner in which Rural Water Supply Schemes are being implemented in the State."

        He was not happy with the manner of implementation of the water supply scheme and cited the example of various schemes in Cherra area.

        Shri. Mozibar Rahman (IND.) stressed that more priority should be given to villages in the rural areas which are not connected by suitable roads and public places like bazaars in locating rural water supply schemes.

        Shri. S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (ULP) stated that more priority should be given to villages in the rural areas which are not connected by suitable roads and public places like bazaars in locating rural water supply schemes.

        Shri. S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (ULP) stated that the Department of Public Health Engineering was inadequately staffed which largely contributed towards defects in executing water supply schemes. He felt that it was only meet and proper to re-survey all the defective schemes and rectify the mistakes.

        Shri. Obil Kyndait (ULP) and Shri. B.K. Roy (MULF) also presented the cases of their constituency in matter of water supply.

        Replying to the discussion, Shri. J.D. Pohrmen, Minister-in-charge, Public Health Engineering, expressed Government's concern over the reported lapses of the Public Health Engineering Department in executing various schemes. He stated that Government intended to strengthen the Department with trained hands.

        (iv) Shri. S.P. Swer moved :

"This House do now discuss the necessity of detaching the whole area of Mawboh Sirdarship from the present Mawphlang Development Block for inclusion in the Shella-Bholaganj Development Block."

        He contended that for all intents and purposes Cherra was convenient for the people being at a distance of only 23 Km.

        The Minister of Community Development, Shri. M.N. Majaw, informed the House that Government would look into the question of re-defining the areas of various Development Blocks.

        (v) Shri. Manik Das (MULF) moved :

"This House do now discuss the functioning of the Mawmluh-Cherra Cements Ltd., Cherrapunjee."

        He informed the House that the Company had been paying Rs.25,000/- p.m. to the engineers engaged for the expansion programme and Rs.50,000/- p.m. to the employers of the Company  towards overtime. He completed that the Company had been running at a loss and the frequent breakdown of the plants had further  deteriorated the financial position of the Company. It was his feeling that since the Mawmluh-Cherra Cement Ltd., was the only major undertaking of the Government worth the name, Government should pay more attention to its management.

        Shri. Mozibar Rahman (IND.) complained that unlike the cement dealers in the District headquarters, the dealers in the rural areas did not get transport subsidy for carrying cement from the district headquarters to remote villages.

        Replying to the discussion, the Minister for Industries, Shri. P.R. Kyndiah, admitted that there were ample scope for improvement of the Company. The loss incurred by the Mawmluh - Cherra Cement Ltd., was mainly due to the low-paid production capacity and frequent breakdowns. He apprised the House that the Company was badly in need of expertise and reorganisation of its own cadre. He expressed satisfaction over the fact that the account of the company had been brought up-to-date by and large.

        (The reply could not be concluded for want of time and as such the motion stood pending till the next session).


        Shri. H.L. Nongsiang (ULP) raised a discussion under Rule 49 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business on a matter arising out of Unstarred Question No.61 asked by him on July 3, 1978. He was not satisfied with the reply and felt that the information given by the Minister was not true.

        Elaborating on the reply the Minister of P.W.D. Shri Y.F. Lyngdoh, informed the House that the original culvert, which was of fry stone masonry type, was constructed in 1969 at a cost of Rs.441.11. The present hume pipe type culvert estimated at Rs.9,800/- was under construction of replace the old culvert. He informed the House that on May 30, 1978, when the unfortunate accident took place through the other half of the old culvert separated by a gap of 16cm. which was covered by a log. The bus did not properly negotiate through the old culvert as a result of which one tyre got inside the log and the vehicle suddenly tilted. He informed the House that the bus was heavily loaded to the extent of more than 100 passengers, some of whom travelled on the roof. He maintained that the accident was caused due to the negligence of the driver and denied that it was due to the poor workmanship of the culvert as alleged by the questioner.


        The Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Finance, Shr. S.D. Khongwir, informed the House that the Government had decided to constitute a Pay Commission under the Chairmanship of Shri. N.K. Rustomjee, Retd. I.C.S., with 3 other members yet to be nominated and the Secretary, Finance as the Member Secretary. The Commission would start functioning with effect from August 1, 1978.


        The Speaker read out the prorogation order of the Governor and the House stood prorogued at 1.20P.M.


Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.