The Assembly met at 10 A.M. with the Speaker in the Chair.
The day was utilised for transaction of private members' business.
Unstarred questions Nos.353 to 361 were disposed of.
Extension of time for submission of the Report of the Select Committee on the Meghalaya (Extension and Application of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation) (Inner Line) Bill, 1979, till the next Session of the Assembly was granted by the House on a motion being moved to that effect by the Chief Minister and Chairman of the Select Committee on the said Bill, Shri B.B. Lyngdoh.
(i) The Chief Minister concluded his reply on the following resolution moved by U M.N. Majaw on March 31, 1981 :-
"This House hereby resolves that the Government of India be urged to bring in legislation to suitably amend Articles 330, 332 and 334 of the Constitution of India to restore reservation of seats in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly for the Scheduled Tribes of the State and also in the House of the People."
The Chief Minister was confident that the Government of India lately was responsive to the resolution on the issue passed by the House a year ago.
The resolution was later withdrawn by leave of the House.
(ii) Shri P.R. Kyndiah moved :-
"This House calls upon the Government to consider construction of fly-over bridge on the main national highway of the Shillong-Gauhati Road near about the Mawlai bridge at Shillong with a divertional road toward Mawprem in order to relieve traffic congestion."
The mover alleged that the congestion on the highway contributed to a number of fatal vehicular accidents in the past.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy and Shri J.D. Pohrmen supported the resolution.
In reply the Minister for Public Works, Shri Salseng Marak, informed the House that investigation and survey were under way to identify a suitable site for a bridge over the Umkhrah river and to prepare a bye-pass to meet the national highway at Mawshabuit village.
The resolution was thereafter withdrawn by leave of the House.
U M.N. Majaw moved :-
"This House do now discuss the statement made by the Minister incharge of Food and Civil Supplies before the House on March 27, 1981."
The mover observed that Meghalaya had been compelled to pay huge amount of Central Sales Tax for petrol and diesel, which, he felt, could have been avoided had there been registered dealers of petroleum products inside the State of Meghalaya.
The Minister for Civil Supplies, Shri Maham Singh, informed the House that negotiations were under way with various oil companies to have their registered offices in Meghalaya and also to established a depot in the State.
(i) The House took up further discussion on the following motion moved by Shri T. Kyndiah on the previous day :-
"This House do now discuss the working of the Public Health Engineering Department in the State."
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy made a reference to the poor maintenance of the Mawlong Water Supply Scheme and the Pohkseh Water Supply Scheme.
Shri E.K. Mawlong also expressed unhappiness over the slow progress of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Schemes.
Replying to the discussion, the Minister for Public Health Engineering, Shri S.D. Khongwir, stated that the Public Health Engineering Department would have a much greater role to play during the present decade to provide potable water to every village in the State. Handicapped though by the dearth of technical personnel in the Department, the Minister assured that the Department would do its utmost to attend to all the alleged defects in the Water Supply Schemes and to that and he sought the cooperation of the people.
(ii) Shri J.C. Marak moved :-
"This House do now discuss the great need of constructing a P.W.D. I.B. at Silkigiri in West Garo Hills District."
He justified the need for the Inspection Bungalow on the ground that in case of necessity it was very inconvenient for anyone to move from Silkigiri to the nearest available inspection Bungalow.
The Minister for Public Works stated in reply that a temporary rest house already existed at Silkigiri and since inspection bungalows already existed at Sibbari and Chokpot, the Government did not feel the immediate necessity of a bungalow at Silkigiri.
(iii) Shri Mozibar Rahman moved :-
"This House do now discuss the urgent need of covering the routes of West Garo Hills and East Garo Hills by Meghalaya State Transport Corporation bus service for the benefit of the people of the region."
The mover alleged that the people of Garo Hills suffered immensely for lack of proper bus services.
The following members also fell in line with the mover :-
|(b)||Shri J.C. Marak,|
|(c)||Shri J.D. Pohrmen.|
The Minister for Transport, Shri Reidson Momin, replied that the Meghalaya Transport Corporation was still in its infancy. He stated that bus services would be introduced all over the State in phases during the Sixth Plan period.
(iv) Shri Rowell Lyngdoh moved :-
"This House do now discuss the need of inclusion of the cantonment area forming part of the town of Shillong under the civil administration of the State Government."
Shri L .Kharlukhi and Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy supported the motion.
In reply the Minister incharge of Revenue, Shri D.D. Lapang, stated that the issue involved transfer of land to the State Government by the Ministry of Defence, and that Government would continue to pursue the matter with the Centre.
(v) Shri J.C. Marak moved :-
This House do now discuss the need of taking up construction works of buildings at Chokpot in the West Garo Hills District to house the P.W.D. Sub-Division."
The mover alleged that the P.W.D. officials had been functioning at Chokpot against numerous odds.
Shri Mozibar Rahman spoke in favour of the motion.
The Minister for Public Works disclosed that estimates for P.W.D. Office buildings and staff quarters had since been received by the Chief Engineer and expressed the hope that sanction thereto would be accorded soon.
As there was no more business to be transacted, the House rose at 1.30 P.M. and the presiding Chairman, Shri Rowell Lyngdoh, adjourned the House till 10 A.M. on Friday, April 3, 1981.
Sd/- D.S. KHONGDUP,
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.