The House met at 10 a.m. with the Deputy Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Private Members' Business.
Starred Question No. 147 lapsed as the Questioner was absent. Questions Nos. 145, 146, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156 with Supplementaries thereto were replied, Starred Questions Nos. 157 to 175 were not asked.
Under Rule 49(a) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri E.K. Mawlong, raised a discussion on the non-functioning of public telephones in the villages installed by the Telecom Department. He wanted to know from the Minister incharge what action will be taken by the department to see that these telephones function at the earliest possible time.
Shri Tony Curtis Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Communications, apprised the hon. Member from Umroi that the State Government's capacity to intervene in this matter was very limited since this was a Central subject. However, he stated that he was maintaining a close liaison with the Telecom Department and on receipt of the report, he had convened a joint meeting of officials of the State and the Telecom Department to see that prompt action is taken to restore the functioning of these public call telephones in the villages.
Under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri Anthony Lyngdoh, drew the attention of the Minister incharge Co-operation to the news item published in the 'Apphira' dated 15th March, 1995 under the Caption " Meghalaya Co-operative CEO absconding ".
He suggested that a joint meeting be convened between the management and the officials and desired to know the exact position of the case and also on the functioning of this Union.
Shri Joylance Momin, Minister incharge Co-operation, gave a detailed statement with regard to the functioning of the Meghalaya Co-operative Union Ltd. and stated that the C.E.C. was attending to his usual work regularly and he assured the member that he will look into the matter.
Shri O.N. Shyrmang continued with his discussions on Motion No.3. He called for a reply from the Minister incharge as to whether a notification had been issued to the headmen of different villages of Saipung area before the declaration to constitute a Reserved Forest, the dates of issue and constitution of the Reserved Forest and asked the reason why the department concerned did not prevent the people at the beginning from their encroachment into the reserved forest land of Moulsei Village.
Other participants included Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Shri M. Suchiang and Shri B.B. Lyngdoh. They supported the motion.
Shri E.S. Lyngdoh, Parliamentary Secretary replied to the points raised by the mover and stated that those were illegal occupants of the Reserved Forest land and they have been evicted because of their indulgence in felling of trees and destructing the natural beauty of this Reserve Forest in violation of the regulations made under the Forest Act 1980.
Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh moved :-
" This House do now discuss the need to set up more Administrative Units in the State with special reference to Mawkohngei or Markasa being one such unit ".
He urged upon the Government to tag Umroi to the East Khasi Hills District and pleaded for creation of Administrative Unit either at Mawkohngei or Markasa in the West Khasi Hills in order to bring the administration closer to the people.
Shri E.K. Mawlong was of the opinion that more Civil Sub-Divisions be created in the Ri-Bhoi District with particular reference to Umroi and the Western part of Ri Bhoi and also suggested for the upgradation of the Shillong Sardar Division with a Deputy Commission of its own into a separate district, in the interest of efficient administration.
Shri O.N. Shyrmang, Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Shri G.S. Massar, Shri P.D. Sangma, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh and Shri M. Suchiang supported motion.
Others Members who participated included :-
(1) Shri Tonsingh N. Marak (2) Shri M.I .Sarkar.
Shri J.M .Pariat, Home Minister replying to the various discussions raised by the mover and the participants, told the House that creation of more Administrative Units and Civil Sub-Divisions involved a huge expenditure and that the proposal to create more Civil Sub-Divisions and Districts had been submitted to the 9th Finance Commission but unfortunately, this proposal was not considered. He called for a proposal from the mover and the hon. Member from Umroi to put forth their proposal for re-organisation of the boundaries of the Ri-Bhoi District, and also for tagging Umroi to Shillong and for the creation of Administrative Unit at Mawkohngei. As regards the suggestion voiced by other participants, he assured that these have been taken note of for examination by the Government.
Since the time was up, he will continue his reply on the next day.
The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Friday, the 24th March, 1995.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.