The House met at 10 a.m. with the Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government Business.
Starred questions Nos.239, 243, 247, 249, 253, 254 and 260, no supplementary question was asked. Starred questions Nos. 241, 248 and 262 lapsed as the questioner was absent. Starred questions Nos.238, 240, 242, 244, 245, 246, 250, 251, 252, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259. 261, and 263 with supplementaries thereto were replied.
Shri E.K. Mawlong raised a point of order from the news paper of the boycott of the rest of the Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly by the Press Corps for their alleged non-providing of the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister presented to the House on 27th March, 1995.
The Speaker stated that he did not know how only "because the Assembly Secretariat does not have a regular Secretary that the Press boycotted the entire Session from coming" - he did not know under what rule and, therefore, he would like the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister to clarify.
Shri J.D. Pohrmen, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs stated that he has been advised by the Chief Minister to take up the matter with the Speaker and suggested that this issue should be discussed and settled outside the House.
Under Rule 49 (a) of the Rule of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri E.K. Mawlong raised a matter of urgent public importance in regard to the re-opening of the old canal for fresh water from Risa Colony to the Wards Lake in order to free the Lake from pollution. He urged the Government to find out ways and means to re-open this canal and treat this matter very seriously.
Shri S.S. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Tourism replying to the Zero Hour Notice informed the hon. Member from Umroi that steps were taken as far back in 1986 by the Government to re-open the canal and that the State Pollution Board in collaboration with the P.W.D. had been asked to submit the feasibility report.
However, he said that the State Pollution Board had submitted its report that the tests have indicated that the water is polluted right from the source and therefore, bringing fresh water to the Ward's Lake will be poisonous he assured that the Tourism Department was contemplating to take all possible steps to free the Lake from pollution.
Shri Anthony Lyngdoh, called the attention of the Tourism Minister under Rule 54 of the Rule of Procedure and Conduct of Business to a news item published in the "Meghalaya Guardian" dated 8th February, 1995 under the caption "Sorry State of Pinewood Hotel". He wanted a clarification on the mismanagement of Pinewood Hotel.
Shri S.S. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Tourism clarifying to the points raised by the hon. Member from Laban, told the House that the M.T.D.C. had been managing the affairs of the Pinewood Hotel after 1991 till now and that the Board of Directors were not satisfied with the performances of the Pinewood Hotel Ashok in the management contract with I.T.D.C. and hence, it was initially desired that other avenues may be explored including privatisation from the management contract. However he stated that at present, there is no proposal to privatise the management of Pinewood Hotel but in future the matter may be examined by the Government and the Corporation.
Dr. F.A. Khonglam, Minister, Health and Family Welfare, introducing the Meghalaya Medical Council ( Amendment ) Bill, 1995.
Shri Tubarlin Lyngdoh, initiated the general discussion on the budget.
Other participants included Shri S.L. Marbaniang and Shri E.K. Mawlong.
(Since the time was up, Shri E.K. Mawlong will continue his deliberations on the next day).
The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 29th March, 1995.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.