The House met at 10.a.m. with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair.
Immediately after the House was called to order by the Chair, Shri G.S. Massar, raised a point of order apprising the House that no official Reporter was available to record the proceedings of the House and he proposed the adjournment of the House. Shri E.K. Mawlong supported the view expressed by Shri G.S. Massar and suggested that the House should be adjourned until the Reporters of the Assembly are fetched .
However, the Speaker told the House that there was only one vehicle for the Assembly Secretariat and due to this lack of transportation and Curfew Passes etc., it was not possible to fetch all Reporters from their respective residences and opined that the House should stand adjourned for half an hour to enable the Reporters to come.
(The House was adjourned half and hour).
The House re-assembled at 11 .a.m. with the Speaker in the Chair.
Starred question Nos.164,165,167,169,170,171,172,173,174,177,178,179,180 and 181 with supplementaries thereto were replied. Starred question Nos. 166,168,175 and 176 without supplementary were disposed of.
(a) Under Rule 49(a) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri Constantine Lyngdoh, raised a matter of grave public importance in regard to a news item published in "U Nongsain Hima " dated 18th March, 1996 under the caption " Kynnoh leh sting ia ka P.H.E." in which it was reported that there has been an acute scarcity of Water Supply in Nongshilliang area of Nongthymmai and the problem of people in getting drinking water. He requested the concerned department to take urgent step to ensure supply of water to this locality.
Clarifying the position, Shri R.Lyngdoh, Minister in charge P.H.E., stated that the P.H.E. department has been supplying water to the composite areas namely, Nongrim Hill, Nongshilliang and Pdengshnong from the Umkhen Water Supply Scheme (Phase I and Phase II) which also feeds the Laitumkhrah area.
He told the hon. Member from Nongpoh that the department is aware of the water crisis in the N.N.P. areas and with regard to the request made by the Dorbar of Nongshilliang village held on 5th March, 1996, he further clarified that a proposal to cut off the pipeline which supply water clarified that a proposal to cut off the pipeline which supply water to Nongrim Hills from the existing arrangement and to provide a separate pipeline with an overhead reservoir to entire Nongrim Hills in order to clear the misunderstanding between the different localities under the N.N.P. areas. He also informed the House that repairs of pipelines including the storage dam at Dum Dum are being attended by the department field staff to ensure regular supply of drinking water to these areas.
(b) Under Rule 49(a) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri P.D. Sangma raised a matter of great public importance with regard to the urgent need to stop the unauthorized export of boulders, metals and stone chips to Bangladesh which has caused heavy shortage of the materials for development works namely construction roads and bridges etc., in the State in general and the Garo Hills District in particular.
In reply to the above zero hour, Dr. R.C. Laloo, Minister of Finance, clarified that this problem has not been experienced in Khasi Hills District and Jaintia Hills District but only the Garo Hills District is facing this serious problem. He apprised the hon. Member from Williamnagar that recently on receipt of information regarding operation of stone quarries in West Garo Hills, the D.F.O., Garo Hills initiated action to stop quarrying and transport of boulders, stone chips etc along with transit passes which were already issued by the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council under the provision of the Garo Hills District Council Forest Act, 1958. However, he told the House that some aggrieved parties have challenged this seizure of the D.F.O. in the Shillong Bench of the High Court who instead directed the respondents to take step that the petitioner is entitled to utilise the license granted by the Garo Hills District Council. He further stated that steps are being taken by the Government to file review petition and to obtain interim order to vacate the Court's directive so that Civil rule is disposed off on merit.
The Speaker informed the House that he had received a motive the adjournment motion tabled jointly by Shri G.S. Massar, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Shri E.K. Mawlong and Smti R. Warjri but since it failed to fulfill the requirement as required under the rules, it cannot be admitted for discussion today. However, he informed that the Minister incharge Home (Police) may like to make a Sou Motto statement on the incident which took place on 1st April, 1996.
Apprising the House of the incident that took place in Shillong on the forenoon and early afternoon of the 1st April, 1996, Shri J.M.Pariat, Home Minister, stated that immediately after the Police had stopped the procession from being taken out, there had been heavy pelting of stone upon the Police followed by firing from what were suspected to be a country made and unlicensed fire arms which lasted for a very long time in various parts of Mawkhar, Umsohsun, Wahingdoh etc. and in view of the situation which prevailed and in order to prevent further deterioration of law and order, the District Magistrate, East Khasi Hills imposed curfew on the affected areas from 6.p.m. on 1st April, 1996 until further orders. He also mentioned that the assistance of the Army was called for in view of the shortage of man power and flag marches by the Army Column had been staged in order to restore confidence of the public in these affected areas.
He appealed to the Members from both sides of the House to cooperate with the Government to restore normalcy in the affected areas as early as possible and to sort out the problem at right earnest.
Smti R. Warjri called for more clarifications from the Minister incharge and pleaded the withdrawal of para-military and CRPs from the curfew clamped areas like Mawkhar, Umsohsun etc. She also apprise the House of the atrocities and excesses committed by these forces to the members of the public. She demanded compensation to be paid to the next of kins of the victim and for the damage committed by the CRPs and for a magisterial enquiry into the incidents.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh stated that the situation did not warrant the deployment of Army. He was of the opinion that the situation should have been tackled out better by the deployment of Police personnel who understand the conditions, language and the terrains of hill areas.
Shri G.S. Massar, Shri H.S.Lyngdoh, Shri O.N. Chyrmang and Shri P.D. Sangma demanded an independent Judicial enquiry to go into incident as soon as possible. Shri E.K. Mawlong wanted further discussion to be taken by the Government with the organisations, due compensation to the victim's family and demanded stern action against the Police personnel.
Clarifying the points raised by the Members Shri J.M.Pariat, Home Minister, stated that many of the local officers who have been deployed in the affected areas sustained injuries and, therefore, CRPs have to be put into action. As regards excesses committed by the Police and the CRPs he called for specific allegations in order that action can be taken against them. He also refuted the charge that the administration has gone out of control and assured the charge excesses by the Police would be looked into and and enquiry will be set up to go into the incident.
( The Chief Minister, called for a joint discussion with Members from both sides of the House in his Chamber as soon as the House rises for the day ).
The House was adjourned at 1.15 p.m. to meet again at 2 p.m.
The House re-assembled at 2 p.m. with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair.
Shri J.D.Pohrmen, Minister in charge P.W.D. moved Grant NO.19.
Before Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh moved his cut motion against this Grant, the Minister in-charge P.W.D. raised a point of order under Rule 145(1) (c) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business stating that the cut motion relates to a token and not a policy cut.
The Speaker observed that the cut motion was purely on policy cut motion and ruled out that the mover should confine himself to policy matters only.
Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh move his cut motion. He discussed on the functioning of the P.W.D. (1) He urged upon the department to spell out clearly the types of roads to be taken up on priority basis. (2) to have a Board in the P.W.D. (3) he wanted to know the outstanding amount due by Contractors district wise and (4) the figure of density of all weather roads in the State.
Shri S.R. Moksha, Shri H.S.Lyngdoh, Shri S.L.Marbaniang took part.
(The words "my wife" and "kick them out" uttered by Shri S.L.Marbaniang were declared to be unparliamentary by the Chair and should be expunged from the proceedings).
Shri A.D. Marak and Ton Singh N. Marak opposed the cut motion.
(Shri Ton Singh N. Marak's deliberations were inconclusive to continue next day).
The House rose at 4 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 3rd April, 1996.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly