(Wednesday, the 1st July, 1998)

        The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Private Members' Business.


        Starred Questions Nos.83, 84, 85 and 93 lapsed as the questioners were absent, Nos.86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 94 and 95 with supplementaries disposed. Unstarred questions Nos.50 to 53 to which written replies given, laid on the tables.


        Under Rule 49 (a) of the Rules of the Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri Cyprian R. Sangma, raised a matter of great public importance with regard to a news item which appeared in the "Shillong Times" dated 30.6.98 under the caption "Abducted PDM. MLA in Calcutta".

        Quoting newspapers report, he wanted to know from the Minister incharge Home as to whereabouts of the PDM. MLA, Shri Elston Roy Kharkongor.

        In reply to the zero hour notice, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Home, apprised the Hon. Member that following a complaint of a missing report filed by Shri Elston Roy Giri the elder brother of Shri Elston Roy Kharkongor, MLA. of Nongkrem Constituency with the Nongthymmai Police Station on 27.6.98, a W.T. message was passed to police control room, Shillong and all S.s.p, Ss O.Ps in Meghalaya vide CDE No.339 dt.27.6.98 to locate the whereabouts of the missing person giving his particulars and if traced out, to inform the S.P., East Khasi Hills, Shillong.

        He further stated that Police control room responded immediately and activated all the highway patrols including city patrols to locate the whereabouts of the missing person and that a crash W.T  message was also sent to the Commissioner of Calcutta Police and the Director of M&T, Meghalaya House, Calcutta to verify regarding the presence of missing PDM MLA in Calcutta and the report on this is being waited.


        Shri Ton Singh N. Marak, MLA, presented a petition signed by the inhabitants of Wagopgre village, East Garo Hills and its surrounding areas regarding non-widening of the Do-be-Dare turning on Darugre-Rongrenggre via Songsak Road.


        Shri J.A. Lyngdoh, participated in the discussion on Resolution No.1. He lamented at the plight of the rural people who had been suffering of the outcome of the ban and criticized the previous government for disallowing people to attend the public rally at Shillong on 16.9.97 organised by the Meghalaya Land and Forest Owners Association. He opposed the resolution.

        Shri M. Suchiang took part.

        Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Chief Minister expressed his grave concern on the forest ban and stated that the Prime Minister had convened a joint meeting of all the Chief Ministers of the North East sometime in March in which all the Chief Ministers had expressed one very strong feeling of regret over this ban that was imposed by the Supreme Court and felt that something has gone wrong in the whole country and called for a joint effort to rectify the same. 

        Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Forest & Environment Minister gave a detailed reply to the various points raised by the mover of the resolution and other members who have taken part in the discussion. He also apprised the House of the various actions which the Government had taken in regard to the illegal seized timbers within the state in accordance with the Paras contained in the Supreme Court's order dated 15.1.98 and mentioned that the State Government had identified areas or industrial areas at Umiam, Export Promotion Industrial Park in Byrnihat and Industrial Estates at Khliehtyrshi in Jaintia  Hills and Maibang, Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills, Williamnagar, Mendipathar, in East Garo Hills and Dongpigiri in West Khasi Hills totaling 39 hectares for the location of wood-based industrial unit of the State which had been cleared by the H.P.C. without any penalty.

        However, he stated that efforts are on to solve this vexed problem facing the people of the State and assured the House that he will be visiting Delhi very soon from now to have consultation with the Prime Minister and the Union Ministry and to try his best to bring a solution in the interest of the people of the State.

        Shri Kitdor Syiem, sought certain clarifications with regard to Para 7 (1) and Para 35 of the Supreme Court's order dt.15.1.98 and suggested that a suitable amendment be brought to the Management and Control Forest Act 1958 of the Autonomous District Council as well as the Meghalaya Removal of Timbers Act 1981.

        Replying to the clarifications sought by the mover, Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Forest and Environment Minister replied that the matter will be examined by the Government in consultation with the District Council and if necessary an amendment will be brought for the interest of tribal land owners and development in the State.

        Since the mover was not willing to withdraw his resolution, the Speaker put the main question to vote, the motion was not carried - "Noes" have it and the Resolution was lost by a voice vote.


        Shri Ton Singh N. Marak, Chairman, Committee on Petition presented the First Report of the Committee on Petition.


        The Speaker, informed the House that (1) This morning, he received a fax message from Shri Elston Roy Kharkongor informing him of his inability to attend the remaining days of the Budget Session as he was out of station in view of routine domestic affairs. He read out the message (2) that yesterday morning, he had received one Privilege notice from Shri Cyprian R. Sangma, MLA. against the two other hon. Members of this August House and since he requires a thorough study of both the petitions and in view of that, he reserved his ruling.


        The House rose at 2.15 p.m. and stood prorogued.


Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.