The House assembled at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the 23rd March, 1999 in the Assembly Chamber with the Hon. Deputy Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted to disposing Starred and Unstarred Question and the Private Members' Business.
The starred question No.7 lapsed since the mover was absent. The starred questions Nos.8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 passed with supplementaries. The starred question No.15 was replied by Shri P.T. Sawkmie, Minister of State for Sports etc in the absence of the Minister Forest, Shri Kitdor Syiem, However, Shri C.R. Marak raised objection and insisted that either Chief Minister or the Deputy Chief Minister to reply. However, the House opined that there was no need to insist on that point and there was no reason why a Minister of State could not reply in the absence of the concerned Minister. Unstarred question No.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 were placed on the table of the House duly replied.
Shri P.M. Syiem called the attention of the Minister Home (Police) to the news item published in "The Shillong Times" dt.17th March, 1999 under the caption "Fear Psychosis grips border villages". Moving the calling attention motion the mover wanted to know what action was being taken by the Government to contain the unlawful activities indulged in by the GNF in the border villages and the apprehended that there might be some foreign hands behind such activities. Replying to the calling attention motion. Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Home Minister, admitted that since the 17th February, 1999. the GNF had demanded ransom money from the villagers in the West Khasi Hills bordering Assam and abducted many people from that area. However, the Government has taken steps to contain the militancy of the GNF and one platoon of Police force had been posted in the affected village and if necessary a permanent Police out post would be set up in that area. And, if necessary, he would himself visit that area to instill confidence in the minds of the people.
Initiating the pending Motions, Shri A.D. Marak pointed out the uncertain condition of Rogai valley project. He also stressed the need for an alternative communication with Meghalaya other that through Assam. He suggested that the communication with Trans-Asia High Way should be given due consideration. Shri Cyprian Sangma supported the motion and pointed out that only 30.29 KM roads are covered by roads per hundred kilometer which is much below standard norms of 40 KM per hundred K.M. He mention that only 2486 villages are connected by roads. In his constituency, out of 96 villages, only 30 villages are covered by roads. He felt the need to develop the road connecting Tura and Shillong avoiding Assam. Shri T.H. Rangad appreciated the performances of the PWD but he felt that there was a need to develop the border roads especially with Bangladesh. Particularly in view of the opening of Yamuna Bridge by the Bangladesh Government. He suggested that some roads could be handed over to private parties; bye-pass road at Shillong. Shri K.C. Momin urged the need to maintain the roads properly. And he suggested that the local contractors should be asked to remain present in the site and to prevent benami transactions. He felt that there is a need to have proper co-ordination in the maintenance of roads. He also stressed the need to up-grade the road from Shillong to Tura via Nongstoin and Sonapahar. Participating in the discussion, Shri Simon Siangshai mentioned the roads in Jaintia Hills viz. Nartiang-Raliang road and especially roads in his constituency are in a very bad condition. He stressed the need to check that no bill is paid to the contractor without doing the work properly. He also mention about the road from Rymbai-Bathaw for quite some time. Shri Methrona R. Marak also mentioned about benami transaction which is rampant in Garo Hills. he demanded that rope-way would be constructed from Shillong to Shillong Peak and from Tura to Tura Peak. Shri A.L. Hek suggested that over-bridge be constructed for School and College going children instead of constructing a over-bridge for MLAs , because he felt that the Children required more security than the elderly people.
Replying to the points raised by the hon.Members, Shri J.D. Rymbai, Minister PWD, appreciated the concern of the hon. Members. But he said, contrary to the earlier days, now people are demanding roads everywhere but the Government has constraint for funds. He accepted the suggestion of Shri T.H. Rangad that some economic viable roads to be identified and be handed over the private parties. Two types of roads; viz. Tax-roads and Non-Tax roads was his suggestion before privatisation. He assured the House that during the next Budget when some more money would be available, the Government will taken up some more roads in the State. He also assured, that some paints have already been identified for construction of fly-overs for school/college going students.
Shri M.M. Dango was participated in the discussion. He also referred to the harassment caused by the BSF personnel and he wanted on alternative road for the people of Maheshkhola. Shri A.T. Mondal also stressed the need to convert some position of the road at Phulbari into National High Way.
(Chairman took the Chair)
Shri P.M. Syiem moved the motion that "This House do now discuss the need to raise the amount of MLA Scheme known as SRWP, CRRP, IADP for the interest of public". He stressed the need to increase the amount at the disposal of MLAs in view of the increase of population. These schemes have yielded good results, he maintained. Supporting strongly, Shri Cyprian Sangma said that the amount should be increased substantially because with the help this amount the elected member may take up many scheme. Shri M.M. Dango also supported the motion. Shri A.T. Mondal stated that it helped to the capital formation. Shri K.C. Momin supported the motion.
(Since the time was up, the Chairmen ruled that the discussion to continue on 6th and 8th April, 1999)
The Chairman announced the adjournment of the House till 10 a.m. on the Wednesday, the 24th March, 1999.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly