The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government Business.
Starred questions Nos. 74, 75, 81, lapsed since the questioners were absent, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80 and 82 with supplementaries thereto replied, Nos.83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89 and 90 without supplementary were disposed of.
Under Rule 49 (A) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri P.M. Syiem, raised a zero hour notice with regard to a news item published in "U Peitngor" dated 9th March, 2001 under the caption " Don aiu sha lyndet ki kam shim jaka sop sop ba buh State zoo ka Sorkar ". "What is there behind the scene in the acquisition of land for State's zoo ".
Moving his zero hour notice, the hon. Member from Mylliem called for a categorical statement from the Minister incharge Forest and Environment as to what was the Stand of the Government in this regard. He further desires to know the reason why the Government had acquired this land at a higher rate by rejecting the land at a less price and why land for the proposed Bio-diversity Garden was acquired at a Sacred place near U Lum Sohpetbneng which may affect the sentiment of the Hynniewtrep people and why not in some other sites? and from which source, Government will fund this project?
In reply to the points raised, the Minister in-charge Forest and Environment, Shri Adolf-Lu-Hitler Marak, apprised the hon. Member from Mylliem that the Central Zoo Authority, Government of India, had directed the State Government to upgrade the existing Lady Hyderi Park into a full fledged zoo and to re-allocate the Animals accordingly and that in compliance to this, the State Government constituted a State Level Site Selection Committee on 19.1.2001, headed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, with the objective of identifying a suitable plot for the State Zoo. He stated that among other aspects, the primary criteria for such a site for the zoo was the climatic and bio-geographical conditions suitable for the animals and that further, the Committee also considered the economical and convenient options for the creation and maintenance of the Zoo, as well as the accessibility and visitor-friendly aspects and after examining several sites, the site Selection Committee recommended the location near Lal Charai ( Mawlein-Mawkhan ) about 25 Kms from Shillong on the way to Guwahati.
However, the Minister in-charge informed the House since the cost of land acquisition as submitted by the collector amounting to Rs.6.64 crores was considered by the Government to be on the higher side, an Inter-Departmental Negotiating Committee ( IDNC ) headed by the Secretary, Forest department was constituted to negotiate the rate of land with the land owners with a view to bring down the land acquisition cost to Rs.1,71,61, 793/- and that pending finalisation of land acquisition proceedings, no amount of compensation will be paid to the rightful owners.
Shri M. Rava, Minister in-charge Transport continued with his reply to the discussion on cut motion against Demand No.8. He stated that proposal for a permanent site of landing ground for helicopter had been sent to the Union Ministry of Defence after ascertaining the opinion of experts and pilots of helicopters and that depending upon the approval from the Ministry of Defence to increase the flying hours from the fixed timing of 60 flying hours per month that the question of extending helicopter services to Williamnagar and other districts headquarters could be considered in future. The Minister in-charge presented figures of total expenditures on expenses and revenue receipts from April 2000 to February 2001. He also clarified to other points and clarifications sought for by the mover and participants.
(The word " Chokpot " uttered against Shri C.R. Marak by the Minister in-charge Transport was withdrawn by him latter).
The cut motion was therefore, withdrew by the mover with the leave of the House and Demand No. 8 was passed.
Shri M.N. Mukhim, Minister in-charge of Power, moved Demand No.9.
Shri Sujit K. Sangma moved his cut motion to Demand No.9. The mover raised a discussion on the non-functioning of Non-Conventional Energy Sources and non-electrifying of villages declares electrified. He suggested the revival of the Rural Electrification Scheme.
Since the time was up, his deliberation remains inconclusive to be continued on the next day.
The House rose at 12 noon and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Monday, the 26th March, 2001.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.