The House met at 10 a.m. with the Hon'ble Deputy Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Private Members' Business.
Starred questions No. 125, 126, 127, 128, 129 with supplementaries thereto, Nos.130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144 and 145 without supplementary were disposed of.
Shri P.M. Syiem called the attention of the Minister, Home (Police) under rule 54(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to the news item published in the Khasi Daily "U Nongsain Hima" dt. 21/3/2001 under the caption "Bom kput ki Pulit SOT ia ki Nongbylla."
Quoting newspaper report on the act of highhandedness by the S.O.T. personnel to the daily labourers on the 20th March, 2001 who were proceeding to Upper Nongthymmai on the way to Lumdemthring in which a group of S.O.T. personnel intercepted the taxi these labourers were travelling pulled them out and beat them black and blue without any rhyme or reason. He cited an instance of a video clipping telecast by the media on the harassment of the S.O.T. to the inhabitants of Mawlai Kynton Massar recently and other related incident of raping in Garo Hills last year and called for a statement from the Minister in-charge on the action taken by the government to prevent these unfortunate incidents in future.
Before replying to the points highlighted by the mover of the Calling Attention, the Minister in-charge Home (Police), Shri T.H. Rangad, gave a suo motto statement on the firing incident which took place on the night of 27th March, 2001 at Jaiaw Langsning. He informed the House that the last night at about 10.30 p.m. a team of police personnel who were on routined patrol duty were ambushed by a group of armed H.N.L.C activists who opened fire on the police personnel in which two Constables (1) Shri Jewelston two others and (2) Chandra Bhusan Choudhury died on the spot whereas two others (1) A.S.I. Kamal Thapa and (2) Sohan Bahadur Thapa suffered injuries and were taken to Civil Hospital, Shillong for treatment. Describing the police men as the servants of the Law first and last, be stated that although there were one of two instances of lapses on their part, one should appreciate or praise them sometimes since they are performing their duty sincerely for the year round to ensure a peaceful society. He called for the cooperation from both sides in this regard.
With regard to the points raised by the hon. Member from Mylliem in his Calling Attention, the Minister in-charge Home apprised the House that none of the Police Units in the Shillong City were informed about the alleged beating of the labourers by the SOT on 17th March, 2001, no FIR was lodged either at Madanryting Police Station or at Nongthymmai Beat House by any body. He also stated that from the information received by the Government no SOT party was deputed to Nongthymmai or Madanryting area on 17th March, 2001 for duty.
However, he mentioned that he had asked for further enquiry into the above allegation against the Police personnel and necessary action will be taken against the erring Police personnel if the allegation is found to be true.
The Minster in-charge Home (Police) further informed that there are standing orders and instructions issued to the police personnel from time to time that all police personnel especially those on raids and checking duties, that they must behave with utmost restraint and consideration both in words and deeds and not to harass innocent people but rather they should inculcate a spirit of trust and confidence since it is only through the help of law abiding citizens along with the law enforcing agency that a law abiding society could be achieved.
Shri Kyrmen Susngi, Minister in-charge P.W.D. (Roads & Bridges) continued his reply to the discussion on motion No.2 moved by Shri K.C. Boro the other day. He stated that the department is exercising its mind to accumulate maximum no of contractors as far as practicable and refuted the allegation that only those people who can give money, get works. The Minister also informed the mover that the question of giving fifty percent of the work of the educated unemployed youth is under examination of the Government and with regard to the need to declare the S.W.R.W.T. Road a national highway, he stated that during the visit of the Prime Minister on 21st and 22nd January, 2000, the Chief Minister had already submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minster requesting the Government of India to declare this particular road a national highway and subsequently last year he had himself met the Union Minister of Surface Transport at New Delhi and had reminded him of the urgent need to declare this road a national highway. However, he said nothing tangible has come out till date.
He replied to other clarifications sought for by the mover and participants.
Shri K.C. Boro moved motion No.3.
"This House do now discuss the style of functioning of the Education Department with a special reference to the higher scale of pay to the principals and Librarians of the Deficit Colleges and other problems facing such Colleges".
Discussing on the functioning of the Education Department the mover argued that development of a society depends very much on the responsibility that the teacher undertake. He stressed on the need to give higher pay scale to the Principals of deficit colleges at par with the U.G.C. scales of pay considering the nature of work they perform and not to amalgamate their pay scale with that of the lecturers. The hon. mover also called for an assurance from the Minister in-charge of Higher Education that the Government should consider to give higher pay scale in the interest of education. He also suggested and urged upon the Government to consider giving higher pay scale to the Librarians of deficit colleges at par with the principals.
Shri S.C. Marak, Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of the Opposition took part and suggested that the 41 no. of deficit college teachers be given higher scale of pay including pension benefits.
Replying to the discussion raised by the mover of the motion and other participants, Shri T.H. Rangad, Minister in-charge of Higher Education, pointed out that there are altogether 48 no of Colleges providing higher education out of which, there are 3 Government colleges, 15 deficit colleges, 10 colleges receiving adhoc Grant-in-Aid from the Government and 20 private colleges relying wholly on their own resources. He further mentioned that ever since 1989, after the UGC scale were implemented in Meghalaya, Government had seriously considered extending higher scales of pay to the principals and every effort was made to work out criteria to enable the Government to extend the higher scales to eligible and deserving Heads of Colleges which exercise has not been easy for the simple reason that even with this small number of Colleges their status are so varied.
However, he told the House that the Government is examining the points of criteria to justify extending higher pay scales to some Principals and though they indicate. to a great extent, the difference between various Colleges, they are not clear pointers to enable differentiating the deserving from the non-deserving and that the Government is making an all-out effort to find the right solution to the problems and at the same time give the Colleges concerned a fair and just deal and that Government has not given up hope of finding appropriate solution to the problem and that some positive steps have been taken in this direction.
As regard, Librarian, the Minister in-charge informed the House that in principle, Government has accepted the Scheme to extend UGC Scales to qualified/eligible Librarians provided first of all whether the Libraries fulfill the conditions specified by the University in matters relating to Number of Books, Journal, magazines, provision for reference, number of users, Library service, working hours and other facilities including computerisation of Library.
He also replied to other queries and clarifications.
Shri K.C. Boro did not move motion No.4.
Shri C.R. Marak moved :
"This House do now discuss the complete negligence of the Government for the creation of the P.H.E Sub-Division in Garo Hills".
The mover discussed in details on the functioning of the P.H.E. Department vis-a-vis the need to create a P.H.E. Sub-Division at Chokpot.
Shri Sujit Sangma, Shri P.M. Syiem, Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Shri R.G. Lyngdoh and Shri K.C. Boro took part.
Replying to the points raised by the mover and other members who participated in the motion, Shri Sing Mulieh, Minister in-charge P.H.E. stated that the Government had drawn up a proposal for the creation of a separate P.H.E. Sub-Division for Garo Hills which was cleared by Planning Department recently and is now under examination by the Personnel department. However, he assured that the Division will be created as early as possible. As regards the P.H.E. circle at Williamnagar, he pointed out that the department after a thorough examination of the proposal it was found to be not justified to create this circle at this juncture and that untill a circle is created the post of Superintending Engineer could not be considered. However, he said that the proposal for P.H.E. circle in East Garo Hills will be re-examined by the Government. He further informed that the creation of an Electoral Division in Shillong was considered on the basis of the work load and on the recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee. The Minister in-charge replied to the points raised by the participations and assured that they will be examined by the department. Sine the time stood 2 p.m. his reply remains inconclusive to be continued next time.
The House rose at 2 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Thursday, the 29th March, 2001.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
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