(Tuesday, the 25th June, 2002)

        The House met at 10 a.m. with the Chairman in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government Business.


        Starred Questions Nos. 11 to 21 with Supplementaries thereto and Nos. 22 to 25 without any Supplementary, were disposed of.


        Under Rule 300 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, Shri. C.R. Marak raised a point of order in connection with the election to the three Assembly's Financial Committees viz., the P.A.C., P.U.C., and Estimates Committee which have not been constituted so long and wanted to know whether the election to these important Committees would be held within this Session or after.

        Clarifying, Shri. H.B. Dan, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs told the House that he had already apprised the Speaker on this matter and that Government have entrusted the Speaker to notify for the election of these Committees during this Session.

        However, the Chair ruled that the motion for election to the Financial Committees has already been fixed and it shall be moved on the 1st July, 2002. Hence the matter was set at rest.


        Shri. K.K. Dkhar, M.L.A. called the attention of the Minister, Public Works Department under Rule 54 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business to the news item published in the "Shillong Times" dt.18.6.2002, under the caption "Over 50 villages cut off by another landslide".

        Quoting newspaper report on the occurrence of massive landslide at Riatrngain of the Shillong - Dawki - Tamabil Route on National Highway 40, the hon. Member strongly urged upon the Government to press into action all the machineries and personnel at its disposal with speed and urgency to restore communication to the affected areas since it is apprehended that any delay would result in the loss of lives and properties to the people of those areas affected by the calamity.

        The hon. Member further requested the Government to post doctors at the Pongtung and Wahsherkhmut P.H.Cs as a temporary measure to render medical aids to the affected people at this hour of crisis and to provide transport buses to pick up people to come to Shillong and to Dawki at least two times a day, to relax the existing rules for vehicular traffic by the transport department permitting vehicles to divert the route to Shillong via Jowai and to control the price of essential commodities to prevent exploitation by the unscrupulous traders who may take advantage of the prevailing situation.

        In reply to the points raised, Shri. A.K. Sangma, Minister incharge P.W.D. (Roads and Bridges) apprised the House that the Department has immediately made all efforts by engaging labourers and machineries and that presently, there are three (3) numbers of excavators and two (2) numbers of compressors on the Shillong side and one (1) number of excavator and one (1) number of compressor on the Dawki side to clear all the big boulders and to remove the loose boulders. However, the Minister incharge stated that the works of clearing the landslip is in good progress, but due to heavy rainfall the work is hampered and in order to ease the movement of the public who want to cross the area and also for transshipment of passengers and essential commodities an earthen foot path has been constructed on the other side of the Hill. He further told that although direct communication between Shillong - Dawki was disrupted, communication is possible via Jowai - Amlarem - Dawki road which entails on extra distance of 35 K.M. of travel and assured that P.W.D. has responded to the problems and all action taken to restore communication on this vital route as early as possible.


        Continuing the discussion on the budget, Shri. T.N. Marak, stressed for a proper implementation of the package to the surrendered militant outfits and not to deduct the amount paid to them earlier. The hon. Member suggested the setting up of a police outpost at Songsak and Ronangre adjacent to Williamnagar and reiterated employment of tribal youths in the 4th Meghalaya Police Battalion by relaxing the fitness in physical and written tests. On road transport he suggested improvement of the Williamnagar - Dainadubi via Songsak Route and construction of the collapsed bridge near Tura.

        Other participants included (1) Shri. K.C. Boro and (2) Shri. N.N. Simchang.


        Giving a categorical reply to the points raised by the participants in the general discussion on the budget, the Finance Minister, Shri. A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, responded to the various submissions made by the individual members on different aspects of the budget speech.

        Replying to the points raised by Shri. Sujit K. Sangma, the Minister incharge stated that Government is taking up step to revitalise the Service Cooperative Societies in general and the Cooperative movement in particular. As regards the setting up of E.P.I.P. by the Government at Byrnihat raised by the hon. Member from Laban, the Finance Minister, informed that the M.S.E.B. is earning an average monthly revenue of 211.40 Lakh from 29 industrial units out of which, only 7 units have gone into production, manufacturing Ferro-Alloy, steel, etc. and that with the coming up of more units in future, the Government may have to think of tapping and drawing power from Rongai Valley project. Replying to the points raised by the Hon. Member from Pynthorumkhrah, he stated that the Government is preparing an action plan for clearing the disposal of solid wastes in the urban areas and that this facility is being worked out with the Rangbah Shnong not only in the portion within the Shillong Municipality but also outside that portion and assured that a scheme will be drawn up for the entire polo ground area on an experimental basis to prevent the recurrence of flash floods. As regards the electric crematorium, he informed that a plot of land measuring 2.38 acres has been taken over from the Defence authority at Jhalupara for construction of the crematorium in 1979 and that all the formalities for calling tenders for formulation of the project had been completed by the Municipality but unfortunately, however, none of the tenderers were found to have the expertise and know how. However, he stated that subsequently, the work was taken up by the Shillong Development Authority and the official report from the consultant in this context, is being awaited.

        (The time was extended with the sense of the House till the Minister incharge conclude his reply).

        The Minister incharge Finance, further replied to the various points raised by all the participants including the points for clarifications called for by them.


        The House rose at 2.55 p.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the 26th June, 2002.


  Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.