MARCH 19, 2002


Mr. Speaker and Hon'ble Members,

1.    I express my happiness to have this opportunity once again to address you in this August House. I welcome you all and wish you a happy and prosperous year ahead.

2.    We join the rest of the country in condemning the dastardly attack on 13th December, 2001 by the terrorists on our Parliament which is the highest democratic institution of our country and similar cowardly attacks on the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly prior to that.

3.    During the last one year Meghalaya remained free from communal disturbances and the law and order situation was, by and large, peaceful. However, some militant organisations are continuing to perpetrate heinous crimes in society, to terrorise people and create a sense of fear and insecurity among the citizens of the State. The Government have taken various steps to tackle the problem effectively.

4.    The 3rd MLP Battalion has been made operational. The 4th MLP Battalion has already been sanctioned and is being raised. The Police force of the State has been modernised in terms of weaponry, communication, intelligence gathering, mobility, police housing and training. The ongoing counter insurgency operations will be intensified.

 5.    For all round development and progress of the State, peace is essential. The Government would appeal once again to the militant organisations to come to the negotiating table to sort out their problems and grievances and to shun violent activities. To facilitate rehabilitation of surrendered militants, the State Government have revised the scheme of surrender-cum-rehabilitation of militants in the State.

6.    Infiltration of Bangladesh nationals has been continuing from across the borders. During the year 2001, 3094 foreign nationals had been detected and pushed back. To tackle this problem the existing scheme of Prevention of Police Outposts along the borders will be increased. Government of India have also been requested to strengthen the BSF for more intensive and vigilant deployment.

7.    We are now approaching the 10th Five Year Plan which commences from 1st April, 2002. The approved State Plan Outlay of Rs.487.00 crore during 2001-2002 is expected to be fully utilised. The overall investment under the State's Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002) will be of the order of Rs.1840.00 crore at current prices. The State Government submitted proposals to the Planning Commission for a Plan size of Rs.3000.00 crore for the Tenth Plan. The Plan allocation of the State of Meghalaya for the next financial year (2002-2002) has been finalised Rs.545.00, besides Rs.35.00 crore for PMGSY totaling Rs.580.00 crore against the current year's (2001-2002) State Plan of Rs.487.00 crore. Priorities during the Tenth Plan are agriculture, land management, providing livelihoods, better water management, proper irrigation facilities, poverty alleviation and rural development programmes, ensuring food security, forestry and environment programmes, enhancing competitiveness of industries, strengthening social infrastructure in health, education and water supply, emphasis on economic infrastructure, like power transport and communication and rural road connectivity. Efforts to mobilise resources and improve the efficiency of the delivery mechanism will also be undertaken.

8.    Agriculture with its allied activities plays a major role in the economy of the State and contributes about 30 percent of the State Gross Domestic Product but its productivity is limited because of the topography and other restrictive factors.. Horticulture, however, possesses a great potential and it is also economically more rewarding. Horticulture Cash Crops, such as, Tea, Mushroom, Cashewnut, Floriculture etc. are being gradually introduced in all districts, wherever feasible, and attempts have been made to popularise their cultivation through various schemes.

9.    The Government of India has established a sub-office of District Marketing and Inspection at Shillong to strengthen quality control for agricultural produce. The Scheme of Technology Mission for development of Horticulture (TMH) in the North Eastern Region has also been introduced by the Government of India and a sum of Rs.1094.52 lakhs has been approved for implementation which is in progress. These schemes are being implemented through the Meghalaya Small Farmers Agro-Business Consortium. Recognising the need for increasing the area under irrigation in the State, the Government has recently created a separate Directorate of Irrigation, and it is expected that this will provide a greater impetus and increased irrigation coverage in future.

10.    The Government will endeavour to provide better health care services and coverage. The tentative Plan Allocation for 2002-03 is Rs.3520.00 lakh. The Government would give emphasis on completing the spill over schemes. The ongoing construction of Community Health Centres (CHS)s, Public Health Centres (PHCs) and Sub-Centres will be expected. The Government accord priority to making these health institutions functional within the constraints of manpower. Upgradation of Civil Hospital, Shillong to 600 beds, and Tura and Jowai Civil Hospitals to 200 beds has been approved. Upgradation of Williamnagar, Nongstoin and Nongpoh hospitals to 100 bedded Hospitals is under way. Better and modern diagnostic facilities in Shillong Civil Hospital, Ganesh Das Hospital and Tura Civil Hospital with ICU facilities will be provided. High Way Trauma Centres at Nongpoh, Khliehriat and Tura will be established Establishment of Blood Bank in the exiting Hospitals will continue during 2002-03. The Centrally Sponsored schemes, such as, Anti-Malaria, Tuberculosis Control, Control of Blindness and Leprosy Eradication Programmes will also continue Construction of Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Dispensaries are proposed to be taken up. The Pulse Polio Immunization Programme (PPIP), and Health Awareness Campaign are widely and intensively undertaken in the State. It is encouraging to note participation of the people and different organisations in various health programmes. The Pasteur Institute and the Laboratory Services including the food and during and analytical  laboratory for testing, diagnostic and training purposes along with Blood Bank facilities will be strengthened. Efforts will be undertaken to modernise production of Anti-Rabies Vaccine.

11.    The State's Industrial Policy and the incentives scheme introduced by the Government of India have encouraged new industries to come up in the State. Till date a total of 131 industrial proposals have been approved by the Single Window Agency with investment potential of about Rs.455.53 crore and anticipated employment for 8000 people. Under the Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana, the local education youth are sponsored for setting up self-employment ventures up to Rs.2.00 lakhs in the Industries, Service or Business Sector. To motivate entrepreneurship, different promotional programmes like Entrepreneurship Development Programme, seminars and workshops were organised through the District Industries Centres (DICs), the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation Centres (MIDC), Meghalaya Khadi & Village Industries Board (MKVIB) and the Meghalaya Handloom & Handicrafts Development Corporation (MHHDC) and also through the District and State Level Industrial Exhibitions. The State Government will continue to promote village and small scale industries. The Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) at Byrnihat is already functional and 26 plot of land have been allotted for Industrial Projects.

12.    To increase the economic and social development of rural areas, Community and Rural Development continues to play a vital role. Towards this end the primary task of the Government will be alleviation of poverty, generating employment in rural areas and general economic development for the upliftment of the people living in rural areas. This is sought to be achieved by implementing the Centrally Sponsored Schemes like Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY), Employment Assurances Scheme (EAS) and Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), Central Sector Schemes like National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) and State Sector Schemes like Normal C.D. Scheme, Assistance to Small and Marginal Farmers, Special Rural Works Programme (SRWP) and Construction of Rural Road Programme (CRRP). A new scheme merging the JGSY and EAS in the name of Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) which has an additional allocation in the form of food grains also i.e. rice in our State, has been announced by the Government of India. The State was one of the first to have Community Information Centre (CIC) in two of its Block Headquarters to bring Information Technology closer to the masses. Now this will be extended in 32 Block Headquarters under the project of Ministry of Information Technology. The main objective of these schemes is to bring people above poverty line, generating employment in rural areas and creating infrastructural facilities. The Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana PMGY (Gramin Awas) will continue to be implemented vigorously.

13.    Scheme for providing shelter and assistance for construction of houses to the rural poor families will continue under the Rural Housing Schemes. Government will act as a catalyst to facilitate flow of Housing finance and supply of building materials at reasonable market prices.

14.    The policy of the Government is to enhance the productivity of livestock and poultry through improve breeding management and health care strategies. Various schemes are being implemented for this purpose. Stress will also be given to schemes for generating employment among the farmers and educated un-employed youth. The existing Fodder Farms, Feed mills and Food Analytical Laboratories will be improved further. Sponsoring of candidates for studies in B.V.SC and B.Sc. Dairy Technology Course will also continue.

15.    Sericulture and Weaving are rural based Cottage Industries which have tremendous scope for creating Self Employment. Government will also give emphasis on productivity per unit area with coverage of additional plantation area. The old mulberry varieties will be replaced by new high yielding varieties from the Central Silk Board. Training programmes on the latest technologies will be intensified to sericulural farmers/reelers and spinners as well as to the silk weavers. It is proposed to cover 1666 families in sericulture sector and 556 families in handloom sector during the year.

16.    Fish culture has now become an economic farming activity which requires faster development in order to increase productivity and self-sufficiency. Programmes for proper utilisation of the existing resources readily available and to harness the potential will be intensified through Fish Farmers Development Agency. The Government is rendering technical and financial assistance to the fish farmers for construction and renovation of fish ponds. The scheme for giving training to the fish farmers will continue.

17.    In compliance with the Hon'ble Supreme Court's Order, steps have been taken by the Government for the preparation of Working Schemes for scientific management of forests in consultation with the District Councils, since most of the forest in the State are under the management of District Councils. These schemes have been submitted to the Government of India for approval. Steps have also been taken by the State Government to protect and preserve the flora and fauna and to enrich the productivity level of the degraded forest by creation of protected area network in the form of national Park, Sanctuaries, etc. Efforts to bring the degraded areas under afforestation is continuing and during 2001-2002 the Government has been able to afforest an area of 2800 hectares. During 2002-03 it is proposed to bring another 2600 hectares of degraded forest under tree cover and 400 hectares under Bamboo plantation.

18.    Conservation of natural resources particularly soil, water and vegetation is the core activity of the Soil Conservation Department. Meghalaya, due to its undulating topography and high intensity of rainfall, is particularly susceptible to acute soil erosion. The primitive and destructive cultivation practices like jhum, rampant deforestation, unscientific mining and quarrying are the other contributing factors aggravating the problem of soil erosion. Besides programmes for vegetative cover to mitigate accelerated soil erosion, Government is also providing the rural and farming communities with basic amenities for creating sustainable alternative farming system. Government will continue to task of controlling depletion of soil water and vegetation with the objective of conserving them for future generations and for achieving sustained food production and generating employment.

19.    Tourism Industry in the State has to be strengthened for additional income and employment generation. Thrust in this sector is important to exploit the untapped potential. The Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology has been set up to facilitate training to the youth in the field of hotel management which would also create avenues for self employment. The tourism policy which has been adopted is expected to encourage private entrepreneurs to come forward to involve themselves in tourism related activities, bringing income to the people.

20.    The Government have received all the clearances, including those related to forest and environment, for the Myntdu-Leshka Hydro Electric project. In order to meet the growing demand for energy, construction of 2 X 42 MW Myntdu-Leshka Hydro Electric Project will be executed expeditiously and is scheduled to be completed within the Tenth Plan period. The estimated cost of the project at 1991 prices is Rs.363.08 crores. The renovation and modernisation of Umiam Stage-I Power Station of 4 X 9 MV is progressing well and will be completed by December, 2002. One unit has already been commissioned on the 25th February, 2002. Improvement of transmission and distribution scheme for Shillong and Tura will continue. Under the Rural Electrification Scheme, 2519 villages have been electrified till date and during this current financial year it is expected that another 300 villages will be covered under this Scheme. The survey and investigation work of Umiam-Umtru Stage - V HEP (40 MW), Umngot HEP Stage-I (36 MV), Leshka Stage-II and Umngi along with some smaller hydro project works are continuing. Strengthening of transmission and sub-transmission work will continue with the launching of Accelerated Power Development Programme on 1-3-2002 for Meghalaya. Work for metering up to 11 KV and energy audit will be taken up shortly. Construction of Agia-Nongalbibra is already included under the 10th Plan of N.E.C. Electrification of villages by construction of Mini and Micro Hydel Projects and harnessing of solar energy using non-conventional means will continue to be taken up during the year.

21.    Provision of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities are being implemented by the Public Health Engineering Department. During 2001-2002, it was proposed to cover 240 Nos. of Not-Covered habitations, 200 nos of Partially covered habitations and 15 Nos. of Iron affected habitations with safe drinking water supply totalling 455 Nos. The Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme (GSWSS) is Partially completed and at present 7.50 millions gallons of water is supplied daily to Shillong Town and villages enroute. The construction of mass gravity concrete dam over river "Umiew" in Mawphlang is progressing satisfactorily and is likely to be completed by December, 2002. An Augmentation Scheme for Cherrapunjee Town has been taken up which will benefit nearby rural habitations. The Augmentation Scheme for Williamnagar Town is progressing and is likely to be completed by 2002.

22.    Master plans for major towns of the State are being taken up by the Government to ease the pressure of urbanisation. Development of basic infrastructure, civic amenities in all urban areas will continue to be implemented through the respective Municipal Boards. The Government is also considering a proposal to set up a Satellite township near Shillong. To arrest deteriorating conditions in the urban growth centres, and to alleviate urban poverty, the schemes of Environmental Improvement of Urban Slums (EIUS) Scheme and Swarn Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) Scheme are being implemented by the Municipal Boards in the State. Special Urban works programme will also continue to be implemented to serve the basic needs of the people in urban areas.

23.    The on-going scheme of modernisation of prisons will continue along with measures for reforms in Jail Administration. During the year it is proposed to start construction of District Jails at Nongstoin, Nongpoh and Baghmara.

24.    Public distribution system of essential commodities through Fair Price Shops both in Urban and rural areas is continuing. Mobile fair price shops also continue to operate in the interior and remote areas of the State. B.P.L. families are given 25 Kg. of rice per family per month, Antyodaya Anna Yojana covering 28,100 families of the State of Meghalaya with a provision of 25 Kg. rice per family per month at the rate of Rs.3/- (Rupees three) per kg. and Annapurna Scheme providing 10 kg. rice per person free of cost to 6733 old aged persons spread across the State who are otherwise eligible for old age pension but not availing it.

25.    Roads being the only means of communication in the State, this is one of the most important sectors for the socio economic development of the people. During the Ninth Plan, maximum thrust was given for connectivity to unconnected villages. The number of villages connected so far is 2715. Besides construction of roads and bridges, the Government is also undertaking the works for medium irrigation and flood control projects in the State. The Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana will provide Rural Connectivity to unconnected habitations.

26.    Road transport in our State plays a vital role in the sphere of economic development as there is no rail and air transport available so far. Government will endeavour to provide better services to the people by catalysing and facilitating the private operators to improve transport service. The Government will encourage the youths, particularly, educated unemployed youth, to run transport services by providing financial assistance. The Meghalaya Transport Corporation is also providing road transport services side by side with the private operators. Construction of Baljek Airport is nearly completed. Helicopter services between Guwahati, Shillong and Tura will continue. The matter of bringing the rail head to Byrnihat has also been taken up with the Railway Ministry.

27.    In the field of Elementary Education, Universalisation of Elementary Education through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which is a people's movement for ensuring quality Education for all, will be one of the main objectives of the Government during the Tenth Plan. The Government has decided to form the SSA society for smooth implementation of the project. Improvement of Educational Standards including facilities and strengthening of the necessary infrastructure will be continued by providing Grants-in-aid within available resources. Improving the Service conditions of the teachers in engaging the attention of the Government and this has been partly achieved by raising the grant for Pre-Primary teachers from Rs.1000/- to Rs.1800/- per teacher per month from 2001. 1200 Lower Primary Schools have also been given grant-in-aid of Rs.300/- per month per school during 2001-2002. Information Technology Education is being encouraged in the schools. With the assistance of the World Bank, work on two new polytechnics at Tura and Jowai is in progress. The Shillong Polytechnic is being upgraded by opening of two additional courses in Computer Science Engineering and a Post - Diploma Course in information Technology. For promoting and strengthening Education, Training of teachers play a crucial role. Hence, short-term and long-term in-service training is being conducted. In future pre-service training will be insisted upon for intake of elementary school teachers. The Government is also giving emphasis on covering the back log of existing untrained teachers. A workshop for restructuring the Secondary School curriculum was conducted by the Directorate of Education, Research and Training in collaboration with the MBOSE and Central Board of School Education. The restructured curriculum has been implemented by MBOSE since the academic session 2001. Steps are also being taken to improve the system of MBOSE examinations.

28.    The Government is continuing with its policy to promote sports and games in the State by providing basic sports infrastructure in the village, Block, District and State Level and also by extending financial assistance for improvement of the existing infrastructure. During the Ninth Plan 62 Nos. of projects have been completed and during 2002-2003, Government propose to take up 29 projects in a phased manner all over the State. Various sports and games are regularly conducted in the District and State and Inter-School level. The State Government is proud of the performance of St. John Bosco School. Cherrapunjee in the under 14 years Subroto Cup Football Tournament held in new Delhi in 2001 where they became the champion. The State will continue to encourage and support participation in various disciplines of sports at the National level.

29.    The Cooperative movement which is a vital instrument for socio-economic transformation of the people is making steady progress. The Government will make all out efforts to improve its functioning. Integrated Cooperative Development Project with assistance from National Cooperative Development is being implemented in West Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills District to revitalise the cooperative organisation in the State, specially, in the rural sector. An amount of Rs.674.61 lakhs for the same programme for West Khasi Hills and East Garo Hills Districts has also been sanctioned by the National Cooperative Development Corporation recently.

30.    The Government will continue financial assistance to NGOs for taking up Women's Welfare, Child welfare, for organising awareness campaign against evil of drugs, welfare for the disabled and of the Scheduled Tribes, it will also continue to give financial assistance to selected NGOs for taking care of the neglected, aged and destitute persons. The nutrition component of PMGY has been specifically outline with the objective of eradicating malnutrition amongst under three years children by increased nutritional coverage of supplementary feeding of these children through ICDS Scheme.

31.    Mining and Geology sector is actively engaged in exploration of mineral deposits and collection of revenue on major minerals in the State. During 2001-2002, mineral investigation programmes for exploration of limestone, quartz and iron stone deposits at 7 (seven) different places of the State has been taken up. Ground water exploration by drilling and geological mapping have been conducted at the premises of the State Agricultural Marketing Board Complex, Mawiong, Shillong and Government Branch Press Residential Complex, Dakopgre, Tura. The revenue collected during April 2001 to November 2001 is Rs.3493.13 lakhs. 13 Check Gates have been erected at different parts of the State to Check transportation of minerals through different outlets. Efforts will be made to install weighbridge at important outlets with a view to mobilise additional resources.

32.    Government is very much alive to the Inter State boundary problem with Assam and is exploring all avenues to arrive at an amicable and permanent solution of this vexed problem. Steps for restoration of un-utilised defence land in and around Shillong have been initiated and the matter has been taken up with the Government of India.

33.    The State Government continue to work jointly with the Autonomous District Councils in all fields of development for implementation of various Developmental Programmes. Grant-in-aid is sanctioned from time to time to the District Councils. Rs.516 lakhs has been earmarked for up-gradation of standard of administration and infrastructure of the District Councils during the year.

34.    The Government acknowledges the importance of Information Technology in modern governance. An Information Technology Department have been created to facilitate the processes. Computerization of the State Secretariat have been augmented and Local Area Network has been established. This process would be continued. Senior functionaries of the State Government have internet and e-mail facilities. The Government is endeavouring towards establishment of Software Technology Park to provide to fillip to the Software export market and I.T. enabled services. An amount of Rs.50.00 lakhs were been sanctioned by the Ministry of Information Technology towards High Speed Data Communication (HSDC) facilities. The Government will take steps towards e-Governance and better usage of software packages developed for meeting the requirement.

35.    Selection of the site and construction of the permanent building of the Legislative Assembly is under process.

36.    Government propose to construct more residential quarters for its employees in the State. The second Meghalaya House at Eastern Metropolitan Bye Pass, Kolkata has been inaugurated. Construction of Circuit Houses at Mawkyrwat and Khliehriat is nearing completion. Taking over of 10 High Income Group flats at Vellore is under process. The construction work for five guest rooms and two dormitories in Meghalaya House, Guwahati have been completed. Construction of Yojana Bhavan and Administrative Building within old Transport Office complex is in progress. Joint venture deal for construction of Commercial Complex at 9 & 10 Russel Street, Kolkata has since been withdrawn by the Government. The Judicial enquiry into the whole matter has been entrusted to Justice (Retd.) S.P. Rajkhowa by the Government. Ex-Servicemen, their widows and dependents of the State ex-servicemen are registered and sponsored for re-employment in various jobs. Under the Special Fund for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Ex-Servicemen, their widows and dependents are sanctioned assistance ranging from Rs.5000/- to Rs.10,000/- to alleviate their financial distress.

37.    The State Government will continue with the task of preservation, development and augmentation of rich cultural heritage of the State. Construction of the 1st phase of the State Cultural Complex, at Rilbong has been completed. Work to furnish and equip with acoustics will be taken up soon. Heritage protection and upgradation of Public Libraries under the 11th Finance Commission Award will be undertaken. The schemes of Intensive Arts & Culture Development Programme in the rural and urban areas through the MLAs will be continued.

38.    In the labour and employment sector efforts are being made to strengthen the facilities for coaching and career guidance for SC / ST. The scheme also include sponsoring of candidates for undergoing Vocational Courses outside the State as a Central Sector component. During 2001-2002 a total of 28 candidates were nominated by Government for undergoing Vocational Courses in the Government of India Institutions outside the State. Under the Employees State Insurance Scheme more than 2118 workers and family members have been benefited.

39.    A detailed year-wise action plan and target have been drawn up by the Government to equip the Government Presses with the latest printing technology. Perspective Plan for the next 22 years w.e.f. 2001-2001 has also been prepared to meet the growing demands and also to accommodate works from the Autonomous Bodies on payment basis so as to generate additional revenue for the Government.

40.    Taxation is the major source of revenue collection of the Government and proper implementation of taxation laws and rules will continue in order to earn more revenue for the State. During 2002-2003, the revenue generation is anticipated at around Rs.74.96 crores. Government of Meghalaya is also earning revenue from excise duties and efforts will be made to increase the collection of the coming years. Like other States in the country, Meghalaya has also introduced Uniform Floor Rate of Tax.

41.    To update the working knowledge of the Government employees in the State Secretariat, the Meghalaya Administrative Training Institute is conducting regular training programmes. The Institute is also organising short training programme for the Officers/Staffs of Heads of Department and in District Headquarters from time t time. Computer Awareness Programme is also organised with the assistance of NIC, Shillong for different categories of Officers and Assistants of different Offices. Apart from the above, Government of India sponsored programmes are also being conducted every year with resources drawn from the State. With a view to prepare candidates for appearing in competitive examinations, the All India Services Pre-Examinations Training Centre with an intake capacity of 40 students continues to provide training at Shillong for the welfare of SC/ST students as Centrally Sponsored Scheme.

42.    In order to maintain financial discipline and control the Government will continue the economy measures and the system of LOC/LOA.

43.    7 Audio Visual Vans for extensive awareness programme in the rural areas of the State have already been procured to disseminate information to the people about various developmental programmes of the Government. To create social awareness among the public, renovation and extension of the fixed Loud Speakers system in Shillong has been initiated.

 44.    The construction of a permanent building for the Guwahati High Court (Shillong Bench) will be taken up and the foundation stone was laid on 8th March, 2002 by Union Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Setting up of fast track Courts at Shillong, Jowai and Tura is being taken up. To reduce the numbers of pending cases in different Courts, Lok Adalats were organised in different parts of the State. During 2001 upto the month of November, the number of cases disposed of was 1053 and the amount settled as compensation in Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT) was Rs.1,57,06,000 (Rupees one crore fifty seven lakhs and six thousand) only. Legal literacy campaign were also held in many places since 1999 and will continue.

 45.    The twin organisations of Home Guards and Civil Defence continue to render valuable help to the Civil Administration as well as to the State Police. Efforts will be made to strengthen the existing infrastructure of these organisations.

46.    The aims and objectives of the Government are to realise to the fullest extent possible the goals of economic progress and prosperity. Government accord due importance to regular and proper review, monitoring and evaluation of Scheme. The proper functioning and the performance of State Public Sector Undertakings are also being reviewed with a view to revamping their financial health. Keeping this objective in view, voluntary retirement scheme is also being worked out for the surplus employees under Public Sector Undertakings so that the PSUs economic viability is restored and they can thereby contribute towards overall economic development of the State and fulfill the purposes for which they were originally created.

47.    The Planning Commission provided Special Central Assistance under Border Areas Development Programme, which is 100 percent Centrally funded Scheme for implementation of various developmental schemes. Border areas scholarship will continue to be provided to the Students hailing from border areas. Road connectivity in the border areas has improved considerably. Inaccessible agriculture areas have been opened up with the installation of ropeways managed by the local village Committee.

48.    Government will maintain uniformity and accuracy in Weight and Measures and also in implementation and enforcement of the provision of the Weights and Measures Acts and Rules. During the period from 1.4.2001 to 31.10.2001, 4236 Weighting and Measuring Instruments of traders were verified and stamped and Rs.3.42 lakhs were realised as verification fees. 139 Nos. of cases were lodged against defaulters, 89 Nos. of cases were compounded and Rs.0.36 lakhs of fees were realised.

        I have briefly outlined the main policies and programmes of the Government. I hope that the deliberations in the House will result in constructive suggestions for the successful achievements of the cherished objectives of the State.