Proceedings of the Fourth Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly at 10. a.m on 18th June, 1971 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.
(To which replies were laid on the Table)
Setting up of District and Session judge in the State.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh asked :
4. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
(a) Whether any views of the district Council and other concerns have been received in connection with the setting up to District and session Judges Court with in the State. ?
(b) If, so, whether Government have pursued the matter ?
(c) If not, why not ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
4. (a) - Government invited the views of the District Councils on questions relating to the set up of new courts at various levels, their pecuniary and local jurisdiction the matter tribal by them and other connected matters. So far the District Council, Jowai, has furnished its views. The view considering the matter. We have not received any reply from the District Council, Garo Hills.
(b) & (c) - Both the District Councils have been requested and to send their views as early as possible and they have also been reminded.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know when the last reminder was sent to the District Council, Khasi Hills ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- 15th September, 1970.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- May we know the reason why the District Council failed to give its views in spite of the request and reminder of the Government ?
Mr. Speaker :- It is up to the District Council.
Shri Allwot Berry Diengdoh, :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether Government is considering to wait till it gets the views of the District Council in this respect ?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- In the Khasi Hills District Council, the matter is very difficult. There are Syiems, Dolois, etc.
Mr. Speaker, :- There are no Dolois in the Khasi Hills.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- We want to take the District Council in to the confidence before finalising the scheme for Administration of Justice.
Water Supply Scheme at Chibinang
Shri Nurul Islam :- asked ;
5. Will the Minister of P.W.D (P.H.E) be pleased to state -
(a). Whether the Government has taken up any scheme for water supply at Chibinang to serve about the fourteen nearby villages such as, Chibinang , Kayem, Batapara, Shyamanagar, Bholarbhita, Paham, etc.
(b) If, so, whether the scheme has been completed ?
(c) Whether the Government is aware that in these villages a huge number of persons are annually suffering and losing their lives for want of pure drinking water. ?
(d) If the answer to (b) above in the negative will Government be pleased to take up to complete this scheme immediately.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D (P.H.E) etc.) replied :
5. (a) - No
(b) - Does not arise.
(c) - This Department has no such information.
(d) - Does not arise in view of answer to (a) above.
Opening of P.H.E Subdivision in Garo Hills
Shri Nurul Islam asked :
6. Will the Minister of P.W.D (P.H.E) be pleased to state -
(a) Whether the Government proposes to open Public Health Engineering Subdivision in Garo Hills ?
(b) If So, the place where the new Subdivisions are to be located ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister P.W.D (P.H.E)] replied :
6. (a) & (b) - One subdivision has recently been opened at Baghmara in addition to the existing Tura Subdivision and is expected to start functioning shortly.
Government do not contemplate opening any other Sub divisions in Garo Hills at present.
Water Supply Scheme for Phulbari
Shri Nurul Islam asked :
7. Will the Minister of P.W.D (P.H.E) be pleased to state -
(a) Whether it is a fact that the scheme for water supply for Phulbari from Romjora near Chibinang, a distance of about 8 kilometres has been taken up by the Government although Phulbari is situated just on the Bank of the river Zingiram ?
(b) If, So, the reason for bringing water from Romjora ?
(c) How many villages are going to be benefited by this scheme ?
(d) What will be the total expenditure going to be spent in the proposed scheme ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister, P.W.D (P.H.E) etc replied.
7. (a) - No Deep tube wells are proposed for Phulbari Water Supply.
(b) Does not arise.
(c) Only the Phulbari Village.
(d) - Rupees 7.69 lakhs (Approx.)
Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, how many tube wells are proposed to be taken up in Phulbari ?
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to notice to answer this question. So far as I know the matter is under investigation.
Mr. Speaker :- Your answer is also 'no'
I request the Chief Minister to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Ordinance, 1971.
Laying of Ordinance
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I beg leave to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Ordinance, 1971.
General Discussion on the Budget.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next item that is the resumption of discussion on the Budget.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Budget Speech presented to this House by the Finance Minister shows a clear picture of an attempt of the Government for the upliftment and development of this State of Meghalaya. I, therefore, congratulate the Finance Minister for having been able to present a budget which covers nearly all the points.
While appreciating the Budget Speech, I have to make a few observation with a request that the Government will take notice and implement the same.
Sir, in the very first session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, the Government has done a very wise thing in introducing and adopting the resolution on the question of setting up a Hills University, through which, the educational side of the development will, to a great extent, encourage the people of the State to come up to a certain standard to be equal with the people of other advanced states in the country. But this long awaited question is silent in the Budget speech. In this respect, it is a matter of great regret to the people at large, that the same has not been implemented as yet. This delay has discouraged, the people at large and the hope is frustrate, I therefore, sincerely, urge, in the interest of one and all, that this programme be implemented without further delay and that this Government should press on the Central Government to set up the University at the earliest. The setting up and the working of an expert committee need an urgent implementation.
In regard to educational institution, I am happy to note that our State has got two Government Colleges, one in Shillong and one in Tura. But as the demand for an expanded educational institution is still great, I fully endorse the views of the previous speakers that another Government College at Cherrapunjee be set up as early as possible.
In the Budget speech, nothing also was mentioned about the long awaited Recreation and Division Centres, viz, the Sports Stadium in the capital. Although I myself and others have expressed our views in our speeches in the previous session of this House on this, and now also , I cannot with out pointing out again that the setting up of a stadium in Shillong needs the top most priority. Sir, since the basic principle of our Government is to have a clean administration it is but necessary to have a set of people living in the State who have an absolutely healthy mind and to have such, they ought to have a healthy body, and sports and games are few of the many activities, through which such people can be had in this generation and the generation to come.
Coming to page 13 of the Budget Speech, I agree with the Finance Minister that our Government's main object is to speed up the Industrialisation of the State. In this respect, I repeat my sincere feelings than one of the major industries in the State that is the Cement Factory at Cherrapunjee is left behind and no action has been taken so far by our Government either to take over the said factory or to interfere in its management although Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are all aware that he said factory has in rendered great service to thousands of people living in that part of the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Budget presented bears a deficit marking.
I share with the Government's struggle to find out ways and means for more income. In this connection, I would like to impress upon the Government this fact. The demand for cement today is very high, but the Members of this House may be aware that cement produced in Cherrapunjee cannot be transported due to the lack of adequacy of route for transport in the State. I would like to bring to the notice of the House, that the Shillong - Cherra route is going from bad to worse, in addition to the monopolisation by the State Corporation of Assam over the Shillong - G.S Road, the major portion of it falls under Meghalaya. In order to augment more income to the State, I suggest the Government to negotiate on top priority with the Government of India, firstly for the taking over the of the Assam Cement factory and secondly, to take over the monopolisation of Shillong G.S. Route. More, so, I request the Government to revitalize the scheme of Shillong - Cherra route, for diversition of the said route as suggested and prayed by the local people. This will ultimately cost much less than the cost of widening and repairing of the existing one. If the Government take up the above, I have confidence that it will bring more income to the State.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am also pained to referee to the news item which appeared in the paper "The Indian" dated the 10th June, 1971, under the caption "Assam Sillimanite, - A Losing concern" - with your permission, Sir, I quote 'The Assam Sillimanite Limited in the Nongstoin Syiemship of Khasi Hills in Meghalaya which output recorded increase since the Wahi Brothers took up the management in 1956 is running at a loss. It could not pay the wages of the workers, mostly local people for two or three months together. This matter came up before the Parliament on June 3 as two members of Parliament asked a few questions in respect of the company.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, again I quote - "While both the Central and the State Government are, concerned about the affairs of the Company, the Government of Meghalaya has not it appears, expressed its view on the future of the Company" I wonder why our Government did not interfere in this respect though the area of it falls under Meghalaya. I know that if the said company be properly looked in to it can also bring some income to the State. Apart from that, especially when the local people are affected, our Government should at least take up the matter for the interest of the people of our State. i again urge upon the Government to consider this question immediately.
In page 13 of the Budget Speech I am happy to see that the Government is encouraging industries for the local people. I am also proud of our local people who have been able to establish furniture industries. But I fail to understand how the Government is encouraging where even in the supply of furniture to our Government our people did not get a chance. Well if charity begins at home, this should have been done, I therefore, think it is not too late that the local people must be given chance in a small matter, like supplying furniture to our Government.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, at page 9 of the Budget Speech it has been mentioned that the Assam Hills Corporation has taken up the agency of distribution of fertilizers t the State. I wonder whether the said agency is under Meghalaya or under the Government of Assam as the name indicates. It is my observation that the said corporation is composed of members, in the Board, from the district of our State. At the same time, it is understood that vacancies, created therein have not been filled up. More over, the Members who have resigned happen to be from the districts of our State. I am afraid therefore, that the major portion of the benefits from the said agency might of to other districts, I therefore request the Government to properly look into the said agency as regularization of the same needs top priority.
Coming to pages 4 and 5 of the Budget Speech, I fully support the Finance Minister in the indication of the Government struggle to impress upon the Planning commission for a special programme outside the plan, relating to regrouping of villages, rehabilitation and others of the like, including the development of towns and water supply of Shillong. But in the meantime, I am confident that this House will agree with me that the improvement of water supply in Shillong cannot wait till the final decision of the Central Government. We are lucky, Sir that except for the early monsoon we are having this year, the scarcity of the water in the capital is greatly felt by one and all, and the matter will go from bad to worse with the run of time. The Shillong Committee which has been referred to in previous session is mainly for the purpose of development of the capital but so far the purpose of development of the capital but so far nothing has materialized. On the other hand, while the Government of Assam has not played its part, the Government of Meghalaya has not attempted to fulfill its obligation and the result is the stagnant development, for which the public is facing the consequences. I therefore urge upon the Government to consider sympathetically the problems of development of Shillong not only through the Shillong Committee, but also through other means in which out Government may have the upper hand in implementing the same.
In page, 2, paragraph 4 of the Budget Speech the Finance Minister mentioned about the difficulties in getting experienced staff from the Government of Assam. Similar reference was also made by the Finance Minister in the last Session. It is very unusual that for many months there are large numbers of vacancies when we are faced with problem of large scale unemployment. What is proposed to be done by the Selection Board, now, could be done earlier also. More so if, I am correct, the Selection Board has so far called for the interview only for the long out standing Receptionist Cum Telephone Operator. But I wonder why direct recruitment of Lower Division and Upper Division Assistants and peons has not been made.
Mr. Speaker :- The method of direct recruitment to Upper Division Assistant has been abandoned. It has been abandoned even in Assam. The Upper Division posts are filled up by promotion.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- Any way, Sir, at least something must be done or for them also. Again in paragraph 2, page 3 of the Speech, there is mention about the crash programme of employment with an allocation of Rs. 25 lakhs from the 1st of April, 1971 for this State, Already 2½ months have passed but we have no knowledge of any crash programme being in the process of implementation in Meghalaya. In the speech of the Finance Minister reference has also been made to the Central Government programmes for rural employment. But what about the State programme ? What is the employment potential in the State Estimates ?
I am happy to see that in the para 1 page 2 of the Budget Speech, something has been mentioned about the Applied Nutrition Programme, though the entire budget for 1970-71 has been surrender and also there have been no activities during the first 2½ months of the current financial year. With the Government realising that there were funds yet the programme could not be started for the whole year of 1970-71 and even uptil now.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister P.W.D) :- I think, that is a wrong under standing. This scheme has been implemented through the Blocks.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- I refer to the crash programme of nutrition.
Mr. Speaker :- Applied Nutrition Programme and the Crash Programme are two separate subjects altogether. Applied Nutrition is not as the hon. Member under stands. It is to be implemented through the Blocks.
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I referred this matter also yesterday which is just confined to the children upto the age level of 3 years where 80 paise are given per day. This programme is definitely there and to the best of my knowledge and information, it has not been implemented by the Meghalaya Government despite pressure given by the voluntary agencies and organisation.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister P.W.D) ;- I do not know about that Sir.
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, therefore, this has deprived a large number of the population of the benefit of this programme. As regards the Fourth Plan allocation to the state by the Planning Commission, we are deeply concerned about the cuts. I, therefore, suggest that this House appeals to the Government of India to make special allocations of funds for the development projects of this state in consideration of its backwardness and strategic importance, I also feel like urging upon the Government of Meghalaya through this House, to formulate objective plan on priority basis and we are sure that the Government of India will not fail to allocate necessary funds, if we are really determined to improve our conditions. At least we have not been able to prove so during 1970-71.
In page 17 of the Budget Speech , I congratulate the government for having set up the Meghalaya Subsidiary Forces for the nature of the work detailed in the speech. As soon as the Ordinance was promulgated due to urgency of the work, the people of the State are very happy with it. But I am more eager to know for the public interest how many of our youths have been recruited so far, and since when. But I am afraid that if delaying, procedure takes place in the case of recruitment of staff, the force may not come up even with in the next twelve months, I therefore sincerely urge upon the Government to start with the recruitment immediately.
Lastly, coming to page 1, of the budget speech, of which the first information which strikes me is the hope of the Government of Meghalaya in attaining full Statehood soon. The Finance Minister has also expressed the hope of the State Government that the Government of India is introducing a Bill to that effect during the current session of the Parliament. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sure most of the hon. Members of the house have gone through the article published in the "Implanter" dated 5th June, 1971 under the caption "Statehood for Meghalaya not likely soon" the agency writes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your permission, I am quoting from this paper "As far as we could gather from New Delhi there is no mention about the Meghalaya Bill even in the list of business of the parliament during the budget session.".
Mr. Speaker :- Do you rely on private source more than Government source ?"
Shri Alwot Berry Diengdoh :- Naturally people had to rely on newspaper as the people do not get any information about this as there is no publicity about it from the Government side. This has created fears and worries to the people of the State. As one of the hon. Members has expressed his fear lest the delay encourages anti - State and anti - national activities, I therefore, urge upon the Government through you, Sir, that it should press on the Union Government to speed up the matter relating to the granting of Statehood to Meghalaya and to press that this bill should be brought during the current session of Parliament. I also suggest that a delegation from this House should go to Delhi as early as possible, to pursue the matter with these words, I resume my seat.
Shrimati Maysalin War :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to congratulate the Finance Minister for the budget speech presented by him to this House on the 15th June, 1971, and while appreciating the Budget as a whole I would like to make some observations on some points mentioned there in. Although many of the points have been in one way or the other expressed by the Members in their previous speeches and also in the past Sessions of the Assembly yet I would like to lay stress on the following items. Firstly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, where communication is concerned, it is very gratifying to more that a sum of Rs. 325 lakhs has been allotted for the purpose. In this respect I would like to mentioned the long awaited High way connecting Shillong and Tura. So far I have noticed there is progress in a portion of the road from Mawngap to Nongstoin while the remaining part from Nongstoin - Nongdaju and onwards needs full - scale acceleration for its early completion.
Secondly, Sir, in the Public Health Engineering Department, many schemes were completed, but appears that the Nongstoin Water Supply Scheme has not been started at all. I, therefore urge upon the Government to take up the matter as early as possible, to supplement the creation of a Sub - Division in the area, for which a sum of Rs. 5 lakhs has been provided in the budget to start with. This issue being a long-standing one, besides there are no encumbrances at all from the side of the public where requisition of land is concerned, I hope the Government will take immediate steps to materialise the scheme so that the amount allotted may not lapse as it has been in the past.
Sir, coming to agriculture which forms the major occupation of the people of the State. The absence of permanent type of cultivation resulted in the old habit of jhum cultivation, which is still being practised in the interior areas of the State. In places like the Lyngngam areas, for instance where wet cultivation is not possible on a large scale, a permanent type of cultivation such as terracing with power irrigation should be encouraged and for this purpose the setting up of the Soil Conservation Range with its Head quarters at Mawthengkut will help the people of those neglected areas with adequate knowledge and adoption of the improved agricultural practices.
Co-operation - Translation of Bye laws into Khasi and Garo for the benefit of people living in the interior.
Sir, although on more than one occasion, many members have laid stress on the preservation of wild life in the State yet nothing has been done so far, I am, therefore, confident that the House will agree with me that steps should be taken at once to stop the wanton killing of harmless animals and the selling of venison for future prospect of tourism in the State.
Sir, in the community Development programme although 24 Block have been opened in the state, I would like to bring to the notice of the House that the Nongstoin/ Mawshynrut Development Block is the largest with an area of approximately 980 squire miles. The existing staff and the limited amount of fund cannot cover the entire area, for fair and proper service to the people, it is therefore necessary for the Government to draw up special programme with more financial aid to bring an all-round development to the area as a whole.
Sir, while endorsing the view of the Finance Minister in his Budget Speech where health is concerned, that 3 primary Health Centres are proposed to be established during this year, I could not but impress that through my experience in the past 20 years a vast area like the Nonglang, Jyrngam, Riangsieh Sirdarships, Rambrai, Myriaw and a part of Nongstoin Syiemship needs special attention and I suggest that one Public Health Centre at Riangdo with 3 more Health Units are necessary to be established for these outlying areas with the maximum distance of 25 miles. Although there is a hospital at Nongstoin but is 50 miles away from the farthest villages of the above mentioned area and is too great a distance for the people to have proper care.
Sir, in conclusion, even though the Finance Minister has expressed his unhappiness in presenting a deficit budget, yet in a way it is a good sign for an infant State like ours which needs a firm foundation requiring a huge amount to start with. I therefore support the previous speeches of the members to move the Finance Commission, for more aid to speech up the development and the building up of this infant State to bring it at par with the other States in the near future.
With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- In this connection, I would like to make some observations. For the pace of development in the State, the Government is to make proper negotiation with the Planning Commission while to bridge the gap of deficit budget, the Government is to approach the Finance Commission. These are two separate independent bodies working under the Government of India.
Now I would request Mr. Choronsingh Sangma to speak.
Shri Choronsingh Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to participate in the Budget discussion. The Finance Minister has prepared the Budget estimates for 1971-72 carefully and systematically. First of all, I would like to touch on Agriculture and Soil Conservation Departments. These departments are most important. In fact the entire district of Garo Hills depends on agriculture for its means of livelihood. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in Agriculture Department there are new methods of varieties of paddy seeds. Not only that, many departments were attached to this Department but they are not giving their services, properly and timely. Due to lack of instructions, guidance and demonstrations by the departmental personnel, the agriculturists both Hills and plains are still in the dark in Garo Hills, our local cultivators are more expert than the agricultural technical persons in some respects. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is spending huge amount for supplying of tools and implements, water pumps and fertilizers every year. But I find huge number of pumping sets are lying unused in the office of the Assistant Development Commissioner and hundreds of bags of fertilizers are also lying un - utilised in the go down for the Block Head - quarters.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to Soil Conservation Department Soil Conservation demonstrations are carried out why the people do not follow them ? If the demonstration proves fruitful, then the people should have followed it. Merely making schemes and plans cannot be fruitful unless actual and practical work is done.
Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will come to education I find that the Demand for L.P. Schools is increasing every year in the State. There are many Progressive Venture L.P. Schools in Garo Hills to be taken up by the District Council. So, I appeal to the Government to provide adequate funds in this regard so that the District Council can open more schools within this current year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I like to request that there should be a modern L.P School in every centre and large villages, in rural area so that we can uplift our boys and girls. Moreover, the inspecting staff of Schools should be transferred to the control of the District Council. In this regard some hon. members also stressed on this in the last Budget Session. The number of Primary Schools in Garo Hills not is 1231 and more than 100 M.E schools. So the D.I of Schools may kindly be provided with a jeep to super vise the schools in the entire district and the post of the Assistant Inspector of Schools and Additional D.I of Schools be created in Garo Hills.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I come to Simsanggiri Sub - division. In other districts there are two or three sub - divisions but in Garo Hills there is none yet. The long standing proposed Simsanggiri Sub - division has not actually been created though survey work has been done 9 or 10 years ago. Creation of this Sub division will surely provide better scope for all development activities not only in that area but in all the whole district as well. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Chief Minister himself assured to the people at Rongrenggiri to execute the work within the last financial year. The amounts of also has been shown in the Budget for 1970-71 but uptil now the execution of work has not been started. So I strongly, urge upon the Government to take positive steps so that the dreams of the people come to reality.
I come to P.W.D Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this regard I like to mention Songsail - Mendipathar road. The construction of this road is very slow. This road will be the most important one. In this regard prompt action should be taken in order to make the road all season motorable. If it is completed. It will facilitate the economic upliftment and afford means of communication in the areas of Songsak. Rongrenggiri, Nansanggiri, Samandagiri and Rongsakgiri. And the Sub - divisional Headquarters of P.W.D has not yet been shifted to other place up till own although P.W.D Minister assured the people. So I request the Minister in charge of P.W.,D to shift the said P.W.D Sub-divisional Head quarters to a suitable place in Garo Hills. Sir, I like to point our that the proposal for a suspension Bridge over Sumasiri river near Nansanggiri village has not been implemented although provision is there since last year in this regard. So, I urge the Minister in charge to look in to the matter and start the work at an early date.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I like to propose another important new road from Rongrenggiri to Chokpot via Bawegiri. This road will facilitate the people of Dareng area to come to the proposed sub - division of Simsanggiri. So, I request the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D to kindly consider this matter with in this current year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in regard to rural and Tura Town electrification scheme and Tura Water Supply Scheme I do not like to say anything more, and I strongly endorse what Mr. G. A Marak has said yesterday. In respect of Members Hostel for Meghalaya. Sir, we the Members of Meghalaya Assembly are facing much difficulty during the Assembly Session. Not only that when we are to come to Shillong very often we are to search for accommodation. So I urge upon the Government of Meghalaya to move the Assam Government to provide at least one Members hostel for the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
Lastly , I like to touch on Weaving , Sericulture and Bee - Keeping Departments. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Weaving Department's activities are somehow spreading all over the district, but there is no weaving Superintendent in Garo Hills. So Government should kindly consider this matter and a Weaving Superintendent be posted at Tura at an early date. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in respect of Sericulture and Bee - keeping I do not know what these departments are doing in Garo Hills. The Government its spending huge amount every year for this Department for nothing. So, I request the Government to examine and review the activities of the Department.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, our Meghalaya Autonomous State is now running for a year and three months. Sir, simply Budgeting, Planning and preparing the schemes on paper will not bear fruits unless administrative machinery fully realise and initiates the schemes and there should be new standard of administration and administrative procedure. With these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Laloo.
Shri Galynstone Laloo ;- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to participate in the general discussion on the Budget as presented by the Hon'ble Finance Minister. While going through the budget speech of the Hon'ble Finance Minister, I regret to note that there is a deficit of 2 crores 89 lakhs of rupees. Since the very day of presentation of the budget with such a big deficit I was very much worried and I have been trying to think about suggesting ways and means how to fill up the gap. I know that if the financial position of the State is in such a picture, it is very much doubtful to achieve the set objective, that is, the economic well being of the State. It may be that the Government will not be able to properly staff all the Departments due to this deficit. So when the Department is not properly staffed, no project or schemes can be implemented and the ultimate result is that the State will remain undeveloped. I think the Government is aware of the plight of the passengers of the Shillong - Tamabil Route, Shillong - Jowai Route and Mawsmai -Shella Route in which they have to travel like sardines because the number of passengers buses plying there is inadequate. The Government may enter into this enterprise, and I am definite, it will bring revenues to the Government. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fall in line with the speakers who spoke before the me that the Government should urge upon the Government of India for more financial assistance in the light of a new State. Yesterday the Finance Minister has made it quite clear before the House that this deficit will not affect the Fourth Five Year Plan.
Mr. Speaker :- Do you mean the Plan expenditure ?
Shri Galynstone Laloo :- Yes, the Plan expenditure. Therefore, I would like to bring before the House the importance of the two proposed roads, i.e Smit - Mawkynrew - Mawlat Road and the Saitbakon - Mawpran road. The people in these areas grow potato, betel leaves, oranges and other crops in huge quantity. I hope the Government will take all possible steps to complete these roads. I also would like to bring to the information of the House and the Government about the unnecessary delay in respect of payment of compensation for lands acquired by the Government for the purpose of public interest. I may point out that for the last 7 years no compensation has been made to the land owners who had given their lands of for the construction of the State, and, I am afraid, Sir, that further continuance of this delay will demoralise the affected people. We all know that famous saying that "justice delayed is justice denied". Lastly Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are aware of the fact that firing of the Pak - Army across the border has made many people to leave their homes and their cultivation. They have no other means of livelihood,. As far as I know, they have got not shelter, no food and no medical relief.
Mr. Speaker :- What are those villages ?
Shri Galynstone Laloo :- These villages are - Umsyiem, Umkrem - Pyrdiwah and Khongwng. I am sure that these people have not been taken care of by the Government and most of these people are daily labourers.
Shri Nurul Islam :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I raised this question yesterday but .. .. .. ... .. .. .. ... ... .. .. . .. .
Mr. Speaker :- The Hon. Member was discussion about the our own people who had fled away from their villages due to shelling by Pakistan., He was not discussion about the problem of the evacuees coming from the East Bengal to Meghalaya.
Shri Nurul Islam :- I also wanted to say about this, Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- The problem is that I could not understand what you said.
Shri Galynstone Laloo :- May I proceed Mr. Speaker, Sir ? These people have to face starvation , if relief is not given to them immediately. So I would like to suggestion to the Government to provide these people with test relief works, food, shelter, and medicines. With these few words , Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Mrs. Josephine Momin.
Shrimati Josephine Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel privileged to take part in the discussion on the Budget estimates for 1971-72. First of all, I also join with other hon. Members of this august House in thanking the Finance Minister for taking great pain to present the Budget which I myself went through with much interest. Mr. Speaker, Sir, talking about the Budget, I may mention here that as a lady Member of this august House and as one of the aged mothers of Meghalaya State, I myself know how difficult is is to run the family even for a week without proper budget. A family which consists of many members runs the risks of owing heavy debt to others, if the proper budget is not charted for daily spending. Mr. Speaker, Sir, our State of Meghalaya is like a small family with three children which is the accepted Family Planning Slogan in this country but Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not going to talk about the Family Planning even, if Family Planning is not mentioned in our Hon'ble Finance Planning even, if Family Planning is not mentioned in our Hon'ble Finance Minister's Budget for the current year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my point is, Meghalaya, being a small Autonomous State with only three areas to be brought under development programme should show at least some signs of progress after its one year's existence has been completed. Now, after going through the passengers of our Hon'ble Finance Minister's Budget estimates for 1971-72 ; I must say I am compelled to add some constructive points which I hope my member colleagues, of this august House will agree with me. Mr. Speaker, Sir, after listening to the speeches of many of my member colleagues for the past two days, I have come to know that not a single Member has cared to mention the need for raising the standard of women's education in this young Autonomous State.
Mr. Speaker :- Do you think that there is any necessity of raising the standard of women in the Meghalaya State ? (Laughter).
Meghalaya is a matrilineal State.
Shrimati Josephine Momin :- Even in the Budget estimates, I did not find any column indicating provisions for opening new schools for girls. Mr. Speaker, Sir, by saying this, I am not saying that I am against co - education. I am not, In fact all my children have been read together. I am proud of them. However, my point in bringing this question is that Meghalaya being the great land in which Matrilineal system prevails in all the three district of the State, the women of this young autonomous State have a a special role to play in the upliftment of economic and social standards of the people. But unless the education of women is given proper attention, the women of Meghalaya who are proud of their high place in society will lag far behind their sisters of others States in literacy. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not an exaggeration to say that the tribal girls of rural areas, specially those of Garo Hills are shy and home conscious. Going to schools for them is an extra burden and therefore, unless they are encouraged to go to schools, they will not go to school. By opening more girls' school, their literacy position will not be improved, even after 10 years from now. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I therefore, take this opportunity to urge upon our Government to pay more attention to the need for women's education.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, now coming to the college education it is a my pleasure to say that a proposed college at Mendipathar in Garo Hills is due to be opened in the next session. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I remember that our Hon'ble Chief Minister and Education Minister during their visit to Mendipathar area last year, has encouraged the starting of a new college for which the site has also been selected and permission was granted by the authority concerned. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have found that no mention has been made about the proposed Mendipathar College in the Budget. I, therefore would urge upon the Government to kindly take note of financial need for starting the college. If the new college is given encouragement by the Government, I am sure, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this will go a long way in facilitating, the local people whose further education after matriculation has been cut short due to absence of colleges in the near by areas.
The next point I would like to mentioned, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the Public Health. Our Hon'ble Finance Minister has, in his Budget, disclosed that so far, there are only 4 hospitals in the State. There is also mentioned about a prospect of increasing the number of hospitals in future. For this assurance, the Minister in charge of Health deserves a hearty applaud from, people and also the hon. Members of this august House. But I may also bring to the notice of the Hon'ble Minister concerned the existing conditions of some hospitals in Garo Hills. Mr. Speaker, Sir, some hospital and dispensaries exists in Garo Hills District in name only. The maintenance of such institutions is very poor. Public and particularly the patients suffer when the hospitals and dispensaries are not maintained properly. It is, therefore, my plea that the Government will look into the conditions of these Public Health Institutions in future.
Most interesting thing, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is a Government Hospital of 24 beds equipped with good X-ray machine and generator in Resubelpara. But it is said that those machines were damaged and need much repair. So the machines were removed from hospital in 1960. Mr. Speaker, Sir, nobody knows whether they are under repair. However, it is learned that another x-ray machine and generator of less quality was replaced. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the operator is also there. But the machines are left unused. Mr. Speaker, Sir the interested public and sufferers were crying often times for this and they say that Government is taking no action. Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I therefore, draw the attention of the Government to this for extending helping hands as soon as possible.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, a Government Weaving Training Class was established in Resubelpara in 1956. In this Weaving Training Class, the public as well as the officers and office bearers of this institution, often times meet difficulties and some inconveniences because of the absence of quarters for Weaving Inspector in the Headquarters. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the office of this Weaving Inspector lies at a distance of 6 k.m from this institution. This is also not the office building meant for this institution. The public often-times applied and represented, hoping that a quarter may be constructed in the headquarters of Block Development Office,. They say that the Government has taken no action on all these, Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I therefore, draw the attention of the Government to these difficulties and inconveniences of the public concerned ?
(At this stage, the Speaker, left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair.)
Finally, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I may kindly be allowed to say a few words on the need for electrification of rural areas. After going through the Budget Estimates I have found that in Khasi and Jaintia Hills, a big number of villages will received electricity in the near future. While in Garo Hills the electricity will remain only a dream for hundreds of villages for many years to come. This is not to say, Mr., Deputy Speaker, Sir, that Government is not taking interest in the electrification of villages in Garo Hills. But what I feel is that the power that plant in Nangalbibra which is expected to supply electricity and power to the needs of Garo Hills is not being speeded up. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I say that our Government should now accelerate the speedy completion of this thermal plant in Garo Hills, so that people will not be denied for long the use of such modern amenities as electricity in their villages.
With these few observations, I thank the Speaker for the opportunity once again and I resume my seat.
Shri Beryl Sutnga :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the outset, I congratulate the Hon'ble Finance Minister for taking much pain in presenting the Budget for 1971-72. Now, first of all I have very glad to see that. In this connection Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest .. ... ..... ..... .. ..
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- I would like to request the hon. Member to kindly address correctly.
Shri Beryl Sutnga :"- Yes, Once compact area including 14 villages, that is Sumer Patorship is situated in a very difficult place and there is no way out to pass during summer season. If Government will give consideration to open one dispensary at Sumer Patorship it will be helpful to the people living in that compact areas. Then one dispensary which is near to that area is at Gorompani and one at Sutnga. To go to these dispensaries during summer season is very difficult for the people. So, considering these difficulties, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would request the Government to take this opportunity to see and construct one dispensary in that area.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I congratulate the Finance Minister for presenting this Budget. But at this time when the Finance Minister is unhappy to prepare the deficit Budget, I request the Government to find out ways and means so that next time he will be happy to present a Budget without deficit or rather with surplus.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now I would like to refer to a bridge which is situated near Sutnga village. This bridge was surveyed by one of the local people by the name of Mr. Jewis Bamon but no permanent bridge is construction and people are facing difficulty during summer season. So I would request the Government to construct a permanent bridge over the Wah - Khyrwi river and not to do only repairing work. The Minister in charge of P.W.D may have seen that bridge at Shasem. I think to construct a bridge there will cost only about 4 or 6 thousand rupees. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to appeal to the Government to see that this bridge is constructed permanently so that people will find no difficulty to pass through that bridge in all seasons.
Mr. Deputy Speaker , Sir, I sorry to say about the grants given in the event of calamities. When the villages are divested by fire, the people of those villages applied for grants to the Blocks and C.D Department. Then the Department will send a man to investigate in to the matter and prepare an estimate of the damage. But when the people received that grant, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, they get only Rs. 25 per house. It is useless to receive such a small amount in times of calamity. So I appeal to the Government to consider this also. I may be right or wrong, but I heard that and the plain areas once a damage is done then the People will get about Rs. 500 per house. So, I would appeal o the Government to apply this procedure also to our people.
Then about education, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have seen that private schools have funds for construction of buildings and hostels also, but Government schools have no hostel buildings and no pucca buildings. So, I would request the Government to construct pucca buildings for Government school and hostel buildings. But we are very very sorry to see now that most of the Government schools are in a bad shape. So, again, I request through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the Minister in charge of Education should see that these schools are improved.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to draw the attention of the House to veterinary Dispensary. We have one Veterinary Dispensary at Khliehriat. I request the Government through you Sir, to open such dispensary one at Sutnga and one at Rymbai so that it will be easy for the people in those areas in to get medicines for the animals and prevention from diseases. Most of the people earn their living in that area by keeping animals, and since the Veterinary Dispensary is at Khliehriat, which is located at a distance, it is very difficult for the people to go there. Epidemic comes to that area every year. Last month also the epidemic is there at Sutnga and Rymbai and there is no supply of medicines to protect the animals from epidemic So, I appeal to the Government to open Veterinary Dispensary each at Sutnga and Rymbai.
Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to bring some points also on communication. One communication line is necessary to the be constructed if the Minister in charge agrees to my request, that is, G.B.R.C through Byrnihat and Umlawang up to Sutnga which is not very far. It is about 12 or 14 k.m and it is very easy to construct. It is very difficult for the people to travel from Sutnga to Khliehriat. but it will easy for them if communication line is constructed from Mendihat to Sutnga.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D) :- May I know from the hon. Member if we construct that road, how many villages it will touch ?
Shri Beryl Sutnga :- If we go on foot, we will have to pass through many places. By jeep we can pass through Khliehriat to Sutnga , but it is easier to pass from Byrnihat to Sutnga than through Khliehriat as the distance is shorter.
Another point is on development scheme. I do not know how far the distance is from Sohkumphor. People sent petitions to the Government many times requesting them to open or construct one road from Wapung to Sohkumphor I would like to bring another point to the notice of the Government and that is water supply. There are about 40 new schemes for rural and urban areas. I would like to place before the House the urgent necessity of installing gravity water supply for jalaphat and Sumer villages, and would request the Government to take up this matter early, as the people of these villages are facing great difficulty.
As regards agriculture, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I congratulate the Government for giving grants for the purchase of bone-meals and I request the Government to continue doing this for the coming years. But the subsidy rate of 2/3 rupees is not enough and people are not happy to receive such small grant from Government.
With these words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri E.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before the making some observation in the Budget speech, first of all let me congratulate the Finance Minister for presenting a voluminous budget with a compact and illustrative Budget speech. The Finance Minister regrets to present before the House the deficit budget of 200.86 lakhs as shown at page 21 of the speech. Mr. Deputy Speaker, before I make suggestion, while making a few observations in the speech, I would like to remind the House of remarks make by the hon. Member the other day that deficit budget is a sing of progress. I hope that hon. Member knows that the more the Government undertakes work the more will be the demand for funds. In this respect, I feel that it is our collective responsibility to have a ways and means and to give suggestion to Government how to get more funds. In order to strengthen the hands of the Government . Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, firstly I would suggest that our Government should press the Government of India that grant under the Finance Commission Award should be revised. Secondly, Government will also have to find out ways and means to raise funds from internal source, if possible and lastly Government will also try to get funds from the central grants or other assistance that are available.
Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come to the first paragraph of the budget speech of the Finance Minister. My attention is drawn to these lines. May I read out to you ? "This is only the second year of the Autonomous State has but it rings in the hope of her attaining full State-hood soon". It is for about ten years that we have struggled to achieve our aspiration and during those years there were many political changes and practical problems that stood on the way to achieve our goal but as hope sprang from internal desire we continued our struggle till we came to this stage that we are now, I, therefore, hope that the war in East Pakistan and the influx of refugees to our border areas and the demand of other anti - hill aspiration and anti - Government will never stand on the way to our achievement of full state hood. But, in this respect I urge upon eh Government to expedite the matter by taking up with the Government of India as early as possible. While it is unfortunate indeed that just a few months after this State came into being it has it shoulder such a high responsibility. While appreciating the task undertaken by our State and other state as well the problem that arose due to the war in East Pakistan I would like to bring to the notice of the Government that in, this respect .. .. ... ... .. .i.e., requisitions of vehicles in Shillong, Many people have complained and it is really very embracing. If this requisition of vehicles continues, I am afraid, that anything very unhappy might happen because those people who have only be one or two vehicles to be used for earning their living, will be deprived of them for the sake of relief work and programme. I also learn that those vehicles which have were requisitioned by the D.T.O were being released by the Magistrates or the Deputy Commissioner, after receiving a released application and pressure from the people. In this connection, I would like to suggest to the Government that instead of requisitioning the vehicles, Government will have give a mind of contract for the supply of food and materials to the refugees ' camps by inviting tenders.
Now Sir, I come to the administrative machinery of our Government , I understand that a new system has been adopted in a number of selected Departments as mentioned in the budget speech. I do not know , Sir, whether this system is of any advantage or will help the to expedite, the work. I do not know whether the Government is desirous of implementing the single file system in the Secretariat level and if so, whether this system will help the speedy disposal of work. I have heard about the story of files missing in some departments. I do not know how far it is true. Perhaps it got struck anywhere but there is a story about that and I am afraid, if such cases increase, how can we trace out files when there is no other record except in that particular file.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Have you come across such instances yourself ?
Shri E.B. Lyngdoh :- That is what I learnt and I have not tried to find out as to the correctness or other wise. My point is what Government have to take into consideration is about the unemployment problem. I hope Government is aware of the fact that there are all still hundreds of our people who are still remaining with the Government of Assam and besides that hundreds of students coming from schools and colleges are seeking for employment. Therefore, this problem will always be on the increase. If our Government want to have only a skeleton staff in the Secretariat, how will Government solve this burning question of unemployment I hope, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, by the coming of the full - fledged State the problem of unemployment, will become more and more complicated. I therefore urge upon the Government to create employment opportunities for our people. Mention has been able made in the budget speech at page 3, para 2, about unemployment problems which continued to deteriorate and in certain parts of the country and it seemed to be coming near the explosion point, and the Government of India is fully alive to the problem. I must tell the House, Sir, that the responsibility of the State Government is very great in this respect.
Now, I come to communication. Communication plays a very important role in the economy of the State. All a development works depend to a great extent on good communication system. I hope in the near future all the roads in our State will cover all important parts of the State as in our State will cover al important parts of the State as the Government is giving first priority to road construction. I have seen in the western side of the Khasi Hills that road construction is progressing but there has been also much delay in some place in execution of the works already sanctioned. For example, the road at Mawlai which has been sanctioned a long time back, uptil now there is no sing of work there. I therefore, request the Minister in charge to look in to this matter. In this connection I also urge upon the Government of that Mawroh - Mawpat Road which serves a number o villages which are mostly dependent on agriculture must be taken into consideration.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come to water supply. So far as water supply is concerned, we are very lucky this year because of the rains. It has also relieved the burden of the Municipal Board to a great extent. Mention has been made in the budget speech about the schemes to be takes up the Government. But no mentioned has been made abut Shillong Water supply. I urge upon the Government that special attention should be paid to Shillong water Supply. I am very much happy to note that the Government proposed to take up 40 new water supply schemes but I do not know whether Mawtawar - Tynring - Nongrah and the surrounding villages of Shillong will be included under the proposed new schemes. If not, I request the Minister in charge to include these villages in these proposed schemes.
I would like to make a few observations on agriculture. So far in agriculture land is most important as agriculture is land-based production. Without land reforms or land use policy we cannot make any progress in the economy of our State. We know that agriculture provides employment to a great number of people and is also the main source of the State income. But agricultural production in our State depends to a great extent on small farmers. I am sure that the aim and objective of the programmes participation in adopting improved agricultural methods I know that at present there is a great demand of power tillers by the small farmer of the State. The main problem that stand in the way is shortage of technical personnel. Mention has been made in the budget speech about the application of scientific methods, of cultivation and technology. In this respect, sir, without proper training it is very difficult to apply any scientific method and technology in the field of agriculture. In order to improve agricultural production and encourage the use of scientific method and technology. I suggest that training in farm machinery such as tractor and power tiller operation and farm mechanism should be taken up the the Government. As a short course training for 3 months or so, our young boys can be undertake such refreshers course during their vacation period. In this connection I also suggest to the Government to start training in poultry farming, toy making industry and food technology for out young girls.
Now, Sir, I will come to fishery. The Fishery Department has been formed just lately in our State. But this Department has not yet been organised. I learned that use of dynamite, poisoning and indiscriminate killing of fishes is still very rampant in many parts of our State. catching and trapping by net and using of fixed engine are still continuing in many parts of our State. So far I know, there are some Fishery Acts passed by all District Councils in our State to regulate indiscriminate killing of fishes. But I do not know whether they have been implemented or not. I think it is high time for the Government of Meghalaya to take into consideration and to make a legislation to this effect. In this connection, I would also suggest that pending legislation of the Government, the different Fishery Acts of the District Council should be delegated to the respective Fishery Departments, I also suggest to the Government to take up to scheme for dry fish trade.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a few observations on community development. The aim of community development, as mentioned in the Budget Speech, is to provide extensive services to the rural areas and therefore all the development programmes are entrusted on and implemented through the Blocks. The Development Blocks are the main agencies of the Government in the rural areas, in the various Block Development Committee where the M.L.As, M.D.Cs are also the Members, scheme and plans are brought for scrutinising before getting sanction and approval from the Government. At present in our state there are 24 Blocks, 13 Blocks in Khasi Hills and 11 in Garo Hills. In Assam there are 138 Blocks,. Before Assam Re-Organisation Act there were 162 Blocks in Assam and it was at that time, the Executive Engineer in the Community Development was entrusted with all schemes and plans for development works. But after the creation of the new State of Meghalaya, that post was abolished in Assam. But the post of Executive Engineer was created in Meghalaya. I do not know Sir, whether this post is necessary in our State. I understand that this is a new post but appointment to this post is done by requisition. In this respect, Sir, I do not know understand the necessity of this post. If I am not mistaken, the Executive Engineer has to prepare and approve the schemes up to Rs. 50,000 and above that, it has to be prepared and approved by the Superintending Engineer of the P.W.D Therefore, the schemes under crash programme to be implemented through the Development Block have to be prepared by the Superintending Engineers of the P.W.D. Now, Sir if the Superintended Engineer of P.W.D can be entrusted with the other responsible of community development, why not the Executive Engineer of P.W.D be entrusted with the work of community development. In the last Budget Session. The Government has given assurance to reorganise all the Blocks in our State but I do not know, Sir, whether any steps were taken by the Government to that effect. As it is now, the Blocks are not uniform in area an number of villages and the population differs from one Block to another. For example, the Sonapahar Nongstoin Block has an area of 1938 square miles and the number of villages is about 300 with sq population of over 2000. While the Mylliem Block has an area of 100 aware miles only where there are 73 villages with a population of about 2,10,000 in this respect the Mylliem Block with an area of 100 square miles with 73 villages has got more population than the Nongstoin Block and for this reason the D.B.O of that Block will find much difficulty in covering the areas within his Block. So far as the development works are concerned, as mentioned by previous speaker, there are natural calamities but they are not getting any help from the Government in spite of repeated appeal to the Government. The people who are entirely depend on agriculture and if the crop is completely damaged, they will be in a very difficult position and they will not be able to get alternative employment avenues. In this respect I would urge upon the Government to take steps to help the people when they are in such a condition.
Now, Sir, I will come to co-operation. The co-operative movement is very encouraging in our State. It helps the people how to work together and to co-operate in the field of economic activities. I hope, Sir, it will also have a great effect on the social activities also. The Community Development Department in our State has to expedite the work in order to cover those areas in the western part of the district of Khasi Hills and the eastern part of the Jaintia Hills and also most of the parts of in Garo Hills. In this movement, the Sub-Area Co-operative Society plays an important role and the success of the co-operative movement depends to a great extent on the Sub-Area Co-operative Society because the Sub-Area acts as a middle - man, Therefore, I suggest to the Government to take an effective step so that all the Societies affiliated will get all the assistance from the Sub-Area in the right manner and the Government should also find out ways and means to check that tall assistance is properly and correctly distributed to the Societies concerned. I would also suggest that a Hills Development Corporation also acts as a main selling agent for the Society and will devise ways and means to find out good market for the agricultural products of the Society. In this respect I also suggest that the Government should take steps to construct a Base Depot at Khanapara. Now, Sir, I would like to make some observation on Forest.
Shri Standley D.D. Nichols Roy. (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I ask the hon. Member about the purpose of the Base Depot. ?
Shri E.B. Lyngdoh :- The purpose of the Base Depot is to stock all the goods collected from the Societies for getting better markets and for other purposes also, I learnt that the percentage of forest area is approximately 43 per cent. But mention has been made in the Budget Speech that the Government is aiming at increasing the forest area to the national standard of 60 per cent. In our State there are many kinds of forests and there is also multi - management of the forests. I learnt that the District Council has got power over their own forests only and has not power over private forests. I hope that the Government is aware of the extensive destruction of forests and transport of timber outside the State. I do not know whether the Government have contemplated steps to control the exploitation of forest produce of our State. In Garo Hills I heard that there is a working plan, but in Khasi and Jaintia Hills, except, for the pine forest in Shillong, there is no plan at all. I do not know whether the Government has taken steps to revise the plan, because that plan has already expired since 1964. I learnt that the Government is acquiring some private lands for afforestation. In this respect I suggest to the Government to adopt land Use Policy so that the lands which are good for forestry can be acquired for that purpose and the flat and fertile lands can be used to agricultural production.
Now, Sir, I would like to make some observation on land reforms. Mention has been made at page 14 of the Budget Speech that steps to study modern land reforms are being made. I hope the Government is aware of the complexity of the land tenure in our State and it differs from place to place. There are multi - management over the land. I very happy to learn that the Government is taking steps for land reforms but I must say that this is a very delicate step and I feel that the Government should take those people who have authority in the management of the land into confidence in order to bring about land reforms smoothly and peacefully.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am also glad that the Government has been able to create the Meghalaya Subsidiary Force and I learnt that the Government is finding much difficulty in tackling with the present problem due to shortage of race. But I urge upon the Government, as the previous speakers have said, that recruitment to the Force should be expedited so that it can help the Government to undertake the task that it is facing now.
Lastly, Mr, Deputy Speaker, Sir, I regret that after going through the Budget Speech, I find no mention has been made about the protection of wild life, as most of the Members have mentioned on the floor of this House, in spite of many question raised and the discussion we had in the last Session in connection with this matter. I do not know what difficulties the Government is facing in bringing up the Bill sin this Session. The people are always complaining about the indiscriminate killing of wild life in the State. I understand. Sir, but the Bill has been already prepared by the Government but I do not understand what is the difficulty and why it has not been mentioned in this Budget Speech May I draw the attention of the Government to this very important and very urgent matter and request them to take it into active consideration. The urgency of this matter is such that if the Government is not able to bring the Bill in this Session, it must issue an ordinance to this effect, I hope the Government will take up this matter immediately in order that the Wildlife of our State will be protected in order that the Wildlife of our State will be protected and be taken care of. As mentioned by you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in your speech wildlife will add to the income of the State. With these few words Sir, I hope that the Government will take into consideration the points and suggestion of all the Members in this House.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Any of the hon. Members would like to participate in the discussion ? Since no hon'ble member would like to take part in the discussion , the House stands adjourned till 10 A.M on Monday the 21st June, 1971.
The 18th June, 1971.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.