Tuesday, the 23rd March, 1971.
The House met at Ten O' Clock
(Mr. Speaker in the Chair,)
Report the Business Advisory Committee.
Mr. Speaker :- The first item in today's list of business is the announcement of the report of the Business Advisory Committee.
I called a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee on the 15th March, 1971 to settle the business for the current session of the Assembly. A draft Calendar for the whole session was prepared by my Secretariat and circulated to all the Members present in the Committee with a list of the businesses which might be coming from the different Departments of Government for disposal. The Committee had considered the Draft Calendar and approved it a copy of the approved Calendar has already been circulated to all hon. Members.
I hope this has the approval of the House.
(Announcement of the Patel of Chairman)
The second, item of today's list of business is the announcement of the Panel of Chairmen under the rule 9 of the Assembly Rules for the current Session of the Assembly :-
1. Mr. John Deng Pohrmen, M.L.A
2. Mr. Gilfred Singh Giri M.L.A
3. Mr. Nimai Rabha, M.L.A
4. Mr. Bronson Momin, M.L.A
Presentation of the supplementary Demands for Grants.
Mr. Speaker :- Item No.3 The Finance Minister to present the Supplementary Demand for Grants and Supplementary Appropriations of the Government of Meghalaya for 1970-71.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, (Finance Minister) :- Sir, I beg to present the supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation of the Government of Meghalaya for 1970-71.
Mr. Speaker :- Item. No.4 The Finance Minister to present the Vote on Account for the first Quarter of financial year, 1971-72 of Government of Meghalaya.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, (Finance Minister) :- I beg to present the Vote on Account for the first Quarter of financial year, 1971-72 of Government of Meghalaya.
Laying of the Meghalaya prevention Gambling Rules 1970.
Mr. Speaker :- Item, No.5 The Chief Minister to lay the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Rules, l970.
Capt W.A Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I beg to lay the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Rules, 1970.
Laying of the Order for Delimitation of Assembly Constituencies.
Mr. Speaker :- Item, No.6 The Chief Minister is to lay the Order for Delimitation of Assembly Constituencies in eh Autonomous State of Meghalaya.
Capt. W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I beg to lay the Order for Delimitation of Assembly Constituencies in the Autonomous State of Meghalaya.
Laying of the Meghalaya Ministers (Allowances and Privileges) Rules, 1970.
Mr. Speaker :"- Item No.7 The Finance minister to lay the Meghalaya Minister (Allowances and Privileges) Rules, 1970.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Finance Minister) :- Sir, I beg to lay the Meghalaya Minister (Allowances and Privileges) Rules 1970.
Introduction of the Meghalaya Amending Bills, 1971.
Mr. Speaker :- Item No.8 The Chief Minister to beg to leave to introduce the Meghalaya Amending Bill, 19761.
Capt. W.A Sangma. (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Amendment Bill, 1971.
Mr. Speaker :- The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Amending Bill. 1971.
The Motion is adopted.
Capt. W.A Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Amending Bill, 1971.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion Moved. (After a pause)
I put the question. The question is that the Meghalaya Amending Bill, 1971 be introduced.
Debates on Governor's Address.
Mr. Speaker :- The next item is the Debate on Governor's Address I call Mr. D.D. Pugh the Mover of the Motion to initiate the Debate.
Shri D.D Pugh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was just a little under 24 hours ago that I moved the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address which he was pleased to deliver before the House yesterday. Today, in support of the said Motion and by way of initiating the discussion on the Governor's Address. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to leave to make certain observations. First and foremost I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude and I believe the gratitude of the entire House to the Governor as in and through his address, he has been pleased to place before this House the Government policy underlying almost all spheres of Governmental activities, I presume, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that each and every hon. Member of the House will agree with me on this score. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are very well know in the District Council I happen to represent a constituency which is located in the border area. It is therefore, most gratifying to me personally to find that in an 11 page address, almost the whole of a page is devoted the border area to the border people, their needs and there difficulties and Government's concern for them. While on this point, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am reminded of something someone some where once said something to the effect that just being by itself is not good enough there should also be a show of honesty.
In like manner, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am tempted to remind myself, to remind the House and to remind the Government of the fact that just being concerned for the border people or even having plans and proposals to help the people living in the border areas, by itself, is not good enough. What is necessary, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe is that we as a House should ensure that Government get down to business and actually make a start in doing something concrete, in however small measure it may be, and in a tangibles way. May I therefore suggest for the consideration of the consideration of the Government the need to consider the immediate setting up of small and medium size units of canning factories and some medium size units of honey canning factories or small or medium size factories for the extraction of essence or oil from what we call Tezpata. Having said this on the question of border areas and the border people I would hasten to add that it is certainly not my contention that the setting up of one or two or even all the industries I have just mentioned or even setting up of a host of other industries in the border areas and for the people of the border areas will be the complete answer to the problems and the difficulties of the people living in the border areas. But at least it is my contention that a start will have been made and the bonafide of the Government proved.
On page 5, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is the page I have been referring to all this while, we find these words, right at the top of the page "Attention has also been given to better facilities in the field of education medical and public health services and water supply" For this information given in the statement of policy made by the Governor, I am truly grateful to him and in expressing my gratitude I would also take this opportunity to urge the Government to considered the need - an absolute and most urgent need for the establishment of a medical college within the State. On this points, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would only caution the Government to the dangers which I foresee lying ahead of us as a State. May I explain myself, Mr. Speaker, Sir, by saying that it is my firm conviction that with the coming of the full Statehood which has been referred to by the Governor in the very first part of his Address, we and our people will be undoubtedly faced of health and sanitation, unless we have a medical college of our own.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would state that it is indeed most encouraging to note the reference made by the Governor in his Address to the coming of full Statehood. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I very heartily congratulate the Government for the manner in which they have conducted and steered the affairs of Meghalaya, for it is my firm conviction that the Government's conduct during the past 10 or 11 months has indeed very greatly contributed towards the onward march of our people towards the cherished goal of full Statehood. While I congratulate the Government on this point may I also take the opportunity, Mr. Speaker, Sir, of saying just one, word of caution. The word of caution that I would through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, like to pass on to our Government is the need to very actively consider. Not only to consider, but also to take necessary advance action whether in respect of the transport Department or the Police Department which we believe we will be within the purview and the jurisdiction of Meghalaya when it becomes a full fledged State ; so that Mr. Speaker, Sir, we will not find ourselves wanting and also we shall not be caught on the wrong floor as was the case unfortunately, on the 2nd April, 1970. With these words Mr. Speaker, Sir, I commend the Motion of thanks moved by me for the acceptance of the House.
Shri S.P Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to welcome the Governor's Address which is now before the us for discussion. In the Governor's Address mention was made that the people greeted with great enthusiasm the 10th of the November announcement made by the Prime Minister on the floor of the Lok Sabha to confer full Statehood to Meghalaya This is true because the people felt that they are nearing the cherished goal. The cherished goal is both political and economically. It is the genuine desire of the people in these hills for political and economic freedom, that amount of freedom that the people enjoy in every State in India.
It is true that this Assembly and the Government take the people towards the full achievement of that long cherished goal. It is for us and the people of as a whole in Meghalaya to continue to strive hard towards the full achievement of that goal. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Governor in his address has referred to one social evil i.e. the gambling and betting on archery. This social evil has gone so deep and rampant in the State of Meghalaya. Although the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Act 1970 when it is put into operation, it has brought the evil under control to a certain extent. But I would like to inform the house and the Government that in many places in rural areas betting and gambling is still in existence. The Bookies are still active. The stalls with the Bookies are still in existence.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very happy to see that the Government is determined to drive away uneven distribution of benefit and also regional imbalance. This is most welcome and some schemes have been enunciated which I hope will arouse public enthusiasm and serve the real needs of the people especially the weaker section of the people in every field of economic development. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this regard, whether it is in the field of agriculture, industries, co-operation, communication, or in any other field of development. I feel the urge to make certain suggestions :-
(i) In the field of Community Development I feel that it is time that in the implementation of schemes through the community Development Department through its agencies at every level a complete overhauling of Development Committees. Local Development Committees Field Management Committees at all levels. I feel that any programme, which is the people's programme the people should have hand at every stage of development fully through these Committees. And in the field of agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery, I find that the people need education. And the only way to educate the people is to start to have demonstration centres at every central place in rural areas and so also in the field of industry. As the Hon. member who just took his seat, has pointed out certain important industry in respect of honey. I should say that this is a product of traditional Bee keeping industry and to get pure extracted honey, a small scale industry can be set up at every central place to demonstrate, and teach the people how to get the best honey out of the honey in its neutral form. This is very very important and it will help the people to arouse their feeling, to understand and to be effective with their contribution and co-operation in the implementation of the Government plan and programme, In the field of co-operation, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is most welcome, it is good that the Government has started one co-operative Apex Bank and also some other Development Corporations. This is I believe will really serve the real needs of the people and in respect of co operation which is still not so much in progress in rural areas, I hope that the Government will look in to this in a vigorous way. For the information of the House and the Government we find that Co-operative Societies already registered they are inactive or lying dormant. It is necessary to revive those co-operative Societies or to liquidate those Co-operative Societies so that new societies will take up in their places and and I feel, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the in order to achieve the maximum benefit from the planned schemes and programmes of the Govt it is the duty of the Government to educate the people through publicity at every stage of development schemes. Only in that way we can have the active and full co- operation from the people. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
*Shri Witherson Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in making comments on the Governor's Address, my attention is drawn to two major problem in our district. No.1 is regarding the importance of P.W.D link roads from Garo Hills with the Assam Trunk Road. This matter has was not dealt with in the Governor's Address. For the information of the House members of this House I may submit their list under -
The first one is from Dhupdhara to Dilma Adap which is 7 miles away one from the other Out of this 7 mile distance, about 2 miles fall within Kamrup and 4 Miles within Goalpara. Only one mile of it at its upper portion falls within Garo Hills.
The second is from Dhupdhara to Adokgre. There is roughly a distance of about 7½ miles between the two places. But luckily enough, this link Road has been taken up by the P.W.D during this year and the road construction has been going on in full progress.
The third is to run from Dhupdhara to Badaka over a distance of about 8 miles which almost entirely falls within Goalpara District.
The fourth one which connects the Assam Trunk Road with Badaka is also of the nature requiring stress of importance. The distance is about 8 miles like the third one above, it also most entirely falls within Goalpara District.
Coming to the fifth one in the list we have in between Doranggre to Kharkutta. These two places are separated by a gap of 3 miles which entirely falls within Goalpara.
The sixth gives us a link road from Amjonga to Chibonga which is as long as 5 miles. Out of this distance, we have abut 3½ miles in Garo Hills, the rest failing within Goalpara District again.
The seventh and the last in the list is from Dudnai to Upper Jambal via Mandima, Kentra Sambrak and Sari area. This link road may be as long as around 8 miles. Out of these, may we be 3 miles fall in Goalpara and the rest in Garo Hills.
Now, Sir, I feel it important to talk these link roads as they are not receiving attention from both the Government of Assam and Meghalaya on the please of their falling partly in Garo Hills and partly in Goalpara in some cases and the entire length in Goalpara in the others. Until and unless the two Governments of Assam and Meghalaya make a joint effort in one way or the other for the solution of these link road problems, their strategic importance in the context of the economic and the social interests of the respective localities will remain neglected for al time to come. In which case, whatsoever of the agricultural or industrial schemes or any other schemes to be reached out to them and implemented will moreover the economic backwardness of the local people resulting ultimately in the stunted growth of their progress and prosperity owing to these communication bottlenecks.
The No.2 major problem as I have said at the outset is the question of fishery. Not a single word is uttered about it in the Governor's Address. This creates a curiosity in me. Of course I do not mean to say that the Government does not intend to promote the interests of the pisciculturists in Meghalaya but then I for one feel anxious also to know the skeleton of the fishery schemes. I do not want to go into the details of the scheme today although I have a lot to say on this matter of importance. I want to close my remarks in this respect by simply expressing myself as unsatisfied with the scheme in all its aspects as it is now.
Lastly, on the presumption of myself being in order, I may point out one thing more which I think the Governor's Address should have touched upon. It is the Sonabar-Rongjeng Road via Manpang. I know the scheme is already under implementation but only upto Nongritthaw village in Khasi Hills over looking Manpang Bamil Hat on the west in Garo Hills. I say it is a blind alley road so without an exit on this side, It, therefore, draws my serious attention as a huge amount has been already incurred from the Government exchequer. I am anxious that whatever has or had been spent will be for investment and not for wastage. It is an obvious fact that this Sonabar Road to Manpang will be always a blind alley if it is not connected with Rongjeng in due course of time. It is therefore, a must to find a place in the list of the proposed Meghalaya P.W.D Roads to give a normal outlet for the agricultural produce of our own people whosoever they may be.
Suppressing my desire to go on commenting on other matters which according to me are not covered by the Governor's Address, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat now.
(Mr. Deputy Speaker in the Chair)
*Mrs. Josephine Momin :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while I feel it a privilege for me to think the hon'ble Governor for mentioning in his speech many development programmes for Garo Hills District, I may also point out certain important needs which have not been included in the Hon'ble Governor speech.
Firstly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it has been found that our Hon'ble Governor in his speech did not mention schemes for developing fishery industries in Garo Hills and other parts of Meghalaya.
In this connection, I may say that many villages in Garo Hills particularly in northern areas of the district, people have been experimenting fish rearing by their own effort for many years. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, their complaint is that while they can construct their own ponds to rear the fishes, they found it very difficult to get fish seeds for the purpose, as most fishery farms are located in far away town. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it will be my request that the Government may kindly make seedlings available to the interested fish rearers by construction some fish seedling ponds in Meghalaya State.
The other point, I like to mention here, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, so that Hon'ble Governor did not mention the prospects of electrifying rural areas of Garo Hills. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I may point out that many developed villages like Resubelpara, Bajengdoba and Kharkutta which are prospective industrial and commercial centres of the District need the facilities of electricity and commercial centre of the District need the facilities of electricity as early as possible. As for Resubelpara, I may say that the extension of electricity facilities is of utmost importance as the Headquarters of the Community Development Block has its well managed hospital day and night section High School and Weaving Training Class. I may also request Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that water supply scheme like constructing water pipes in important villages like Resubelpara, Bajengdoba, and Kharkutta may kindly be taken up by the Government as early as possible. One again, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank you for his opportunity.
*Dr. S.C. Deb :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Governor's Address in short, shows the picture of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya and how the Government is trying to face the problems peculiar to this state.
I shall take up and discuss about the medical and public health matters first, where facilities offered to the people to are absolutely inadequate. The number of dispensaries and hospitals is very few in the interior and most of them are under staffed. The Government has taken a move by giving incentives for attracting qualified medical men and the other technical hands for these dispensaries. But the incentives in terms of money as rural allowances to compensate for the expenses necessary for the education of their children in towns must be very very attractive. In these dispensaries the stock of medicines are poor and a newly qualified these dispensaries the stock of medicines are poor and a newly qualified medical man, who is expected to go and work in the interior, finds it difficult to treat cases with these back dated medicines s they are trained in the use of antibiotics and other modern drugs.
Malaria is going to be a big problem again. It was under control for many years due to intensive anti malaria measures, but is also back again in some parts of the State. So our control measures have probably been relaxed or there must be some other new factors for which we are getting new malaria cases so long though to be wiped our of the country for good. We must look into the matter afresh to counteract its come back. It was a major killer in the Eastern India in recent past.
We are having a severe water scarcity, increasing every year though living in a country like Meghalaya where rainfall is highest in the world. The life giving water flows out. Sometimes inundating vast areas creating miseries to the affected people. This water can be storey by proper planning in tanks and artificial lakes and can be used through out the year for drinking and other purposes. This is for the Government to consider and appoint technical hands to select suitable sites for such storages for the benefit of the people. Many of the big cities like Bombay and Madras get the supplies of water from such lake reservoirs.
Many places in India and abroad are earning money from tourism. Country like ours, which is rich in scenic beauty can be easily developed and made to attract tourists. The expenditures incurred is sure to be a good investment. In all probability, we are going to have a Hill University very soon. No University is complete without technical education like medical and engineering colleges under our Hills University. There must be an intensive for the mineral resources and that can improve.
Shri Lobendiri Hujon :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to point our something,. In page 4 of the Governor's Address the Governor was has rightly stated that Meghalaya is among the most backward parts of the country. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the Western Circle of the United Khasi-Jaintia Hills known as Nongstoin and its Constituency, the Government of Assam proposed to open a Subdivision there to develop the area of the whole Western Circle in Rambrai Syiemship, Nongkhlaw and Myriaw Syiemship, there are many villages where the Government of Assam did not take up any development work to help the people there. Of course, the Block centre had been opened in Nongstoin and Mairang but they did not take up any development work of Rambrai village and Myriaw villages for these villages are very very far. There are no communication facilities, no roads Agriculture, nor Bazars have been opened yet, I have been to the village called Mawdoh Nongthymmai etc and I have seen that only some L.P Schools were started by the District Council, but no development was taken by the Government of Assam for all the previous years and even by the present Government of Meghalaya at this time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would therefore, propose that for the development of the Western Circle, a Subdivision should be opened quickly I will not take the time of the House but I have another point to say. In the villages of Rambrai and Myriaw Syiemship, the people there are lying in the wild jungle and they are most backward. I would therefore urge upon the Government to start setting up cottage industries for the economic development of the whole Western Circle, Mr. Deputy Speaker, another point which I would like to say is regarding regrouping of villages in Khasi & Jaintia Hills. People living in the border known as Border people as well as not border (Upland) have shifted themselves to other places like Bhoi area without having a proper grouping of villages, I would urge upon the Government to take up this question of grouping of villages in the Khasi Hills. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Shri Justly Rynshon :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have only a few wards to say on the Governor's Address. Let me first take "Public Health" I beg to inform the Government that the State Dispensaries in the interior are all under staffed and moreover and there are no qualified doctors. May I cite a few of them ; the Dispensaries at Patharkhmah, Umden and others. Only the pharmacists are there when people attend the Medical Dispensaries for medical relief the Pharmacist can do nothing for the people who seek medical relief from the Dispensaries. May I request the Government Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the appointment of qualified doctors is badly needed for the dispensaries in the interior. Moreover, in the particular heads of Public Health, R.H.I and vaccinators are attached to cover the emergency cases. May I cite also for instance that in the last two years epidemic incidence were prevailing every where. Owing to lack of supply of medicine man people have lost their lives. This experience I have brought before the Government, moreover there are certain areas where the new dispensaries are required so to say, war maw saw areas and also Sohnidon Umlapar areas. The nearest dispensary for these two areas is at the distance of about 35 or 40 miles. For instance upto Jagi road which is about 30 miles away from Umsning and to Nongpoh 40 miles, there is one Primary Health Unit, but there is no pharmacists and there is no compounder after the building was constructed Then in one Mouzas are it is far from Maya, and I would request the Government to look in to these areas also. Let me come to Agriculture, Agriculture as the Governor has said, is the back bone of the community and the nations and as it is in past, people have come in direct contact with the Agriculture Department. Agricultural sector is set up so that public may get the benefit from agriculture in their business.
Let me come to Primary Education. In Primary Education there are recurring grants and non-recurring grants and free and compulsory education schemes. Now let me say about the free and compulsory education schemes. In District Council, I mean to say the teachers are getting their pay at the end of the year. Most of the teachers complain about this process of payment and most of them become bankrupt. So in this particular aspect, I request the Government to take them all so that the teacher may serve well in the institution and, moreover Sir, I beg to say that inspections also are very rare in in the interior. Most of the inspecting staff are in headquarters and not even once a year they go to inspect the Primary schools in the interior. So lack of inspection makes the teachers to play what they like to in the field of Primary Education and sometimes, the teachers also make a lot of complaint at this irregular form of payment. So Government may kindly consider the case of the these teachers serving under the free and compulsory education schemes, Communications is the life line of the public. I do not want to mention all. Let me mention only those which are vital to the public. The road from Marngar to Umsaw Nongbri is 14 miles. This road is maintained by the Local Committee. All the bridges and culverts on this road were almost destroyed but no fund was available to maintain the road nor to repair the bridges and culvert It is beyond the capacity of the local Committee to construct such kind of bridges which will require about ten or fifteen thousand rupees. Moreover the Local Committee has not technical experts for construction of this road So, I would request the Government to look into this aspect of the the matter and and include this road also in the Plan.
Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that after the passing of the Archery & Gambling Prohibition Act by this Assembly and ever since the Act has come into effect the people have been saved from economic ruin. But there is another enemy of the people and that is the liquor Prohibition. I hope that in the next session of the Assembly the Government will bring forward a Bill prohibition of the Assembly the Government will bring forward the Bill prohibition this kind offence. This will be a blessing to the people. Sir, I feel that probation is very vital to save the people from economic ruin and moral ruination, only this much I have to say on the Governor's Address.
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister Agriculture etc):- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. We did not quite catch what the hon. member said about gambling. He said some thing about it which we could not catch Shri Justly Rynson, - I said that the Government have done good the people by passing the Gambling Act. It is a great benefit to to the people. If the Government could bring a legislation on liquor prohibition, I would be very happy. With these few words, I conclude my speech.
Shri Rokendro Dkhar :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful for the Address of the Governor which has laid down the policies and achievement s of our Government for the last 11 months or so. However, I would like to make a few observations on some important points. At page 2, paragraph 3, the Governor ahs said something about the organisation of the administrative machinery. But I would like to point our to the Government that up till today some important Departments have not been organised and these Department, I feel, are very very important for the these state itself and also for the public. One of the Department hat has not been organised is the Land Records Department. Although it is mentioned here that the District Councils have been financially helped by the State Government to organise this type of work yet even the survey work has not been done, and I think this is very important for the interest of the State as a whole. So this Department is very important to be organised early. Another Department which effects the public in general is the housing Department. I understand that the Housing Department falls under the Town and Country Planning Department, and as it is today, I do not see any office dealing with the housing loan. I understand that the Inspector attached to the D.C who is not under the Assam Government is doing this work also. But till today, I understand no sanction has been coming from the Department for issue of housing loan to the people. I understand also that there is great difficulty in sanctioning loan to the applicants due to various difficulties that there are no experienced hands in this Department and so on and so forth. So, I would urge upon the Government to see that this Department is organised soon.
Again at page 5, at the top it has been stated that "attention has also been given to better facilities in the in the field of education medical and public health services and water supply". Sir, in the field of education we are very glad that education is marching forward. But I am afraid, Sir, that at the rate that education is progressing to day, our University will be only be aiming at producing graduates whom we will find great difficulty for giving employment. in Government service. So, unless we re orient our policy regarding the system of education in the State, I think, we will create a big problem to the Government i.e., the problem of unemployment I would therefore, suggest that in the field of education of unemployment I would, therefore, suggest that in the field of education the vocational side of education should introduced early, and I would urge upon the Education Department to examine this matter and bring forward a piece of legislation so that our youths will not find difficulty after they left their schools and colleges. This is the need of the day and the Government should do something about it.
Now, I come to medical. Although I quite appreciate that it is very difficult for the Government to construct new dispensaries because even till today the dispensaries which have already been constructed by the Assam Government have not been filled up with doctors. Yet, I would urge upon the Government to see that there are some parts of the State which need construction of more dispensaries. For example we have got, in the western area of this District the primary health unit or centre, as the case may be at Nongstoin. we have only one doctor and the area is very big for him to cover. The lack of communication also stands in that way for him to do the work. Especially in the rainy season, it is very difficult for him to go to Balat and Maheshkhola side which are still under his area. If emergency comes, he has to go to Mawphlang, and then go down to Mawsynram, Balat and other places and the time consumed by this road coming from Nongstoin to Mawphlang and then to Mawsynram and Balat is very great. At page 6 of para 11 of the Governor's Address Agriculture is and will continue to remain the backbone of the State's economy and in this sector, the emphasis is on adoption of improved agriculture practice. We see at page 11 that due to floods and scarcity, relief measures were rendered were to the people in the Garo Hills District. It is gratifying to note that our people who were affected by flood and scarcity have been able to get relief from the Government. But it is very sorry to say that the people of this district in the upland area who mainly cultivate potato and suffered very much due to failure of crop have not been able to get relief from the Government. Although we had some discussion with the Minister Finance sometime in February about the seed loan but uptil today nothing has been done. I would therefore, urge the Government to see that the people are helped in this ,matter.
About the primary education, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that it is under the control of the District Councils, the District Councils are depending much on the grants they are receiving from the Government. I would urge the Government to be generous and give more grants to the District Councils to enable them to meet the needs of the Primary School in the rural areas. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, only 17 miles from Shillong, there is one village allied Laitkroh, the L.P Schools in this village has got two teachers with 140 pupils. You can well imagine Sir, the difficulty to teach 140 young children with only two teachers. There are many schools which have got only one or two teachers and the number of pupils are very big, It is difficult to give proper education to the young children and therefore, I would urge the Government to be liberal to give more grants to the District Councils, so that it can manage the work in a proper manner.
About the water supply scheme, it is gratifying to that in so many villages, the water supply schemes have been undertaken by Government. but I would urge the Government to see that more water supply schemes in the rural areas are under taken, especially in those places where there are dispensaries but not good water supply is available. In this connection, I may mention that Laitlyngkot village has got a doctor a year ago but there is no good water supply there also. About the hospitals and dispensaries in village, there is another difficulty, although there is a doctor, but there is no stock of medicines and even if there, is the stock is not adequate. Sometimes the doctors have to purchase medicines from their own pockets and then supply the same to the patients and the cost of the medicines is very high. This makes the people think that the doctors and the Government are doing business in giving medicines to the people. I do not know if the rules and regulation of the Government allow the doctors to seal medicines, I think due to inadequate stocks of medicines, doctors have to buy their won medicines and sell them tot he public. This should not be done and the Government may please see that sufficient stock of medicines are supplied to these hospitals and dispensaries. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are indeed very grateful to see that Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank has been set up by Government with in a very short time. This will greatly benefit the small service co-operative societies in the matter of loans, etc. I understand that there is an arrangement that the Assam Apex Bank will continue to finance loans to the small farmers societies until the Meghalaya Apex Bank starts its operation. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very surprising to see that ht executive Director of the Assam Hills co-operative Societies of Meghalaya, who has got a big hand or rather a big link with the work of the Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank and of course I do not know whether this Assam Hill Development corporation is purely under the Assam Government or not., It is very surprising that this officer who is in the know of things as to how and when the Meghalaya co-operative Apex Bank will start operating - yet a loans application of one Laishnong Service Co operative Society, after many months, application was forwarded to the Managing Director Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank. He knew that the loan operation is still being done by the Assam Co-operative Apex Bank, yet he forwarded this application to the Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank. This seems to me that his intention is to harassed the people so that the people will think that Meghalaya Bank can not help even their needs. This action I think is deliberate because it comes from the officers who is in the know of things. I would request the Government to see that officers of different Departments of the Government, do their work loyally or to be loyal to the Government whatever, be the case to do things, they are expected to do the benefit of the people in general Paragraph.
Last year I said something about a the Public Department. I would like to say just a few words about the inactivity of the Publicity Department. About three months ago while I was at Siat Bakon village just below Pynursla and had some talks with the Sirdar of Rai Shabong. He expressed that he did know that we was have got our own Director of Health Services although he was appointed a some months ago. Yet out people in the rural areas do not know that they have got their own Director and of Health Services. The Sirdar is not illiterate but a literate man. he know used to read newspaper, of course, Khasi Newspaper, yet he did not know about this Director of Health Services, who is our own tribal man. Although the Publicity Department has been functioning for about 10 to 12 months now, yet it has not done anything that it is expected to do. So I would urge the Government to do something so that the people will know about the activities of the Government. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- As there is no other hon. Member to take part in this discussion, I now adjourn the House. The House stands adjourned till 10 A.M on Wednesday, the 24th March, 1971.
|23rd March, 1971||
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.