The House met at 10 A.M on Wednesday the 24th March, 1971. (The Speaker in the Chair)
Announcement of the Names of Members of the House Committee.
Mr. Speaker :- The first item in today's list of business is the announcement of the name of Members appointed to the House Committee under sub-rule (1) of Rule 312.
I appoint the following Members to the House Committees under sub-rule (1) of Rule 312.
Mr. P. Ripple Kyndiah, M.L.A.
Mr. Humphrey Nongrum, M.L.A.
Mr. Khelaram Barmon, M.L.A.
Mr. Samendra Sanfma, M.L.A.
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah will be the Chairman of this committee. The next item in today's list of business is debate on the Governor's Address. Mr. Justman Swer to speak?
Shri Justman Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in supporting the Motion of thanks to the Governor's Address. I would like to make a few observation in a few words and on very few points covered by paragraphs 11, 12, 13, & 16 of the Address. As regards of the other portion of his Address referring to agriculture, I must say that while I deeply appreciate the Government's sincere and earnest attempt to implement the various schemes in the agricultural sector, I must point out one item of work which I feel is very important, and if neglected it may affect the agricultural production to a very large extent and that is the dearth of potato seeds during the current planting season. I have received complaints from various quarters about the non-availability of potato seed and when available what is available is obtainable only at very high cost. The result is that those cultivator who can afford to pay the high price of potato have to reduce the area of cultivation this year. This will adversely effect the production and will increase the cost of potato to the consumers. Firstly, the price of potato seeds is high, and secondly, because the yield this next session, according to me I estimate will be much less than the preceding years. To this extent, will come out with this suggestion to the Government that right from now they should evolve a machinery for procuring potato seeds. As there are organisation for procuring paddy, there should be similar arrangement for procuring potato seeds. I donot know, perhaps the Agriculture Department has already made that arrangement. If that is so, good. On the other hand I should still suggest that the activities on this score of the Government I should also suggest that the Government appoint a potato seed farm. For instance, in the Shillong Experimental Farm, Upper Shillong, huge areas which are not used, Government can utilise these unused lands for potato cultivation so that the yield of potato seeds can be supplemented. If the Government finds that it may be expensive, it can adopt another method as they do in the Forest Department. In the Forest Department they raise plantation by a system borrowed from Burma, called Taungya, They give land to the cultivators free of rent, they give it for a couple of years or three years and allow the people to raise their crop. Along with this, they are allowed to sow timber plants with the result that after two years, the cultivators leave the land to the Government for forest growth with timber crop already there.
So far as potato seeds are concerned, we can also raise such farms on similar lines. We can allot a small plot of land in the farm to local cultivators on conditions. The condition can be stipulated that certain percentage of the yield should be given to the Government and that will augment the stock of the potato seeds.
Another point to which I would draw the attention in the Governor's Address is the urgent need for an Agricultural College in Meghalaya. Our Students just now have to go all the way to Jorhat and other places for their agricultural training. We have of late heard of the incidents in the Jorhat Agricultural College. During the session, most of the months the students were without any training on account of strikes which take place from time to time. They are suffering from the heat of the plains and under going a lot of inconveniences. It is unfortunate that inspite and if these inconveniences, the training for which they go there is not available. So I should draw the attention of the Government to consider the urgent need of establishing an agricultural College in Meghalaya Yesterday or the day before the yesterday the hon. Mover of the Motion has suggested the urgent need of the Medical College. I also insist on this necessity and the urgent necessity of Agriculture College in Meghalaya. As far as the Governor's Address as indicated in para 12 is concerned, I appreciate very deeply that Government has been seized with the idea of the necessity of the District Councils having Reserve Forest of their own. As it is now, all the existing reserve forests in eh State belong to the State Government and the District Councils have no reserve forests of their own. As far as the United K.J Hills District is concerned, we are doing our best to look after, manage and control the various forests, belonging to different and various categories from the point of view of ownership and proprietorship. There are forest belonging to the village, belonging to clans, belong to Raj and belonging to private owners, and with these various kinds of status, prevailing, it is very difficult to apply the principle of forestry in a scientific way. The result is that checking up of illegal felling, checking of misuse of the forest wealth becomes a very difficult problem. I would like Government forests where there is absolute control management and scientific forestry which will bring permanent preservation and permanent conservation and regular improvement and regular wealth to sustain the timber and get regular revenue for all time will not be possible. While appreciating the Government for having realised the idea of the District Councils having reserved forests of their own, I would insist that this idea should be continuously pursued in the coming years, so that more amount is provided for the preservation existing reserves and continuous reservation of new areas.
I beg to draw the attention to the remark in the Address in paragraph 12 in which it was mentioned " In Order to conserve the forest wealth of the State, it is proposed to take up schemes of afforestation and forest reservation in co - operation with the District Councils. The method of farm forestry is also being introduced in order to ensure proper land use."
Mr. Speaker :- It is not a remark, it is a part of the Address.
Shri Justman Swer :- Thank you Sir. The fact is that the matter has passed the proposal stage, Actually the Government has started implementing it. So far as my District is concerned money has already been provided for this purpose, It will not be correct to say in the address that Government are proposing to take up the schemes." I would suggest that instead of proposing to take up it should have been put as that "Government has already started implementation." (Laughter).
I come to paragraph 13 with regard to educational institution. I express my appreciation to the Government for the management of the L.P schools in the K & J. Hills. There is a favourable change by the expeditious release of grant to by Government and it will be very greatly appreciated late, I think there were cases of non receipt of pay by the school teachers, and therefore, we hope that expeditious steps in this behalf will remove the hardship they had to undergo.
Lastly, I must thank the Governor, rather I must appreciate the Government for having honored the commitment that certain functions in certain stage mentioned at para 16 of the Address will be entrusted to the District Councils. To some extent, this has been already honored by the Government I am very grateful to the Government for the implementation of the commitment. I have nothing more to speak, Mr. Speaker, Sir, and with these few words, I support the motion.
Shri Galynstone Laloo :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I heartily welcome the Governor's Address. While doing so, I would like make a few observation also. At the first instance, let me congratulate this House for having passed "The Meghalaya Prevention of Grumbling, Bill 1970" in the last Session of this Assembly and not it has become an Act fully in the last Session of this Assembly, ands not it has become an Act fully in operation, It is very true and correct as the Governor says in his Address - "This has been instrumental in largely controlling social evil," Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to point our another social evil and that is liquor intoxication and darkness. I know that liquor is a sources of revenue of the Government but I want this House that liquor is a source of revenue of the Government but I want this House to realise that intoxicating in towns and villages. In Shillong, women and children are very much afraid of walking on the road at night because there are too many drunkards, for whom the road it too small a way. In the towns, and villages, you will find many ruined families when fathers become drunkards, Those families are in poverty sickness and many different kinds of miseries usually used to visit these families whose head is a drunkard. And not only this but many crimes of different degrees are committed when a man is in a drunken state. I would also like to inform the House and the Government that our country liquor is being prepared from rice and this creates scarcity of this staple food. Therefore, the hon. members of this House will agree with me, that the reason for the rice is due to this factor. We know that our State is still not self-sufficient in rice production, and it may happen one day, that Meghalaya will face trouble, just because of this social evil. So I would suggest the Government to declare the entire State of Meghalaya as a dry area.
In spite of Agriculture, I am glad there is own potato Research Station at Upper Shillong, and I understand there is one such Station for rice and paddy. But there is no such arrangement for citrus, betel nut, betel leaves, tezpata, pepper etc which are grown by the people of Khasi and Jaintia Hills. The area in the slopes of Khasi and Jaintia Hills is unfit for paddy or potato cultivation, because the land is stony and irrigation for paddy cultivation cannot be done. In the last few years the growers due to attack of various diseases nearly lost all their groves. But no remedy has go so far come from the Govt to fight against such diseases. It is therefore the Government to set up one such station for these, so that the people living in the slopes of the border areas can once again stand on their own feet. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I once again welcome the Governor's Address and resume my seat.
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, speaking on the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address I am mentally constrained to express myself freely in as much as that whatever I say or I want to say is determined by the single fact which I believe has found place in the Governor's Address. That fact the only single fact is the limitation of the scheme of the autonomous State itself which we had understand to try our in order to bring about in the first place an economics betterment of the people of Meghalaya and in the second place to be the precursor of more political change in the Hills. We have accepted this scheme as a challenge and as a promise for a better future. I am aware of this fact. Never the less it is my contention that we should not and for that matter particularly the Government should not take this fact as a refuge for not implementing the various programmes and policies that have been enunciated from time to time. I must, however be failing in my duty if I do not congratulate the Government who have spared no pains to take up this political aspect of the autonomous State of Meghalaya with the highest authority of the Government of India. It was due largely to the Chief Minister of Meghalaya who has undertaken upon formant that is still in existence in the Hills and the need to bring about me is that the Government of Meghalaya have spared no pains again to see that the resolution; the unanimous resolution of this House which we took in the last Session urging upon the Government of India to convert Meghalaya into a full-fledged State, was fully appreciated by the Government of India culminating in the historic declaration by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, on the floor of Lok Sabha on the 10th November, 1970. The declaration contained a decision to convert Meghalaya into a full edged leaders in the Lok Sabha had also welcomed this declaration. If I may go further I think, the whole nation was happy with the announcement. Then came the dissolution of the parliament by the President of India Mr. V.V. Giri we were having some doubts as to what would be the shape of things that is coming to these hills because our problems are closely linked up with what is happening in country.
As you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the elections which took place throughout the country had also focused certain important issues and in a way it became a historic event for the whole nation. For us, in a way, we are concerned to see that this decision of the Government of India regarding Meghalaya is translated into action. For the whole of the country the feelings is that a certain polarization of forces is talking place. But what ever had happened by now we have known of the land slide victory of the Congress (r) having backed more than 350 seats in the House of more than 520 seats. We are to learn from these results we are to examine, diagnose and assess the public opinion because we cannot live in an isolated world; we cannot make Meghalaya into an island without caring to know what are the forces, what are the concepts that are the affecting future of the country. Therefore, we are very much involved with the things that had happened throughout the country and it is in this context that I bring home all these things and I hope the House will share with my views. We have learn that the people of India, and for that, matter, the people of Meghalaya cannot take be taken for granted. We should cease thinking that we can take people by the hand and leave them whenever we want. The people of India have realised and have become conscious and alert of their duties. The second lesson from which I think we should be benefited is that the people including the people of Meghalaya as was evident from the Elections, have proved that they are the followers of wisdom, soundness and maturity. The question is why these changes are taking place. We should learn by this. Personally I think things have happened n this way because of certain factors, of certain issues and of certain aspirations of the people. In the first place, possibly the people of India would like to see that there is stability in the Government with a single purpose. That purpose is to see that the stability of the Government is a condition to accelerate the pace of economic development. That is No.1 No 2 is that the people want to see the Government implementing the socialistic programmes and progressive programmes No.3 is a sincere and dedicated leadership. Indira Gandhi that kind of leadership has been placed across to the people of India. The fourth point from which I think we should also be benefited. I think the whole of his House will be benefited from a close analysis of ideas. What ever we do today we are governed by ideas We don't and the people will support us. It is a question of ideals India has been faced with a conflict of ideas. Before the Elections we have seen certain polarization of forces the Leftist Adventurisms on the of socialistic, progressive policies in the middle. I believe the ideas of socialistic, progressive policies in the middle. I believe the ideas of socialism, the ideas of secularism have won the day. How far it will affect us that is a question. If we are to give a guiding leadership to the people of Meghalaya, and for that matter to give something to India, let us not wait for a day when we are crammed with Ideas. Let us anticipate what we are to do. Throughout the country the idea of socialism is there and the people would like to see that this idea is translated in to action. But what are we doing about it, well, our objective is to get a full fledged State. That chapter is there, But what are the economic programmes we intend to take up? This is a big question mark which I would like to place before this House. Personally speaking situated as we are now in a border State, situated as we are in the North Eastern Corner of India in which we have long borders with foreign countries, I feel that it is our paramount duty to see to the welfare of the common man, the welfare of the underdog and the downtrodden and that they are the persons whom we are to take care of. Once we forget that then we are finished. Therefore, I had said at the earlier stage that this Government and this House will be judged not by what we say but by what we act. Not by what we profess but by what we do. That is why, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was compelled in the last session to bring home a single idea. That idea was that I entreated the Government to put priorities. I am aware of the difficulties of the Government ; I am aware of the inadequateness of the administrative machinery but at the same time I am also aware of what the people want. Therefore, we have to put priorities. We have to do things on a priority basis. I have calculated that we have been here for the last 356 days. Today's is the 357th day. I remember last time I was keenly expecting you see some sort of a note on the 100th day of achievement. We have reached the stage of 357th day today, Now we are to mention whatever we have done. Of course this is know to the Government. But in the Address I have not really seen matters being put up on a priority basis. With due respect to the Leader of the House who has rightly said and stressed on many occasions that infra structure is the best means to an end. I agree entirely to that. But at the same time, I thought that we should be able also to tell the people, "these are our difficulties," Here we have done this is that what we have done and we are trying to do. I am speaking hypothetically now and I will come to brass facts presently. I have stated earlier that the nation wants educated, dedicated and sincere people. I believe that leadership exists in Meghalaya. But how to put across this leadership to the people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry to say that uptil now I have not seen any tangible steps taken in that direction. Now I am referring specially to the department of Information and Publicity I feel that our people will understand better, if they know better of what we do and what we intend to do. I do not know whether the hon. members of this House have at any time received any bulletins or any informative notes from the Department of Information and Publicity. This is very important Department and I attach great importance to it. Unless we can put across to the people of what we want and what we do, I think the people will not the be in a position to appreciate or depreciate. Therefore, I feel that there is need to streamline and re-organise this Department. Even in small States like Nagaland, Tripura, and Manipur, they have offices, they appoint officers whose duty will be to get informations of the Governmental activities at the District level, Directorate level, and Secretariat level and pass them on to the people.
The people of Meghalaya, as it is today, I can tell you Mr. Speaker, Sir, are very much reading conscious. They are very conscious in reading newspapers today. I know of certain newspapers they use to read from top to bottom, line by line. They are very careful about reading. So there is need for reorganisation of this very very important Department. In the State of Assam and other States, I know that information bulletins are there. I donot know how far we have made progress in this regard and I think we should not be lagging behind on this. May I suggest a simple that thing to be done even now. I know the difficulties of the Department to get trained staff, but trained staff can be obtained from the open market easily. But at the same time, let me give a constructive suggestion, People, now a days Mr. Speaker, Sir, are newspaper conscious and they have become increasingly radio conscious also. The people are listening to radio sets and all that. We can do this effectively if our officers and even Ministers give weekly reports of Governmental activities It is a very effective medium to let the people know what Government is doing. I feel, if this is done, it will be a good thing for us.
Now I do not know what the Department is doing. I understand that the Department do not have a Cameramen, Dark rook etc. I feel the Department is cay important not only in projecting Governmental activities, but on the other front we have Tourism which is also closely linked with Publicity. But so far I have seen, there is no sign of any activity on this front. The other day I happened to visit a certain place, a beautiful place in a campaign during the last Election, and I would like to share my information with this house. Mr. Speaker, Sir, let us be clear about one thing. When we talk about tourism we think bout tourists coming from outside or from other parts of India. I see there is a potential of internal tourists even from inside Meghalaya. There will be tourists. People staying in Shillong would like to visit Garampani, Tura and other places if there are tourist parks and other facilities. The other day I went to Mawlong, a place which is about 13 miles from here. We had to walk about a mile or so and came across a certain ridge. I am delighted to come across and see such a spectacular beauty which is if, I may say - "A thing of beauty is a joy forever: We were standing on the top of the hill. From there you can see which with a stretch of an eyes, Barapani or Umiam Lake, the plains of Kamrup district and some parts of Jaintia Hills. It is a fascinating sight. There are many such places in the State of Meghalaya where there is ample scope for development of tourism. This can be able to make people tourist minded. The life of a tourist is full of interest, vigour and energy. In this connection also the Information Department has its part to play.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hope you will give me some time more. I have some important matters to say. Coming to the credit side of the Governor's speech, I must express my deep sense of appreciation that despite this limitation and inherent difficulty of the scheme and sometime non-co-operative attitude of the other side, yet the Government have been able to organise the administrative machinery. I have found in the Governor's address that the basic structure of the administrative machinery has been evolved, integration of the Secretariat and the Executive Wing. This matter had also come up for discussion during the last Session, I do not know how this was brought about. Apparently it has been taken up on the basis of the recommendations of the A.R.C Committee. I do not want to pass any definite opinion on this, but I would only like to say a word of caution. I am one with the Government that in this re-organised administrative machinery, we will be able to do away with red tapes and also will be more vigorous in executing development plans.
But as I said last time, we have to be careful, because in any Governmental work if we are not careful, sometimes money just flows without check. So unless the clement of check is there in the administrative, I am afraid we may land ourselves in trouble. Now in so far as the development departments are concerned, I do not disagree that there should be a matrimony between the executive and the secretariat wings norms, etc it is necessary that the machinery has to be more careful more vital in order to put a check. So this is one of the cautions which I would like to place before the House. Now I would like to refer to another important aspect, another important portion of the Address and I must congratulate the Governor for this. It is certainly a not worthy, achievement in having been districts of Meghalaya should be treated as economically and industrially backward districts.
Now with you permission, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to read out this portion from page 4 which is very very important an vital It is said that "As a result of this, confessional institutional finance and outright grant or subsidy by the Centre will be available to entrepreneurs in this State". Now I am happy about "Confessionals financial assistance" or a subsidy to an institution. That, I can realise, is a good thing and it is to be done. In the "outright grant" this is a matter upon which I would like to dwell. I am against the principle of giving outright grant to any individual entrepreneur. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that thought my experience I have found that outright grant just for grant's sake does not really make the people economically viable. What is necessary is to impale a sense of responsibility, a sense of repayment and a sense of doing business. Now if we do that, a person becomes responsible and business minded. So I see that this sense in mis leading. It is better to go for the creation of a debt fund. Now in institutional finance in Meghalaya, we have the Co-operative Apex Bank, Commercial Banks State Banks, and we also have a Industrial Financial Corporation, Now if money is channelised through these institutions in order to give money to certain entrepreneurs on loan basis, and Government subsidising with a view to create a certain risk fund, and not just giving a grant or subsidy, I think that will be good. Or we could think of giving a long-term loan to one entrepreneur with small interest. That will be much better than giving an outright grant. A person who has responsibility will become a business man. Now we know of certain schemes by which a subsidy is given to cover the rest of the fund. For instance. the entrepreneur is given a loan of five thousand on the merit of the case, and say, one thousand or two thousand is covered by Government then it is good. That way you can think of making our economically alert, economically violable. Outright grants in make the people irresponsible and sometimes I know from our experience in the post also that by giving money in this way, it went to the heads of some post also that by giving money in this way it went to the heads of some people. I remember when they got the grant they buy wristwatches spend one very carefully. Now I would dwell also on matter about which I have a persons I knowledge I am happy that Government has been done is indeed very very note worthy. I have been told by the people living in the border that opening of markets and allowing the Pakistan traders to come to Shella, is a great help for the economic welfare of the people there. Now there is a mention of the necessity to find alternative markets. We cannot always depend on the markets in the foreign land. We have to get our own markets which means to provide facilities to our people, to get market facilities, transport facilities. I know this is plan which can be taken up immediately by Government But apart from that, namely, to find alternative markets it is necessary also to find alternative produces. We know about the fate of oranges, about the fate of betel nuts and pan leaves. But at the same time, we now know that there is a great demand of tezpata, of broom and Gulmorich. Now these product, I think if they are taken on a Crash Programme will go a long way to provide alternative produces for the border people. I know of Gulmorich I know of broom having a very good market, I am not an agricultural expert; But I think it will take only 2-3 years to grow. If that is so, we can, through various financial institutions, give easy loans, easy credit to the cultivators and to the traders on medium term loan basis. That will really help the people there. Now, about the pineapple. I know that the Minister in charge who is very keen on this will do something on that score. Now, speaking about the border markets I am also reminded of a fact that we have a long border line with East Pakistan and whatever we do has also to be conditioned by what is happening in East Pakistan. As we know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, East Pakistan is now in a state of political formant. What is going to happen to East Pakistan we do not know. But we know from the trends that are available and if the trends that are available to day continue there will be no civil war in East Pakistan, There will be peace, there will greater autonomy for East Pakistan. This is in effect means that there will be good relationship between India and Pakistan and between Meghalaya and Sylhet District in the border area and eventually will improve the trade and commerce between the two countries. So we hope that things in East Pakistan will go in such a way as to bring about a good relationship between India and Pakistan and will definitely benefit us largely.
Now, I would like to say something on a matter which has been deals with yesterday by my colleague, Mr. Rokendro Dkhar. He has made a mention about primary schools. Now, primary schools as the name indicates, is a primary development of our children it is a base and what ever education we intend to impart to our people in the State will really depend on a primary base. If we want to produce citizens who will be come the pride of the parents and the nation, who will become good citizens of Meghalaya, we have to be very careful at the initial stage. Some time back there was almost a political explosion on this score because of non-receipt of salary by the primary teachers to be given by the District Councils. Now, the Chief Minister has rightly pointed out that in this matter it is not so much the Government that has to give the money but it is the District Council authority also who are to push and give these schemes in time. It is a two way traffic and it cannot be a one way traffic. Now, on this there is no point in putting the blame on anybody. But I think there has been some mishandling somewhere which has created the situation has affected the minds of the people who lend their support to to the Government. Now we have to be very done very effectively. I have begun to doubt whether the District Council authorities are competent enough to deal with this very important and vital subject. To a certain extent I can say without fear of contradiction that there has been an element of failure on this front. Either there should be a close liaison between the Government of Meghalaya and the District Councils on this or drastic step should be taken by the Government to take up this very important matter administration be taken by the Government to take up this important administration into there own hands. This is a very important matter which affects not only the teacher's salaries but the primary base of the education of children of the whole of Meghalaya. Therefore, I feel inclined to suggest that it may be necessary to have a committee on this to go in to and examine the details and bring out a report for the development of primary education in the State. While I speak abut this, I ma speaking only on the facts that I have with me concerning the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Councils. I do not know about Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills District Councils. But I believe as this is a very important matter, and as, Mr. Rokendro Dkhar yesterday mentioned about having only two teachers for a school having an enrolment of 141 students to be unthinkable, we should not allow the continuance of this state of affairs. Therefore, let us apply our mind to this problem. I was about to suggest, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I do now, that it is high time not only to give priorities to the various problem confronting our State but also to decide things as a case of emergency and to do things on a war footing. Let us remember this that we will be meeting people from time to time. When I say this, I am not saying with an idea of 1972 election. Pray do not harbor such ideas. But I am saying what is really needed and what is genuine. This is very important.
Now, what has happened to the water supply position of Shillong? This is a sad commentary; the state of affairs is a sad commentary. In the last session, with all the vigour at my command with all the force at my command, I had brought forward a suggestion that certain schemes should be taken up. But I am very sorry to say that the water supply position of Shillong remains the same as it was before. I am aware that Shillong is in a state which is not so much Meghalaya or not so much Assam. But I am aware also of one thing, that all water sources, are in Meghalaya and we cannot shirk our responsibility on this account. Then if we look in to the trend of the last election, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the People of Shillong, who have not been much benefited from the Government of Meghalaya have demonstrated their full support in a very large measure to the Government.
Mr. Speaker :- It is difficult to say since we have no indicator.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- In any case the water supply of Shillong is very important and it should engage the attention of the Government very seriously and has to be implemented on a war footing. I used the word again in order that it would be more strong. Now we have already experienced the water scarcity of Shillong, even now. If any hon. Member takes little time to go to various parts of Shillong, he will see hundreds of boys, girls and women standing in a long queue for little drops of water. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other day unfortunately there was a breakdown of two pipe lines. There was complete water scarcity in certain parts of Shillong and for the first time I am bringing to the notice of the House, in the history of water scarcity in Shillong, I have seen people fighting physically for a drop of water and I have a feeling that there is something wrong which could ultimately lead to law and order situation. I am aware also of the fact that some Ministers have taken up the Umkhen project for the purpose of water supply to Shillong town but due to some interventions from the military authorities, who raised objections, the scheme could not be executed. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make it clear that the military authorities have no business with the scheme because the water sources belong to Meghalaya. However since the matter has come to such a state. I have got the information that the scheme has now got the O.K. of the Government and will be executed very soon. We are already now in the dry season of the year and water scarcity is coming to this town of Shillong shortly. I donot know what is going to happen, but I just pray that nature will help us in time of crisis. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to have some more time.
Mr. Speaker :- Yes, you will have it.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, another thing which I like to express my deep sense of appreciation to the Government is for their decision to set up a State Social Welfare Board. Now in a democratic country like India, which is a Government of the people, for the people and by the people, it is very important that welfare activities of the State are undertaken in close collaboration with the people. I believe that the Government will have to initiate schemes and the people will collaborate with it. Now, we have in that State, many welfare institutions and humanitarian institutions like the Red Gross, the Ram Krishna and the Christian missions. These institutions are doing good work and very very good work indeed. I have always been a believer of social workers that it is their duty through the social and welfare institutions to pioneer to do things in a pioneering way. In certain areas of the State, it is not possible for the Government to help the educational and health needs of the people. So it is important that the social organisations like the once I have mentioned should be given a free hand to go ahead. Some social workers have recently been to Pynursla with the Red Cross Group to give dental treatment to the children. This dental treatment is very important and most of us perhaps may have artificial teeth. Teeth should be treated very carefully in the initial stage. Dental health is basic for the children. The social organisations should be given opportunities to undertake this pioneering work, I think, this will go a long way in solving the problem of health. Now, apart from the health side, even in the primary education section, I am speaking of Nursery for the children between the age group of 3-5, it is a very good thing, if welfare organisations are recognised and given the opportunity to work in that field. I know of Nongstoin area it is comparatively very backward area in the economic and health field. It is therefore, necessary for the Government to encourage these recognised institutions to organise health centres I know of the Red Cross medical centre at Nongkrem, it is doing wonderful work. It may not be possible to get medical practitioners or doctors to be posted in the health centres but midwives with medical training can give medical aid to the people for treatment of minor diseases like cold and headache ordinary stomachache some workers have also to work in the educational section which I think can be manned by Gramsavikas who will look after the education of the children between the age group of 3 to 5 years. Mr. Speaker, Sir the Government should formulate schemes by which the recognised social welfare organisations are given ample scope to pioneer social welfare work in those fields which the Government cannot do themselves. So I welcome very much the setting up of the Social Welfare Board of Meghalaya. Now there is a matter which has found place in the speech but which I thought should draw our attention. I will quote "The question of taking over the meter factory has been taken up with the Assam Government" I feel very much on this. When in the last session we were almost given as assurance that the question of taking over the meter factory was just in the offing. The meter factory is very important for us especially for those who are in Shillong and for that matter the whole of Meghalaya. A part from the employment potential , I think it will be able to employ 120 to 200 girls and boys. It is also an economic booster for the people that here is something that the Government, is doing in concrete shape. Now the meter factory is very important for us. The fact that there is ample power supply, and that the people are power minded not only for lighting purpose but for heating and cooling purposes also, all these indicate that there will be good demand of meters. Now I understand, if I understand correctly, if my information is correct that the Government of Assam have not been very co-operation in handing over this factory. I understand that they would like the Government of Meghalaya to take care of the accumulated interest of about 7 lakhs of rupees. Now my feeling is that irrespective of the question of taking over of the meter factory we are to consider whether there is a need for the meter factory. (1) I have said just now that there is a need. No.2 we are to consider whether there is a an employment potential. This is there, No.3 whether there is basis for economic upliftment. It is there. Under these three considerations, I feel irrespective of whether the Government of Assam hands over this meter factory or not we should go ahead with our own meter factory. There is no question of waiting for 356 days. We have been wasting time. This matter has been taken up earlier and I had the privilege of talking with some of the officials of the Government of Assam. Therefore I entreat the Government of Meghalaya to take up the matter vigorously. If we are to give handing over the meter factory with in the this is one. If the Government of Assam do not give any indication of handing over the meter factory within the specified period let us go ahead with our own meter factory. I am sure the House will agree with me that this is a very important matter. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have seen in the Address that there is mention of a Hill University. We have been mentioning it often times without being able to count the numbers. Now we see the Hill University on paper only and it has never seen the light of the day. I remember when certain friends of mine made a mention of this ; a certain hon. Member of this House replied that he is really few up with it. He said "Nga la thait" which means I am fed up with this Hill University. up with this Hill University. This idea of starting a Hill University began in the 1963-64. Now as far back as 1963-64 a committee was set up by the University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Education Government of India and the report of that committee is with me. Last time in the session we had discussed in this House about the type of this University I had tried to go through the various recommendations of this committed headed by Shri Wadia in which Prof G.G Swell, our M.P was also a member. Now in the recommendations it has been clearly stated that a federal type of a university with constituent colleges of important centres should be set up. It was decided that the proposed university should be established at Shillong, the actual site of the university may however be somewhere be somewhere in the vicinity of Shillong. This is the report of the Committee appointed by the University Grants Commission. Now much water has flown down the Umkhrah River but we could see nothing about this I had thought after the resolution that we passed in this House in the first session the matter was pushing ahead but apparently the question of setting up a Central University has not been very much appreciated by the Government of India. Now this question has agitated the minds of the people; it agitated us in a big way. In 1969. If I am not mistaken, a procession of college students in Shillong came up in street shouting slogans and met the public leaders. Now this matter also came up in the Elections of 1971. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we should not be satisfied with what exists today in the files of the Government of India. It is high time that we come to certain decision and tell the people the state of affairs whether there will be a Hill University or whether there will not be any. If we know that then we can give the suggestion that the Government of Meghalaya may start the medical college and so on and so forth. I am very unhappy about the Hill University being shelved this way in a cold storage. But there are certain difficulties which I like to share with this House. Now, the Transport problem in the border areas has engaged my attention. I have been told that on the road from Shillong to Dawki, there is only one bus plying on a single time; only one bus and the vehicle also is a condemned one. If you start from Shillong in the morning, you will be lucky person to reach Dawki in time. It is unfortunate to see how passengers are packed in the bus like sardines I have been told by a friend of mine that it has become an unbelievable scene when almost a hundred people are crammed into the bus. I know this is a matter which is being dealt with by the Government of Assam. But when we think about the welfare of the people of Meghalaya, I think it is our duty to take it up. There are only 3 buses at three times and most of the friends whom I know and other Members will support me in this that if it is constitutionally and legally possible, why not we really start our own transport, our own transport service. There seems to be difficulties about Shillong-Gauhati route, but why not start in other roads which will also provide employment to the people and will also mean that we are doing things for the welfare of the people. Now I have not found any references in the Address to the sport activities. Last, time, we were very very enthusiastic about the activities in our State. But somehow, I do not know why it is missing; this may be a deliberate omission or if it is not but it is not found place in the Address. I felt that the step was contemplated to set up a stadium at Shillong was only a matter of days, but now it has taken so much time and our young men who really require wholesome means of activities are not getting the opportunities to develop themselves. Before if we get a good stadium in Shillong it will also encourage and give impetus to the sport lovers throughout Meghalaya. This stadium, although it is a matter which will directly benefit the youths section only, yet I think we should attach more importance to the youths of Meghalaya. The youth is the most vocal section of the community. The youth is the backbone of the country and unless we tackle third problem with earnestness, I am afraid, we will be faced with increasing social and economic problems. The youth element is forming large part of the society which we have to tackle in a big way. Of course mention has been made about giving opportunities for development of the youths. But my way of understanding youth services will be a little different. Now, I feel that if the Government of Meghalaya are to be effective in their various developmental works they should get people involved. The involvement of the people in all developmental activities is imperative if such works are to be effective. Now, the youths, specially the organised youths who are more or less unemployed who are not in a position to take up manual work should be a matter which will engage our attention. I see no difficulty for the Government to formulate a scheme by which the youth can go to the villages to work in certain constructive work and certain developmental work. Now, if we have a scheme by which we can send groups of educated young men to the villages for certain schemes taken up by Government it will bring the youths to the people. They will be in contact with the people of the rural areas and there will be contact between the urban and rural people. Now there is something like a barrier between the urban people and the rural people. So this barrier has to be broken if we want that there should be better contact of urban people and the rural people we in that manner. I think this will go a long way to involve the youths in the various developmental activities. Therefore, I fell it very important to lay emphasis on this very important matter.
Before, I conclude I would like to congratulate the Government of Meghalaya for having taken concrete steps in the matter for looking into the needs of the cultivators, i.e the setting up of the Meghalaya Co-Operative Apex bank. It is definitely a big, cong etc and a solid step. Now this Bank has been established mainly with a view to cater to the credit needs of the Agriculturists of the State and of Meghalaya.
Now, apart from cheap credit, the cooperation which the State Bank of Meghalaya would give to the co-operative Bank is an important aspect. It will also be an impetus to the co-operative movement. The co-operation has become an important factor in the development of the whole of India. It has become a big sector. Therefore, establishment of the Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank is a very very important step in that direction. I hope with is agriculturists who are the member of the Co-operative Bank will get the credit facilities and I may say also that the Reserve bank people who are in the picture are very very sympathetic and favourable for the various enterprises of the Meghalaya Co-operative Bank. So this is a concrete step. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not like to say more but I have taken time only with a view to bring home certain matters to which I think, Government have to pay attention and for the House to take up. Now, so far as I am concerned, I am happy to see that in the end of the Governor's speech reading. "My Government hopes to secure increasing participation of the people and groups of different shades of opinion in the common tasks before us" This is a very good appeal and I hope this appeal will have a response in the hearts of our people. I am sure that with all the difficulties that we are facing and with the coming of political change, the Govt of Meghalaya will be able to render service more and more to the people who will be getting involved in that. Now, with these words I support to motion of thanks.
Shri Nimosh Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in discussion on the Address of the Governor, I would like to say a few words.
The Address made by the Governor is most refined and commendable one. It is most comprehensive in as much as it includes all the developmental and administrative in as much as it includes all the developmental and administrative set up of the State as a whole. And I think Mr. Speaker, Sir, the action taken by the Government is unprecedented and must be appreciated by the people of Meghalaya, because the main purpose of setting of the people State of Meghalaya, because the main purpose for setting up of the Stat e of Meghalaya was to accelerate the development of the Hill areas of this region. And as envisage in the plan and programme, I could understand that the Government has been taking keen interest in that line.
In my speech I want to confine myself to the following subjects, viz; Education, Agriculture and Industry.
Education Mr, Speaker, Sir, while talking about the development of the State we must not forget about the education also. Rather it is one of the most important factors of development, and without education no development can be made in a planned way., And in a society the standard of the people is measured according to qualifications.
But I very much regret to say Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the standard of education is found to be deteriorating day by day in the state. And something must be done by the Government to improve education and upkeep the standard as desired.
So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this respect I would like to express my humble opinion and urge upon the Government to set up and one central body or committee, to look into or revise the entire system of the education. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Governor has been pleased to point our in his speech i.e "in the social services sector attention is being given to expansion and improvement of educational institutions. In the current academic session Honour classes have been introduced in Tura Government Colleges". In this I would like to say that not only expansion and improvement of educational institutions will not do, but what is required most at present is that the improvement of the standard or education. (At this stage the speakers left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair)
Agriculture- Agriculture is one of the most important occupations of Meghalayans About 90 percent of the population are agriculturists. And what is most important is to improve the economic condition of the mass people. Unless these people are properly looked after by the Government and helped develop in their own way their lot will remain the same. The farmers are the founders of civilization and prosperity. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is obvious that it is the duty of the Government to look into the upliftment and development of the people.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, referring to page 6 where the Governor has been pleased to point out Agriculture as the backbone of the State's economy and emphasis has also been made on adoption of the improvement agricultural practice so sir, in the field of agriculture I think there is vast scope for its development in order to improve the condition of mass people, Government should try to take up in a most effectively way a co- ordinate programme for reclamation irrigation and supply of high yielding seeds for auricular development.
But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now in the practical field the scheme taken up by the Government for reclamation and irrigation and the money spent for it seems to be wastage either for want of follow up programmes or for want of making proper survey before the work is taken up for execution.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Government have been spending huge amount for agricultural development but the condition remains the same. The cause may be because of the illiteracy of the mass people, and for want of proper training in modern ways of cultivation.
Loans on easy term should also be provided with low interests for improvement of paddy land and purchase of modern tools and implements.
Industries- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the State is very backward in industrial development although much of the materials are locally available here. It will be very good on the part of the Government if programmes for industrial and agricultural development be taken up on top priority to expedite its development.
Establishment of industrial units both medium and small should also be encouraged in villages by giving loans and technical help.
Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to urge upon the Government to look into the possibility of setting up of a paper mill in Garo Hills with locally available materials in the public sector.
With these few words I conclude my speech.
Shri Ohiwot Khonglah :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, speaking on the Motion of Thanks, I feel that, I must join hands with the hon. members in thanking the Governor for giving us a very informative Address. In the Address the Governor has made references tot he various aspects of the problems of our State and attempts also have been made very carefully to enlighten us on the carious steps taken and proposed to be taken by our Government to tackle these problems. I will refer to only some of these problems, and, in, my humble way I will try to make some observations by way of cooperation with the Government in its tasks for tackling the problems. Firstly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will refer to agriculture, in my opinion I feel that agricultural development is closely linked with the system of tenure - the system by which land is held and cultivated and the size and distribution of holding Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the progress of agriculture depends to a large extent on whether the land system provides incentives and opportunities for development. I feel, therefore, that the measures for land reforms have got a very important part to play in the agricultural development programme. They acts in two Firstly, they seek to promote the defects in institutional frame work and evolve a system which will promote rapid growth of agricultural economy. And secondly, they seek to correct the social injustice such as a zamindary system of land tenure or lack of equal status and opportunity and disparity in wealth and income. It is of course true that in our state land tenure defers from place to place but, I feel Mr. Deputy Speaker, that this adds more and more to the necessity of studying the problems thoroughly and vigorously. I wish that our Government should take up a programme for land reforms with vigour and courage and evolve a scheme by which intermediaries are abolished and direct relationship of peasants with Government with ceiling on holdings of lands be established. In the Address, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I see that Government is entrusting this work on the District Councils to evolve system by which owner shop of land can be identified. Well, I think a programme of the sort is a big programme and is very important also. I doubt whether the district Council is competent to take up the work. I feel, therefore, that I should suggest to than Government that a Committee of Experts is constituted to study land reforms in Meghalaya and if any work is to be entrusted on the District Council it has to be entrusted on the recommendation of this Expert Committee. Secondly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will re-for the to Primary Education. On this subject, the hon. Member, Mr. Kyndiah, has dwelt very much on it and I do not want to repeat what he has said. On this I will simply say that agree with what Mr. Kyndiah has said. What he said, of course, was in relation to Khasi Hills only but it is equally true in the case of Jaintia Hills also as far as primary education is concerned. Primary Education is really a very very important subject and I am also one with him in doubting whether the District Council is really competent to take up this work. I appeal to the Government, therefore, the entrust the study of this primary education to the proposed. Expert Committee which will see what are the the practical difficulties the District Councils are facing in running primary education. I feel Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Committee take up a study of this subject, they will find lots of factors involves resulting un almost failure of the matter.
Another thing I would like to refer, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is about the proposal to place the Sub-Inspector of Schools, I mean placing the services of the Sub-Inspector of schools at the disposal of the District Councils. I do agree with the Government on this proposal if the District Councils are to continue to run primary education, or if primary education is to remain with the District Councils. But in doing so, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have certain doubts as to how the services of these officers will be regularised. I have certain doubts and I am not clear in my mind under whom and under what officers of the District Council these Sub-Inspectors of Schools are to serve. I have a doubt, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that this may ultimately result in some sort of discrimination in their services. Therefore, I would appeal, to the Government to kindly put up this matter also to be the proposed Expert Committee to examine it thoroughly.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will refer to the social objectives. In the Address I do not find any mention about the social objectives of planned development, expect by means of expansions and improvement of certain existing educational institutions. In our state, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think, these social problems are most prominent in the minds of the people. There are quite a number of places and areas in our State which are still backward comparatively backward and the people in these areas are no getting facilities which other people in the State are getting. Therefore, in this connection, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to appeal to the Government to also lay emphasis on equalising educational facilities for the backward areas of the State by establishing schools & hostel facilities for these areas.
The problem of unemployment is also a social problem or Our State, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the Address I have found that certain steps have been taken for providing jobs to the educated youth and skilled workers of the State;' whereas nothing has been mentioned about unskilled and un-educated class of people. Therefore, in this connection also, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest and I would appeal to the Government to kindly formulate schemes and programmes not only for providing jobs to the educated and skilled unemployed but also to the uneducated and unskilled workers, I would suggest that the Government should evolve some sort of a 'Right To work" scheme under which a limited number of unskilled & uneducated workers can be provided with jobs for a limited number of days in a year Empty mind is a devils workshop and I think unemployment is a root cause of an empty mind. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we are to raise a social standard of our people in the State, I feel that the Government should give very serious thought to this social problem of unemployment.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would now refer to the question of the border problems, especially the opening of border markets. I congratulate the Government for having successfully taken up this programme of opening of border markets and I am sure that this programme has really helped our border people to some extent. But I am also sure. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that this sort of a programme would have helped the people more, if more thought is given to some practical difficulties our border people are facing, under the present conditions and regulations, covered by the present rules and laws of the border markets. For example, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are certain practical difficulties which our border people are facing in their trades between them and the friends from other side.
As per rule, I think it has specifically been mentioned that only agricultural produce can be traded between these two countries. Now in this connection there are some practical difficulties. The Pakistanis when ever they come to Indian market, mostly use to bring with them each per head load of dry fish. "Per head load" to the Pakistanis means two places of load to be carried on the shoulder with the help of bamboo stick. But we find that there have been occasions when the border security Force on the Indian side have given trouble to these Pakistani friends, because of this word-"per head load" in the rules. The Pakistanis use to carry by what they say 'bhar' because as per their customs they do not carry on head. Therefore, they are no allowed to go to India or to the Indian markets. This is one they are the problems, it is a practical problem which the people are facing in the markets. Another thing is that even when they are allowed to came to the market, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Customs Officers use to go the market and restrict the sale of their dry fish. Dry fish, they say, as per rule, I do not know whether this is correct or not, is not allowed to be lifted from the border markets to other markets even in the same district. They say that as per rule, the purpose of bringing dry fish to the market is dry fish is such that it cannot be consumed only by the border people. It has to be lifted to other markets also, other wise the trade on these commodities fails. What our border people need is that the Pakistani friends from the other side should buy their agricultural produce, but the problem here is that if the Pakistani are not allowed to part with their dry fish in our markets, they will not be having the money to buy the products of our people. So I think to serve the purpose to these markets, we are to see that whatever commodities whatever agricultural commodities allowed by rules that are brought to these markets by Pakistani friends should be allowed to be traded in the markets easily so that these friends can buy our products with the money they got from the sale proceeds. Other difficulties which our people are facing, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding these markets are the restrictions on the sale of betel nuts. There is a classification by the Customs Officers for betel nut viz unhusked and husked betel nuts. If the betel nut is unhusked, even if it is a dry betel nut, it is allowed to be sold to the friends from the other side. But if the betel nut is husked it is then considered as supari, which is not allowed to be traded across. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think we must understand why the people in the border areas prefer to have those husked betel nuts. There is a difference between husked betel nuts and supari. A husked betel nut is the betel nuts which has undergoes some process of preservation only. This is done by soaking fresh betel nuts in water for some time and then expose it to the sun until it becomes dry, simply to preserve it, so that it can be sold throughout the year in the market. Fresh betel nuts can be obtained only in the one session of the year. If all the betel nuts of the border people are to be sold at one season of the year only then throughout the year the people would have no betel nuts to sell in the markets. Therefore, the people deem it unnecessary to preserve betel nuts so that they can continue their trade in the markets through out the year and simply because of that the betel nut is classed as supari. I do not know what is 'Supari'. So far I know supari is not only husked but also crushed and made so hard that one finds is difficult even to chew. I would appeal to the Government therefore, to kindly look into this matter also and if necessary a revision of certain rules which govern the regulations of these border markets be taken up.
Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would refer to a sentence appearing in the last line of page 5 paragraph 7- "Attempts will also be made to find alternative markets for the traditional produce of the border areas and alternative occupations and means of livelihood for the people". Forgive me, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, but I must say that I do not like the word 'will' appearing in this sentence, Since the partition of our country, border problems have posed themselves as very important problems to the State even to the State of Assam and the country as a whole. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, the border problems and has all along been giving top priority to them. In the Address, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it we look at the first few lines, we will see that our Government also admits that the border problem is a very important problem which would have got top priority in the programmes. But every time in spite of all these facts, Mr. Deputy Speaker, we get simply the word "will". "Attempts will also be made to find alternative markets". Since the partition of the country we know that the border people are facing great difficulties in trading their agricultural produce. They do not find markets at all in their own country. Since the roads have been blocked for going to the other side, markets have to be found in our country so that the people can be relieved of their economic distress. This has been an admitted fact, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, but up till now it meant to kindly see that step in this regard should be taken immediately and no further delay should be made to find alternative markets for the traditional product of the border areas. I would also appeal that other programmes for the border areas should also always get top priority in the State development programme.
Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to the essential supplies. In para. 18 of the Address it has been stated that " the position of essential supplies in the State during the year was fairly satisfactory". I congratulate the Government of Meghalaya on the steps they have taken in so far as these matters are concerned. The only thing which I would like to bring to the notice of the Government at this time is the problem of the border people with regard to the shortage of the supplies in the areas. In the current year, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government has been pleased to grant Rice Transport subsidy to the tune of some thousands of rupees. I would like to appeal to the Government to kindly continue to sanction this transport subsidy to the border people for this coming year also because the problem is still in existence and the border people are yet to be supplied with Government rice so that they can get the commodity at a low price than the market rate. In this connections I would also like to bring to the notice of the Government the fact that this year the sanction for this transport subsidy has been a very meagre one year the sanction for this transport subsidy has been a very meagre one. It has not met the need of the people there. The dealers in this Government rice have reported only a few days back that they are not getting their bills passed because of the shortage of money. In this mater, the money sanctioned for this purpose is not sufficient to meet the bills of the dealers. So, I would appeal to the Government to look into the matter and see how far this is true so that they can find out some ways and means to overcome the difficulty. With these few words, Sir, I now resume my seat.
*Dr. H.C. Bhuyan :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when I was called upon to speak on the Governors Address I thought I will speak a few words on the subject of education and there are reasons for that. No.1 is that education is a very important subject. Secondly some of my predecessors made some observations on which, I feel, I should have some comments. So long I have been able to see from the list of business that there will be no debate because the opposition was perhaps too weak So there must be some comment on the comments. But when I looked through the speech of the Governor to find out a place where reference has been made about education, it landed me at No.13. Not that I believe in the numerology not that I have a deep seated prejudice on this No.13. I accept any lunch at half past twelve particularly if it can be had free. But some how or other this prejudice has died hard. On my table yesterday the transcript of what I said the day before yesterday is an index, I am afraid, that whatever I shall say this, afternoon will go the Apollo 13 way. Anyway I shall first refer to the subject of higher technology of education. I think the Governor was rightly silent on this point. But, however some of my predecessors, Mr. Pugh, Dr. Deb and Mr. Swer have referred to the establishment of these medical colleges and Dr. Deb would have liked medical and engineering colleges and Mr. Swer wanted to have an agricultural college. I wish I could join hands with them. But I for one could not encourage the Government to go in for these institutions particularly at this stage. One of the reasons is the per capita cost in establishing these technical institution is a several times even the per capita cost for the general education. We are short of fund and, secondly, my fear is even if you start these technical institutions at the present stage, I am afraid we will not have sufficient number of students to man them particularly in the hill areas.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Bhuyan will continue his speech in the after noon, The House stands adjourned till 2 P.M.
After lunch - 2 P.M.
(The Speaker in the chair)
Mr. Speaker :- Dr. H.C. Bhuyan will continue his speech.
Dr. H.C. Bhuyan :- Mr. Speaker Sir, it has been stated in the Governor's address that attention is being given to expansion and improvement of educational institution.: But I would also like to suggest the question of establishing higher technical institutions in the State. My reasons are:
(1) To attract students for study in higher technical institutions as they are most important as compared to the general education.
(2) If we start setting up three colleges, one for medical, one for engineering and one for agriculture, we can have enough students in these institutions. So when the Autonomous State comes to a full fledged Statehood, the solution out of these difficulties will be to introduce the requisite number of seats and other technical colleges in other parts of the State. I think we should now concentrate more on the lower hierarchy in the industrial establishments. In this connection one thing I would like to advance for the consideration of the House which is something like this. After the last world war this was tried successfully in Holland. I had a book the title of which I do not remember but the cover was green. The idea was to convert semi-skilled labour to killed labour. Everywhere and in other parts of then world we have got industrial training schemes. The duration of the training is about 14 months.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have such institution in Shillong like Don Bosco Industrial Training School, where unskilled labour can be trained to convert them in to skilled labour in future. If the Government feel interested in this, they may have a look in to that. Secondly as I said the number of the number of the science graduates and the number of student passing the P.U.C is small. Let us have a look at the proportion of the science and arts students. We se in the hill areas that the proportion of arts and science students is alarmingly different. To meet this point, I think students shall have to go for study in science. I also think it will be necessary to go right down to the primary stage. I have seen something is wrong there. The other day the Chief Minister objected to Mrs. Marak.
Mr. Speaker :- She is not Mrs. Marak but Mrs. Momin. Dr. H.C Bhuyan.
I remember Mr. R. Dkhar has also said about the District Council where they require more funds for primary education from the Government upto the primary stage of education. Initially if something is wrong other things will follow. Once you fail to create interest in the children for science subjects particularly mathematics nothing can be done later on. Particularly the idea is about diagnostic methods and medical treatment to be given to patients. First of all you have to diagnose the disease and supply remedial measure. One example Mr. R. Dkhar had mentioned the other day about the difficulty of teaching 140 children with one or two teachers in a school at Laitkroh. These are two important suggestions I want to make :-
(1) Introduction of the Holland-Dutch system to convert semi-skilled labour into skilled labour.
(2) Introduction of diagnostic methods in linking gap and deficiency in the early stage.
This is something like climbing a staircase. If one misses the lower rungs at the beginning he misses the higher ones. But I am sure, this kind of deficiencies can be over come, I am sure it can be done in 85 minutes. It can be counted in the finger whether the knowledge is broken down due to environment, or other causes. But for this some funds may be necessary.
And lastly I come to the ease of the University. University of course, is entirely on a different footing. Although I said that I am against establishment of technical institutions higher technical institutions, I am for establishment of Universities at very early date, because of the fact that all the state are switching over to regional languages and it will have due importance in the year to come. So far as the technical institution are concerned, I do not think they will be able to switch over to the regional language within say 15 to 20 years to come. So I feel that if the establishment of the University had been left out for a later time, our efforts in this behalf my be intensifies. With these words I support the motion.
Shri Beryl Sutnga :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I heartily welcome the Governor's Address. A number of members have spoken and they have touched on a number of points which I had in my mind. I fully endorse the points spoken by them. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to place before the House only a few observation in connection with our infant state. First of all Agriculture. Agriculture is one of the most important subjects in our State. The condition of agriculture I find, in the eastern side of the Meghalaya State is very precarious Most of the people are living in very difficult places.
Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I draw the attention of the Government to the matter of road construction ; Road construction is very important from one village to another; otherwise the people living in the eastern side of the Meghalaya State will have extreme the people living in the eastern side of the Meghalaya State will have extreme difficulties. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to mention about the Biate village near N.C Hills. The people in their place are very very backward.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the people are living there only on jhum cultivation and without paddy fields,. Then I would like to draw the attention of the House and urge Government to see to this and provide the people with more paddy fields in that area.
Communication there is also very difficult. I however congratulate the Government for their proposal to construct roads very soon. But the proposed roads will not reach many portions in the interior villages, that means Sutnga Saipung road up to Mouslei village. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that in that particular village we have only 90 housed. They are running on L.P School on their own without any grant from the Government. Last year only they received some adhoc recurring grant, but to run this school with that, amount is very difficult. I would like to place before the House through you. Sir, so that Government would be pleased to take in to consideration the case of this particular village because they are very very backward in our Meghalaya State.
About water supply, we have not yet got any provision for supplying water for the lst 15 years from the time of Mr. Medhi . But now a days we have no water at all. Survey for water supply scheme has already been done but we have not yet got water supply. I would like to draw the attention of the House to this matter because the people have no water for drinking and cooking purpose, as there is no source of water. i have asked the Minister in charge times to consider that.
Mr. Speaker :- Has the Minister said "no" in reply?
Shri Beryl Sutnga :- No Sir, no reply - yes or no.
(Voice from the Treasury Bench - Very clever Minister).
An there point Sir, Sumer-patorship is still a very backward area. I urge upon the Government through you Sir, to take the matter of water supply in to consideration. We can supply water to 14 villages no doubt.
Then I come to communication - I congratulate the Government that tenders have already been called for construction on of Sutnga-Sumer road. But work has no yet been started, I hope that work will be started soon, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the communication for carrying agricultural produce to different places is very difficult. If we have a road our people can carry the agricultural produce to different places because these places are at a support at far distance to the market.
Before I resume my seat, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the announcement the of 10th November, 1970 by the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi gave the maximum satisfaction to the people in my village. With these few words I support the motion.
Shri Humphrey Nongrum :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to participate in the discussion of the Governor's Address as addressed in this House. I will make my few observations, as according to page 8 of the speech on matters of public health. "A scheme for giving incentives to doctors serving in the rural areas has been formulated so that hospital and dispensaries in the interior are manned by qualified doctors and staff. A number of water supply schemes in urban and rural areas are under execution out of which a particular mention may be made of the these of Mawlai, Rymbai, Pynursla, Muktapur and Baghmara. A State Social Welfare Board for Meghalaya is also being set up". I am quite aware of the fact that we do not have enough doctors, nurses, compounder to serve the need of the people. Most of the people did not share medical facilities given by Government in this State. There is a good length from Mawsynram to Maheshkhola, a distance of about 80 miles. Not a single health centre is being opened there. People are treating their own ailments and diseases with old methods, which are out of the date and unhygienic. They live by faith without any medical aid. To treat dysentry they use chilies. This is quite unmedical. To treat dysentry they use cowdung with dirty bandores. I urge the Govt to take necessary steps to establish health centre in Balat, Khongjowai, Maheshkhola, I urge the Government to do something on this. On the same page I would stress on the subject of water supply. I may say that water is the best drink in the World for children and old men alike. Man can live longer on water than on food, water I mean, plain water. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this connection, the Department (PHE), as it is mentioned, has done something with regard to Pynursla Baghmara, etc. but there are no schemes which have been taken up for other places, for example like Nongstoin with ever increasing population where everything and allsorts of things and activities are there, like P.W.D Sub-Divisional Office, police office a Health Unit Block offices and Nongstoin markets etc. It is becoming a big town, There is a stream running through. The stream has become like Wah Umkhrah. Some people are washing in the upstream and others are drinking it in the down stream. As far as I understand there is a provision for a scheme of something like Rs.3 lahks. So, I would urge the Government to do something to start the work and bring pure water in this area. It seems that really the Government have not made satisfactory progress, have not given satisfactory result, though I believe that the aim is there and I hope in the near future implementation of such schemes will be taken up.
Now I come again to the same page, i.e page 8. paragraph 14 Constitution of roads by P.W.D In this connection I like to give my administration to this department. It seems to be the business department of the Government. They can really work like improvement of the existing works, taking up new projects, particularly to give a special consideration on the construction of the Shillong-Nongstoin Tura road. In the construction of this road. Government really wants to give the State a good trunk road from Shillong to Tura and that there is efficiency in that work without efficiency there will not be much progress. I appreciate this particular work.
I would like to make observation on supply as mentioned here, "harvesting was poor this year on account of flood during the summer of 1970".
So I urge Government take early action on this important subject-to feed our people and, moreover, during the years when there is failure of crops. More funds should be provided so that subsidy to rice should be made available all through the year; otherwise our people will die because in the Border the rice is very costly. It is better to buy rice from the Government subsidised stores. I hope Government will please see to this enough and sufficient fund is provide for subsidy to transport rice to the scarcity place and to the far lung areas of the State. To wind up observations, I would like to touch on the subject of Primary Education. Many of the hon. members of the have spoken on the progress of Primary Education with in the State. I now will Point out the difficulty we are facing in running the administration of Lower Primary Education in the Khasi Hills District in particular. The question is always raised before us. Whenever we go on tour, the first memorandum the people submit to us is regarding primary school and they want more and more schools in the villages as the birth rage is increasing like anything. The schools children might be 50 last year and it may be 70 this year, therefore, every schools has to be extended. Some hon. Members say that in a school of 120 there are two teachers. In many Constituency, there is one teachers for 80 pupils. Most of the schools are going on like this. It is not because of the District Councils negligence. Unless sufficient funds are provided to the District Council negligence which have been started previously got funds. The newly stated schools have not got the adequate fund. Unless Government give more money to District Councils the Problem cannot be solved.
In the District Councils get adequate fund I believe, progress will be shown in no time. So with there few observations, I beg to resume my seat.
Shri Johndeng Pohrmen :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resist to take part in the debate of the Governor's address. At th4 outset, as one who seconded the motion of thanks I appreciate very much the Address this time. I think everyone will agree with me that the Present Governor's Address is by fair better than the one we had one the 14th of last April Practically, all important subjects have been touched upon, and to a great extent detailed and elaborate explanations have been given, But inspite of that' the world being imperfect we can still find many things that can be pointed out or commented upon, and in some cases even clarifications would be required, I start with this integrating system of administrative machinery which has been introduced and adopted in the Meghalaya Government If the recent experiences are an indication, I am afraid the system has not achieved its objectives. Not only that the delay has not been removed, but the system, seems to be complicated. When I approached the Government in most of cases, the Departments, complained about the inadequate staff. However, we hope that with the finalisation of the staff pattern, the system would successfully work in the interest of good administration.
Coming to the Selection Board, I have 3 things to observe :-
(1) Whether this will be a statutory body, (2) whether this will into sometimes create delay in emergency particularly in case of offices in interior, (3) Whether the selection will be strictly based on merits.
Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, coming to the border problem which has after 23 years not been solved and in fact it seems it is deteriorating. However, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I should congratulate the Meghalaya Government for the keen interest they have been taking in this connection and the border people do really appreciate the interest that has been shown by the Meghalaya Government I am very happy to see in one of the border markets, namely, Shella, even boats have been allowed to cross the border to carry commodities to the border people to carry their goods to the markets of Pakistan. I have every hope that these facilities will also be introduced before long in other border Markets though out the entire border areas. Over and above in what has been perhaps, planned, according to indication given in the Address, I have something more to say , I refer to page 9 paragraph 14, where reference to the very long name "Damra-Darugiry-Nangalbibra-Siju-Baghmara road " Whether this is a part of the grand border road. Therefore if it is not so, it appears that the grand border road that I understand as had been planned by Government has not been mentioned here. The road, I understand, will be about a little more than 300 miles running right from Garo Hills through Khasi Hills to Sonapur in Jaintia Hills with a view to help the border people to move about in their business activities, market their produce easily and profitably. I wish that this grand border road could be completed as soon as possible, as this would rally be a great help to the border people. Besides, this grand road we require many more feeder roads running from north to south in order to feed this road. It is very gratifying that the Government of Meghalaya in their very short span of 8 or 9 months have been able to embark on many a project on road communications. As for example the Amlarem-Nongbareh road for which I understand the survey is being completed and I wish the road be undertaken say by the winter as to help these people who are a bit isolated in that area to develop that area in all respects. Besides, in that area, we require very urgently two more new feeder roads; one from Pdengchlop through Tranghlay to Barghat and the other from J.J.K Road through Spdai Amaldry to Rhongkum on Dawki Muktapur Road up to Dawki road. I am happy that the Minister in charge is taking not of what I am saying who is very much acquainted with these areas and I hope that survey of these two proposed roads will be taken up as early as possible. In connection with agriculture in the border areas Mr. Speaker, Sir, that unfortunately part of Meghalaya is very small; not only small but also stones in that area are more in quantity than soil and the poor people are struggling very very hard for their livelihood, I am sure that the areas, as the Government has taken keen interest deserves all kinds of special help and special schemes; and before doing so it would be better that the topography of the areas should be surveyed and studied carefully. Recently there has been a scheme of soil conservation in which applications for dry tracing schemes have been invited with a view to give some subsidy and grants to the cultivators. Unfortunately, about 80% of the border areas is so difficult that it is not possible even to do that much of dry terracing. I am very grateful to the Government that somehow they allowed the border people to do contour bounding, So we are quite happy if this particular scheme of contour bounding is encouraged and extended to border areas where it is feasible, so as to conserve the soil in that part of the area. Then as I said we have something more to say about border problem. It is the Test Relief schemes which had been prepared by the S.D.O (Civil) Jowai in consultation with me. But only a small part of the amount required has been sanctioned leaving the rest of the schemes with no sanction. This has become very embarrassing for us because there is Jealously among the people in those areas. In some villages they got the help, and some have not got, and therefore, it would be fair and proper for the Government to kindly see that the sanction of the remaining amount is accorded more promptly so as to remove such misunderstanding. If there is any discrimination, it is quickly noticed by the people, and not only that, it is being exaggerated, and therefore it would be in the interest of the Government that the remaining schemes should be sanctioned as early as possible. Last year, it was a very bad year, one of the worst years for our border areas. We had floods for the first time perhaps. Because of the floods in the border areas, crops had been completely, destroyed, not only once but in some cases twice and thrice. Some cultivators, after their crops had been destroyed once tried to sow again, and again, these crops were destroyed by the floods, and those which escaped from floods, they were were destroyed by pests. Therefore, the border people this time have been very very badly hit economically. The pests could have been tackled successfully. In Jowai, I remember for medicines required to combat against the pests. the poor SDAO even tried to break the go down right at night, but unfortunately he could not do because the key had been taken away by the staff. Therefore, it was so difficult to get the medicines.
Now, I would like to come to another; burning problem in Jowai, Sub-Division viz the boundary dispute we have now with the Mikir Hills, and I am a but disappointed that this issue has not found place in the Governor's Address. Right from the month of May last year the District Council of Jowai Autonomous District and also the local authorities including the Subdivisional Officer (Civil) have been very vigorously following up this matter. Every time we got report from the people of the area we promptly communicated to the Government and appealed for intervention, for help so as to help these people from being frustrated. I am afraid if the Government is continuing to remain complacent on this problem the episode of the Assam-Nagaland boundary dispute might be repeated. So far with great difficulty we have been able to pacify the people and to pray to them to have patience. Patience they do have but then human being as they are, who knows and who can guarantee that in the near future they might become so frustrated and so desperate that anything might large up?
Another very important matter of Jowai Subdivision is fertilizers. This is just the time when fertilizers are required especially bone-meal. In the past subsidy had been provided and quite a handsome amount was given. This gave a relief to the poor cultivators because the cost of fertilizers was cheaper. But this time we are told that subsidy is being provided by our Meghalaya Government only at Rs.50/- per tonne. This is a very very nominal amount, and I wonder how that little amount could really help the poor cultivators. I wish that transport cost for the fertilizers upto Jowai would be totally subsidised, and on the cost of the fertilizer 25% subsidy be granted. This would really help our people, and in fact we have told our people. that when we get our own Government the subsidy that used to be given would be even double and treble and when we said that we really meant it. We had the hope that a Government run by ourselves for ourselves would really feel proud if not to treble the subsidy which used to be received, but at least to double it. That would really show how the Government has really taken interest in its own people.
Then regarding supply of electric power. On this also I tried once or twice to go through the pages of the Address but this too seems to be absent; in the address. The rural electrification scheme that is being undertaken has to some extent extended to some areas. But to my surprise the schemes which had been discussed and passed and approved by the Development Board have not been implemented so far. To be specific, the case of Jarain (in the Border) of Jowai Sub division seems to have been forgotten. There is no sign that scheme is being implemented. This is a very sorry State of affairs that the agency for supply of electric power has done. So I wish the Meghalaya Government use its good offices to see to this so that schemes already recommended and approved should not have been left unimplemented.
Then I come to the health Department. Many have spoken about this and of course I should say that a little improvement has been done over the past. But even then much is yet to be done. I understand there used to be a Refresher Course for doctor, nurse, etc., working especially in the interior. But the staff of the Jowai Hospital, as far as I understand, have never been sent to this Refreshers Course as recommended by the Bhore Committee.
I also feel like saying one thing more about the upgrading the Jowai Sub division to a full Civil District. This has been publicity committed by no less a person than the Chief Minister himself in Jowai this year. I only like to know when this Civil District of Jowai will be inaugurated and what steps are being taken for inauguration of this full Civil District for of Jowai will be inaugurated and what steps are being taken for inauguration of this full Civil District for Jowai Subdivision. Also it seems to me that no steps as yet have been taken with regard to creation or re-arrangement of sub-divisions for Meghalaya. This is also point which I feel Government might take note of because there has not been demand in some areas by the people.
With regard to giving sanction to various schemes, submitted by Blocks or by the district Councils, there used to be always a delay in giving the sanction very often they wait till the last moment, till the last few days of the month of March. This point also the Government might please take note of and see if this can be removed because it is very difficult to implement the schemes. Especially this year I have seen many schemes may not be completed because of late receipt of sanctions for various schemes. There have been complaints from the District Councils from the Blocks and other agencies of the Government that because sanctions are coming too late, therefore, it is very Government that because sanctions are coming too late, therefore, it is very difficult for the various agencies of the Government to implement the schemes. Therefore, Government may please take note of this also so that the sanctions for various schemes are given fairly in good time.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am thankful that you have shown your indulgence in giving me quite a long time in taking part in the debate on the Governor's Address and with these few words I resume my seat.
SHRI SAMARENDRA SANGMA :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand
here to express my gratitude to the Governor for his
Address made in this august House. The Governor in his Address has given a very clear picture as to how the Government worked during the last 12 (twelve) months, sincerely and competently and there is also an indication on what the Government also intend to embark upon the in future for the well being and all round development for all of the Meghalaya, this is, for the whole of the entire State.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the Governor's Address at page 2 (two) paragraph 3 (three), I am inclined take it as the gist of the achievement and failures of our Government I may kindly be permitted to read out the contents of the said paragraph which runs as follows - "In my last Address, I had referred to the stupendous problems faced by the new Government involving and properly organising the administrative machinery. The difficulties in securing the services of experienced and trained staff, absence of adequate office accommodation and the inherent limitations of Assam-Re-Organisation (Meghalaya) Act continue to pose serious problems tot he Government. The basis structure of the administrative machinery has, however, been evolved integrating in a large measure, the Executive and Secretariat Wings in the light of the recommendations of the Department of Administrative Reforms of the Government of India. This, it is expected , will avoid delay in execution of development schemes and also enable the administration to function with increased efficiency and effectiveness. The staffing pattern for the Directorate has also been finalised."
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in these lines, it is quite comprehensible and evident to what extent the Government had faced odd difficulties and created such a situation that stood in the way and delayed the execution of all the development schemes and had effected the efficiency of our officers. I believe when our Meghalaya attains full - fledged State all the these difficulties will be wiped our and the Government machinery will be able to work on a sound of outing and render rapid developmental progress.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, personally, I have not got a clear idea of the economic condition of the Khasi and Jaintia brothers. but I think in general their economic condition is also the same as that of Garo Hills, I am referring here to the condition of the rural population. In Garo Hill actually the economic condition of the Garos is very much pitiful. Poverty exists there which has no parallel in the whole of the country. The mass population, particularly the Garo tribals, which is the dominant population in the district is in a most deplorable economic condition. Most of the cultivable lands the Garo tribals and to the non-tribals, The very scanty has lands which in business; in educational field and in every walk of life, the Garo tribals are very much backward.
In the jhumming areas and in the Border areas of the district, the villagers are pulling on their lives with utmost difficult. In the interior part where jhumming is main vocation and the only way of subsistence the population is starving or half starved. The situation is very deplorable and every year the condition is worsening. I am not exaggerating thing. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a factual one. The crisis is everywhere and it is of crisis a of their very existence. This is the state which I have seen with my own eyes, The state has reached such an extent that the general mass have become very restive, they are on the verge of their patience-disgusted and helpless. The situation is so grave and stupendous that no Government will be prevailing in the district of Garo Hills This stage of affairs has become a serous is paid by the Government as far as practicable The general mass is not contented. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I understand the Government has done their utmost with the resources commendable at change in respect, of their economic betterment and therefore, there is un-easiness everywhere in the district. As in the recent poll, we have seen how the general mass of our land have given their verdict and so also in this part of our Meghalaya State, the general mass are also acting in the same way. I urge the Government to stand against the challenge and to cope with the stupendous task, that is the speedy development and betterment of the general mass.
It is heartening to note that the Government is giving stress and priority to open some roads to link up[ the mineral areas of the State and also the roads along eh Indo-Pak Border. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to my utter surprise, I do not find any mention of the Indo-Pak Border Road which runs through the following places :-
Garobadha-Mankachar-Kalaichar-Mahendraganj-Porakhasia-Dalu-Baghmara connecting the Khasi Hills Border Road.
Last year importance was given to this Road and it was mentioned that Government is taking due attention for Black Topping this vital Border Road considering its urgency from all aspects. But uptil now nothing has been done in regard to the said road. This is most deplorable and has very much disappointed the Border people. This is the only Border Road which runs through the entire western part of the Garo Hills District. This time, whereas Government is giving stress to some other new roads, nothing has been said about the aforesaid Border Road will Government will explain why the importance time and Government has become so much negligent of it? I earnestly request Government to take all possible steps in regard to the said Border Road and save the badly affected Border people from their critical economic depression, particularly those who are living in the whole western part of Garo Hills.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, educational facilities are very much limited in the district of Garo Hills. Government is giving the due attention and giving requisite financial assistance in the educational field in the shape of adhoc grants grants-in aid grant in deficit system and other nonrecurring grants. I request the Government to be more liberal in granting the aforesaid grants to the educational institutions particularly in the Border areas. The college at Tura rendered a commendable service for higher education in our district for the last several years. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are yet many things to be done in respect of education in our district, I propose to Government that in different parts of the districts of Garo Hills, these High English Schools which are run on general footing and upto to the standard, such H.E. Schools may kindly be permitted to start P.U Classes and gradually with the improvement of qualified staff and requisite financial assistance from the Govt side college education facilities may be attained. The H.E Schools may be taken up from the different parts of the district in such a way that such education facilities are equally afforded in all parts of the district. This process will lesson the strain on the part of the villagers and will minimise the building construction expenditure on the part of the Government I find no other way, except this in our District Where the economic condition of the people is so much deplorable In our district, it is now possible on the part of the poor guardians to send their boys and girls to Tura for College education. And if such arrangement for P.U Class are made in immensely. And moreover we are very anxious for the starting of the College in our Hill areas, this may not be possible. So in this direction Meghalaya State which will untimely help us for the establishment of the said Hill University. Other wise, the thinking for a Hill University will remain to be a paper work.
It has also been mentioned that a Committee of Experts to examine the various aspects of education will be set up. I think this will contribute a long way in raising the educational standard and other matters of education which are deteriorated at present to a great extent, particularly in respect of Lower Primary Schools. Actually in the past, the District Council were facing difficulties in controlling managing of the L.P Schools for want of regulation. Only recently, in the Assam Reorganisation Act. According to the amendment of paragraph 6 (six) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, the District Councils have been empowered to frame regulations to control the L.P Schools, I believe, there will be immense scope to improve the condition of L.P Schools, when such regulations are framed by the respective District Councils.
In respect of education and other developmental grand, I like to draw the immediate attention of the Government to the grants which are due to the Garo Hills District Council for this current financial year 1970-71. It is astonishing that the grants are not released by the Government up till now, for want of which all the developmental works are very badly affected and hampered.
It is most surprising and distressing to note that all those grants are not released up to this date, i.e. 24.3.71 though all the rants are meant for this current financial year 1970-71. The teachers are not paid practically for the last eight months, all development works to came to a stand-still. Therefore I request the Government to take immediate steps to release the said grants.
The grants are as follows -
(1) Educational grant from Normal Scheme. Rupees 11 (eleven) lakhs are not yet released to Garo Hills District Council.
(2) Grant from 4th 5th Year Plan for taking 80 L.P schools for the year 1970-71, not yet released to Garo Hills District Council. The amount of the grant was not yet released to Garo Hills District Council. The amount of the grant is Rs.1,6,00,000 (one Lakh and sixty thousand).
(3) Additional Teacher's grant - 60 (sixty) posts for the year 1970-71 proposed by the Meghalaya Government to Garo Hills District Council. The total grant was not yet released. Schemes for this were submitted to the Government in time.
(4) Government has not yet released all the grants to District Council Garo Hills to the tune of Rs.10,00,000 (ten lakhs) for various schemes model village schemes, forest re- generation, supply of plough cattle to local people, for this current financial year 1970 - 71.
It is gratifying to note that the Government proposed to explore the possibilities of assisting the Graduates from Meghalaya for receiving training in specialised institutions in order to enable them to participate more effectively in the All India Service Competition.
The Government is also going to arrange a programme for the Development of Youth Services seeking to impart occupational Training in Meghalaya. I think and and believed this will greatly help our young generation to a considerable extent and afford scope for various constructive family planning in the Governor's address. While in other State due priority is being given to control the population growth but I do not know whether our Government is giving less importance on the subject so that the expected pace of development be achieved.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, realising the importance for pacca minor irrigational bound and Dong Project the Government have allotted Rs.7/8 lakhs to the District of Garo Hills. Meeting was held in the D.Cs office in due time and the schemes were taken up in every Block. In our Zigzak Block several Pacca Bunds were taken up with that provision and the construction works are going on. But it seems that the District Agricultural Officer of our district (Garo Hills) did not take adequate and requisite measures to see that all the bunds can be completed within the period. So far I hard a large sum of that irrigation schemes is going to be surrendered to Government and the whole amount utilised for the purpose for which it was given. The payment for Pacca Bund from this provision in Zigzak Block and other parts of the District may kindly be paid after the completion of the Bund construction.
Lastly, I want to invite the attention of Government of Garo Hills District Council election which is going to be held as early as possible The life of the Garo Hills District Council expires on 27th April, 1971. Most unfortunately the Electoral Rolls prepared for the Mid term poll were very incorrect and many villages were left out as a result of which quite a large number of voters could not exercise their voting rights. Only 30 40 preset of voters were able to cast their votes. I request the Government to move the respective authority so that correct electoral Rolls be prepared for District Council Election as per rule No.127 and 128 of Assam Autonomous District Council Rule, 1951 as amended.
In conclusion Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank you for the opportunity that has been given to me and I would like to cite a sentence from the Governor's address. The Governor said "A Government is a Trustee of the good and welfare of its people and in that capacity it bears a heavy load of responsibility ". Let our Government justify it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- The house stands adjourned till 10. A.M on Thursday the 25th March, 1971.
|the 24th March 1971.||
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.