PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLED AFTER THE FIRST GENERAL ELECTION, 1972, UNDER THE SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC AN CONSTITUTION OF INDIA. 

The House met at 10. a.m. on  Tuesday  the 4th April, 1972 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the  Chair. 

Present :- For the Ministers, two Ministers of State and fifty one Members. 

Mr. Speaker : Let us now take up the first item in today's list of business. 

ZERO HOUR

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw ( Mawhati S.T. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. May we be allowed to utilise the zero hour under Rule 49A as there is no question hour allotted by this House. This House has been deprived of the privilege under Rules 49A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.

Mr. Speaker : Yes, what is your specific point of order ?

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw ( Mawhati S.T. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, since there is no question hour and also since this Rule 49A says that -"Immediately after the question hour and before the list of business of the day is entered upon, any Member who wants to raise any matter of grave importance which cannot be raised under any other provisions of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, can do so with the previous permission of the Speaker provided, however, that the Member raising such a matter shall not make any speech"

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there cannot be an alternative arrangement for this. It is up to the Members to ask whenever they want. I do not understand why there should be such a plea for the zero hour to be appointed as the question hour.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw ( Mawhati S.T. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, even if the hour is not fixed, the zero hour will come definitely, i.e, at twelve noon.

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- That is right Sir.

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, are we indulging in an academic discussion in the House? And if any matter has been brought before you, then can you apply your mind to it since we are not aware of the matter that is sought to be brought in by the hon. Member to you ?

Mr. Speaker :- That is what I exactly wanted to know. Here is the Rule in which it is clearly stated that the hon. Members can do so with the previous permission of the Speaker. Actually, the hon. Members should have given me prior information so that I can give a ruling in the House whether he can raise any such point or not. So, that is not the point of order to be raised.

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Sir, the Chief Minister raised another point which requires your serious consideration and that is, since there is no question hour, whether, under this rule, the hon. Members can take advantage of the matter or not?

Mr. Speaker :- I think, the hon. Member wants to know whether he can raise any matter in this particular hour without having a question hour in the House. In so far as this point is concerned. I still reserve my ruling but in so far as the other points are concerned, the hon. Members should seek the previous permission of the Chair. I give my clear ruling that since I have not received any previous information from the hon. Members, this point may be dropped.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw ( Mawhati S.T. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, since there was a verbal discussion with you on this subject about giving permission.

Mr. Speaker :- Previous permission does not mean the permission on the road or in my house, sand that is quite a different thing. It should be in writing. So, may I request the Chief Minister to move the resolution on the 25th Constitution Amendment Bill to be passed by this House?

RESOLUTION RATIFYING THE CONSTITUTION (TWENTY-FIFTH AMENDMENT) BILL, 1971

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move "that this House ratifies the amendment to the Constitution of India falling within the purview of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 368 thereof, to be made by the Constitution (Twenty-fifth Amendment) Bill, 1971 as passed by the two Houses of Parliament".

Mr. Speaker :- The resolution is moved.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I ask the Hon'ble Chief Minister as to why he is moving such a resolution? Mr. Speaker, Sir, this amendment involves the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country and if we, in this Assembly, are to give our consent, I think the Chief Minister should enlighten the House about the benefit of moving this resolution.

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I have, Mr. Speaker, Sir, nothing to add more than the object and the reasons given in the Bill. If the hon. Member desires, I can read it out. And I think the hon. Members have got a copy of this Bill.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in fact, we have already read the statement of object and reasons in the amendment itself.

Mr. Speaker :- Since the hon. Members have already read the statement by the Law Minister, Government of India,. I do not think it is necessary to repeat them. But if the Chief Minister would like to explain or enlighten something more, he may do so. It is up to the Chief Minister.

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the information of the Members, I will read out the statement.

        "The Preamble of the Constitution of India sought to secure to all its citizens justice, social, economic and political.

        No doubt the Constitution, when enacted, guaranteed that no person should be deprived of property without authority of law and payment of compensation. The amount of compensation either was to be fixed or the principle or  the manner on which the same was to be paid should be provided for in the enactment. When the framers of the Constitution used the word "Compensation" and the word "Principles, etc." they meant that the Parliament to be the supreme authority to fix the amount of compensation. So the change sought to be brought about by the proposed Bill is not change at all as it was intended to be always there by the framers of the Constitution. But the Courts took a different view and necessitated the enactment of the Constitution (Fourth Amendment) Act, 1955, to make the intention of the Constitution makers clear. In Shantilal Mangaldas case the Supreme Court also held accordingly and it was thought that the matter was set at rest.

        However, subsequently the Supreme Court in the Bank Nationalisation case took a contrary view and held that despite the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution the continued use of the word compensation meant that the money equivalent of the property acquired will have to be given for any property taken by the State for a public purpose and that the same was justiciable although the intention of the Fourth Amendment was to make the adequacy of the compensation non-justiciable. If the market value has got to be paid as compensation and the same becomes justiciable it will be impossible to make socio economic progress of the country and to guarantee justice to the vast multitude of the people. The Preambles of the Constitution and the Directive Principles of State Policy that wealth should not be concentrated in a few hands would be defeated. It is not the Court but the Parliament which represents the people of the entire country should be the best judge to decide what amount of compensation would be just and reasonable for acquisition of property under appropriate legislation. Hence the Bill." 

Mr. Speaker :- Are hon. Members satisfied with the explanation of the Chief Minister?

Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) :- Sir, the explanation of the Chief Minister could not be understood more than what is written here. Why this legislation is necessary and why ratification of the Bill by this House is necessary. That should be explained by the Chief Minister.

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member read thoroughly the debate in the Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha where the Union Law Minister has clearly explained the necessity for ratification and I think the Chief Minister of the State will not be in a position to explain to explain to the House about the full implication of this resolution. Anyway, if you have some observation to make I can allow you.

Shri Maham Singh :- Sir, his question is why should this House ratify the Bill. He wants clarification from the Chief Minister why ratification of this House is required.

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are two shades of opinion. But later on, it was considered  advisable that as a measure of abundant caution, the Bill should be referred for ratification by the State Legislature before the Bill is presented to the President for his assent. Now, I would just read out the relevant portion of the Law Minister's statement in the Parliament. The Constitution (Twenty-fifth Amendment) Bill, 1971 was passed by both Houses of Parliament by a majority of the total membership of each House of less than two-thirds of the members present and voting. A question has arisen whether before the Bill is presented to the President for his assent the amendments proposed by the Bill required ratification by the State Legislatures under the proviso of Article 368 of the Constitution. The contention may be put forward hat the term in which Article 31(c) is framed deprived the Courts of part of their jurisdiction and therefore this Article required such ratification. The Government takes the view that such ratification is not necessary. However, with a view to avoiding difficulties that may possibly arise and out of abundant caution Government has decided to refer the Bill for ratification to State Legislatures under the proviso of Article, 368 of the Constitution. From this statement by the Union Law Minister, it may be noted that it is only a measure of abundant precaution.

Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) :- Sir, what I want to know from the Chief Minister is not the procedure whether we should take precaution before the Bill is passed by both Houses of Parliament and presented to the President for his assent. What I want to know is that whether this particular Bill which was passed by Parliament now requires ratification by this House. How it will help our State also?

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this particular matter we are naturally guided by the Government of India in the Ministry of Law. Even the Law Minister doubted about the need of particular Bill. But as an abundant precautionary measure, it was decided that it would be better to have this particular Bill ratified by 50 per cent  of the States in the country before it is placed before the President for his assent. So Sir, it is only a precautionary measure.

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) :- Sir, I would request the Hon'ble Chief Minister to read out the relevant provision of Article 368 with regard to the necessity of ratification by the State Legislature.

Mr. Speaker :- It is not necessary. The Chief Minister has clearly explained that in so far as this amendment is concerned, even the Law Ministry was doubtful whether it shall be ratified by the State Legislature or not. In so far as this matter is concerned, whenever there is any doubt, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat would only sent to the State Legislatures for ratification in order to avoid any unnecessary difficulties in future. So, I think the question of the Hon. Member is out of place. Let me put the question before the House.

Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have something more to say in this respect. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the 25th of March, 1972 before taking our seat we have subscribed an oath which reads in this manner that "I so and so having been elected a member of the Legislative Assembly do solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance of the Constitution of India as by law established that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India and that I will faithfully discharge the duty upon which I am about to enter"

        Now, my primary duty as a member is to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution as by Law established. Under the law, I am referring to Article 31(1) which says "No person......................

Mr. Speaker :- Are you raising any point of order? This is irrelevant.

Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) :- The question is that we are going to ratify an Act which wants to deprive of the right to property. In the Constitution itself it is said "No person shall he deprived of his property save by authority of law".

Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Sir on a point of order. Is not the hon. Member going into the merits of the amendment. If he is going into the merits then it is no more a point of order. If he is objecting to the principle of the Bill, he is perfectly entitled to say so, but if his objection takes the form of a point or order, I think it is wrong.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Hynniewta, I understand at the beginning you wanted to speak.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- I am saying if the hon. Member wants to go into the merits of the amendment, I think he should be given a chance to say so and not take the form of a point of order while doing so.

Mr. Speaker :- The whole problem is that, it appears, nobody understands whether the hon. Member wants to raise a point or order or he wants to enter into the merits of the amendment. then, or course, if he can make himself clear, I can give my ruling. Is it a point of order?

Shri S.N. Koch (Mendipathar) :- No, Sir, my point was that why it is necessary for this House to give a ratification to the amendment.

Mr. Speaker :- Have you anything to say, Mr. Martin Narayan Majaw ?

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg with your permission to make a few observation on this 25th Amendment of the Constitution of India. Of course, it is no longer a point of order which I am going to raise, but it is a valid point, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as to whether a mere advice given by the Law Minister is binding upon the sovereign or an august body like ours; because in the letter sent by the Union Government in the Ministry of Law to the Chief Minister, there is an observation made that the Government is of the opinion that ratification by the State Legislature is not required. But because of the need to take extra precaution they are sending it to us. I submit, Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to my understanding of the Art.368, really speaking this  House does not need to give its ratification. But we have gone beyond that stage. While I speak of this 25th Amendment, I would, through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, request the hon. Members of this House, particularly those in the Treasury Benches to forget for a moment their particular allegiance to any party and any particular whip which might be issued to them, but to consider my observations quite dispassionately without the least iota of prejudice or bias. Most people are partial, partiality in some respects. Here today since we are dealing with a matter concerning the fundamental rights, I would request, through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Members in this House to try to remove emotions from their thoughts to try to divorce personal feelings, or certain bias from our fundamental principle. Now, we have before us this letter that has been sent to us. There are two parts to it, Mr. Speaker, Sir,. The first part in Section 2 which is given to us for ratification. This deals with property and the second part deals with the fundamental rights. Here we are dealing with property. I would humbly submit that the land tenure system in our hills is quite different from the land  tenure system found in other parts of India. This is a history behind this Amendment. It goes back to 1956 when Dr. Ambedkar was moving an Amendment on the abolition of  Zamindary holding at that time. He gave a very clear assurance in Lok Sabha if further amendment was made to Article 31, on rotary holdings, but then as he was the President at that time he would not give his signature to such an amendment on rotary holdings. Again in 1964 during the lifetime of Jawaharlal Nehru when co-operative farming was sought to be introduced by the Congress Party at the Nagpur Session it could not be introduced. Therefore he decided to go in for rotary holdings as well, i.e., in 1964. Unfortunately Jawaharlal Nehru died. 

        A special session of the Parliament and other special sessions were held only for the specific purpose of moving the 17th Amendment of the Constitution. Now again comes the 25th Amendment of Article 31. by a further amendment of Article 31 by the 17th. Amendment, Government acquired the power to acquire land property rotary or zamindary, but compensation was unjustifiable. In the Bank nationalisation the Supreme Court gave a ruling that justiciable compensation would be the market value and that the Union Government's view was that this market value was a terrible thing. therefore comes the 25th Amendment of the Constitution whereby compensation paid is non-justiciable. This cannot be challenged in he court. This is a very fundamental matter, so fundamental that so many  religious bodies and even the Archbishop has submitted a long memorandum on this matter to the Prime Minister which was turned down. it touches not only institutions; it touches land owned by religious societies, land owned by hospitals it touches the smallest and greatest man as well. I am not pleading for the very very common man. In our hill areas most of the people in the interior have a small plot of land to plant potato, onion, etc. Actually the need for the application of this 25th Amendment to our State does not arise. It arises in big States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, etc., where riots really suffer from.

Mr. Speaker :- Perhaps, if we are to ratify it means only for those big States?

* Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we are to reverse our judgement on this ratification, it is necessary that we should take this to the members of the public since they are the one who will be affected by it. We should take this 25th Amendment to the public and seek their opinion on this matter. This is a very fundamental matter, which gives unbounded power to the Government to acquire land and property and pay compensation which cannot be challenged in any court of law.  Thanks to Mr. Anthony who has made some observations on the Bank nationalisation. I would also like to point out that a very learned body like the Law Commission of India under the Chairmanship of Shri Gajendragadkar while agreeing to certain parts of this amendment, gave certain other observations to this official amendment, which were entirely turned down by the Union Government, because it is a radical wing in the Congress Party in Delhi. The opinion of the Law Commission in India is not an opinion of the insignificant body. Most of our people have a small plot of land and therefore, their right of ownership on land is at stake. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, here we are dealing with the fundamental rights that are involved.

         Therefore, weather it is applied or not, there is no argument for its being abused or its being opposed; when we come to the applicability of this Act, it will be applied.  The person who will apply the law will be the Deputy Commissioner or the Collector of the District. He is the person who has been issuing orders during the last few year since 1964 as the Deputy Commissioner or the Collector of the District. If the Collector has a particular grievance against somebody  he mist resort to passing orders on somebody's plot of land for construction of a football ground. He can also take revenge on a personal grievance to declare for the public purposes that somebody's property is to be acquired for hospitals and then the compensation will be laid down by law or abrogated by the law of the land. The compensation which he may lay down cannot be challenged in any court of law. This is the fundamental principle Mr. Speaker, Sir, and I would  request the Government, through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, not to pass this Amendment Bill, since this is not a matter that needs a hasty decision. By now, 50 per cent of the State Legislatures have agreed already to this amendment and they must have done so because of the almighty power held by the Prime Minister over the land. Therefore, actually, we have to pass something in retrospection. But we all have a very big duty to our people, especially, those who have gone to the interior have seen the poverty of our people, they will see each of them holds a very small plot of land. We should be informed of this before we can go to this 25th Amendment Bill. The Government could give a very genuine or a strong reply to this, what it will matter if we can seek the opinion of the public. In this case further, why we cannot also request the Union  Government to treat as exception in the case of minorities for compulsory acquisition of any property on educational institutions, established and administered by minorities, why we cannot add for churches as also hospitals? If the compensation given to educational institutions of the minorities cannot be challenged in any court of law, why we cannot apply the same protection to our churches and to our hospitals, time may come, Mr. Speaker, when this Government the ruling body who will pass out of power, we may get absolutely the ruling body who will pass out of power, we may get absolutely a religious ruling body in New Delhi and then they may be declare that the holding of such vast properties if they are vast, by the religious body and other religious societies is contrary to the  fundamental rights and the directive principles of the State and as such it must be taken over. 

( Bell  rang

 Mr. Speaker : Make your speech short. 

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T,) : Mr. Speaker, Sir,  now I come to Section 3 of this Amendment Bill. Here still it is very fundamental particularly with regard to Article 14. Article 14 says that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equality of protection of the law within the territory of India. This is a very fundamental issue and I think the Government can come with its explanation even for their own good when the District Council's election will be coming in the month of May. 

Mr. Speaker : What the District Council Election has to do with the ratification of this amendment?

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is through you only that this Bill is moved in this House as it now being discussed here. But in Article 14 it was stated that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law. I see this is being taken away not withstanding the contents under Article 13. Now, let us come to the policy of the  State Government securing a right to its citizens by taking away the fundamental principles mentioned under Article 14 and that is why Mr. Speaker, Sir, they were looked upon as the minorities wherever they go in India. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we are to be denied the right of equality before the law, our rights, the fundamental rights of the citizens are abrogated because they may do that to implement the directive principles of the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, that will need a re-thinking in this matter. 

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, we are very grateful to the hon. Member who has just spoken to give a brief explanation of the right of private ownership. I will also plead with him that we should also have the same compassion for the thousand and ten thousands of people in our district who are without any plot of land. There are many landless people in our district, and not only that, it is the duty of the Government to provide those people with land. I don't know whether the hon. Member from Mawhati who has gone to the various parts of the district, has met the various classes of cultivators and enquired of them as to whether they were practising cultivation in their own land to meet the needs. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are many many people who were without any plot of land and they are doing the cultivation by bullocks which belong to others. I hope he has come across also a large number of landless people who are cultivating on rented plots but these also suffer likewise because the land owners are demanding higher rent from the cultivators. We cannot be oblivious of this fact also. Our Government should be equipped with enough powers to see that these causes of social injustice should be removed from out landless people. It cannot be denied, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the powers that the Government will bring under this Amendment are very sweeping in nature.  There are other provisions of the Constitution also which equip the Government with such sweeping powers for example, the law of preventive detention. 

        The Government can jump upon any citizen on this or that plea. They can arrest him and put him in jail and he cannot run to the  court of law and challenge the validity of that arrest. But I am very proud of our country that the Governments in the State, be the Government run by the Congress Party or the D.M.K. Party or other political parties, we have found invariably this right has not been abused and I have no apprehension, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this power, if given to the Government, will be abused and let us not lose sight of the fact that this is merely and enabling provision by the adoption of this amendment. It does not amount to private rights being automatically abolished and the Government of this State and the Central Government will bring forward legislation before the House. They can take advantage of new powers conferred by this amendment. That time Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe the representatives of this august House will be the sentinels of the private rights and interest of the small cultivators. We are thinking here only of monopolist interest, Mr. Speaker, Sir, who are exploiting our people. The other day, while we were discussing the Governor's Address, I had occasion to bring to the attention of the House the fact how people can be.   

Mr. Speaker : Will the hon. Members of the Treasury Bench listen?

Shri Hoover Hynniewta ( Nongkhlaw S.T.) : Can be exploited by the capitalist class. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I find that this amendment is very much in tune with our conception of democracy, with out Khasi conception of democracy. You will find, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that when the British Government came to our Hills and they wanted some land, they wanted the Khasi Syiem of that time to hand over some land to the Government for construction of roads from Sylhet to Gauhati. The Khasi Syiems Assembly was convened and that Assembly decided that those lands should be handed over to the British Government and no compensation was paid by the British Government to those land-owners. We know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that even today in our Hills, private right of ownership is subject to certain serious limitations, for example, in the border areas, I can go to any orchard; I can pluck as many oranges as I like and eat and the land owner cannot object to it. This is the system prevailing in our land and I can fill my poor and empty stomach. And not only that, I can pass through anybody's compound, say in Mawsynram, I can pass through anybody's compound and you do not have the fundamental right of preventing me from going through your private land or through your paddy field. So in our tribal areas, this theory of fundamental right of ownership is simply not here. Therefore, I feel that this amendment brought forward by the Government  of India and passed by both Houses of Parliament, is very much in tune with our concept of private ownership. I am only sorry that in this Article 31(c) mention is made only of Clause (3) and there is no mention of Article 31 (c) mention is made only of Clause (3) and there is no mention of Article 46 which runs like this - "The State shall promote with special care educational and economic interest of the weaker section of the people in particular of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitations". Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said the other day, our backward people are being subjected to ruthless exploitation on the part of some monopolists and capitalists. I should have through that Government also should be given the same right to acquire property and not to pay compensation according to the market rates whenever any property owned by those monopolists, if necessary, is to be taken over for the interest of our people. The hon. member from Mawhati who had just spoken referred to the right of religious bodies to establish their Church building and he is apprehensive that if this amendment is passed by this House and becomes law, then there will be threat to the land owners of Churches being taken by the Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we go through this proposed Amendment of Article 31(c), we will find that Articles 19, 26, 31 will be affected and Article 19 will be over-ridden by this new Article 31(c). The hon. Member may be reminded that Article 26 is not made subject to Article 31(c). Article 26, Mr. Speaker, Sir, confers a fundamental right to manage religions affairs which goes like this- "Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination and any section shall have the right to establish and maintain institution for religious and charitable purposes". So  a church certainly by taking the narrowest, possible interpretation, will come under the purview of Article 26. It has been conferred the right to established and maintain institution for religious purposes, so a church is a religious institution and this fundamental right conferred by Article 26 is not made subject to this new Article 31(c). the hon. Member also was speaking about Article 14, equality before the law. I am reminding him Mr. Speaker, Sir, that if all the people of India have the same right before the law, this reservation of seats would not have been there. But now there is this Land Transfer Act and that has been passed by the House. this should not have been there because you cannot restrict the right of a citizen. But because of certain exception, certain restrictions have been made in Article 14. Therefore, we enjoy all the special rights and privileges. I do not think the people of Mawhati Constituency will like that this special restriction should be removed. I do not think so by any stretch of imagination that all people would like that this restriction in Article 14 should be removed. We are really happy Mr. Speaker, Sir, that our great Prime Minister, through her promise to the electorate has brought forward this progressive measure and I believe that we can have enough faith and reliance on representatives of the people to see that this provision is taken advantage for the larger interest of the community. if the majority of the new State of Meghalaya would decide to commit suicide, nobody can prevent them. but we have faith and confidence in the wisdom of our people, in the love of democracy and in the concern for the small land owners. We are confident that this provision will not be utilised to their disadvantage. With these few words, I support the motion.    

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to add a few words to what the Chief Minister and Mr. Hynniewta have said on this subject. It appears that some of the Members have got a misapprehension of the purpose of this amendment. This amendment does not seek to change the substance of the law or the substance of the constitutional provisional but if we compare carefully Article 31, Sub-clause (2) and this new clause we will find that the change sought to be introduced there is only the question to form not of substance. The substance is the right guaranteed to the citizens to own property. This substance was not sought to be changed by this amendment. Here we have Article 31 of the Constitution which had modified the right of the person o own property in the country. He has a right to own property but at the same time  Article 31 of the Constitution had empowered the Government or some other authority to compulsorily take away that property by the authority of law. Now, this question of acquisition of property in the schedule to the Constitution is a concurrent subject and therefore, the State have got the right to legislate for compulsory acquisition of property. Therefore, what the hon. Member had raised on the question of fundamental right is only a misapprehension. This amendment seeks to change only the form. Whereas in the original provision, Clause (2) of Article 31 provides for compensation for acquisition of property. The change sought to be introduced here is the word "amount" for the word "compensation". The speech of the Law Minister, Government of India will clarify this statement. What is required here is only to change the word compensation to the word amount and here some Members again have raised their their apprehension that the State may acquire property by authority of this amendment without any payment of compensation which is wrong, because it is said here in this amendment : "No property shall be compulsorily acquired or requisitioned save for a public purpose and save by authority of law which provide for acquisition or requisition of the property for an amount which may be fixed by such law or which may be determined in accordance with such principles and given in such manner as may be accordance with such law; and no such law shall be called in question in any court on the ground that the amount so fixed or determined is not adequate or that the whole or any part of such amount is to be given otherwise than in cash". 

        This procedure by which the amount is o be paid has not changed the provision in the present existing Constitution, i.e., the amount of compensation that is to be fixed by such law. It may be zero amount, and, therefore, simply the word amount is changed. It is only to avoid the need to pay cash or money equivalent of compensation and this is only the purpose of the 25th Amendment. Therefore, it remains the same here. And therefore, the law has to be passed by both the Government of India and the State Governments for acquiring the property and the State Government can also acquire property by authority of law passed by this Legislative Assembly in which manner compensation fixed for the amount or compensation that has to be laid down either at the market value or may be this or that value under the law. So far as the substance if this law is concerned, I would submit, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the only change that is sought to be introduced is the word amount rather than the right of compensation. I would submit Mr. Speaker, Sir, that we remove all these apprehension and misunderstanding and I would commend to the House, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this ratification be passes by our Assembly.

Mr. Speaker :- Now the discussion on the subject is closed. Let me put the question before the House. The question is that this House rectifies the amendment to the Constitution of India falling within the purview of the proviso to clause (2) of Article 368 thereof, to be made by the Constitution (Twenty-fifth Amendment) Bill, 1971 as passed by the Houses of Parliament."

        The motion is adopted. (The resolution was passed.)

Prof Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Shame ! Shame !


DELIMITATION OF ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCIES IN MEGHALAYA ORDER, 1972

Mr. Speaker :- May I now request the Chief Minister to lay the delimitation of Assembly Constituencies in the Sate of Meghalaya Order, 1972 in pursuance of sub-section (6) of Section 22 of the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971.

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Delimitation of Assembly Constituencies in the State of Meghalaya Order, 1972 in pursuance of sub-section (6) of Section 22 of the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971.


DEBATE ON THE GOVERNOR'S ADDRESS

Mr. Speaker : Let us now pass on to Item No.3. of the List of Business. May I now request Mr. Jackman Marak to resume his participation in the debate on the Governor Address. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, before Mr. Jackman Marak resumes his speech, I would like to raise a point of order. The other day, while the Member from Mawkhar was in the Chair, I sought  clarification from his as to whom we should ascribe the honour or the responsibility of moving this amendment. 

Mr. Speaker : The motion of thanks or the amendment?

Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) The motion of thanks and the Chairman at the time said that the hon. Member from Laitumkhrah Prof. Marbaniang, should be given the honour but, Sir, according to the notice that we received Mr. D.D. Pugh was the one who should have moved this motion. However, eventually it was not Mr. D.D. Pugh who moved the motion. So, Sir, if this procedure is adopted then certainly it would have serious repercussions in the future also. If the mover, Mr. D.D. Pugh, was not inside the House to move this motion and somebody else who was not the mover was picked up to move the motion whether it is in order., In this particular case. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member from Laitumkhrah was the seconder but, as a matter of fact, if you go through the Rules, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you see Rule 13, sub-rule (3), the last sentence is like this : ' In case of a motion being moved, such motion shall be duty proposed and seconded. So it is but natural that the motion was moved on the floor of the House and somebody seconded the motion. But Sir, the right of seconding a resolution does not mean the same thing as the right of moving a resolution. I know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, although I was not in the Assembly before, that in Parliament when a person is not there to move his motion, then that motion will be treated as  wrong and, in this particular case, if you go through sub- rule (3) as well it is not necessary that in the discussion of the Governor's Address any motion of thanks is indispensable and such a notice to be given of the motion of thanks. On receipt of the notice of such motion or even if no such notice is received, the Speaker, was allowed to fix the date and time as early as possible in compatibility with the state of business for discussion on the Governor's Address. So we could have had as discussion on the  Governor's Address even in the absence of this  motion. So, Sir, it does not confine only to this particular mater but it will also be a precedent created for the future. So, I would like to have your particular ruling on this for our future guidance. 

*Shri Humphrey Hadem ( Mynso -Raliang S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, that point was raised by me and it was ruled out. I do not know that a second ruling is necessary at this stage. 

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : It has already been ruled out. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) : Even if it has already been ruled out, it should be given for our future guidance. 

Mr. Speaker : I have not gone through the proceedings of that day when this point of order was raised. I am yet to see what the Hon'ble Chairman ruled on that point of order and if you want me to see that ruling and revise the preposition or to remind the House of that particular ruling, I may do so to morrow. But at present, since I am not aware of the point of order on that day, I do not want to raise any controversy. 

*Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso- Raliang S.T.) : It was not the Chairman who gave the ruling on that day. You were in   the Chair and I raised a point on that day when the Mover of the motion was absent without any written authority and the seconder of the proposed motion was allowed to move because he has signed. 

Mr. Speaker : If you are referring to the ruling that I have already given let us take lit for granted that the motion  of thanks moved by Mr. D.D. Pugh will always stand in this name, and in this absence, I allowed the seconder to move the motion to hanks before the House. This is actually a new convention and if I have given my ruling on that day let us taken it for your futr8u4e guidance. I would remind each and every member of the House that those who would like to move the motion of thanks  on the Governor's Address should be personally present inside the House so that there will be no difficulty and, I thin of the present let  us leave the matter here. 

Shri P.  Ripple Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T. ) : As the hon. member, Mr. Hynniewta, has pointed out for future guidance I would like to know whether we should take it as a special case or we should impress upon the member to be present so that no difficulty will arise out of this. I think Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would crave your indulgence again to make a very clear ruling. 

Mr. Speaker : In fact, I want to close this matter here. In some Assemblies this provision to move the motion of thank is necessary and since this is a new case altogether it is not for me to decide the future course and let me try to bring it out in the Presiding Officers' Conference, so that there will be uniformity, let us say, for the whole country as well. As the matter stands let us close it. 

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) : I humbly submit what is slightly irrelevant is whether the motion of thanks should be moved at all. This is a matter which you said you would like to bring out in the Presiding Officers Conference. We are a little bit doubtful. We want to know whether for future guidance whether a person who moves the motion of thanks should be present in the House or a person not authorised by him can move that motion. I said this from the very very beginning.

Mr.  Speaker : That is exactly which we can thrash out not only at the Speakers' Conference but at the Rules Committee level also because we are yet to frame our own rules. I do not want to give guide line for future guidance. Let this present rule remain for this session.

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) : Sir, you have been given power under Rule 115 to regulate anything which is not regulated by the rules. All questions not specially provided for in this rule should be regulated in such a manner as the Speaker may from time to time direct. If it is not specifically provided you have the right to make regulations and it is our duty to abide by these regulations. Therefore, since it is not specifically provided we humbly submit to you that we would like you to give us a ruling on this point. 

Mr. Speaker : At present you are really very anxious that I should give a ruling for future guidance. So in this particular case although I think I allowed the seconder to move the motion of thanks, for future guidance I would say that it is the prime mover himself who should be present otherwise he should give in writing to his seconder to move the motion of thanks. 

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) : It is not clear this time to whom we should ascribe the honour. 

Mr. Speaker : The hon. Member has not understood. I have given a ruling on that day. Although Mr. Darwin Pugh was not present on that day, the motion of thanks will stand in his name. Now let us resume the debate on the Governor's Address. 

Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I request you to allow me to speak on the Governor's Address?

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Marak, I will give you only five minutes to speak. 

Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) : I am grateful to the Governor for  making mention of education and steps taht have been taken to improve the educational system in aided schools and Government aided M.E. Schools. In our democratic country education is the most important subject. Unless the people are educated, democracy cannot work efficiently. Mr, Speaker, Sir, it is heartening to know that the number of good schools has increased in our State. Our Government is also active to remove the difficulties that our teachers and educationists have been facing from primary to the high schools stages. One thing I am very glad to mention here in this august House is with regard to Government Aided M.E. Schools. I want to mention here about Chambilgiri M.E. Schools which is being kept pending since the year 1970. This Chambilgiri M.E. School was proposed to be provincialised. But what happened I do not know Sir. But one thing Sir, I request the Government to take this matter into consideration. Moreover, the Chokpot M.E. Schools also should be considered for provincialisation. 

        Another point Sir, while appreciating the Government for their work specially in the border in 1970, I would like so say that in different places so many camps have been constructed by the contractors. Mr. Speaker, Sir, these sheds have been constructed for the refugee who came from Bangladesh. But payment for these construction works has been long pending. Hundred of thousands of coolies are waiting or this payment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government, at least should consider this time because more than three hundred or four hundred contractors are also waiting and they are loitering hither and thither for getting their long pending payment. We the members of the Central Relief Committee of Garo Hills have been sitting there many times but we cannot find any solution. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is an important and serious matter. After al we human beings may face such troubles which may be created by these Pakistani people, nobody knows. So Sit, in future we may not get or it will not be possible to engage any contractor. So, Sir, I would request the Government, through you, to kindly take upon this matter immediately otherwise people in the border area (bell rang) will not be in trouble. Mr. Speaker, 'Sir, only one minute please. Just the day before yesterday I have gone to Tura where heavy cyclone swept the Garo Hills and some school buildings and villages have been leveled to the ground. This is very very serious and I think Government also had received this information and hon. Members also have been there and they also have seen.  So, Sir, regarding this matter, I would request Government to please collect the date and get a correct information from  Garo Hills.

        With these few words I resume my seat. 

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Cecil Marak. 

Shri William Cecil R. Marak (Selsella) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, while speaking on the Governors' Address, I would like to point out certain points in the field of industries. At page 8 of the Speech it is given like this- "After creation of the State of Meghalaya, steps were initiated to take over the Assam Cements Co., Limited located at Cherra". I would like to draw the attention of the Government, Mr. Speaker,  Sir, this initiative step taken by the Government, is very much essential. I am very glad that the Government is taking steps to take over the Assam Cements Co., Ltd. Mr. Speaker, Sir, while considering about the stock of cement, I would say that these is not stock of cement at Tura in Garo Hills at present. So, I request the Government to see that cement stock is given to Tura also so that the people of Tura town can get cement very easily and at reasonable rate. At present, the people of Tura have to buy cement from the open- market at a rate which exceeds Rs. 24/25.00 per bag and the people cannot just afford to pay that. So, this is my request to the Government, through you Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Government be helpful at least to the people of Garo Hills by giving a stock of cement to  Tura. 

        Now, coming to communication - road communication, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to mention about my own constituency, Selsella, where there is one road known as Damjonggiri- Selsella Road. It was taken over by the District Council. I just want to know whether it was now taken over by the State Public Works Department. If it has not been taken over by the State Public Works I would request the Government that this road be taken over by the State so that the people of Selsella can get the benefit out of that. 

        (j)Regarding employment, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I Would like to know the personnel policy of the Government. Here  it is only mentioned "The personnel policies of the Government have been so formulated as to reserve a number of vacancies at the lower levels to be filled up by direct recruitment." This only mentions about the lower level and not about reservation of vacancies at the higher level to be filled up by direct recruitment. So, I request the Government that reservation of vacancies at the higher should also be made. I would specially draw the attention of the Government that while considering the question of reservation of a number of vacancies, the Government may please see that equal quota is given to the Garo people. Here it is stated that recruitments to the Secretariat and the Directorates are being done by the Selection Board. The Selection Board recommends to the  Government and the Government appoints the persons who are recommended by the Selection Board. It is further said that the District Selection Boards have been set up to make recommendations to fill up vacancies of such posts in district offices. But I do not know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, of the existence of any such district Selection Board in the district. Though it had been stated that the b District Selection Board has been constituted, it does not come to my knowledge that there has actually been such District Selection Board. 

        Then, regarding the refugees that is also a very important matter" The refugees who came to India in 1964 were given shelter in Garo Hills. But I do not know whether  they have got permanent settlement now or not and I would like to know this from the Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very much grateful to you for giving me. this chance to speak. 

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Hadem. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso- Raliang S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset I would like to congratulate the Governor for his Address. But I have also some observations to make. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the first and the foremost thing that we have come across in this Speech is under paragraph 2. It has been stated there that "It is a matter for satisfaction that the General Elections to the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya could be completed soon after Meghalaya emerged as a new State". Mr. Speaker, Sir, though we things - so many unpleasant things had occurred during the elections. One of the hon. Members from Jaintia Hills, Mr. Speaker, Sir, had referred to some misuse of District Council cars and other things during the election time and that is true. We have seen that nearly all the  District Council jeeps plied with the party flags during the election time and Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will be surprised to know that nearly all those jeeps are nor in the process of over- hauling since they have been utilised to the fullest extent and strength during the election time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have seen that this mis-utilisation of cars is still going on even today. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you may have probably seen the District Council cars coming to the Assembly.  To attend this Assembly  has got no connection with the performance of any of the duties by the Members of the Executive Committee  of the District Council and I think, Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will not probably deny this. Mr. Speaker, Sir, not only the Council cars but its personnel were also utilised rung the elections. We have seen that the staff or the Government servants were also utilised for canvassing for or in favour of the candidate of the party in power. I would like to cite comes instances in this connection, In one public meeting from the election platform at a place called Lumshnong in the Rymbai Constituency, the Upper Division Assistant of the Saipung - Darrang Development Block is canvassing for the A.P.H.L.C candidate. 

Mr. Speaker : Did you bring this thing to the notice of the Election Commission?

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not because I consider it a minor matter. Not only that Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have seen in my constituency even Gramsevaks have been taken for canvassing purpose. We hope Sir, that that thing will not happen in future. These canvassers went from house to house in Iooksi village within my constituency of Mynso-Raliang. The present Gramsevak had been also had been also rescued by his predecessor Gramsevak from another Development Block of Jowai  Development Block. Not only that Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have seen that wives of the head teachers of the district Council Lower Primary Schools of Raliang and Kyndongtuber were also taken for doing election campaign and canvassing from the platform in favour of the party  in power. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as far as I know when the head of a house is a Government. servant, the dependents of the house should also observe the same rules as  far as election is concerned. Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, the head teacher of the Mawkaiew School took earned lave purposely for canvassing in Nartiang constituency. 

Mr. Speaker : Did he take earned lave purposely for canvassing?

Shri Humphrey Hadem : We do not know exactly the order passed for granting him earned leave but we could see his going from one place to another canvassing during the election days. Also the road Muharir of the Nongbah Be t with in  the Nartiang Constituency went for house to house in the Nongbah village itself canvassing particularly for the Party in [power and so also the Overseer of Rymbai - Borghat and the Overseer of the Raliang -Sahsniang P.W.D. Road were utilised in the election campaign. Further Mr. Speaker,  Sir, we have seen that during the election time, development grants have been taken by the candidates of the party in power, I mean, the A.P.H.L.C. candidates who distributed the grants while canvassing from one place to another. Though it was mentioned here that "it is very satisfactory" it is not satisfactory when we are looking at all these things. It is also a fact Mr. Speaker, Sir, that up till now some of the contractors who are not in favour of supporting the candidates of the party in power, I mean the Public Works Department contractors, could not get even their final bills settled while on the other hand large amount of advances towards particular works allotted to the contractors supporting the A.P.H.L.C. candidates was paid during the last week of February and the first week of March this year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I want to point out there is regarding the contractors who give support to the party in power, and who were in favour of the party in power that they enjoyed the privilege of receiving advances even before the work was started while those contractors who were not in favour of the Party in power, could not yet their final bills up  till now.  

Mr. Speaker : It appear that the P.W.D is really a good Intelligence Department. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Opposition Members are themselves the intelligence. We are supposed to know and also have the right to know what the party in power is doing. Another point, Mr. Speaker, Sir, which I would like to point out is regarding the contents in paragraph 6 of the Address. It was stated therein about discontentment of the inhabitants of Block No. I and No. II of the Mikir Hills District predominantly inhabited by Pnars in those in those areas adjoining the Jaintia Hills District. It is learnt that up till now our Government, I mean, our State Government fails to have sufficient survey staff if not, nothing at all and due to this lack of efficient survey staff, there are encroachments from all sides not only from Mikir Hills, but even from Kamrup and also from the Bangladesh sides. So if the Government is not taking any prompt action by creating a Survey Department and to immediately start on the problem of encroachment which we are very much afraid, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that in the very near future, we shall be losing more and more of our territory than what we are losing at present I would, therefore, like to suggest that, not only because that it has been mentioned in paragraph 6 but from all points of safety and of keeping intact the areas of our State, an efficient and strong Department must be created immediately by the Government which should be equipped with efficient and experienced surveyors. At the same time, immediate survey of the boundaries of our State should be taken up. 

        The next point I would like to observe, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that of Paragraph 8 on the Governor's Address wherein something has been mentioned about agriculture but from last year's experience it was found that the Government did not provide bonemeal subsidy. I do not know what has been done in Khasi Hills, but so far as our Jaintia Hills District is concerned, where in cent per cent are cultivators for whom manure and hone- meal and very essential for the improvement of their crop, yet last year, it was found that the Government did not arrange sufficient subsidised bone- meal and, if there was some thing it was of an interior quality and the poor people had to find our their own means. As a result of this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the yield of our crop was very poor last year. In the Address, there is nothing mentioned of any amount ear- marked for such subsidy, even this year by the Government. I would, therefore, like to see that the Government would take necessary steps in this particular matter and to see that the cultivators receive their requirement in time. At least, the latest time would be by the 2nd week of April. Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding Paragraph 8 on road communication, I want to bring information Sir, that nearly all roads in Jaintia Hills are impassable during  monsoon seasons and as such, improvement of same should be done at the earliest possible time. 

        Touching on the hospitals of which something has been spoken on the improvement of same. I would like to point out, Sir, that so far as X-ray Plant and laboratories are concerned, our Jowai Civil Hospitals have to depend on the mercy of the Jowai Presbyterian Hospital every time. Therefore, Sir, in this regard, I would like to bring to the notice of the Government that these are the very essential apparatus and the supply of these X-ray and laboratory plants are the immediate need. 

        Regarding the cement factory, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as mentioned by the previous hon. Member, I want to bring to your notice these words in the Address "after the creation of the State of Meghalaya, steps were taken to take over the Assam Cement Factory Ltd., at Cherrapunjee." Mr. Speaker, Sir, it clearly appears that these steps are very slow. (Bell rang). Mr. Speaker, Sir, excuse me, please give me one minute more. 

Mr. Speaker : But we cannot give any indulgence to anybody. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Sir, I am not taking any indulgence Mr. Speaker, Sir, as it appears, at present this process seems to be very slow. It is learnt that some of the machineries were out of order and as a result the price of cement has gone so high and yet up till now, the factory is lint eh stand-still. I, therefore, request the Government to kindly take up the matter as immediately as possible. 

        Over and above, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to pint out something on the administration of justice. It was experienced that the process on the administration of justice was very slow and parties had to face difficulty on coming from and returning to the interiors due to constant adjournment of cases. I, therefore, request the Government, Sir, to please find out ways and means that cases be disposed of as shortly as possible. 

        We are now having our full-fledged State, Sir, and such, law and order have already come to our State; and to wipe out blames that always come to the Police Department in old saying that 'this is a corrupt departments this and that." (Bell rang). Excuse me Sir, for one minute more. I would, therefore, like to suggest that since they have to do their duty twenty- four house, their pay should be increased to match equally with their burden. Their pay is really very low compared to the duties rendered by them. Last of all, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out about the Printing and Stationery Department. This department is very slow in bring in to publication out publication. For instance, we receive the publication of Meghalaya Gazette even after two weeks from the date of publication. So there is not meaning at all in subscribing such publication wherein development as well as so many important things such as notices of tenders, advertisements for posts, are published. So, I would suggest that the Government will please  take some steps by enlarging the present strength of the staff which has only two employees so that the Department may run smoothly. With these few words, I resume my seat. 

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Khongwir. 

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir ( Mawlai S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to participate in the general discussion on the Governor's Address delivered on the 25th of last month. Before I continue with my discussion, I would like to request you, Sir, kindly to inform me how many minutes are given to a Member. 

Mr. Speaker : 15 minutes to each Member. 

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir : While discussing on the Governor's Address, I would like to draw the attention of the House to these lines at Page I which read as follows :

        "This day will go down as a red letter day in the history of Meghalaya, for it marks the culmination of years of arduous struggle of the hill people to ensure that their institutions and their culture are safeguarded and the people of these region take their rightful place in the life of the nation."

        It constitutes a very important and significant gesture on the part of the Government. So far as the struggle of the hills people is concerned, he lines- "it marks the culmination of years of arduous struggle of the hill people...." is very much consoling and gratifying too because of the acknowledgement accorded by the Government to the entire hill people in the struggle for the attainment of this full-fledged State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the last elections we have seen posters, specially in our district, which run like this : " Vote for A.P.H.L.C. candidate, the Party which is responsible for the creation or attainment of the Hills State". In this regard I would like to congratulate the Government for brining out this truth, the reality, for giving this right to the entire gamut of the hill people for their struggle in this connection. 

         The next line is to ensure that the institutions and their culture are safeguarded. These lines are very vital and I should say that they constitute the core or the theme around which the entire Address of the Governor, which also happens to be a policy statement on the part of the Government, revolves. The other point, I want to bring here is the last part of the sentence I have just read, i.e., that the people of this region take their rightful place in the life of the nation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to remind that before our people can take a rightful place in the life of the nation, I should think that before we can do that, we should have ample chance to take a rightful place in our own State. Because charity always begins at home. So Mr. Speaker,  Sir, as time at my disposal is very limited, I would like to pass on to the next point. 

        In the Address of the Governor, a large portion of it deals with the emergence of a new State of Bangladesh. In so far as this portion is concerned, I would like to express my hearty congratulations to the able leadership of our beloved Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, and to the courageous attitude that our jawans and the people of India as a whole have shown in this connection. I would like to pass on to the question of refugees. In this connection, I would like to remind the Government through you, Sir, that during the influx of lakhs and lakhs of refugees into our district, there have been many instances where the evacuees have infiltrated indiscriminately into our capital town of Shillong. So,  Sir, with the going away of the refugees from our border areas, I would also like to request the Government if it is possible, to kindly inform the House as to whether the evacuees who have already infiltrated into this town of Shillong, have already returned to their home-land ; or are they still in Shillong?. One more thing, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I  would like to say a few word on the impact that this influx of refugees has affected our border people. While commiseration on the pathetic condition of the refugees, I would like to express my commiseration on the suffering of our people living in the border areas. I have seen, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that various programmes have been formulated with regard to the rehabilitation of our displaced people here in the border areas. I do not know, Sir, what are the steps already taken by the Government in this regard.  I would also like to express my views that there should not be any delay lest the actual displaced persons can no longer be located and in that case, many difficulties will crop up. If necessary steps have not been taken for the immediate rehabilitation of the displaced persons from the border area, they should be taken almost immediately.  In this respect, I, would like to remind the Government that in trying to rehabilitate the displaced persons, many unwanted and unscrupulous persons will come in between. There will be many middle men who will come posing as representatives of this area or that area, and then help that should go to the actual sufferers will not be available to them. 

        Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will come to the next point. I have only 12 minutes more. 

Mr. Speaker : Only seven minutes. 

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have seen in paragraph 4 of the Governor's Address, that the border, markets have been revived. But so far as my knowledge goes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have come across certain information that this is not a fact. The border markets have actually not been revived. Again I would also like to refer to paragraph 5 of the Address. This is a very important paragraph. While expressing my joy at the birth of the new district of Jaintia Hills, I would like or bring out for the information of the House by reading this piece of information I have collected. It is a notification No.HPL.36/71/43, dated 21st February, 1972. "The Governor of Meghalaya is pleased to order the formation of a new district to be known as the District of Jaintia Hills comprising Jowai Sub- division with its head quarters at Jowai And thereafter the said Jowai Subdivision will cease to form pat of the existing district of United Khasi and Jaintia Hills. The residuary areas of the existing district of United Khasi and Jaintia Hills shall be formed into a separate district to be known as the district of Khasi Hills with its headquarters at Shillong. The area which were known as British portion of the Khasi Hills prior to the commencement of the Constitution of India shall  be known as the district of Shillong with its headquarters at Shillong." So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, on this matter I would request the Government to kindly let us have a clarification. As far as we know the British portion of the Khasi Hills prior to the commencement of the Constitution, also includes Nongshluit, Laitlyngkot, Nongpoh, and other areas too. This is a copy of the notification. 

    Now Mr. Speaker I come to another point and that is with regard to the development programme that is included in page 5 of this Address. So with regard to this, I would like or congratulate the Government for the Special Development Programmes  but at the same time, remind them that those programmes should not be mere theoretical programmes. They should be real special development programmes, and not be mere illuminating or resplendent subterfuges. In this connection Sir, I would like to refer to certain water supply schemes. In my are in my constituency, there is one scheme and that is the Mawlai water supply scheme. At the same time we have got the Pynthor Umkhrah water supply scheme. Most of the members here, perhaps realised the acute water scarcity of Pynthor Umkhrah. I understand from my discussion with with the department that Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme even after getting eh approval of the Government of India will take not les than 5 years to 6 years for its completion. Therefore, if Pynthor Umkhrah is included in this water supply schemes (Shillong water supply scheme) the suffering of the people will not be alleviated simply by the fact that such a scheme is pending with the Government of India. So I would like to impress upon the Government, through you, Sir, to considerer the acute water scarcity of Pynthor Umkhrah  most sympathetically. If an alternative scheme, to be completed within 6 months or one year at the most, could be arranged the suffering of the people there could be mitigated. Now, Sir, I would like to come to another very important point  that was mentioned in the Governor's Address. With regard to this , I am very glad to mention that one of the Ministers, the Hon'ble Minister of Finance, is also connected. Sir, I would like or mention only with regard to bridges. We have two very important bridges of route No.40. One is the Mawlai Bridge on the Gauhati -Shillong Road and the other is the Byrni bridge. Byrni bridge of course, is not within my  Constituency. Sir, I have a better knowledge of the Mawlai bridge. Sir, Mawlai bridge is very narrow. Most of us, in fact, every one of us have seen and passed across the bridge. 

(Bell rang)

        But I have several other points. I have come to the middle of the bridge. Allow me to cross, Sir. 

(Laughter)

         So, at one time we, in the Mawlai Town Durbar, where the Hon'ble Finance, Minister happens also to be one of the members, decided that unless the Government widens or makes a new bridge altogether, we will stage a non-violent direct action. The Hon'ble Minister was in fact the most blatant on this point (Laughter). In this regard, Sir, I would like to impress upon the Government the necessity of constructing a large bridge or a new bridge altogether. In fact, we have already represented to the Government of Assam last year, and the Government of Assam at that time gave an assurance to this effect. But now, since we have got a State of our own, I shall be grateful to our own Government and I would like to impress upon our own Government to tackle this problem  expeditiously. 

        I will now quickly traverse to another important point- the Assam Cement Company Ltd. I shall not say anything with regard to the points which had already been touched by some of the hon. Members. But I would like only to bring out for the information of the Members the difference between the prices of cement here in Shillong and there in  Gauhati. Sometime about two years back, I purchased cement from Shillong at the rate of Rs.12 and something per bag. Then I enquired about the price I was told that the price in Gauhati was less than the price wore are getting in Shillong.  So, in this point, I am very much perplexed. With regard to medical facilities, I would like at this particular juncture to remind the assurances of my healthy friend the Health Minister. The other day he stated that it is difficult to send Nurses and  Doctors to the rural areas. But I would like to mention for the information of the Government that Mawlai Town and Pynthor Umkhrah  locality, are not rural areas. So, there will practically be no difficulty to establish dispensaries with doctors and nurses in these areas. In the Primary Health Centre in Mawlai there are no beds. Doctor comes there only three times in a week. The Centre is in a rented house and it is very difficult to do justice to many patients who come for getting their medical treatment. 

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, now I will come to the very important point that is paragraph 9 with regard to the personnel policies. In this connection I would like to mention that we are glad that we have our own Government. I would like to mention that we are glad that we have our own Government. The Government of Assam would soon be moved to another place in the plains. In this connection, within a few weeks or within a few years many offices of the State Government of Assam would be moving down to some areas in the plains and as a consequence, many of the Meghalaya employees now serving under the  State Government of Assam would be affected. Most of them would have to go to the plains and unless and until our Government could absorb them, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this will undoubtedly cause them a lot of inconveniences and troubles, especially the tribal employees who are not used to the climatic condition of the plains. At the same time, Sir, if you can keep them here in our State, it will prevent all family disruptions and all such things. So I would impress upon our Government through you,  Sir, to really think over this and, as far as possible, to absorb all those employees who would be shifted down to the plains and to keep and prevent them from all these difficulties. I will leave the less important points. Sir, I feel that I would be failing in my duty if I fail to make a mention about education. Sir, I am not an educationist, but I have been involved, rather I have experienced in education for the last 20 years or so right from pre- primary upto Post-graduate. So, with regard to this,  Sir, I would like to say a few words on primary education. Education itself is the key to the upliftment of the community. 

Mr. Speaker : Your time is over. 

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir : Just a few more minutes Sir, I would like to impress upon the Government to lay more emphasis on elementary education and as the saying goes - "Take care of the penny and the pound will take care of itself" - and if you know how to take care of primary education, I think secondary and college stages will know to take care of themselves. 

Mr. Speaker : Do you men to say that primary education should be taken over by the State Government?

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, I am definitely aware that the Lower Primary  Schools are not within the purview of the Government. But Sir, we know that the State Government has got  financial control over the District Council and in so many instances, consultations are required with the State Government. 

Mr. Speaker : Your time is up. Mr. Kyndiah. 

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir : Just tow more minutes Sir. With regard to some important points, I would like to inform the Hon'ble Minister who is in-charged of Social Welfare through you Sir, that we have already missed one hockey tournament this year and if proper and immediate steps are not taken, we shall also miss in Shillong the most important football tournament just because of rostrum there.  So I would like to impress upon the Hon'ble Chief Minister through you, Sir, if it is not inconvenient on his part to dismantle the rostrum as we have already completed inauguration of the State of Meghalaya. 

Mr. Speaker : That is understood.  So what is your next point. 

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir : Jail Sir. Though I have not been inside the jail I could gather some information from outside. The condition of the jail, as already brought out by the hon. Member from Mawhati is deplorable. I would like to say something about the treatment of the prisoners in the jails. 

Mr. Speaker : The Chief Minister has already give assurance to take steps and to take care of the jails. 

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir : So I would like to remind the Chief Minister that there is no proper segregation. There is only one segregation, one side for female and one side for male. With regard to the other segregation, it is blank. Sir, as of today, there are two lepers in the Shillong jail and three T.B. patients and so far as my information goes, there is no visitors' Board to look after the welfare of the prisoners. 

Mr. Speaker : Since the Chief Minister has given assurance, I request the hon. Member to suggest to the Chief Minister the steps to be taken to look after this matter. 

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir : I would suggest to the Chief Minister to kindly look into this matter and if, according to the Jail Manual, it is vital and necessary to constitute a Visitors' Board which has not been constituted for the last two or three years, such a Board should be constituted. With these few words I resume my seat. 

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Kyndiah. 

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, when you called out my name, I wanted to speak observing the discipline of the House, but as the hon. Member was still standing I did not stand up. I thought I needed your protection and for that I am very much obliged to you. 

         At the very outset I like to mention that the Address given by the Governor is a document which will go down in the history of the Hills people as one which will be a fore-bearer of the things to come. I am very happy that a special mention was made  in the very first paragraph about the role played by the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, in bringing about the culmination of the aspirations of the hills people. This, I feel, is right and proper for us that we should have a proper prospective of the State of Meghalaya as it comes today. The Member from the Mawhati Constituency made a mention of the last general election in which the Party to which I belong had made poster campaign, mentioned abut the role the A.P.H.L.C. has played in bringing about the State. I feel that it is only a matter of fact. On the 10th of November, 1970, the Prime Minister made a statement in the Lok Sabha whereby she had mentioned and declared that Meghalaya would be upgraded to a full State. A statehood in principle was accepted. Many of my friends in the Opposite held a different view but the Party to which I belong had stuck to it like a leech. We have tried to educate the people  of the Hills and ultimately, we have come to this House where we can sit together by the will of the people as representatives of Meghalaya as a whole. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the mention made of Mrs. Indira Gandhi as a person who was mainly instrumental in bringing about the coming of the State is not only good but real and sound. Of course, I do not like to minimise the role played by the people of the Hills that it is due to the attitude of the Hills that it is due to the attitude of the Hills people and their determination to struggle all along that we have reached the State today and Meghalaya becomes a full State. Without going into the details, I would like also to make a mention, a passing reference to the attitude of the Government of Meghalaya which then was an Autonomous State. 

        I must congratulate the Government of Meghalaya for having pressed the Election Commission to hold the election within the quickest time possible. If we imagine for a moment hat the State was inaugurated on the 21st January 1972 and of the election taking place on the 9th March it is really a very small gap of time but somehow the  Government of Meghalaya having seized of the feeling of the people should be respected and that no Ruling Party can go on for a long time and that the elections had taken place. Therefore, I must congratulate the Government of Meghalaya for having been able to do that. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, statehood is only means to an end and its objective would be to build a prosperous and progressive State. This is the end for which we are striving hard to achieve and how to do it is through a process of self generating economy and social activities based on active and willing cooperation and definitely on the involvement of the people on this very important and vital objective to which I would like to make a reference. Therefore, whatever we do it would be well for the Government to obtain the involvement of the people for in this process the State can fulfill its objective better and more effectively. I would like to say that if this sense of responsibility is not found amongst us and the Government I have a feeling that we will not be able to do much and our efforts proved fruitless. I would like this ingredient of people's participation and involvement has to be reinforced and to see constantly that we conduct ourselves in such a way that we will be able to build up a prosperous State and I am confident that the people will cooperate in building such a State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I know that the House will stand adjourned at 12.30 p.m. and I would liker, therefore, to deal with this important matter of the economy of the State. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are aware the economy of our State lies of the return of the lost ground. We have lost ground on many occasions. As far back as in 1947 when partition took place we had to go across a great difficulty as the petition had dislocated the economy of the State.  This brought in the disruption of the lives of the people of the border areas. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a fact as you know, that the whole economy of the State is linked up with the economy of the border areas and partition has very much affected our border people. We have a population of about 4 lakhs in the border areas and if the economic life of the border people is affected it will affect also the future of our State as a whole. Therefore, Sir, this is a great problem and I would like to make out here that we have lost ground in 1947. Our people in the border areas had to leave their home and hearths to become refugees in search of livelihood. Some of them have become victims of hunger, victims of disease and victims of all kinds of difficulties. We were  striken with ware which came in 1965 and about a week of the Indo- Pakistan war, the trading there in the border came to a stand still and above all, the life of the people was exposed to insecurity, and to all kinds of unspeakable difficulties and hardships. these are the two factors which had played in the economy of the border and lost of border trade. Therefore, in the context, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the new factor which has come out  recently as a result of the emergence  of Bangladesh as a Sovereign Republic. Now, with the emergence of Bangladesh the socio- economic picture of this whole region ahs undergone a tremendous change had I believe it will be a blessing to the new State. In this regard, I would like to pay my gratitude to the dynamic leadership of our Prime Minister who, with there endeavour, has brought out Bangladesh into being. Now, in so far a insecurity is concerned, I can see that it will be eliminated an there will the resumption of trade and communication with Bangladesh. But a part from the border trade and the benefit to the refer people it is for us to see that we have to be up and doing on a certain situation and that  situation is being created now in the whole of India and its relation Bangladesh. We knew that some time back, there was a trade  agreement between India and Bangladesh with a view to bring more co-operation and good will between the two people of the two States. What I would like to refer to day precisely is to the recent Indo-Bangladesh Trade Agreement and we all know this agreement was signed on the 28th March this year. The agreement provides three tier trade term for trading approximately about 100 crores of rupees. I presume the firs thing will be that the Government trade on lines with the import and export business we have with other countries. The second thing would be a barrier system by which Government will get the exchange benefit without going through the process of international trade. Then there is a border free trade within 16 kilometres areas in the border and the trade will be carried out by people living in the border areas without having to undergo the custom duties or currency exchange or control. Now, in this, I feel, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this trade agreement, good as it is and significant as it is, contains all that the Government of Meghalaya should be fully seized up with the full situation by taking full advantage of the benefits accruing from this trade agreement. To the best of my knowledge an information I know that there has been some improvement on the 1965 trade agreement in as much as the person who is residing in the border belt. 

Mr. Speaker :- Will you continue in the afternoon ? I give your 15 minutes, think you have had about 12 minutes.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Well, Mr. Speaker, I would like to resume my seat and speak in the afternoon, so that I can be more brief.

 Mr. Speaker : The House stands adjourned till 2.p.m.

        The Assembly met at 2.p.m. with the Speaker in the Chair. 

Mr. Speaker : Now Mr. Kyndiah to resume his speech. 

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker Sir, I was making a reference to the Indo- Bangladesh Trade Agreement. I had made about a case that the Government of Meghalaya should  take full advantage of the benefits that will accrue out of this Trade Agreement. I think it is right and proper to make known of the peculiar conditions of the border people for which trade facilities have to be extended. We have a number of exports to the Bangladesh. The agricultural produce, the forest produce and other things and in so far as agricultural produce is concerned, I think we should take steps that the traditional produces like areca nut, pan- leaf and oranges are given exporting facilities.  Then forest produce like timber and stone and things like that, and mineral produce like lime-stone and whatever produce that we are going to export to Bangladesh according to this agreement should be with a view to see  that the produce like coal or lime-stone should not be exported raw but into a  mechanised way. I may say that even the Cement Factory in Chatak used to get raw materials from Philippines. It is worthwhile that we should create and industrial complex in the border area with a view to generating employment potential, A part from economic generation in the border area we should set up small industrial unit to manufacture clinker for exporting to Bangladesh. So also in the case of coal. What I am trying to emphasize is whatever mineral products we are going to export it should generate employment potentialities. 

        Now I would like to touch on another point and this has found place in the Governor's Address and that is in regard to development. It has been mentioned that special developmental programmes outside the plan will be taken up which is in line with the programmes of my Party the A.P.H.L.C. when we have mentioned that it will undertake urban developmental schemes fro improvement of  Shillong, Tura and Jowai Towns. In so far as towns like Tura and Jowai are concerned,  I believe in theory " to catch them young" and the problem which we have to day in Shillong will not be repeated. That is because of the fact that we had not brought the town into the fold of Town Planning. Therefore, if any developmental project should be taken up by the Government it should be on the basis of infrastructure of the Town Planning. (Bell rang )... and I feel that it is high time also that towns like Jowai and Tura should be brought in under statutory bodies like municipalities. In so far as Shillong is concerned, as we see today, the most important thing is the acute water supply position which I have made  known from time to time in this House and I feel that  this problem is very serious. This problem has confronted as for the last few days because of the breakdown of pipe- line and there has been a lot of confusion amongst the people. We have to take steps to see that this problem of water supply should be given top priority consideration. Secondly, I feel that it is not inconceivable that in Police Bazar at Shillong in certain areas gutted by recent fire lands be acquired accommodate for the purposes of making  model shopping centres while remembering those people who are suffering from fire. Another point that I would like to bring out is in regard to the administrative machinery and I will take just a minute. In the last Assembly I had mentioned rather I had cautioned Government to go slow in regard to this system of single file system which has been partly adopted by the Government for it does come in the way of smooth functioning of the administration. We have heard a lot of complaints about its efficacy. I feel the Government should review the working of this single- file system. With these words, I resume my seat. 

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we thank the Governor for the Address made by him but we regret to note that the Government has not mentioned any definite steps, definite policies and programmes in order to bring a rapid development in our State. The development programmes envisaged in this Address of the Governor falls for a short of the minimum expectation of the people of our State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, many amendments had been moved by the Members  of the Opposition in respect of this Address. Many of these amendments are in deed very essential; many  of these amendments  actual by are of constructive nature, and I hope the Government  will fully take all these amendments and suggestions that have been pt forward by the Members of the Opposition into consideration and try to implement the constructive  suggestions that have been made. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the Address many hon. Members have already spoken as to the short comings of the plans and policies that have been adopted by the Government. Time does not permit me to refer to all the amendment have been moved by the Members of the Opposition and it is not also necessary because some of the hon. Members have already spoken on them. But I will refer in my speech to some which I consider are really very important. Mr. Speaker, Sir, only a short time ago we had ratified the Constitution (Twenty fifth Amendment)  Act. We had approved of the Bill because we considered that it is a step in order to ameliorate the economic condition of the poor and oppressed sections of the people of our country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we regret to say that in this Address there is no mention of any steps being taken by the Government in order to raise the standard of living of the poorest classes of the people. Sir, if were really to serve our country, I believe we have to serve those people who suffer most. We are to serve the down-trodden and the poor. We have to try to improve their conditions to lessen the burden which has fallen on their shoulders. In this connection single work being said about the steps that are going to be taken by the Government in order to improve the living conditions of the, I regret to say that in the Address we fail to find our a suffering people. there has been a mention in the Governor's Address with regard to what has been referred by my friend just now, that is, special development programmes, special programmes relating to re-grouping of villages in Garo Hills, road projects of strategic and economic importance, Shillong Water supply scheme, development of Shillong, Tura and Jowai Towns, Sir, in this regard I want so say that in many parts of Shillong we find there are many slum areas, we find people living in the areas.  I fail to find adequate words to express the horrible condition of the people living in the slum areas. Now, nothing has been mentioned as to what steps are being taken by the Government to improve these slum areas to clear them and to improve the living conditions of the people living in these places. 

        Sir, there has also been mention in the Address with regard to the Shillong Water Supply scheme that has been prepared and submitted to the Government of India for technical scrutiny and arranging of funds. Shillong water supply is a problem not only now; it has always been a problem for many years. I wish at least some of our Ministers will go in the morning or in the evening to some of the parts of Shillong. They will find streams of people with their buckets standing in queue to get a bucket of water. The condition is really very hard but surprisingly the public have been patient. Let us not, however, be complacent for though they might have been patient till now a time may come when they will not be able to tolerate the suffering and the situation will go our of control. Sir, special attention should always be paid in order to improve the day to day requirements of the people. We should improve the water supply position; we should improve the means of transport and communication, we should improve the supply of light. Now, what has happened actually. Although it has been said that there has been a special scheme for improvement of the Shillong Water Supply, but what do we find? We find that there is no control whatsoever on the part of the Government to check the wanton destruction of the forests from which the sources of water supply spring. When we look at the hills opposite this place where we are sitting today, we find that the sources of water supply  for the whole of Shillong spring from these places. Now, all these forests have been totally destroyed; they are being destroyed every day. But we find that the Government has taken no steps whatsoever in order to control the destruction of these forest.

        Further,  Sir, I want to say that the first part of the address made by Governor relates to the liberation of Bangladesh. In the first part of the Address of the Governor, it has been said that the economy and administration in Meghalaya had to undergo severe strain owing to the tremendous influx of evacuees from Bangladesh fleeing from the atrocities of the Pakistani military forces. And further it has been said also that the influx of refugees imposed an enormous strain on this small State and the District administration had to concentrate their energies upon tackling the refugees influx by arranging for their food and shelter and completing the registration of the evacuees as foreign nationals. Now, were quite agree that at that period of them all our officers were very busy. They were engaged to look after the camps of the refugees. We quire agree that the problem is a very big one. Many hon. Members have already spoken on the magnitude of this problem at the time the refugees came to our country in waves and many of them have been settled in Balat, in Pongtung and in m ah other places scattered all over the border areas they have squatted on lands of our border people. I want to say that many pf the border people on whose land the camps have been erected for sheltering these refugees have suffered a great hardship; many of them have no other means of livelihood except from the income derived from these lands. Many of the fruit trees from their groves have been cut down and destroyed during these days but no assessment has been made and nothing has been done to aid the affected persons. Now, they are very poor people. I hope the Government will take into consideration the hardship that has been faced by these people and try their level best to assess and pay full compensation for what has been lost by them. In the Address of the governor it ahs been stated that the liberation of Bangladesh holds out an era of progress for that border areas through the revival of trade on both sides of the border. In this connection, it has also been the hope of many people of the border area that the trade will improve and that with the opening up of the trade, which they had always enjoyed before independence and from ancient times, there will be improvement  in their economic conditions., But I may mention in this connection that we should not be complacent ; we should not be satisfied only with the liberation of Bangladesh and consider that by this alone the whole economic problem of our border areas has been solved and that there will no longer be any fear of any economic hardship arising at any time in these areas in future. Sir, trade with a foreign country is governed by so many rules and regulations and other international trade laws. At times difficulties arise in the sale and export of our goods. We should therefore depend more on the markets inside our own country where the border produce can be sold. Most of the produces are perishable and actually if at any time, a ready market is not available the people will suffer. This has always been an acute problem of the border people since partition. Immediately after the partition, we had made pressing demand that in order to revive the economic condition of the people in the border areas we should try to find our markets for their goods inside our own country, to divert their products to other markets in India  and for this we have always pressed that roads should be built lup along the border areas. I regret to say that many  of these roads which have been surveyed about 20 years ago have not as yet been completed up till now and for that reason the people suffered and their groves have been destroyed as they were no longer able to maintain them, to clear and weed them. It is necessary that the Government should take up this mater in right earnest and speed up completion of the construction of the roads in the border areas. Sir, I also want to say that roads are of great importance for the  State of ours because it is our only means of communication. We do not have railways in any part of our State and the development  of road communications should receive priority. In the Address, we find that it ahs been mentioned that the State P.W.D. has since taken over the National High Way Route No.40 connecting Jorabat- Shillong - Tamabil and some other roads. It has not been mentioned that they will be improved. Sir, I must submit that if actually we want to improve the economic conditions of our people, then we have to build lup more and more industries especially in our border area. This also will, to a great extend, solve the unemployment problem. There is a present only bone major industry in the State, i.e., the Assam Cements which has now been taken over by this Government. In this connection, I want to say that the Government should pay special attention to this Factory because it will be one of the main sources of income for our State. We want to have more industries in our State and for this, improved means of communications is very essential. All the roads and bridges should be re-constructed in such a manner that they will be able to bear higher load capacity so that heavier vehicles may be able to ply. 

        Sir, there has also been mention in the Governor's Address that in the field of education the Government of India has agreed to establish a Central University. We have been hearing of this University for 4 or 5 years now, but up till now we have not seen even the site of that University. It has become a matter which is of immediate necessity. We should have a University of our own as soon as possible so that our students may be able to get admission in this University. After we have got a State of our own it may be difficult for out students to get admission in Universities outside our own State. This University should be started as soon as possible. I want also to refer to one of the amendments that has been moved by one of our Members. An Excise Act for our news State has not been mentioned in the Governor's Address. We have seen a number of Bills that have been introduced here, like Meghalaya Assembly Members' (Salaries and Allowances) Bill, Meghalaya Minister's (Salaries and Allowances) Bill, etc. What I want to say is that as conditions stand at present we do not have an Excise Act to control the distillation of liquor in the rural areas of Khasi and Jaintia Hills. At present, the distillation of liquor in the rural areas of Khasi Hills is without any control whatsoever and there has been no check practically on the smuggling of liquor into the town. This has ruined  the morality and health especially of the young people of our State. Many of them have become addicted to the habit of drinking from a very young age. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we want to improve the economic condition of our people, if we want to improve the health of our people, we have to introduce the Excise Act to control the distillation of liquor in our  State. 

        Again with regard to judiciary, I want to say that no steps have been taken to separate judiciary from the executive in the administration. A Bill has been introduced to amend the rule for the administration of justice and police in the Khasi and Jaintia District. Now these are obsolete rules and they were introduced and passed many years ago. They are not suitable in the present circumstances. 

Mr. Speaker : Your time is up. 

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : There are a few other things which I would like to say. But since my time is up I cannot help it. 

Mr. Speaker : There are many points to be expressed by other members. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, there is one serious breach of parliamentary etiquette to which I want to draw your attention. We have found that the Members of their august House have violated sub-rule (4) of Rule 275 of parliamentary etiquette and convention which says that a Member shall not pass between the Chair and any Member who is speaking. Violation of this Rule is a serious breach of parliamentary etiquette. I may request you, Sir, to be a little watchful about the breach of this parliamentary etiquette other wise the rule will be observed more in violation  than in observance.

Mr. Speaker : Indeed I am grateful to he hon. Member for printing this out. In fact, right from the very beginning I have circulated to all hon. Members and extract of the parliamentary etiquette to be used by the Members. But since most of the Members  are new, perhaps they do not understand from which door they will enterer and from which door they will come out. So far as reporters are concerned I would instruct the Chief Reporter that they should be careful not to commit this breach.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to take part in the debate on the Governor's Address which was delivered to the House. But while making my observation on this Address of the Governor, I would just, Mr. Speaker, Sir, point out certain things which we are expected to place there before this august House. Particularly in the address of the Governor about 2 or 3 pages were devoted to what happened in Bangladesh a few months ago in connection with the War between India and Pakistani for liberation of Bangladesh. Also in the subsequent paragraphs of the Address of the Governor all the points  which were dealt with in the pervious Address have found place  in the present Address as well. In fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this august House here is a new House which has come into existence only this year and w would like to know the policy of the Government ass enunciated in the Address of the Governor. In fact, the basic consideration about this new  State should have been the organisation of the State itself and by taht, I mean to say, first of all, we must see how the State will look after the stretch of its boundaries, its territories and also to see what is to be done or what is proposed to be done within this year or in the coming 5 years, to bring about development and changes in the administration and to provide scope for the economic stability of the State.

    We have seen that the ruling party has issued a pamphlet to the people that they will make this State a beauty spot or a patch of beauty in this great land of ours, India. Here I want to point our certain things which have been mentioned and also those things which have not been mentioned in the Governor's Address. Mr. Speaker, Sir,  it ahs been mentioned here about the last election as a result of which we are here today in this House. At the very beginning of the State, the first election was held. But nothing has been mentioned of what had actually happened during the elections. Many hon. Members did express about it had though those things had not been reported to the Election  Commission, it is a fact that during the last election the Government or the ruling party has misused the power in the name of Ministers or in the name of the officers of the Government in approaching the electorate. We learnt that in Garo Hills they used Government vehicles and even helicopters to go and canvass and they also utilised the publicity officers of the Government in the district. Even the police were utilised by them and we have found that some Government school teachers have been appointed  as Polling Agents for candidates of the ruling party and they have been placed at their disposal without any reservation. No doubt, it was the first election of the State and our people were also ignorant about it. We also, on our part, missed all the opportunities to bring them to the notice of the Election Commission.   

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the last election we have seen bad practices of the ruling party and they have even done things to bribe the electorate. Of course, there are some opponents also, some independent candidates, who have also done the same thing. We have started our State with this election and with that atmosphere approached the people to build up the State. These things are well known to every Government  servant, to every Minister and to all the people of the State. I think the Government servants are the eyes and ears of the Government, if it is not so, then it will be a failure on the part of the Government. 

        Another thing I want to point out is that there is no mention about the option to be given to those tribal Government servants who are still there in the State of Assam and who want to opt for the State of Meghalaya. Many of the officers did not opt for the Autonomous State then because they knew that it was a temporary arrangement. But now it has become a full  State from the 21st January, 1972. I think it is one of the criteria or one of the factors to be taken into consideration that if we want to build our own State, we must take those officers who have got the experience in running the administration. I understand that there are in the State of Assam some Khasi people and some Garos also who are willing to serve in  Meghalaya. But there is not provision or policy adopted by the Government to bring those people back to the State in spite of the fact that there is a mention somewhere in the Governor's Address that in order to bring about development in the State we have to find experienced people and get some collaboration with the Norwegian or Canadian, European or Australian. (Laughter).

        Another point which I want to say is that there is no mention regarding reorganisation of the administration in the State. There is no declared policy in what way will be the administrative policy of this Government. I will cite here one thing about the policy of appointment in the Education Department. Education is an important matter. It is one of the factors which help the growth and development of the State. But I have seen in the Education Department that there is shortage of the inspecting staff. there is shortage of clerical staff in the offices. Since there is shortage of inspecting staff, there is no inspection at all during the past yeas in our districts. Only one or two Inspectors are there but they have been entrusted with other works in     the office and they have no time for inspection work. 

        There is also shortage of staff in the Treasury. The other day I failed to attend this session as I had to draw the salaries of teachers as secretary of certain school. 

        I also found in the Shillong Treasury that there is shortage of staff. Usually there is a heavy rush in the treasury especially before closing of the financial year. To deal with urgent works some staff are engaged for over-time  work. they are working the whole day and till late hours at night. But on enquiry I found that there is no special pay or special allowance considered for them. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we all know, our State is a newly born State and as such, the administration of the State is being organised. This morning I learnt  that there is one post of the District Probation Officer. In the past few months this officer was entrusted with certain works of nutrition programme of the Government of India. This nutrition programme is a Centrally Sponsored scheme and the expenditure is met by the Government of India. If it is so, the pay and allowances of the officer-in-charge and the staff engaged for this programme should also be paid by the Government of India. The post of the District Probation Officer is a technical one but in spite of that the officer is also entrusted with the responsibility of the Social Education Officer. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to draw the attention of the Government to this fact. Now, in the matter of administration, I would like to say that there must be a policy which in fact from the very beginning, will pull the administration in a right way. Another point I would like to mention is with regard to the boundary demarcation. This is a very fundamental thing. No doubt, we have got a State of our own comprising of the Districts of Garo Hills, the Khasi Hills and the Jaintia Hills with the exception of some parts of Shillong which is the heart of the State has now become a police district (Laughter) or a police State. The European Ward of Shillong has become a police State. To my mind, it seems that we have lost the most important territory of our State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this of course was envisaged in the Re-organisation Act. But nothing has been mentioned in this regard in the Governor's Address. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a cry of our people along the border of Kamrup and Nowgong districts. The Khadar Bangthai area is part and parcel of the Mylliem Syiemship but there is no boundary mark and as a result, the people living there are very much affected by the activities of the Forest Department the land settlement and also by the contractors from Kamrup and there is no attempt on the part of the Government to stop all that and to include this area in our State. Then with regard to the group of villages of Nongwah, there is an agreement signed between the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup and the Deputy Commissioner, Shillong in the year 1875-76 transferring this area to the Kamrup District for administrative convenience only though in fact this area belongs to Sohiong Lyngdohship and there is no boundary mark. The people of this area have been threatened with various forces the land settlement forces, the forest forces and the police forces. The police forces are being kept in the jungles to frighten the people and for the purpose of intruding into our areas of Khasi Hills. In another area  which we call Nongma and Nongmynsaw also there is no boundary mark right from Kyrshai to Hahim., After the announcement of the full fledged State, the people of the area have come up to smash all the forest, and brought cattle (Nepali Khutis) to settle there, and the local people are being frightened by the people of the other side with the support of the armed police from Boko. Mr.  Speaker, Sir, these areas are very important for the economic development of the State in future and they are vital areas for the establishment of industries, major industries and factories. In the northern part of Nongstoin and Rambrai Syiemship, there are places where deposits of magnetic iron ores are found in plenty. We can raise iron and steel factory in these areas some time later. But if we lose these areas, it means that the scope for development of major industries, etc., is also lost,. Not only that , we will also lose the belt which is full of sal trees and bamboos. Bamboos are the raw materials for setting up of a paper factory in the State. If we lose these areas we will be deprived of this opportunity and in the near future we will have to buy raw materials for paper industry from the nearby States or districts. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is regarding the boundary demarcation in the northern parts of the State. In the southern parts of the State, I have visited areas about 110 miles along the border of the Khasi Hills District. In these areas, there are plain fields belonging to the people of this district which have been attached to Pakistan some time before the creation of Bangladesh. These areas I mean the 7 Thanas of Garo Hills which used to be parts of Garo Hills District. So also the Jaintiapur which used to be part of Jowai and I would like to point our that these area should be brought within the State of Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker,  Sir, I do not know whether our Government which has sacrificed men to fight a war against Pakistan and got Bangladesh installed there, will take into account the necessity of having demarcation line along our areas bordering Bangladesh. For the last few years (1964-66) the Pakistani surveyors used to move inside the jungles for fixing the boundary pillars while our surveyors were waling on the road and thus gave chance to the Pakistani Surveyors to fix the boundary marks according to their convenience. Now it is for this Government, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to struggle to bring back all these territories to the  State.  

        Another point, Mr. Speaker, Sir, on which I would like to speak is regarding the influx  of refuges, in fact has damaged the low lands of our border areas, forests, other properties and what not, but no doubt they have left there the fertility. If this Government is going to develop the economic condition of the State, why not now this Government take up a scheme immediately and irrigate all these lands? why not this Government immediately rehabilitate all our people? There is nothing here, in fact, mentioned about rehabilitation, I mean there is no specific mention about it and I am afraid, months and years will pass by doing nothing and another election will come. Then another thing, last year, our Government accommodated many refugees from Bangladesh. And now after Bangladesh achieved its independence many of them have gone back while more are still here. So, why not now our Government adopt such policy to check these people who are coming to our State. We are not allowed to go there but the people from there are coming. Do you remember,  Sir, a few years back, when we walked in the Police Bazar area in the evening we felt so lonely. But now if you will walk in the Police Bazar area you will have to push right and left. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I doubt whether they are the rightful citizens of our State or they may be infiltrators. This will also create, Mr. Speaker, Sir, a very very dangerous situation to the existence of our people. We have only 3 lakhs of people here an you remember Sir, here in Shillong, if you look at the censuses of the previous census operations, it was only about 80 thousand people here in Shillong town. I do not know, Sir, whether they have done any family planning or not to decrease the population, but Sir, if you go and try to find out the fact you will find that they have been increasing well by allowing infiltration of people from Bangladesh into our State. Those people who have been allowed by Government to stay with their relatives during the Bangladesh war, are now here to multiply the population of the State. 

Mr. Speaker : Your time is up. 

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Thank you,  Sir. 

Mr. Speaker : Now, Mr. Hynniewta. 

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very proud to be in this House. The level of discussion that has taken place is very high although many of us are inexperienced while others have been de-experienced. On the whole there is a homely atmosphere pervading the debates. Sir, you have been listening attentively to the speeches and how must have discovered a number of pinching critical remarks leveled at the Government but most of them were delivered in a friendly spirit. I think, Sir, this august well for the future of our State. We may not be able to do much but if we can lay down the spirit of accommodation and give and take approach to our problems in that spirit, we can appeal to the sense of justice of the Members on the opposite, I am sure Sir, we shall have laid the foundation of a truly democratic State. 

        Personally I think, Sir, we should not copy the activities taking place in other Legislative Assemblies in the form of a lot of shouting, walkout and so on and so forth- I don't think this will help in running the administration of our State smoothly. I am thankful to those Members of the Treasury Benches who have contributed in a large measure to the entertainment of the said spirit of accommodation. 

        Sir, it pains, me, however, when I found the other day non-tribal Members accusing the Government of discriminatory outlook for having enacted the Land Transfer Regulation Act of 1971. Sir, we the Hill people have been fighting since the attainment of independence, nay, even before that, for a place in the sun- a land governed by us that will belong to us and our children for generations and generations to come. The achievement of a State of our own will be meaningless if the Hill people do not have preference in jobs and possession of  land. 

        We gave been able to maintain our racial identity because to a great extent land is still under our control and possession but once our lands are taken away from us through the unfettered and indiscriminate purchase by non -tribals the Hill people will in no time be reduced to an insignificant minority in their traditional homeland. There are thousands and thousands of non-tribals willing to purchase our lands and settle therein because of their scenic beauty, richness in hydro-electricity, mineral resources and so on and so forth. I repeat, Sir, that if we allow non-tribals to purchase land indiscriminately then before long the people of Khasi Hills and Garo Hills will be reduced to a minority in their homeland. As a case in point, I will refer to the case of the Tripuris who, before the attainment of Independence constituted the overwhelming majority in the native State of Tripura. The position now has been reversed after the influx of refugees from East Pakistan immediately in the wake of Independence, so much, so that the Tripuris are now having only 19 seats reserved for them in a House of 60. It is too much for me to say, Sir, that we do not like this fate to overtake us. So, Sir, our very survival is inextricable liked up with the preservation of our ownership over land. 

        In our new State, Sir, there are people hailing from different parts of the country and outside. They come mainly from Bengal and Nepal and some hail from their residual State of Assam. Whatever happens to them in their adopted place of residence, their homeland is quire secure and the identity of their numerous races I always intact. To their homeland they can always return whenever they desire. But for us, Sir, it is the other way round. The threat of being swamped out of existence is right here in our very midst, here in our traditional homeland. For every patch of land that slips out of our possession  and extinctive blow is being dealt at our racial existence. Therefore, Sir, I beg of our non-tribal brethren to sympathetically view the problem of land transfer from that context and not to take a narrow political outlook. 

Shri D.N. Joshi (Cantonment) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. Sir, we have always advocated the cause of the poorer section of our society and as one of the citizens of Meghalaya.

Mr. Speaker : He did not discuss about this or that disadvantage.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member is not raising any point of order at all. He is in fact attempting a speech.

Shri Akramozamman (Phulbari) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, he refers to the Land Transfer Regulation Act. I would like only to say that the Congress does not belong to non-tribals only. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : That is beside the point and also premature since the Congress ahs not yet been brought into the picture. However, as the Member has referred to it, I l shall presently deal with the tacit indirect support given by the Congress to the Land Transfer Regulation now that I have disposed of the humane aspects of the question. Seeing that the Regulation was already in the Statute Book, I had thought that the Congress Party must have taken the enactment of the measure by the Ruling Party  into account before deciding to enter into an electoral adjustment, with the latter in the last Assembly election., An electoral adjustment, I submit, Sir, is not a step empty of political contents and implications. It presupposes agreement on fundamentals and  a basic approach on important questions of policy and by all accounts the Land Transfer Regulation involves certainly a fundamental question of policy. 

        Top my knowledge, Sir, in none of the election speeches did the Congress member assail the Ruling Party for its land transfer policy. It, therefore, passes all comprehension as to how our Congress friends can now accuse the All Party Hill Leaders Conference Government of pursuing a land transfer policy amounting to a discrimination against he non-tribals. By so doing they are indirectly criticising themselves. Unfortunately, they have now rather belatedly discovered their political blunder.   

Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Congress Party belongs to both the tribals and non-tribals. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : That is not the point at issue, Sir. The question is whether the Congress Party by virtue of its electoral adjustment is not in favour of the Land Transfer Regulation. 

Shri Maham Singh : One thing, Sir, Shri Hoover Hynniewta will be in our party. 

Mr. Speaker : If you like it so. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Provocative as this remark is, Sir, I shall not go off the course land be drawn into discussion on an irrelevant prediction seeing especially that its source is from a confused or guilty mind or both. 

Shri Maham Singh : One day, may be Mr. Hoover Hynniewta will come into the Congress. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, must the Leader of the Congress Party be allowed to deliberately interrupt me with this highly irrelevant and inconsequential remark? If he persists in it,  Sir, I am afraid that it will not be possible for me to conduct my speech in a spirit  I want to. Your timely intervention is, therefore necessary, Sir. 

Mr. Speaker : The House is not practically aware of the remark made by Mr. Hynniewta, which is quite in order. But it appears that the very fact that while Mr. Hynniewta, was making a reference to electoral adjustment that act perhaps offended the sentiment of the hon. Member. I think in any Assembly we should be thick-skinned sometimes, so long as the other hon.Member is a parliamentarian. Let us try  not to refer to any irrelevant matter while any hon. Member is speaking. You will have your turn when he has finished.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir,  while some other hon. Members were speaking against the Land Transfer Regulation, we kept silent because we know that our turn  to reply would surely come. But our friend has become unduly sensitive. I do not know what is working in his mind. I do not see why he should so easily give himself away.

Shri Maham Singh : You have made a wrong statement. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : If the hon. member is still persisting in his unseemly and unwarranted interruption, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am afraid I will be left with no other option but to hit him so hard until be resumes his silence.

        I shall not come, Sir, to the constitutional justification of the impugned enactment. Let it be borne in mind that all of us had to subscribe to the oath of allegiance to the Constitution before we could take our seats in this august House. Being bound by our solemn oath, may I remind our sensitive friends in the Congress Party that although Article 19 of the Constitution confers upon all citizens the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property, the enjoyment of this right is not without limitation. This Article as a part of the Constitution under  which we took our oath contains Clause (5) which runs as follows :

        "Nothing in sub- clause (d), (e) and (f) of the said Clause shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it imposes, or prevents the State from making any law imposing reasonable restrictions on the exercise of any of the rights conferred by the said  sub-clauses wither in the interest of the general public or for the protection of the interest of any Scheduled Tribe."

         When you take an oath, you take it not only on the basis of Clause (5) of Article 19 but also on Article 46 of the Constitution, which I read out this morning. I shall read it again,  Sir, to refresh the memory of the hon. Members.  The Article says as follows :- 

        "The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Caste and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation". 

Shri Maham Singh : You must thank the Congress Government for all this. 

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta : But the Congress Members here do not seem to thank their Government at the centre for it, in as much as they are opposing the due discharge of an incumbent responsibility enshrined in the Constitution for the protection of the interests of the Scheduled Tribes and their protection from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. 

        I shall now, Sir, go to another point. In moving our amendment to the Governor's Address, we have more or less drawn the attention of the Government to certain acts of omissions but it does not mean thereby that we do not appreciate whatever good work the Government has done in course of the last two years or so. We of course require some clarification from them before we can give them unqualified congratulations on any field of achievement. Sir, we read something here in the Address about a scheme of collaboration between our Government and the Norwegian  Government which is now under the consideration of the Central Government. Because the  Government does not go further than what has been stated in the Address ad does not spell out the details, we do not know exactly what from that collaboration will take and one cannot saying which manner it will promote the interests of our people in the agriculture sector. 

        Let us hope, however, that in course of time we shall get more and more clarification. It is nor possible for the Chief Minster in one sitting of the House and the short time available to him to clarify all matters to our satisfaction but we hope that the time will come when Government will be more specific in giving informations to us so as to enable us to tender our considered opinion thereon. 

        Mr. Speaker,  Sir, the other day the hon. Member and the mover of this motion, Mr. D.D. Pugh, said something to the effect that our people were being told that full Statehood was not yet attained. He said if we in this House - and he includes you, the Chief Minister and me also - indulged in that kind of approach we would be doing a great disservice to our people. Sir, I am not aware if any Member on this side of the House had been telling their people that full statehood had not been achieved in course of their recent election speeches. If he himself has failed in his duty to inform the people of his area correctly, he has nobody but himself to blame. Bur I would beg of him not to include me in this "We". It will be a sad State of affairs indeed if any Member of this House had indulged in any false statement outside the House but each  and every one should not be accused by being included in that "We".

Mr. Speaker : I now call upon Mr. Fuller Lyngdoh to participate. 

*Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh Mawnai (Mairang S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I take this opportunity to participate in the debate on the Governor's Address. First of all, I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to the Governor for having pleased to deliver his Address to this august House. The Address is rather a lengthy one. As the hon. member, Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh, has just pointed out that stress has been laid on the Bangladesh issue which is a past event, which had happened in Bangladesh, while most of the vital points which are very  important for the economic development and the administration of the State are not at all mentioned, as most of the speakers who spoke before me had already pointed out. There has been dissatisfaction from most of the hon. Members of this House about the Address, that is why, they have pointed out many things which are hot stated in the Address. So I will just point out a few more points which were not mentioned by them in this Address. The first point to which I would like to draw the attention of the house and the Government is regarding Agriculture which has been mentioned in page 6, paragraph 8, that "Agriculture forms the backbone of the economy of Meghalaya" Meghalaya of course, is an agricultural State, but it is sad to say that during the last few months it was seen that no proper attention was paid to this matter. In Mairang, fertilisers, were sold at the rate of 70 to 75 rupees per quintal whereas actually the price of fertiliser should not be more than Rs.55. I would, therefore, request the Government to make some arrangements that during this sowing season of paddy, there will be no more difficulty in getting none-meal and fertilisers. This morning I meet one lady, she told me that shi would be going to meet the Director of Hills Development Corporation to get bone meals, but at the same time, she expressed her doubt whether she would be able to get bone-meals or not. If this is the case it will not at all be possible to improve agriculture. 

        Then I will come to the second point  regarding medical. It is stated here in the Address that medical facilities in the State are to be improved. It is also stated that a new hospital at Tura is to be constructed with 100 beds and that the hospital at Jowai is to be extended. But I would like to mention that there are many more hospitals in the State which require extension. The Mairang Civil Hospital which was opened by the then Governor of Assam, Shri Jairamdas Doulatram and which was also opened to commutate the name  of late of U Tirot Singh Syiem, requires more beds., Many applications were sent to the Government of Assam for the expansion of this hospital but no response from the Government side had come up to this moment. Here in the Address also I see that there is no mention whether this hospital should be extended. 

    Regarding law and order as stated there in the address- "The law and order situation in the State has been well under control". As Mr. Lyngdoh has just stated a part of Shillong has now become a Police District in which the administration was handed over to the Inspector General of Police and Superintendent of Police. So it is rightly said that the law and order situation in Shillong has been well under control but not in the State. I regret to say that Shillong being an integral part of this new State has become a Police District and that too has been done by our Government, that is, the Meghalaya Government. As it is written in the paper- the area was transferred to the Government of India by the Meghalaya Government with the 'creation of the Meghalaya State. So, in my opinion  Sir, I feel that if this be the case we are going to decrease the territory of Meghalaya instead of trying to increase the boundary and territory of Meghalaya. I would like to mention  a few more points, Sir, and I request that you will kindly allow me a little more time.

Mr. Speaker : I will give you another minute.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh Mawnai : Regarding Education, reservation of seats for students who wants to read and undergo further studies such as Post Graduate studies in other Universities outside the State or Universities out side Assam is not mentioned there, I request that arrangement may be made in this respect also. Regarding the refugees, I learnt that refugees in Balat are still settling now in Balat and are still running their shops there. But I don't know whether they are doing this with the knowledge of the Government. Lastly I commend the acceptance of the amendments to the Motion of Thanks so that the administration of the State may be run smoothly. 

        With these few words, I resume my seat. 

        (At this stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Chairman took the Chair) 

 Shri Onwardleys Well Nongtdu (Sutnga S.T.) : Mr. Chairman Sir, mention has been made in the Governor's Address about Shillong Water Supply but there is no mention about rural water supply. Actually there is no mention at all about maintenance of new water supply schemes in the villages or in the rural areas. There are few Water Supply schemes in the villages or in the rural areas.  There are few Water Supply scheme in the villages or in the interior parts of our State, but, at present there are pipes and dams whereas there is no Water because pipes are being disconnected and almost broken. For example, there is no water supply at Sutnga and Government has sanctioned as sum of Rs.14, 000 during 1970-71, but even not , we do not see any supply of water to that particular village, Sutnga. We have seen that there is a scratch at the dam site but I do not think that a big sum as this Rs.14,000 is meant only for a scratch on the wall, I believe it is meant for supply of water to the village. Therefore, I would like to draw the attention of the Government, through you, Sir, to see that this particular water supply is maintained in a proper way. The second point is that, mention ahs been made about eh expansion of new Hospital, and that is Jowai Civil Hospital, and improvement of medical facilities. But I feel, Sir, I would like to mention her about three dispensaries, for example Sutnga, Shangpung and Saipung where there are compounders and few nurses but actually there is no supply of medicines and for which the compounders used to say that they have to keep their own private stock of medicines to supply to the public, and that too, at a very high price.

        For a visit to a distance of 5 to 10 miles, the compounders used to charge a sum of Rs. 100 to Rs.300. Thus it is very difficult for the people who are living in the interior's of the State. And that, the sum charged will have to be agreed upon before services are rendered otherwise these compounders or nurses would not like to make any visit to the patient's houses. 

        With regard to Jowai Civil Hospital, at present we do not see any ambulance or any other type of vehicle being supplied to and maintained by this Civil Hospital. At present, there is an outbreak of a very severe disease at Mynska village under Shangpung Block and during the last two or three days 11 persons died of this disease. When we approached the D.C and the S.D.M.O. we were told that no vehicles could be arranged for the doctors to visit that village.    

Mr. Chairman : What is that disease?

Shri Onwardley Well Nongtdu (Sutnga S.T.) : I do not know, I am to a doctor, but it is something like diarrhoea and the patients are vomiting and that particular disease is still in the rampage like a wild bull. Yesterday, we requested the S.D.M.O. to visit the village, and he sent some members of this staff, and we were told that they would have to walks on foot to that village which is about 8 miles away due to lack of ambulance or any other type of vehicles. So I would urge upon the Government, particularly the Health Minister, to see that this disease is checked in proper time other wise it may happen that this particular disease may spread to the whole of Jaintia Hills District. With these few words Sir, I resume my seat. 

Shri Samarendra  Sangma (Salmanpara S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I stand to support the motion of thanks moved by Mr. Darwin D. Pugh and I express my thankfulness to the Governor for his Address in this august House. Sir, many of the members are not known to me personally but I can say this much that after a long endurance and long struggle we were able to have our full-fledged State and the achievement of this full State is only a mean to an end. Mr. Chairman, Sir, in the Governor's Address there is mention about Bangladesh refugees or evacuees and I do not want to touch anything about Bangladesh refugee but I want to say this much that with the emergence of Bangladesh one acute problem, that is, cow-lifting in the border areas of Meghalaya which has actually broken down the economy of our farmers in the border areas is ninety percent solved. And we expect with the creation of Bangladesh many other vital problems will be solved in man fields. In many ways it will help both Bangladesh band our home and to faster economic prosperity and the general well-being of the masses. 

        Mr. Chairman, Sir, now I want to draw the attention of the Government to some of the points which relate to my area so that the Government could pay its due attention and that immediate redress be given there. Sir, in my area the sheds constructed for the Bangladesh refugees over flat cultivable lands are still there. The main difficulty is that the paddy cultivators on whose lands those sheds were constructed, are not in a position to cultivate the lands, now. so, Sir, immediate steps should be taken to dismantle the sheds from the lands or our farmers so that they can carry out kharif or ahu cultivation for which time is running out. And no compensation was paid to the farmers for occupying their cultivable lands by the Government. 

Mr. Chairman : Are those sheds till there?

Shri Samarendra Sangma : Yes, and immediate dismantling is very much necessary. During the time while the Bangladesh refugees were residing in our area and particularly when I myself come from the border area we have seen how the local people have been suffering day and night for 9 or 10 months as there was firing from across the border by the Pakistani military. Many of our border people, our own citizens, have left their own houses to take shelter in the interior parts and many of them even cannot reap their harvest and they become most helpless. Of course our Government has very kindly supplied these local refugees with ration. But Sir, at present the ration is stopped and now in the border area I may say that many our our own people are passing this day is in starvation having nothing to eat. This is very much tragic, Sir, our Government helped the Bangladesh people and we should do it, but Sir, what about our own local refugees ? These people are living in starvation and in extreme difficulty. So I would request our Government to move the Central Government that ration may be supplied to these local refuges at least for the next 3/4 months so that these people can cultivate their own lands and have some means of livelihood. From my area, there was loss of lives, 6 persons died due to Pakistani firing an some of them were earning member of their families. Applications were submitted to the Deputy Commissioner of the District for relief and help but I regret to say that 3/4 months have passed and nothing in the nature of help was afforded to them. So, Sir, I would request the Government to give at least some succour to these unfortunate persons. 

Mr. Chairman : Please be brief. There is no more time. 

Shri Samarendra Sangma : Then, Sir, in our Garo Hills District there is only one college having a P.U. Science course introduce only during last year and I would request the Government to introduce a Science Degree Course within this financial year. 

        And, Sir, there is a road from Ampati to Purakhasia via Salmanpara and which was taken up by the Public Works Department about 6 years back but to my utter despair, the works were not done properly and even in the remaining portion of the road from Chapagiri to Purakhasia, there is a gap for 6 miles and only some culverts have been competed, some stone pillars were constructed and some posts for these bridges which are on the stream. That is all . So, Sir, I would request Government that prompt action may kindly be taken because this is the main road in my area and that 25, 000 tribal people use it for marketing their produces and they are solely dependent on this road fro their livelihood. For the last 6 years the suffering of the local people was too much and the non-completion of the said road affected their day to day life greatly. I request the Government to take up the work of construction of the said road immediately and redress the grievances of the people there. 

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would now like to draw the attention of the House to Para 8 of the Governor's Address. In this Address we are very happy that the Government have laid down a policy to improve agricultural practices for the last few years. I would like to thank the Minister- in- charge of Agriculture, through you, Sir, for the facilities given to the rural areas, especially to the people of my constituency. But suddenly to my regret, Sir, that just at the time when the State of Meghalaya came into being, these facilities have been changed. In the last few years, tractors were sent to Bhoi area at a very low rate for ploughing and reclamation of land and for improvement of agriculture. But, suddenly, in the last few months the tractor charges have been changed from man to man and from place to place and in some cases the charges  for ploughing the fields are Rs.12 per acre, and in certain cases on the sesame day and on the same place by the same tractor, the charges are Rs.60 or more per acre. I would like to get a clarification from the Minister of Agriculture whether any practice is being followed by these operators of the tractors to charge different rates from different persons in the same are. Tractor charges were usually paid directly to the Government department. But now after the coming to the new State, tractor charges are being paid to agencies and certain people who act as agents. I would like to draw the attention of the Government and also of the Minister of Agriculture to this and request them to stop all these bad practices. These agencies took tractor charges to themselves and plough the land of he people as they like. The money which has been deposited by the cultivators is Government money. 

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : If certainly it happened like that I will look into it. 

Shri  Dlosing Lyngdoh : I will definitely give the names of these agencies and owners of the tractors. I also like to draw the attention of this House to the statement in the Governor's Address regarding financial help to agriculturists,. I am very happy to find here that agriculturists will get help either from Government or different banks. Until and unless the land reform system is amended it will be difficult to get help from the banks for agriculturists. We have found there that there is a mention for improvement of agriculture and reclamation  of land. But it is not clearly given here now to improve agriculture, whether  this new method or with the primitive method. If it is to adopt new agricultural practices, is will be better to take t lift irrigation in different low-lying areas. But it is not possible to take t lift irrigation because electric lines are passing through many or our village and due to non-availability electric power supply in different places or our  State (bell rang), I appeal to Government through you Sir, to give electricity to the people of rural areas so that they can develop agricultural practices by modern method. If this is not given it will not be possible to improve agriculture in the interior of our State.  

* Shri Blooming Shallam (Jowai S.T.) :- I find it difficult to express very much during the time limit given to me. I would like to speak on a few important points which appear in the Governor's Address. First of all, as the Address has been placed in this august House and in the very first page of the Address the Governor has stated that "21st January 1972 was the day that will go down in the history of the hill people of this new State." On that day the Prime Minister came to Shillong to inaugurate it. We must take it as a special cause of happiness in comparison with the way the other people in different parts of the country achieved their goal. They had to undergo many difficulties and sufferings, killings and bloodsheds. But there is a special joy for us what we have been able to achieve our end without any bloodshed, without a single should killed and without a single man taken to jail. We have shown to the world that we are not backward people that we have achieved our aims by peaceful means. 

        Another point on which I would like to say something Mr. Chairman, Sir, is that which appears at page 4, paragraph 5 of the Governor's Address which says that with a view to accelerating progress in the fields of administration and development the Jowai Subdivision of the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills has been formed into a separate District known as the Jaintia Hills District with headquarter at Jowai and this new District was inaugurated by the Chief Minister on 22nd February, 1972."

        As I am a representative of the people of Jaintia Hills I am thankful to the Government through you, Sir, that the Jowai Subdivision has been raised to the status of the District. I would like to see that district be equipped fully with efficient officers and staff so that we can really do good to our people.

        In paragraph 6, at page, 4, there is mention with regard to re-transfer of Block, I and II in Mikir Hills District adjacent to Jaintia Hills. The people from that side came to Barato after experiencing many difficulties caused by the people on the other side. I would like to bring to the notice of the Government that though our people in this area are peaceful, police force used to exploit them. So I humbly request the Government of India through this august House for immediate appointment of a commission to look into the matter.

Mr. Chairman :- Your time is up.

Shri Blooming Shallam :- Another point which I would like to raise is with regard to the development of the three towns of Shillong, Jowai and Tura. I am glad to see that mention has been made here with regard to this. This is a matter of great importance. I am happy and I hope that our Government will take steps to see that these three towns are improved and developed.

Mr. Chairman :- Now, the Minister. I am just calculating the time. The Minister will get about 15 minutes.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture etc) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I stand not to give reply to all the points or observations made by the hon. Members of this House but only to make certain clarification. Just now one of the hon. Members has raised a point about the Norwegian  collaboration. The fact is that the Norwegian Government is supplying fertilisers to the Government of India of cost and the Government of India sell the fertilisers and the money thus obtained is meant to help the States in India to develop their agriculture. That is the scheme. The scheme was submitted last year and meetings were held in Delhi between the officials of the Government of India and our Departmental officers. The present position is that a team of Central Officers will be coming to our  State probably in the next month of survey the area proposed for development, that is, the Bhoi, Shillong and border areas, where those people will go and study the scheme to improve the agricultural production. So this is a sort of collaboration.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : May I know what is the amount involved?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture etc) : That cannot say. It is for the Government of  India to sanction. We have not got the sanction.  That team is still to come and investigate the feasibilities or otherwise. So, that is the Norwegian scheme.

        Mr. Chairman, Sir, many hon. Members have raised the point regarding this fertiliser and bone-meal. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I will just give a little clarification There are three distributors mainly and they are Hill Development Corporation, Assam Agro- Industries Development Corporation and Rallis India Ltd. and our Department has placed orders through these principals distributors since August, 1971. But the trouble is that we cannot give wagons because of Bangladesh war and all the wagons were engaged to take the relief materials to the other side. That is why we cannot give an those three distributors could not get wagons to bring the fertiliser as ordered by the Government. However, fertilisers have come though they came a bit late. We have two godowns full of fertilisers at the moment and I do not think that there will be any shortage of fertilisers. 

        As regards the bone- meal, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would say that we are still facing the wagon problem. Only last Saturday I approached the Transport Minister to contact has counter - part in Delhi to bring the bone-meal because we have 500 tonnes of bone-meal in U.P. for which orders have been placed and we have another 300 tonnes in Calcutta. So my colleague the Transport Minister, has contacted his counter- part and he has promised to see that the movement will  be speeded up. So, we expect the bone- meal will be arriving by the 10th of this month- that is what the Rallis have said,. I think that now the point is clear that it is not our intention or the intention of the Government not to help the cultivators with fertilisers or bone- meals. But circumstances are such that we cannot help because of transport difficulties. another point raised by- 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Just for information whether any subsidised amount has been ear- marked for this purpose?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) : I have just taken over this portfolio. We have not been able to sit together and decide. We will try our best to see what ever we can to solve this problem. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : What was the practice last year? Was any subsidy granted?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture etc) :- It will be granted. A transport subsidy at a flat rate of Rs. 50.00 per tonne will be given. That I can say straightaway. 

        Some hon. Members have raised the point about the boundary dispute between the Mikir Hills and the Jaintia Hills. Regarding this we have taken up the matter with the Government of Assam and we have had two meetings at the Ministerial level and the last meeting that we had was on the 10th of September, 1971. There we agreed that the officials of both the Governments will collect certain data and figures so that we can have some basis to sit again and discuss the matter. Before that is done, do not think we can do anything about it. 

 
        Regarding other areas like Nongkwah, Kyrshai and other places, I would request the hon. Members of the House to help me by giving documents so that I can take a stand on this question. I find it very difficult to start moving. Therefore, I earnestly request all the hon. Members of the House who are in  possession of such documents or important papers to help; me to get them so that my Department  will be able to look into this affair. I think  everyone of us loves our own area and our own home and we  do not want even an inch of our land to be taken away from our State. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not want to take the time of Leader of the House who will give the detailed reply. I want only to clarify the most important points which other Members have raised. (At this stage The Speaker occupied the Chair).

        Another point is about the constitution of the B.D.C. by method of election. Here I will say that I will certainly do what is best of our State. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- Before I call upon the Minister, Health, to intervene, may I take the permission of the House that today we will sit upto 5 p.m. and since the Chief Minister will take some time to reply, may I take permission of the House that the Chief Minister will reply tomorrow. 

(Voice - yes, yes).

May I request the Minister, Health, to intervene. 

* Shri Sanford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I reply to the observations made by the hon. Members in the Opposition, with your permission, I may inform the House in regard to the scholarship for the medical students. I may inform the House that bonds are taken and signed. Actually this year 5 students from Meghalaya have gone to various medical colleges with the scholarship given by the Government of Meghalaya and in this connection a bond was signed and I remember that I have made a mistake in this respect and I very much regret.

Mr. Speaker :- Thank you for the correction.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know fully the precise meaning of the Minister's statement in this matter?

Mr. Speaker :- According to the practice of this House, I mean the convention when a Minister has given a wrong information inadvertently before the House, it is his duty to correct any mis- information that may mislead the hon. Members, and this convention has developed in order to avoid many motions of breach of privilege. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- No, Sir, that is not my point. My point is specially on the matter of correction. May we know fully about what the Minister is making correction?

Mr. Speaker :- On the 30th March, he made a statement before the House that medical students were awarded with scholarship without making them sign any bond but recently 5 students were made to sign the bond. 

* Shri Sanford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, now I will pass on to another observation made by the hon. Member, Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (A voice: About family planning). No, not about the family planning (Laughter). But about the observation regarding the alleged irregularities in the construction of houses, go downs, etc. When the refugees from the then East Pakistan first poured into the district there was no relief staff at all to take charge of the gigantic problem.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know that the portfolio of Relief and Rehabilitation has been handed over to Mr. Marak. 

Mr. Speaker :- Relief and Rehabilitation has been under his charge. 

* Shri Sanford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- The Block staff had to be switched over from their own headquarters and rushed to the border to raise sheds to give shelter to the refugees. The Deputy Commissioner gave orders to the Block Development Officers to construct sheds in the respective areas allotted to them. The Block Development Officers called for tenders and gave work orders within the rates specified by the Government to help speed up the work. Certain advances were also given to the contractors to be adjusted against their final bills. When the work was completed, measurements were taken by the Sub- Engineers attached to the Block Development Officers. The bills with the measurements, tender notices, comparative statements and work orders were then submitted to the office of the Deputy Commissioners for scrutiny before final payment was made. When these formalities were observed and on the certificates of the Block Development Officers concerned that the work was done as per specification given, full and final payment was then made by the Deputy Commissioner. When demands for funds were made by the Block Development Officers they had to place their requirements for different items in writing to the Deputy Commissioner. The demand were then scrutinised by him before funds were made available to the Block Development Officers. There was also concurrent audit going in the camps to check the accounts maintained by the Block Development Officers. All this was done in order to run the administration of the camps as properly as possible under the most difficult and adverse circumstances created by the shortage of staff and the gigantic magnitude of the problem..

        I would be seen from this that every step possible under the circumstances was taken to manage the camps as regularly as possible under those extremely difficult conditions. 

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether those instructions to the Deputy Commissioners were made during the session or were made long ago?

* Shri Sanford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was done long ago. While I was touring the interior of Garo Hills, I met the Central Relief Committee in the office of the Chief Executive Member, District Council and also we asked the District Authorities to send the Sub-Deputy Collector to collect information on the spot whether the refugees in the district have become destructive to the properties and lands, etc., particularly the cultivable lands.

Shri  Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, long ago is a big problem. May we known whether it is six months or one year. 

Shri Sandford .K. Marak (Minister of Health) : Not very long ago. The refugees came last year. I think the hon. Member is just wanting to know whether "long ago" mean 5 or 6 months ago or round about 2 or 3 months. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir may we know the comparative rates for the daily doles and daily allowances being given to the refugees from Bangladesh and the allowances which had been given to the evacuees of our own people?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, as has already been replied, the doles and allowances had been given on the same scale, i.e., Rs. 1.10 paise and our evacuees got the same rate.

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, also for providing shelters in some places the evacuees are themselves constructing their own sheds and some constructions had been done through the contractors.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know since when that directive has been given?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the directive was given since December last?

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna : Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether this directive has been issued to the Deputy Commissioner of Jaintia Hills who was there only from the 22nd February this year. 

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, if I am not mistaken, the directive has been given to the S.D.O, Jowai. 

Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the directive has been implemented by the officer concerned?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is implemented and the Deputy Commissioners have taken action on this directive of the Government. Actually in the Garo Hills District, heavy expenditure for the damages done to the border areas is involved and we can very well imagine that it is not easy to deal with the problem at a time. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether there is any progressive report. 

*Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to submission of progressive report, nothing ahs been received uptil now. Then will come to another observation made by Shri G. Mylliemngap, regarding the rich people becoming richer and others becoming poorer and also of the blanket scandal. It is not clearly understood what the hon. M ember means by the rich people becoming richer and the poor people becoming poorer. In Khasi Hills a number of people have been employed as ration dealers and contractors fro the supply of rations and the construction of sheds of the refugees wand the Government believe that a number of people in the border have not gainful employment through these arrangements.  So, though we m ay classify the ration dealers and contactors as well- to- do who may have become richer from  profits of their business, we may not rule out that a number of border people working as daily labourers engaged by the ration dealers and contractors have also been benefited. The question of those who have suffered on account of the hostilities is being enquired into by the D.Cs. and such help as may be given to them within the purview of the decision of the Government of India will be duly examined. 

Shri G. Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know how many blankets have been received altogether?

Mr. Speaker : Can you reply now?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very difficult to give the answer right now. 

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House with regard to the appointment of the Director of Transport.  Whether that big sign board. "Office of the Officer of Transport, Government of Meghalaya" is hanging at Gauhati and whether it is a fact that the Government of Meghalaya has appointed a non-tribal for doing this big transport business.

Mr. Speaker : This is not a categorical question. 

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna : Excuse me, Sir, our Minister has stated that our local people have benefited whereas we know that big quantity of goods, blankets ration of rice and tarpaulins have been entrusted to the outsiders, the non-tribal contractors.  

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is extremely difficult to explain. 

Mr. Speaker : In fact this is not the point which ahs been brought during the time of the debate and if the hon. Member wants such kind or information, he should come forward in some other forms.  

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, since we  are dealing with this important matter, I may be allowed to say that there was a big scandal of tarpaulins. The former Secretary of R.R. had written a confidential report on the matter. 

Mr. Speaker : It is up to the Minister to intervene. If we are to come again to the confidential report, I would remind Professor Majaw to lay down on the table of the House the said documents. 

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, another point raised last time was bout the expenditure of 40 crores on the refugees alone. In fact we have surrendered about Rs.17 crore recently, just at the time when Meghalaya became a full-fledged State. So I can say that the expenditure on the refugees is round about 13-14 crores and not 40 crores as alleged by Professor Martin Narayan Majaw. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know when the Government has surrendered this 17 crores and how the pending bills and compensation will be paid?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, these things will be done through the Spill- over programmes. 

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, the original budget provision for the year 1971-72 was Rs. 9.65 crores and the Supplementary Demand was Rs. 18.20 crores and the total came up to Rs. 27.85 crores and after the inauguration of the full- fledged State of Meghalaya Rs. 17.8 crores was surrendered showing the expenditure, i.e., up to Rs. 10 crores. It was in connection with the Bangladesh refugees by the end of January that a sum of Rs.68.70 lakhs was the main expenditure up to 31st March. It was for the relief of the Bangladesh refugees, that the Government of India sanctioned Rs.14 crores in advance for the Government of Meghalaya. 

*Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. The budget provision was not Rs.9.70 crores, it was Rs.10.02 crores and 59 lakhs for meeting the relief measures for the refugees coming into Meghalaya. 

Mr. Speaker : Prof. Majaw has been very helpful in supplying us with correct information. 

Shri S. K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not exactly as the hon. Member has alleged. 

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Sir, since the Minister-in-charge is speaking about the figures, we want the correct figures. 

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister of Health etc.) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do know I have not been able to collect the correct figures. 

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : It is almost near to that figure. 

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, another point is that the statement made by the hon. Member from the records in his possession should be accepted as correct. But the thing is that unless his point is deliberately raised to challenge the figures given by the Minister-in-charge it should be clarified. So, the hon. Member from Mawhati has raised the point challenging the correctness of the Minister's statement, then we may accept the Minister's statement as correct. But Sir, here the counter- figures have been given. This is a very difficult position which requires solution.

Mr. Speaker : I ask Prof. Majaw whether he is challenging the Minister's statement or he just wants so correct the Minister's statement.

Prof. M. N. Majaw : Well, Sir, the figures given by me are based on the document issued by the Government since the Minister -in-charge said that these are budget estimates and I have quoted these figures from the budget estimates. Therefore, I challenge his figures. 

Mr. Speaker : From the figures given by the Minister- in- charge it appears that he quoted the figures of the actual expenditure. 

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health, etc) : Yes, Sir, the actual figures of the expenditure.

Prof. M. N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the words he used were budget estimates and the figures given by him was Rs.9.70 crores. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Then Sir, it stands as correct. 

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said so much of amount surrendered and so much of amount spent. 

Mr. Speaker : Because it appears from the amount indicated by you as the amount of the actual expenditure, whereas the amount indicated by the hon. Member on the Opposite as the budget estimate. 

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I mean, out of the budget provision an amount of Rs. 9.65 crores was spent. 

Prof. M.N. Majaw : I challenge that it is a budget estimate, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 

Mr. Speaker : In so far as this matter is concerned I will checkup from the record to see what was actually said by the Minister- in- charge ; then of course I will give my ruling tomorrow. So, let us pass over this matter now. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, I may in all fairness, that for the correctness of these figures, the Minister-in-charge may be allowed to check up the figures. Because, Sir, giving two figures is a matter of great confusion and as the Minister- in- charge is not sure about these figures, he may be allowed to check these figures. 

Mr. Speaker : That is better. 

Prof. M.N. Majaw : I whole -heartedly support that, Mr. Speaker,  Sir. 

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister of Health ) : Sir, I believe that the Chief Minister will reply to all other things and observations connected with these relief works. So, I think, I should not take much time of the House and I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker : Now, may I request the Minister of Industries ?

Shri. S.D. D. Nichols- Roy (Minister, Industries) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am grateful for the opportunity to reply to the points raised by the Members of the House who took part in the debate on the Governor's Address and a few points have been raised and I will clarify briefly so far as they dal with portfolios of which I am in-charge. Now, in the amendment to the Governor's Address, Mr. Lapang mentioned that he regretted that the Governor made no mention about improvement and development of tourist industry in the State. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it is recognised by many of the hon. Members, who said that the Governor's Address. So far as tourist industry in the State is concerned, it is very important to develop  it and there is no other view on that. There is not point in saying that there is no need for developing it. There is a great need and during the current financial year, the Government had a scheme for developing Barapani area, Thadlaskein area an a few other places of tourist importance. But due to various factors, the scheme could not make much headway and we had started last year to undertake certain development in the Barapani area and take over certain land, prepare plans for tourist lodging and so on and so forth, and all these are in the scheme of the Tourism Department. But it was not mentioned in the Governor's Address. AS a matter of fact, tourism is a very infant industry in the whole of North- East India and particularly in Meghalaya. In the last few years, due to aggression from China in 1962, the trouble with Pakistan in 1965, the trouble in  our border in East Pakistan, which has now become Bangladesh, this whole region has not been very attractive to tourists and as a result, we have not been placed very squarely on the tourist map of India. This is a fact which is something beyond the control of a small State in this whole region and the Government of India also know about this. We have made them aware through many instances. But it is true now that peace has been established in Bangladesh and there is much greater stability in the North- East India, I would say, partly due to wisdom of the hills people and their leaders in establishing a State without violence ; that tourism should grow, provided we take up a wise policy of preparing the ground for many of the facilities which are not available in our State, and also change some of the attitudes and approaches which have not been created in the past. 

        We are handicapped by meagre resources placed at our disposal. But whatever resources are there, it is definitely the intention of the Government to try its level best to improve the facilities so that tourists will be attracted to our State. The other day, we were the Autonomous State and the Municipal area of Shillong as far as tourism is concerned, was not under our control and it has only come under our control legally from the 21st January. But even then we had not taken over some of the facilities from the Assam Government and it takes time to transfer some of the institutions and some of the offices, and some of the work that has been done in the past by the previous Government. Therefore, I would suggest to the hon. Members to have a little patience so that we will work towards something which the hon. Members have suggested on the importance of developing this industry. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : May we know from the Minister-in- charge what is the approximate period within which it will be possible for the Government to take overt these institutions. 

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) : Since the transfer from one Government to another does not rest completely with one Government, it is not for me to say right now when that will take place.  For instance, the Tourist Lodge has not yet been handed over and we had been in the process of asking the Assam Government to hand it over and we hope, it will be within the next few  weeks. The Re-organisation Department of the Government is going  into many matters and so far as handing over and taking over are concerned, it depends not only on our intention but also on the smooth relationship between the two Governments and how they work. Because of the elections, because of many things which have intervened during the last couple of months some things which could have been done have not been done yet. But I hope within the next few weeks, these will be done. 

Shri D.D. Lapang : May we know from the Hon'ble Minister whether it is a fact that an amount of Rs. 6 lakhs was surrendered from this Department on 31st March, 1972 which shows that nothing has been done and the amount  could not be utilised for the purpose it was meant.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) : I will have to get that information, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 

        The hon. Member from Nongkhlaw, Mr. Hynniewta, has mentioned about agricultural marketing and made a reference to the Supply Department and actually I am no longer dealing with agriculture, but the problem is essentially one of agricultural marketing rather than supply. The solution of marketing may be in the nature of organising the primary wholesale markets and opening of auction system of the produce of the cultivators. Now, because we have inherited the system which has been going on for many many years, it is not as simple as we would like, to switch over to a new system which will give more benefits to the growers. Many of the hon. Members whether on this side or that side of the House, have the same intention of improving the lot of the potato growers, fruit growers and other farmers in the State, to organise marketing in a sound way that it will succeed and give maximum benefits to the cultivators. This is a major task that is under consideration and we will have to examine this vary carefully to see that this very serious problem is adequately tackled.

Mr. Speaker : Since we are about to come to the time limit, may I take the sense of the House, if we may extend his the time more until the Minister Industries, may be able to complete his statement?

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Or with the permission of this House, we may allow his to reply tomorrow since we may have more time to go through the Report. And if the reply is made tomorrow, I think, we shall be in a better mental condition. 

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) : Yes, I may resume my speech tomorrow. 

ADJOURNMENT.

Mr. Speaker : With the sense of the House, the House stands adjourned till 10 a.m. tomorrow, the 5th April, 1972. 

 

N.C. HANDIQUE

Dated Shillong :

Secretary, 

The 4th April, 1972.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. 

 

Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 10 A.M. on Wednesday, the 5th April 1972, in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong, with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.

Mr. Speaker : Let us begin with the first item in today's List of Business. We ell start with the calling attention of Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh. 

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have submitted a written notice to raise a certain point. 


Observation from the Chair. 

*Mr. Speaker : After consulting the Rules of Procedure of the Lok Sabha and other State Legislatures, it has been found that the present trend is to do away with the 'zero hour'. But nevertheless, in our Rules of  Procedure which have been adopted for the purpose of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, the rule is very clear. Rule 49A says - "Immediately after the question hour and before the list of business of the day is entered upon, any Member who wants to raise any matter of grave importance which cannot be raised under any other provisions of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, can do so with the previous permission of the Speaker provided, however, that the Member raising such a matter shall not make any speech" Now the question is that 'immediately after the question hour' - that is the clarifying phrase here- and since we have no questions today, the hon. Member cannot raise any important matter before the House. But at the same time, I have also gone through the desire of the hon. Member and also of Prof. Majaw who also wants to raise many important matters according to him and, in cases where we do not have questions in the House to be answered by the Ministers, they may raise some motions under some other provisions of the rules, - say Rule 301- there you can have a very big scope to raise any matter to be discussed in the House.

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we make a submission in this connection to you? The fact that the Member could not come forward with questions is not on account of any lapse on their part. The Session was convened at a very short notice and, if my understanding is correct, there is a certain limit imposed by rules within which the questions should be submitted. Now this time limit fixed under the rules is certainly more than five days and the notice we received for this Assembly is only five days. So Sir, since there is no lapse on the part of the Members, I think you May allow them to raise any question with your prior consent during the zero hour. Now, if the House as a whole has decided not to submit any question, then we cannot come to you for any special consideration. But since the circumstances in this particular case are such that the Members do not have the time to send the questions, so Sir, as a special case and since this case is not governed by any rule, you may kindly allow the Members to bring this matter to the House.  

Mr. Speaker : I fully understand, the difficulties under which we are functioning specially in this first Session. All the hon. Members were also in great difficulties since they received the notice only five days before the summoning of  the Assembly. Of course, the period between the date of receipt of the notice and the date of the first sitting, will be definitely more than five day. But nevertheless, the practice in other Assemblies is that zero hour can come only when there are questions and that is exactly why Rule 301 has been included in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the House that nay matter of grave importance may be raised by the  hon. Members. I will only advise the hon. Members that with my permission this House today they may treat this notice under Rule 301 instead of Rule 49A and we may be able to take up tomorrow or day after tomorrow. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, some questions may come up on 6th or 7th then the possibility will arise for zero hour. 

Mr. Speaker : In that case, you may raise the important questions and also under Rule 301 and so far as privilege motion is concerned, we may take up tomorrow. So now, we will start with the calling attention notice which I have received from Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh and others. 


Calling Attention

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to the news item published in the Assam Tribune, dated 28th March 1972 under the caption "Trafficking of Women - 5 persons held in Darranga Mela. 

Mr. Speaker Will the Chief Minister make a statement on this?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on 18th March, 1972, Ka Swep Nongbri, Ka Bidiancy, and young girl along with an hon. Member of the Legislature Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh contacted the Superintendent of Police at Shillong. Ka Swep Nongbri complained that her teen-age daughter had been taken away by some persons to Mela Bazar (Darranga Mela) and was kept confined by some brothel keepers over there. She had come to knew about there daughter from Ka Bidiancy. Ka Bidiancy had stated that she was herself enticed nearly 11 months ago by Ali Syntang, Ramu Nepali and Ka Doris and was forcibly kept at Darranga Mela for immoral purposes. She had said that she managed to escape on 9th February, 1972 and came back to her house. She had said that she had seen Ka Slip Nongbri, Ka Thula Nongbri, besides many other girls who had been kept by some brother lepers for immoral purposes. Consequently Shillong P.S. cases Nos.24 and 25 of March, 1972 under section 366 I.P.C. were registered and the investigation into the cases was taken up immediately and the two accused namely Ali Syntang and Ramu Nepali were arrested at Shillong. 

        In this connection, an information  was also received that Hayeta Begum, who was kidnapped from Shillong was also kept confined at Darranga Mela. 

        This has a reference to Shillong P.S. No.29(2)72 u/s. 366/34 I.P.C. in which the father of the girl was the complainant. However, she could not be traced out at Darranga Mela and assistance of West Bengal Police has been sought to recover the girl and efforts in this direction are still a foot. 

        Further, one Durga Devi who was also kidnapped in November, 1971 was also recovered from Darranga Mela on 13th February, 1972 in connection with Shillong P.S. case No.19(11)71 U/s. 366 I.P.C.

        The mater was discussed with the Superintendent of Police Kamrup and a Police Team from Shillong under City Inspector was deputed on 24th March, 1972, we were joined by some officers and men of Kamrup Police. A surprise raid was made on that very day and in all 28 teen-aged girls and one woman were rescued from Darranga Mela and were brought to Shillong. However, Ka Slip Nongbri, daughter of Ka Swep Nongbri of Nongjalak (complaint of Shillong P.S. Case No.24 of March, 1972) could not be traced our at Darranga Mela. But Ka Thula was recovered from that place. The Police is continuing its effort to trace her out. 

        Along with the rescue of these women, the Police also apprehended five brothel keepers, out of them two are women. All the recovered women and five persons who were apprehended at Darranga Mela, were produced before the Magistrate at Shillong and at present they are under Magistrate's custody. Efforts are being made to inform the parents of these girls and some parents and guardians have already approached the Magistrate for the custody of their wards. 

        From the statement of recovered girls before Police, it appears that these girls were enticed away by Ali Syntang, Ramu Nepali, Hari Tamang and Ka Doris and Baliram Sindhi, all of whom have already been arrested and were presently in jail hajat. It would not be out of place to mention that none of these cases (in relation to girls rescued) were reported to Police earlier. However, action is being taken to launch some criminal proceedings in the matter. Further, the Kamrup Police is being moved to take up appropriate measures under Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act. 

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we ask the Chief Minister, through you, whether it is a fact that according to me this Baliram Sindhi was released on bail on the 28th March, 1972 and also Ka Doris and Jam Shallam. I have asked this because of the fact that this is not the first time that such nefarious activities have taken place and there is a big gang behind this. The fair name of this City of Shillong has been besmeared by these notorious criminals for which, I think, the Indian Penal Code should be revised to devise new method of punishment. In fact rough and ready justice would be the best punishment that can be meted out to these criminals. Now I just want to know from the Chief Minister whether the bail is going to be given to the others also. And it is really a tremendous thing to know that these people are released on bail.  

Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the magistrate granted the bail. It is a matter of the court. 

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw) : Sir, may we request the Chief Minister through you to circulate the statement to every Member of the House as it is very difficult for us to catch up all the details mentioned in the statement. We want to move a motion in this regard in view of the seriousness of the incidents for a thorough discussion in this House with your kind permission. Unless we can go through the statement in detail it is not possible for us to do full justice to the facts that are being given out to this House by the Chief Minister. 

Mr. Speaker : I think, the Chief Minister will be able to do that but it takes time. 

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this statement will from part of the proceedings of the House. If I may say so, your office can straightway circulate it along with the proceedings of the House. 

Mr. Speaker : This statement will be placed on the Table of the House and every hon. Member will be able to come and see it. But it is difficult for each and every Members may go through the proceedings but there are difficulties also; that it will take time for the reporters to produce as many copies as possible. But if the Chief Minister is ready to get it cyclostyled or typed for the benefit of the hon. Members he may do so. Of course, it is not a ruling but it is an opinion. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, my question has not been replied to. I have been able to follow the statement of the Chief Minister when he stated that Ka Doris and her husband Baliram Sindhi are now in Jail. So far my information goes they are not in jail custody now. 

Mr. Speaker : But you put two questions.  That was your first question which was not answered and your second question was already answered. 

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether this particular gentleman has been released on bail. I am not in a position to give the information off-hand. 

*Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Sir, I want to know from the Chief Minister whether it is a fact that Ka Doris who is in fact the main accuse in this case was released on bail and that some person employed by her is following the complaint and threatening his life. May I know whether Ka Doris has been released on bail ?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I have already replied that I have not got that information as yet. So I cannot reply off hand.

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang :- Whether the Chief Minister will be pleased to see that the statement is cyclostyled so that we from this side of the House can be seized of the matter.

Mr. Speaker :- You can raise a discussion on this because it is a very good procedure through the House will be more acquainted with the whole case.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Sir, may we know whether the Chief Minister will undertake this additional burden of making copies w\available to all hon.. Members of this august House ?

Mr. Speaker :- Copies will be made available to all hon. Members. I will see that my Secretariat gets the statement cyclostyles and copies will be made available to the Members in the afternoon.


Debate on the Governor's Address

        Now, let us pass on to the next item to-day's list of business, that is Debate on the Governor's Address. Minister, Industries yesterday started with the intervening reply. I request  him to continue.

Shri S.D.D. Nicholas-Roy (Minister Industries) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I resume my intervention I would like to give a word of appreciation to all the Members who participated, most of whom made constructive criticisms or suggestions and particularly ending with the remarks of the Member from Nongkhlaw. If the spirit of working together whether on this side of the House or the pother will continue, we may build up, not only the right approach and attitude in this House, but also outside, in the state as a whole, and I very much appreciate that spirit. I for one, am sure tat all my colleagues on this side, will do whatever we can to build up a good relationship among the people in the State and particularly the representatives in this House. Now, regarding  the amendments which were submitted by various members, mention was made by one Member regarding supply. The need for ensuring regular supply of essential commodities in the State does not require very special mention. It has been mentioned in the Governor's Address that supplies were not very good during the last year particularly, because of the influx of refugees which was a tremendous problem that posed to the  whole of North Eastern India and because of the fact that our State is a deficit State in almost all the essential items of food. The system of getting food-stuff directly from the Government of India especially item like rice, sugar and wheat has been organised and the Government will try its best to ensure that the food items are made available to the public at reasonable prices. The Food Corporation of India was requested last year to construct go-downs in Shillong and Tura, the two main centres, with sufficient capacity to stock the various essential commodities so that supply can be lifted from these Centres within the State itself . Up till now, the lifting of essential commodities has been made from Gauhati primarily from the Food Corporation of India stocks at Gauhati, we saw during 1971 that this system could not be adequate for the whole state and we took steps to request the Food Corporation of India to provide adequate godown facilities here. The Food Corporation of India acquired storage space, though temporarily, for 20 thousand quintals in Shillong and almost equal space in Tura. Now, they have also taken steps to build these godowns as permanent godowns and this will be undertaken within this coming year.

        Secondly, now coming to the question of transport, Mr. Kharbuli from  Malki had made a mention regarding Road transport Corporation and would like to inform the Members regarding the position. the Government of Meghalaya and the Government of Assam have reached an agreement over the erstwhile State Road Transport Corporation and which will function as a Joint Corporation over six months from the appointed day. The Government of Meghalaya has a representative in the Corporation and the Government of Assam are required to consult the Government of Meghalaya before issuing important directions to that Corporation. the Joint Corporation will continue to operate on the existing routes for the period of arrangement and its future will be decided within this time. Because of the fact that the Government of India had not transferred to the Autonomous State, the authority over issuing of permits and in spite of many many reminders by telegrams, letters and personal approaches it was not until very recently that the authority came to us. We see that many things that we expected to have been done in the past could not be done. Moreover, the taking over of an  undertaking like the State Transport Corporation involves a great number of things like finance, division of assets and liabilities. Also the question of different routes that go from our State into another State is to be decided and therefore, to decide on this we feel we require a little more time. At this moment we are having a joint corporation for six months and within these six month's period, the Government will have to give a definite decision regarding what its policy will be towards the Shillong-Gauhati Road and the policy of taking over the other routes which are at the moment operated by the Assam-Meghalaya State Road Transport Corporation. As some of the Members have already expressed different points of view, this question will have to be very properly examined whether it is to be run by the Joint Corporation, or a special Corporation is to be d\set up by us whether it should be done by the State Transport Department. Also whether we should keep open some of the routes to private operators or whether we should have them running in parallel with the State transport. these are matters which we need to get into very thoroughly and they are being examined. We require more information on the working of the State Transport Corporation, and because it was connected with the Assam Government, it was not easy to get all that information and now that we have a Joint Corporation it will be easier to get that information. We have requested our Officers to see that these matter will be thoroughly gone within the six months period before this agreement comes to a close. For some of the interior routes, the Government have taken a decision to run on an experimental basis for some time, a few buses for the sake of improving transport in the rural areas particularly. Passengers' buses are expected to arrive soon for running on four of the routes which have been considered by the people that there is shortage of transport. These Routes are Shillong-Cherra Shella route, Shillong-Mawsynram-Lawbah Route, Shilong-Mairang-Nongstoin Route and Shillong-Makyrwat route. These buses are expected to run for a certain period of time to assist in improving the passenger transport in these particular routes.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Whether the Minister-in-charge has taken into consideration the road-side buses to Nongpoh as we do not know whether any arrangement has been made because at present the people are suffering very much. They have also submitted applications one after another, I would like to know whether the Minister has taken his road into consideration.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nicholas-Roy (Minister, Transport) :- Since the State Transport Corporation is operating a monopoly on this route this is to be taken into consideration in the over-all policy regarding that monopoly plus the definite needs of the people on the road-side. This will definitely be taken up. Regarding supply of adequate transport to the people on that whole area within our State and how best to tackle the problem - whether to place more buses or to open up the route to private buses or our own Meghalaya State buses this will have to be taken up very soon. So, Sir, these are the main points raised in the amendment.

        Regarding the division on the Governor's Address, some of the Members had certain points and I will just touch briefly only on a few of them.     

        Regarding the Soil Conservation Department, Mr. P.G. Momin, made some remarks which are mostly dealt with by the Agriculture Department but since the Soil Conservation Department also handles the same type of things, the Soil Conservation Department has also to give a reply. This Department has taken up several demonstration plots on terraces in Garo Hills to show that the same crops as are grown in jhumming areas can be grown in terraces, with much better yield. More such demonstration plots on terraces, are proposes to be taken up during 1972-73. Follow-up-programmes, such as supply of fertilizers, seeds etc., at subsidised rates, are taken up on terraced areas to facilitate immediately raising of food crops.

        Regarding Mr. Momin's comments on the employment problem, the Department of Soil Conservation has spent during 1971-72 nearly Rs. 11,50,000 on development works such as terracing, contour bunding, reclamation, afforestation, cash crop development, follow-up-programmes, etc., in which the local people are employed in the work. The amount for Garo Hills on such work is approximately Rs.5 lakhs. During 1972-73, the Plan outlay for the Department is Rs. 254 lakhs of which an amount of at least Rs. 18 lakhs would be on work where local labourers would be used for development works. Of this amount about Rs.7.21 lakhs is meant for Garo Hills. He made a suggestion that there should be Joint Directors posted in Tura at different divisions of different departments. Since the Soil Conservation department has only two divisions and only one Joint Director, the department finds that it would not be possible to post one Joint Director at Tura.

        Then Mr. Pohshna of Nongtalang stated that Soil Conservation Grants or subsidies are distributed by party member and not by Department officers. This is not true. All applications for subsidies for land development works such as terracing, reclamation, etc., are sent by applicants through the Field Management Committees, through the Block Development Officers to the Range Officers. the range Officer makes enquires regarding  feasibilities and suitability and then recommends to the Divisional officers the work that can be undertaken within the available budget. the money is paid by our staff directly to the applicants. 

       Mr. Speaker, Sir, some of the Members had raised a question on the forest policy. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : On a point of information Mr. Speaker,  Sir, while the Minister- in-charge is still in Soil Conservation may we know what is really the problem of having a Joint Director at Tura because Garo Hills is so far away and our  Garo friends have to come all the way to Shillong for matters which might be dealt with by the Joint Director at Tura. 

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols- Roy (Minister, Industries, etc) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether it would be best for all Departments to have joint Director in Tura will have to be examined not only in respect of the financial position and the personnel position but also whether the Departments are big enough to justify posting of two Joint Directors. Certainly, we see the validity of the argument but there are some things which we can and some which we cannot do. But I cannot at this moment give all the reasons why it should not be done. All I can say is that it can be re-examined. Now, so far as forests are concerned, the Governor's Address has made a brief reference to forests and there are certain points raised by the Members and I would just briefly outline the extent to which this Government is responsible in the State and to give some of the background. The total forest areas in Meghalaya is 8510 sq. km., of course, these are only  estimates- as nobody has actually measured it bases on the techniques evolved for calculation of forest areas. this works out to about 38 percent of the geographical area.  This is very low as per standard laid down in the National Forest Policy of India, 1952 according to which this should be 60 per cent in the hills. Out of the above total forest areas, the State Forest Department have control over the Reserved Forests only which are measured at 884 sq.km. only. This forms only about 10 per cent of the total forest areas.  The rest are under the jurisdiction of the District Councils. The District Council Authorities have, however, not been able to bring the forests under any systematic management as these forests are burdened with rights and privileges enjoyed by the local chieftains like Syiems in Khasi Hills, Dolois in Jaintia Hills and Nokmas in  Garo Hills. These areas are also subjected to shifting cultivation. As a result, the forest areas under the district Council authorities are also getting very much reduced by shifting cultivation from year to year. Now, this is the policy.

        Under the above situation, the immediate concern of the Government will be to take necessary steps to find out ways and means, even if necessary by legislation, in order to bring all the forests under scientific management for proper utilisation in the greater interest of the State and as a whole.

        The study team on Tribal Development Programme, Assam, also recommended in their report that the District Council authorities should entrust the scientific working of the forest to the State Forest Department in the overall interest of the entire community. The views of the District Council authorities on the above were sought. While one District  Councils has since intimated their willingness to accept the above recommendation, the views from the other two are still awaited. 

        Further to draw up a schemes of afforestation of the barren community land, under some agreement with the owners of the land, the State Forest Department have approached the District  Councils for their views. The views of the two District Councils have been received with favourable response but the views of the other is till being awaited. 

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are many development activities under the Forest Department but I do not need to go into other details which would probably come under discussion in the Budget discussion. I want to make one further remark that forest planning is not a 5 year plan not to speak of one year. It May be a 100 year plan and unless we start to think in terms of proper planning for the future, I am afraid that many remarks made not only by the Members of this full State Assembly but by the Members of the Autonomous State Assembly will come true regarding the deforestation of the States and it will be a tragedy for the whole State. Some very serious thinking is needed by the Members of this House, and the members of the District Councils to undertake transformation in the method of working of our forests and preserving them so that they can be a source of richness to the State and the people. But unfortunately, the short-term point of view is often taken and we cannot plan for the future. We must think now seeing so many mistakes have been made in the past -to start the whole philosophy of thinking about forests in a new direction. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was fortunate to be invited to visit Scandinavia in April 1971, and I was able to visit some of the forest areas and study the forest policy of those small Scandivian countries where forestry is one of the most important industries of those States. I was able to obtain copies of 2 of the Forests Acts of those countries, I was able also to get the forest Act of Himachal Pradesh which is as mountainous State like ours. these acts are being studied, so far as the private forests are concerned, because much of our are does not come, as I said earlier, under the State Government.  The question of how to control and improve the forestry of the state is very very important not only for those who think in terms of forests but for agriculture of the area also. As we all know unless forests are preserved the soil will be depleted by erosion and eventually the farmers will suffer a loss. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : On a point of clarification, Sir, I do not know whether the Minister- in- charge of Forests I aware of the fact that as a result of amendments of the Sixth Schedule that were brought through the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act, the State  Assembly has been entrusted with the power to legislate even with regard to forests. Therefore, the Minister's reply that the forest are not within the purview of this State Assembly is no more valid. 

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Forests) : I am fully aware of the legal position so far as the Sixth  Schedule is concerned. But to implement the provisions of the amendment we have to get the co-operation of the heads of the elakas, the co-operation of the people and of the District Councils, who are also in charge of the District Council, Forest areas. This is one of the things which we are examining how best to bring in that legislation so that we will  get the co-operation of the people and with the understanding of what we are trying to do. that is why we are studying the legislation of other States and other parts of the world to bring in the best legislation and then have a forum for discussion before we finally pass the legislation so that it will be acceptable and workable. 

        Now I come to border trade. A number of Members have mentioned from both sides of the House for improvement of the trade previously with East Pakistan now with Bangladesh. This has been my concern as an individual and as a Member of the Assembly in the previous Government of the Autonomous State as well as a Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly.

        Therefore, as soon as I say the news in the paper that the Indo- Bangladesh Treaty was to be signed shortly , I took the earliest opportunity to make a trip to Dacca to understand the thinking of some of the leadership of Bangladesh. Before that, we that, we have placed the points of view of tour Government on the day that our Government was born on the 21st January 1972 with the Prime Minister of our country. And following that visit it was unfortunately right in the middle of the general elections we could not attend the conference in Delhi. We sent our officers to Delhi to discuss the point of view of our people in the border and our Government before the Government of India so that they would be considered at the time when the Bangladesh Treaty would be signed. I myself could not get to Delhi at this particular time because this Assembly had started. 

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : The Minister was referring to the Indo- Bangladesh Treaty - There are two treaties. 

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, Trade, etc. ) :  Sir, at least le me finish my sentence. It is very difficult if a Member interrupts in the middle of the Sentence,  to catch the thread. In regard to this Indo- Bangladesh Treaty we have been in constant touch with the Government of India during these past few days and we have been able to obtain a copy of the Trade Agreement. 

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : May I know whether the Minister referred to the Trade Treaty?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, Trade, etc. ) : I was referring to the Indo Bangladesh Trade Agreement which was signed on 28th of March 1972. We have been able to obtain one copy of that Trade agreement. As soon as it was brought by our Chief Secretary we gave orders to have it cyclostyled and it will be available to all hon. Members of the House. I hope copies have been made available to the Assembly Secretary this morning. They should be given to all hon. Members before the House rises. 

        Now I would like to briefly outline some of the salient points of this Trade Agreement. It covers broadly three aspects. 

        Imports and exports of commodities and goods produced or manufacture in India or Bangladesh bon a balanced basis of the value of Rs. 25 crores in each direction. This will be at the national level. Commodities of interest to us like cement, coal, limestone, hard wood and soft wood have been included. 

        In order to meet the day to day requirements of the people living within a sixteen kilometre belt of the border between West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya,  Tripura and Mizoram on the one hand and Bangladesh on the  other, some arrangements have been made. The new arrangements have improvements over the earlier agreements, between the two nations. Additional commodities like chilies, tezpatta, onions, tapioca, sand, betel leaves, mustard oil, mustard seed, shingles and boulders have been included. The cash that each person can carry has been raised from Rs.50 to Rs.100. though it has been laid down that every person can cross the border only once a day in each direction on any two specified days of a week and only through such routes a may be authorised, it has been provided that additional days, as may be mutually agreed, could also be included. There will be a review after a period of six months in this regard. But before the expiry of this period if either country feel the need to modify the facilities under the Agreement, it could enter into immediate consultations with the other country. 

        Thirdly, the two Governments have agreed to make mutually beneficial arrangements for the use of their waterways, railways and roadways for commerce between the two countries find for passage of goods between two places in one country through the territory of the other. The provision of transit facilities through Bangladesh will open up vast possibilities for our State. 

        Detailed instructions have not been received from the Government of India. According to the telephone call which we had yesterday, these instructions are first being vetted By the Home Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Trade.

Prof. Martin N. Majaw : On a point of information  may we know how much of our produces is likely to be exported to Bangladesh?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Trade, etc. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not a sooth-sayer. The Department of Trade was set up only very recently and the Minister of Trade was appointed only on the 18th of March, 1972and there is no staff as yet and I do not think that I can give any figures when we have just started the Department only the other day. But I am sure that the volume of border trade will be as we have hoped and there will be an improvement. We are yet to find out the full implication of the border trade agreement and to make an assessment after this has been put into operation for some time. 

Prof. Martin N. Majaw : May we know what will be the amount approximately that we may be able to export from our State?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Trade, etc. ) : That is yet to be worked out. Rs. 25 crores in each direction on a balanced basis and this will be for one year and will include all the border States with Bangladesh - from country to county basis. This is not a border trade, it is just a trade across the border of about 16 kilometers. this refers to regular trade, which will be under Foreign Exchange Regulations and so on. The border trade is a different matter and to what extent we will be able to participate is yet to be worked out. As I said, detailed institution are still to be received and we are pursuing this with the Government of India and it is hoped more relaxations will be made in respect of this State vis- a - vis Bangladesh.  

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, the Minister has told the House that he assumed charge on the 18th of March, 1972 and he confessed the fact that he had no staff. May we know why the Minister was not provided with staff in view of the urgency of this matter? 

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Trade, etc. ) : The question of setting up of a department- a new department- means sanctions and appointments and creation of posts and so on. With the coming to an end of the financial year and a new year coming, these matters are yet to be gone into. The existing staff of the districts and Secretary in-charge of Industries were asked to do the work. With whatever staff we have, we have already started functioning. But a separate department for this particular purpose has not yet been organised.  

Prof. Martin N. Majaw : May I make a suggestion to the Hon'ble Minister that those retrenched staff from the Relief and Rehabilitation Department like the A.R.Os, etc., whose services have been simultaneously terminated by the Gazette notification, be given some preference in the matter of appointment?

Mr. Speaker : Will that be good for the purpose of trade?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Trade, etc. ) : This is actually a personnel mater and the suggestion should be made to the Chief Minister who is in charge of personnel. This will certainly be considered by our Government. 

        Now I would like come back to the Indo-Bangladesh trade. In the past, the trade agreement with Pakistan was made by our country and it cam to  an end after a certain time. But the border trade continued after 1966-67 when we took up, as public leaders at that time, to restart our border trade with East Pakistan. The Government of India was able to agree to this and some border markets were opened in our State unilaterally without getting the necessary concurrence from the Government of Pakistan. After the Tashkent Agreement, the situation was better than previous and some of the traders were allowed to come across our borders to visit certain specified border markets in the morning and to return in the afternoon. Certain specified number of traders also was given. It started with 100 - 150 and more recently after Meghalaya came into being we have recommended some places where we can have bigger markets even for 400-450 numbers of traders. Even since partition this border trade was going on with fits and starts. It stopped to operate many times and it was only in the year 1967, that it was resumed in a more systematic manner. Then after the Bangladesh trouble started, trade stopped because of infiltration and of possibility of enemy action and so on and so forth. just before the war when some of the areas were cleared by the Mukti Bahini along our borders, trade was resumed in a small way as we all know. Then after the war it again resumed in a much large manner and the people expected that there would be free trade almost like the old pre-partition days. But the fact is that there are two countries land it is not one country as it was before. As a result of these different arrangements and different political changes, many of our people on both sides of the border have not understood the implications or a regular trade agreement that is now being implemented. We have requested the Government of India and  its authorities like the Customs and the Border Security and so on to provide enough time for us to inform all our people of our side and the people of the other side of the implications of this trade agreement and not to crack down on some of the functions which have been going on and which had not come under the present trade agreement, for example fish has been coming to Shillong and other parts of the State from the border markets. But according to our understanding of this trade agreement, the commodities that would come to our border markets would be meant for the border people only and there would be a separate trade agreement for supplying commodities to other parts of the State. But as I have said, until we receive detailed instructions we will not certainly know how this should be implemented. But our request was that before this can be implemented in to by anyone, our people be thoroughly informed, our won officers instructed so that the people will not suffer and there will be a smooth transition from the existing system to the new system which both the countries have agreed top. We have spent many hours on this for many days and we will continue to strive to help our State and our people. But this will not only depend on us but will also depend on the whole county because the agreement is between our country and the country of Bangladesh.  Therefore, I would  appeal to our Members particularly those representing the border areas to bear with us that, if there is some misunderstanding about this matter, we will try our level best to put our views to both the countries. I may assure you from what I have gathered from other sources when I visited Dacca that in spite of our limitations of being a small Autonomous State and with limited resources and yet we were able to tackle the 7 lakhs refugees when they came to our border and we have got the good- will and appreciation of the people of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh leader, Sheik Mujibur Rahman told me an requested me to convey to the Government of Meghalaya and the people of Meghalaya that he is very grateful for our taking care of his peo0ple of Bangladesh in time of great distress. I am sure if we maintain this good relationship between our country and Bangladesh it will  be to the best  interests of the country ass a whole and our State in particular. 

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawlai  S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful for the elaborate exposition of the Minister and may we know Mr. Speaker,  Sir, from the Hon'ble Minister whether the border trade has been revived or not?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Trade, etc.) : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, from our side there have been no new instructions and we have taken steps right from the date we heard of some of the border trade being disrupted. We have instructed the people on our side not to disrupt the border trade. But it so happened, as was pointed out by the Member from Nongtalang that there had been some disruption of trade from the other side of Bangladesh. Now that is not under the control of the Meghalaya Government at all nut we have represented our point of view through our own Government at New Delhi. So far as my information goes, some trade is now going on in a very limited amount. Until the implication of this whole agreement is passed on to the district authorities and those on the side of Bangladesh perhaps there will be some amount of disruption or border trade. But it is not for me to give any information regarding another country. Actually it should come under foreign affairs. But so far as my information goes the people from the other side would like to have trade with us as before. 

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know what are the authorised routes which have been recognised by the Government.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Trade, etc. ) : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, the trade agreement will be submitted and a copy of it will be made available to all the hon. Members. In the agreement the authorised routes have not been specified. These will be in the instruction that we will receive later from New Delhi. 

        Now I will come to the  question of dairy development. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would request you to allow me to make a few remarks on dairy development especially when there was no mention about it in the Governor's Address. It is very much regretted that it has been left out though a draft was prepared for the purpose of inclusion in the Governor's Address. I am very sorry that this has taken place. We are very much concerned with the development of dairy farming and industry in the State. During my visit to Europe, I had visited Denmark to have some better understanding regarding dairy development particularly in the co-operative sector. 

        In addition to my visit to Scandinavia in 1971, I had an opportunity to make a very interesting visit to Anand in Gujarat in January 1972 and I would like to recommend to any Member who is interested in dairy development and co-operative development, to visit Anand. It is something which our country can be very very proud of, that a co-operative union composed of thousands and thousands of small farmers has been functioning for the last so many years, producing milk products and dairy products, and developing diary industry, all in the co-operative sector and no money being pored by way of grant and subsidy from the Government. Whatever it is, dairy development is very much under consideration of the Agriculture Department, and plans are under way to examine how best to develop dairy industry in the State. We had came here a few days ago and spent some time with our officers and myself as the Minister-in- charge was away when he came. When I was the Minister- in- charge of Agriculture, I had invited him. He will be procuring a report by the Dairy Development Board of India, how to establish dairy co-operatives in our State. I would now leave it to Mr. Joshi. 

Shri D.N. Joshi, (Cantonment) : Sir, I want to know whether Government is interested in sending some Members to go to Anand and visit the dairy industry there, so that we can have a full knowledge of setting upto a dairy industry in our State on a scientific basis.

Mr. Speaker : The question raised by Mr. Joshi was that whether Government is prepared to send a delegation from amongst the Member of the Assembly to visit Anand, form interested Members of the Assembly.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc. ) : That is a subject for the Speaker and the House to consider whether we would like to send an inter-State team from amongst the Members who are interested in dairy development to such institutions and elsewhere. 

Mr. Speaker : In so far as delegation to be sent by the Speaker, is concerned this is for legislative purpose only. But so far ass dairy farming is concerned, it is for the Department to consider whether they would like to include some of the hon, Members who are interested in this inter- State tour. As such, this is outside the purview of this House. 

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would therefore, like to suggest to the Government to consider inclusive of the Members of the public who are really doing the work of dairy farming and arrange for such tours outside the State, so that they will get more information about the working of this kind of trade. This, think, will be of great benefit to the people of the State. 

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the suggestion of Mr. Lapang is actually one of the suggestions I had made myself to the Department and this also came from Dr. Kurien who had suggested that we should send not only the top people from the Department, but also we should include the actual farmers, people who will study co-operative development and persons from various levels. These are the suggestions I have made. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the Industries Minister who is answering  on behalf of the Agriculture minister could make such a suggestion, the Member of this House will be in utter confusion. 

Mr. Speaker : The Hon'ble Minister was replying to what his Department had done during the Autonomous State period but now that the other Minister  has taken over, he had made a suggest on to his colleague and in fact this kind of suggestion should not have been uttered in this House. This should have been discussed in the Cabinet meeting. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Since the Minister-in- charge is here may we knew from him whether he ahs given serious consideration to this and if so, what are the steps he is proposing to take. 

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry the suggestion has not yet come to me.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very much needed to have the dairy development in our State. 

Mr. Speaker : How long will you take?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc.) : I will take another 5 minutes, Sir. 

        A question was raised yesterday regarding industry, i.e., cement industry, the price of cement and take over of the Assam Cements. Distribution of cement is not controlled by Government. In fact, Government are not directly concerned with the process of procurement and distribution by the stockists. The prices are, however, fixed by the Government of India. The Director of Supply had requested the Deputy Commissioner to call for a meeting of the cement dealers to find out ways and means to get more supply of cement to Meghalaya. We may assist the dealers and various parties in the mater by  getting priority allotment of wagons provided the Deputy Commissioner makes the arrangement for proper distribution. We have also asked the Deputy Commissioner to ask the cement dealers to exhibit the prices, and stocks of cement in their shops. There are two parties in  Garo Hills who had approached the  Director of Supply for priority allotment of wagons booked to Dhubri and Gauhati, and the Director of Supply had requested the parties concerned to approach through the Deputy Commissioner to ensure that distribution would be done in Garo Hills and not be diverted to another places between Gauhati and Tura, and Dhubri and Tura. 

        Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding Assam Cements, it was pointed out by one of the Members that the price of cement in Shillong is higher than the price of the same cement coming from Cherrapunjee, in Gauhati. Unfortunately, this is a fact, which was brought to my attention some years ago, and I was surprised that this was so. This is due to the system which the Government of India has been following. The price of cement is  fixed by the Cement Controller of India under the Cement Control Order, 1967 and the price, effective from time to time F.O.R. destination railway station, is notified by him.  The freight actually incurred by the producer for delivery of cement F.O.R. Railway Station is reimbursed by the Cement Controller from Freight Regulation Account of the Cement Controller to which every producer has to subscribe as per Cement Control Order. So the selling prices of cement at all places adjacent to Railway Stations and at Factory are the same. But if the cement is to be carried o other destinations, the extra cost is to be borne by the consumer. The Shillong Station of the Road Transport Corporation is an out - agency of Road Transport and Assam Cements was initially allowed by the Government of India to realise an extra charge at the rate of Rs. 40 per metric tonne as out - agency charge which is equivalent of the freight charges from Gauhati to Shillong, as the carriage charge from Cherra to Shillong is not reimbursed by the Cement Controller of India. Thus, the wholesale rate for supply of cement at Shillong is more by Rs. 40 per metric tonne than the rates prevailing at Gauhati and other places. At the time of fixing retail rates, Assam Cements are charging 10 per cent extra charge and godown charge at the rate of Rs.2 per metric tone for sale of cement at other places, But at Shillong they are not charging 10 per cent extra or godown charge which are taken as included in this extra charge of Rs.40 per metric tonne. The average monthly sale of cement in Shillong is 800 metric tonnes. 

        Now, the actual price effective from 1st April, 1972 is as follows : -

        For all place except Shillong the bulk of supply, I will not go into all the details, is Rs.12.36 per bag. It is after calculation that the price of cement and the godown charges have been fixed at 10 per cent by the Finance Department to cost at Rs. 12.36 per bag here in Shillong. So there is a difference between the prices of cement in  other places and at Shillong. This system which has been followed in may places varies and fluctuates from time to time. Our Government is taking up this question with the Cement Controller or re- examine this policy of cement prices in our State. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I ask the Minister and through you, Sir, whether he can give us any information as to whether there has been any change in the policy because it was only in the month of December or January last, that this Rs. 40 per metric tonne, was made refundable by the local officer here in Shillong After that other persons can have some cement from Cherrapunjee only at Rs.11. So, Sir, whether the cement that used to be issued by these local officers here will be refunded or not. It is now presumed that this money is not going to be refunded by the cement  Controller of India. Therefore, Sir, in this respect I think there have some change.  

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, what was before and what is now, everything is changed I am not giving the full history and only when I get all the facts would be prepared to make a fuller statement here. Regarding taking over the Assam Cements, which is still in the process, I may inform the House that we have appointed two Directors to the Board of Directors of the Assam Cements which is a public limited Corporation. We were still in the process of transferring shares by the Assam Government to the Meghalaya Government and we are now in the process of re- examining the affairs of the Assam Cements and trying to get expert advice on various management aspects and it will take a little time to state more regarding the things which have been going on wrongly in the past many years. One of the things is shortage of finance and these are the matters which the Board of Directors of the Assam Cements have to take up very very seriously and rapidly. I believe the members from our Government are examining this matter almost every day. There is some difficulty on the part of our members to run the affairs just now as they have to find out first the various facts, and get a full report as to what has been done. Within a short period of time the picture will emerge so that our Government will come to know what is the actual position. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know the names of the member of this Board from Meghalaya's side?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc.) : The Financial Commissioner, Mr. Ramesh Chandra and Mr. Khosla, Secretary, Industries. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Whether they are in the official capacity as Ex-officio members?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc. ) : Ex- officio, Mr. Speaker, Sir. At the moment the Assam Cement Factory is not  functioning because of the breakdown of some machinery. This is a matter of great regret regarding damage to a motor. The motor that was damaged is under repair but we are not in a position to say when the repair will be completed. But in the meantime, we have asked for the full report and enquiry into the causes of the breakdown. We have received an interim report which says that it is expected to take about two months before the motor will be received back after necessary repairs in Calcutta. Then the motor will have to be checked and installed. I am reading a note given by the Assam Cements Manager and I think this will enable me to clarify the point raised by the hon. Member. 

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know the date of the Report of Assam Cement?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc.) : This is the note which was sent to me on the 4th April. 

Shri D.D. Lapang : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know if these two months are from the date of receipt of this note?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc.) : It is not very clear but it may be two months that these motors have been sent to Calcutta. 

Mr. Speaker : Now, I would request the hon. Member to understand the contest carefully. Now the Assam Cements is still within the control of the Assam Government but now steps are being taken to take over the Cement Company from the Assam Government by the Government of Meghalaya. And when the Meghalaya Government takes over the Cement Factory from the Government of Assam then only the Minister will be held responsible for anything that may happen there. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are in a little bit of confusion. The Minister has stated in this House that the Government of Meghalaya had appointed two Directors in the Board of Directors. If they have the powers or the capacity to utilise those powers for the appointment of two Directors, I fail to understand now the Government of Meghalaya has not taken over the control from the Company. 

Shri S. D. D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will read out that portion so that you will understand the position -

        (a) Taking over of the Company by the Government of Meghalaya. 

        In view of the decision of the Governments of Meghalaya and  Assam to the effect that all investments made by the Government of Assam in Assam Cements Ltd., should be transferred to the Government of Meghalaya and that the control of this Company should be taken over by the Government of Meghalaya, (a) The Government of Meghalaya nominated two Directors on the Board of directors as the Directors nominated by the Government of Assam were withdrawn. Besides this, the Assam Government officials who were members of the Board of Directors also resigned from the Board. A new Board has been formed with effect from 1st March 1972 with 2 Directors nominated by Government of Meghalaya, 2 elected by the Shareholders and one nominated by Industrial Finance Corporation of India. The Financial Commissioner nominated by Government of Meghalaya as a Director of the Company is the Chairman of the Board, while the Secretary, Industries Department, Government of Meghalaya who is also a Director has been appointed by the board as "Director-in- charge of the Company". (b) Steps are being taken to modify/amend the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company with the consent of the Shareholders in general meeting to be held shortly. (c) Government of Assam has been requested to return the share scripts held in the name of Governor of Assam for transferring the shares after correction of Share scripts to the Governor of Meghalaya. (d) Two meetings of the new Board have already been held since 1st March 1972 and important decisions taken. The process of taking over the Company from the  Government of  Assam has been started but not yet completed. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, incidentally since the Minister holds the portfolio of supply also, may we know from him what steps are being taken to ease the shortage of cement in Shillong. 

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries, etc. ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already told earlier regarding this that some steps have been taken to get the D.Cs to make allotment of wagons to assist in getting whatever cement is available from other parts of the country to bring it to our State. Now the full production of Assam Cements, I am informed, may be expected to be resumed by the first week of May according to the estimate made at the moment. Some production is going on at the moment. Some aspect of full production is expected the first week of May. I would like finally to close with some clarifications on the industrial plans which have been undertaken. It is mentioned in the Governor's Address about the survey and discussions with different authorities, consultations on plans for industrial development. One or two things that we have been discussing very recently are the production of new Cement Factories and Clinker Factories particularly in the border where there are large deposits of limestone stretching from Garo Hills to Jaintia Hills. For supplying of clinker to Bangladesh, this should he examined in consultation with the Government of India and the Government of Bangladesh and it is in the process of feasibility studies being prepared. Until those are fully prepared, we cannot say at the moment whether this will come into operation or not. But the process of planning and preparing the ground for some mineral development for supplying to Bangladesh and the rest of the States apart from Assam Cement, is under examination at the moment. I think that is all I have to say regarding the various points raised by the Members. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of information, may we know whether the Government have given up the old grandiose scheme for industrial belt at Byrnihat and to bring railway line to Byrnihat?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) : We have not given up any plan. I do not know whether they are grandiose or not. They may be small or large plans. Planning for future industries has to take places and whether the railway line will come, we are pressing the Government of India for binging it to our State because it is necessary to improve the economic condition of the State. But we have not given up this plan. So I would like finally to say that we have seen in existence only from the 21st January, 1972 but before that it was an Autonomous State and in spite of many difficulties, shortage of accommodation in a common capital, as you all know, even in our Assembly, accommodation is difficult to arrange, yet we have managed somehow to organise some of the Departments. I trust that the members will not only criticise here in the House but to examine some of the difficulties and problems that we have faced and will continue to face for some time to come while this is a common capital and while we are to maintain good relationship with our Sister State. 

Mr. Speaker : I request the Hon'ble Minister to confine to his own department and leave the rest to the Chief Minister other wise the Chief Minister will have nothing to reply. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : He may have authorised him.

(Laughter)  

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) : I am sorry, I just want to say that I am grateful for the spirit in which most of the remarks have been made by the Members of the House and we shall do our level best to rise up to the expectations of our people to maintain the tradition which we have started to achieve the goal and bring in prosperity to all sections of the people both tribals and non-tribals with whatever protections and limitations are provided by the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. 

Mr.  Speaker : Will the Minister, Finance, say something?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, before the Finance Minister gives his intervening reply, I would like to give a reply to Prof. Majaw with regard to the release on bail that I have just collected; the names are :-

1.

Ali Synteng on 4th April 1972.

2.

Jancho Lama on 1st April 1972.

3.

Ka Doris on 27th March 1972.

4.

Baliram Sindhi on 30th March 1972. 

5.

Maina Lama on 27th February 1972.

6.

Ramu (Nepali) Chetry on 30th March 1972. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we on this side do appreciate the keen interest that the Members on the other side have shown and taken in all matters pertaining to our State and within the purview of the administration of the Government. Personally, I am glad to see that Members of the Bar also have come to this House who have taken keen interest in the matter of administration, justice and judiciary. I would first of all (At this stage the Speaker left the chamber and Shri P.R. Kyndiah took the Chair) like to clarify certain uncertainties on some points which were raised by the hon. Member, Shri S.D. Khongwir who is not here at the moment regarding various names given to this District. First of all, Mr.  Chairman, Sir, we have named for this part of the State the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District which is inclusive of the Shillong Subdivision and it is called the United Khasi Hills Autonomous District in spite of the fact that the Jowai Autonomous District has been created and separated from the District Council of United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District and this is because the creation of the Jowai Autonomous District has not been followed by necessary amendment. Mr. S.D. Khongwir has read a notification of the Governor on the 21st that we have the Khasi Hills District then after that we have also Shillong District.  This is mainly for the purpose of judicial administration with the jurisdiction of certain courts. First of all, we have the Shillong District consisting of three wards , i.e., the Jail Road, the Police Bazar and in European Ward with Cantonment under a different set of Courts. They are under the Munsiff of Shillong and then above the Munsiff, we have the Assistant District Judge and then the District Judge and then the High Court. 

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, on a point of information, is Shillong District involved?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : Shillong District has been formed after formation of Jaintia Hills District. Previously there were the British villages of Shillong Town. 

Shri S.D. Khongwir : I do not think that the notification says about the British areas of Shillong But it says that the British areas of Khasi Hills prior to the commencement of the Constitution do not form part of Shillong I also enquired from the Government yesterday, Sir, whether places like Laitlyngkot, Nongshylluit villages  are included in  Shillong District ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : No, they are not included in Shillong District. Shillong Districts is created only with the erstwhile British normal areas of Shillong  Town. These were the Jail Road, the Police Bazar, and the European Ward with Cantonment areas. 

Shri S.D. Khongwir : That means there is something wrong with the notification. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : In so far as the Civil Court is concerned the three wards of Shillong, British, normal areas were called the Jail Road, Police  Bazar, and the European Ward with Cantonment areas formed within the Shillong  District for purposes of judicial administration that is under the Munsiff, the Assistant District Judge and the District Judge and other villages formed under the District Council  Courts. 

Shri S.D. Khongwir : Mr. Chairman, Sir, if the Hon'ble Minister has got the notification, I would like to request him to read it out. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : I have given to the reporters. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Minister has just observed that with regard to other areas other than those falling under the Shillong District, those areas are under the District Council Courts for administration of justice which I think is not totally correct.  The correct one is that in some respects, we do not fall under the District  Council  Courts. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Chairman, Sir, regarding Cantonment there is overlapping between the Military Police and the Civil Police controlling the Cantonment areas. 

Mr. Chairman :  I think there is no overlapping over the police. Have you got that notification?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : The notification says that the Governor has been pleased to order for the creation of a new District to be known as the Jaintia Hills District and thereafter the District of Jowai will  cease to form part of the existing District Khasi and Jaintia Hills but it shall be formed into a separate district of Jaintia Hills with Headquarters at Jowai. But the areas known as British portion of Khasi Hills prior to the commencement of the Constitution of India shall be known as District of Shillong with Headquarters at  Shillong. What is the meaning of  British villages in the rural areas or the British portion of Khasi Hills, I am not very sure to say but I would mean only the portion within Shillong that ate the British villages. Here we have British villages outside Shillong town as separate category altogether and they formed part of United Khasi and Jaintia Hills as I have stated earlier that we have the United Khasi Hills and then we have the Khasi Hills Civil District and then we have the Shillong  District. But the British villages referred to as Laitlyngkot and Nongpoh are outside Shillong Town and form part of the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District and they are under the jurisdiction of that United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District.  

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Bifurcation has taken place and we have followed a notification. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : Here the British villages always formed part of the autonomous District of United Khasi and Jaintia Hills but British portion never formed part of it. That is why it is called normal area. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Minister-in- charge has said that the British villages cannot form a part of the British portion of Khasi Hills. I think this is a contradiction in terms. The British portion can also be a portion of the British area of Khasi Hills. So, the British portion also includes the British of Shillong and the British portion of the rural areas. So, Sir, if there is no clear definition then in this notification the British villages will also form a part of the British portion of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills District. 

Mr. Chairman : I think the notification is not very clear. 

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : It might have made more clear but legally these notifications are quite sound because these British villages and the British portion of Shillong are quite a part. These are being ceded by the Ruler of Mylliem and purchased by the British, while the British villages were in  a different category. 

Shri Maham Singh : In the notification it is written 'the British portion of Khasi Hills' and not the British portion of  Shillong'. 

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : As a pat of Jowai. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : In view of the controversy, we require a ruling from the Chair. 

Mr. Chairman : Are you raising a point of order?

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : I am only seeking your ruling on this point. We hold that the British portions in the rural area are within the areas of Khasi and Jaintia Hills but the Hon'ble Minister- in- charge of  Law holds that it means only a part of Shillong. 

Mr. Chairman : Is it a point of order or a point of clarification?

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : You have to give a ruling,  Sir, because if you do not give a ruling then the controversy will continue and we will go on challenging and he will go on defending himself. If you, Sir, in all wisdom, reserve your ruling, you will kindly allow this matter to rest at this stage but if we persist in giving our  interpretations this controversy will continue. 

Mr. Chairman : I think your contention is whether the British villages in Khasi and Jaintia Hills include also not only a portion of Shillong but also portions  outside Shillong and according to the Minister-in-charge he said that according to the legal interpretation it includes only the Shillong portion of the British portion and not the villages. 

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : The Advocate General has been consulted on this and he was also given this suggestion to remove all doubts. Regarding the British villages the word may be added to this notification : "Other than the areas under the partially excluded areas under Order of 1936"may be included in the notification prescribing the Shillong portion other than those areas partially excluded. So, Sir, that is clear that the British portion is quite different from those villages under Order of 1936.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : May we know whether the legal opinion is acceptable. 

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : Yes this is acceptable and it may be amended.  

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir : Mr. Chairman,  Sir, we would like you to make it very clear regarding this matter which the Hon'ble Minister has admitted that there is confusion.   

Mr. Chairman : The confusion is there. 

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : To make it more clear we have agreed to modify this notification. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Now, Sir, my question is one concerning the cantonment area ; whether it is included within the Shillong District?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : Yes, the cantonment is included within the Shillong District. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : We know that the Military Police are patrolling in the area and there would be over lapping with the presence of Police. 

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : The question of Police over lapping does not arise as it is only for the administration of justice by the Courts. So far as the Police are concerned, we also have a European Area which is different from  other pars of the State. Of course, the European Ward has, for a limited period of time, become a Police District. 

Mr. Chairman : Would you like to continue. 

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : Again we have another part which is different from the District as a whole. It is called the Shillong Administered Area, that is the Shillong Municipality which has 12 Wards minos the 3 Wards and the Cantonment and there we have the Court of the Deputy Commissioner, the Additional Deputy Commissioner and so far as civil jurisdiction is concerned we have these different sets in the Shillong District for the purpose of judicial administration. Then we come to the District as a whole which consists of two parts where we have the Syiemship areas and then those British villages under the Partially Excluded Area Order, 1936. Under the Syiemship we have village courts for the villages and then the the Syiem's Court which is called the Additional Subordinate District Council Court but in the whole District we have also the Sirdar's Court and these are Subordinate District Council Courts but not the Additional Subordinate District Council Court and in both of them we have the Judge of the District Council Courts. And then we have courts for the tribals and the non-tribals and when a tribal is a party all his cases will go the Deputy  Commissioner's Court and not to the District Council Court because the District Council Court has been declared to be a non- tribal court. 

        Now I come to the linked question that was raised by Mr. Koch, that is, regarding the administration of justice. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) : May we know whether there are any proposals under consideration of the Government to straighten up this very anomalous situation? Such a situation may be a paradise for the lawyers and it is a labyrinth for the poor people. Sir, may I know, through you, their activities.  This position should be made very simple.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister of Law) : Government have taken up this question very seriously. We have to bring up the integration of the District Council courts and then we can integrate these District Council courts with the State courts. We are in the process of re-constitution of courts in various districts. Then together with re- constitution of the courts in the districts of Meghalaya we will come to the question of change that has been raised by other Members. Then at the proper time we can bring in changes in the administration, rules and bills that have existed for so many years in these district of Meghalaya. This will involve the application of the laws of the country both civil and criminal, laws for the uniformity of administration of justice in these district and we are now in consultation with the District Councils concerned. We have sent them letters to which they have to reply. Perhaps one of the main bottle- necks  is about the absorption of those officers of these courts and then staff thereof. I have taken up this matter in consultation with the officers and Deputy Commissioners for bringing about very soon the integration of those courts into State courts. Together with integration we may consider the separation of judiciary from the executive.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : We may take all sections of this House into confidence before we bring such a fundamental change in the administrative machinery of this State.    

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister of Law) : As a matter of fact it is only in the process of implementation as has already been passed by Parliament under the Assam-Re- organisation (Meghalaya) Act, 1969.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, may we know whether it is the intention of the Government to take a District Judge for trying the tribals of Shillong district here?

Mr. Chairman : So, at present the status quo is being maintained. 

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister of Law) : Under the Assam Re- organisation (Meghalaya) Act, we have taken steps and with that object in view we are having the integration  of the State courts for all the districts. Regarding the delay it has been the chronic problem all over India. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso - Raliang S.T.) : How long this transitional period will remain?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) : Unless the other competent authorities reply to our question and respond to our call it will be difficult to finalise the whole set up. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : The exact position is this. As we know, under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India there is a provision for setting up District Council courts to go through cases. This has been amended and the District Council will continue to set up the courts in the lower level and in ministerial level. Now in that process we have got to consult the District Councils in the district level as to how many tiers the courts would like to have whether village level, district level and so on. All these things are in the process of consultation. Once we get a definite reply from the concerned District Councils we shall be in a position to go ahead with our programme of setting up of judiciary in the state level and also in the District level. This is the only scheme which is necessary and we have received information from the two District Council but from one District Council we have not got a reply. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : What about the Khasi Hills District Council? It is in the fitness of things that the five year period ahs expired and I think they are waiting for the next District Council. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : This matter was long long before the expiry of the five-year period. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem : We have receive two information from the Chief Minister. So far as the District Council Courts are concerned, the Sixth  Schedule had been amended to enable then to try both the tribals and non-tribals and then according to the Law Minister, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the District Council courts will have to try non-tribals. That should be taken up by the District  Council courts. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : A provision has been made to amend the Sixth Schedule but it has not been implemented. Therefore, at present the new provision had not been given effect to. 

Mr. Chairman : In order that this matter will come to a close, I will take it that the Members of the House are keen to see that implementation of the amendment takes place as early as possible. Consultations can take place in three categories one with the District  Council. The other with the Members of the Bar and thirdly with the Members of this House. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : To it mat be added the advisability of increasing the number of Magistrates with judicial powers. It should be properly organised. They are entrusted with various duties and they are doing all kinds of works like stopping the cars, and stopping the trucks instead of looking after the cases in the Courts. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Chairman, I am not yet clear with the enlightenment given by the Chief Minister regarding the implementation of the amendment in respect of courts. Mr. Chairman,  Sir, the Courts of the District Councils have been constituted under the provisions of paragraph 4 of the Sixth Schedule an now when that paragraph ahs been amended, I do not understand, how it could not be implemented and how those courts could not function according that particular paragraph. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, it has not to be done by issuing a notification. But now we have not been able to come to an agreement with the District Council authorities with regard to the setting up of courts at the lower level other than the Subdivisional and the District levels. It is not for us to disturb the existing District Council Courts but the existing District Council Courts will be replaced as soon as we are in a position to have a clear idea with regard to the courts to be maintained by the District Councils other than the District and Subdivisional Courts. Therefore, today the District Council Courts are still functioning with the limitation of trying cases in which the parties to the suit belong to tribal community. Once we do away with the District Council Courts both at the District level and the Sub-divisional level, then the District Council will have the competency to constitute courts below the district and the subdivision. We cannot disturb before we can agree to the detailed arrangement with regard to the setting up of the courts at the lower levels. 

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I want to know whether they can still function when their powers have already been abolished by a more recent Act. 

*Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law, etc) : They will still continue until this amendment is given effect to. Here it says- " on and from such date as the President may, after consulting the Government of Assam or Meghalaya by a notification, appoint in this behalf ........... in relation to such Autonomous  district or region, as may be specified in the notification". They will take effect only after the notification. So this amendment is an enabling provision. But up till today the amendment has not been given effect to both in respect of the question of tribals and non- tribals and also about the question of abolition of the District  Council Courts. 

        I would also like to say about some of the points raised. Some members had insisted on the declaration of a firm policy on the question of separation of judiciary. It is only after we can complete the full process of constitution of courts that we can examine and take a decision regarding the separation of judiciary from the executive. 

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh Mawnai (Mairang S.T) : On a point of information, Sir, may we know whether the Syiemship Courts are to be abolished, because we have Syiem States in the district. 

*Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law, etc) : We have in the amendment Block Courts and Village  Courts. The Syiem Courts in this district will continue. But we may take away only the  District Council Court - only that court near the Bara Bazar. 

        Last of all, I will say something about the question of delay which has been raised by  Mr. Koch. This is an all India problem. The delay of justice and harassment that is caused to the parties to the cases in courts is an all India problem and different agencies have been appointed by the Government of India like the Law Commission and other agencies to examine this problem and to remove the difficulties. We do not know as yet what the Commission will recommend as to the solution of the problem. It all depends very much on the atmosphere existing in the court between the three parties, namely, the Magistrate or the judicial officer presiding and the lawyers of the two parties. All of them suffer loss of time and loss of energy whenever a case is adjourned. Also their clients behind them will have to suffer loss in many ways. All these are problems have actually drawn the attention of the whole country and Commissions have been appointed to remove this problem. In any case, we on the part of the Government, will examine the work- load and will see, if possible, to increase the number of judicial officers and magistrates to expedite the backlog of arrears of cases pending in the court. 

        Then on the question of excise, there was an amendment moved by Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh and Mr. Maham Singh which has touched on the application of the Excise  Act. On the 8th September 1961 the Governor of Assam extended the application of the Excise Act, 1910 to the Khasi State areas.  The Excise Act was in force all along in the non-States areas of Garo Hills, Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills. Then the District Councils of Khasi and Jaintia Hills passed a resolution recommending the extension of the Excise Act to all Khasi State areas according to the extension given by the Governor of Assam in 1961. Then some parties went to the Hon'ble High Court to challenge the legality of the extension. The Hon'ble High Court declared that the notification was incompetent or for that reason the Excise Act was not in force t eh said areas. On appeal to the Supreme Court, the  Court on 23rd November 1971 set aside the judgement of the Hon'ble High Court of Assam and held that the notification extending the Excise Act to the Khasi State areas was validly made an as such the Excise Act was n force in those areas.  Therefore now we have the Excise Act in force all over the District of Meghalaya. 

Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think the Excise Department is not effective. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Excise) : This is the matter and now I will reply to that. 

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat  S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, on a point of information. There are some Acts which are applicable to all areas of the State an in view of that, I think the control also should be uniform either in the Syiemship or in the Government areas. 

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Excise) : Yes it will, as the hon. Member from Mawprem constituency, Shri Maham Singh has pointed out. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Chairman, Sir, may we know whether the Minister means Mr. Lyngdoh or Mr. Maham Singh (laughter). 

*Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Excise) : I have already mentioned the name of Mr. Maham Singh. About the effectiveness of the Excise Department, I would say this much. In our State the Excise staff is a small force. Just now we have nor Superintendent of Excise for this district and we have only two Inspectors of Excise. 

        We have 6 Assistant Inspectors of Excise and only two Head Excise Constables and the Excise Constables 39 including the Searchers. Though the excise staff is very small yet I would not say that it has not been effective. In fact it has become effective to a great extent. The following statistics will show that the Department is doing its best under difficult circumstances to detect and prevent illegal distillation of liquor. Last year we have 366 cases detected of illicit distillation. The number if cases ended in conviction is 261, the number of cases pending in court is 75, the number of cases pending for investigation is 30, the quantity of liquor seized is 1232 litres, the quantity of fermented material seized is 155 sets. These statistics refer to Khasi Hills alone. thus the Excise Department  with a small staff have been doing a very commendable job.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Mawlai S.T) :-Mr. Chairman, Sir, on a point of information. How we will know whether the excise staff belong to Meghalaya or they are the Excise staff of the Assam Excise Department because at present we have seen only the Excise staff wearing the uniforms and badges of the Assam Excise Department?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Excise) : They all belong to the Meghalaya Government. We have not yet got the supply of uniforms and badges. 

Shri Jormanick Syiem (Mylliem S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister, Excise has stated that the Excise has stated that the Excise Act is extended to the Syiemship areas, and if so, may we know whether the Government has ten steps to control over the stills in the Syiemship area.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Excise) :- Yes.

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, may we know whether steps have been taken by the Government of Meghalaya to check the illicit stills.

*Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Excise) : That is being done. As I have already said, in November 1971 the Supreme Court has decided that the Excise Act should be extended to the Khasi State areas. But in a very short period of time it is very difficult to regularise all the distillations of the stills in the Khasi Hills. At present stills are given license in consultation with the Deputy Commissioner. These licensed stills have come into existence from mid-night of 1947 as a result of the agreement entered into between the Britishers and the Khasi Syiems in 1911. But now that agreement has lapsed and the Excise Act is in the whole State. The Syiems have given permission, licences or receipts for distillation to stills at random. Distillation stills without the licence number of the Deputy Commissioner are treated as illicit distillation. The Government has taken steps to consult the Syiems as to the actual requirement of distillations in each village.

Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Chairman, Sir, may we know whether the Government has taken steps to regularise or check illicit distillations.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Chairman, Sir, if the Excise staff is small how then a provision of Rs. 4,73,000 has been made.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh ( Minister, Excise): Mr. Chairman, Sir, this figure is for the Khasi Hills alone.

Capt. W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : This question was raised in the previous Assembly also. Therefore, this is a question which cannot be decided by the Government without first taking into consideration the various aspects of the matter. It  must be dealt with taking into account the social practices of the people of Meghalaya. To be very brief, I would make it very clear that the Government has not taken a decision to go in for prohibition.

Mr. Chairman : The house stands adjourned till 2 p.m.

(After Lunch)

The assembly met at 2 p.m. with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.

Mr. Speaker :The Finance Minister now will resume his intervening reply.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Finance Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, though the hon. Member from Nongtalang is not here for the benefit of other Members, I may just state the sectoral allocation of the Fourth Plan. The other day the Member from Nongtalang has said that he was in the dark in so far as the Fourth Plan is concerned. For the Fourth Plan the total allocation for our State. is Rs. 38 crores out of which, we have listed Agriculture and Allied programmes 7.86 crores, for Co-operation and Community Development 2.38 crores, for Irrigation and Power 1.75 crores, for Industries and Mining 2.58 crores, for Transport and Communications 12.90 crores, for Social Services 8.24 crores and for Miscellaneous 2.92 crores and the grand total came to 38 crores.

        During the last few months Mr. Speaker, Sir, there has been some misunderstanding on the Land Transfer Act that was passed by the Autonomous State Assembly last year, which was reflected during the discussion here in this House. I would like to state  a few bare facts. Now, we are all agreed about the need for a Regulation on Land 
Transfer in  the interest of the Scheduled tribes within the State of Meghalaya. But there was a question of law and this question of law was raised in the High Court of Assam regarding the powers of the District Council to enact the land transfer laws. The High Court of Assam had declared on 3rd June 1968 that the Districts Councils Court under Paragraph 3(I) (a) of the Sixth Scheduled to the Constitution of India, was not competent to legislate on the transfer of land. The District Councils preferred an appeal to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on 25th August 1971. Therefore, here was a vacuum to fill which the Autonomous State Assembly has to come forward with this Act, and that is the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Regulation, 1971 filling the vacuum that was left after the Supreme Court's decision on the jurisdiction of the District Councils on land transfer. This Regulation of 1971 was passed by the Autonomous State Assembly as a substitute to the land Transfer Act of 1953 passed by the District Councils. At the same time it was an improvement over the land Transfer Acts of the District Councils for one reason. Whenever a person applies for permission to transfer his land, the District Councils would pass it to the Head of the elaka who will pass on to the next. This will no doubt take quite a long time. In this Regulation such applications for transfer of land should be disposed of within 6 months. This is a great improvement. Then an appeal is also provided to the Board of Revenue of the Government.

Mr. Speaker : May I now request the Chief Minister to reply to the debate on the Governor's Address ?

*Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful to the hon. Members who have taken a keen interest on the Governor's Address and bought forward the various problems faced by the people in the respective Constituencies and the State as a whole, and offer valuable suggestions. Sir, as you are all aware the Governor's Address covers a very broad policy of the policy of the Government and does not go into the details of the policy. The primary suggestion made by the hon. Members has been very encouraging and enlightened. My colleagues have already replied to a number of points and now, I have to reply to the questions not replied by them. The Member from Nongspung Constituency in his observation stated, that the Governor's Address should have reflected the representation of the people through the Members themselves and today in this House I am trying to give my explanation to the people of Meghalaya. Their aspiration has found a place in the Governors' Address in the first part of the Address. We have also found a place we have fought for a number of years in the country and found a place we have fought for a number of years in the country and now we are having our own political set up.  This has been stated in the very first part of the speech. Sir, during the period of struggle by the people of Meghalaya of course, we have come across a number of difficulties and obstructions and it has been really an arduous march. However, the aspirations of the people have found a place in the country and in the history of India that we have ultimately succeeded and today we are to represent our people in the State of Meghalaya through this House after we have achieved our full- fledged State. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will not be correct to say that the Governor's Address, being the first Address to the full- fledged State Assembly did not reflect the aspirations of the people. It May be argued, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that that aspect did find place in the Address but nothing was mentioned about what the Government of Meghalaya is going to tackle the problems of the State. Well, Sir, through you, I would like to inform the House that it is not possible in the Governor's Address to detail the various plans and programmes except laying down the broad principles, and that also has found place in the concluding speech of the Governor in which it is stated that "my Government is confident that in shouldering the heavy responsibility of promoting the welfare of the people, it will have the willing co-operation of all political parties and all shades of opinion so that every citizen is actively involved in the task of raising Meghalaya to the level of the more advanced sister States in the country. Of  course, in order to achieve this goal a number of programmes like socio-economic development programmes and other programmes would have to be drawn up and implemented. But those details will be more elaborate and more clear when we shall be discussing the revenue budget for the State of Meghalaya for the current year, some time in June. I would therefore, request the hon. Members to have patience. I can assure hon. Members through you, Sir, that their opinions, their valuable suggestions would always be taken into account. In fact, were are very fortunate to be the representatives of a small State like ours- we represent only ten lakhs of people, and I am confident that the 60 Members of this House representing one million people will be in the position to focus the problems in a very effective way. As started in the last part of the speech of the Governor, we need the spirit of accommodation both form the treasury side and the friends from Opposite. We have got only on e goal, to serve the people of the State. I have no doubt that we can achieve the goal, not within a short period, but in the long run. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the mass movement for achievement of Statehood, as I stated, we have come across a number of difficulties and obstructions, sometimes we were disappointed, we became discouraged. But the determination on the part of people ultimately brought about this goal. As it has rightly been pointed out by the Governor, the achievement of Statehood is not an end; it is only a means to serve the people. It will be known to all of us that the people of Meghalaya have completed the first chapter  of the journey. We are yet leaders and representatives of the people leading them on the path of the second chapter. It is going to be a more difficult journey ; it is going to be a more arduous journey. It  is not going to be a short journey, it is going to be a very very long, journey. So, as we have come across a number of difficulties and obstructions in the first chapter of our journey, we are also going to come across more difficult times in future. We are going to come across  a number of enemies and we must not forget these enemies which are in existence all over the State. We are to come across three big enemies. These enemies are not confined within a particular place or within a particular constituency. These enemies are everywhere, in every house, family, in every village through out the whole State. These enemies are known commonly as P.I.D. i.e poverty, ignorance and disease. It is not going to be easy to overcome these enemies. Is it the study of one Minister or the Cabinet alone? It is a common enemy which has affected every citizen of the State. Unless everyone is determined to overcome these enemies, only the Government efforts alone will not be possible to over- come them. However, Mr. Speaker, Sir, everyone of us should put our heads together and chalk our the programmes as to how best to combat  and overcome these enemies. Our programmes should be drawn up in such a way that they are directed towards combating these enemies. In this I would like, as I said, to refer to what has been said by the Governor in the last part of his Address, namely the active and unreserved co-operation of all political parties in the State of Meghalaya and primarily of the Member who have been elected by our people to represent them in this august House. 

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am definite that with the joint effort of all the political parties and the people behind them an with a firm determination we will be able to wipe our poverty, illiteracy and disease from our State. It will be possible for us to do so not in the immediate future but in due course. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would now like to refer to some of the points raised by the hon. Members Mr. D.N. Joshi, in course of this participation in the debate, wanted to know the government policy in regard to rehabilitation of families of the Jawans who were affected as a result of the different Indo- Pak war. The Government have gone into the question of providing relief an assistance to the families of those who laid down their lives for the country in the recent Indo- Pak war. Regarding this question, it has been decided to offer concessions by way of ex-gratia grant and also concessions in the field of education for the children of these Jawans and concession to the disabled Jawans in the matter of employment. These benefits will be made available to those Jawans and their families who are permanent residents of Meghalaya. 

        Some hon. Members referred to the Government's policy in the matter of recruitment to Government posts. As has been brought out in the Governor's Address, the Meghalaya Selection Board has been set up to rationalise the system of recruitment to different posts under the Government and with a view to ensuring uniformity in standards in respect of direct recruitment to posts where consultation with the Public Service Commission is not necessary (e.g. posts carrying pay scale the maximum of which does not exceed Rs.500/-). In this connection, Mr. Marak observed that reservation should have been made community- wise with special reference to Garos. In this connection, I would like to inform the House, through you  Sir, the Government decision with regard to reservation. Resorting to Clause 4 or Article 16 of the Constitution and keeping in view the adequacy of representation of these communities in the services under the autonomous State of Meghalaya in terms of their population and consistent with the maintenance of efficiency in the administration, the following reservation shall be made in favour of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes in posts and services in connection with the affairs of Meghalaya which are filled by direct recruitment (a) There shall  be reservation of 40% of the vacancies in favour of Khasis and Jaintias. (b) There shall be a reservation of 40 % of the vacancies in favour of Garos. (c) There shall be a reservation of 5% of the vacancies in favour of any other Scheduled Tribes of the Autonomous Districts of Assam now within Meghalaya and the Scheduled Castes of Assam. At the same time it was pointed our not correctly by Mr. Marak that this reservation is meant only for the lower level. It is not so; it is in respect of the services under Meghalaya except for the posts to be filled in more or less with special qualifications, like Science, etc. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of information, what about the I.A.S posts wince the Chief Minister has spoken about all services except those special cases which include the person with special qualifications like  Doctorate and so on, what about Administrative Services. 

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, that is entirely with the Government of India, we can have Meghalaya State Forest Services, and Meghalaya Police Service. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the Government contemplating or is it trying to bring back our many central Service Officers in various States of the country? Is there any move from the Government?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, this is the policy laid down by the Central Government. In fact, it is meant to make available the services of Meghalayans now serving under the different States of the country, but the policy of the Government of India is not to encourage these officers to be posted only in their own native State. They want that there should be distribution of these Central Service Officers throughout the whole of the country. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : What about Public Service Commission?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I am just coming to that.

Mr. Speaker : It is better for the hon. Member to understand the points which the Chief Minister is talking about. Unless and until he is allowed to complete the speech, it is very difficult for you to understand. 

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was just coming to the point. Mr. Lapang mentioned as to why no reference has been made to the Meghalaya Public Service Commission and wondered whether the Assam Public Service Commission still continues to look after the needs of Meghalaya. There is no mention in the Governor's Address. Article 315 lays down a Public Service Commission for the Union Territories and for the State. Subject to the provision of this Article, there shall be a Public Service Commission for the Union and a Public Service Commission for each State. However in this connection, as this Government has not been able to come to a  final decision  in regard to the setting up of a Public Service commission, it has entrusted for the time being to look after the duty of the Public Service Commission, to  the Union Public Service Commission under Article 315 (4) as a "temporary measure". There is of course a provision in the Constitution for the joint Public Service Commission but this is a matter to be decided by the House and not by the Government alone. But since that decision could not be taken as yet, we have entrusted this function to the Union Public Service Commission under Article 315(4). 

        Some hon. Members also referred to the need for improving the administrative machinery. I may assure the House that Government is fully aware of the need for gearing up the administrative machinery of the State and in fact, the  Governor has also touched on this aspect in his Address to the House. We are taking steps to constitute our own services and also to frame rules for various services. The details about the structure of services in the District Offices and Directorates will also be examined at the time of framing the rules. 

        Steps are also being taken for direct recruitment to various services to the extent necessary.  Steps will be taken for filling up vacancies in the various services and to overcome the problems of shortage of staff. The recommendation of the Selection Board will be implemented without delay. The delay is that, the Selection Board recommended the names and we have received the recommendation from it, but we have to refer to the Police for verification. However, seeing the urgency, the Government is contemplating to appoint them on probation subject to the receipt of favourable Police report. 

        Mr.  Rowell Lyngdoh also mentioned that Electoral Rolls had not been fully revised in many cases. I may mention for the information of the House that the last intensive revision of Electoral Rolls took place in January, 1970 before setting up of the State of Meghalaya. There was a proposal to take up intensive revision of  Electoral Rolls in 1971 starting from May, 1971. Owing, however, to the large scale influx of refugees from Bangladesh, it was apprehended that a large number of non- Indian citizens might be enrolled as voters as there was a possibility of the enumerators making mistakes in the absence of effective supervision by the senior officials of the District administration who were engrossed in relief work. Accordingly, the intensive revision was held in abeyance by the Election Commission, but in it s place, the summary revision of Electoral Rolls was taken up in order to enroll the m\names of citizens who had attained the age of 21 on or before 1st January 1971 as well as to remove the inaccuracies of the rolls used in the conduct of the General Election to the Lok Sabha. The Electoral Rolls were accordingly published inviting claims an objections from general public instead of taking up intensive revision. 

        Mr. Pohshna stated that the Border trade between Jowai and Bangladesh has been suspended recently according to the orders of the Bangladesh authorities. According to my  information some people from Bangladesh attended the bazar in the border at Dawki on the 2nd and also on the 26th March. However, as stated by my colleague this morning that the conclusion of Trade Agreement between India and Bangladesh was a good trend between the border so Meghalaya and Sylhet - Mymensing District of Bangladesh which will increase the trade substantial between these two States. Some members have referred to the difficulties experience by our people in the border due to the influx of refugees from Bangladesh last year.  We are very much conscious about the people in the border who has undergone  considerable difficulties during that period. Some of them were displaced for their own homes due to Pakistani aggression and shelling and most of them were given shelter and also relief by the Government. In this connection, I would also like to inform the House that as far as I remember this giving shelter and ration to the border people was accorded in respect of two States, i.e., Meghalaya and Tripura. As far as I know, the Government of India has also fixed the scale for giving resettlement assistance to those people in the areas affected by the recent hostilities between India and Pakistan.  Some hon. Members wanted to know whether instructions had been issued to collect information and whether reports have been received from the affected persons for giving compensation. I will check up this matter from the office as this was sent on 19th February, 1972. So far, in Garo Hills, 1,350 petitions were received in this connection approximately and enquiry is being conducted by different agencies including the District  Councils and Block Development Officers. It is expected that enquiry will be completed by the middle of next month. In Khasi Hills District so far, 1,400 petitions have been received and these are being enquired into by the Camp commandants. Once we are in a position to receive the complete enquiry report on these petitions from the various affected persons in the border area,  I hope we will be able to solve this problem wit you any difficulty since we have received sanction from the Government of India in this connection. So it will not be correct to say that Government has not been taking any action on the cases relating to the border people who had to suffer tremendously during the last influx of evacuees from Bangladesh. 

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) : Sir, we have heard from the Chief Minister that about 1,400 applications were received from Khasi Hills and we reminded the Block Development Officers and other officers in this respect. Now whether these applications were forwarded by the Syiems or any authority to the District Councils. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : In this regard, I have received information from the Deputy Commissioner's office and I have not been able to furnish information regarding petitions received from the local people for giving compensation by the Government for the damage caused to them by the refugees. Some cases were received from Balat and the Camp Commandant at Balat has been instructed to enquire and report on this and has report was received on 22nd March 1972 a copy of which was forwarded to the Secretary, R. and R. vide letter No. SLR/182/71/2087, dated 28th March, 1972.  So far we have received 1,400 petitions involving an amount of nearly 3 crores an  enquiries have been made by the Camp Commandant deputed for such work by the Government and no progress report of the cases so far is available. 

 Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Sir, whether these applications have been sent to the Camp Commandant for verification or whether any application was forwarded to the Government where they will be taken into consideration?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will not be possible for me to answer every individual person affected and those who have submitted petitions. 

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I understand that he posts of Camp Commandants have been terminated and in that case so many applications have been received from this District. How is it possible for these persons whose services have been terminated to make enquiries with regard to compensation ?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well I have received this report form the Deputy Commissioner only yesterday and from this I presume that the Camp Commandant has been functioning. Some Members also stressed the need for urgent setting up of two Sub-divisions one with Headquarters at Simsanggiri and another with Headquarters at Nongstoin. As I understand, the draft notification under the requisition Act for acquiring land has already been published and the draft declaration as required under Section 6 of the Acquisition Act is expected to be published soon. As a matter of fact, some engineers had also been posted there to complete the site plan of roads and buildings. As the Town Planner has since joined, the plans will be finalised in consultation with him.  

        As regards the Subdivision at Simsanggiri, various aspects are involved such as the extent of the Subdivision, compensation for valuable trees, etc., were re - examined recently in a meeting attended by the Chief Minister, Chief Minister, Chief Executive Member, District Council, the Deputy Commissioner and the rest.  The amount of compensation for fruit- bearing trees and valuable trees has since been assessed by the District  Council. the revised boundaries of the proposed Subdivision are awaited from the Deputy  Commissioner. Government are keen to inaugurate these  Subdivisions as soon as possible. 

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of information. I want to know from the hon. Leader of the House whether Government is intending to open a new Subdivision for the Nongpoh area. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Government have not considered to set up a Subdivision at Nongpoh as yet. 

        Well, Sir, as far as the Land Transfer Act is concerned my colleague has just now intervened but I would only like to inform the hon. Members that there should be no apprehension that the interest of the non-tribals would be adversely affected.  In fact, was correctly stated by my colleague, the Law Minister, in the original Acts adapted by the District Council, the conditions for transfer of land from a tribal to a non-tribal or from one non-tribal to another were specifically read out. But we have in this Act, under Section 4, laid down conditions because, as I have stated earlier, this act has been adapted by the previous Assembly under Clause 5 of Article 19 empowering the State to impose reasonable restriction on the exercise of the fundamental right for protecting the interests of the members of the Scheduled Tribes. The Act does not prohibit a non-tribal from acquiring land but it simply regulates such transfer with a view to look after the interests of the weaker sections of the community. Now, these are the sections for granting or refusing transfer :- 

        According to Section 3 the authority shall take into account the following measures, according to he circumstances of each case, whether a non- tribal holds any other land in Meghalaya : whether there is any tribal willing to take that land on transfer at the market value ; whether the non- tribal seeking the land is carrying on any business, profession or vocation in or near the area ; whether for the purpose of such business it is necessary for his to reside in that area; whether the proposed transfer would be to the economic interest of the Scheduled Tribes in the area. 

        Now, in the original Act, there were no conditions laid down. It is entirely at the discussion of the District Council Authorities but we have now laid down  specific conditions and that it is only while going through all these conditions that either sanction or rejection can be arrived at and all these conditions that either sanction of rejection can be arrived at and if the petition for transfer of land is not disposed of within a period of six months, it will be taken for granted that the sanction has been given. 

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think there is a provision for a component authority. May we know from the hon'ble Chief Minister what that competent authority is ?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well,  Sir, we are going to notify on this subject and since, at present, land is vested with the  District Council, the Government are contemplating to notify the District  Council as a competent authority. But while disposing of this particular matter the District Council, by this Act.......

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point information there is a specification in the Act which states- 

        "After a person applying  for the purchase of land has submitted his application and does not receive a reply within 6 months from the competent authority, it shall be deemed that he has received the permission" 

        That means a person who normally would not be entitled to a plot of land but by merely passing five or ten rupees the file could be kept hidden and that after 6 months or so the permission to buy the land is given. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I think we are not here to debate on the provision of this particular Act. The hon. Members have already had the information and I think it is now not open for debate. 

Mr. Speaker : Yes. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well, Sir, a number of Members have made observations with regard to a number of problems in the Shillong Town. The Government are quire alive to the need for a cleaner Shillong. Knowing  the jurisdiction over the Shillong Municipality would come under the State of Meghalaya from 21st January 1972, the Chief Secretary of Meghalaya had already taken steps even on 11th January 1972 to convene a meeting with the Chairman, Shillong Municipal Board, the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the Superintendent of Police, Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the Director of Health Services, Meghalaya, the Syiem of Mylliem, the Publicity Officer, Shillong, to discuss ways and means by which the clean- up operation for Shillong including Mawlong Bazar could be taken up in a systematic and co-ordinated manner. The Government are pursuing this matter and will make every effort towards its achievement. 

        The present water supply of Shillong  is also not adequate enough and the Government had recently agreed to grant a loan of Rs. 1,90,000 to the Shillong Municipal Board to augment the Shillong Water Supply Scheme. So far as the two unfortunate fire incidents, one at Police Bazar and the other at Mawlai are concerned, I understand that every effort had been made by the fire fighting services to fight the fire. The fire fighting services are not under the jurisdiction of the Shillong Municipal Board but even then I feel that we should not let their commendable services go unacknowledged when they had to fight against the odds of a huge fire in a driest part of the year before the rain starts. 

        It will be more correct to say that Shillong is the joint capital. But when Meghalaya became a full- fledged State that position no longer exists. Government of Assam have decided in principle to move down to the plains but it was not possible for them to shift with immediate effect. As a matter of courtesy it was agreed that they will continue from Shillong till they are in a position to move down to their new capital to be selected by them and the period for this is limited to 3 years. When Shillong was a joint capital in this autonomous State there was  a provision to appoint a committee in Shillong including greater Shillong so that the various problems particularly with regard to water supply and education should be discussed. Through this committee the necessary measures can be taken  jointly by the Government of Meghalaya and the Government of Assam. We could hold such a meeting only once and in the meantime Meghalaya became a full - fledged State and  the Committee ceased to function. In fact, it was the desire of this Government, that since Shillong was a joint capital both the Governments should draw up a master plan fro development of Shillong. Now I should say that the entire responsibility for development of this town is given to Meghalaya when it has become a full- fledged State. 

Shri Dhrubanath Joshi : On a point of information. The Chief Minister was pleased to inform the House that the Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya has contemplated to convene  a meeting in which the Chairman of the Shillong Municipal board and the D.C., Khasi and Jaintia Hills and other people will be invited. But may I know Sir, through you if there is the necessity of inviting the Executive Officer of the Shillong Cantonment Board to attend that meting while taking up the scheme of having cleaner Shillong in future because I feel that Cantonment is a part and parcel of Shillong town.   

Mr. Speaker : These are matters of details which should not be discussed here. In fact, since the Chief Minister has admitted that the Government will take steps for having a cleaner Shillong, I think the details will have to be worked out at the departmental level. 

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : The point that as long as Government of Assam sits here in Shillong whether it should be treated as a free guest or a paying guest. 

Mr.  Speaker : The Chief Minister has already replied that according to the North Eastern Ares RE-organisation Act, the Government of Assam is to function from Shillong. It is not fair on the part of our Members to question the Act which has been passed by Permanent.  I think we must remain content with the provision of the Act. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Sir, I was just going to see the special provision of the act. My colleague is referring it to me while speaking about Shillong town. We have already started to do some work for Shillong town. We have already started to do some work for Shillong town. I would like to reply to the points raised by Mr. Joshi that somebody was not invited from Cantonment. While Cantonment is very much within Shillong, it is not within the Shillong Municipality. They are the agency for that.  

        Maintenance and improvement of almost all the roads within Shillong Municipal limits are at present done by the Government  of Assam. The matter pertaining to transfer to these roads to Meghalaya Public Work Department (Roads and Buildings) was taken up with the Government of Assam and it has been agreed to by the Government of Assam to had over these roads to Meghalaya Public Works Department (Roads and Buildings) on 1st April 1972 after clearing all liability incurred by them. Due to urgency in the meantime, Keating Road has been taken over from the government of Assam and the improvement works on this road are in progress. In order to remove congestion and to regulate the smooth flow of traffic, arrangements have also been made to improve the Lukier Road, keeping the improvement work confined to the present formation width of 18 ft. as the Cantonment authorities have not agreed to its further widening, as according to them, it may  involve certain complications like obtaining the permission of Defence Department, Government of India, etc.  The junction point of the G.S. Road and Sweeper Lane Road has also been improved very recently in order to ease the traffic congestion in that locality and arrangements have also been made to take up the improvement work of the Sweeper Lane Road, which is in a very bad condition. As regards roads within the Shillong Municipality, the repair and improvement works will be taken up consistent with the availability of funds, as soon as these roads are handed over by the Government of Assam. Improvement and maintenance of P.W.D. roads in Shillong are outside the Municipal limits and other roads are also being carried out as far as practicable consistent with the availability of funds. 

        Regarding the scarcity of water in Shillong, as raised by Mr. Majaw, a project costing Rs. 362 lakhs for greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme has been submitted to Government of India for technical clearance and loan arrangement and the same is awaited from the Government of India. as regards the existing Water Supply Scheme to Police Bazar, it is entirely the responsibility of the Shillong Municipal Board. 

        In regard to measures to improve water supply in rural areas, as raised by Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh, in general it may be pointed out that with a meager plan allocation of approximately Rs.40 lakhs per annum both for rural and urban Water Supply Schemes in the State it is not possible to take up more than seven to eight rural Water  Supply  Schemes per annum, provided there are gravity Water Supply Schemes. 

        As regards Mawkyrwat, one Water Supply Scheme was executed by the B.D.O., and the quantity of water is most insufficient. For a new and bigger scheme the water is required to be pumped from nearby streams. The capital cost of which is approximately Rs.6 lakhs as per the scheme drawn up during the year 1967, but the maintenance cost will be about Rs.30,000 per annum which is very high. The maintenance is to be borne by the people of Mawkyrwat themselves in case the scheme is to be taken up. 

Prof. Marin Narayan Majaw : For water supply scheme in Shillong big plans have been submitted to the Government of India. It is not like other plans. May I ask the Chief Minister what steps will be taken on adhoc basis for the time being. I am glad that a big plan has been submitted to the Government of India. It is an excellent one and I hope that it will actually come to fruition. But when we see the conditions of the people, specially  in Jaiaw and Mawkhar, lining up every morning waiting for a bucketful of water and when even the Manager of the Pine wood Hotel told me that he spends about Rs.10.000 per day for water, I would like to know what steps are being taken by the Government in the meantime. May we know that Mr. Speaker,  Sir?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is another water supply programme from Umkhen which will give us about 80,000 gallons of water per day. It is expected that this scheme will be commissioned within a couple of months. Of course, this will not meet the requirement of the entire town. It is primarily to meet the requirements of Nongthymmai and that part of the town. We have already sanctioned Rs.1,90,000 to the Municipal Board for taking up the water supply programme from  Crinoline falls. These are the interim schemes before we can get the clearance for the bigger scheme of Rs. 362 lakhs. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know how much water will be derived from this scheme?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have already said that the Umkhen scheme will provide 80,000 gallons of water per day and the other one will give about 1 lakh gallons of water per day. 

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, may we know what are the other areas to be included in the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : It is for Shillong but including the suburbs. (Voices ......including Mawlai). It may extend beyond Mawlai. 

Prof Martin Narayan Majaw : Sir, my question is still unanswered. Somebody remarked that liquor is more available than water to wash our faces. 

Mr. Speaker : Actually the question is about the special or immediate arrangements and what steps the  Government are taking to solve the scarcity of water immediately. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have already said that two schemes have already been taken up. I cannot do more than that. 

Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, we want to know what temporary arrangement is being made by the Government like supply of water by the State Fire Service, etc.

Mr. Speaker : That is the intention of the Members.

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : In this connection, I would suggest the hon. Members kindly to think more seriously about it and to give us concrete suggestions what is to be done. 

Shri Maham  Singh : We want to suggest, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that water should be supplied by wagons and by the State Fire Service, Fire Brigade, etc. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Are we to understand that no temporary arrangement has been made by the Government at this stage?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : We have already submitted a bigger water supply scheme and we are waiting for the clearance. So far as the Umkhen Water Supply Scheme is concerned, it is expected to be commissioned within a couple of months. The suggestion to supply water by tanks will have to be examined. I will have it examined immediately. 

Mr. Speaker : The questions and answers are too far a part. The question actually relates to the temporary arrangement to meet the scarcity of water, perhaps for a few days or for a few months. It was suggested by the hon. Member, Mr. Maham  Singh, that if the Government is aware of the fact that there is acute scarcity of water the Government may make arrangement to carry or to draw water form the sources by wagons or State Fire Service or something like that. That was the suggestion. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I request that all these suggestions, should come through the  Shillong Municipality because supply of water to the town is their primary responsibility. So, I request that it should come through the proper channel. 

Shri D.D. Lapang : Mr.  Speaker,  Sir, the scarcity of water is in the town and everyone of us has been suffering from this trouble. It is really surprising that the Government is expecting a suggestion from the public when we expected from the Government that something should have been done by now. If they wait for the suggestion, the action will then be too late. We want to suggest to the  Government to take action immediately without waiting for the suggestions. 

Mr. Speaker : I understand your point. The Chief Minister told the House that the Municipality should have approached the Government and would have taken steps. But this is practically a new information to the Government. I think we should stop this discussion and the Government will look into the matter with Municipal authorities so that they will find out ways and means to solve this scarcity of water. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have a submission. The Chief Minister had earlier asked for suggestions of the floor of the House and the hon. Member from Mawprem, as it his customary right has responded to this call and made certain suggestions. But most unfortunately, subsequently the Chief Minister said that this should be processed through the Municipality. So, it is a terrible let down to the Members, the representatives of the public. I would, therefore, request the Chief Minister to take immediate steps to take the Municipality into confidence. This is a common problem which has to be solved through our common efforts. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : The Government is not trying to shirk the responsibility. Since there is a Municipal administration, when in a subsequent reply I said, let it be processed through the Municipal Board, it is not meant that I am shirking the responsibility but because we have to take them into confidence. 

Shri Maham Singh : Municipality has failed. 

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are all aware of the scarcity of water supply in Shillong. The problem if very acute. It is not a new problem but it is a problem for so many years. I quite agree that it is of extraordinary acuteness. I have a personal knowledge on the matter and Mr. Speaker,  Sir, if you allow me I would like to speaks a few words. 

Mr. Speaker : Yes, you have every right to speak as the hon. member. 

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are two immediate schemes proposed to be implemented for augmenting the water supply of Shillong. One is the Crinoline Water  Supply Scheme. The expenditure ear- marked for this scheme is less that two lakhs.  The Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme is a long term project costing Rs. 3 crores 62 lakhs.  

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are talking not about the schemes but the temporary measures of water supply. 

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, I do not know why the Member is impatient as not to listen to me. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, be cause we are in great need of water. (laughter). 

Mr. Speaker : Order, please. Unless and until we have patience, it is really difficult for the whole House to understand the whole thing which Mr. Kyndiah wants to say. 

Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, impatience does  not produce water (laughter).  The second water supply scheme is the Umkhen Project which will be commissioned very soon as the Chief Minister has already stated. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in so far as the immediate link is concerned I have a personal knowledge that the Municipal Board has tried its level best to give water supply to all citizens of the State by supplying through tank wagons. But it would be a good thing also if the Government come to the aid of the Municipality by way of providing it with fire brigade tankers to carry water for meeting the immediate water requirement of the people. Carrying of water by tanker wagons should be taken on a war footing for a few months now. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I put a suggestion that water floating the whole day sometime in Lachumiere area could be diverted to some houses. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, I would like to say that the Chief Minister has to make a reply to so many important matters and as such it would be better that the Chief Minister should convene a meeting comprising of the representatives of this House and the representatives of the Municipal Board to sit and discuss ways and means for the immediate solution of the problem. 

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Chief Minister has stated that the Umkhen water supply scheme is going to be commissioned very soon. But some days back I was told by the  S.D.O., Public Health Engineering that the scheme will not be taken up by the Government.

Mr. Speaker : Whatever a Minister stated on the floor of the House is correct and whatever an officer said outside the House is not correct. So, now I think it is better that we should close the discussion on the subject with the sense of understanding that the Government would also make all efforts to try to solve the problem of  Shillong water supply immediately. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the suggestion of Mr. Hoover Hynniewta is very much welcome. I would suggest that my colleague who is in- charge of Public Health Administration would convene a meeting and  discuss with the members of the Municipal Board and some elder persons of the State and see  how this problem of water supply can be tackled on a temporary basis. 

        Now I will come to the matters relating to the Public Works Department and I have an occasion to reply earlier about the Umsning- Jagi Road. This road is still under construction. The road has been recently made jeep- able. Improvement  works are in hand and construction of permanent bridges in places is yet to be taken up. Regarding Ampati- Pora Khasia Road the total length so far sanctioned is only 20 Kms. for Rs.12 lakhs. Sanction was issued early last year only and works are still in progress. With regard to the remaining length of 8 Kms. it is roughly estimated to cost Rs.8.41 lakhs. This would not be accommodated in the 4th Plan Road Programme of Rs.12 crores. This is proposed to be taken up from the border areas programme. Mr. Lewis Bareh has mentioned about the handing over of Jowai - Badarpur Road to B.R.D.B. thus depriving the local people of works. The Shillong - Jowai - Badarpur- Agartala Road was declared by the  Government of India as National Highway 44 sometime in July 1971.  Thereafter the maintenance and development of this National Highway from Jowai to Agartala has been entrusted to the Border Roads Development Board by the Government of India for reasons best known to them. The portion from  Shillong to Jowai is still with the Government of Assam but is being transferred to Meghalaya from 1st April 1972. 49 number of roads in border are totaling 1096 Km. in lengths and roughly costing Rs.1426 lakhs were proposed. These include new road and improvement of existing roads. So far Government of India has sanctioned improvement of 3 existing roads under the strategic road programme, costing approximately Rs.2 crores. These roads are (1) Dalu- Baghmara Road (2) Dalu- Purakhasia Road, (3) Mawsynram- Balat- Gomaghat- Maheshkhola Road. Another road Damra- Darugiri- Baghmara Road. has been taken over by the Border Road Development Board for improvement. 

        Sir, Mr. Stanlington D. Khongwir has talked about Byrnihat bridge on N.H. 40.  there is provision in the Central Sector for reconstruction of this bridge to a 2 - Lane Class 70 R bridge. The site has not yet been finally selected by the Ministry of Transport (Road Wing). The Government of India has now called for plans and estimates which are being attended to. He also mentioned about the Mawlai Bridge. Though this bridge lies in N.H. 40 as this falls within the boundaries of the Shillong Municipality, the responsibility of its maintenance and reconstruction lies with the State Government. As this scheme is not provided for in the State Plan (Assam), it may be difficult to take up immediately of its improvement. However, it will have to be examined whether by dropping some other schemes, this can be taken up. 

        Mr. W. Cecil R. Marak referred to the request made by the  District Council authorities for taking over of the roads by the P.W.D. but o wing to meagre allocation this cannot be taken over at present. 

        Mr. G. Mylliemngap mentioned about the  Shillong Diengpasoh Road. An suitemate for improvement of this road ahs recently been finalised and the sanction being issued at an estimated cost of Rs. 16,32,000 and about the Sohiong- Nongbsap Road mentioned by Mr. E. Kurbah, due to paucity of fund full length from Sohiong to Nongbsap could not accommodated in the 4th Plan. However, a length of 8 Km. from Sohiong and a bridge over rive Weilyngkut have been proposed for construction and sanction to this project at an estimated cost of Rs. 10,25,000 is being accorded.  On the Mawmaram - Nongthliew- Mawmih Road, the first 8 Km. from Mawmaram to Nongthliew have been included in the 4th Plan and sanction to the project at an estimated cost of Rs.5,00,000 has been accorded and the work is  in progress. 

        Mr. Plansing K. Marak mentioned about road communication in order areas.  Though the improvement of road communication specially in border areas is very important, due to paucity of fund, only a few such road could be included in the 4th Plan. Altogether 49 (forty- nine) Roads Schemes located mostly in border areas were suggested by the Government of Meghalaya, through a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister for taking up and an additional financial assistance was sought for implementation of these schemes. Of these only 27 schemes, and that too in parts, could be accommodated in the 4th Plan. Unless additional financial assistance is made available by the  Government of India it may not be possible to take up all essential projects in the border areas. 

        About the roads in Lumparing area mentioned by Mr. P.N. Choudhury, it was a fact taht so long the roads within  Shillong Municipal limit were looked after and maintained by the Government of Assam. After the creation of full State of Meghalaya, arrangements have been made to take over these roads from Government of Assam and the roads are expected to be handed over shortly to this Government. After these roads are taken over the problem of improving communication  system in Lumparing area will be examined and accommodation may be made consistent with the availability of funds. 

        Now  I come to foot paths etc., mentioned by Mr. Upstar Kharbuli. So long the Public Works Department roads, footpaths, etc., within the Municipal limit were being maintained by the  Government of Assam. After creation of the State of Meghalaya arrangements have been made to take over these roads from Government of Assam and the roads are expected to be transferred shortly to this Government. It is not a fact that there is no schedule of rates. Each Division has it schedule of rates. 

        Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have been following the procedure of Assam Public Works Department Code in the matter of inviting tenders, etc., in accordance with Paragraph 285, 287 and 288 of Assam Public Works Department Code which lays down the procedure for acceptance of tenders which are reproduced below :-

        "Para 285 : Sealed tenders should invariably be invited in the most open and public manner possible, by advertisement in the Government Gazette or the Press, or by public notice in English and the Vernacular ; tenderers should have free access to the contract documents. The notice should state - 

(1) .......

The place, where and the time when, the contract documents can be seen, and blank forms of tender obtained. 

(2)

The place where and the time and date on which, tenders are to be submitted and are to be opened. 

(3)

The amount of earnest money to accompany the benders and the amount and nature of the security deposit required should either be forwarded with the tender in currency notes or deposited in the treasury; the duplicate copy of the Chalan being attached to the tender, cheques on Banks should not be accepted for this purpose. 

(4)

With whom, or with what authority the acceptance of the tender will rest. 

        Para. 287 : Usually the lowest tender should be accepted, unless there be some objection to the capability of the contractor, the security offered by him, or has execution of former work. In selecting the tender to be accepted, the financial status of the individuals and firms tendering should be taken into consideration in addition to all other relevant factors. at the same time the acceptance or rejection of tenders is left entirely to the discretion of the officers to whom the duty is entrusted, and no explanation can be demanded of the cause of the refection of this offer by any person making a tender. Such an explanation my be called for by superior authority if considered necessary.         

        Para. 288 : It is the definite policy of Government to encourage the natives of the Province (including those domiciled in Assam ) to take up contract work. Subject always to the recognition of the fundamental principle that contacts are accepted in the interest of efficient and economical work, a natives of the province should, other things being equal, be given preference provided the difference between his tender and the lowest satisfactory tender submitted by the foreigner does  not  exceed  five per cent of the amount of that lower tender"

        When, however, the competition is amongst the natives of the province, the principle laid down in paragraph 287 should be followed and no distinction made between them in respect of places of origin. In this connection, I am also to inform the House that the special concession should be given to tribals and their case should be taken into consideration especially, the tribal  Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should be given 30 per cent concession. 

        Mr. P.N. Choudhury mentioned also about Labour. Labour and Employment is a new subject coming over after Meghalaya attained full Statehood. The Directorates under the Labour Department are yet to be established. This  Government will however, take all steps as provided for under the various Labour Acts to promote the welfare of labourers under "Industrial and other undertakings as well as solution of un employment in co- ordination with the Development Departments. 

        I will come not to Education. Now as I have told the House that the Sixth Schedule of the Act stated, " Such of these lands and building as the held by the existing State of Assam within the limits of the Cantonment and Municipality of Shillong, immediately before the appointed day as may be agreed upon between the States of Assam and Meghalaya shall be available for the use of the State of Assam, on the appointed day and thereafter for such periods as may be agreed upon by the said States". This is the provision. 

        "Where no agreement is reached between the States of Assam and Meghalaya on any of the matters referred to in  Clause (a), the  Central Government shall decide such matters and the decision  of the Central Government thereon shall be binding on the said States. Different periods may be agreed upon under Clause (a) or decided under Clause (b) for different lands and buildings".

Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of information may we know if there is a law for the passing of lands and buildings" between the Government of Assam and the Government of Meghalaya. 

Mr. Speaker : I cannot properly understand your question.

Shri H. Hadem : The policy which is now practices by our State is in accordance with the principle which was decided  by the Government of Assam where it will have to under take the burden  regarding some payment to be made for the use of lands as is provided under the Act. There must be some sort of agreement between the two Governments and in this connection, I think, there is no time limit on agreements made so far between the two States?   

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : This is really a very difficult point and I want to give a clarification to the hon. Member regarding this question of paying rent of the use of lands, buildings etc. There is a provision here which says, "Where any land or building is made available to the State of Assam on or after the appointed day then, not with standing anything contained in this Schedule the debt or other liabilities in respect of such land or buildings shall pass on to the State of Meghalaya only from the date from which possession of the land or building is given to the State of Meghalaya and the amount of such debt or other liability shall be determined by agreement between the States of Assam and Meghalaya or in default of any such agreement, by the Central Government".  So, now, we have agreed that the stipulated period for use of such lands and buildings should be 3 years, by the Assam Government. Now, with regard to education I entirely agree with the suggestions of the hon. Member that the present system of education  in our county and in our State in particular, is to indicate some changes or re- orientation. In the field of general education it is important for the Government to lay special emphasis to improve the educational institutions.  The Government have constituted a Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr. H. C. Bhuyan vide Government Notification No. SS/Edn.111/70/17, dated 22nd February 1972.  The Commission has scheduled to meet on April, 1972.  The members of the Commission are as follows : - 

1.

Dr. H. C. Bhuyan  ...

...

...

Chairman  

2.

Rev. B.M. Pugh ...

...

...

Member

3. 

Rev. Fr. A. Joseph ...

...

...

"

4.

Rev. Mother John (St. Mary's)

...

...

"

5. 

Miss. S. Swer 

...

..

"

6.

Shri A. Shylla (Retd. asstt. Inspector of Schools)

..

...

"

7.

Lt. K.R. Marak 

...

...

"

8.

Executive Member, Education , Khasi Hills District Council 

...

...

"

9.

Executive Member, Education , Garo Hills District Council 

...

...

"

10.

Executive Member, Education , Jaintia  Hills District Council 

...

...

"

11.

D.P.I Meghalaya 

...

...

Member Secretary. 

        Steps have also been taken to implement a Pilot Project for the teaching of Science in selected Middle and Primary Schools with the assistance of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the United Nation International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). As our institution are still  under the control of Gauhati University and the Assam Secondary Education Board, Gauhati, the new pattern of education to be followed by Assam will also apply to the state of Meghalaya until we have our own Board of  Secondary Education. It is also our endeavour to introduce, with effect from January, 1973 the new pattern of 10 (ten) years schooling before the High School Leaving Certificate Examination and 2 (two) years schooling for the Higher Secondary Schools Leaving Certificate after completion of the High  Schools Leaving Certificate Examination. 

        There is also a proposal to constitute a Text Book Committee with Regional Advisory Committee of the Garo Hills and the Khasi Hills including Jaintia Hills. Now I will come to the technical education.     

        Where technical education  is concerned we have to admit that our State is far behind other States in the county. At present we have only the  Shillong Polytechnic which imparts training in  Civil Engineering only. WE have,  however, submitted our request to the All India Council of Technical Education, which is the recommending authority for the implementation of Technical Institutions in the country, to recommend the introduction of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering courses in the Shillong Polytechnic. You are perhaps aware that there is a policy of recession towards the expansion of technical education by the Government of India as a result of the un- employment of  Engineers and Technicians. Nevertheless we have still put forward our proposal for the introduction of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering courses as it is felt that a full-fledged Polytechnic is necessary to meet the demands of all round development of the State particularly in the filed of industrial development. 

        It is also hoped that a Girl's Polytechnic will be established by the end of the; Fourth Year Plan; and the All India Council for Technical Education ahs been approached of recommending courses like Food Technology , Pharmacist and Tele-communications.

         Steps have also been taken to start a Junior Technical School at Jowai.

        Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh also mentioned about free education. It a fact that in general, education is free for boys upto the age of 14 years (Class VI) and upto Class VIII for girls. Where tribal students are concerned educations is free upto Matric Class for all students who do nor receive Government scholarships. Scholarship holders are expected to pay the school fees from their scholarships. The fees are Rs.2.00 per mensem for Classes IV and V, and Rs. 3.00 per mensem for Classes VI, VII and VIII and Rs. 4.00 per mensem for Classes IX and X. The value of the scholarships is Rs. 5.00 per mensem for M.E. students and Rs. 7.00 per mensem for High School students.     

        Government are also considering the question of gradually making education compulsory upto M.E. standard (age - 14 years), and for this purpose relevant facts are being  collected regarding population, distribution, location of existing schools, state of communications, adequacy of teachers, etc. This information will form the basis of the 'Education Map' which is to be prepared for the State of Meghalaya. 

        Regarding promotion and development of Youth Welfare, Sports and Games as observed by Mr. Khongwir, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a more important subject. But let us all admit that youth primarily belongs to the individual family and to the state and the county as a whole. So it is only with the united effort of the parents and the Government that the problem of the youth can be effectively solved., However, for the improvement of Sports in the State of Meghalaya, Government have since notified the formation of a State Sports Council vide Notification No. SS/EDN 260/71/14 of 15th December 1971.  Steps have been taken to appoint a Sports Officer and after the sports Officer is in position it will be possible for the State Sports Council to start functioning. The State Sports Council comprises of the following persons :- 

1.

Minister, Education, Meghalaya 

...

...

President. 

2.

Chief Secretary, Govt. of Meghalaya

...

...

Vice- President. 

3.

Sports Officer, Govt of Meghalaya 

...

...

General Secretary.

4.

Mr. Kynpham Sing 

...

...

Hony. Treasurer. 

5.

The General Secretaries of the District Sports Associations of Shillong, Tura and Jowai. 

...

...

Members (3)

6. 

Chairman, U.K. & J. Hills District Council 

...

..

Member. 

Shri Rokendra Dkhar. 

7.

Shri John Deng Pohrmen, C.E.M., Jowai District  Council 

...

...

Member. 

8.

Mr. Kenneth Momin, Tura Government College 

...

...

Member. 

9.

To be selected by Council  Resolution 

...

..

2 Member. 

10.

Secretary, Education, Meghalaya 

...

...

Ex- officio Member. 

11. 

Secretary, Finance, Meghalaya

...

...

Ex- officio Member. 

12.

D.P.I., Government of Meghalaya. 

...

...

Ex- officio Member. 

        The Education Minister, Government of Meghalaya is also a Member of the National Advisory Board on Youth and the recommendations of the first meeting of the National Youth Board are under active consideration. the Union Minister of Education and Youth Services is the Chairman of the National Advisory Board on Youth with 13 other members drawn form the Union Ministries of Defence, Health, External Affairs, Home Affairs etc., 25 Representatives of all State Governments and Union Territories (Chief Ministers or Ministers), and 11 representatives of National Youth Organisation/Youth service Agencies like the Bharat Yuvak Samaj, the YMCA, the Young Farmer, Association of India, Bharat Scouts & Guides etc. The remaining 5 members include the Chairman of the University Grants Commission, the Chairman of the Central Welfare Board, the President of the  All India Council of Sports, a representative of the Planning Commission and the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Youth Services as Member Secretary. 

        The main recommendations of the first meeting of the National Youth Board are as follows :-

1.

Setting up of a State Advisory Board on non-student Youth Welfare and District Youth Boards.

2.

Establishment of Youth Centres at the District and Block levels.

3.

Development of trekking and hiking routes, and development of camping sites. 

4.

Appointment of Accredition Committees. 

        The National Commissioner, Bharat Scouts and Guides, had also visited Meghalaya during the month of March 1972 and we are considering the possibility of bifurcating the Assam Scouts and Guides Association so that Meghalaya can have its own association. 

        Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh made an observation regarding setting up of one L.P. School in every village. It is the cherished aim of the Government to wipe out illiteracy in the State of Meghalaya within the shortest possible time. At the same time, we have to take cognizance of the practical aspects, the problems and difficulties, that present themselves and have to be tackled in the course of implementing such a policy. The pattern of development in the rural areas of Meghalaya is largely determined by the firmly distributed population and the terrain; and in certain areas of the Garo Hills we are pursuing a policy of grouping villages in selected areas so that scattered habitations can be developed into economic units. The economic viability of such units/villages is a determining factor in the formulation of our education policy since we  have to take into consideration the fact that social services like Health and Education do not generate sufficient revenue to meet the cost of providing such facilities to our people especially in the rural areas. 

        We are determined to vive every child in Meghalaya the means of educate himself, but not at the cost of quality. 

        In order to provide 'quality education' for the children of Meghalaya there must be proper accommodation, a sufficient number of qualified teachers and above all, and adequate system of supervision and inspection. In the year 1970-71, there were 322 L.P Schools in the Jaintia Hills, 611 L.P. Schools in the Khasi Hills and 1,231 L.P. Schools in the Garo Hills. At the same time, there were only 3 Sub- Inspectors in the Jaintia Hills, 7 Sub- Inspectors in the Khasi Hills and 11 Sub- Inspectors in the Garo Hills. The recommended ration is 1 Sub- Inspectors for every 70 schools in the plains areas and 1 Sub- Inspector for every 50 Lower Primary schools in the Hills areas. The average ratio for Meghalaya is 1 Sub-Inspector for every 103 Lower Primary Schools, and it is clear, therefore, that we must approach with caution any proposal that would seek to remedy the educational problems by merely increasing the number of Lower Primary schools in the State., A haphazard and mushroom growth of schools could,  in the long run, prove detrimental to the educational interests of the state by mass producing children lacking in sound educational backgrounds; and the answer to our present problems would be to provide a regularly inspected, well managed and  adequately staffed school within easy walking distance for every child of age group 6/11 years. Mention has been made of the need to prepare an 'Education Map' for Meghalaya; and there is every reason to believe that such a map will provide Government with the required statistical material for putting into effect the policy of making every child literate within the shortest possible time, in accordance with a planned and phased programme of educational expansion. 

        Now I will come to Health. 

Shri HOPINGSTONE LYNGDOH : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I know that the Chief Minister has made a statement that primary education is free and whether that is the declared policy of the Government or whether primary education now is really free in the State. Because in Khasi Hills we know that hundreds and thousands of schools are not free they have been contributed from the local people and they have to take the school fees from the children because they are to meet the salary of the teachers. Whether this statement of the Government is a policy statement in future or whether education is really free all over the country. 

Capt. WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) : I am aware that primary schools authorities are not taking fees for students and whether it is special schools or other schools they used to realise fees but the ordinary primary schools as far as my information goes are free. Of course it is a fact that a number of primary schools are being managed by the local villagers themselves but at least in my district they realise tuition fee though however, Government made a policy to give free education. So I can assure that I will collect information and make enquiry as to why tuition fees are collected and if these tuition fees are being collected then whether these schools can be taken over or can be helped by the Government through the District Councils so as to enable students to have their education free of tuition. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : May we know from the Chief Minister whether the implication of the statement is that education will be free in primary schools ? And whether it is a commitment that teachers of primary schools will have to be paid by the  Government ? Unless the Government undertakes the responsibility of paying the teachers there is no sense in saying that primary education in the State is free. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Since the primary schools are financed by the  Government through the Councils, it must be free. But in private organisations wherever they establish their own schools they collect tuition fees and until and unless the Government propose to take over these schools, we cannot compel them to give free education. But it will be up to the Government and the authorities themselves if they like to hand over their management of these schools to the District Council which will be finance by the Government, then such schools will be made free. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : The Chief Minister's statement is not clear. If schools are handed over to the District Councils and financed by the District Councils then education will be free and if they are already being financed by the Government through the District Councils we can appreciate that primary education in these schools is free. But there are hundreds of schools which are not yet taken over by the District Councils and which are not receiving any monetary aid whatsoever from the Government. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : We are concerned with  those schools whose schools  authorities are receiving aid from the Government and with regard to that, I think it will  not be possible for the Government to take over all schools at a time, but I have already instructed the department concerned to collect  information from the three different districts as to how many existing primary schools are being financed by the Government through the District Councils, how many villages are being catered by the existing schools and how many will have to continue District- wise so that we can chalk our programmes to cover the entire Districts and the State as a whole. As for private primary schools and with regard to Middle English Schools, we are going to prepare 'Education Map' for the State of Meghalaya so that by getting a detailed information we shall be able to take up a phased programme for extending free primary educating in the  State. It be a phased programme for extending free primary education in the State. It will be a phased programme and I cannot commit that this will be done immediately. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in his statement the Chief Minister said that this information will be gathered because it is to be gathered through the District Councils. We know if it is a fact there are certain schools receiving monetary aid from the District  Councils and teachers' salaries are paid by these District Councils. So it would be better if information is gathered directly form the villages. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : In his intervention it appears, that Prof. Majaw is not asking for the information but he is suggesting and I am sure that his suggestion should come forward and so I would like to take shelter form you, Sir. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Then Sir, I will only seek clarification from the Chief Minister, and there are other aspects of the matter also. There are schools which have been taken over by the District Councils but the number of teachers appointed is not adequate. For example, one teacher for 100 pupils, so it not possible for one teacher to run a school with 100 pupils and it is a question also whether it is under active consideration of the Government ?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : In this regard, under plan programme we have sanctioned some amount for entertainment of these teachers and it is up  to the District Council to see that every school is provided with adequate number of teachers and sanction is given of appointment of teachers which can be done in respect of new schools or appointment of teachers in the existing schools according to the number of students enrolled. So it is entirely up to the District Council authorities to make adjustment. But every year whatever plan education is made it is done without caring whether there are enough teachers in the schools or not; so we have got to take up this matter with the District Councils. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Sir, my opinion is to seek some clarification on the point of collecting information because some schools are not included in the list and there are a number of schools that will not be found in a particular list of primary schools which are not known to the outside world. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : We are going to collect information from whatever agencies an the District Councils will also be taken into confidence and we have taken some steps with the B.D.O.s. in our State who can give information. So I would request the hon. Members also to give every information they can in this regard. 

Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know whether they Government has fixed the target that within a short period of time they will be able to provide free education to all the children of the State?

Mr. Speaker : I think the difficulty with this question is how can Primary Education be free to all children when some parents would like to send their children to schools where they have to pay. It is very difficult for the Chief Minister to reply off- hand without collecting information and also the number of villages and the number of children.

Shri Maham Singh : May we expect, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to know within what period of time Primary  Education would be compulsory and free.  

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : These are only suggestions and I think it will not be possible at this stage to indicate any target but we have to collect information. Now it is something at least in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills but in  Garo Hills there are a number of schools which are located on both sides of the small streams and if we can take up construction of bridges, then it may be possible that the villages can be made to depend on one school. All these factors would have to be taken into consideration and after that we will know hw many more villages are there with the number of children and then only the target can be fixed. Without collecting  the data, it will not be possible for me to give any information. 

Shri D.D. Lapang : On a point of information, Mr. Speaker, Sir. According to the agreed policy between the Government and the  District Council regarding inspection of schools there will be overlapping because the assistant Sub- Inspectors of Schools are appointed by the  District Council, whereas the Government has got its own Sub- Inspectors of Schools. May we know from the Chief Minister whether the Government has a decided principle or some other principles?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : As far as transfer of Sub- Inspector of Schools to the District Council is concerned it has been decided.

Shri HUMPHREY  HADEM : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to know the existing position with regard to free Primary Education. It appears the policy of the government is that free Primary Education will be provided from the State but there will be some schools run by private bodies which will not hand over these schools to the Government. At the same time, the parents as well as the people would go along to help implement this policy of the State. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I cannot force the private bodies to hand over their schools to the Government. What I want to say is that as far as the private schools financed by the Government are concerned, education will be made free. 

Mr. Speaker : I think it is not a question at all and it should not arise.  The  Chief Minister has made it clear that Primary Education would be free in those schools financed by the Government through the District Council. But he does not indicate, though the aim of the Government may be that, that in future free and compulsory education may be possible but it will be in the long- range process. 

Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to the directive principles of the  Constitution, that is, Article 45, it is stated that the State Government shall endeavour to provide within a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution free and compulsory education for all children till they complete the age of 14 years. 

Mr. Speaker : The Directive Principles give an outline only and the whole country has not achieved that end. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I now come to Health. Before Meghalaya came into being, there were only 10 Primary Health  Centres in the districts now under Meghalaya. As a matter of fact, there should be 24 such entrees, one within the jurisdiction of each Community Development Block. During the last financial year, the Government of Meghalaya had already constructed........

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have not got the first point, so may we request the Chief Minister to read it again. 

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : As a matter of fact there should be 24 Primary Health Centres, one within the jurisdiction of each Community Development Block. During the last financial year the Government  of Meghalaya had already constructed 4 more Public Health Centres. We are taking steps to take up and complete the construction of the remaining Centres within the remaining period of the Plan as far as possible. 

        Before Meghalaya came into being most of the dispensaries in rural areas were without doctors. To improve health conditions in rural areas the Government of Meghalaya had taken every step possible to post doctors to all the dispensaries in rural areas and in the last two years we had appointed as many as 30 doctors. Unfortunately, 12 of them had not joined; who were posted to the interior dispensaries of Garo Hills. The Government of Meghalaya has also taken steps to approach other Governments like the Government of Arunachal Pradesh for doctors hailing from Meghalaya and serving there to be sent on deputation to serve in  Meghalaya. Some of those doctors had already joined and some more have applied and their applications are under active consideration.  To attract doctors to serve in the interior of the districts of Meghalaya financial incentives by way of addition allowances in addition to the normal allowances are given to them.

        To further improve health condition in the interior the Government of Meghalaya has started to set up mobile dispensaries to extend medical facilities to the people in the interior where there are no static dispensaries. We hope that when these mobile dispensaries start functioning full- fledgedly the rural people will be benefited.              

        The Government of Meghalaya has also taken steps to ginger up the health programme in the field of eradication of malaria, eradication of small-pox, therapy treatment of leprosy which generally affects people in the rural areas particularly. To help build up the health of the people in rural areas the Government of Meghalaya has also taken up to implement the nutritional therapy in 5 centres, 2 in Khasi Hills, 1 in Jaintia Hills, and 2 in Garo Hills to combat mal- nutrition of children in the pre-schools age group.

        The Government will always make the utmost endeavour to see that the people of the State and particularly those in the rural areas are given medical facilities to the fullest extent possible. 

Shri  Winstone Syiemiong : What about the policy of Government with regard to opening of hospitals in rural areas?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : We have to fight out illiteracy and poverty. Here we have taken up a programme to extend medical facilities though out the whole State but it is not possible to do it in a day or two. But before we can do that we have first of all to produce doctors, nurses and compounders to man these hospitals. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : If such dispensaries also exist in other hill areas other than Garo Hills ?

Mr. Speaker : This question has been answered by Health Minister yesterday.

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : We will have to take up a programme so that medical facilities are available in other parts of the State and so whenever we establish Primary Health Centres we should also provide doctors and nurses. Now I would like to request the hon. Members to give valuable suggestions. These will be recorded in the proceedings of the House. It is not possible to reply to all questions. These will be found in the proceedings. I hope with the active co-operation form one and the other side we shall be able to serve the people of Meghalaya. I would, therefore, request our hon. Members who have moved the amendments to the Motion of Thanks on the Governor's Address to withdraw them.  We are always prepared to take all suggestions into consideration for the service of the people. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday I threw a challenge to the Medical Minister, and we want to get a reply from his before we withdraw these amendments. 

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : But I am not yet ready. I am collecting the data and I am going to reply tomorrow. 

Mr. Speaker : This morning the Hon'ble Minister for Health had already informed me that he is not in a position to reply to day due so difficulties in getting the data from the whole state. I already told him that according to the practice in the House the Minister may give his reply on any day before the session or after the session. that information may be communicated to the hon. Members concerned through the Speaker's Secretariat. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : May I make a submission? This is not a matter where there Minister concerned should collect the figures from various parts of the State. This is a question of budget estimates, the only question raised by the member from Mawhati was what are the actual figures that are given in the budget. So, it is not a question that a lot of time will be needed for a reply. 

Mr. Speaker : What the Minister of Health has to say about that. 

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : I have already asked permission to clarify the position to-morrow. 

Mr. Speaker : So, after what the Chief Minister has replied, will the hon. Members who have moved the amendments to the Motion of Thanks on the Governor's Address withdraw their amendments?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are various amendments moved by various Members. My humble suggestions, Sir, would be to call out each Member and ask him to withdraw them. 

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Lapang will you withdraw your amendment No.1 ?

Shri D.D. Lapang : So far as amendment. No. 1 is concerned, I withdraw it but not amendment No.2. 

Mr. Speaker : Do you mean the first part of the motion, namely, "but the House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no reference to the urgent need for the proper and scientific development of dairy farming in the State; " But you do not want to withdraw the second part.

Shri D.D. Lapang : The second part I will not withdraw. 

Mr. Speaker : So, since the hon. Member insists that he does not withdraw the second part of the amendment, I put the question before the House. The question is that the House regrets that the Governor's address makes no reference to the urgent need for the proper and scientific development of dairy farming in the State."

(Voices ...... ' not that')

        The question is that the House regrets the Governor's Address makes no mention of the importance of developing the tourist industry in the State. 

        The motion is negatived. The amendment is lost.  

        Will Mr. G. Mylliemngap withdraw amendment No.2?

Shri G. Mylliemngap : I with draw my amendment, i.e., Amendment No.2. 

Mr. Speaker : Has hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his amendment?

(Voices ......... yes, yes).

        The amendment stands withdrawn. Before we go to Amendment No.3 I want to have the sense of the House. Since we have two more items today's list of business, may the House extend its sitting till 5.30 p.m?

        Is that the sense of the House?

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Can it not be continued tomorrow? It may so happen that we may not have too much Government business to dispose. Then this matter regarding the Hill University can be taken up tomorrow.

Mr. Speaker : In any case, may I have the sense of the House that we extend upto 5 p.m.

(Voices ......... yes yes)

        So, Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh, will you withdraw Amendment No.3?

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : I withdraw the amendment. 

Mr. Speaker : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his amendment? (Voices.......yes, yes). So Amendment No.3 stands withdrawn. 

        Will Prof. M.N. Majaw withdraw Amendment No.4?

Prof. Martin N. Majaw : No. The first and the last parts, that is, the first and the third parts I will not withdraw. But the second part I will withdraw. 

Mr. Speaker : Since Prof. Majaw has not withdrawn his amendment, I put the question before the House. The question is that the "House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no mention of the Municipal Elections long over- due in Shillong; and in the matter of establishment of a Central Hill University for the North Eastern Region, the Governor's Address has taken the consent of the House for granted, while the matter is still pending before the House. 

Do you insist on a division?

(Voices ......... yes yes)

(Voices ......... test of strength)

        Now, I put the question again. The question is that the House regrets that the Governor's Address makes no  mention of the Municipal Elections long over- due in Shillong, and in the  matter of establishment of a Central Hills University for the North- Eastern Region, the Governor's Address has taken the consent of the House for granted, while the matter is still pending before the House. 

(Division)

        Those who are in favour of the motion will rise in their seats and subsequently those who are against the motion will rise in their seats. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, may we know that there names of the Members are recorded an not the figure. As a matter of fact when a division is demanded the names of the Members who are asked to stand either in favour or against should be recorded. 

Mr. Speaker : This matter is under the direction of the Speaker as the case no longer counts with the names. All those who want their names of the recorded will be taken. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, this is not the point to be done, in recording that such and such Member had voted in favour or against such and such motion. 

Mr. Speaker : Names will not be recorded. But as you insist on recording the names, the same will be recorded. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Yes, Sir, we want that our names should be recorded. 

Mr.  Speaker : May I draw the attention of the hon. Members to Rule 292,  Sub rule (3) (a) which lays down that "If the opinion of the Speaker as to the decision of a question is challenged, the shall order that the Lobby be cleared; (b) After the lapse of three minutes he shall put the question a second time and declare whether in his opinion the "Ayes" or the "Noes" have it ; "4 (a) If the opinion so declared is again challenged, he shall direct the "Ayes" to go into the "Ayes" or "Noes" Lobby, ass the case my be, each member shall call out his Division Number and the Division Clerk, while marking off his number on the Division List, shall simultaneously call out the name of the member : Provided that, if in the opinion of the  Speaker, the division is unnecessarily claimed, he may ask the members who are for the "Ayes" and  those for "No" respectively to rise in their places and, on account being taken, he may declare the determination of the House. In such a case the names of the voters shall not be recorded'. So, I  declare that the "Ayes" is 17 and the "Noes" is 31 with 4 abstentions. The amendment is lost.  

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, that is the first occasion in the life- time of this Assembly and it is the first division demanded. May we, therefore, know whether you have given a funding that this division is unnecessarily demanded. 

Mr. Speaker : From the voice voters I have counted her, I found that it was unnecessarily demanded. But still since the hon. Members have insisted I gave the order that those who are in favour of the amendment  should first rise in their seats and those who are against should also rise in their seats. It is in accordance with this provision. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, if the division is unnecessarily demanded you may not direct the Members to go to the Lobbies. But standing and counting of heads is still necessary. So I sought clarification from you on this point whether it is only for the first time that we are demanding this division and you very soon came to a finding that it is not necessary. 

Mr. Speaker : In fact the very provision of this particular rule is that I have called twice. In the first instance also after the division bell had rung only to ascertain my ears whether the voice "Aye" is stronger or the voice "No" is stronger and in my opinion I found that the voices of the Members who wanted for the division is greater, and so I think the division is unnecessarily claimed. So now let us come to amendment No.5 moved by Mr. Hoover Hynniewta. 

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Sir, I withdraw sub- amendments No.2 & 3 of amendment No.5. 

Mr. Speaker : Since Mr. Hoover Hynniewta has not withdrawn Sub - amendment No.1 of amendment No.5, I put the question before the House. The question is that the House regrets that the Governor in his Address did not make any mention of the application of the democratic principle in the constitution of the Block Development Committee'.        

        I now once again put the question before the House. The question is that the "House regret that the Governor in his Address did not make any  mention of the application of the democratic principle in the constitution of the Block Development Committee".

(Division) 

        May I request the hon. Member who are in favour of the  amendment to rise in their seats? Those who are against the amendment may kindly rise in their places. 

        The "Ayes" is 17 and the "Noes" is 31. So the amendment is lost. 

        Will Mr. S.D. Khongwir be willing to withdraw his amendment?

Shri Stanlington D. Khongwir : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I withdraw my amendment No.6, (1), (2) and (3). That is I withdraw all the amendments. 

Mr. Speaker : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his amendment? (Voices- yes, yes). With the leave of the House, the amendment stands withdrawn. 

        Now, will Mr. E. Kurbah be willing to withdraw his amendment No.7?

Shri E. Kurbah : Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I withdraw. 

Mr. Speaker : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his amendment? (Voices- yes, yes). With the leave of the House, the amendment stands withdrawn. 

        Regarding amendment No.8, as the hon. Member, Mr. H. E. Pohshna is absent, the amendment is  deemed to have been withdrawn. 

        Will Mr. Hadem be willing to withdraw his amendment No.9?

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I withdraw my sub- amendments (1) and (3) but not (2) and (4). 

Mr. Speaker : So since Mr. Hadem does not withdraw sub- amendments (2) and (4) of amendment No.9, I put the question before the House.

        The question is that the Governor's Address makes no mention of the steps taken to relieve the poor hailstorm and pests affected cultivators of Jaintia Hills and Khasi Hills Districts, and makes no mention of the immediate holding of the District Council elections in the Autonomous Districts of the United Khasi Jaintia Hills and Jowai. 

(Division)

        The question is that the Governor's Address makes no mention of the steps taken to relieve the poor hailstorm and pests affected cultivators of Jaintia Hills and Khasi Hills Districts, and makes no mention of the immediate holding of the District Council elections in the Autonomous Districts of the United Khasi - Jaintia Hills and Jowai. 

        (The amendment was negatived with 17 Ayes and 31 Noes)

        Will Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh be willing to withdraw his amendment?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I withdraw sub- amendment (1) of amendment No.10 and not (2). 

Mr. Speaker : Since Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh does not withdraw part (2) of amendment No.10, I put the question before the House. The question is that the Governor's Address makes no reference to the establishment or improvement of health and water supply in rural areas of the State. 

(Division)

        I put the question again.  The question is that the Governor's Address makes no reference to the establishment or improvement of health and water supply in the rural areas of the State.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether 3 minutes were over when you put the question of a second time and declared that Ayes, or Noes, have it ?

Mr. Speaker : I do not know, it is exactly 3 minutes. If you challenge my findings there are some other means. 

        (The amendment was negatived with 17 Ayes and 31 Noes)

        Will Mr. Upstar Kharbuli be willing to withdraw his amendment No.11?

Shri Upstar Kharbuli : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I withdraw my amendment.

Mr. Speaker : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his amendment (Voices - yes, yes).

        With the leave of the House the amendment is withdrawn. 

         Now I put the main motion before the House. The motion which was moved by Mr. D.D. Pugh and seconded by Prof. Peter G. Marbaniang. The question is -

        "That the Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in this session are deeply grateful to the Governor for the Address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House on the 25th March, 1972".

(Motion was adopted)

        Since we have very little time at our disposal, item No.2 of today's list of business, i.e., resolution relating to establishment of Indira Gandhi Hills University for North East Region of India, will be taken up tomorrow. 


Election of Deputy Speaker. 

         Hon. Members, now I take up item No.3 (1) of today's Agenda, namely, the election of Deputy Speaker. There are three Nomination Papers in favour of one candidate only, and I shall now read out the particulars of the Nomination Papers as required under the provision of Sub-Rule (5) of rule 8 of the rule of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Assam Legislative Assembly as adapted for the purpose of Legislative Assembly of the State of  Meghalaya. The three Nomination Papers are in favour of Shri Singjan Sangma, M.L.A.

Nomination Paper No.1. 

- Proposed by Shri D. N. Joshi, M.L.A.

   Seconded by Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh, M.L.A

Nomination Paper No.2.

- Proposed by Shri Nimosh Sangma, M.L.A.

   Seconded by Shri Darwin D. Pugh, M.L.A.

Nomination Paper No.3.

- Proposed by Shri Elwin Sangma, M.L.A.

   Seconded by Shri Salseng Marak, M.L.A. 

        As there is only one candidate nominated to the office of the Deputy Speaker, I have much pleasure in declaring Shri Singjan Sangma to have been duly elected the Deputy Speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. 

        Well, hon. Members, I am most fortunate in this House for having Mr. Singjan Sangma on my left hand side. I have had the good fortune of having a very close intimacy with him for the last two years or so. Throughout the period of the Autonomous State Assembly, Mr. Singjan Sangma, has proved to be the most able parliamentarian and every time he participated in the debate of the House, he would always come forward with a constructive mind and every time, I found him to be person without any partisan outlook or attitude and this non- partisan outlook which he possess, will be a great boon to the Chair that he will occupy and it will be a great boon to me, that I may be relieved of sitting her in this Chair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.  In Mr. Singjan Sangma, I have full confidence that I am having a very very good lieutenant indeed. I am also very happy and very proud that in this House, the Chair of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, should have gone to both sides of the House. This is a very good indication that in the office of the Deputy Speaker and Speaker no prejudice to political consideration is given. The Chair that the deputy Speaker will occupy will really be the  Chair of impartiality which will be looked upon by each and every Member of the House  with impartiality and equality. With these few words, I congratulate Mr. Singjan Sangma for this unanimous choice that has been given to him by the whole House. 

*Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am indeed very happy that Mr. Singjan Sangma has been elected to this high office. I have already a personal acquaintance and intimacy with him for so many years because we come from the same district. He has a constructive mind all the time and he is also a person of simplicity and he is easily approachable to every section of the people. I am sure under his able guidance, Mr. Singjan Sangma, as the Deputy Speaker, will be able to maintain the dignity of the House and also guide the House in a very effective way. I am also definite that under his guidance and ability he will be able to conduct the business of this House and that any Member irrespective of the group he may belong, will receive an impartiality and thereby, he will conduct the proceedings of this House quite effectively and I am sure that all of us too have confidence in him. Every Member must have confidence in him and not only that, he will get more confidence from all sections of this House.  

Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I congratulate our friend, Mr. Singjan Sangma  that the has been elected unanimously as Deputy Speaker of this House. During the last few years, I have known Mr. Singjan Sangma. He is a person of amiable nature and as a person who gives the top consideration to every discussion of this House. He should be impartial to all and under your guidance, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hope that he will be  ale to do his duty to the satisfaction of all.  With these few words, I again congratulate Mr. Singjan Sangma. 

*Mr. Speaker : Before I request other hon. Members of felicitate the Deputy Speaker, may I have the sense of the House that we will continue till Mr. Singjan  Sangma finishes his reply. (voices - yes, yes).

*Shri Hoover Hynniewta : Mr. Speaker,  Sir, I also rise to associate myself with the warm and kind sentiments that have been expressed by the Chair and the Leader of the House to Mr. Singjan Sangma. The very fact that I am not very much familiar with with his name is a clear indication that we do not have a privilege to know Mr. Singjan Sangma. And also Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are all aware, Mr. Singjan Sangma belongs to a group in this House as some journalists have described  as a friendly opposition. We believe, Sir, that while discharging his duty he will give his ruling in such a way that it will not amount only to outward obedience but it will also amount to inward obedience. We expect that in Mr. Singjan Sangma,  as the Deputy Speaker, the Members of this House will never have to resort to other extreme measures to depress our discontentment with the ruling from the Chair. You are very much aware, Sir, that in other parts of the country walk- outs are quite a regular feature of the proceedings of the Legislative Assemblies I earnestly hope and fervently pray that our Presiding Officers in the House, through you and in you, Mr. Sangma, we may not be compelled to resort to this extreme expression of disapproval of the Chair's ruling. So,  Sir, with these few words I warmly and sincerely congratulate Mr. Sangma on this unanimous election as the Deputy Speaker  of this House. 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to associate myself with the felicitations and the welcome given to the new Deputy Speaker especially as I had known him for a little over two years, though, of course, this time the association is more noisy on my part and silent on his. But his silence, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in these last few days perhaps was best suited for him since he will have to occupy a silent post where one can hardly speak and I also associate with the sentiments expressed by the hon. Member, Mr. Hynniewta, asking for impartiality and expecting impartiality for the new Deputy Speaker. We take it for granted that since he is a man who is accustomed to administration, accustomed to being the President of his District Congress Committee in the Garo Hills, he is will fitted to occupy this honoured position of the Deputy Speaker. 

Shri Singjan Sangma : Mr. Speaker, Sir, and hon. Members words practically fail to express my heart- felt, gratitude to the hon. Members of this House for their electing me unanimously as the Deputy Speaker of this august House and also to the felicitations they have given to me. I fully understand that this is a House which is the custodian of democracy so far it relates to our State of Meghalaya in its march towards peace and progress and prosperity in a way of democracy and in their regard, I would only sat that I, being a new man with a limited knowledge and who has no much experience previously in this job, can easily understand the dimensions of the difficulties while conducting the business in the House. But I have full confidence that, through your sincere cooperation and help, I may be able to discharger the duties that have been entrusted to me. So, Sir, my humble and earnest request to all the hon. Members from all sides of the House is that they will be extending their co- operation and help in discharging my duties. So, Sir, I once again express my gratitude, though you, to all the hon. Members of this august House for their electing me unanimously as the Deputy Speaker of this august House.

(Applause from all sides of the House )

ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Speaker : As there is no other business to be transacted, the House stands adjourned till 10 A.M. on Thursday, the 6th April, 1972. 

N.C HAZDIQUE

Dated Shillong : 

Secretary, Meghalaya Legislative.

The 5th April, 1972.

Assembly.