The Assembly met at 10 A.M. on Tuesday the 28th March, 1972 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.
Members of House Committee
Mr. Speaker :- Before we come to the first item of today, list of business, I would like to announce the names of the members of the House Committee. I appoint the following members of the House Committee under Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 312 :
|(1)||Prof. P.G. Marbaniang, M.L.A.|
|(2)||Shri Maham Singh, M.L.A.|
|(3)||Prof. M.N. Majaw, M.L.A.|
|(4)||Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh, M.L.A.|
|(5)||Shri Ira Marak, M.L.A.|
Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang will be the Chairman of this Committee.
So, we are going to the first item of the list of business. May I request the Chief Minister to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya, Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 1 of 1972).
LAYING OF ORDINANCES
Capt. W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya) Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 1 of 1972).
Mr. Speaker :- Now, we come to item No.2. May I request the Finance Minister to lay the State of Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances) Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 2 of 1972).
Shri B.B. LYNGDOH (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the State of Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 2 of 1972).
Mr. Speaker :- So, let us come to item No.3. May I request the Minister of Finance, to lay the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Speaker's and Deputy Speaker's Salaries and Allowance Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya Ordinance 3 of 1972).
Shri B.B. LYNGDOH (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Speaker and Deputy Speaker's Salaries and Allowances) Ordinance 3 of 1972.,
Mr. Speaker :- Now let us come to item No.4. May I request the Finance Minister to lay the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) Ordinance, 1972.
Shri B.B. LYNGDOH (Minister, Finance) :- I beg to lay the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) Ordinance, 1972 (The Meghalaya State Ordinance 4 of 1972).
Mr. Speaker :- Then we come to item No.5, May I request the Minister to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Ordinance (The Meghalaya State Ordinance, 5 of 1972.)
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya (Amendment) Ordinance, 1972 (The State Ordinance 5 of 1972).
DEBATE ON THE GOVERNOR'S ADDRESS
Mr. Speaker :- We come now to Item No.6 of today's list of Business, and that is resumption of the debate on the Governor's Address. I would request the hon. Members concerned who would take part in the debate that they should not exceed 15 minutes each. So many I request Mr. Pohshna to participate in the debate.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I express my thanks to you for giving me this opportunity to participate in this debate. Sir, taking the Governor's Address as a whole, I am not at all happy to see that in the whole of the Governor's Address there has been no mention about the achievements made so far by the Meghalaya Government in so far as industrial and other developments are concerned, in the areas of the Meghalaya State. I am also to express my thanks to the Governor for the enlightenment made in Paragraph 2 of page 2 of this Address in which it is mentioned like this : - "It is a matter for satisfaction that the general election to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly of the State of Meghalaya could be completed soon after Meghalaya has emerged as a new State". The word "satisfaction" really deserved appreciation and regard by myself and hon. Members. Why I say like that because during the last general election, the people who are in the Ruling Party are really very happy in this election in the Jaintia Hills District. We could see District Council's cars with party flags accompanied by the Publicity and Information Officers. During the last general election the Ministers, Executive Members of the District Councils carried their party flags in their election campaign and wherever we go we find Sir, slips of irrigation grants, conservation grants addressed in the name of some people. But these papers were not distributed by the officers of the Soil Conservation Department but by the candidates. It is very rejoicing for the Ruling Party and we are glad that for the people of the Ruling Party who were contesting the election all the facilities have been given.
Secondly, Sir, regarding economy in the 2nd paragraph, the administration in Meghalaya has undergone real stress by the influx of refugees and the evacuees from across the border from East Pakistan. Sir, it has really affected the economy of the State and the people were affected by this influx of refugees and it is really a deteriorating state of affairs for all the people of Meghalaya. Help was promised to the evacuees. But the Government is doing only a lip service to our people as the whole Department of the Government is for the safety, security and convenience of the evacuees alone. The people of the border areas of this District were out of their dwelling houses, leaving everything behind them just for a place to retreat while the refugees were provided well with all the amenities of life. There was no security at all for them. I fail also to understand Mr. Speaker, Sir, why our own people were treated like this as though they are not the citizens of India. Therefore, they are exiled from one place to another and in their place the refugees came. Who is to give them security and confidence nobody knows. It is for our Government to look on this through the concerned Department so that the people of the border areas of Jaintia Hills bordering Bangladesh can be properly safeguarded as a result of the influx of the evacuees and not to allow such activities to get a place in the administration, I would like to see that our Government extends every kind of help otherwise our own people will become Khasi refugees in their own State. Actually, Sir, our Government were very glad to degrade these people by asking them to become the Khasi refugees. But everything was done for the refugees coming across our borders, we provided them with escort and what not. I do not grudge for that because as one of the Minister said we are good Samaritans. But what about our own people who have suffered on account of the influx of the refugees. Their paddy fields remained uncultivated. But instead of giving help to them we are making them refugees. I understand the then Minister-in-charge of Relief and Rehabilitation paid frequent visits to these places. But what about the officers and other staff, instead of going to see the plight of these people, they took keen interest in other things like riding in cars of contractors who happened to undertake supplies etc. to the refugees. Therefore, Sir, while talking about economy of the people which has been affected by the influx of the refugees from the other side of the border, I have not seen any mention as to what has been done for these people. On the other hand, while escorting the refugees to the other side of the borders, our officers escorted them. They were given free transport, free food and extra ration for some months to stay in their hearth and home. But what has been done in the case of our own people? Is there any record to show? Whether Government bothered to know how many bundles of pan leaves have been destroyed, hw many betelnut trees have been destroyed and how many paddy fields have been left uncultivated due to the last conflict. I do not see any mention of these things in the Address. Last time when I went to the border areas with the D.C. the people confronted him with a question, and asked him "what about the compensation for the houses that have been burnt down by the Pakistani bullets?" He could not give a reply as to what amount of compensation that has been paid for the trees and other property which have been destroyed by the Pakistani bullets. I am sorry that till to-day nothing has been done on this score.
Now, I am grateful that the Government has admitted that the economy of the people has been deteriorating due to the influx of the refugees. But the point is what has the Government done for these people? Thirdly, Sir, I will now come to paragraph 6, page 4 of the Mikir Hills District adjoining Jaintia Hills. Since there has been repeated mention about this by the Hon. Members. I would like to mention only one point. I know, Sir, that or Pnars who are living in Mikir Hills have come over to Jaintia Hills borders. When I went there I found tat the ration is not sufficient and medicines are not sufficient. What about the blankets for them? It seems nobody takes any interest in their affairs. The Pnar refugees coming from Mikir Hills to our borders were not given proper treatment. Whereas the other people belonging to other communities were given all these things. I do not envy them for what the Government has done for them. What I want is that we should at least consider the plight of our own people. Our Minister for Agriculture is here. We know how much he has to face this problem of tackling with these people who have fled from Mikir Hills to Jaintia Hills. Therefore, I want to draw the attention of this House and the Government through you, Sir, that something should be done for these people have left their hearths and home; who have left their paddy fields and who have nothing to fall back upon. At the same time Government should be seized of the matter of their demand for coming back to the Jaintia Hills District. So before taking my seat, I would say only a few words on the development programme. I would refer to Paragraph 7 which says that "I would like to refer in brief to some of the salient features of the development programme in the State. The outlay for Meghalaya's Fourth Five Year Plan was fixed at Rs.38 crores by carving out a share of the Assam Hill Plan outlay when Meghalaya was created as an Autonomous State." Of course as a new Member I do not know whether the details of the Fourth-Five Year Plan which have been made about the schemes and the programmes have been placed before this House. But at least before we discuss this Governor's Address I think the hon. Members of the House have a right to know about the schemes and programmes made by the Government in the Fourth Five year Plan of our Meghalaya Government. Sir, by just providing 38 crores we do not know how much Government proposes to spend for each scheme and so on. We are in the dark to discuss about the Fourth Five Year Plan. Therefore, in the absence of the schemes included in the Fourth Five Year Plan how are we to talk and discuss about the economy of the people.
Mr. Speaker :- Let me give a chance to Mr. Lewis Bareh. Yes, Mr. Bareh.
*Shri Lewis Bareh (Rymbai S.T.) :-Mr. Speaker, Sir, while taking part in the discussion on the Governor's Address, I would like to emphasize that agriculture is the main back bone of the people in Jowai District. But no mention has been made at all about the bone meal which is the root cause to increase the production of food grains or paddy. Sir, the amount of bone meal requirement will be not less than 10,000 quintals only in Jowai District. But up till now, so far we know, no bonemeal has been provided although the sowing season is to start very soon, say from the month of May. I want to draw the attention of the Government to this matter and to suggest that bonemeal should be supplied to the cultivators at subsidised rate to enable the poor cultivators to purchase it according to their requirement. I want also to draw the attention of the Government to the programme of development of communication and the proposal for construction of Border Roads. In addition to this, Sir, I would like also to draw the attention of the Government to take u those border roads which were constructed with the Block money as the Block Development itself could not maintain the said roads to meet the needs of the public.
Secondly, Sir, regarding the existence of the Jowai-Badarpur Road which is a highly important road to the public in Jowai District but which is not mentioned in the Governor's Address. Sir, I would like to draw the attention of this Hose and especially to bring to the notice of the Government that the said road which is running through the major parts of Jowai District was handed over to the military people for unknown reasons. Thus the local people are not getting works. Since then all the local muster roll labourers were pitilessly turned out of their jobs though they have been in service for 16 or 17 years. Hence these things greatly affected the economic condition of the people.
Regarding provision of medical facilities in the State, I am really very grateful for the proposal for starting construction of a new hospital at Tura and also for expansion of the Jowai Hospital. But Sir, no mention has been made for the construction of hospitals, dispensaries and improvement of medical facilities in the rural areas. Regarding the dispensary at Khliehriat with 12 beds indoor patients nothing has been done for the last five years. The building has been in a dilapidated condition and no facilities have been provided to the staff and things have deteriorated day by day. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Hoover Hynniewta, would you like to move your amendment?
*Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I move my amendment, I would like to get the information from you about the place where we can read the proceedings of the House. In the Assam Assembly it is the practice for us to go to the library and read the proceedings.
Mr. Speaker :- For the information of the hon. Members, we have not got sufficient number of rooms and this fact is well known to all of you and if the hon. Members want to consult the proceedings of the House they may come to my Chamber and read the proceedings.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I have been trying to provide a suitable room for this purpose and I expect that soon we will be able to help our hon. Members. But till then, I request the hon. Members kindly to bear the inconvenience along with us.
Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for your kind information the Manipuri Bhawan has already been given to the Meghalaya Government and this we can use for our own convenience.
*Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to move the amendment No.5. I beg to move that at the end of the motion of thanks moved by Shri Darwin D. Pugh, M.L.A. on the Governor's Address on the 25th March, 1972, the following shall be added :
"1. The House regrets that the Governor, in his Address, did not make mention about the constitution of the Block Development Committees;
2. The Governor did not spell out the exploitation of cultivators by unscrupulous traders in the state and did not mention anything about the steps to be taken by the Government for removing such exploitation.
3. The Governor did not make any mention about ensuring regarding supply of essential commodities in the State."
As the time at my disposal is very limited. I would like to draw the attention of the House to the last paragraph o the Governor's Address. The last paragraph in the Governor's speech has given us a lot of hope for the future and for this particular paragraph, I think, the Cabinet and the Government must be fully congratulated. The last paragraph read as follows:
"For implementing the programme outlined above effectively, my Government hopes to secure the active participation of the people harnessing their enthusiasm. 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 public 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."
I for one, Mr. Speaker, Sir, would like to be guided through out this whole session by the spirit of this last paragraph. On the spirit of this last paragraph, we, the Members from this side of the House, have moved a number of amendments on the Governor's Address. So, I believe Sir, that the Governor will take our amendment in the same spirit. It will not be possible for him to accept them at least as we put them but if the spirit of what we said, what we incorporated in this amendment is accepted, then I may feel satisfied. Sir, throughout our long tenure of membership in the State of Assam, we had been trying to impress upon the Government at the time of introducing the democratic principle in the selection of the members of the Block Development Committees and it is with that spirit as has been given expression by the Governor's Address when he said to secure the active participation of the people by harnessing their enthusiasm. If the people feel that they could be in Block Development Committees not as a matter of right, or as a matter of choice by the Government, I am quite sure that they have a great part to play in the promoting the advancement of the area that they have a great part to play in promoting the advancement of the area in particular and that of the State as a whole. As it is at present, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Speaker :- 'Mr. Speaker' please, as we are no longer in District Council.
*Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- The other day I had your favour of making a standing correction. We had for 5 long years been as Members of the District Council; it was rather a matter of habit.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was saying that is appeared the selection of members of the Block Development Committees had been one a most arbitrary manner. The B.D.Cs simply sent some names and Government may or may not accept them. We are all aware of the procedure that Government followed in appointing the members of Block Development Committees. I can remind the House of our joint efforts in the Assam Legislative Assembly to convince the Government of Assam to accept those elected members in the Block Development Committees. I do not know, Sir. Whether they still remember those times. But I believe that i the attitude is the same, I am very sure in my mind that the performance of the Block Development Committees will not be much approved. It has come to my knowledge. Sir, that in a number of Blocks the number of members in Management Committee, the Chairman Secretary and the village Headman, Sirdar of a Circle, all to go together to represent a person in Block Development Committees. It was always done in Cherra. It was done in some other Bocks. But most unfortunately when the names came out, it was found that it was not the names of those who were represented by the Circle Committees. Therefore, Sir, unless the Government is really sincere and active, persuasion of the people is necessary. I see no other way than to have the members of the Block Development Committees elected by the people of the different circles.
Now, Sir, I come to my second amendment. This amendment, Sir, to me is a most fundamental one. For so many many years our people , our cultivators have been subjected to the exploitation of the unscrupulous traders in all fields of their work. I would draw the attention of the House to some for example, our district produces a large quantity of potatoes. They toil from morn till night and most of them labour hard all the time. But they are not the persons who enjoy the benefit of their labour. Somebody sitting on some platform or bed or resting on some round pillows earn wealth after wealth; lakhs after lakhs of rupees. Whereas our people's apparel remains in rags. They live in poverty, they sigh in poverty ; they die in poverty. But it was not their fault, Sir, they have to live as such throughout the lives of their parents, throughout the lives of their forefathers. It was not because that they lack in labour, lack in hard work. But it was because there was no proper trade to help them from the unscrupulous traders, who come from outside the State. I do not know, Sir, whether you are aware of that when the cultivators produce potatoes these traders straightaway deducted 4½ kgs while taking the weight. Another 4½ kgs are deducted they say, as a mark of respect to their duty. So 9 kgs. are deducted from the honest labour of our people and then in certain places you have to close your eyes and increase heartbeats of blood pressure, but the main cannot sell it at the price he likes. Otherwise, if you bring any produce, he will say, take your produce and go to another trader. Their fate is better imagined than described. Further he cheated you at the classification of potatoes, because there are small sized potato and medium sized potato. Now, if it happened that some small sized potatoes get into the bag, he will say 'No' No. I am not accepting this as big sized potatoes (Bell rang).
Sir, I will beg your special consideration, as I am still far behind to finish my speech. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in such classification the poor cultivators are being cheated and then at the end he will say. "I have received a telephonic call from Calcutta in the morning, and the price of potatoes is Rs.80 per quintal. "Here it is only Rs.70 per quintal". So in this way our people are being mercilessly exploited in every field of activity. Sir, time does not permit me to illustrate the exploitation in other fields. But Sir, this may be taken as an instance of the exploitation which our people are suffering at the hands of the unscrupulous traders. I may add to my amendment that the Governor's Address does not make any mention of the need to ensure regular supply of essential commodities in the State. I do not know, Sir, whether the Government is aware of the fact that last year paddy cultivation suffered heavy damage because of attack by pests and there are many areas in this district which used to be surplus in paddy but are now reduced to chronic deficit areas. So, Sir, if no steps are taken by the Government to meet the need for rice in these areas, I am afraid that our cultivation will be greatly and adversely affected. Now only that Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are aware how the price of sugar shots up from Rs.2.50 per Kg to Rs.3.50 and Rs.4.00 per Kg and this is my opinion, is the result of monopolies on the part of the unscrupulous traders. They know all malpractices. They could easily enter into conspiracy with the railway authorities of State Transport authorities and supply the sugar to other traders in the market and decrease by 10 percent or by 50 percent or 75 percent. So we have to guard ourselves against these. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we and the Government should ensure that in such event there will be adequate stock of sugar, kerosene and some other essential commodities and this can be straightaway injected into the market and artificial scarcity will be put to an end. So Sir, in view of the fact that my time is very limited and in view of the trespass on much of your indulgence I resume my seat.
Shri Dhruba Nath Joshi (Shillong Cantonment) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Address of the Governor speaks of the development of Shillong Town, but I feel, it is conspicuously silent about the development of Shillong Cantonment which is, I believe, part and parcel of the town area of Shillong. The bazar area and Jhalupara Cantonment area need the attention of the Government. In the matter of development of the Cantonments in India, taxation of buildings in Shillong Cantonment is the highest. No development is there on the roads and sanitation and other amenities essential for the growth of a healthy society are absent. The area is mostly inhabited by ex-servicemen and mostly other people who have no big assets in the society. It is strange to note that nothing worth mentioning is done by the Government towards development of that area to bring it at part with other areas of the country. In the recent war with Pakistan our Jawans and our masses did splendid job and most of them sacrificed their lives for the cause which the Government of India stood for. The Government of India and other sister States have launched programmes for rehabilitation of ex-servicemen and disabled jawans and their families here in our State of Meghalaya. So there it should be, I hope, plans for rehabilitation of these disabled Jawans and ex-servicemen by earmarking and allocating certain areas for the purpose of improving their living conditions and civic comforts and see to the improvement of their area at Jhalupara Bazar and Cantonment so that the ex-servicemen and jawans feel like honourable and dignified human beings. There should also be schemes for their proper rehabilitation and schemes for purposes of educational facilities for the betterment of the lot of these jawans. Mr. Speaker, Sir, today Paltan Bazar and Cantonment areas of Shillong town are much neglected and the conditions of the roads are so deplorable that it is difficult for the traders and customers to go and come in that area for the purpose of their daily needs. To add to the sufferings, some of the local people there have put road blocks on the roads. So it should be the endeavour of the Government to see that the blocks put on the roads are removed forthwith. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Governor is completely silent in this matter which is one of the main sources of income.
As regards grazing in our State, I think it is one of the sources of income and in the absence of any good grazing reserve in the State, I wonder how can there be any development. Grazing in the State cannot be ignored. There are hundreds and thousands of graziers living in the interior of these hills. Although we ourselves should make this State of ours patch of beauty and grace as was spoken of by one of the great leaders of the Ruling Group, there is dearth of educational facilities, dearth of medical facilities and other schemes and facilities of development are lacking in these areas while our people, our poor graziers, most of them have to pay taxes at abnormally high rates compared to other States of India. Even in this State of Meghalaya, in different Districts, taxes on cattle, (buffaloes and cows) are not uniform. In Garo Hills District, tax on buffalo is as high as Rs.15 per head whereas the tax on buffalo in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills is Rs.6 per head. So there should be no disparity on these taxes which are much more than what these unfortunate poor graziers can afford to pay. There should be intensive development programmes of the Government in respect of dairy farming. It is imperative that the Government constitutes A Commission to go into the details of improving the living conditions of the graziers and improving the breeds of their cattle from which we cannot only draw milk and other allied products but can also get the much needed fertilizer which we lose very much for growing the agricultural crops and get more benefits from these agricultural products.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, only a few months back in the Umroi area, where there are graziers living for generations together, nearly 3100 acres of land were requisitioned by the Government of India-Defence Department-for building up a cantonment there. There are schemes for payment of compensation for those people who are uprooted or removed from their land but no money has been paid to the people in the area. There are non-tribal graziers also and compensation was paid to some of them only for their sheds and plantation on the land. But nothing was given for the land on which the people were living. The people had spent large sums of money to make their lands arable. Besides, labour, they had spent thousands of rupees out of their meagre income.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the teachers, as everybody knows, play a crucial role in moulding the characters of the young generation. Every attempt ought to have been made to ensure that the teachers are given their one place of honour in the society. But they are in stead very much ignored that they did not find a place in the Governor's Address presented to this august House the other day. The teachers are ill-paid and there are no schemes for pension benefits for the teachers of the aided schools and private schools. No facilities are accorded to the teachers to bring them up to a standard where they can play and occupy a position of respect and dignity. It is a matter of great regret that the Governor's Address is conspicuously silent on this very important matter of an honourable section of the people of the State, namely, the teachers. In regard to those economically and socially backward people, as recognised by the sister States of Assam and Bengal, the Governor's Address has not at all touched regarding the improvement of their lot, particularly in matters of social service, stipends, scholarships and their settlement. Mr. Speaker, Sir, till recently we were the people of Assam. Now we are here in our own State of Meghalaya. We are proud of it and we expect that the same rights and privileges enjoyed by all sections of the people including the backward people, the Nepalis and other backward people belonging to the non-tribal community, will be enjoying in our own State of Meghalaya. But surprisingly enough, the Governor's speech is silent on the lot meted out to the people of this weaker section of the society. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government has assured that in carrying out the programmes the Government will ensure that the legitimate rights of all the non-tribals residents in the state and their interest will be safeguarded. But it is surprising to find that he has referred to the enactment of the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act, 1971 under which a non-tribal is debarred from purchasing any land from a tribal and not only from a tribal but even from a non-tribal. If we cannot purchase land living in the same State and being the citizens of the same State, we are, then , destined to die out and we will being part and parcel of the State, we ought to enjoy the same rights and privileges as other brethren belonging to the tribal community of our State enjoy. (Bell rang). "Just a minute Sir. If the Government is afraid of new non-tribals coming from outside, they ought to have made proper survey of all the Meghalayans and they ought to have made them registered as outsiders. I feel that the same facilities, rights and privileges should be extended to all and everyone should be put on the same footing both tribals and non-tribals. There should not have been discrimination among the sons of the soil and non-tribals can have a rightful claim for their legitimate rights and privileges.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Grohonsing Marak.
Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Bajengdoba S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion of thanks moved by one hon. Member from this side on the Governor's Address on the 25th March, 1972. Sir, I am grateful to the Governor that he has taken the trouble to give broad outlines of policies and plans and programmes of the Government of Meghalaya. sir, I speak subject to correction. These eleven pages of the Governor's Address are not the Ten Commandments, where we cannot change any dot of an 'I' nor a cross of a 'T'. Sir, on the great red letter day, at the stroke of the midnight hour on 21st January, 1972, when the teeming millions of Indian people were asleep, the people of Meghalaya have awaken into a new life. We all know that such of of moment has come to us and such things come rarely in history. No doubt, every hon. Member of this House is aware of the fact that we have received power, the power with responsibility. The responsibility rests with this a gust House, and the representative body, representing the entire people of Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this new State of Meghalaya is only about three months old. I remember Mr. Speaker, Sir, that on the 14th April, 1970 when our beloved Home Minister, Shri Y.B. Chavan said in the State Celebration at Tura, that there is no difference between running a new State and marrying a women. I believe every Member of this House has got married. Now, again before marrying a women, we think that we can easily build a nice house, we can easily purchase a nice Jainsem, Jain Kup, Sari and other things. But when the time comes, it is impossible to meet our needs. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe that this new state of ours can be built brick by brick and step by step. In the Governor's Address, I have a full confidence though it cannot mention every detail from A to Z. That is impossible. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to suggest in support of this motion of thanks, a few points. I would like to touch item No.3. Many of the hon. Members have spoken about the situation and the economic depression of the border areas and I also would like to talk in that connection. Due to the Pakistani Army crack-down in Bangladesh and due to heavy shelling and firing for 9 months, and due to heavy influx of refugees like flood into our land, I do not know about the K & J Hills District, but in my district, Mr. Speaker, Sir, about 35,000 of our people have under gone great hardship, they have become homeless and they were compelled to find themselves refuge in the interior. It is like that Mr. Speaker, Sir, because for 9 months there was great disturbance arising out of the Pakistani Army crack-down. These people could not cultivate their fields. Mr. Speaker, Sir, recently before I came to attend this Assembly Session, I met about 5 persons from the border areas of different villages. They protested that they possess about 100 or 200 acres of land but they could not cultivate. I would, therefore, like to draw the attention of the Government, through you, Sir, that the seeds should be supplied to them as those people could not have any seeds or seeds could not be preserved due to this happening in Bangladesh. Not only that, I know Mr. Speaker, Sir, that our Government have to help around 35,000ee refugees in my district with ration and other supplies but now since the refugees are sent back to their homeland ration system should be started to refugees to our local people also. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Government at this juncture to the people living in the border areas who are suffering from a very great difficult situation. So the Government, I hope, will not fail to see to this situation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am glad that we have another district within the State of Meghalaya, i.e. the Jaintia Hills District which has been inaugurated on the 22nd February 1972 and I believe and hope that the people of this district will be benefited. But Sir, we know that there was also a demand going on for the creation of a civil sub division in our district of Simsangiri. But uptil now nothing has been done, nothing has been started for the creation of the sub division. Any way, the people of that area are anxiously waiting and expecting for the creation of this sub division which will give them some benefit. I hope the Government will not fail to do this.
Lastly Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk on education. I am not an educationist nor an academician but I am also interested in the upliftment of education in my district. I am glad that we will have a Central University, the Indira Hill University. But Sir, the University depends on the good colleges. The colleges will depend on the high schools and secondary schools, the high schools and secondary schools depend on the Middle English schools and the Middle English schools depend on the primary schools. These primary schools are the fundamentals; they are the Genesis. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this respect, I have been demanding time and again. First I have put a demand when I was in the Assam Assembly in the year 1967 and subsequently to the District Council. According to the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, the Primary Schools are managed by the District Councils in the Autonomous Districts but there is none to look after them. Sir, I have been put incharge of education for some years and on many occasions there have been many incidents between the Sub-Inspectors of Schools and the Primary School teachers. There were some tendencies among schools. It has happened in one of the villages because those Sub-Inspectors of Schools who are under the control of the Deputy Inspector of Schools could not transfer any teacher or cannot help them either. So they do not bother about them and also the Sub-Inspectors of Schools felt the same that the Executive Committee of District Council cannot do harm or cannot take action against them.
Sir, these things have been happening in my District. There are more than 1,000 Lower Primary Schools in Garo Hills today. So, something has to be done and would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister incharge Education whether these Sub-Inspectors of Schools will be transferred to the District Council or some sort of arrangements will be made. Sir, with these few words I support the motion of thanks moved by the hon. Member and resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now Mr. S.N. Koch.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch (Mendipathar) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a great privilege to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the mover of the Motion of Thanks on the Address of the Governor but at the same time I would like to differ on some points in associating myself with the motion of thanks to the address of the Governor. Of course, I am in the same lines with the hon. Member of the Treasury Bench, Mr. D.D. Pugh, that the Governor deserves the thanks because he took some pains to come to this august House all the way from the Government House and delivered his speech which took more than half an hour. I listened to the Governor's Address with rapt attention and read over and over again. Going through the Address of the Governor I got myself confused whether it is a literary piece of Rabindra Nath Tagore or that of Elliot. The sentence are very sweet but then the very purpose of the Governor's Address is not language, I think. The Constitution envisages that the Governor should, on the first day of the opening Session of the Assembly, address the House which the hon. Members know, with a view to giving an idea to the House as to what the Government is going to do. But if somebody reads this Governor's Address, he will find nothing except these sweet sentence and some good wordings. The Governor's Address is completed in 11 pages and out of the 11 pages, 9 pages, i.e. up to para 10, the Governor spoke about the past activities of the Government. But unfortunately, there was no Government of a full State. Nevertheless, since there was a Government of the Autonomous state, the Governor gave a graphical picture of the activities of that Government and in 2 paragraphs the governor outlined about the future programmes of his Government. In these future programmes, nothing is mentioned about the judiciary. For the successful working of democracy, three things are necessary, the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary, and if we ignore one of them, no democracy can function properly. Our Constitution envisages that throughout the country Judiciary should be separated from the Executive. The purpose of Judiciary being separated from Executive is known to all. It checks the arbitrary acts of the executive and administers justice as custodians of the laws of the land. But in our State the Judiciary is not only not separated but the Government has totally failed to direct its policy towards the separation of Judiciary. In our State the procedural laws of the land are not applicable. We have to administer justice according to the Administration of Justice. Rule either for Garo Hills or for Khasi Hills. The procedures laid down in these Rules do not meet the needs of the time in administering justice. So, in the Administration of Justice there are difficulties in giving proper justice to the justice seeker. Whenever there are challenges against the decision of the lower courts, the Hon'ble High Court gives verdicts on certain points and as a result of these decisions a stagnation position or a complete halt in the administration of justice is seen to have come, because only the procedural law i.e. Administration of Justice Rules are in exhaustive and made to be laws without any regard to the need of the society. As for example, very recently the Hon'ble High Court of Assam, Nagaland, and also Meghalaya gave a ruling that no revision lies from the decision of the Assistants to the D.C. to the Deputy Commissioner or High Court because the Administration of Justice Rules do not envisages power to revise the lower court's order, by the appellate court. This ruling practically gave the magistrates or judges an unfettered discretion to pass order rightly or wrongly without any scope to correct them by the higher court. It is mot unfortunate that our Law Minister has not taken pain to go through all these things or take stock from his officers and redress the ills. This is not the end. If somebody goes to the court he will find that there is no Administration of Justice at all; the magistrates have not been coming to the courts regularly for years together and even if they come, they come only to give adjournment dates and not to administer justice on the simple pretext that they are over burdened with executive works and they have no time and, as a result, the cases which should have been disposed within a short period go on continuing for years together. For instance under Section 145 Criminal Procedure Code it is clearly laid down in that very section that proceedings under Section 145 Criminal Procedure Code should be ended within 2 months as far as practicable. But the proceedings under section 145 Criminal Procedure Code take 2 to 3 years to end it. This is a tragedy. Why the people come to the courts. They do so because they feel some wrong has been done to them and want justice from the courts of law because they do not want to take the law in their own hands, and they come to the courts for the redress of certain wrong but instead of getting their grievances redressed they are to pay heavy penalties in the form of pleader' fees, motor fares and hotel expenses and go back with what? With adjournment dates. In this way, the cases are going on for years together. All are experiencing how badly our Administration of Justice is functioning in our State and I do not know how this amount of Rs.99,000 is necessary for three months if the Administration of justice could have been administered properly, efficiently and quickly. In the important Government cases, Government Pleaders are appointed for which fees are to be paid but such cases can be finished within 1 or 2 years or even within 6 months if there would have been independent judiciary free from executive works. But these cases continue for 9 to 11 years because courts have no time and are filled up by untrained personnels. Some times Government is to provide with defence lawyer in murder cases and under the Constitution and according to Assam Law Manual accused reserves his unfettered right to select his lawyer, but the trying judge, who is under the present set up of things, an executive personnel, appoints defence lawyer whom he likes best. I am afraid, because such instances are not rare in Garo hills and if there are convictions the Court may sent back for retrial for which Government is to pay a heavy premium. And the premium is to be paid from the State exchequer which is collected from the poor masses and neither from the Law Minister, L.R. who approves the appointments of the defence lawyer, nor from the pocket of the Magistrate concerned. It is a very sorry state of affairs that our Law Minister even after getting the full-fledged State has not taken care to look into these.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- The Law Minister's absent today.
Mr. Speaker :- Although the Law Minister is absent, the Treasury Bench is present -
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the tragedy is this the officers under the Administration of Justice have to attend criminal as well as civil cases for which a man to administer justice needs proper training. If somebody can administer justice by reading the section of the Civil Procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Court and Indian Penal Code, etc. then a clerk can also administer justice instead of those Indian Administrative Service and Assam Civil Service. The result is that there are some lapses of great magnitude in the administration of justice in the State which calls for immediate overhauling of the whole judicial machinery which is possible only by complete Separation of Judiciary from the executive and to bring in a halt of the wrongs and evils being done in the name of justice at present.
So it is really very surprising that though the Government has been experiencing this difficulties and I believe, know all these things the Government has not given any serious thought to re-orient our Law Courts proper Administration of Justice in the State. This Administration of Justice Rules has come into being as late as in 19th Century. Why these Administration of Justice Rules have been made by the Britishers. The hon. Members know it very well that the Britishers have not made the law for the betterment of society but to facilitate their imperial rule.. Moreover two people of these hill areas were backward and ignorant. So under the Administration of Justice Rule the Government administer us as they like and not what laws wants to be done. 25 years have passed since we became independent and now we got our own full fledged State. One fails to justify as to why this Administration of Justice Rule should remain after 25 years of independent. During British time it is necessary for them because for appointing one man they could perform in the name of Administration of Justice both judiciary and executive because it was economic and that their (imperals) main object was to a mass fortune and not to do justice to our people. And looking from this point of view should we not adequate our present Government with those masters of the by-gone days who are still inclined to follow their footsteps at the cost of well forfeited rights and privileges of the hundreds of sufferings litigants. When we are spending crores of rupees for other developmental programmes why not a few thousands be spent for appointment of Judicial Magistrates who are trained and qualified in the line. As I have already stated the provisions of the law have been prescribed in the book and if all are content with such justice who gives justice by reading books there is no logic why we should appoint officers for Administration of Justice instead of giving the responsibility to the clerks whom I suppose know reading Law Books. In fact no justice has being done in our State rather in the name of justice, injustice in the form of paying motor fares, lawyer fees and many others are being done. This is about the Administration of Justice (bell rang) Only a few minutes more Sir. In the Governor's Address it is stated that the Government is going to ameliorate the lots of the agriculturists by reclamation of land etc. But unfortunately Government should know that land does not vest in their hands. Unless we can have the power to give settlement and allot land it is futile to talk about the improvement of the lots of the agriculturists. Government cannot say whether we can or we cannot give land to the needy agriculturists. Because whole land of our State vests in the hand of the District Council. It is high time that if they are sincere for the upliftment of the agriculturists, they come with certain concrete proposal and calculated steps so that it can look into the proper distribution of lands to the agriculturist. Moreover, mere introduction of scientific method of cultivation will not done. The lot of agriculturists in the plain areas of Garo Hills District where mostly non-Garos are living and who are cent percent agriculturist are flood effected areas and the Leader of this House who is from Garo Hills himself knows very well about the situation of the plain areas of Garo Hills District. It is very sorry that the Governor's Address is blissfully silent about the flood control measures in the State. It may be a good gesture of discrimination because these plain portions are mostly inhabited by the non-tribals.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I would like to intervene, Sir. It is very unfortunate on the part of the hon. Member to say that in the plain areas of Garo Hills only non-tribals are living. There are many tribals and non-tribals together and there is no discrimination at all.
Mr. Speaker :- It is the Government policy that no discrimination been made between a tribal and non-tribal living in the same State. We should not be so enthusiastic and think that we can perform miracles within a short period.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- Flood control measures in the areas of Garo Hills are left at the mercy of the nature.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- For the information of the Hon. Members, in the Governor's Address you do not get the details with regard to the programmes of the hill or plain areas of the State. These details are not to be included in the Governor's Address. Only the board policies are outlined. If we talk about development, agriculture, proper irrigation, embankment and flood control, automation these things will come up with the schemes but one cannot expect details in the Governor's Address.
Mr. Speaker :- May I draw the particular attention of the hon. Member to what the Hon'ble Chief Minister had just pointed out ? In the Governor's Address, there is no mention about the discrimination of the tribal and non-tribals living in the border areas. Therefore it is the policy of the Government to bring such general discussion before the House. But while taking part in the discussion on the Governor Address. I would like to state that while the hon. Member is moving the motion in the form constructive suggestion he should not blame the Government of the full-fledged State which has come into existence only on 20th January, 1972. Any way, the hon. Members have a right to bring such a discussion into the notice of the Government even though, it is not the Government policy. These are my suggestions.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to raise one more point and that is regarding discrimination towards non-tribal. Sir, I found in the Governor's Address, there is no mention about the guard of the interest of the non-tribals. In this connection, I would like to give my support to Mr. Joshi on what he has stated earlier. In Governor's Address it is stated that "My Government will further ensure that the interest of the non-tribal residents in the new State will be fully safeguarded". But Sir, if it is not the intention of the Government to discriminate the interest of this Section of the people, I am rather surprised as to why the Land Transfer Act has come into provisional Government of the Autonomous State had done to discriminate the non-tribals. Anyhow, I agree to what the Leader of the House has said and pointed out.
*Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- May I draw the attention of the hon. Member to the fact that only important issues could be brought in for discussion. But in this particular aspect, I see there is no such discrimination of the non-tribal people as the hon. member has expressed before the House just now.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- But Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is stated in the Governor's Address that 'My Government will further ensure that the interest of the non-tribals in the new State will be fully safeguarded". If the Government is really interested to safeguard the legitimate rights of the non-tribals why a discriminatory Act in Land Transfer Act is there. This is laid down in the Constitution that an Indian citizen wherever he may be born, live and profess has the right to have, sell and possess and purchase land in any parts of India according to the Constitution of India. Hence the said Land Transfer Act is not only discriminatory but illegal, unconstitutional and ultravires.
Mr. Speaker :- I will give a ruling on this point, whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional, I rule it out. If you think that the content of the Act referred to is ultra vires of the Constitution, then you have to go to the Court of Law.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, but it is not the intention of the Speaker (Mr. Koch) that the content of the Act be brought in for discussion. It is clearly understood that the main intention of the hon. member is to put before the House his point raised on the discrimination of the non-tribals. So whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional is not the intention of the hon. Member but it is about discrimination.
*Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a very important thing. The Government policy is not to be misunderstood. In this connection, I would request the hon. Member who is trying to impress upon my mind and this House as a whole, about the injustice on the part of the Government to discriminate the non-tribal people. In this regard, I would again request the hon. member and through you Sir, to kindly refer to Article 19, Clause 5, in which this article has enabled us and this country to restrict to the fundamental rights. This is properly laid down under the said Article. I would also like to draw the particular attention of the Member to the rules and procedures of the national policy in respect of discrimination, injustice, criminals, political and others. You know, Sir, the Government of India has already adopted special measures for the upliftment of this weaker section of people. It cannot be further argued that even the non-tribal students are not having any free education. They were given free education and other amenities. So, Sir, this is not discrimination but on the contrary, it is a coordinated programme to uplift these people who were all the time considered as Scheduled Castes or Backward Classes. In the Constitution itself, there is nothing mentioned which will adversely affect the interest of non-tribal residents of the State but resting upon Article 19, Clause 5 one could realise that due protection has been given to safeguard their interest. Due protection has also been given to protect their lands from discrimination and measures have also been taken in conformity with the constitutional policy and the national policy. I think the hon. Member understands it clearly now, that programmes for upliftment were already implemented earlier and in which our beloved Prime Minister made it clear that while doing any social programme for the weaker section of the people, this should be done in conformity with the constitutional policy. So, Sir, with these few words, I would suggest that such statement should not be made.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fully agree to what the Hon'ble Chief Minister has stated. But the leader of the House should have understood that the authorities must not only give justice to all sections of the people, but it must also be seen that justice is being done . But Sir, I regret to say that in this particular instance though justice is being done to the minorities but it is apparent from the Land Transfer Act of doing discrimination towards the non-tribal. I, therefore, once again would like to impress upon the Government about this discrimination. Moreover Government should not look into the formality alone but the reality. In Garo Hills District there is no difference between the tribal and non-tribal. So far their social, economical and educational status is concerned for which a legislation like that of Land Transfer Act is necessary to protect the interest of the tribals from the non-tribals, I mean the non-tribals, were not born with silver spoon in their mouth so that these constitutional safeguards are necessary soon for the striking down of the Supreme Court of similar legislation enacted by the District Council of Khasi Hills.
Mr. Speaker :- No Act has been struck down by the Supreme Court.
Shri Sibenbdra Narayan Koch :- No, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I mean the District Council Act, i.e. Khasi Hills District Council Land Transfer Act which has been struck down by the Supreme Court.
Mr. Speaker :- This is not within the purview of the House.
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- So Sir, with these few words, I resume my seat, thank you.
Shri Manindra Rava (Tikrikilla) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in connection may I draw the attention of the House that some of our Opposite Member friends like to point out about the election rejoice an about the concise Address of the Governor. It is or course concise Address of the Governor because it should be concise. Some of our friends said that there is no detail on plan and programmes in the Governor's Address. But may I request them to look at the major plans and programmes in the Address of our Governor. We hope that our Governor has pointed out the major plans and programmes in this concise Address. So it should not be discriminated in this House about the Address of the respected Governor. In support of this motion of thanks I would like to point out that rejoicing election was the time for rejoicing. The Ruling Party made their rejoicing by fluttering their party flags. But in Garo Hills, I found, that some of the independent candidates also made their rejoicing in the election campaign. So, Sir, I like to draw the attention of the Members that election is one of the occasions of rejoicing. So those candidates who stand and would like to contest, took it as rejoicing or pleasure. As candidates belonging to a party they have their party flag and that must flutter as the party flag in their car or in their cycle and thus they get some encouragement and according to them I have found that some of the independent candidates fluttered their flag like that of the party flag with the sign of 'boat', particularly I have seen in the case of my opponent. Perhaps he tried to create confusion among the public to get their support. So I would like to say that it is a matter of rejoice and one of the Members said that in the concise Address of the Governor, there are no details about plans and programmes and it is like the sweet words of Rabindranath or some of the poets. So, I like to say that in order to find out the major plans and programmes in the Address of the Governor, the hon. Members may take some pains to go through the Address of the Governor. So, after this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out certain things which have been pointed out in the Address of the Governor. We have found in the Address of the Governor that mention is made regarding re-grouping of villages in Garo Hills. It is quite appreciable. Because re-grouping of villages in Garo Hills is quite necessary and now our popular Government is going to take some plans and programmes regarding this re-grouping of villages. And on the other hand, I would like to say something regarding agriculture. Our Governor pointed out that agriculture forms the back-bone of the economy of Meghalaya. It is certainly true that without agriculture we cannot live. So, as in the case of other parts of India, in our State of Meghalaya also, agriculture is the back-bone of our people. So, this point is highly appreciated in the case of agriculture. But the people of Meghalaya are lagging behind in the field of agriculture. It is certainly true and in this case some of our Members in the opposite pointed out that some major schemes should be drawn up regarding modernisation of agriculture and supply of fertilizers, etc. Regarding modernization of agriculture, fertilizers and distribution of seeds, etc. to the agriculturists, we have observed that the agriculturists of our state are progressing in agricultural out-put by adopting modern methods of cultivation. And we have found in the case of some agriculturists, in 1970-71, that the agricultural out-put has been increased in comparison with 1969-70. But some of our agriculturists fell into difficulty when the price of jute came down to Rs.22 or Rs.25 in comparison with the market price of paddy. At that time the market price of paddy was Rs.30 to Rs.38 per maund. So most of the agriculturists were in difficulty because they could not procure their requirement of rice by selling jute at such a low price. Of course, I again would like to support the plans and programmes of our popular Government which are going to be taken up and I would request the Government to take some steps for implementing some modernised method, and supply of manure, etc. I do not know about the cultivation of Jute in Khasi Hills but I know regarding the cultivation of jute in Garo Hills. Though we have ample land for cultivating jute, still our agriculturists are not using those lands. So it is not the fault of the Government only. It is the fault of our people also. So we cannot blame our new Government which has come into being just two months ago.
In case of education, I would like to say a few words. Regarding the development of education in our newly born State we should not bother much, because with the establishment of the Central Hill University by the Government of India there will be more scope for advancement of education.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. Under Rule 279 no Private Member can read out his speech.
Shri Manindra Rava :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think, any practice in the House may be followed by the Member to develop his points. Regarding industry, of course, in the case of industry we are much lagging behind. But our popular Government has taken up some modern plans and programmes to establish industries, and I would like to say about the cottage industry because Meghalaya is fully equipped with cottage Industry which had been from time immemorial. So I would request the Government also ......
Mr. Speaker :- Your time is over.
Shri Manindra Rava :- Thank you, Sir.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may be allowed to point out that the remarks made by the hon. Member against the independent candidate, who happened to be one of the young Members are unfair. I feel it has very much affected the independent candidates by making such remarks, and I feel it is very much un-parliamentary in making such remarks against the independent candidates.
Mr. Speaker :- But it might be in general.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- He has not mentioned any name of the independent candidate. Instead, he said in general.
Mr. Speaker :- The hon. Member has not mentioned any name. So it does not tantamount to any of us here. I do not think that he used any un-parliamentary word here. It is true, any body should not be mentioned by name who is not present in the House. But when he has not mentioned any name, I believe the name must be a fictitious name.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, last Saturday, when the Governor addressed this House I was of the impression that this being the first policy statement of the Governor, the hopes and aspirations of the people of Meghalaya would be reflected in the speech. Unfortunately, even after going through the languages of the Governor's Address I find that the entire programme and Address of the Governor was not very encouraging. Rather, there was priority attached to some subjects in which there is not much importance now. For example, I may mention paragraph 3 on the topic of Bangladesh. Certainly, in 1971 and in the early part of 1972 anything that happened there concerned us and we cannot ignore the fact. But after the end of the year and after signing of the treaty with the Bangladesh Government, I fail to see why so much stress should be given to para 3. Actually the Governor's Address remains as a record of past deed only. On the other hand, I feel that the Governor's statement would have been much better if much time has been given to other topics that concern us topics where very scanty remarks have been given. For example, in para. 2 of page 7 in the case of forest. It is dedicated that the forest produce is very important. But only few lines have been devoted to it. Why there is no policy of the Government in this subject like afforestation, etc. Again in para 8, page 6, the subject about Agriculture. Everything was mentioned there about agriculture. But very little consideration was given about fertilizers. Since increase in production depends on fertilizers, all farmers have resorted to the use of fertilizers for the increase of production. But in this Address of the Governor, nothing has been mentioned so far on this. Has fertilizer lost its importance? I do not think whether it is so, it is because of artificial scarcity as occurred last year. I would request the Government to clarify it. Then in page 9, para 9, there is another point about programme for giving employment to rural people. To solve rural unemployment, the Government have given some development programmes, such as soil conservation, small scale industries, road construction and rural works. I fail to know what this rural work is. I just do not understand it. Again, in page 5, there is something about Pnar people leaving Mikir Hills for Jaintia Hills. It would have been better if the Government would have spoken about their difficulty as to why they left? Were they maltreated by the Mikirs or did they leave it on their own free will because of some other reasons. I am actually here not so much to criticise the Government but to narrate the loop holes which I feel the public should know. And I would be very glad if the Government would look into this matter more carefully. Lastly, there are certainly some schemes of the Government which the Government proposed to look into like Shillong Water Supply work which we have an urgent need, a market in Shillong and the Scheme of rehabilitation of border people. These are all laudable projects. But the scheme for water supply should also be extended to the rural areas. There are problems of water supply in villages also. People have to draw water from the streams and in the monsoon when all the rivers and streams are muddy their only source of supply of water is to tap rain-water from the roof. So I would suggest that the Government while introducing schemes, these should be extended to villages also. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I make my observation on the Governor's Address may I appeal for your forbearance by allowing me to speak for 20 minutes?
Mr. Speaker :- Yes that was already in agreement in the meeting yesterday.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Thank you Sir. As already pointed out some few minutes ago, we should give constructive criticisms on the Governor's Address. But while accepting that observation of yours Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the House, through you, that the duty of the Opposition is to oppose perhaps also to depose, (laughter) and then compose and propose and so while we sit here in the Opposition benches, we will first of all oppose the Opposition Group and then we may come to depose later and compose later. I will being with my observation on the Governor's Address and while observing it I found almost it is full of omissions and commissions in its history and the rest of it is full of polite day-dreaming in the Cabinet or nice rosy flowers with which they are able to publish in the 18 paragraphs of this Governor's Address and about 61/2 of these paragraphs are in the future tense and 51/2 are dealing with the past of which three of them were left due to many facts of omissions and commissions which are reprehensible to a good extent. Now coming to another detail, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will begin with right at the back of paragraph No.10. It is most unfortunate that this Government has not yet been able to set up its own State Transport Department, running their own buses even when it was the Autonomous State two years ago and we have the same clever gentlemen still in the Cabinet and yet we have not been able to take over the State Transport Department. We still depend more or less on the Corporation which includes Railways and Streamer Services. I suppose the Assam Government and the Meghalaya Government particularly would like to observe here Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the monopoly of this State Transport over the Shillong-Gauhati Road is most illogical because it is the only part of the National High Way whereas the Corporation has got monopoly only over transport of goods and passengers. This House is aware of the fact that the State Transport Department charges 1.25 np. per maund for carriage from Gauhati Shillong. This rate is very big Sir, in the rest of India the Government has levied charges to carry goods at the rate of 50 paise per maund and I think this was raised on the floor of the Assam Assembly. I am only quoting a little relevance in this context and it is ridiculous that they are not able to see to remove this monopoly business. This almighty Government to-day have had atleast to remove this monopoly because it is the only means of communication with the rest of India. We have no airways. We have no airways. We have only river system and we have no railways. Certainly in this winding road from Gauhati to Shillong and along this road if everything has to be carried at exorbitant rate of Rs.1.25 per mound then it is a wonder for the member to raise various other things in order to keep in touch with the rising prices in this State. I would request the Government to look into this matter and liberate the trouble of the people not only here in Shillong but also in the rest of other district.
Now the next point is with regard to page 9 of which the second paragraph deals with the Selection Board. What I mean here is that this Selection Board has become quite a big job in most hearth and homes but Government have to set up this Selection Board. In the first place we thought only for the high posts that this Selection Board has to be constituted but instead appointments in all heads of departments were made. This has created troubles to the members of the Selection Board also who have to examine the papers and then appoint. I remind that the Board knows no evil, speaks no evil, hears no evil and while this is going on the Selection Board which receives various applications should then select persons for appointments only the right persons for the right jobs but not the persons who are less qualified to be appointed. I do not know whether the Selection Board could make appointments.
Mr. Speaker :- But, this is already a practice of the Government to accept mostly the recommendation of the Selection Board and we have not found any other practice that the Board has made.
Prof. Martin N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Now, while we look at such things of administration, why not we turn our eyes to the District Offices? We have Deputy Commissioner's office here and if we look to the affairs of this office, we will find chaos and absolute chaos. If anyone enters the Deputy Commissioner's Office, which is in Shillong, the capital of the State, he will find that the office is covered with dust and dirt and the files are lost between heaps of rubbish and important documents are consigned to the bowels of rats. Then turning to the Treasury Branch of the Deputy Commissioner's office, I should say that it is a tragedy. It is an every-day happening that the bills do not move unless some money passes. A person who goes there for the bill will have to push 5 or 10 rupee note and if this is not done, his bills will not move and he will have to go away. He is promised to pass the bill next day but then his bills are just blocked there. A person who has to get his bills passed in the Treasury has to undergo unimaginable troubles and misery in order to get a single bill passed. Only this morning I was talking to one friend from my constituency. I was happy to get the news that the Government has advanced some money to the District Council to pay the arrears of salaries of the school teachers. But he was depressed. He was telling that even in the District Council office, he will have to part with some money. He will have to bring the bills to the Treasury and there also he will have to give some money. Then again, he will have to push some amount in the Bank. Otherwise, he says, if he does not do that, he will be in trouble next time and his bills will be blocked. In this way, in most of the departments where bills are paid, these things happen. I have seen these things with my own eyes in the Relief and Rehabilitation Department, which is a very juicy Department. I will come to this later on.
Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I come to paragraph 8 where the Governor at the bottom of page 8, has stated about the measures to give relief to the shortage of doctors. The scheme for giving incentives to doctors serving in the rural areas has been sanctioned. The scheme was started one and a half years ago. I would like to know how many centuries the Government would require to put this scheme into operation.
Going further up along with page 8, we come to the Rural Electrification programme, which is said to be being speeded up. All, of course, are in the future tense. I would like to enlighten up with the Assam State Electricity Board. This is a department which I referred to yesterday as huge white elephant causing damage not only to one State alone but to two States. We have already advanced loans from our State in the Autonomous State. We have advanced 23 lakhs of rupees in 1970 and in 1971-72 Rs.18 lakhs. In the budget estimates yesterday, the Government got sanction for further 18 lakhs of rupees for the Assam State Electricity Board. We are a small State, but we have already given out loans to the Assam State Electricity Board, whose current total expenditure is something more than 75 crores of rupees. For this the Assam Legislative Assembly constituted a Committee to investigate into the matter and the Committee after a very very long time, and with great deal of obstruction from the officers of the Electricity Board, finally submitted a very damaging report. Here we are giving more loan to the tune of 59 lakhs of rupees in two years.
Then we come to Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation. It has been decided to set u Cinnamon oil Industry. I do not know what is going on in this. It will be interesting to know the names of the firms which are connected with this.
At page 6 there is a reference to socio economic survey. I am very grateful to my colleague, Mr. Hoover Hynniewta, for referring to the impact of outside traders upon the socio economic condition of this State. This is a subject which can never be over-emphasised. If these people can be said to help our economy, then we can call ourselves blessed. The Government only last year appointed another gentleman to be a member of the Industrial Board as though we intend to encourage these people to draw out still more and more profits out of the State to be carried away to another State. Coming to page 5, particularly to paragraph 6 which ends at page 5, we find a reference to the problem of boundary between Jaintia and Mikir Hills. I would like to point out to this House, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that some sort of a joint enquiry committee was set up as far back in 1958 and its members were Mr. Jaran, Mr. Laloo, Mr. Daolagupu, from Mikir Hills and Mr. Nongrum, Sub-Deputy Collector. The Government of Assam had accepted that Block No.1 should be retransferred to Jowai Sub division in 1958. Now, I fail to understand how the Governor in his speech still makes a reference to the transfer of Block No.1 to Jaintia Hills. This is something that had been decided upon by the Government of Assam and I do not know what happened when the Autonomous State of Meghalaya took over in 1971.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister Agriculture, etc.) :- On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the hon. Member mentioned this, a fact that he has got the information that it has been decided that the Government of Assam had decided to hand over?
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- I have a copy of the deliberation of the Enquiry Committee, rather a joint enquiry committee.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I correct the position ? It was not the decision of the Government of Assam but it was the recommendation. It is being further pursued. I would request the hon. Member to be very definite about the information he obtained.
Mr. Speaker :- The information which the hon. Member has given will be helpful to the Government and I can also follow that it is only a recommendation of the Committee and not the decision of the Government.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- The Joint Enquiry Committee recommended this and since there was strong argument in support of the move to bring Block No.1 back to Jowai District, why has it taken two years for the Government to impress upon the sister State to hand over it ? There should not be any more dispute over it.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- With your permission, Sir, I can give further information. This was to be approved or agreed to by the two District Councils. It was then the District Councils of the United Khasi Jaintia Hills and the Mikir Hills. As far as the United Khasi Jaintia District Council is concerned, they have agreed to this recommendation but the Mikir Hills District Council did not agree. That is why there was no decision yet. The Government could not take decision because there is still difference of opinion between the two District Councils.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the matter has become urgent and the people have to undergo a great suffering. As a result refugee camps have to be opened. We are glad that the hon. member from that area is sitting in the Treasury Bench and we hope that he will do something to relieve the suffering of our people who have to flee from the outlay for the Fourth Five Year Plan and with reference to the expenditure. I am afraid that some of the Members in this House are not able to do Arithmetics. But this Government I think has been dealing with figures, I can say, break fasting with crores and launching with lakhs (laughter). So much of it I take the revised estimate of gross expenditure for 197-71 the gross expenditure from the capital expenditure and the revenue expenditure is Rs.30,99.25 lakhs. For the year 1971-72 the expenditure is Rs.16,75.53 lakhs and the total expenditure is Rs.47,74.78 lakhs. For the current financial year, yesterday, we have sanctioned a further sum of Rs.25,79.42 lakhs, which I know the Chief Minister would have given the figure very carefully had he not left his seat during the discussion. (laughter).
Shri W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to give the guide-lines to the hon. Member that we are talking about the Plant allocation and not about the Plan and the Non-Plan Budget allocation as he is stating.
*Prof Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would request the Chief Minister to patiently listen to the argument because after all the money is there and there is no fear of its being taken back (laughter). Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I refer to the gross expenditure, I may also refer to Plan or non-Plan expenditure because the money which has been spent, is spent for the whole Plan. Whether it is Plan or non-Plan expenditure the total expenditure comes to Rs.73,54.42 lakhs. To that it should be added a little sum of Rs.20,72.11 lakhs which has been taken away in November, 1971 by the Supply Department and the grand total of the expenditure is Rs.94,26.53 lakhs. Out of this if you deduct Rs.40,76.00 lakhs spent for the relief and rehabilitation, the balance comes to Rs.53,50.53 lakhs. This expenditure is from the beginning of April 1970 till the 31st March 1972. I would kindly ask the House, through you, Sir, that if we divide this by the population of Meghalaya, we will find that Rs.580 has been spent for each person in two years, the amount spent comes to Rs.5,80,000. Mr. Speaker, Sir, an amount of Rs.40,76,00,000 has been spent for the relief and rehabilitation of the unfortunate people who came across. The Government of India has sanctioned Rs.360 crores for the relief and rehabilitation of 90,00,000 refugees all over India. If you divide the amount of Rs.360 crores by the total number of 90,00,000 refugees you will find that Rs.400 has been spent for each refugee and if you multiply this Rs.400 by the total number of 7,00,000 refugees in Meghalaya, the total amount spent comes to Rs.28,00,000 with a different of Rs.12,76,00,000. Where this money has gone. I would like Mr Speaker, Sir, to ask the Government, through you, to give to this august House an explanation about this missing money. Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may be allowed be point out to the House, about the system of working in the Relief and Rehabilitation Office. A request "please sanction at my disposal" and Rs.18,000 or 26,000 lakhs is made in a mere piece of paper which was duly signed. We do not know where this money has gone. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the officer of the R.R. Office in Keating Road went out on tour even at night with cash money or stock of money being carried away. Bills have not yet been submitted. Bills are being given to the R.R. Office though the money has been taken away and distributed in the spot. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this particular office it is also found that the same man issued orders for construction of house and for supply of food and the same man passed the bills of the contractors. The same man also made payment. What kind of a system is this? This is the most apprehensible thing that the same man issued orders for works, certified the bill and the same man gave advances. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you can better imagine what state of affairs is this.
Mr. Speaker :- How can I know?
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, finally I would like to mention that the Ruling Party in the last General Election has enjoyed the vote of 1/10th of the population of the State. But if these people fail to read the writing on the wall I warn them that they will be wiped out after five years.
Mr. Speaker :- The House stands adjourned till 2.00 P.M. today when we will resume the debate on the Governor's Address.
The House resumed is sitting at 2 P.M. on the afternoon with the Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us resume the debate on the Governor's Address. Now, may I request Mr. Akramozzaman.
Shri Akramozzaman (Phulbari) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have gone through the long speech of the Governor and in the11th para he has stated the achievements of the Government of Meghalaya in the past years and also in para 12 he had chalked out some programmes which the Government of Meghalaya wants to initiate for the development of the state of Meghalaya. While the struggle of Bangladesh was going on the number of persons who have lost their lives is 40 and 63 who were injured but the most unfortunate thing is this that there is no mention about the action taken by the Government of Meghalaya about the rehabilitation or any help to the bereaved family or the persons who have laid down their lives to the bereaved family or the persons who have laid down their lives for the better cause and who are not injured. It would have been better if we could give information to the house that the Government of Meghalaya has done these things or is contemplating to do them. In this respect, sympathy and consideration should be shown so that they can lead their lives peacefully because they have lost things which enabled them to fight or struggle for, the things which we cherish. But I am sorry that has not been done from humanitarian considerations and sympathy and from this I can assume how the Government is going to give particular benefit to the people of the State of Meghalaya. Sir, our State is inhabited by the people who are known throughout the whole country as backward people and the main avocation of theirs is agriculture. 95 percent of the population of the state of Meghalaya re dependent upon agriculture and there is growth of population. Irrigation of land has also started and there is mention that the Government of Meghalaya is going to initiate some programmes in mechanisation of agriculture or in other things but there is no mention about land reforms. It has been discussed in this House previously when our State was then an Autonomous State that land capitalism has already started in the State of Meghalaya. There are two land systems one of which is permanent cultivation and the other is jhum cultivation. We have seen that the Government of India has initiated the Central land reforms by which it has laid down the National Policy with regard to the proper distribution of land by providing ceilings so that the poor sections of the people could benefit. Suppose I have 100 bighas of land. I can increase the output but the person who has only 5 bighas of land may increase 10 times but his share will not be much. So this growth of capitalism must be stopped. Irrigation and other things lie with the District Councils of the State of Meghalaya and I am not going to dispute this matter. But it is also our duty to see how we can also get the co-operation of the District Council in order to help the tillers of the soil to get proportionate distribution of land so tat they can have their own way of thinking or one way to get subsistence on agriculture and until and unless we do so, there cannot be social justice by only providing mechanism in the agricultural sector because land cannot be increased. The distribution and allocation of land must be equal and proportionate and must particularly be in keeping with the national policy which has been enunciated by the Government of India through the Land Reform Committee. The situation may differ but we should also take into consideration the different circumstances. Sir, I believe there was some sort of assurance in this House and in spite of the assurance of the then Minister for Agriculture to attend to it, it is unfortunate that there is no reference to it in the Governor' Address. However, I would request the Government of Meghalaya particularly to look into the matter of equal distribution, i.e., the economic holdings be granted to the actual tillers of the soil. Moreover, in this connection, I would like to say that in Garo Hills we are still under the prevailing system, that is, the Zamindary System which has been sought to be abolished in order to give propriety right to the tillers have not been taken. I cannot see that this Government is really keen to do social justice to the tillers of the soil. As 95 percent of the population of the state are tillers it would be my honest request to see that they get the economic holdings so that the intermediary, who is now having a way just to make extra profits, is done away with. Moreover, after the 25th amendment of the Constitution there is also a way which has been paved for the ceiling of urban land. The other day I had the occasion to hear in Shillong that previously the houses where there are small tenants were burnt and that they could not rebuild the houses. So there is also the necessity to curb the proprietorship of land in the urban area and until and unless we do these things there shall not be any social justice to the poorer section of the people. It is my earnest request the Members of this House give some consideration to this vital problem of our State so that the down-trodden who are struggling very hard get a chance to survive otherwise we shall be failing in or primary duty to ensure proper security, at least, at least of life. Sir, with these things I also want to make a reference which, I believe, some of my friends have also referred and that is about the devastion of floods. Many a time, the question of flood devastation has been discussed in this House and there were assurances from the Government and there was budget provision to the tune of few lakhs of rupees. Sir, every year at least 50,000 of the population were affected by floods which have taken away all their property, their livelihood and they have been reduced to the position of beggars. Whether we like the word begging or not, it makes no difference whether one begs from the individual or from the Government. It is the same thing. The vast portions of our State are those areas where very good cultivation can be done the soil is also very fertile. I was thankful to the Government of Meghalaya that the Chief Engineer was personally visited the area. He agreed with me when I told him that there was budget provision and a scheme for the purpose is under consideration of the Government. But no step was taken for implementation of the scheme. There was the Brahmaputra Flood Control Commission and I do not know whether this flood can be controlled. if we want that something should be done here in Meghalaya, we should seek the help of this Flood Control Commission otherwise it will take 10 to 15 years time for these things to come in. So prevention is better than cure. Whatever we give to the cultivators whether tractors, manure or good seeds the situation will remain like that this in the months of July and August everything will be swept away by the flood and all the standing crops will be destroyed. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if any member or Minister visits these areas, he will see what a calamity the people are facing. They will see that not a single patch of land can be reserved for foodgrains. We have the best cultivators, I believe, not only in the State of Meghalaya but in the whole of our country. They can utilise every inch of land. But most unfortunately, the matter was not taken very seriously. Whatever might be the difficulties of the Government of Meghalaya, until and unless we take up preventive measures to protect our lands in those areas, all the fertility would be eroded away when the flood comes. I hope that the Government will take some steps I cannot say in what way but they must have some definite scheme within this financial year. Of course, after March this financial year will be ending. However, hope in the next financial year some definite work be taken up. Moreover, there is a certain project for protection of land in my area. But it has been eroded away and nothing has been done. Lakhs of rupees have been spent in order to construct the project for protecting the agriculturists. So, I particularly draw the attention of the Leader of the house to this aspect of the matter (Bell rang). I am sorry, Sir, I was not given any indication about the time at my disposal.
Mr. Speaker :- I have allotted 15 minutes for each hon. member.
*Shri Akramozzaman :- On this occasion I would appeal to the Leader of the House, particularly when he is known to these areas and when he has personally seen the devastation of flood to take some concrete step. Moreover, he is also in-charge of P.W.D. and I hope he will do something to save the people. This will benefit not only these people but it will benefit the entire people of Meghalaya.
Another thing is that there is no mention of small and cottage industries for these cultivators because our cultivators are practically without any job after the sowing season. It would have been better if the Government could provide incentives for cottage and small scale industries. As the time is very short. I would only say that there is a saying in Bengali (Bengali - ".................." which means in English "Darkness under the lamp". These things happen in our State. Now I come to electric power. What I see there is little scope for expansion during this year. Now, in the modern age whether for irrigation purposes, whether for big or small industries power is necessary. So I believe while the power is generated they must not suffer. Let us do away with the saying (Bengali) "................." This must be removed so that we proceed in a way for social justice either in the field of small industries or in the field of agriculture by creating more irrigation facilities. As there is no time, I would only mention one thing. There is no mention that the Government of Meghalaya will be trying their level best to have a clean administration, that is the eradication of corruption from the administration. Of course, eradication of corruption is a big thing but the intention should be there. That is the first thing which is required of the Government that the Government is out and out to root out corruption. I hope the Government will take all these suggestions into consideration and unless we do these things, according to me, there will be no social justice.
Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Governor for giving us this valuable Address containing many important items which the Government propose to take up in the coming year. But permit me, Sir, to point out certain observations in the Address in which these are not included and which are very important. At page 2, it is mentioned that the Election Commission had tried its best on priority basis to arrange the constituencies to enable the Government to function at a very high speed to make us possible to be here as an august House and for this the credit goes to the Election Commission for making such an urgent and on priority basis in constituting the constituencies. But it is a matter of regret to see that many more people, I mean the voters were not included in the electoral Rolls. This might be due to the fact that the Government has taken up in a very hasty manner. And it is a big trouble, rather harassment, to the people who have left their villages and home, coming miles away to the polling station, when they found that they have no right to vote. For instance, may I cite on example during the last General Election. There was one village in my constituency called Pahamrioh. I found that in that particular village, the voters are not less than 500 whereas the enrolment in the electoral rolls shows only 207. All of them started from their homes and came to the polling station and then went back home disappointed without finding their names in the roll. It is a very sad matter, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I suggest that the Government will pay a very special attention to this so as to enable people to exercise their right of franchise.
Another point, Sir, in page 12, i.e. measures along the border areas of Bangladesh, the Address deserves congratulation for making such very important arrangement and much attention is being paid to that. But Sir, we have seen, there were Razakars of Pakistani collaborations who had entered and taken shelter and it is a fact that some more Razakers and collaborators are still here in our land. This is a very dangerous thing and they may get more disciples from among our own people by getting a chance to be in our land. My suggestion, Sir, is that the Government may please pay attention to that and take some security measures and see that such collaborators should not be allowed to stay in our land and meet with our own people here.
Mr. Speaker :- It is not stated that they are in our land, they have not surrendered their arms to Bangladesh Government.
Shri D.D. Lapang :- Well Sir, it is also not clear that surrender should be made to the Bangladesh Government but it is rather very much confusing. But in this case, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may congratulate the Government for giving the information that there are Razakers and Pakistani collaborators and that Bangladesh Government have not done their part to that effect. May I be allowed to slip to another point.
In the speech, in paragraph 5, it was mentioned that a separate District of Jaintia Hills was created. Yes, Sir, creation of this District was a great pleasure. It is very good chance for all of us to rejoice and join hands with our Jaintia people for their having their own administrative unit. This is the fulfillment of commitment of the Government for the local Jaintia people and we thank the Government for their action having already been completed. But Sir, there are two commitments which I have not heard to have been fulfilled. One is Nongstoin Sub division in Khasi Hills and another is Simsangiri in Garo Hills Districts. It is a fact that I have heard this from my hon. friend from Garo Hills that Simsangiri Sub division has not yet been created. This is a long pending commitment. So I request the Government, through you Mr. Speaker, Sir, to see that any commitment made to the public will not be left pending so that the people may not be suffering from such delay. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that by creating more administrative units it will be more effective for speedy work of the Government. At the same time, it will help people to avoid any undersivable trouble. In this respect, I may even come to the extent of suggesting to the Government that Nongpoh Police Station is one of the places which should have got such a preference from the Government. If justice is allowed to play its own role, this matter should have attracted the attention of the Government long before now. If three more Sub divisions are created about 500 employees will be accommodated. So about giving employment to our people, we still fail to get any remedy.
I may now come to paragraph 6 of the same page, i.e., Jaintia Hills-Mikir Hills boundary. Yes, we are also glad that the Government is well aware that such lost boundary should be restored. On seeing the statement, Sir, it is surprising to note that the Nongwah area, a land belonging to our State has long been attached to Kamrup District. This area contains not less than 50 villages and I must say one M.L.A. is enough to represent these villages. In this regard may I read the memorandum prepared by our late Rev. J.J.M. Nichols Roy which runs like this :- "Nongwah Khasi villages in Kamrup to be included in this Khasi-Jaintia Federated State. These in former years formed a small Khasi State, but for some reason they were included in Kamrup District. They are all on the border of Khasi and Jaintia Hills. These should be included in this Khasi Jaintia Federated State. The people live like Khasis and they are anxious to be included in the Khasi Hills as they used to be before." - Then the people also were pressing the Government from time to time. We have got some records and letter issued in 1962 by the then Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup to the Tribal Areas Department stating that he has referred the matter to the office of Survey Department. All these papers are lying there and there is no action. It is surprising that our Government in the Address presented to the House has mentioned nothing about this subject which shows that it has very safely been forgotten. But it is seen that the people of the area cannot forget and we cannot say that we are to forget them. Thousands and thousands of our souls are there. They want to come back to their motherland, the State of Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I suggest to the Government to look into the matter and not to leave the matter to be forgotten in spite of the fact that the people there are still longing to be inside our own State. Lastly, Sir, may I refer to page 9, i.e. Selection Board which has to be made and we welcome it very much. This is very important for our youths to be employed and putting right man in right places. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, we fail to understand why when the Selection Board is being mentioned there, constitution of a Meghalaya Public Service Commission is one of the picture, I feel that this is also a problem for selecting people to the offices of responsible officers as well as offices in the lower cadre which our State should have got such a Commission long before. We do not know whether Government is planning to do it or whether it is still satisfied to see that this matter will be left entirely at the mercy of the Assam Public Service Commission? I may be allowed Mr. Speaker, Sir, to express that our Government should channelise is programme of development of the state as a whole. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Prof. A. Warjri (Mawkhar S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to speak a few words in support of the motion of thanks moved by Prof. P.G. Marbaniang on the Governor's Address to be passed by this House. I appreciate very much the move for amendments made by the speakers yesterday. Mr. H. Hynniewta this morning stated that they were not actually out and out for these amendments but they would like to bring these things to the notice of the Government. This proves that the hon. Members were really interested in the development of this new State. It is really a great pleasure to know that all of them had actually agreed on the broad principles as outlined in the Governor's Address. The amendments moved by the hon. Member of the Opposition are concerned especially with the omission side rather than with the whole body of the Address. I agree with them that if time allows the references on these various points should be embodied. But one thing which we have to remember is that if political and commercial aspects of every human activity are to be indicated I am afraid it would take days for the Governor's Address to be read through. As I understand (At this stage, the Speaker left the chamber and Shri P.R. Kyndiah took the chair) Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Governor's Address should actually lay out the broad outlines and broad principles of the policy of the Government and that was what the Address has sought to fulfill now. Be that as it may I cannot but make a few remarks on the amendments moved by those hon. Members in the House yesterday. These amendments were being followed by arguments which are not actually to support the amendments but are the observations on the actions or on the policy followed by the Government of the pre-full-fledged State. Some of these amendments should not actually have been brought on the floor of this House. They should have been brought on the floor of the House which was in session in the past two years of the then Autonomous State of Meghalaya which was not accepted by some of the Opposition Members or on the floor of the House in the Legislative Assembly of Assam. They were thing of the past. In order that arguments and criticism on the principles of the Government should be constructive they should have been made not at an early stage as the new State has started functioning just two months ago. The new Government has been functioning hardly a month ago. If arguments and criticisms were to be made they should be made at the proper time and the new Government should be allowed to function for some time and observation can then be made. I would like to take a few of these amendments, most of which I feel, should be brought to the notice of the Government, e.g., the need for proper scientific farming (planning) in the State, the scheme for developing Tourist Industry in the State , promotion and development of Youth Welfare, sports and games and the imperative need of planning and separation of Administration of Justice from the executive and some other matters. These should be brought to the notice of the Government with an appeal to the Government to take up these things in right earnest. The amendment moved by Mr. G. Mylliemngap on the need of re-orientation of the entire educational System of the State to suit the special needs and genius of our people and the technical or other educational system in the State, should be taken into consideration, and I agree with him that there is really a need for re-orientation of the educational system in our State. I myself feel that something should be taken up in order that our educational system should not be as in the old method and it should not be a system which could produce B.As after B.As but the one which could produce people of calibre to suit such occupations which go a long way toward development of the new State.
And then coming to the Municipal Administration, Prof. M.N. Majaw regrets that the Governor in his Address made no mention of the Municipal Elections which are long over due and he has also pointed out many of the defects in the Municipality, the only Municipality that we are now having, that is the Municipality of Shillong with the two centuries old dirt that are lying in the drains in Shillong. I do not know how he managed to count the layers of the dirt of two centuries. But one thing we have to observe here is this that this system which is being followed here in Shillong upto this time is an old system of the Government of Assam which is being worked under the old Act, that is, the Assam Municipal Act. We now need a new Act for the development of Municipal Boards not only in Shillong but in many important towns of the State of Meghalaya.
Then I would like to make an observation on the amendment moved by Shri Hynniewta regarding the exploitation of cultivators by unscrupulous traders in the State. I agree with Mr. Hoover Hynniewta cent percent on this. But at the same time, I hope that these unscrupulous traders include not only those who sit on platform surrounded by barrel-like pythons but also those who who are indulging in defalcating money from honest citizens and misusing the loans from private persons, financial corporations etc. by creating co-operative societies and marketing societies. The Government should see that such societies run by certain families or certain private individuals using the money, either from the grants from the Government or money collected from those persons, are checked properly and effectively.
There is another point on which I would like to make a mention and that is regarding the technical education. I would request the Government, through you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the Government take up at once a bill for the formation of a State Council for technical education for conducting examinations and awarding certificates. I would like to cite an example here. We have here in Shillong a technical institution namely Don Bosco School, which has produced many technicians, who were really welcomed by many of the firms. But because of the lack of recognised diplomas and certificates, many of them could not get employment. I, therefore, urge that the Government take up this matter urgently, otherwise when we try to reorient our educational system and try to send those boys to various field or to various vocations those students may not find a proper place after they received technical education due to the lack of recognised diplomas and certificates. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to support the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address moved by Prof. P.G. Marbaniang and I command that the motion be adopted. (At this stage the Speaker occupied the Chair).
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Upstar Kharbuli.
Shri Upstar Kharbuli (Malki) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a matter of regret that on going through the Governor's Address I do not find any mention made about any departmental machinery to study the economic measures, which, in my opinion, are very essential and should be adopted by the Government. I think it is a popular feeling that a huge amount of public money has been wasted almost each and every department such as the Forest Department, the P.W.D. and others have not utilised the public money properly. Take for instance, the activities of the P.W. Department. Wherever we go in the town, we notice that the condition of roads, foot-paths and drains are not exactly what we would expect them to be. We have also noticed that there are places where foot-paths constructed only six months back have had to be repaired thoroughly again. This, in my opinion, is a sheer wastage of public money. Such things could have been well avoided had the Department been more alert in looking sincerely into the activities of its staff. I may say that the staff in the P.W.D. like the S.D.Os, the E.Es, Muharirs etc. are more or less meant for field work, but they seem to have forgotten their role of duty and have confined themselves to other activities. Of course, they are also meant to do such things like looking after establishment work in office and others, but I feel that if those personnel of the Government could be relieved of the administration work in the offices, they would have been able to render better and much more beneficial service to the public by going to the field. I am sorry to say that from what I could see for the last two years there has been no revised schedule of rates made by the Government. The schedules of rates which were prevailing were those of 1968. Since then the prices of materials and other commodities have gone up but the wages prescribed for the labourers are more or less the same. It is fantastic that a skilled labour, if paid according to the rates prescribed is to get only about Rs.6 or so a day and similarly for the semi-skilled and unskilled workers much lower rates of wage as prescribed. From what I know these are not the actual rates of wage are prescribed. From what I know these are not the actual rates which are being paid to the labourers by the employees. Again if we consider the fact that the estimates for any particular item of work prepared by the P.W.D. based on the existing rates which are unrealistic and much lower than the actual cost, how can it be possible for the contractors to tender and execute such works at such low rate and sometimes even far below the schedule or rates. So, I feel that if this State of affairs is not checked honest workers have no place, rather it will allow dishonest and unscrupulous contractors to thrive. So I think it is time for the Government to take into consideration all these things. Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I feel is that unless proper and realistic estimate is prepared, we cannot expect standard workmanship and the quality of work will be that after 6 months or so further amount shall have to be provided in the shape of flood damage repairs or the like. However, whatever the case may be it is merely a wastage of public money. Further, unless the Government gives realistic estimates the contractors cannot be expected to perform standard workmanship but it will only compel them to become corrupted, and not only that, the contractors will instigate the labourers also to become dishonest. Mr. Speaker, Sir, another thing I want to say is that just the other day I came across the repair work of a wall by the side of the Survey Hill compound. There was a wall which has fallen down and reconstruction of the same was being done. The wall fell down and reconstruction of the same was being done. The wall fell down because it was not a work of cement or even lime mortar. As it could be seen the height of the wall is about 12 or 15 ft. but the foundation is only about 2 ft. deep or so. If the Engineer or S.D.O. has inspected the work at the time when it was first constructed, this thing could have been avoided, but I think it was not examined or looked into properly by the officers concerned and so it has broken down. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, to my mind, all these things point out to the dishonesty of the contractor being indirectly encouraged by the Department concerned. And I think it is time that our Government should consider these things very seriously so as to avoid unnecessary expenditure as much as possible. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- I now call upon Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh to speak.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to associate myself in this general discussion on the Governor's Address. While going through the Address of the Governor, unfortunately I find that there has not been any mention of the administration of the State. It has not spoken about the efficiency and inefficiency of the State Administration in every Department of the Government. As it is, at present there is only inefficiency. If we go to any Department we find only the Head of the Department or sometimes the Superintendent or Supervisor but many of the staff are not there and if a work is to be done sometimes even the Head of the Department blamed the clerks or to see that the Departments are working properly. So in the Governor's Address I find no mention about the steps taken to make the Government Departments run the administration efficiently. So I would like to request the Government, through you, Sir, that if should look and go into the matter of how to run the Departments and also should investigate into the inefficiency of the Departments. The officers and Heads of Departments some-times shift their responsibilities to the clerks, and the subordinates are being given the responsibility, whereas the other officers or the Heads of Departments are not being taking any steps to run their departments or offices efficiently. On this point, I would like the Government to take note. We would also like to know from the Government what they are aiming to do, what is their object in these coming five years in running and administration efficiently. There are also lots of procedural difficulties which lead to corruption on the part of the Government servants because transfers of staff from District to State are not allowed. I suggest that there should be inter-transfer of staff of District Branch and State Departments to avoid corruptions so that when we find that there is corruption in the District Branch, the staff should be transferred to the State Department. Good people should be there in the District Branches so that all corruptions can be avoided. Also in support of the hon. Member, Shri D.D. Lapang about the lapses of the Government during the last General Election, I would like to say that the Government has failed to prepare or to revise the electoral rolls as per law of the land. The law of the land provides that there should be revision of the electoral rolls when ever there is election. Thus it excludes lots of adult population who have the right of franchise. In my constituency there are about 80 houses and in each house there are three or four adult persons. Here about 30 houses are left out from the roll. That means, about 60 to 80 adult population have been left out and there had been even agitations last time, but somehow we could pacify them. So it is also a failure on the part of the Government.
Then I would like to point out also, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government, in this Session, also have failed to give correct account of the two cases referred to in the Governor's Address; one in Shillong and the other in Mailam in the border. Here in Shillong also it has made a reference to the Police having opened fire to the public but there is not mention that the public had fired back. But here it is stated in the Governor's Address that a dead body was found and tat the death was caused by gun-shots and not by Police firing. It is not true. If there is Police firing then the man should have died by Police gun-shot and not by anybody. Therefore, Government did not collect proper information because it is very inefficient. Then, about the Mailam case, they referred only to one Garo boy who died of drowning. In fact they failed to mention that there were also two Khasi men who died and they could not trace them out till today.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Shame ! Shame.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- They could not collect correct information. And I know, out of these two men, one is U Kror who was killed by somebody and thrown into the river on that day. But the Government could not collect any information and this is also a great inefficiency on the part of the Government. As I have moved yesterday the amendment motion about the water supply and health in the rural areas, I would again stress that in my constituency there are villages like Mawkyrwat, Nonglang, Mawten and Mawlangwir and Shohkhyllam. In these villages there is no water at all. There are sources of water but very far away. So I request the Government to survey these areas and provide water supply in these areas. In the border areas also where the water is very scarce, the people will have to go very far away to get the water and I again request the Government to look into this matter. And besides, there are no hospitals in that area, although it deserve to have one hospital. It is mentioned also that Government would provide fertilizers. Due to non-availability of fertilizers the people are facing difficulties because they can produce more food only with the help of these fertilizers. So the Government should contact the firms for the supply of these fertilizers. So, I would suggest that the Government would allow the private dealers to take up this matter. There should be whole-sale shops in every centre or area so that the cultivators can have easy access in these places to have their fertilizers at the original cost. I would request the Government, through you, to supply some information as to these fertilizers. Because the places of cultivation are very far from offices and Government Department. The people, especially of my constituency, have to cover long distance while going to and from Shillong Town and the cost of transport in bringing these fertilizers is very high. (Bell rang) Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to take leave of another few minutes. Therefore, at least Government should provide some percentage on the cost of transportation. And at least 20 percent or 30 percent should be provided as subsidy on transportation of these fertilizers.
Also I would ask the Government to take up with the Central Government regarding authorised routes for trade between Bangladesh and the State of ours. At present there are few recognised routes like Dawki, Tharia Bazar and Shella. But Balat being a very important trade centre is left out. It is important that this Government should take up with the Central Government and declare what are the trade centres in our border. I think we are going to have trade agreement with Bangladesh. I understand the Central Government is going to sign a trade agreement with Bangladesh. So I would advise the Government to take up the matter and declare the trade routes open to all the people. Unless the Government takes up the matter, I am afraid that most of the vital points of our border areas would be checked and sealed from having trade and business with the Bangladesh people. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Smti. Percylina Marak (Rongram S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to support the Motion of Thanks moved by Mr. P.G. Marbaniang on the Governor's Address. I congratulate the Governor and his Government for presenting a concise picture of the various major policies of the new Government. I shall be failing in my duty if I do not congratulate the Leader of the House and his colleagues on their commendable performance during the past two years when he and his colleagues piloted the affairs of the Government of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya. While appreciating the speech of the Governor, I would, however, like to make a few observations. The State of Meghalaya as all of us are aware became a full-fledged State only on 21st January, 1972. This young State started functioning as an Autonomous State in 1970. Immediately after that as a border State it had to face very testing days in the wake of refugee influx from from erstwhile East Pakistan. The commendable performance during the past one year of the Government of Meghalaya in defending the country and maintaining peace and order with 7 lakhs refugees or more need not be repeated. From the reports of the various dailies it was evident that the young State had earned admiration from all circles and leaders of the various political parties and also from the Central Government.
The passing of the North-Eastern Re-organisation Act by the Parliamentary in spite of the country at that time facing trying days seems to me that it was an acknowledgement on the part of the Government of India of the performance during the past two years, particularly during freedom struggle by Bangladesh people.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while supporting the motion, I would like to bring to the notice of the House, through you, a few things particularly in regard to the affairs in the district of Garo Hills.
Today is the date scheduled for signing of the trade agreement between the two Governments, namely, the Government of India and Bangladesh, which I believe will be the stepping stone for the promotion of mutual interest of both the countries.
Meghalaya, as a State, produces a variety of agricultural products. One such major item in Garo Hills, which requires immediate attention of the Government is the production of ginger on a large scale. My area is a singer-growing area, unfortunately, because of lack of market, the valuable agricultural crop is still remaining unutilised. Ginger in Garo Hills seems to have replaced cotton which used to be a major crop in former days. Getting the encouragement from the Agriculture Department the cultivators have taken to the cultivation of ginger on a large scale. The price of ginger was very high some three years ago and definitely people could earn their livelihood through that. It is very shocking to find that the price index of ginger has gone down abnormally during the past two years. This, I believe, is mainly due to the middlemen operating in the ginger-growing areas. When the officers of the Meghalaya Government visited Garo Hills, the local people impressed upon them the necessity of opening a new avenue to export ginger to other districts at reasonable price, helping thus, the villagers to regain their lost confidence. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will be surprised to learn that thousand and thousands of ginger are lying underground for want of marketing facilities. Something must be done to dispose of them at reasonable price, otherwise people will completely lose interests. As you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, once we lose confidence and interest in anything, it is extremely difficult to regain them and it is more so with illiterate people. I would request the Government therefore to take it up at Government level before it is too late. One suggestion I would make in this connection. The old route from Tura to Phulbari via Rongram should be further developed. At least one bus should be commissioned immediately. This is an immediate need.
At page 9 paragraph, of the Governor's Address it was mentioned that employment opportunities would be increased through development programmes, such as industries, soil conservation, etc. etc. On the same page, 2nd paragraph, the personnel policy of the Government has also been mentioned that vacancies at lower levels would be filled up by direct recruitment through Selection Boards. In this connection, I would like to bring to the notice of the House through you, Sir, that there is a general complaint about the delay in giving appointments to the selected candidates. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, Sir, slightly speedy action in giving appointments to the youths will definitely bring nearer those who have been partially frustrated in their attempt to get employment in the Government service. As I freely mix with people under the age-group ranging from 20-30, I understand fully threeing and anxiety of those who are without job.
I would also like to know as to what difficulties are there in filling up the vacancies in the development projects. There are so many posts of B.D.Os lying vacant in Garo Hills. if there are no serious difficulties, I would request the Government to appoint some young upstarts. Encouragement should definitely be given to young and efficient deserving persons in these fields.
I do not say that the Government does not have confidence in local talents, Mr. Speaker, Sir. But what I want to point out here is that no scope for suspicion and apprehension should be created.
With these few observations, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I once against thank the Governor and support the Motion of Thanks.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to disturb the hon. Member because the hon. Member is not of our sex but of female sex. But I would like to request the hon. Member and through you, Sir, the Leader of the House, to see if the rules are observed properly. In so far as Rule 279 (2) is concerned, violation of the Rules were committed by one of our experienced Members in the Treasury Benches. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would request you and the Leader of the House to look into this.
*Mr. Speaker :- These rules are very important that we should carefully observe. But, it is a sad thing to see that so many have violated these Rules. I understand clearly the intention of the hon. Member. He wants me not not to allow any hon. Member to read out the speech or any portion of his speech to be read out. Generally speaking, a portion of the speech should be read out by the Member but as a matter of fact, whenever the hon. Member reads out any portion of his speech, the same should be handed over to the reporters. That is the reason why a point of order or any violation of the Rules as stated by the hon. cannot be admitted. For example, when the hon. Member beings the speech simply by reading out from the beginning up to the end then in that case it may be considered a violation of the rules.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is clearly stated in the rules that a private Member may not read out his speech, except to refresh his memory by reference to notes.
*Mr. Speaker :- This rule is very clear to all hon. Members. It is stated that any of the hon. Members could make such readings. Even in the Lok Sabha, a Member is allowed to read anything but he should pass on the speech he reads on to the reporters. So I think, there is nothing harm in it. If the rules are to be strictly observed, it is only through the Speaker that they should be done so.
Shri Pleander Garo Momin (Rongjeng S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, I would like to offer my deep appreciation and humble gratitude to the Governor for his Address, which he made on the floor of this House on the 25th instant. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to roads and communications which were included in the Address, and to my mind, they need speeding up for the development programmes in this part of the country. The road project, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the crying need of the people all over the State, and to which strategic and economic importance have been attached by the Government. In this connection, it may partly be added here that the development of roads and communications has been undertaken by the State Government of Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I regret to point out that in my home Constituency there is a village. This village also falls within the Rongjeng Constituency. This village consists of more than 1,000 houses and having about 3000 acres of land. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to state before this House that no transport and suitable communications have been constructed to link up this village with the rest of the District up-to-date. Again Sir, I feel that this village is of great strategic importance in this part of our Meghalaya State and from the point of view of social, economic, political and commercial developments emphasis should be given by the Government. But Sir, it is a matter of sorrow to express before the House this particular village in my constituency in spite of being the most important place in the districts, had been totally neglected so long. Even it was cut off from the suitable communications and motorable roads and as such, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe the Government will pay proper attention to this deplorable village in the near future. Even the inhabitants in the semi town areas are facing a lot of similar difficulties due to lack of transport communication. Of course in the semi Town there is a kutcha road now under construction.
Sir, secondly, I would like to refer to the Governor's Address with regard to health and medical services. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has already been pointed out by the Governor in this Address that a new hospital is going to be established in Tura. Sir, I wonder if this hospital is to be built a new or to be taken up side by side with the existing one already there. If this could be done, I believe and I hope Sir, quite a wide range of medical and health service scheme will be extended in future. Also in the Governor's Address, it is stated that schemes for inviting Doctors and Medical Practitioners to serve in the rural areas, have been already sanctioned by the Government of Meghalaya. But I have already pointed out earlier, in my home constituency, where I was born and brought up, 15 years back, there is a hospital already in existence. Thereafter, the Government lifted this hospital up and turned into a dispensary which is functioning up till now. But it is rather surprising to find that the Doctor in the said dispensary have failed even to perform their requisite duties expected of them. This is due to shortage of medicines. I happened to enter into the dispensary but I regret to say that I have to come out from the dispensary without any treatment or having got even any medical help. So, Sir, this is the state of affairs which is going on there. It is a shame to express before the House and through you, Sir, that there is not even any stock of medicines at all in the dispensary. In this connection, I would like to go back to what our hon. Members has already spoken regarding the medical facilities in the rural areas. This personnel of the rank of doctors have not been posted in any place. As such, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to the prevailing condition of the Government to the prevailing conditions of the Rongjeng Dispensary. No stock of medicines, no experienced doctors, no other essential equipments were ever made available to this dispensary. In this connection, I would again request the Government to see that necessary steps are being taken immediately so that such a state of affairs should not prevail anywhere in future. Such dispensary requires immediate revival. (At this stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and Prof. A. Warjri, took the Chair). As matter of fact, we are all aware of the fact that inhabitants of the rural areas have been long suffering due to lack of medical facilities. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would now like to come to agriculture.
As the Governor has already said in his Address, agriculture is back-bone of the economy of the people of Meghalaya and I fully agree with him. However, the Governor of Meghalaya has further declared at the production of foodgrains in the State of Meghalaya is very poor. It is mainly because of two things : one thing is because of the production could not be increased due to the shortcoming of monsoon and secondly, the standing food-crops in the field shave been devastated due to attack by pests. Apart from that, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that there is a main cause why production of food-grains or agricultural wealth is very poor, especially in the Garo Hills the fertility of the soil at the surface has been damaged by the presence of huge number of cattle being reared by the Nepali people, who are called "'Khutiwalas". This is also one of the causes. I do feel Mr. Chairman, Sir, that this is one of the reasons why and have the fertility of the soil is being destroyed. So, I would like to request the Government to take appropriate and immediate action so that the number of huge cattle should not be allowed to increase. On the other hand, the cattle rearers should be driven off and only limited number of cattle should be allowed by the Government so that we can meet the requirements.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would now come to the field of employment. As the Governor has stated in his Address, the problem of unemployment is a very difficult task to solve not only in the rest of the country but also in the State of Meghalaya. I fully agree with the Governor. In this Address, the Governor has stressed that the scope of employment can be initiated by bringing about developmental works such as soil conservation, rural health, and so on. I would even like to suggest to the Government that some Heads of Department Offices may be established at Tura so that the local people in Garo Hills can also get employment. Offices of Officers to the level of Joint Director may also be established at Tura and this will not only help the problem of employment prevailing here but will also accelerate the progress of the Government machines. As we all aware, though Assam still has its capital at Shillong many Heads of Departments have been already been shifted to Gauhati for their own convenience. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, though I want to speak on a few more points but due to limited time I resume my seat and conclude my speech.
Mr. Chairman :- Mr. W. Cecil Marak. The hon. Member is absent. Then Mr. Plansing Marak.
Shri Plansing Marak (Kherapara S.T.) :- Do I address you as Speaker or as Chairman?
Mr. Chairman :- As Chairman, please.
Shri Plansing Marak :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I stand to support the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address moved by my hon. friend, Mr. D.D. Pugh. Mr. Chairman, Sir, while expressing my gratitude and thankfulness to the Governor for his coming here and addressing this House, I would like to make certain observations and suggestions. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Governor in his Address at the very outset has mentioned that the first year had been an eventful year for the State of Meghalaya. What the Government means by 'eventful' I do not really understand but there are two events, eventful years, when we were struggling for the achievement of a full-fledged State of Meghalaya and an eventful period when we were faced with the dangerous situation of ever flowing refugees from Bangladesh. On both occasions, we have come out successful and victorious. Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have achieved our goal, we have got our full-fledged State and now we can try to make Meghalaya a model State. But there are certain qualifications and certain qualities; we are to forget ourselves as Khasi and Garos. If I think myself to be a Garo or a Khasi, then the Garos will think only about the Garos and the Khasis will think only about the Khasis. So, Sir, I think we have to feel as Meghalayans and not as Garos or Khasis. Then only we will be able to make a model State. Now Sir, we have to apply ourselves to the task of toning up the efficiency had quality of administration which we have promised to the people, to our villagers and to that end we have to take steps to work towards the fulfillment of our pledge Mr. Chairman, Sir, in the last General Election we have promised to our people to fulfill three important things. What are those three important things? To drive away poverty, to drive away illiteracy and also to remove all sort of disease. Now, I am definitely sure that with the co-operation and the help of our people we shall be successful in taking up all these programmes. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Governor in his Address has mentioned about the re-grouping of villages in Garo Hills. I fully support the idea which will bring about social, economic and educational development of my District. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as mentioned by the Governor in his Address, agriculture is the backbone of Meghalaya's economy. So in order to get more food production we are to introduce various improved methods of cultivation in my District. What is now necessary in my District is that we want good agriculturists, i.e. persons who will work hard with their own hands like Mr. Bhupendra Sangma, retired Agricultural Inspector of Garo Hills. If an Agricultural Inspector like him is there, we shall be able to have more food production Mr. Chairman, Sir, if irrigation, embankment and various other improved methods of agricultural implements are introduced in my district, I hope more food will be produced and today I can tell that we have been fortunate to get three or four experts in our district who really want to develop our district to be able to increase food production. From want of funds, for want of implements and for want of improved seeds, those people are hampered and they cannot progress at the time. Therefore, I would request the Government to see that more funds are provided for the Agriculture Department so that they may be able to take up all these irrigation implements and other agricultural activities. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am sorry to see that certain Agricultural Demonstrators are not doing full justice to the villagers who expect that these Demonstrators will go from village to village and demonstrate to them how to utilise agricultural implements, how to use improved seeds, how to cultivate and how to apply manure. All these things are to be demonstrated in a proper way. But many of these Demonstrators are lying idle like Maharajas and I wish that Government should make them really work so as to meet the needs of the villagers of all these villages so that they may be able to get more food production. So, I request the Government to take active steps so that we shall be able to increase production and be able to live a prosperous life. Now, in Hindi language (Kani walla ham, deniwalla Ram).
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I also would suggest improvement of the roads and communications, particularly, in the border areas so that trade and commerce can be continued with the Bangladesh people after liberation of Bangladesh from the hands of Pakistan and I can definitely say that the Garo people living in Garo Hills will be benefited because last time, when I went to the border areas market I was surprised to see that some articles which were actually purchased at the rate o ten rupees were purchased at rupees three and such things are found in the border markets and border trades. I would request the Government to take up schemes for improvement of roads and communications in the borders. Mr. Chairman, Sir, lastly I would like to say something about the development of Garo Hills also. Yesterday my hon. friend Mr. Peter Marbaniang has spoken about Shillong and he has said that Shillong is the Scotland of the East. If Shillong is Scotland of the East, Balpakram is also equally famous as heaven and home of the dead. Who has planted those beautiful flowers all over that beautiful hill; come and see those beautiful flowers in May. You will lose yourselves by the charm of those flowers. Therefore, I would request the Government to develop that place into a tourist centre giving me opportunity to visit that place once in my life time and again when I am dead and gone. With these few words, I support the motion of thanks moved by my hon. friend, Mr. D.D. Pugh and resume my seat.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, first of all I take the pleasure of participating in the discussion on the Governor's Address in support of the motion of thanks that has been moved by the hon. Member Mr. D.D. Pugh. As one of our friends has stated this morning about dairy farming in the rural areas I appreciate it and of course it is very important and that we have to improve it. But I see that in the rural areas, especially Nongpoh area and in my area in Nongstoin Constituency and other areas along the borders of Bangladesh, the people are of course encouraged to rear cattle, sheep, and buffaloes but still it is yet to be improved. They are still rearing cattle in the old system without this diary farming to some extend. And regarding this matter, I would like to bring to the notice of the House in some places there are Nepalis who have harassed our border people, our innocent people in the rural area and I am very sorry to say that from the side of the Government no step has been taken to prevent the harassment to our local people. These people do not eat rice as we eat and they have caused great damage to the cultivation of the Khasi people living in these areas. So I would suggest to Government through you, Sir, that in promoting dairy farming the Government should take proper steps to prevent those people who are not rearing cattle, who are not having this dairy farm, from staying in the area by keeping some proper place for dairy farming.
Another point, Sir, which, I would like to bring to the notice of the House is that in the Governor's Address I found no mention of the creation of a new Civil Sub division for Nongstoin has been made. This actually has been surveyed by the Assam Government for pretty long years and I am very sorry to say that upto this day nothing has been done. It has been left like that as it is. From the side of the Syiem, as well as the people of Nongstoin they have offered land for creation of the Nongstoin Civil Sub-division. They have also allowed the Assam Government to acquire a big plot of land for the purpose of creation of this Sub-division. We have moved, we have been crying to the Government for the creation of this Sub division, but nothing has been done up till now. Through you, Sir, I request the Government to see to it so that this Nongstoin Sub division should function as early as possible.
Another thing, Sir, I have not seen anything mentioned in the Address of the Governor about the State Transport. Meghalaya has become a full-fledged State. It has all the powers as other States in India have. Being full-fledged State, I am not going to criticize but I am going to give a suggestion to the Government at least they should try their level best to improve our administrative machinery, improve our economy, agriculture as so many hon. Members have already suggested. Regarding State Transport, well, I do not know much about Garo Hills; but here in Khasi Hills District up till now we have only three lines of communication taken up by the State Transport i.e., Shillong-Gauhati, Shillong-Dawki and Shillong-Jowai. Cherrapunjee is one of the most important centres in Khasi Hills and Meghalaya as a whole. Mawkyrwat, Mawsynram have a line which very important for the growth of economy of the State of Meghalaya. Nongstoin is another most important line of communication to improve the economy of the State. With your permission, Sir, last year I went to the Minister in-charge of PWD and brought to his notice the necessity of the State Transport functioning in the western area of Khasi Hills, that is, Nongstoin and the reply I got was "We have no vehicles, we have got no money to purchase vehicles". Well, last year Meghalaya has not yet been made a full-fledged State and he has got all the power to do what is necessary. But now being a full-fledged State we should try to see to the necessity of the area for the improvement and upliftment of the people of that particular area as well as for the welfare of the State as a whole. So this time I suggest to the Government, through you, Sir, that Nongstoin Sub division should be created as early as possible. The State Transport from Shillong to Nongstoin should be taken up seriously by the Government. As it is now, the line of communication is being monopolised by one or two vehicle owners of that particular area. As most of the hon. Members excepting those from Garo Hills, know very well that if one has to go to Nongstoin you have to pack up yourself as pieces of potato packet up in sack. I would suggest to the Government through you, Sir, to take special steps to ensure that the people travelling from Nongstoin to Shillong or Shillong to Nongstoin are safeguarded, as at any time the vehicle may fall down and that may lead to the cause of death and injured to hundreds of people.
Another three minutes, Sir, if you don't mind. One of the hon. Members, Mr. D.D. Lapang, has stated and he has quote one proper name of one proper village that is, Nongwah. I strongly support him and I am going to add two other villages in that particular area, that is Patharkhmah and Kyrshai. These villages are inhabited by our Khasi people since a number of years but it is surprising to see and to find that these people have to pay taxes and that too to the Kamrup District which is under Assam. They have to suffer a lot from the torture of those Assamese. The Assamese have encroached more than three miles from the border. They have cleared all the forests, dense forests of Nongwah Patharkhmah and Kyrshai of Khasi Hills. But due to the slackness of the administration in the District Council and the State Government, these areas are being eaten up, are being divided and being , so to say, separated from us and they have gone to the Kamrup District. I would, therefore, suggest to the Government through you, Sir, to take precaution against these aggressive policies.
With these few words Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri G. Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) :- Well Mr. Chairman, Sir, our hon. member from Mawkhar has suggested to the members that all the suggestions and criticism could have been made in the Provisional Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya and also in the Assam Legislative Assembly. But I am sorry, Sir, that we have never had a chance to do so. If I am not mistaken, you also did not have such a chance to raise all these suggestions, and to show to the Government to carry out things according to what we have suggested. Sir, we are standing on the same floor. So, we are here like the handyman to the truck drivers who shows the direction so that we do not fall into the ditch. My humble submission here, Sir is that in para 3 of the Governor's Address regarding the influx of evacuees from across the border, it has certainly caused a strain on the economy of our State. But the same could have been reduced had we been a bit serious in tackling this matter. We know that we have spent a lot of money purchasing things giving medical facilities, blankets, etc. I must say that the year 1971 is memorable in the history of Meghalaya. Memorable in the sense that many people became richer and at the same time, some people became poorer. Some people became rich because there were many loopholes in the administration which we have seen. We cannot just let things go unaccounted for. It is said that we have transferred all these paraphernalia across the border. It is just because we want to wash our hands and sins? Can we just let things go on like that? So, I would like to bring to the notice of the Government, through you, Sir, that was a blanket scandal and one tribal officer was arrested. Is it the only isolated case for which only one of the officers was arrested? has the Government done anything to dig further on this? It is mentioned in the Governor's Speech that there were cases of fire. According to my personal information, not less than a dozen such cases occurred. It is very doubtful, Sir, that all these cases were mere accidents. There may be some good or bad intentions just trying to tally the accounts of tarpaulins and to report that some were gutted by fire. It is said that they were duly enquired into by Police. We would like to place before the House that such report be placed on the Table of the House.
I would also like to bring to the notice of the notice of the Government that there were clashes and I do not know what the Government has done to the bereaved families, who had lost some of their members.
Another point to which I would like to refer is para 6 at page 4. In this context, Sir, I would like to suggest to the Government that our State is adjoining not only Mikir Hills but also other districts like Kamrup, Nowgong and even Bangladesh. Here I would like to suggest that before the Government finalises the boundaries of the State, it would be good and proper if they consult or take help from all sources available such as Syiems, Sirdars and other institutions, which can help in this respect.
Then, another point, which I would like to bring to the notice of the House is para 8. Sir, many hon. Members have spoken on this particular head. The Government agencies have taught the cultivators alright for adopting improving methods of cultivation and for using fertilizers. They have taught against and the cultivators had already adopted those methods. But I am sorry to say that the Government now failed to supply fertilizers and other implements which the cultivators require. To cite an example, in my constituency at Mawryngkneng we have been trying for bull-dozer but instead of giving to us, it is being utilised at Umroi for months together when it is fully known tat the area is going to be taken over by the military authorities. These are the things which are going on.
Then, we know that the banks have been nationalised to meet the requirements of the rural people. It would have been very helpful to our rural cultivators if banking facilities are extended to the rural areas. I would also like to refer to the last paragraph at page 7 where it is stated that a proposal for construction of 130 kilometers of border roads has been submitted to the Government of India for approval. This may be for border roads. But there may be some other roads also which are not mentioned in the Governor's Speech. In this connection, I would like to bring to the notice of the Hon'ble Minister who was in-charge of P.W.D. in the past year that there is a particular road which is very much in the know of the Minister. That is the Shillong-Diengpasoh road. The people in India as a whole had attained independence since the year 1947. But the people of this area are still being exploited by a particular man. It has become chronic trouble to the people and a time may come when they will lose all patience. Therefore, it is urged on the Government to take immediate steps on this road, lest the people will lose all their patience and confidence.
Lastly, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to say something on education. You see, Sir, on education, there are teachers of aided schools. These teachers were governed more or less by the same rules which the Government of Assam had adopted. The retiring age of these teachers is 63 years and now it has been reduced to 60 years. Most of the teachers of the aided schools, you will find, are those people who continue in service till the retiring age. They are dedicated teachers and these dedicated teachers could hardly be found nowadays. The people come and go to start the genesis as one of the hon. Members stated whereas dedicated teachers spent the whole of their life in service but they are not rewarded anything. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Government of India is observing the "Teacher's Day" every year but that programme is meant only for these people who are in distress and for the people having ailing health. Mr. Chairman, Sir, from the humanitarian point of view, I would like to suggest to the Government that the period of retirement of these people can be extended till they consider themselves unfit for service (Bell rang). Also I would be encouraging enough to give first preference to the qualified children of such teachers in giving appointment in the Government offices and also to extend to give gratuity, pension or whatever the Government thinks proper to these people. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- Now I call upon the Mr. Pritington Sangma to speak.
Shri Pritington Sangma (Kharkutta S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I take this opportunity to speak something in support of the motion of thanks moved by Prof. P.G. Marbaniang on the Governor's Address. I consider the Address of the Governor to be impressive for clearly giving a broad outline of what the Government has done during the past few years or what the Government is going to do in the near future. But I am sorry to note that some of the hon. Members of this august House are trying to find some loopholes, saying that these things are not mentioned or not inserted and not taken up by the Government and even they went to the extent of bringing some amendment motions to the House......
Shri Hoover Hynniewta (Nongkhlaw S.T.) :- Chairman, Sir, on a point of order, the hon. member is challenging the right of the Members of the House to move amendment on the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address. This should not be allowed Mr. Chairman, Sir. This right has been conferred on us by the rules of this House itself. We have a fundamental right to point out the defects committed by the Government. These rights are denied if the Member is allowed to express a sense of sorrow as the hon. members of this House are doing their duty. I think using such kind of words is un-parliamentary and so the hon. Member should be set right.
Shri Pritington Sangma :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I stand corrected. But Sir, what I want to impress upon this House is that the Government is in the infant stage and it making earnest efforts for promotion of the welfare of the people. Many references have been made to the refugee problem and here also I would like to say that the Government has dealt with the problems very effectively and in a sympathetic manner. Prior to liberation of Bangladesh due to Pakistani military atrocities the people were compelled to come over to our State and our Government did not fail to restore the disturbed economy of the border areas. It is found that the Government is doing the needful to solve the border problems. Mr. Chairman, Sir, today I want to bring out one issue. Many of the hon. Members have referred to the people of Mikir Hills who have come to the Jaintia Hills District. In this connection, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of the House through you, one thing and that is the Garo people living in the contiguous areas of Goalpara and Kamrup Districts who have been trying for their inclusion in the State of Meghalaya. This movement for inclusion in the Meghalaya State is not a new thing. It is as old as the movement for an Autonomous District Council and also as old as the movement for a separate Hill State. These brothers of ours, living in the contiguous area of Goalpara and Kamrup Districts and these very people have been working shoulder to shoulder with our Khasi and Garo brothers living in Garo Hills and Khasi Hills for the attainment of a separate State.
Whereas, here, after the birth of the full-fledged State, we rejoiced, enjoyed, sang and danced leaving those people in disappointment. I appeal to the Government, through you, Sir, that measures should be taken at a high level for the inclusion of these contiguous areas of Goalpara and Kamrup Districts.
I now come to agriculture. Many hon. Members have pointed out that agriculture is the back-bone of our State. I admit that ours is essentially an agriculturist country though we are not good cultivators. Agriculture can be improved in Meghalaya as many hon. Members have pointed out, by applying fertilizers and improved method of cultivation. But that is not the end. I feel that major irrigation and minor irrigation are to be given more importance. Because I have seen in Garo Hills that there are plots of land but streams are not available for irrigation. In such cases, lift irrigation, by means of electricity, can be done Sir, in the interior places where there are many willing cultivators but one thing, they do not get improved seeds and seedlings. So, here, also I would like to suggest to the Government, through you, Sir, to establish Government seed and seedling from farm in the State. Many hon. Members have referred to the potato cultivation in Khasi Hills. Many hon. Members have referred to the potato cultivation in Khasi Hills. But would like to point out one very important thing, that Garo Hills is the only district in the whole of Eastern Zone of India for producing cotton. But today we see that this cotton cultivation dwindling day by day. Its reasons may be due to lack of market. There is no market. This cotton cultivation is apparently replaced by the cultivation of ginger. If one will go from here to Tura he will see ginger and nothing but ginger. But here also cultivators are not getting proper attention. So I would like to suggest to the Government through you, Sir, that in order to encourage the cultivators, in order to get more production of ginger and cotton, it will be good if we can open a few markets. Also we can establish factories, cotton-spinning and ginger dehydration centres. If these things are done, I feel that the production will be improved and the cultivators will be encouraged. So, with these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Edward Kurbah (Sohiong S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I also being the representative of the people from Sohiong Constituency, would like to make a few observations while appreciating the Governor's Address which was delivered to this august House on the 25th March, 1972. So, from my part also I will have to express about the needs and necessities of the area concerned and of the State as a whole. Seeing and hearing from other hon. Members of this House expressing the thoughts and expression of every part of the Governor's Address, I also have great pleasure to bring to the notice of the House the shortage of water supply, specially in these two villages-Marbisu and Mawngap falling under my jurisdiction. For the last few years people have submitted their petitions and so many promises have been made from the Government side for taking up scheme for water supply in these villages of Marbisu and Mawngap. But so far I have not seen that the water supply scheme has been taken up for these two villages. So, I would like to bring this problem to the notice of this House and through you, Sir, to the Government and to request them to please see the urgent need of these two villages for having their drinking water supply; because in these two villages the people have suffered a lot and especially in winter, for getting water from a distant well which takes about two to three hours for one trip of water. So I would like to request the Government through you, Sir, to take up schemes immediately for the good health and welfare of the people of the villages concerned as we have now got our full-fledged State.
The second thing which I would like to bring to the notice of the House is mentioned in the Governor's Address at page 7, paragraph 8 is about the development and improvement of the roads in the hills areas. I have seen many times and I have also approached the Minister in-charge of Public Works Department regarding opening the road from Sohiong upto Nongbsap and also another road from Mawmaram through Nongthliew up Krang. Of course, the roads have already been opened but it appears as if nobody is taking charge of them and many times the agriculturists and cultivators, whenever they produce agricultural goods from these areas, could not bring their goods from Shillong because of shortage of vehicles due to the roughness and muddiness of the roads. This is a very great problem for the people to carry goods from Shillong to their places and take their agricultural produces to Shillong. So I would like to bring to the notice of the House the necessity of development and improvement of these two roads. I would request the Government, through you, Sir, to take care to them and look deeply into the necessities of the people by improving immediately these two main roads, namely, Sohiong through Weilyngkut to Nongbsap and then Mawmaram through Nongthliew upto Krang. Sir, as a representative of the people from this area I would request the Government deeply to try and see carefully to the welfare of the people for their easy going and taking their necessary things back from their places right upto Shillong and taking their necessary things back from Shillong to their respective places. So I would like the Government to take proper care, specially, during this time so that the people may be able to make use of these roads for carrying their agricultural goods, and for their safe going and coming in the future.
I would also bring to the notice of the House the question of improvement of agriculture which has found mention in the Governor's Address. As we know, agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the State. We have seen most of our people are cultivators and farmers. But you see, even if they are cultivators and farmers, nowadays the land needs the use of fertilizer at the right time and right places. So during these past years what I have seen, was that the supply of fertilizers was very short and many people are running here and there in search of fertilizers. But they did not get even up till now. As we know, sowing of potato starts from the month of January upto 15th of March, but the people are still to cultivate the potatoes up till now due to the inability of the Government to supply fertilizers in time. If Government would not care and could not supply fertilizers at the right time the potatoes will not be able to grow well and people will not get good return. We should remember that agriculture is hand in hand with fertilizers now-a-days. So regarding this aspect of agriculture and in the matter of supplying fertilizers, I would request the Government, through you, Sir, to see that fertilizers now onward should be supplied to the people in time.
Sir, another thing I would like to stress upon is regarding the Block Development Committee. As one of the friends has suggested that the representative to the B.D.C. (Block Development Committee) should be elected by the people of the area concerned. So far, I have seen that in many Blocks, members of the Block Development Committees were elected many only by those persons belonging to the Block itself. As a consequence, many corrupt practices took place in the distribution of grant, seedlings, etc. So regarding this case, also in order to get rid of these troubles, the members of the Block Development Committee should be elected by the people of the area concerned. Sir, with these few words, I thank the Governor for delivering this Address before us so that we may be able to discuss on it for the welfare, improvement and development of our newly born State. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Parsvanath Choudhury (Laban) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Governor in his Address has stated. 'My Government pledges to ensure that effective steps are taken to build up prosperous Meghalaya". Sir, I have the opportunity of being in the rural areas. From my experience, Sir, I find tat whatever little bit of amenities, whatever little bit of help the Government wanted to extend to our rural brethren, have not reached them because of the administrative defect and corruption in the administration. Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have of course, dispensaries here and there. But the dispensaries in some cases are without doctors. if there is a doctor, there is no medicine and if there is medicine supplied to the patients, these are nothing but colour of water. Such a state of thing is going on in the rural areas.
In the educational sphere also what we find is that if there is school, there is no building. And if there is a building, there is no qualified teacher; and if there is a teacher, he does not get his salary regularly. So how can we expect better education in such a state of affairs. For the improvement of the condition of our agriculturists Government promised to make arrangement for supply of improved seeds, modern implements, fertilizers and so on. But, whether these benefits had reached the people or not? Sir, same is the case also with water supply. Most of the places are deprived of drinking water. I wonder, how we can build up a prosperous Meghalaya in such conditions, unless steps are taken to improve our administrative machinery and ensure a clean and efficient administration. Sir, with these few observations in general I would like to make reference to the Governor's Address. Sir, the Governor, in his Address, has mentioned about the growing unemployment problem in our State. But Sir, the Address does not throw any new light as to how the Government proposes to tackle this unemployment problem. Mr. Chairman, Sir, most of the people of our State live in the villages and the unemployment problem in the rural areas is so acute that unless a definite programme is chalked out to provide employment to our rural folk, how we can solve this baffling problem, I do not know, Sir.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, what we see in the rural areas where thousand of our people are unemployed, and living in abject poverty only a few are possessing enormous wealth. Sir, it is no good speaking of unemployment problem unless we can find ways and means for solving it. Now, the need of the hour is the basic re-thinking in our economic planning so that, it can generate gainful employment opportunities to our unemployed youths. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the unemployment problem is menacingly increasing in our State due to slow pace of development in the industrial sphere, because, we have no industry worth the name in our State. Sir, that is the most important item and the need of the hour is to utilise the available potentialities for starting industries in this State. It is only by using these potentialities, that we can expect industrialisation. Coming to another point, which I think, is the most vital factor I find that we have no authentic records of our unemployed we have in our State. only a few of the thousands unemployed population could get registration of their names in the local Employment Exchanges. Many have been left out. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have information regarding our unemployed population could get registration of their names in the local Employment Exchanges. Many have been left out. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have information regarding our unemployed people having registered their names in the Employment Exchange how they have to wait even for years altogether for a call for job. So, Sir, it is no use to get themselves registered while it is not possible for them to get a job and at the same time, Sir, many people have not been able to register their names with Employment Exchange; it is not possible to get the authentic figure as to how great the problem is. Sir, before the Government takes up any scheme for the solution of this gigantic problem of unemployment in our State, I would suggest and would impress upon the Government to set up a high level Committee to ascertain the actual employment; position in the state and go into the details of our unemployment problem and suggest remedies to enable us to help solve this problem.
Sir, coming to the agricultural aspect of the State, I am sorry to say that very little has so far been done to free the cultivators from the clutches of unscrupulous money lenders, middlemen living on their labour. This is the state of affairs and I hope Government will find the remedies to eradicate this evil. (Bell rang).
Now, Sir, I would request you to allow me a few minutes more. I have got one more item. Sir, we want to build up a Welfare State but in the Governor's Address I am to constrained to find that there is no reference made about the welfare of our youths, labourers and Harijans. Sir, quite a huge number of labourers both organised and unorganized are in our State either in agricultural or industrial sectors. Sir, there is no mention about their welfare in the Governor's Address and how our Government proposes to give them amenities of life. This was not mentioned at all. Many of them have got not even a house to live in. They are deprived of all the basic amenities of life but living under debt and poverty. Sir, apart from this, in our State, what I find to my surprise, is that we have got no Labour Department set up. Uptil now, the Government has not appointed any Conciliation Officer under the Industrial Dispute Act. Unless the appointment is made and unless an Inspector is appointed under the Motor Transport Workers' Act, Sir, these poor labourers cannot get redress of their grievances. Sir, these poor labourers have been deprived of their rights and privileges to get redress of their grievances. With reference to the development of Sports and Games in our State the hon. Member, Mr. Stanlington Khongwir, had already spoken. I will not touch the details of it except one point. There is no provision for the construction of playgrounds. We find in our State, there is not enough place which our youths and students could use as a play ground. Most of the school students are deprived of playgrounds. The Laban Cricket ground, which is known as the "Garrison Ground", is at present under the the Defence Department of the Government of India. If this field is made available to the civilians, I think Sir, the needs for providing Sports and games; facilities to our youths will be solved to a great extend. I hope Sir, Government will take note of this point. (Bell rang).
One more point, Sir. There is one thing in the Governor's Address; it is about the special development schemes for Shillong. Many of the previous speakers have revealed the very appalling condition existing in the capital of ours. Sir, we are proud of this city which is called the Queen of the hill stations. But now we find that this beautiful city has been turned into a city of dirt and filth where the roads are quite congested and underdeveloped and are in need of repairs. Drains are totally blocked and are turned into a breeding place for the mosquitoes and flies. We have got several market places; these are veritable hells. There is no plan for the development of these market places. So the poor citizens were deprived of the basic amenities. Sir, in this connection, I would like to mention about one area in my own constituency. That place is called 'Lumparing' which is adjacent to Laban and many of the residents are low paid Government servants. But Sir, after years of Independence, these poor people have been deprived of all basic amenities of life. There is no motorable road to connect this place, Lumparing, with the rest of the city. The doctors are reluctant to attend to the patients and the expectant mothers are to be carried by the people to the hospitals. Such a state of affairs is exciting there. So, Sir, I would request the Government and through you, Sir, that Government should look to the needs and the interest of these helpless and poor people so that, they may get at least the minimum basic amenities of their lives.
Then Sir, coming back to Shillong I suggest a matter plan for greater Shillong should be taken up early, so that Shillong City would one day become a better Shillong, providing better roads, providing playground, better transport and communication system, better medical facilities, better marketing places and so on and so forth. I hope the Government will look into it and take early steps. Sir, one sentence more before I shall resume my seat. Mr. Chairman, Sir, (Bell rang).
Mr. Chairman :- I think you have taken enough time.
Shri Parsvanath Choudhury :- I am coming to the last part of the Governor's Address. The Governor has said "My Government will further ensure that, in carrying out its programme, the legitimate interests of all non-tribal residents in the new State will be fully safeguarded". Sir, it is very good that we have been so assured but, at the same time, we find that there is some discrimination. There is some contradiction under para 11 where we find that the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Act has been passed where we find that the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Act has been passed where a discrimination has been made. Regarding the transfer of land, firstly, I for one am for providing and giving more benefits and more privileges to our tribal friends, but, at the same time, Sir, I wish that the non-tribal residents of Meghalaya should be given the minimum facilities at least so that they can get a land to live in and also get equal opportunities of employment, equal opportunities for other business and contracts. If this is done, Sir, only justice will be done to this section of the people of Meghalaya and they would then feel as equal partners in the welfare and development of Meghalaya. If everybody who lives here extends his co-operation, we will be able to build up a prosperous Meghalaya, build up the State of Meghalaya as a patch of beauty. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- Now Mr. Jackman Marak.
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am very luck today because now I have got the chance. I am very glad and also grateful to you for allowing me to speak a few works and I take this opportunity to support the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address moved by the hon. Member, Mr. D.D. Pugh, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I want to speak ...............
Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, on a point of information, may we know to whom we should ascribe the honour of moving the motion of thanks? Some members have ascribed it to hon. Member, Mr. D.D. Pugh and some to Professor P.G. Marbaniang. We are completely in the dark. So, Sir, we would like to know because it is our turn to speak ...... (interruption). May we have the information, Sir, for our guidance in future.
Mr. Chairman :- I think we should ascribe the honour to Prof. P.G. Marbaniang since Mr. D.D. Pugh moved it in paper but actually Prof. Marbaniang moved it in the House.
Shri Plansing Marak :- Do you mean to say that the other addresses are all wrong?
Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- They stand corrected then.
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I stand corrected. Many hon. Members of this House have spoken about the border problems which occurred in 1970. I wonder, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that due to too much influx of refugees from Bangladesh the border areas had been doubly distressed last year. They have lost their cows, goats, etc. as they left their sweet homes in search of suitable shelters without cultivation. Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, when they come back to their respective places they find nothing. Mr. Chairman, Sir, they are poor and needy. Moreover, these people are now trying to find out what to do and what not to do. Nor, Mr. Chairman, Sir, a sense of insecurity and a sense of fear are always in the minds of the people of the border areas. With such a feeling of insecurity how could these people live peacefully? Therefore, Sir, I would suggest that the Government should at least look into the matter and do something so that the people in the border areas will not be too much panicky.
Now, Sir, I wish to come to the supply position in Garo Hills, especially in the border areas. This year's harvest may fail. Of course, we are not prophets; after we are human beings. But, Mr. Chairman, Sir, a great famine may occur in these areas also. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to mention one thing that once I went to the border bazar and I made local enquiry about the price of paddy, I myself also purchased 5 maunds of paddy at the rate of Rs.30 per maund.
Now it was shooting up to Rs.35 and I do not know because I am also living at Shillong and at present it may go up to Rs.35 of to Rs.40. This is a very big amount. So Sir, regarding these distressed people of the border area Government should consider and do something. Mr. Chairman, Sir, another point is about road communication. Just now one of the hon. Members has spoken and that is about Simsanggiri Sub-division which has been started. Of course the Government of Meghalaya fortunately started functioning only recently but another road from Chokpot to Simsanggiri, this road is necessary, because Chokpot to Siju road has been started, and Chokpot to Sibbari one road has been started in the border area. Sibbari in the border of Sibbari Emandora Border to Simsanggiri one road is necessary so that in future such trouble may not come and from the security point of view this road should be developed ...................
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, whether the House will continue after 5 O' clock or whether the Clock on the wall is running fast?
Mr. Chairman :- May I know how much time more will you take ? I think we can adjourn the House now and continue next day.
Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, next day may I request you to give me more time?
Mr. Chairman :- The House stands adjourned till 10 a.m. on 30th March, 1972.
|The 28th March, 1972||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|
The Assembly met at 10 A.M. on Thursday, the 30th March, 1972 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.
VOTING ON VOTE OF ACCOUNT
Mr. Speaker :- The first item in the list of business for today- is Voting on Vote on Account. Minister Finance to move the motion on the Vote of Account.
Shri. Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount not exceeding Rs.6,58,55,900, be granted to the Governor in advance to defray charges in respect of different departments during the first quarter of the financial year ending the 31st March, 1972 under grants shown in the Schedule.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and since there is no cut motion from the hon. Member for the budget Grants from 1 to 26, I put all these 26 grants before the House. The question is that all these 26 grants be passed.
The motion is adopted. The grants are passed.
As regards Grant No.27, I have received one cut motion to be moved by Shri. D.D. Lapang.
Shri. D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with you permission I beg to move that the provision of Rs.12,52,900 under demand for advance grant relating to "30-Public Health-1-Public Health" at pages 6-7 of the vote on account Budget, i.e., the amount of the whole grant of Rs.12,52,900 do stand reduced by Re.1. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the amount of this demand for this Department is very huge and it is very much regretted that the policy of the Government followed by this Department is not very satisfactory so as to get the confidence and support of the people. There are no Government in this programme. May I refer to some instances? There are no doctors in the dispensaries in the interior villages especially in the remote areas. It seems that the policy of our Government is concentrating in the hospitals and institutions in the towns only, leaving out the people in the interior who are very much in need of sympathy from the Government. In the dispensaries in most of the interior areas even pharmacists are not available. And even if they are available they are showing their high-handedness having no mercy on the people who express grievances to them and need redress.
At the same time, Mr. Speaker, Sir, even good medicines are not available in the interior. While good Indian and foreign medicines are fond in plenty in the town but such medicines are not found in the interior. This partial treatment is not very much accepted to me as well as to the House itself, Sir. Some time past it was proposed to establish an Institute in Shillong for producing of and giving training to the pharmacists but without any fulfillment and we should like to know whether the Government is still interested in the subject. I would also like to point out that immediate steps should be taken to overcome the problem of scarcity of doctors for posting to the respective dispensaries in the interior places. One other point, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that I come from Nongpoh Constituency and one particular area, that is Umden area where there are many patients who are suffering from leprosy. It is a leprosy affected area and we do not see any sign that Government has shown any interest to take necessary steps. The people were left dying and crying without any assistance, without any help and no facilities were extended by the Government for so many years. While this disease in that area is expanding right and left and is spreading from door to door, from house to house, from village to village, the Government while spending a lot of money for health is not seeing to this vital problem in that area. Besides, poverty is also there. Owing to the affect of this and other diseases the people of the area are day by day being thrown into poverty. The people in spite of their illness are compelled to go to their paddy fields. We do not see any signs that the Government is taking notice of the seriousness of the disease. This is a very serious matter which requires urgent measures to be taken by the Government. The so-called dispensary constructed by the Government of Assam has been under lock and key since the very day of its inauguration. This is a very shameful thing that the Government fails to meet the demand of the people. Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are surprised very little that the Government of Assam had not done anything in that respect. But it pains my heart to see that our own Government manned by our own people did not see anything to this. They turned a deaf ear, closed their eyes and did not show any sympathetic heart. This is a very urgent need and a vital problem for the people of that area but the Government did not pay any attention to this. Now in this matter, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would appeal, through you, that the Government should at least construct an Asylum or Hospital for the lepers. The leprosy patients are not less than hundred in number in that area. These Asylums or Hospitals should be manned by competent Doctors, Nurses and equipped with medicines. I see that this matter is of priority and also it is necessary to find out the cause of this disease which has spread out in that area. But nothing has been done up till now. The Government should have sent a team of Doctors to find out the cause for the existence of the disease in that area. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is really very regrettable that such research institute which ought to have been established for combating this disease is not mentioned under this head. In view of all these factors, I regret, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to move that the provision of Rs.12,52,900 under this head should stand reduced to rupee one.
Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Member would like to take part?
Shri. H.E. Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion moved by my hon. friend who have just spoken before me. Sir, public health is a very nice word which sounds very sweet to the ear of the people, especially in the rural areas. Fortunately, I thank God that our Ministers are very healthy and most of the members have got very good health. Therefore, when we are not so much affected by ill-health, we forget the people who are suffering in rural areas. We have got so many dispensaries in the rural areas of this State, but you will be surprised, Sir, that in the night time, in these dispensaries the jacks were howling and the people were afraid to pass by these dispensaries because nobody was there, the chowkidar was not there, doctors were not there. Therefore, in the dead of night, these dispensaries afforded shelter for any unwanted people and bad elements I think the Minister-in-charge will agree with me that most of the dispensaries established in the border areas have got no doctor at all. And I fully agree with the hon. Member who has moved the cut motion that it is the primary duty of the Government of Meghalaya which is manned by our own people to see that this problem requires immediate solution. So long during the previous days we have been blaming the Assam Government for not taking interest in the health of our people in the rural areas and now that we have got our own Government since the last two years, I do not see any improvement in this Department, rather it is deteriorating. I am not going to criticise the action of the Government but I would request the Government to see that at least during this year something should be done for the dispensaries in the rural areas. Sir, what I find is this : Some buildings have been completed since last seven years but no doctors are there, some dispensaries whose buildings have been completed 15 years back, no doctors are there. Therefore, while supporting the cut motion of the hon. Member I would urge upon the Government to give their serious consideration to this public health aspect in our rural areas.
*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also rise to support the cut motion moved by my friend Mr. D.D. Lapang particularly because the amount of work done by this Department can really be considered to be equal to one rupee as against the huge sums of money that have been spent in the past under this peculiar head. Sir, the expenditure in 1970-71 was Rs.32 lakhs both at the State level and in the district level and in 1971-72 it was Rs.41 lakhs. Now, we have a sum of Rs.12 lakhs and we have a further sum which was given for the expenditure for two months and 11 days amounting to almost a crore of rupees under this Department. Sir, it is very fitting that my colleague from Nongpoh has requested this House to reduce the entire sum to the symbolic sum of one rupee; that would be really symbolic of the amount of work done by this Government under this head. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also come from the area adjacent to the constituency of Mr. Lapang. I am at one with him in describing the most abject condition obtaining in the region particularly in the border of Mikir Hills where we have the Lalungs. Many of them do not wear clothes. The topless people of the West should come here to our constituencies to understand the proper meaning of these terms. Sir, there are other regions in this great State of ours where the people are still not able to get money even to buy clothes and even medicines. Medicines do not exist at al except a few herbs used to be recommended by quacks, sometimes by experts in medicines. So, when a person gets ill he dies by the time he is carried say from Amjong or Umsiang to the hospital here in Shillong he is already half dead and he comes here only to be fitted in the coffin. I would earnestly urge the Government to give their serious consideration to this matter. It is so easy for those persons in high position who are living in comfort having no worries at all-very few public worries and such persons live with eyes somewhat blind to these things. I would request those particularly who are blessed with so many comforts of life to occasionally go out to these areas and travel, not two police cars in front and two behind, but to travel on foot to these regions, dressed in humble clothes, sleep on the floor of these villages and then understand what are their problems. If some persons in high authority would have gone to the areas indicated by me in the matter of public health, that would be very much appreciated.
Mr. Speaker :- Will the Minister-in-charge reply?
Shri. Sandford M. Marbaniang (Minister, Health, etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful to the mover of the cut motion for pointing out certain defects and irregularities in some of my departments particularly the Health Department. The hon. Member has pointed out certain things to which I also agree. He has pointed out about the non-appointment of doctors in some areas in Meghalaya. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, from the very outset, let us not forget that Meghalaya is a young State and in the mean time, it is also known as a backward State. This is very fact is known to and admitted by every-body. We, in the Government are not unaware of it. It is for this reason that we are also known as Scheduled Tribes. As I have already said that Meghalaya is a new State, some of its areas also were partially administered areas, .e.g., Garo Hills. As you know, our State has come into existence only very recently. In the last two years, while this State was an Autonomous State, we have been trying to improve the health condition of the people living in Meghalaya. But, unfortunately, because of the various difficulties and conditions, like communications, etc. it is extremely difficult to get doctors and nurses. These doctors and nurses, if available, never like to go to the interior places. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may be permitted to say that, in this connection, we have had a number of discussions at an all India level. I had an impression that in advance States, like Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar etc., there have been enough doctors in rural areas. But, to my utter surprise and, perhaps, the House would also be surprised, it was not so. During the last Health Ministers, Conference held at Jaipur in Rajasthan. I came to know that in those advanced States also, it is extremely difficult to get doctors and nurses. In that very conference, about 400 doctors picketed and disturbed and the inaugural function was delayed. Those doctors demanded jobs and when the Minister in-charge asked them to meet him separately or to send individual applications, they refused to comply.
They wanted to meet the Minister-in-charge in groups. Then, the Minister tried to find out whether there were vacancies in Rajasthan and a sharp reply came, saying that there were hundreds of vacancies in rural areas in Rajasthan. The Minister-in-charge persuaded young doctors and nurses to go to the interior places and help their own people there, but they refused. They wanted to stay only in Jaipur. I was told them, that the picture is just the same in Punjab also. The Punjab Minister also said that there are plenty of doctors and nurses in the State but unfortunately, they do not want to go to the interiors. The picture is another advanced State of Maharashtra is also just the same. Only in Tamil Nadu, the condition is quite different altogether. The Minister-in-charge of Health, etc. of that State told me that they have plenty of doctors and he also said that he was ready to lend doctors to our State. We, from the Government side, want to take these doctors, but local people here do not like the idea of bringing doctors from outside.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in order to induce our doctors, in Meghalaya, to be willing to serve in the interiors, we have given some monetary incentives to them. All these days, we have been trying our level best to appoint doctors in rural areas. With your permission, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may cite some cases. We have been sending one doctor to one interior place, Siju, which is now the Constituency of the Chief Minister.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Because it is the Constituency of the Chief Minister.
Shri. Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health, etc.) :- There was no Siju Constituency previously. The Chief Minister took this Constituency only recently, but we tried to send the doctor before he took this Constituency. We also tried to post one doctor to Rongsak Dispensary. But the doctor concerned informs us that it is extremely difficult for him to live in such difficult conditions. There is no proper road communications; there are no schools; there is also no society; there are no market facilities. All these things come up.
Last year, we wanted to bring about17 doctors from the Government of India and appointments letters were issued telegraphically. But, then, they refused to come. The position, at present, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that any doctor who comes to me for appointment, he gets it and I put forward my earnest request to my colleagues and the hon. Members of this House to help me in solving this acute problem. If you find any doctor loitering in the street un-employed, please bring them to the notice of the Government and we shall appoint him then and there. In the last two years, a good number of doctors had been appointed, but they did not like to go to the interior places. These difficulties are there. But, we are trying our best to find doctors. I do appreciate the anxiety of the hon. Members representing various constituencies. I want to make it clear that we on the Government side, have the same anxiety to help our people in the rural areas. We do know that they need the help more than we do. We, who live in Shillong or Jowai or Tura, can somehow manage. We can go to Civil Hospital, Welsh Mission Hospital, Nazareth Hospital or Ganesh Das Hospital. But, our poor villagers do not have such facilities. But then those difficulties which I have already pointed out are there.
I want also to refer to the case of NEFA (Arunachal Pradesh). Some Arunachal say that it is not difficult to get doctors there. Though Arunachal Pradesh is more backward, more difficult and more inaccessible in comparisons with Meghalaya, yet the Territory has got plenty of doctors. There are no markets : no shops and the communication system is very bad. Here, I want to make it clear as to why this Territory has got plenty of doctors. Students taking scholarships from that Government had to sign bonds to serve under that Government for five years and they had to serve there under all circumstances. But ours is quite different. you may well imagine what will be the consequences, if we give scholarships to our students on signing bonds. By virtue of being sons/daughters of the soil, they deserve to get scholarships without signing such bonds. And I am sure many of the hon. Members of this House would also raise objections, if we adopt such a method. But there, in Arunachal Pradesh, they do. That is the reason why Arunachal Pradesh gets doctors readily.
Here, we have been trying to give scholarship to medical students - about 15 of them. We have been trying to send our boys and girls to medical colleges. But, in the previous years, we could not even fill up the quota reserved in these Medical Colleges. We have 18 seats in the Dibrugarh, 12 seats in the Gauhati and 6 seats in the Silchar Medical Colleges. In the year 1969, this reserved quota could not be filled up. But now it is very encouraging to find that students from Meghalaya are seeking admission, but, unfortunately, we could select only 36 of them, according to quota. We could give chance only to that extent, because seats are also reserved for Mikir and Mizo students of Assam.
Now, regarding medicines, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that the price index has gone up, and as a result, the prices of medicines also have gone up. Inspite of that, we are trying to supply medicines as soon as we received complaints. In the last Session, during the debate on the Governor's Address, one of the hon. Members had said that the same kind of colour of medicine has been given to the patients for stomach troubles or for headache. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether red coloured medicine is meant for stomach trouble or for headache. But I do not think that our doctors are cheating in that way. Anyhow, these things, if at all they occur, will be looked into by the Government and something will have to be done against the doctors or pharmacists who are trying to cheat the villagers in that way.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding the nursing staff, I must say, I am very proud of them. As you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, our nurses and sisters are admired everywhere they go. We are really lucky to have this type of nurses and sisters - the Khasis, Jaintia and Garo nurses. These nurses and sisters are serving in various parts of the country and they receive appreciation for their services. We are really proud of them and we are also very proud of being able to produce good nurses who are now serving all over Assam - in Dibrugarh, Jorhat and even in some difficult areas of the tea gardens and in some private firms. This Government is trying to bring them to serve in their own State if they so desire and in this connection, I have given definite orders to my department to bring back to Meghalaya all those nurses and sisters who are serving now in Mizo Hills, Mikir Hills and North Cachar Hills Districts. May of these nurses and sisters have expressed their willingness to serve under their own Government and I think this will be done very soon. I feel that preference should be given to these nurses and sisters to serve their own people in the State of Meghalaya. Steps are also being taken to bring those doctors who are now serving in various parts of Arunachal Pradesh to serve in Meghalaya, on deputation. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, Sir, our areas in Meghalaya are difficult areas and some of them are leprosy affected. The Government is taking measure to tackle this problem. In this connection, 32 Leprosy Training Centres are proposed to be set up on the State. At present we have sent for training 5 persons to Madras. On completion of their training, we shall post them in worst leprosy-affected area in the State. Last time, a number of elder village leader, met me while I was on tour to Nongpoh and and they told me that Umden village is facing with leprosy problem. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may inform the House that steps will be taken to implement the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, as soon as those 5 trainees return from Madras.
Regarding construction of hospitals Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may inform the House, through you, Sir, that at present, Government is facing with acute scarcity of doctors. So, I feel, it is of no use opening or building hospitals because they will remain empty. We have already 6 or 7 Dispensaries in the Garo Hills and many in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills which are lying idle due to the fact that doctors are not available. We have been trying to give more incentives to the doctors and nurses by way of special pay to encourage them to serve the people in the rural areas. But, still many of them are reluctant and we cannot force them. Of course, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are many doctors in town areas like Shillong, Dibrugarh and Gauhati, but they are not willing to serve in the rural areas. So, unless the doctors dedicate themselves to the service of the people living in the rural areas, we are not in a position to post doctors in the rural areas. Hence Mr. Speaker, Sir, last year, we have decided that unless we are able to fill up the vacancies with doctors in the State, it is of no use to go on constructing new hospitals and dispensaries. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the reply covers all the points raised by the hon. Members, I do not know the about Lalung as referred to by the hon. Member, Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw. But, so far my district is concerned, the problem is such that the Health Department is not able to do anything without qualified doctors. So far as medicines are concerned, I may inform the House that the same will be looked into properly and I welcome all suggestions from the hon. Members on this very important aspect of health and I also request all the hon. Members, through you, Sir, that it is the duty of each one of us to encourage our young students to go for medical studies and to encourage our young sisters to go for nursing because we cannot expect all the time that doctors will come from outside. We should give incentives to our young sisters and brothers to go for medical studies.
Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of information, how many applications for training in medical colleges have been received last year?
Shri. Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health, etc.) :- About 70 applications had been received last year and there are 36 seats allotted for the tribal candidates and out of these, we are getting the lion's share.
Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the majority of trainees from this lion's share of seats are from the town or rural areas?
Mr. Speaker :- I think the question is really difficult because it is not based on whether the candidates are from the rural or urban areas.
Now, I want to know whether the hon. Members is willing to withdraw his cut motion.
Shri. D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have read the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of Public Health. He said that measures have been on taken on priority basis, of course. But it is very unfortunate to express that he did not mention a single word above the disease, leprosy. Many people are still suffering from this disease and no action has been taken so far in this regard. The Hon'ble Minister in-charge gave many assurances and he said that he will try his level best to see that this sort of negligence on the part of the officers concerned is not allowed to continue any further. This is really a very sad state of affairs and I therefore, request the Minister-in-charge kindly to fulfill his assurances thus given. So Sir, with these words, I withdraw my cut motion.
Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the house to withdraw his cut motion? (Voices yes, yes).' So the cut motion with leave of the House is withdrawn. The question is that Grant No.27 be passed. The motion is adopted and Grant No.27 is passed.
As there is no cut Motion on Grants No.28 to 45. I put the question before the House. The question is that Grants No.28 to 45 be passed. The motion is adopted. Grants No.28 to 45 are passed.
Now I come to Grant No.46 but against this Grant, there is one cut motion to be moved by Shri. D.D. Lapang.
Shri. D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your permission I beg to move that the provision of Rs.1,49,000 under demand for grant relating to "39 Social and Developmental Organisation-IV-Directorate Advertising and Visual Publicity at pages 8-9 of the Vote on Account Budget be reduced by Re.1 i.e. the amount of the whole grant of Rs.1,49,000 do stand reduced by Re.1. May I inform the House through you Mr. Speaker, Sir, that it is too big an amount for this particular department in comparison with the activities of this Department has not so far been able to bring out any publication about our hill areas either in English, Garo or Khasi languages. This problem has long been there and so far, we have failed to see that this has been put into implementation and if this is the purpose of this particular Department then it should be brought to the notice of the Government. This department should have brought out any kind of publication either in Garo, Khasi or English but Sir, this department is sleeping over this matter and I would like to draw the attention of this new born State to the actual activities of this particular department. Moreover, Sir, this department is run by ex-officio Director and Joint Director and I wonder why the Government have not been able to appoint a full-time Director and Joint Director for the Publicity Department. This is nothing but a sheer negligence on the part of the Government.
Another point on which I would like to speak in that the duty of this Department is to organise cultural programme of the State. But so far no cultural programme or exchange of cultural show has been organised by this Department. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in my opinion it is better not to tell the people that we are doing this or that unless we are really doing it.
In this context, I may refer, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to the failure of this Department, on 23rd January, 1972, which was a great letter day for the people of this State. On Prime Minister's visit on the 20th January, 1972 the P.A. system failed totally.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know through you why such a huge amount has been ear-marked for this particular Department. So, Sir, since the policy of the Government is not according to the activities of this particular Department, I move that the amount be reduced to Re.1/- when this department can run without any Director or Joint Director and proper staff, this I think, it can run without any amount. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Any seconder?
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion, .i.e. with regard to the activities of the Publicity Department in which Government has taken a very keen endeavour on the subject matter of family planning (laughter). Wherever you turn your eyes you will see huge posters and paintings on the wall and even in the cinema hall of these instances. We have seen in such posters writing that one or two children are sufficient. As I have stated at the very start several days ago, that Meghalaya is a State where we have a very small population and has been ruled by outsiders for generations only because of a small population. We are not inferior to any other race in this world. Only because of a small population we have been controlled by others in the Assam Legislative Assembly, we have 16 Members against 110, I agree with the remarks which have been castigated by Mr. Lapang, against the Directorate of Publicity, that it is giving due importance to improper things. I do not know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, where we are heading to. It is not a subject for making laughter, but it is really a very serious matter. We should encourage our people, particularly those of us, as you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, who have so many children, wealth, house, property and all possessions. We do not count wealth by land, property, etc. but we count wealth by the number of children that we have. I remember, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I was also a colleague in the Ruling Party, there was a proposal to stop all this nonsense but when this Government has come to take over, all these nonsenses are still continuing. There is still nonsense encouraging people to have small family.
Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- How the question of family planning comes here?
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Through audio publicity and posters. By the high triangles and cheap geometry you try to reduce a large portion to a small one. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a sincere appeal to the Ruling Party for their own benefit and for the benefit of the future generations that they would kindly remember that if their parents had practised family planning, they will not existing here today.
Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am indeed very grateful to Mr. Lapang for pointing out the defects and failures. But I would just request you to realise the causes of the defects pointed out by him. There is need for expansion and development . That is why I admit that failures are there, I have admitted in the past also, that this Department is yet to be strengthened and the activities should be expanded. I entirely agree with him when he has mentioned that up till now we have not got a Director of the Department nor a Deputy or Joint Director. We have only an ex-officio Director. We made correspondences with a Government of India in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting with regard to finding out a suitable person for the post. They also have submitted a panel of names for our consideration but I regret we have not been able to select from amongst the panel of names. It was suggested that we should send our men for proper training. This also will be taken up with the Government of India for deputation of a person on temporary basis from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting so that he will be able to organise the Department. On this we are still in correspondence with them.
Mr. Lapang has also mentioned about the need of a photographer for processing and developing. All these items which have been enumerated by Mr. Lapang are included in the scheme. We are trying to expand and develop the Department so that it will become an effective Department, collecting information of the activities of the Government and the reaction of the people.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, he has also mentioned about the failure of the Mike on the 20th January when the State was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. In admit that it had failed for a short period only. Because of the rush of the people, the wire was snapped. So it took six minutes to get it worked. It was really a matter of great regret. I do not want to go into the details and further on this and I personally know that this particular Department is yet to be properly organised and made effective. I can assure that all necessary steps would be taken to strengthen this Department so that it becomes an effective organ of the Government.
Mr. Majaw has made a reference to family planning and has been trying to link it up with the work of the Publicity Department. As this subject has not been dealt with the Publicity Department itself, it cannot be linked up with it. I hope if Mr. Majaw is really not going to have family planning, he should not take special opportunity to link up with it.
On the previous occasion also Mr. Majaw has mentioned about Family Planning. But I may inform the hon. Member through you, Sir, that Family Planning is managed by the Government of Assam and not by this Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, however, since I admit that even though this particular department falls within the purview of the Assam Government, I think this Government also will soon open up scope and schemes for training in this field in the State. Developments and other governmental activities are already on the way for the expansion of the Family Planning Department in this State. I hope that Mr. Lapang, the hon. mover of this cut motion will be satisfied with all that I have stated and will withdraw his Cut Motion.
Shri. D.D. LAPANG :-Mr. Speaker, Sir, since the Hon'ble Chief Minister at the very outset admitted that it is really very difficult at this initial stage to undertake and bring about all sorts of developments in the publicity departments and at the same time, since he has agreed to try his level best to appoint a full-time Director and Joint Director and other Research Officers and staff from our own men and give them training and also to take up some other matters in the coming programmes of the Government, I withdraw the Cut Motion.
Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his Cut Motion (Voices - Yes, yes.) So the Cut Motion is with leave of the House withdrawn. The question is that Grant No.45 be passed. The motion is adopted and Grant No.45 be passed. Now, from Grant No.47 to 51 there is no Cut Motion. So, I put the question before the House. The question is that Grants No.47 to 51 be passed. (The motion was carried and Grant passed).
Grant No.52. There is one Cut motion on Grant No.52 to be moved by Mr. D.D. Lapang.
Shri. D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the provision of Rs.5,000 under demand for Advance grant relating to "99-Miscellaneous-VIII-Town and Country Planning Organisation-I-Preservation and Translation of Ancient Manuscripts" at pages 10-11 of the Vote on Account Budget be reduced to Re.1, i.e. the amount of the whole grant of Rs.5,00,000 do stand reduced by Re.1.
Mr. Speaker :- Cut motion moved.
Shri. D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this regard, we fail to see the activities of this department in respect of translation of ancient manuscripts. We fail also to understand that those ancient manuscripts. We fail also be understand that those ancient manuscripts should be translated by this department. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I don't see any use of this amount of Rs.5,00,000 as there is no scope for implementation or to bring such manuscripts to the knowledge of the public. So, this amount should not be unnecessarily spent; rather I would suggest that this amount be diverted to some heads to meet the expenditure for payment of scholarships to our students who are going for training abroad which will be really a treasure to our own State. Therefore, in view of this, I say Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the grant allotted under the head be reduced to Re.1.
Mr. Speaker :- Anybody to second his Cut Motion?
Shri. H. Enowell Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Cut Motion.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I don't know why the hon. Member, Mr. D.D. Lapang has taken a very serious attitude with regard to this particular department which is not going to spend such a huge amount rather the proposed amount should immediately be diverted from this particular department to some other purposes by way of scholarship for our own people to go abroad to study such subjects. I must inform the House through you, Sir, that up till now there is really no department as yet. The Government is proposing to set up this department. There is need for this department because we have also proposed to set up the District Gazetteers here. This is done generally, after a period of 10 years. We area also proposing to set up one of these posts in the Education Department of this State to look into this important aspects. Again Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are also proposing to appoint one Special Officer, Historical Research and Antiquarian Studies and District Gazetteer with the supporting staff. We have already advertised for the post of Special Officer-cum-District Gazetteer in the scale of pay of rs.750 to Rs.1,200 per mensem and two Research Assistants of the rank of Upper Division, one Stenographer and one Peon just to start with. In fact, this particular department so far, was looked after by the Government of Assam. We have one District Gazetteer appointed solely for the Garo Hills District and he has been doing the work of District Gazetteer but a copy of the report was not made available here. In the Khasi Hills, the work is done by one officer from the Assam Government. I would request the hon. Member to realise the necessity of setting up this department this this proposed provision of Rs.5,00,000. But Sir, if this department is to be set up and properly organised, we will have to require more amount for the preparation of the District Gazetteer and the Research Assistant to run this department and to do the research work and translations where there is the necessity for the translation of the ancient manuscripts. I remember, Sir, when we were discussing this subject with the coming of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya the Government of India deemed it fit to put this particular subject in the list of subject of the Autonomous State of Meghalaya. But we must realise the need for its because in Khasi Hills, we have got a number of ancient manuscripts. There is also the need for preservation of all these and also to make certain translation apart from preparing the District Gazette here for the State of Meghalaya. Therefore, I think in the absence of any specific works mentioned against this particular grant, Mr. D.D. Lapang though that this is an unnecessary department and suggested that the amount would have been better utilised for other purposes. I would request Mr. D.D. Lapang and through you Mr. Speaker, Sir, to realise the exigency of setting up this particular department in the right direction because we cannot simply ignore the necessity of having these Historians and Antiquarians in our State and the District Gazetteer in particular. With these few clarifications I would request Mr. D.D. Lapang to kindly allow this department to come into being and to withdraw his Cut Motion.
Shri. D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the absence of the schemes and programmes meant for this department, it is clear this this department has done nothing as our Hon'ble Chief Minister has admitted. It has not done anything. Mr. Speaker, Sir. It is however, a good assurance to know that our Government and our Chief Minister are trying to open this important department to look into the importance of ancient manuscripts and their translation. Sir, I view of all these assurances given by the Chief Minister, I withdraw the Cut Motion.
Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion? (Voices - yes, yes). So the Cut Motion is with leave of the House is withdrawn.
The question is that Grant No.52 be passed. The motion is carried and the grant is passed.
Grants Nos. 53 to 97
Since there is no cut motion on Grants No.53 to 97, I put the question before the House. The question is that grants Nos.53 to 97 be passed.
The motion is adopted. The grants are passed.
Now, I put the main motion before the House in the form of a question. The question is that an amount not exceeding Rs.6,58,55,900 be granted to the Governor as advance to defray the charges in respect of different departments during the quarter of the financial year ending 31st March, 1973.
(The Motion was adopted and the grant passed)
Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1972
Before I come to Item No.2 in the List of Business, the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1972 may be distributed to the members.
I think all the hon. Members must have received copies of the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1972. May I now request the Finance Minister to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill, 1971.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- On a point of order, Sir. This is a Bill of expenditure and under Rule 66 there is no financial memorandum attached to the bill. So I hope, through you, Sir, that this Bill be rejected.
Mr. Speaker :- In the Appropriation Bill no financial memorandum is necessary. It is necessary only in other financial bills.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- May we know the particular rule?
Mr. Speaker :- Yes, it states the whole amount and not a particular expenditure.
Shri. D. Dethwelson Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you have given your ruling may I request the House to refer to Rule 66. It is a Bill involving expenditure for which a demand has been put forward before the House as Head of Expenditure and so I humbly submit Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this Bill involving an expenditure to the tune of Rs.6 crores and odd shall, under the rules, be accompanied by a financial memorandum which shall invite particular attention to the clauses involving expenditure and shall also give an estimate of the recurring and non-recurring expenditure involved in case the Bill is passed into law.
Mr. Speaker :- A Bill involving expenditure shall be accompanied by financial memorandum. But this Bill involves the expenditure for the next three months, involving expenditure from all Departments and the details are already indicated here according to the rules. It is only in the case of a particular Bill indicating the amount of expenditure which is specifically mentioned for any particular Head and the financial memorandum should be attached.
Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- So, Sir, we take it as a ruling whenever a Bill has the total expenditure involved for all heads no financial memorandum is necessary.
Mr. Speaker :- No, only in case of Appropriation Bill. So, let me read out a message from the Governor -
|The 25th March, 1972.|
In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1982.
|BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU|
|Governor of Meghalaya"|
Shri. Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- Now motion moved, and I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) bill, 1972.
The motion is adopted, leave is granted.
So, may I request the Finance Minister to introduce the Bill.
Shri. Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1972 be introduced.
The motion is adopted. The bill is introduced.
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
Before I request the Finance Minister to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill 1972 to taken into consideration, let me now read another message from the Governor.
|The 25th March, 1971|
In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (3) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Meghalaya hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the consideration of the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1972.
|BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU|
|Governor of Meghalaya'|
May I request the Finance Minister to move that the Bill be taken into consideration?
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1971 be taken into consideration.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1972 be taken into consideration. The motion is adopted.
Now I request the Finance Minister to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1971 be passed.
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1972 be passed.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Bill, 1971 be passed.
(The motion was carried and the Bill passed)
Let us come to Item No.3 and I request Shri. Upstar Kharbuli to move the Call Attention Motion.
Shri. Upstar Kharbuli (Malki) :- 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 Assam Legislative Assembly as adopted for the purpose of conducting the business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to the devastation caused by fire which broke out on the 25th March, 1971 at about 5 A.M. in a part of Police Bazar Area of Shillong along the G.S. Road and would request him to give a statement.
Captain W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on 26th March, 1972 at 0545 hours Shillong P.S. Sentry No. C/797, Kanta Girs seeing heavy black smoke at Police Bazar area sounded the alarm. The officer-in-charge of Shillong P.S. with all available staff assembled at the Police Station and immediately the Fire Brigade Station at Nongthymmai was intimated at telephone No.3300 at 0546 hours. The O.C. accompanied by all available staff there rushed to the place of occurrence at 0550 hours and arrived there at 0552 hours. The O.C. on arrival at the spot found that the fire was very high and flying embers were coming out from the blazing shops of Lila Bros, Bhagwandas, Bata Shoes Stores and Hoondamal and there was Nongthymmai. Seeing the intensity of fire the O.C. attempted to ring from Monsoon Hotel but as the telephone there was not working he rushed to M/s Singhania and rang up the Army and Air force and also Superintendent of Police, Deputy Commissioner, Additional Superintendent of Police and Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters).
The Deputy Superintendent of Police, City hearing the Fire Brigade bell rushed to the place of occurrence and arrived there at 0610 hours. The Additional Superintendent of Police arrived at 0612 followed by Superintendent of Police at 0615 hours and Deputy Superintendent of Police Head-quarters at 0630 hours. In the mean time A.B.I with 4 platoons of police personnel arrived at the place of occurrence at 0605 hours from Police Reserve. The Central Reserve Police personnel with three vehicles arrived on the spot at about 0625 hours followed by their Water Truck at 0700 hours. The Inspector General of Police, and Deputy Commissioner also arrived at the spot at 0700 hours and 0645 hours respectively. The fire brigade as well as all the available Police resources in the town, 26 C.R.P. Bn. Army, Air Force, B.S.F. and Assam Rifles fought the fire under the direct supervision of Shri. R.C. Dutt, I.P.S. Inspector General of Police, Meghalaya. By this time fire was spreading on both sides of the G.S. Road and it took nearly 3 hours to control the fire.
So far as has been ascertained, 30 big shops and some petty shops have been completely gutted in the fire. A magisterial enquiry by the A.D.M. has been ordered by Shri Kohli, Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills, Shillong to ascertain the cause of fire as well as to assess the extent of damages. The Police measures of guarding and taking up of cases are also continuing. The estimated damage, so far as has been ascertained, will be about Rs.40 to 50 lakhs. However, the full picture will emerge only after the completion of the magisterial enquiry. There was no loss of life in the fire accident. However, 2 persons received minor injuries. 5 Police Personnel were injured during the fire fighting.
The Governor and Mrs. Nehru visited the spot. The Chief Minister, Meghalaya accompanied by the D.C. and S.P., Khasi Hills also visited the site and ascertained personally from the victims of the relief measures given by Government.
It has been mentioned in the Democratic Review of 27th March, 1972 that the State Fire Brigade was not effective. Inspite of the fact that Shillong Fire Station has three old Water Tenders which have been in service since the year 1960-61, the Fire Brigade crews have done commendable jobs inspite of shortage of man power and equipment. The two other Water Tenders belong to Civil Defence and have been also in service since 1965.
The Inspector General of Police, Meghalaya has already taken steps to get new fire equipments and open new Fire Stations and strengthen the organisation after the Fire Brigade Organisation came into Meghalaya State on 21st January 1972.
As regards allegation against C.R.P. which appeared in the Democratic Review of 27th March 1972, the matter has been enquired into by a responsible officer and it was found that at the time when fire was raging some people who gathered to extinguish the fire and to prevent further escalation and for the safety and security of life and properties, broke some glass panes, etc. of the shops in the area and several properties were removed to a safe distance to prevent destruction by fire. During the enquiry Shri. Prabin Mazumder, Prof : Medicine Centre, Prasanta Ghose, an employee of M/s D. Kamal, Shri. K.L. Malwani of M/s Chandru's, Tarak Das of M/s. K.P. Das, S.K. Das of M/s Wine Stores were contacted and examined. Regarding breaking of 3 show-cases of M/s. Chandru's it was ascertained that some section of the crowd who gathered broke open the glasses and removed the articles to a safer place in the road. The proprietors or the employees could not say as to who actually broke the same. During enquiry none has alleged that personnel on Khaki uniforms have helped themselves drinking liquor as alleged in the newspaper.
Regarding relief measures after the fire had been controlled at about 10 a.m., on 25th March 1972, the Sub divisional Planning Officer, Shri. F. Lyngdoh was put in charge of giving relief to those who have been rendered homeless and penniless and had no other means of providing the basic necessities for themselves and their families. Wide publicity was given to this programme in the area and in all 21 families came forward for blankets. Our programme did not include distribution of beddings and was confirmed to providing shelter and rations. For this, approval had been obtained from Commissioner of Divisions. In response to the requirement for shelter, the Assam Hindu Mission and two Dharamsalas controlled by the Marwari Relief Society were placed at our disposal. The Rotary Club stranded a free kitchen in the fire affected area. It is reported that for both the free kitchen and accommodation, there was no response. For blankets Shri. F. Lyngdoh organised a collection drive on the spot and collected and distributed 27 blankets.
On the subsequent day, a meeting was held between members of a Relief Committee and the Chief Minister at the Chief Minister's residence. At this meeting the Chief Minister emphasised that whatever immediate relief that was required should be expeditiously granted and measures for rehabilitating the fire victims would have to be taken, keeping the future development of the fire affected area in view.
For this, it was agreed that the Deputy Commissioner would call a meeting of all concerned and put up concrete proposal to Government. A meeting was duly held on 27th March 1972.
In addition to all that has been stated a total sum of Rs.500 at Rs.25 each, as approved by Government has been distributed.
Mr. Speaker :- I will give a chance to Mr. P.N. Choudhury who also wanted to raise a discussion on this point, since Mr. Kharbuli has also given notice of a Calling Attention Motion to the Chief Minister.
Shri Parsvanath Choudhury :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the recent fire it has been noticed that there was no water hydrant and the cisterns were empty. May I know whether Government has any scheme for immediate augmenting the water supply of Shillong. About giving help to the fire victims, the Chief Minister has not given a clear picture of the rehabilitation of the victims. Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I know from the Chief Minister whether the Government has any scheme for the rehabilitation of the affected persons.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- There is needed a short water supply in Shillong. I would like to inform the House that a comprehensive scheme for water supply has been drawn up by the Government for getting necessary funds. I do not know what immediate measures are to be taken for improvement of water supply in Shillong. This scheme was submitted to Government of India for giving technical approval by them, and for providing necessary funds for this purpose. I think I cannot give an assurance that water supply can be taken up immediately. But while we are talking about that, it is raining outside. If the rain comes early the existing water supply may improve. Government has taken up this particular problem and we want as anybody wants to improve the water supply for Greater Shillong.
With regard to the various relief measures, as I have stated in my statement, a Relief Committee has met the Deputy Commissioner. After that they met me and those present in the meeting were the following persons -
|1.||B.D. Bajoria||10.||S.K. Das|
|3.||Rafique Ahmed||12.||Sethawar of Selection Centre|
|4.||Sukhdeo of Monsoon Hotel||13.||Narendra of White Shop|
|5.||Nazir Ahmed||14.||P Hoondamal|
|6.||Lalchand B.B. Lila Bros.||15.||Dr. B.K. Roy|
|7.||Motiram||16.||Ghadasain of the Moderns.|
|8.||T.K. Baneerjee||17.||Lilaram (Lila Bros.)|
The meeting was presided over by the Deputy Commissioner, Shillong. The Deputy Commissioner opened the discussion and the Committee resolves that there be an attempt to arrive at a mutual understanding between the landlords and the tenants for settlement of the re-opening of the shops gutted by fire.
It was also resolved that the meeting of all the landlords and the tenants be held on the 4th April, 1972 at 10 a.m. in the Deputy Commissioners Office Room and Shri. Sukhdeo of Monsoon Hotel will be responsible to bring the landlord and Shri. Lila Bros the tenants to this meeting. This was entrusted to this Committee which is to be presided over by the D.C., and according to this, they are going to have another meeting.
Shri. Parsvanath Choudhury :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the attention of the Chief Minister has been drawn to a Press statement issued by Mr. Bajoria President of the Chamber of Commerce alleging that because of the failure of the State Fire Service, the fire had caused greater damage and the damage could not be prevented. May I know whether the Government propose to set up an enquiry to find out whether there was a failure on the part of the Fire Service?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, all these vehicles are old vehicles but even the according to the report I received the Fire Service crews have done commendable job inspite of the shortage of man-power and equipment. We are going to re-strengthen the Fire Service Organisation in Meghalaya. The Civil Defence have also been in service since 1965 and as such all these vehicles should be replaced.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Majaw do you want to seek further clarification?
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I would like to draw the attention of the Chief Minister to the behaviour of the Police personnel during that terrible incident. It has definitely come to our notice that some personnel in Khaki uniforms entered Chandru's shop to buy a number of bottles and some other shops in Police Bazar. There is one specific instance. The Medicine Centre is a concrete building; it belongs to the late U.C. Mazumdar. As it is a concrete building everything was alright but the chap was beaten up by the Police and the glass almirahs containing lakhs of rupees were damaged. The man is still in the hospital.
Mr. Speaker :- May I draw the attention of the Member that it is really wrong to bring about adverse remarks against the Organisation of the Government which is supposed to be the guardian of law and order. If there is a specific case against a particular officer or constable it should be brought to the notice of the Government according to the procedure.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- As regards the allegation against the C.R.P which appeared in Democratic Review of 27.3.72 the matter has been enquired into by a responsible officer and it was found that at the time when the fire was raging some people who gathered to extinguish the fire and to prevent further escalation for the safety and security of life and properties, broke some glass panes, etc. of the shops in the area and several properties were removed to a safe distance to prevent destruction by fire. During the enquiry Shri. Probin Mazumdar, Prop. Medicine Centre, Prasanta Ghose, an employee of M/s D. Kamal, Shri. K.T. Malwani of M/s Chandru's Tarak Das of M/s K.P. Das, S.K. Das of M/s Wine Stores were contacted and examined. Regarding breaking of 3 show-cases of M/s Chandru's, it was ascertained that some section of the crowd who gathered broke open the glasses and removed the articles to a safer place on the road. The proprietors or the employees could not say as to who actually broke the same. During enquiry none has alleged that personnel in Khaki uniforms have helped themselves drinking liquor as alleged in the newspaper.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know who is the responsible officer who submitted this report ? Is he a Police Officer?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if this question is put to him whether he can give me all this information? It will be too much on the part of the hon. Member to suggest that the officer who has been deputed to enquire is not a responsible officer.
Mr. Speaker :- The very qualifying adjective, responsible, I think will satisfy the hon. Member. Government cannot get the information from the roadside; they have their own means of getting the information. So the discussion on this subject is closed. We pass on to the next item. Now I call upon the Chief Minister to lay the Meghalaya State Ordinance of 1972.
Laying of the Meghalaya State Ordinance
Capt. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I beg to lay the Meghalaya State Ordinance 1 of 1972.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I rise on a point of order. Before any Ordinance is introduced in the House there shall be placed before the House along with the Bill a statement explaining the circumstances which had necessitated immediate legislation by an Ordinance. This Bill was earlier placed before the House as an Ordinance on 28.3.72. I was referring to Rule 69 at Page 44.
Mr. Speaker :- What the Chief Minister has to say on this?
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is a point of order, Sir. The Chair is to give a ruling.
Mr. Speaker :- In this Bill the statement of objects and reasons can be found at page 3.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Do we take this statement of objects and reasons as the circumstances which necessitated the immediate legislation?
Mr. Speaker :- The statement of objects and reasons is in order and in a correct form. I now request the Chief Minister to beg leave to introduce the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) Bill, 1972.
INTRODUCTION OF PREVENTION OF DISQUALIFICATION
(MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF
MEGHALAYA) BILL, 1972.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya ) Bill, 1972.
The motion is adopted. Leave is granted.
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I beg to introduce the Bill.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) Bill, 1972 be introduced.
The motion is adopted. The Bill is introduced.
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill)
Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I beg to move that the Bill be passed.
Mr. Speaker :- The question is that the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya ) Bill, 1972 be passed.
The motion is adopted. The Bill is passed.
The Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972
Now, we will come to item No.5. Before, I request the Finance Minister to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972, let me read out the message from Governor -
"In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Meghalaya hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972.
|Sd/- B.K. NEHRU|
|Dated 24th March, 1972||Governor of Meghalaya.|
May I request the Finance Minister to beg leave of the house to introduce the Bill.
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Finance Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- Now, I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya (Ministers' Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972. The motion is adopted. Leave is granted. May I know request the Finance Minister to introduce the Bills ?
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Finance Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.
Mr. Speaker :- The motion moved is that the Meghalaya (Minister's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972 be introduced.
The motion is adopted. The Bill is introduced. (The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
The Meghalaya (Speaker's and Deputy Speaker's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to Item No.6. Before I ask the Finance Minister to beg leave of the House to introduce the Meghalaya (Speaker's and Deputy Speaker's (Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972, let me read the message from the Governor -
|The 24th March, 1972|
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of the Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya (Speaker's and Deputy Speaker's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972.
|Sd/- B.K. NEHRU|
|Governor of Meghalaya".|
So I request the Finance Minister to beg leave to introduce the Bill.
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Speaker's and Deputy Speaker's and Allowances) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- Now the question is that leave be granted to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Speaker's and Deputy Speaker's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972.
The motion is adopted. Leave is granted.
May I request the Finance Minister to introduce the Bill?
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Speaker's and Deputy Speaker's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- Now the motion moved is that the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Speaker's and Deputy Speaker's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972 be introduced.
The motion is adopted. The Bill is introduced. (The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
The Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972
Next item is No.7. Before I request the Finance Minister to beg leave to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972 let me read the message from the Governor.
|The 24th March, 1972|
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (I) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the the Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances Bill, 1972.
|Sd/- BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU|
|Governor of Meghalaya".|
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- Now the question is that leave be granted to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Member's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972.
The motion is adopted. Leave is granted.
May I now request the Finance Minister to introduce the Bill?
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Member's Salaries and Allowances) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved in that the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Salaries and Allowances Bill, 1972 be introduced.
The motion is adopted. The Bill is introduced. (The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
The Contingency Fund of Meghalaya Bill, 1972.
Let us pass on to Item No.8. Before I request the Finance Minister to beg leave of the House to introduce the Contingency Fund of Meghalaya Bill, 1972, I will read the message from the Governor. -
|The 27th March, 1972|
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Contingency Fund of Meghalaya Bill, 1972.
|Sd/- BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU,|
Governor of Meghalaya"
May I request the Finance Minister to beg leave to introduce the Bill?
Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Contingency Fund of Meghalaya Bill, 1972.
Prof. Martin N. Majaw :- On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is certainly a Bill for expenditure. You gave a ruling a short while ago that if the heads of expenditure come under Appropriation Bill, then there will be no need of a financial memorandum. But this is an expenditure of a demand of expenditure from the Contingency Fund of 50 lakhs of rupees and so it should be accompanied by a financial memorandum. But there is n financial memorandum attached to this Bill.
Mr. Speaker :- The Bill involves an expenditure on a specific head. You are always quoting that rule. Here, the Government can spend from time to time an amount of Rs.50 lakhs only for Contingency purposes.
Prof. Martin N. Majaw :- May I refer Mr. Speaker, Sir, to item No.81 at page 7 - Demand for advance grant for the year 1972-73. If you kindly take the trouble to see to this item No.81, you will find that expenditure is put at 50 lakhs of rupees.
Mr. Speaker :- It is taken out from the Appropriation Bill. But it is for a specific purpose. It is for many purposes solely meant for contingencies.
Now, the question is that leave be granted to introduce the Contingency Fund of Meghalaya Bill, 1972.
The motion is adopted. Leave is granted.
May I now request the Finance Minister to introduce the Bill.
Shri. Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Contingency Fund of Meghalaya Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Contingency Fund of Meghalaya Bill, 19721 be introduced. The motion is adopted and the Bill is introduced.
(Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
The Meghalaya (Interpretation of General Clauses) Bill, 1972
Mr. Speaker :- Now let us come to Item No.9. May I request Minister Law, to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya (Interpretation of General Clauses) bill, 1972
Shri. Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya (Interpretation of General Clauses) Bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya (Interpretation of General Clauses) Bill, 1972. The Motion is adopted. Leave is granted. May I request the Minister, Law to introduce the Bill.
Shri. Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya (Interpretation of General Clauses) bill, 1972 be introduced. The motion is adopted. The Bill is introduced. (Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
Meghalaya Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 1972
Now let us come to item No.10. Before I request the Minister, Las to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 1972, I will read the message from the Governor.
|The 24th March, 1972|
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 1972.
|BRAJ KUMAR NEHRU|
|Governor of Meghalaya.|
May I request the Minister, Law, to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 1982.
Shri. Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Criminal Law (Amendment) bill, 1972.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Criminal Law (Amendment) bill, 1972. The motion is adopted. Leave is granted. May I request the the Minister, Law to introduce the Bill.
Shri. Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Bill.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Criminal Law (Amendment) bill, 1972 be introduced. The motion is adopted. The Bill is introduced.
(Secretary read out the title of the Bill).
Mr. Speaker :- For the information of the hon. Members, I fix 12.00 noon on 1st April, 1972 i.e., Saturday for submission of amendments to all the Bills introduced to day.
As there is no other business, the House stands adjourned till 10.00 a.m. on Tuesday, the 4th April, 1972.
|The 30th March, 1972||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|