PROCEEDINGS OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLED AFTER THE FIRST GENERAL ELECTION, 1972.        

        The House met at 9. a.m. on Saturday, the 7th April, 1973 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.    

Mr. Speaker :-  Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Starred Questions :

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS


STARRED QUESTIONS

(To which oral replies were given)

Construction of roads and buildings.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw  asked :-

46.

Will  the Minister-in-charge of Revenue be pleased to state -

(a) 

Whether Government is aware of the fact that a large number of tribals in this State have not received compensation for lands taken over by Government ?

(b)

If so, what steps Government propose to take to meet the legitimate demands of these people ?

(c)

Will the Government be pleased to lay on the Table of the House a list of all unpaid compensation for all lands taken over by Government in the three District the State.

(a) for construction of roads.
(b) for Government building. 

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister in-charge of Revenue) replied :

46. (a)

Yes.

(b)

Necessary steps are being taken to make payment immediately to the interested parties of all outstanding land compensation cases as soon as all formalities as required under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 are completed.

(c)

List of pending acquisition cases in respect of land proposed  to be taken by the Government for construction of roads and buildings is placed on the Table of the House. The list does not include land proposed to be acquired for defence purposes.

Mr. Speaker :- Starred Question No. 47.

Improvement of Barabazar market during 1972-73.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw  asked :

47.

Will the Minister of Finance be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether Government is aware of the fact that a sum of Rs.1,74,328.77 was due to the Mylliem Syiemship since the days of the Government of Assam, as 50 per cent of the total excise revenue on stills' fees, from 1962-63 to 1966-67 ?

(b)

The amount of money out of this that has been paid to the Mylliem Syiemship for the improvement of the Barabazar market during 1972-73.

(c)

When do the Government of Meghalaya propose to pay the Mylliem Syiemship for the years 1967-68 upto 1972-73 under the same head of 50 percent  of the total excise revenue on stills fees ?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Excise) replied :-

47.(a)

No. The Government are not aware of any such arrear dues.

(b)

The amount of Rs. 1,50,000 was released as grant-in-aid during 1972-73 for the improvement of Barabazar.

(c)

The Government are not considering any such payment.

Shri Maham Singh. :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the Syiem of Mylliem is entitled to receive any amount of the excise duties ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  Legally he is not entitled.

Vehicles registration number from Assam to Meghalaya.

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna asked :-

48.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Transport be pleased to state -

(a)

The number of vehicles so far changed in their registration number from Assam to Meghalaya ?

(b)

The total receipts collected as taxes on vehicles for the year 1972-73 ?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister Transport) replied 

48 (a).

Two thousand five hundred and seventy-five.

(b)

Rs. 17,47,914.00

Mr. Speaker :-  Starred Question No. 48.

Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Whether it is a fact that many vehicles which are marked "ASA" have registered at Gauhati in the office of the District Transport Officer ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Transport) :- We are not aware of it.

Mr. Speaker :-  Starred Question No. 49 (Not put member being absent).

Starred Question No. 50

Decentralisation of the Meghalaya Portion of the Gauhati Shillong road

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

50.

Will  the Minister-in-charge of Transport be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether Government propose to de-nationalise the Meghalaya portion of the Gauhati-Shillong  Road ?

(b)

Whether Government propose to set up its own Road Transport Corporation in Meghalaya ?

(c)

If so, when ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Transport etc) :-  replied

50.(a)

Government has no proposal to de-nationalise the Gauhati-Shillong Route. In this connection the policy decision of the Government of Meghalaya given in the Governor's Address may be seen.

(b)

There is no such proposal

(c)

Does not arise.

Starred Question No. 51 (not put member being absent)

Starred Question No. 52

Nangalbibra Thermal Project : 

Shri Nimosh Sangma asked :

52.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Power be pleased to state when power from the Nangalbibra Thermal Project can be expected ?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister in-charge of Power electricity) : replied

52.

The Nangalbibra Thermal Project will produce power by June 1973 assuming that there will be no technical difficulties.

Shri Nimosh Sangma :- Sir, may we know what are the reasons for the non-supply of power from this project ?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister in-charge of Power electricity) :- There were certain damages to the parts of the Boiler while taking them to the site and it has taken time to get the parts replaced from abroad. The finishing work of the second boiler is nearing completion and it is expected that it will start generating power some time in May or June, 1973.

Shri Nimosh Sangma :-  When can we expect to get, Sir ?

Mr. Speaker :-  It has already been replied. It will be June, 1973.

Land compensation in connection with the construction of Roads.

Shri Humphrey Hadem  asked :

53.

Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R and B) to be pleased to state - 

(a)

Whether it is a fact that land compensation had not been paid so far in connection with the construction of 

(i) Passyih Mynso-Shilliang -Myntang Road

(ii) Raliang -Sahsniang Road ?

(b)

If so, why ?

(c)

What are the items proposed for improvement of Passyih-Mynso-Mookynshinan Road during 1973-74 and (2) Raliang-Sahsniang Road ?

(d)

What are the steps so far taken for the construction of the Girls Hostel at Jowai ?

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister of State P.W.D. (R and B)  replied :

53. (a)

(i)  Yes.

(ii) Land compensation as per original assessment has since been paid.

(b)

Land compensation for the Passyih-Mynso- Shilliang Myntang Road could not be sanctioned as the acquisition proceedings have not been finalised.

(c)

(i) Proposed improvements of the Passyih-Mynso- Shilliang- Myntang Road are (a) completion of the road to full formation width beyond Myntang river ; (b) Construction of retaining, wall, etc., and earth work in widening the damaged portion ; (c) Providing ring culverts (d) Gravelling 

(2) Construction of bridges and culverts are included in the improvement estimates proposed for Raliang Sahsniang Road.

(d)

The estimate amounting Rs. 4,08,700 was administratively approved. The preparation of detailed estimate has been taken up.

Mr. Speaker :-  Starred Question No. 53.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, to Question No. 53 (d) there is no reply.

Mr. Speaker :-  Yes, it has been replied.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, against 53(b), what is the total amount required for payment of compensation ?

Mr. Speaker :-  What is the total amount involved for payment of compensation ?

Shri G.A. Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the acquisition proceedings have not yet been finalised.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  When will the same be finalised ?

Mr. Speaker :-  I think this question involves two Departments and the Minister of P.W.D. cannot alone answer it.

Shri B.B. Shallam :- May we know what is the total estimate proposed to be spent for the Girls' Hostel at Jowai ?

Mr. Speaker :-  The amount is Rs. 4,08,700.000. Why do you repeat the question only to spend time ?

Starred Question  No.54.

Permits issued to Vehicles Owners for plying on the Gauhati Shillong-Silchar- Agartala route.

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna  asked :

54.

Will the Minister in-charge of Transport be pleased to state -

(a)

The number of Inter-State Permits issued to vehicles owners for plying on Gauhati-Shillong Silchar-Agartala route ? (The names of the period granted for each of the permits to be given).

(b)

The number of permits that were issued to truck owners for carriage of potatoes, building materials and vegetables on Shillong-Gauhati Road ? (The names of the permit holders and the number of vehicles are to be given) ?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Transport) :-  replied :

54 (a).

Nil

(b)

The list of the number of permits that were issued to truck owners for carriage of the following goods on G.S. Road as per recommendation of the General Manager, A.M.S.R.T.C.  is placed on the table of the House.

Non Payment of Motor Vehicles taxes by vehicles of the Assam-Meghalaya Road Transport Corporation

Shri Humphrey Hadem :  asked 

55.

Will the Minister, Transport be pleased to state - 

(a)

Whether it is a fact that the vehicles of the Assam -Meghalaya Road Transport Corporation playing within Meghalaya are not paying Motor Vehicles Taxes ?

(b)

If so, why not ?

(c)

Whether it is a fact that an agreement was signed by the Secretary, Transport Department, Government of Meghalaya with Assam and Tripura that inter-State permits can be issued by any of these States ?

(d)

If so, copy of the said agreement may please be placed on the table of the House ?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Transport) :-  replied

55.(a)

Yes.

(b)

The matter has been taken up with the Transport Department of the Government of Assam and the General Manager of the Corporation

(c)

No.

(d)

Does not arise.

Retrieve from Block I and Block II in Mikir Hills District of Assam

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- asked 

56.

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether Government of Meghalaya propose to retrieve from Assam Block I and Block II areas now lying in Mikir Hills District of Assam ?

(b)

If so, what steps Government have been taken in this matter

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  replied.

56.

(a) and (b) Government are alive to this question and the matter has been taken up with the Government of Assam.

Starred Question No. 55.

        Now, let us pass on to Starred Question No. 56.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  In the meantime, will the Government extend help to the refugees who have come across from those areas into the Jaintia Hills. ?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  That is entirely a new question, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :-  I would have given half-an hour discussion on it. But due to shortage of time and also without notice, I cannot give it.

Shri B.B. Shallam :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the Government is aware that the District Council Authorities of Mikir Hills have issued annual pattas to the area which is considered to be within Jaintia Hills.

Mr. Speaker :- These are matters of detail. If we have one day more, I would have given half-an-hour discussion on it. This is a very delicate subject which has been discussed not only in this House but in other places as well.

Let us pass on to Stared Question No. 57

Strength of Police Force 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : asked

57.

Will the Chief Minister be please to state -

(a)

The total strength of Police Force in the State including the U.B., A.B., A.C.B., C.I.D., and S.B. Departments.

(b)

The community -wise break-up of all these branches of Departments ?

Shri William A Sangma (chief Minister) :  replied.

57.(a)

The total strength of the Meghalaya Police Force in the State as on 25th March, 1973 is , 3,460.

(b)

The break-up figures community - wise of the entire Police Force is shown in the Statement placed in the Library Table.

Purchase of Medicines for Civil Hospital, Shillong for 1972-73

Shri Francis K. Mawlot asked :

58.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Health be pleased to state -

(a)

The amount sanctioned for the purchase of medicines for the Civil Hospital, Shillong for 1972-73 ?

(b)

The amount sanctioned for the maintenance of the Civil Hospital, Shillong for 1972-73. ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge of Health) replied :

58.

(a) The Amount sanctioned for 1972-73 for the purchase of medicines was Rs. 1,28,353.

(b)

The amount sanctioned for the maintenance of Civil Hospital, Shillong with annexes was Rs. 52,000 for 1972-73.

Mr. Speaker :-  Starred Question No. 58

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :-   Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the Government is aware of the fact that there is scarcity of medicines in the Civil Hospital ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge of Health):- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government is not aware of the fact.

Mr. Speaker :-  Let us come to unstarred question No. 90

UNSTARRED QUESTION 

(Replies to which were placed on the Table)

Wakf Property in the State.

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

90..

Will the Minister-in-charge of Revenue be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether there are any wakf property in the State ?

(b)

If so, the names thereof ?

(c)

Whether Government have handed over the Pirpar Dorga Taluk to the District Council, Garo Hills ?

(d)

If not, why ?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Revenue) replied :

90.(a)

Yes

(b)

In Khasi Hills there are two types, (I) Public Wakf and (II) Private Wakf.

Public Wakf with names 

(1) Police Bazar Mosque properties, Shillong (2) Sekh Umed's Wakf properties, Laban, (3) Dawki Mosque properties, Dawki Bazar (4) Guest House properties, Police Bazar. (5) Laitumkhrah Mosque properties Shillong, (6)- Iddgah field properties, Laban, (7) Nongpoh Mosque Ground properties, (8) Adda Mosque properties, Barapani, (9) Laban Mosque properties.

Private Wakf with names -

(1) Rookwod Cottage, European Ward, (2) "Grovorough Cottage", European Ward, (3) "Golam Hydel Building", Police Bazar (4) "Groveside Compound", European Ward, (5) Golam Rahman Wakf Estate, Police Bazar (6) Haji Elahi Baksh Wakf estate properties, Police Bazar, Cantonment Area.

(c)

Pirpal Baklai Estate was handed over to the Garo Hills District Council on 18th March, 1968.

(d)

Does not arise.

Improvement on roads, lanes and drains at Jaiaw area, Shillong.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah asked  : 

91.

Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R&B) be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether improvement on roads, lanes and drains has been taken  up at Jaiaw area, Shillong ?

(b)

The amount involved work wise ?

(c)

If so, the names of roads, lanes and drains ?

(d)

The names of the contractors doing the work ?

Shri G.A. Marak [Minister of State, P.W.D. (R&B)]  replied 

91. (a)

No. Only general maintenance and repairs have been done.

(b), 

(c) & (d) - Does not arise.

Construction of a Stadium in Shillong.

Shri S.D. Khongwir asked :

92. 

With the Minister-in-charge of Education be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether Government has mooted the idea of constructing a stadium in Shillong

(b)

If so, with what result ?

(c)

Whether it is a fact that Government have already selected a site for the stadium ?

(d)

If so, where ?

(e)

If reply to (a) above be in the affirmative, the approximate date within which the stadium is likely to be taken up for construction ?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) replied

92  (a).

Yes, Sir.

(b)

The matter is being pursued.

(c)

No, Sir.

(d)

Does not arise.

(e)

Construction work will be taken up as soon as site is obtained.

Construction of J.P. High School Building, Bhalarbhita 

Shri Manindra Rabha  asked  :

93. 

Will the Minister in-charge of Education be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that an amount of Rs. 22,000 was drawn by the Secretary, J.P. High Schools Bhalarbhita for construction of School building. 

(b)

Whether it is fact that not a single room of the J.P. High School building had been constructed so far ?

(c)

If so, what action has Government taken in the matter ?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) replied :

93. (a)

The School received a sum of Rs. 20,000 as grant for construction of a School Building.

(b)

No, Sir, A school was constructed but was damaged by a Cyclone on 9th September 1972.

(c)

Action has been taken by the present Managing Committee to reconstruct the School.

Md. Akramozamman :- Sir, in reply to 93 (b) , may I know the time and hour of the cyclone that swept the area ?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, Education) :- I will require notice for that. That is a new question.

Merchandised Farming in Meghalaya

Shri S.D. Khongwir asked  :

94.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state - 

(a)

Whether mechanised farming in Meghalaya will be desirable ? If so, steps taken by Government to encourage the cultivators to adopt this modern system may be stated ?

(b)

Whether Government consider it necessary to depute our youths for various trainings under mechanised cultivation training.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- replied

94. (a)

Yes. Modern machines are being displayed in various Agriculture Exhibition and Practical Institution at Upper Shillong Training Centre. Training facilities are being organised for the farmers by way of demonstration and use of the various machineries.

Promotion of Government Servants serving under Meghalaya.

Shri S.D. Khongwir asked :

95. 

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the Government of Meghalaya can unilaterally promote any Government servant serving under Meghalaya ?

(b)

If reply to (a) above is in the negative, reasons, may be stated ?

(c)

Whether there have been any case (s)  of promotion (s) accorded by the Government of Meghalaya since January 1972 till date ?

(d)

If reply to (c) above is in the affirmative, the number of persons promoted may be stated ?

(e)

Whether Government are aware that other cases of promotions are pending ?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  replied

95.(a)& (b)

The employees of the Government of Meghalaya taken from Assam are at present serving in Meghalaya on deputation till execution of the agreement with the Government of Assam under Section 64(1) of the North Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971. This Government do not generally give them promotion in Meghalaya unless  they are due for the same in Assam. There are, however, cases where this Government have allowed some of the employees taken from Assam temporary officiating promotions in the public interest.

(c)&(d)

Yes. 29. in the case of those already due for promotion in Assam and 72 in the case of those given purely temporary officiating promotions as per statement placed on the Table of the House.

(e)

There are 30 Assistants and Typists in the Secretariat whose promotions have become due in Assam but could not be promoted till now because the Government of Assam have not yet issued orders allowing them Performa promotion. There are also 6 Lower Division Assistants in the Directorate of Health Services who have been due for promotion as Upper Division Assistants in Assam and their cases for promotion in Meghalaya are under consideration of Government.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Reply to (a), in view of the fact that several promises have been made to execute the agreement between the Government of Assam and the Government of Meghalaya, when does the Government finally propose to actually sign the agreement.

Mr. Speaker :- I think that is a hypothetical question in view of the fact that the Government of Meghalaya cannot impose terms on the Government of Assam. It all depends on the two Governments to reach an agreement.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Is any progress being made in the preparation of this agreement or are matters at a standstill? 

Mr. Speaker :- This is also hypothetical. Put the first question and then the second.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Has there been any progress in signing the agreement or in the execution of the agreement ?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The Agreement is pending with the Government of Assam for the Secretariat.

Production of Muga and Eri Silk Cocoon in Garo Hills and Khasi Hills during 1972-73.

Shri P. Sangma :-  asked 

96. 

Will the Minister-in-charge of Sericulture be pleased to state -

(a)

The total production of Muga and Eri Silk Cocoon in Garo Hills and Khasi Hills During 1972-73 ?

(b)

Whether this production has increased or decreased compared to the last two years ?

(c)

Whether Government propose to popularise Muga and Eri Silk industry in Meghalaya ?

(d)

The Scheme Government propose to take up to utilize the Cocoon produced in Meghalaya ?

(e)

Whether Government propose to set up Sericulture Training Centre in Meghalaya  ?

(f)

If so, what steps Government have taken in the matter ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Sericulture) :- replied

Muga Cocoons

Eri Cocoons

1972-73

1973-74

1972-73

1973-74

              Target

Target

Nos.

Nos.

Nos.

Nos.

96.(a)

Garo Hills

38,000

45,800

3,000

3,600

Khasi Hills

45,000

54,500

9,000

10,900

 (b)

Increased by 20 per cent (approx) annually,

(c)

Yes.

(d)

Does not arise. Reeling of Cocoons is done through the existing Reeling Units at Shillong and Tura.

(e)

No. Training is arranged through reservation of seats in the Seri. Training, Institute, Titabar (Assam) with stipends at the enhanced rate of Rs. 120.00 P.M.

(f)

Does not arise in view of (e) above.

Extension the Services of retried Officers

Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh  asked :

97. 

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that the Government of Meghalaya have re-employed or extended the services of some retired Officers ?

(b)

Whether Government still consider necessary for the re-extension the services of some retired officers after the expiry of their extension periods ?

(c)

If so-

(i) The name of the Officers.

(ii) The designations.

(iii) The period of re-extension ?

(d)

Whether Government is aware that the extension as re-employments of the retired Officers affected the subordinates Officers and the unemployed educated youths ?

Shri Williamson. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  replied :

97 (a). 

Yes, Some retired Officers have been re-employed by Government but there is no case where the services of any Officers have been extended beyond the date of compulsory retirement. A statement showing the Officers who are re-employed is placed on the Table of the House.

(b) & (c)

The re-employment period is normally for one year. In some cases, the period of re-employment is extended for more than a year as indicated in the statement mentioned at (a) above.

(d)

No. Re-employment of retired Offices and the extension of such re-employment is done only in those cases where suitable and experienced Officers are not available.

Set-up Industries under Fifth Five-Year Plan

Shri Pleander G. Momin  asked :-

98. 

Will the Minister -in-charge of Industries be pleased to state 

(a)

Whether Government is considering to set up certain new industries within the State under the Fifth Five Year Plan ?

(b)

If so, what are those Industries ?

(c)

What measures Government propose to take to implement the schemes ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) replied :

98. (a)

Yes.

(b)

The industries that can be set up will depend on the feasibility reports and studies being undertaken at present.

(c)

Does not arise in view of the reply against (b) above.

Meghalaya State Transport Bus Service on the Tura -Rongjeng Road.

Shri Pleander G. Momin  asked :-

99.. 

Will the Minister -in-charge of Transport be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that the Government has proposed to introduce the Meghalaya State Transport Bus Service on the Tura-Rongjeng Road ?

(b)

If so, since when ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) replied :-

99.(a). 

There is no proposal

(b)

Does not arise.

Muktapur Water Supply Scheme

Shri Enowell Pohshna asked :-

100. 

Will the Minister -in-charge of Public Health Engineering  be pleased to state -

(a)

When was the Muktapur Water Supply Scheme completed ?

(b)

The name of the Contractor who executed the work ?

(c)

Whether Government are aware of the fact that the water has not reached the village as yet

Shri G.A. Marak Minister of State. P.W.D.) replied :

100.(a)

The scheme is not yet completed but it is nearing completion.

(b)

Shri Dengbui Tariang.

(c)

No. Water is being supplied regularly to the village from April, 1972.

Construction of Barapani- Bhoilymbong and the Dwarksuid- Tyrso Road

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh   asked :

101. 

Will the Minister -in-charge of P.W.D. (R&B) be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that the P.W.D. authorities have taken advance position of the lands for the construction of the Barapani-Bhoilymbong Road and the Dwarksuid-Tyrso Road since the last few years? 

(b)

Is it a fact that the P.W.D. authorities have properly constructed the Road with permanent bridges, culverts and about 14 K.M. now black- topped ?

(c)

Whether Government is aware that some individuals constructed a toll gate across this road at Bhoilymbong, within the P.W.D. jurisdiction and now collecting tolls from every vehicles carrying forest and agricultural products.

(d)

If so, whether Government propose to remove this toll gate for the interest of the common people. ?

(e)

Whether Government propose to pay the long pending land compensation for the construction of Dwarksuid -Tyrso Road ?

Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, of State, P.W.D. (R and B etc) : replied

101(a). 

Yes.

(b)

Semi-permanent bridges and culverts have been constructed on Barapani-Bhoilymbong Road and it is blacktopped upto 11.78 K.N.

(c)

Yes, there is a toll gate constructed by some private individuals. P.W.D. has not information regarding collection of tills ?

(d)

Public Works Department has already moved civil authority to remove the gate.

(e)

Yes.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Reply to (d) who is the Civil authority referred to here ? 

Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, of State, P.W.D.) :- The Deputy Commissioner, Sir.

Distribution System of the Padu Water Supply Scheme

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna  asked : 

102 

Will the Minister in-charge of Public Health Engineering be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that pipe line of distribution system of the Padu water supply scheme has been started ?

(b)

If so, who is the contractor and the rate of contract for the work ?

(c)

How many contractors have tendered for the work ? (Their names and the rate quoted by each to be furnished.)

Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, of State, P.W.D.)  : replied

102(a) 

Yes

(b)

Shri Rai Goshanga and the rate tendered by him is 1.80 per cent above the estimated rate.

(c)

4 (four) the rates quoted by each contractor are as follows :-

1. Shri Rai Goshanga 1.80 per cent above the estimated rate.

2. Shri Shillong Pohshna 4.74 per cent above the estimated rate.

3. Shri Garland Rose Khonglah 12.85 per cent above the estimated rate.

4. H.K. Dutta 11.32 per cent above the estimated rate.

Formation of Komorrah Limestone Mining Co.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :-  asked 

103 

Will the Minister incharge of Industries be pleased to state -

(a)

The date when the Komorrah Limestone Mining Co. was formed and registered with the Registrars of Companies.?

(b)

Whether there are any local tribal businessmen included Directors in the Board of Directors

(c)

If so, who are they. ?

(d)

The date when the Company applied for a certificate of approval and the date when it was granted ?

(e)

The date when the Company applied for a Mining Lease and when it was granted ?

(f)

The source of Capital of the Company ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries)  replied :

103 (a)

It was registered on 24th January, 1973 in Shillong.

(b)

No.

(c)

Does not arise.

(d)

The Company applied for a certificate of approval on 24th January 1973 and this was given on 25th January, 1973.

(e)

The Company applied for mining lease on 24th January 1973 and this was granted on 25th January, 1973.

(f)

The authorised capital of the Company is Rs. 10 lakhs out of which Rs. 5 lakhs will be subscribed by the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation. Ltd. and Rs. 2.5 lakhs by Economic Entrepreneurship Development Foundation. The balance will be open for subscription by the public. In addition the Company will need a term loan of Rs. 20 lakhs and overdraft of about Rs. 5.40 lakhs from the banking institutions.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Reply to 103 (b) why ?

Mr. Speaker :-  You can say 'why not'

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- That is argumentative. But the fact is that the Company is composed of the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation and Economic Group from Calcutta and there are no private persons in the Company yet.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Did Government try to get the local businessmen involved in this Company ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- The shares are going to be made available to the local people and some of the local people of that area also are interested in buying shares, they will probably be buying the shares.

Termination of the Mining Lese of Assam Silimanite Company

Shri S.D. Khongwir : asked

104 

Will the Minister incharge of Industries be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is fact that the Mining Lease in favour of Assam Silimanite Co. has been terminated.

(b)

If so, when ?

(c)

Whether the Mining Lease has been granted to any other Company ?

(d)

If so, to what Company ?

(e)

If the reply to (a) above be in the affirmative, the steps taken by Government to take care of the interest of the workers, labourers of the erstwhile Assam Silimanite Company -

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- replied

104(a) 

Yes.

(b)

On the 7th December, 1972.

(c)

Yes.

(d)

Hindustan Steel Ltd.

(e)

The Government has persuaded Hindustan Steel Ltd. to employ all labourers of the erstwhile Assam Silimanite Ltd. provided they are otherwise eligible under the labour laws. Lease have also been granted on the condition that Hindustan Steel Ltd., will ensure that the legitimate interest of persons of Meghalaya domicile in regard to employment will be safeguarded.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Reply to 104 (b) whether Government have informed the land owners concerned as well as the Syiemship and the District Council ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Inform there about what, Sir.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- About the granting of the lease to the Hindusthan Steel Limited ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :-  No Sir.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Is Government aware of the fact that under the provision of Instrument of Accession, the permission of the Syiem is required in such matters ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- No.

Sanction of the construction for the Nongstoin Civil Sub-Division Water Supply Scheme.

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna  replied :

105 

Will the Minister incharge of Public Health Engineering be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether Government have accorded sanction for the construction of the Nongstoin Civil Sub-Division Water Supply Scheme ?

(b)

If so, what was the amount sanctioned ?

(c)

When will tenders be called for ?

Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, of State, P.W.D. (R and B etc) : replied

105(a) 

Yes,

(b)

Rs.8,40,000

(c)

Tenders have already been called for implementation of the scheme.

Destruction of Houses as a result of the construction of Muktapur-Borghat Road

106 

Will the Minister incharge of P.W.D. (R & B) be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that some houses have been destroyed as a result of the construction of Muktapur- Borghat Road ?

(b)

If so, what was the exact number.

(c)

Whether proper valuation have been made in respect of the each house to compensate the loss ?

(d)

Whether the Government have taken any action to compensate the loss of the cultivators whose gardens have been destroyed by the Construction of the said road ?

Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, of State, P.W.D. (R and B etc) : replied

106 (a)

No.

(b)&(c)

Do not arise.

(d)

Yes. The compensation is under assessment by the Deputy Commissioner Jowai.

Shri H.E.  Pohshna :- Answer to (a), whether the Government is aware of the fact that two receipts have been given to the affected house owners whose houses have been destroyed during the construction by the road Muharir ?

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Pohshna, you should have included these detail in the main question because in so far as unstarred questions are concerned, there is no scope for putting supplementary questions on matters of details.

Number of Projects undertaken by each Development Block

Shri R. Lyngdoh : asked :

107 

Will the Minister incharge of Community Development be pleased to state -

(a)

The number of projects undertaken by each Development Block in the State during 1971-72 and 1972-73 under Crash Programme, and the total amount spent on each project ?

(b)

Whether all the roads constructed during that period are now motorable ?

(c)

If not, the reason thereof ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Community Development) replied ;

107.(a) 

The projects undertaken in the year 1971-72 and the total amount spent on different projects of each block is as per statement placed on the Table of the House. Further information on the amount spent on each project is being collected.

The projects undertaken in the year 1972-73 and the total amount sanctioned against the projects for each block is as per statement placed on the Table of the House. Information on the amount spent on each project is being collected.

(b)&(c)

Some roads are jeepable. Further information regarding the condition of the roads are being collected from some more blocks.

Construction of Refugee Sheds and Ration in Munai and Balat Area.

Shri R. Lyngdoh asked :

108 

Will the Minister incharge of Relief and Rehabilitation  be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact bills for construction of refugee sheds and ration in Munai and Balat area have not been cleared as  yet ?

(b)

If so, the amount which is due to each contractor of that area ?

Shri Sandford Marak (Minister, Relief and Rehabilitation) replied 

108(a) 

Yes.

(b)

The amount due to each contractor is placed on the Table of the House.

Number of Hospitals that were up-graded during the year 1972-73.

Shri G. Mylliemngap asked :

109 

Will the Minister incharge of Health  be pleased to state -

(a)

How many hospitals were upgraded during the year 1972-73 ?

(b)

If so, the names of such hospitals ?

(c)

Which are yet to be started ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) replied :

109(a) 

No hospital was upgraded during 1972-73.

(b)

Does not arise in view of (a) above.

(c)

The proposal to up-grade the Primary Health Centre at Nongstoin to a Civil Hospital for the Sub-division is under consideration.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- In reply to 109(a), may the House know the reasons under which no hospital was upgraded during the year 1972-73 ?    

Shri Sandford Marak (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, even if we propose to upgrade the hospitals, but in view of the shortage of doctors, we are not able to do it.

Dilapidated conditions of Dispensary Buildings

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh  asked :

110 

Will the Minister incharge of Health  be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that the Diengiei State Dispensary buildings and the Umden State Dispensary buildings are in dilapidated conditions ?

(b)

If so, whether Government are aware of the danger that may come to the Medical staffs and the outdoor patients because of the said condition of the building ?

(c)

The number of any other such Dispensaries in the State of Meghalaya ?

(d)

If the answer to (d) is in the affirmative, the reasons of not being able to maintain or repair them may please be stated ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) replied :

110 (a)

Yes.

(b)

No.

(c)

Information is being collected.

(e)

Does not arise in view of reply to (d)

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Reply to 110 (b), what are the reasons that Government thinks that there is no danger to the staff in view of its reply that there is a dilapidated building ?

Mr. Speaker :- Though it may be a dilapidated building, yet it may not create danger.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- But the proof may fall on the staff ?

Mr. Speaker :-  That all depends on the type of roof. 

Scarcity of water supply to the Civil Hospital, Shillong

Shri F.K. Mawlot asked :

111 

Will the Minister incharge of Public Health Engineering be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether Government are aware of the constant scarcity of water supply to the Civil Hospital, Shillong ?

(b)

If so, what are the causes of that scarcity ?

(c)

What steps Government have taken in the matter ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Public Health Engineering) replied :

111.(a) 

Government is not aware of constant scarcity of water supply to the Civil Hospital. But there may be temporary occasional stoppage which is unavoidable.

(b)

Due to (i) temporary occasional air-lock in the pipe line, (ii) the closure of Municipal pipe line to the Civil Hospital on account of the testing of the flow of water from the Crinoline Falls source by Public Health Engineering Department.

(c)

Every effort is made by the Municipality to see that regular supply of water to the said Hospital is not disturbed.

Constitution of Medical Purchase Board 

Shri S.D. Khongwir asked :

112.

Will the Minister incharge of Health  be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether a Medical Purchase Board has been constituted ? If so, the names of the members may be stated ?

(b)

Whether the Civil Surgeon is equipped with financial powers for the purpose of purchasing medicines and instruments? If so, to what extent ?

(c)

The mode of supplying medicines to the various dispensaries in the State may be stated ?

(d)

Whether the various dispensaries are regularly supplied with medicines ?

(e)

If not, why not ?

(f)

Whether Government are aware that adulteration of drugs is rampant.

(g)

If so, what steps Government have taken to combat such evil ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- replied :

112(a) 

Yes. The Board was constituted with the following members :-

(1)

Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Health and Family Planning Department - Chairman.

(2)

Deputy Director of Health Services, Meghalaya - Member Secretary.

(3)

Director of Health Services, Meghalaya - Member.

(4)

Director of Finance, Meghalaya - Member.

(5)

Director of Industries, Meghalaya - Member.

(b)

Yes. Up to the extent of Rs. 500 in each case.

(c)

Medicines are generally supplied by the firms, approved by the Purchase Board, as per indents submitted by the Medical Officers, concerned  duly countersigned by the Civil Surgeons, provided the total cost does not exceed Rs. 500. If the firms are unable to supply the medicines, purchase are made from the Medical Store Depot at Gauhati by the Civil Surgeons concerned with approval of Director of Health Services, Meghalaya. Indents amounting to more than Rs. 500 are sanctioned by the Director of Health Services.

(d)

Yes.

(e)

Doest not arise.

(f)

Yes.

(g)

One Inspector of Drugs has been appointed for the purpose. Besides, the Civil Surgeons and the Sub-divisional Medical and Health Officers have also been appointed as Ex-officio Inspectors of Drugs in their respective areas.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Reply to 112 (a), whether Government propose to include Members of the Legislative Assembly in the Purchase Board ?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government has not given thought to it.

Amount Spent on Muster Roll in Jowai Division

Shri H.E. Pohshna asked :

113.

Will the Minister incharge of P.W.D. (R&B)  be pleased to state the total amount spent on Muster Roll labour during the year 1972-73 for the period from 1st April, 1972 to 28th February, 1973 under each Sectional Officer for the following roads under Jowai Division.

(i)

The Rymbai -Bataw -Lama Borkhat Road

(ii)

The Jowai-Passyih- Garampani.

(ii)

The Jowai - Nartiang Khanduli (Road) Sec. I

(iv)

The Jowai-Nartiang-Khanduli (Road) Sec. II

(v)

The Jowai-Jarain-Muktapur.

(vi)

The Amlarem-Dawki Road.

(vii)

Nartiang-Borato Road.

(viii)

The Jowai Town Roads.

Shri G.A. Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D. (R&B)  replied :

113.-

Serial Number.

Amount

       Sectional Officer and designation

(I)

56,546.00

Shri Jese Bareh, Subordinate Engineer.

(ii)

63,360.00

Shri Hamlet Passah, Grade II Overseer.

(iii)

67,035.00

Shri Embok Singh Malang, Grade II Overseer.

(iv)

25,092.00

Shri Giribarly Iongwai, Subordinate Engineer.

(v)

89,233.00

Shri Sikelson Khyriem Subordinate Engineer.

(vi)

52,405.00

Shri Phonsly Bareh, Grade II Overseer

(vii)

50,046.00

Shri Orest Khyriem, Grade II Overseer

(viii)

21,120.00

Shri Biven blah, Grade II Overseer.

Foreigners Staying in the State.

Shri S.D. Khongwir  asked :

114. 

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether there are any foreigners staying in the State under permit system ?

(b)

If so, the authority granting such permits and the number of such foreigners (nationality-wise) may be stated ?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  replied

114.(a)

Yes.

(b)

The State Government in consultation with Government of India.

1.

Afghan

...

...

...

...

...

10

2.

American

...

....

...

...

...

3

3.

Australian

...

...

...

...

...

1

4.

Belgian

...

...

...

...

...

2

5.

British

...

...

...

...

...

2

6.

Burmese

...

...

...

...

...

1

7.

Canadian

...

...

...

...

...

3

8.

Chinese

...

...

...

...

...

85

9.

Czech

...

...

...

...

...

1

10.

Dutch

...

...

...

...

...

1

11.

French

...

...

...

...

...

1

12.

German

...

...

...

...

...

2

13.

Irish

...

...

...

...

...

16

14.

Italian

...

...

...

...

...

44

15.

Maltese

...

...

...

...

...

3

16.

New Zealand

...

...

...

...

...

1

17.

Pakhtoon

...

...

...

...

...

3

18.

Spanis

...

...

...

...

...

23

19.

Thai

...

...

...

...

...

3

20.

Tibetan

...

...

...

...

...

57

21.

Yugoslav

...

...

...

...

...

.1

Total

...

263 Nos..

Relief And Rehabilitation matters.

Shri H.E. Pohshna asked :

115. 

Will the Minister incharge of Relief and Rehabilitation to  be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that some pending bills of contractors for the Amtrong Refugee Relief. Camp are still lying in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Relief and Rehabilitation, Shillong ?

(b)

If so, the names of contractors may please be stated ?

(c)

The date of each bill and the date of receipt of the bills of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Relief and Rehabilitation, Shillong ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Relief and Rehabilitation) replied :

115.(a) 

yes.

(b)

One Helbimai Shilla.

(c)

Date of the bill 31st December, 1971. Date of receipt in the Deputy Commissioner (R/R) Office 7th June, 1972.

Bill of the Contractors for Amtrong Refugee Relief Camp 

Shri H.E. Pohshna asked :

116. 

Will the Minister incharge of Relief and Rehabilitation to  be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that bills of the contractors for Amtrong Refugee Relief Camp have been forwarded direct to the Block Development Officer, Mynso Raliang and the Overseer-in-charge, Jowai civil Sub-Division, without passing through the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Jaintia Hills ?

(b)

If so, why ?

(c)

Whether it is a fact that the Bill were paid without prior verification and checking by the higher officers of the Department. 

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Relief & Rehabilitation) replied :

116.(a) 

Yes.

(b)

The bills were forwarded by the Block Development Officer direct to the Deputy Commissioner , Khasi Hills as the latter is directly in-charge of all relief matters regarding the 1971 refugee influx of the erstwhile United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District.

(c)

It is not a fact.

Mr. Speaker :-  Let us pass on to Short Notice Questions.

Short Notice Question No. 5.,6 and 7

Short Notice Questions

Securing the Services of Tribal Officers from Meghalaya borne on other States Cadres

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw  asked

5.

Will  the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the Government has moved the Central Government for securing the services of I.A.S. and other Cadre Officers in different States of India belonging to the Hills Tribal Communities of Meghalaya ?

(b)

Whether there are officers now working under the Government of Meghalaya who were transferred from other States' Cadres to Meghalaya ?

(c)

If so, whether it will be possible for the Government to secure other such transfers in deserving cases ?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma :- replied :

5(a) 

Yes. In respect of I.A.S and other All India Services Cadre Officers, Government have already moved the Central Government in respect of three. I.A.S. Officers and one I.P.S Officers but they have not so far agreed.

(b)

No. There is, however, one I.A.S. Officer serving under the Government of Meghalaya on deputation from the Union Territories Cadre.

(c)

Government will make efforts to secure the services of Tribal Officers from Meghalaya borne on other States Cadre whenever considered necessary in the interest of the State.

Employment Exchange 

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

6. 

Will the Minister incharge of Labour to  be pleased to state -

(a)

The Department into which the Government is taking registered applicants from the Employment Exchange, Shillong.

(b)

Whether it is a fact that most of the persons registered in the Employment Exchange are seeking appointments under the Central Government or in the Central Offices in Shillong ?

(c)

If so, why should the State Government alone bear the expenses for maintaining the Employment Exchange at Shillong ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister incharge of Labour) replied :

6.(a) 

None.

Under the existing  policy of the Government of Meghalaya, recruitment to the posts in different Departments are made through the erstwhile State Select on Board and the District Selection Committee. As such the Recruiting Departments do not notify their vacancies to the Employment Exchange for submission of applicants or the lists thereto.

(b)

No

The Exchange submit applicant against notified vacancies only whether from Government establishment or private agencies according to specifications laid down by the employers. However, as the Central Government establishments continue to the main source of employment most of the registered applicants are submitted against notified vacancies under the Central Government Departments.

(c)

Setting up of  a net work of Employment Exchanges in the country for the purpose of recruitment to jobs is a national policy. This Government has also to fall in line with the national policy. The Employment Exchange has also other functions to discharge besides registration of applicants for job and submission of the applicants of the list thereto against notified vacancies. There are also two important wings under the Employment Exchange , viz, the Employment Information Wing and the Vocational Guidance Wing which this Employment Exchange undertakes for the assistance of both the employers and the employment seekers.

Shifting the Assam Assembly from Shillong to Dispur

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

7. 

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that the Government of Assam removed not only files and papers of the Assam Assembly from the former Assembly Building, but also furniture and even electrical fixtures when transferring their offices from Shillong to Gauhati ?

(b)

If so, what steps are proposed to be taken up by the Government of Meghalaya to rectify this situation ?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

7. (a)

It has been reported that some stores like Ivory Decoration Stand, Oil Cannon and books from the Assembly Secretariat Library has been removed by the Government of Assam to Dispur. It is not known whether the furniture of the Assembly Secretariat has also been shifted. As regards electrical fixtures, it is learnt that only the bulbs have been removed to a central store. 

(b)

On receipt of reports that the stores relating to the Assam Assembly Secretariat were being shifted to Dispute, the matter taken up with the Chief Minister, Assam and it is hoped to settle the matter amicably.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  Today is the last day of the Session and most of the questions have not been received.

Mr. Speaker :-  Yes, Mr. Hadem, I heard your complaint yesterday also. I think before any hon. Member makes any further complaint about the fact that most of the questions have not been answered, may I remind the House that during the last Session, I had already indicated to the Government and requested them to reply to the questions asked by the hon. Members in order that this House may be able to function more effectively. But although one of the hon. members has complained repeatedly, I think I should tell the House that we must be happy that the performance this times is much better. I will give you the break-up. So far as Starred Questions are concerned, we have received 86 questions of which 82 were admitted and out of the 82, 58 have been replied to by the Government. So the percentage has come upto 70.7 per cent. We have received 170 Unstarred Questions were received, out of which 7 were admitted and all the 7 questions were replied,  to and in this matter, the percentage has come up to cent per cent. It must be remembered that there are certain types of questions for which a long time is involved for collection of information by the Government. In some cases, in order to reply to one question, Government  may have to spend 2 to3 thousand rupees in the case of big States in the shape of cost of telegrams. A huge expenditure will have to be incurred. Therefore, since the Government have improved in this performance in the reply to questions, for which I am very very happy this time, I think there is no scope for the hon. Members to expect that the Government should come with cent per cent reply, which is humanly impossible.        

        Now, I have received a notice from Shri Manindra Rabha to raise a discussion under Rule 49 -A on the subject 'Fire that broke out in the Tikrikilla Bazar on April 2nd causing heavy loss of property"

Shri Manindra Rabha :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Rule 49A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Assembly I beg to bring to the notice of the House the occurrence of fire in Tikrikilla Bazar on the 2nd of April causing heavy loss of property.

Mr. Speaker :-  Yes, that is your submission. You cannot make a speech but just explain the occurrence before the House.

Shri Manindra Rabha :- According to information received by wire that on 2nd of April about 12 noon suddenly fire broke out in Tikrikilla Bazar and since wind were very high, fire could not be controlled and the whole Bazar area of Tikrikilla was destroyed by the fire result in heavy loss of property and now I want to know what action has been taken by the Government for the victims of that fire.

Mr. Speaker :-  I would request the hon. Member that whenever they have any information of any incident they must have a first-hand knowledge otherwise this House will be misinformed. So since you also have a second hand information of the case I would request the Chief Minister now to give a short statement.

Shri Humphrey Hadem :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, we did not receive the list of business

Mr. Speaker :-  In Zero Hour we never distribute any list of business. It is up to my consideration whether any matter can be taken up or not.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  On 2nd April 1973 a devastating fire broke out at Tikrikilla under Phulbari Police Station (Garo Hills) at about 12 noon. It originated from the kitchen of Shri Bhupen Das, P.W.D. Driver, Due to strong wind the fire spread  immediately through out  the hat and residential areas and as a result, about 300 houses consisting of 192 families numbering 769 members were affected. One woman, namely, Monju Saha was burnt to death. Three other persons sustained minor injuries and medical aid was given to them. Properties lost in the fire are estimated to be Rs. 1,80,730 (rupees one lakhs eighty thousand and seven hundred thirty). On receipt of information, on Magistrate and the Deputy Superintendent of Police left for the place of occurrence along with Fire Brigade and Police personnel, Two truck -loads, of food-stuff, i.e. rice dal, atta, mustard oil and salt along with medical supplies were sent. The affected families have been temporarily accommodated in the School building, Inspection Bungalow and vacant houses. One house of the P.W.D. Sectional Officer, two houses of moharrirs, two houses of the Chowkidars and one house of the drivers were burnt down.

        The Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police, Garo Hills also left for Tikrikilla to supervise personally the relief and security measures. The wooden bridge leading to Goalpara has been destroyed due to which traffic was suspended. All telegraph and telephone lines towards Goalpara have also been destroyed. The Superintending Engineers, P.W.D., Garo Hills ha been requested by the Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills to repair the bridge immediately. P.W.D. staff are working round the clock to open a diversion route on the place of occurrence. The Fire Brigade Staff with the help of the Police personnel were abbot to completely extinguish the fire by 12 30 hours on 3rd April 1973.

        Construction of a sub-way diversion bridge No. 65/1 on the road has been completed and communication was restored on 4th April 1973.

        Rice and dal were distributed to the affected people for four days by the Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills, Tura. Further relief measures will be considered by the Government.


Announcement by the Speaker :

Mr. Speaker :-   May I inform the House that I have received two complaint notices. The first notice from Mr. Francis K. Mawlot, as I have to dispose of on the floor of the House itself because in spite of persuasion not  to take up the matter he insisted that it should be taken up. So I will just tell the House about the first complaint and then I will give my ruling without giving any chance to raise a debate.

To,

The Speaker, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shillong.

Dated Shillong, the 7th April 1973.

Subject :

Complaint

Sir,

        I beg to bring a very serious matter before the House for necessary consideration and action against Shri E. Bareh, Minister Revenue.

        In his reply to the debate on boundary dispute raised by the members from the Opposition,, the Minister, Revenue informed the House that dispute does exist in between the two States, Assam and Meghalaya and that Khanapara and Dispur were well within Meghalaya. Whereas, it appeared in the Assam Tribune, dated April 5th, 1973 in the statement made by Shri Chatrasing Teron, Health Minister and Deputy Leader of Assam Legislature Party, that the boundary line between the two contiguous border District, was elaborately defined in the Government of India Notification of 1876, leaving no room for any dispute on the subject.

        I therefore, take the statement of Shri E. Bareh Minister, Revenue to be a gross breach of privilege and contempt of the House having given such wrong information.

Yours faithfully

Sd/- F.K. Mawlot M.L.A.

         So, in this matter may I inform the House that the statement made by the Minister is not my responsibility or the responsibility of the House. It is up to the Minister concerned to find out whether this is correct or incorrect. In so far as this matter is concerned I do no thing we have to find out whether it is correct or incorrect whatever may be the case there were precedents in so far as this is concerned. If you consult the Practice and Procedure of the Parliament by Mr. M.N. Kaul and Mr. S.K. Shakdher at page 252 - "Incorrect statement made by the Minister cannot make any basis for a breach of privilege. So, I rule out this notice of breach of privilege against Shri E. Bareh Minister, Revenue.      


Privilege Motion

        There  is another complaint from Shri F.K. Mawlot against the Editor, Printer and Publisher of Young India. I will read.

To,

The Honourable Speaker.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,

Shillong.

Subject

Complaint against the Editor, Printer and Publisher of "Young India".

Sir,

        Sir, I beg to bring to your honour and the House a very serious complaint against the editor, printer and publisher of the local news paper Young India) for his news item which appeared in his newspaper, dated the 5th April 1973 (Thursday) under the Caption "A Huge Lie".

        In this very news item the editor, printer and publisher puts the Honourable Speaker and the Marshal in questionable light by stating that.

1. 

He did not meet the Marshal at his house on the 3rd April, 1973 and that.

2.

He received the summons from the Speaker, in the Speaker's Chamber.

Before these statements are not correct. In the first place, the Marshal himself submitted a written complaint to the Speaker, reporting that the summons had been rejected by Prof. Chatterjee in the letter's house on the 3rd April, 1973. Subsequently the proceedings of the House were temporarily interrupted by the Hon'ble Speaker in order to consider the serious situation arising out of the refusal of the Professor to accept the summons, and the house unanimously decided that a warrant of arrest should be issued to compel the presence of the Professor in the House.

In the second place, the summons was not given by the Speaker, but the Marshal to the Professor in the presence of the Speaker,

Under the circumstances, I move this privilege motion against the said Prof. Kapila Chatterjee.

Yours faithfully,

Sd/- F.K. Mawlot.

        In this connection may I inform the House that Prof. Kapila Chatterjee did not receive the summons from me because the summons was to be issued under my signature and my seal, to be served by the Marshal. On receipt of the report that Prof. Kapila Chatterjee refused to accept the summons from the Marshal , the report of the Marshal had to be taken up in this House and this House had passed a resolution to issue a warrant of arrest. But before the warrant of arrest could be issued, Prof. Kapila Chatterjee himself came to my Chamber, and asked for the summons. I told him that he could not ask for the summons from me, and that he should receive the summons from the Marshal. So when he said that he had received the summons from the Speaker, the statement is totally wrong. And soon after he was reprimanded, he wrote a D.O. Letter to me, which reads as follows. :

To,

April, 4th, 1973.

Shri Professor Radhon Singh Lyngdoh

SPEAKER,  Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shillong.

Honourable Speaker, 

        I was very much surprised to hear from you that the Marshal of the Assembly had reported to you that he had met me personally and that I had refused to accept the summons to appear before the Bar of the Assembly to receive the Reprimand on April, 4,1973.    

        I hereby challenge the Marshal to prove his statement. I may tell you that this is a complete falsehood and malicious statement and I shall be compelled to exonerate myself  of this dirty charge which has been continuously broadcast over the All India Radio and is misleading the public who are under the impression that I have been arrested by a warrant of arrest issued by you and that I was trying to escape from facing the House for the reprimand.

        Please issue necessary instructions to contradict the AIR news reports and also make it clear to the public that the statement of the Marshal is totally false.

        I shall be thankful for an early reply.

Yours sincerely,

Sd/- Kapila Chatterjee

Professor Kapila Chatterjee, Editor

"Young India"

4-4-73

        This was delivered to me on 5th April 1973, and I immediately asked the Marshal to give an elaborate report as to how the said Prof. Kapila Chatterjee refused to accept the summons. The Marshal wrote the report in this manner.

To,

The Speaker, 

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shillong.

Dated, Shillong April, 5th 1973.

Hon'ble Sir,

     In reply to the letter, dated 4th April, 1973 from Prof. Kapila Chatterjee to you challenging my statement made in my report, dated 3rd April, 1973, in connection with the refusal made by Prof. Kapila Chatterjee to accept the summons issued to him by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly as being false and malicious, I am to sate as follows :

     That the said summons was handed over to me to be served on Prof. Kapila Chatterjee on 2nd April, 1973, at 3 p.m. 

     That I first called at the residence of Prof. Kapila Chatterjee at Brooklands, Laitumkhrah where I was informed that he was at the Lady Keane's College at that time. I went to the Lady Keane's College immediately to hand over the said summons. In the college also I was informed that Prof. Chatterjee was not there as he had no class that day. I was further informed at the College that day by some of the college staff and pupils that according to the college roster, Prof. Chatterjee had a class on the 3rd April, 1973, from 10 A.M. to 10.45 A.M. in Room No.1.

     That on the 3rd April, 1973, I called at the said college at 9.30 A.M. with the understanding that I could meet Prof. Chatterjee and hand over the said summons. But to my surprise it was by then 11-05 A.M. according to the college clock in the Professors' common room, yet Prof. Chatterjee was not to be found in the college. I even verified from the Principal of the College if Prof. Chatterjee was on leave that day. But I was told that he was not on leave.

     That on the same day at about 11-30 A.M. I called at the house of Prof. Chatterjee where I was finally able to contact him personally and offered him the said summons. I also explained to him the contents of the said summons and went to the extent of informing him that he is to appear before the bar of the House on 4th April, 1973. But he blindly refused to accept and re-entered his house.

     That I immediately returned to the Assembly after contacting Prof. Chatterjee and submitted my report accordingly without prejudice.

     That Prof. Chatterjee came personally to receive the summons at about 3-30 P.M. from me in the presence of the Hon'ble Speaker, in his Chamber on 3.4.73.

     In conclusion, Sir, I refute the allegations made by Prof. Kapila Chatterjee in his letter to you which is absolutely baseless and I would again reaffirm that the summons was duly served on Prof. Chatterjee by me at his residence as already reported by me.

Yours faithfully

Sd/- D.D. Rozario,

Marshal.

        After I had receive the report from the Marshal, I wrote a D.O. Letter to Prof. Kapila Chatterjee on the 5th of April itself, and it was delivered immediately.

"D.O. No. 4749/M.L.A.

5th April, 1973.

Dear Prof. Chatterjee,

        Your letter No. YI/PC/Megh./72-73 of April 4, 1973, is at hand. I have also got the report of the Marshal detailing the steps he took to meet you  personally to serve the summons in obedience to the command of the House. Later, you came over here personally to receive the summons in my presence from the Marshal.        

        I may as well mention that I myself listened carefully to the A.I.R. Broadcast and I am positive that the said news bulletin as well as the Assembly review never mentioned that you were brought to the Bar of the House under arrest. It only mentioned that the House had decided to issue a warrant of arrest in case you failed to appears before the Bar of the House on 4th April, 1973, which  however, is a fact. The news was very clear and I do not believe that the public would harbor any wrong impression about you. As you may be aware by now that the house  actually passed a resolution to issue a warrant of arrest in case you defied the summons. I am glad you had the wisdom to come personally and avert this unpleasant situation.

        I believe I have been able to explain the position.

        With regards.    

Yours Sincerely,

Sd/- R.S. Lyngdoh"

Prof. Kapila Chatterjee, 

Brooklands, Laitumkhrah,

Shillong.

        So in this case, it must be remembered that on the same evening the said Professor published another news item under the heading "A huge lie" and some other news items there. I just placed before the House about the course of events which took place before and after Prof. Kapila Chatterjee' reprimand, and I will not ask Mr. Mawlot to make his further submission.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, first and foremost, I would like to remind the hon. Members, through you that this editor, publisher and printer of the Young India was reprimanded here in the House, but after this, the same Editor has written in his paper which, I for one, consider it a contempt of the House challenging not only the Members in particular but even the Speaker, himself. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this paper, dated 5th April, 1973, the Editor published a news item under the caption "A huge lie" on this I will read only the relevant portion for the information of the hon. Members, "But what to say of the total falsehood broadcast over the All India Radio, Shillong Station even as late as the evening of April 4, 1973 long after the event was over satisfactorily in the Assembly that Professor Kapila Chatterjee refused to accept the summons of the Speaker, from the Marshal of the House to appear before the Bar of the House on April, 4, 1973, and that later on the accused, editor himself want and collected the summons from the Speaker's room at about 2-30 P.M. on April, 1973. Other wise the Speaker, would have issued a warrant of arrest.

        Yet when the Speaker, told the editor up to his face that the Marshal said that he had refused to accept the summons, Prof. Chatterjee challenged the statement and demanded that the person who gave out such blatant lie be asked to make that statement before the Speaker and Prof. Chatterjee But this was not done". Now I come to another relevant portion.- "the facts are - The Marshal had once been to Prof Chatterjee residence on April, 2,1973 when the editor was out. The Marshal then went to Lady Keane College where he could not find the Professor. Next day, April 3rd 1973, the Marshal again went to the College and not finding the Professor who was on leave that day, the Marshal  rushed to an imaginary conclusion. Yet the moment Professor Chatterjee learnt about the canard being circulated by the Marshal, he went straight to the Speaker, and asked for the summons Mr. Speaker, Sir, my submission here is to bring to light.

Mr. Speaker :-  Mr.  Mawlot, I think we have come to the end. Let us not waste the time of the House, but so far as the issue of the Editor of Young India on the 5th April, 1973 in his article entitled "A Huge Lie", I will only tell the House that most of the portions, I mean mis-representation of facts even when he wrote that he told the Marshal to his face challenging that he did not challenge. I just ordered the Marshal to issue the summons to him in my Chamber. The Marshal came and issued the summons which he only accepted. In this connection, it appears, not only that heading on the opposite page, there are a number of insinuating remarks where the editor tried to post himself as the....no, I will not come to the conclusion, I will refer the whole matter to the Committee of Privileges where this mis-representation of facts and the challenge of the editor against the Marshal constitute a breach of privilege. I will refer to the Committee of Privileges which will submit its report on the first day of the next sitting of the House and of course, the whole issue of the 5th April 1973 must be studied from the beginning to the end.

        Let us pass on to Item No. 2. of today's list of business. May I ask the Minister, Health to move the Resolution relating to "ban the setting up of sub-standard Medical College by private organisations"

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to mover that "Whereas this Assembly considers that there should be uniform legislation in the country to ban the setting up of sub-standard medical colleges, by private organisations where the criterion for admission is not merit but the ability to pay huge sums that there is use to regulate the existing private medical colleges in such manners as is feasible and desirable :

        AND WHEREAS the imposition of such a ban on medical colleges for undergraduate education is a matter with respect to which Parliament has no power to make laws for State except as provided in Articles 249 and 250 thereof :

        AND WHEREAS it appears to this Assembly to be desirable that the aforesaid matters should be regulated in the State of Meghalaya by Parliament by law :

        NOW, THEREFORE, in pursuance of clause (1) of Article 252 of the Constitution this Assembly hereby resolve that the imposition of a ban on the setting up of private medical colleges and regulations of such colleges already set up and of matters connected therewith and ancillary and incidental thereto should be regulated in the State of Meghalaya by Parliament by law"

Mr. Speaker :-  Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Government Resolution relating to "ban the setting up of sub-standard Medical Colleges by private organisation " be passed.

(The Motion was carried )


Discussion under Rule 50

        Let  us come to Item No. 3 of today's list of business. Shri P.N. Choudhury to raise a discussion under Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Assembly supported by Sarbashri Akramozamman, M.L.A Jagabandhu Barman, M.L.A. and Dhruba Nath Joshi, M.L.A. relating to "Scarcity and high prices of essential commodities in the State and failure of the Government to tackle the situation and to bring more essential commodities in the State.

        Let me fix the time, Now the Mover will have 15 minutes and I will allow 4 participants - 2 from the Ruling Party and 2 from the Opposition Party. Each will get 8 minutes and after that the Minister will reply.

(Deputy Speaker took the Chair)

Shri P.N. Choudhury :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, scarcity and high prices of essential commodities in the State is a well known fact,  The Government may come forward that it is an All India phenomenon. But Sir, this is hardly a solace to our suffering people. This scarcity and high prices of essential commodities has effected the people of low income group in the State. The  price of rice in the State has gone to the extent that it has surpassed all the previous limits. Sir, I shall for the information of the House, quote the prices as prevalent in April, 1972 and also this week of this year. Prices of mustard oil was Rs. 5.25 per litre in the first week of April, 1972 in Shillong market.

        At present it is selling at Rs. 5.90 per litre and it varies from place to place and from shop to shop. The price of pulses varies according to the quality. The price of Moongdal previously was Rs. 1.30 and now it is Rs. 2 Maida which is the essential commodity for bakery and house consumption respectively has disappeared from the fair price shops and previously the price of maida was Rs. 1.30 per kg and now it is selling in the open market at Rs. 2 per kg Atta was sold at Rs. 1.25 per kg. last year and now it is selling at Rs. 1,60 the price of Dalda was Rs. 6.75 previously and now it is Rs. 7.80. These are the prices of a few items mentioned to illustrate how the prices have gone up. Sir, the people of our State are economically backward and I hope that all Members will agree with me that the income of our people has not increased to the extend the price has increased. Sir, while we are out and out fighting against poverty, to eliminate poverty but we find due to abnormal increased of prices of the essential commodities, there is an increase of population in the below poverty line that is obtaining in our State. Sir, it is the primary responsibility of the Government to procure and distribute the essential commodities either through the public sector or the private sector. The Government has enough power to regulate the price but unfortunately we find that our State Government is unable to cope with the price rise scarcity. Sir, another item is baby food. The baby food is very essential  for the growth of our children but for non-availability of pure milk in our State, the Babies are facing great hardship especially when the Baby food has suddenly disappeared from the open market. So, it is essential to procure this Baby food which is mostly needed for our children and their growth.

        Sir, coming to the fair price shop which is intended to give relief to the low income group people, unfortunately the rice and Atta that is supplied to the fair price shops  are of inferior quality and in most cases unfit for human consumption. The rice that is now sold in the fair price shops is mixed with unhusked paddy and stones and the Atta is of such quality that one cannot consume. Sir, if this condition is prevailing in the in the fair price shops, the very purpose of fair price shop has been defeated. Then Sir, if you go to the fish market, the condition is still worse. We have been hearing about  the agreement with Government of Bangladesh regarding the supply of fish but I regret to say that no fish is made available in market and the price of which has gone up. Fish is one of the main item of food for the poor people but the Government has not been able to augment the fish supply in the market. The same thing happened in the case of vegetables. While in Gauhati or in the towns in Cachar, the price of tomato is 30 or 40 paise per kg. Here in our State it is sold at Rs. 2. the Government should give relief to the consuming public by bringing these items of vegetables from the plains and distribute or arrange distribution in different localities but uptil now we find nothing has been done.

        Then Sir, I come to sugar. I have already spoken about sugar while participating in the budget discussion and I again would like to repeat what is prevailing in the market. Sir, all over India the quantity of the levied sugar is 1.50 grams per head per week but in our State unfortunately only 75 grams are supplied per head per week and that 75 grams also are not uniformly supplied. Sometimes, 50 rams and sometimes 75 grams are supplied and the supply also is not made regularly . It is supplied once a week or sometimes once in two weeks. The coming to the price of levied  sugar, all over India the prices is fixed at Rs. 2.15 but here in Shillong in fair price shops the price varies from Rs. 2.25 to Rs. 2.50 per kg, though  there is a Government force to control the supply but there is nobody to check this malpractice. Then Sir, ,about sugar, I would like  to mention about the procedure of distribution. The Distribution of sugar in the fairs price shops is done by the F.C.I. with its office at Nongrim Hill and its godown at Mawlai. The fairs price shop dealer, say from Nongstoin, has to come to Shillong to obtain his weekly quota. His first duty is to go to the supply office to have the allotment quota sanctioned and with a slip given from the supply office he has to run to Nongrim Hill to get another slip from the F.C.I. and then to the State Bank to deposit the money and from the State Bank again to the supply godown. to lift his quota. Sir, one can very easily imagine what an ordeal is for the dealers of the fair price shops to lift their quota that is supplied to them. Therefore, I would like to suggest that the F.C.I. office should be located in a central place so that the fair price shop dealers may not meet such ordeal or inconvenience to lift  their allotted quota. Sir, as the time that has been allotted to me is too short, I don't like to take much time  to illustrate the difficulties and hardships that the consuming public are facing. I shall make a few suggestions, through you , to the Government so that the hardships of the people are reduced to the minimum. Sir, the first thing that I wish to suggest to the Government is that there is a, as I told earlier, a lot of profiteering and hoarding going unchecked and unless the person responsible is caught for this crime, well, there is no remedy to the problem. The  first thing is to bring these profiteers and hoarders ton book and for this purpose supply enforcement should be streamlined. Secondly, Sir, the Government should augment the procurement and distribution of essential commodities and should also take over directly the dealing of some items of essential food-stuffs like mustard oil, baby food, etc. The sugar quota should also be raised to 150 grammas in the line with the All India Quota and the price should be rigidly enforced as is being done by the Central Government. Sir, the Government have constituted some Supply Advisory Board and it has been stated that the proceedings of the supply Advisory Board and the names of the dealers who are allotted the control of be circulated to the members of the Supply Advisory Board concerned. Sir, I happen to be one of the members of the Supply Advisory Board. (Bell rang) I don't know about any other districts - but in our district is seems that the directives of the Government are not being followed. They have not been able to supply to the dealers the quantity allotted to them although the Government intended that it should be done. So, Sir, this is how the Supply Department is functioning in the State (Bell rang). Sir, I come to the end and I will suggest that the Government should setup Vigilance Committees with non-official members so that there may be a close watch over the distribution of essential commodities. Sir, as the time is limited with these few observations I resume my seat.

Shri Akramozamman :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in the discussion about the scarcity and high price of essential commodities in the State and the failure of the Government to take up the question of providing essential commodities in the State, I wish to, first of all, make my observations on scarcity. Sir, scarcity is a condition which can be created by nature and also by the Government. Sir, if we go through the report of the Government of Meghalaya on implementation of development schemes and programmes for 1973-74, at page 14, we will find in the report of the Agriculture Department that in the year proceeding last year there was an increase of 2.97 thousand tonnes showing an aggregate of production in the State of Meghalaya. Sir, in comparison with this big production which the Agriculture Department has anticipated, I am bound to say that if there was an attempt from the Supply Department at least to ensure the flow of rice, meat and other cereals there would not have been any scarcity. There  would not have been any scarcity of these things because 2.97 thousand tonnes with a population of 10 lakhs or more is not a matter of grave concern and would have been  a good thing that the people would not have faced so much difficulty in procuring these articles. Sir, I understand that there is a flow of paddy/maize and other things from the State of Meghalaya to other States during the Sali harvest particularly in the Garo Hills, I believe, there is not a single incident to show that there is is smuggling of these essential commodities from our State to any other State. On the other hand, I wish also to show that I have great doubt about the production of rice, wheat, maize and pulses as reported by the Government of the agriculture, production in the State of Meghalaya. This is how the doubts arose in this report submitted on 28th March when wheat cultivation at the time of harvesting has been shown at 1.00 thousand tonnes for this year. I must remind the Government that during the flood times alternative crops are provided by the Government which distributed so many tonnes  of seeds to the cultivators on the assumption that these would make up for the shortfall in wheat production. I believe that if the Agriculture Department has any touch with the agricultural fields  they will find that this quota should have been increased to more than what was given last year. What is the situation ? Ninety -eight per cent of wheat cultivation of Garo Hills, that is the food producing areas have been affected by drought and whenever the peasantry asked for irrigation facilities, there what is the reply. ? The reply is that the pumping sets are out of order, and as a result of which the people   are at a loss to understand what the Government is actually doing. Of course, the Government desires to give relief measures to the affected people by giving some alternative crops, but then there was very low food production. I cannot blame the Supply Department alone for this scarcity of food here in our State but it may be due to the activities of the Agriculture Department also. So there is a great crisis not only in this part of Meghalaya but also in other parts of the country and what we have seen is that this food scarcity is prevailing not only in the State of Meghalaya , but also in other States like, Bihar, Bengal and other states. Then there is also transport bottleneck in our State. This has given rise to a great rise of prices of essential commodities in our State as compared to other States. Sir, we have got our own hands to control the rising prices, but what we have done so long ? Should we not take drastic action in this matter to control the spiral rise of prices in our State ? If we cannot control the prices, we cannot produce more rice, more wheat, more maize and other cereals then what are the activities of the Agriculture Department also in this regard ? I think they have to feed the people of the State and are also responsible for the scarcity of food which of the State and are also responsible for the scarcity of food which has been prevailing for  along time in so far as these essential commodities are concerned. So, Sir, I would like to request the Government to kindly make a through enquiry to see as to what are the reasons for all this. What is the case  of this total failure of the Department concerned ? Even in wheat cultivation in Garo Hills the production has come down very much. I think the officers concerned are responsible for this shortage of production. of wheat, they are negligent of their duties. In the adjoining areas of South Aalmara of Garo Hills, people  previously used to get 24 mounds of wheat from the same field, but now they are getting less than that. In other fields people cannot even have a single k.g of wheat and from my personal  experience, I have got a field where I can get a bout 30 or 40 mounds of wheat, but due to drought I now got only 14 mounds and even this drought condition has  rendered the  labourers and growers not to be able to harvest anything from their fields. There are other fields which were burned down due to drought and hence could not produce anything. So Sir, for this I do not only blame the Supply Department but also  the Agriculture Department that there is food scarcity in our country. These defects can be done away with and the Government can help the people, I mean the growers to encourage them to grow more food and so this problem of scarcity of food can be solved. Now about other essential commodity, I would think that certainly, there is also a large area of mustard seed cultivation and this mustard oil, I believe, particularly in Garo Hills can be improved and the problem of food scarcity can be solved, if we can convert the ginning mill and extend the area of cultivation of mustered seed  in our area as there is a proposal to start this system now I believe by this method we can control the rising prices (Bell ring,) Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, only two or three minutes.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- You will get only to minutes.

Shri Akramozamman :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, coming to the supply of sugar, I know that there is only one godown at Tura and people use to go to Tura spending at least 30 or 40 rupees to take even a bag of sugars because they pay surcharge of 7 or 8 rupees to the dealers. There is black -marketing of sugar also and the people are compelled to pay the high price of sugars to the black-marketers in order to get their sugar whenever they can afford to do  so. I remember there was a proposal with the F.C.I. to open godowns at Phulbari and Mendipathar. But I do not understand what stands in the way of the F.C.I  because they cannot create a godown in these places so that the people may be able to go and purchase sugar from these places. Besides the people have to go to the hoarders and black-marketers for the sugar . So Sir, I request the Government to kindly try to establish more godowns in that area and see that there will be no hoarding and black-marketing and also to take up the matter with the F.C.I. and see that sugar is supplied according to the required necessary. I think the Government gives a sanction of about 12 bags or something like that. Now there is scarcity of rice quota also in Garo Hills. So the rice quota must be increased otherwise the problem of food scarcity will prevail there,  because during the month of March and April there is no water to irrigate the paddy fields. At least the Government should see this problem also and therefore, I request the Government through you , Sir, to this to try to create a buffer stock for the emergency and see that the people of Garo Hills do no suffer for what of rice. Otherwise I am afraid the situation will become worse than before and it may even result in famine next time in some parts of Garo Hills. So, once again I emphasise that this rice quota should not be increase to 5,000 quintals and not only 3,000 quintals as we are receiving a present. With these few words I resume my seat.

Shri D.N. Joshi :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while taking part in this discussion. I would like to make a little observation regarding the workings of the Supply Department. Everybody knows that there is scarcity of food in our State. But Sir, why is this scarcity in our State preventing. ? I think it is unavoidable due to the indifference of the Government and the authorities concerned in this matter. Meghalaya is a State having a population of 10 lakhs only and from the speeches made earlier by the Government, we find that they have given assurances on their report that the State is producing food to the tune of what would be sufficient for home consumption or for the consumption of our own people here for the whole year. But Sir, I finding the bazar here in the State there is scarcity of food. Why is this scarcity of food here ? It is because the Supply agencies in their distribution system are defective and for this, the entire blame goes to the attitude taken by the Government and for this, the entire blame goes to the attitude taken by the Government in tackling this problem. This should have been done by the State Tradition Corporation but this is being done by the middle men and some unscrupulous people who are making profit at the cost of the people. The Government has not done anything to check these unscrupulous traders in their illegal hoarding and profiteering in essential commodities. So I suggest that effective steps should be taken by the Government in checking these middle men and unscrupulous traders in our state, although there is no scarcity , this is a man made scarcity and on account of the indifference of the Government this matter, it has indirectly encouraged profiteers and blackmarketeers to take the upper hand and make hon. share profit at the cost of the general public. And it is because of the malpractices of the unscrupulous traders and mahajons, our people especially, the common and low-paid have been suffering beyond all descriptions both in the urban and rural areas For instance, in the Fair Price Shops, sugar is being given only 75 grams per week per head which is not  sufficient at all. In a cold climate found in most places in Meghalaya, it is very essential that carbohydrate be supplied more than is supplied to the people in the plains because carbohydrate is essential to restore heat in the human body. But here it is found that the supply of this particular commodity is insufficient as compared with other advanced States ion India where the quota for the supply of sugar in the open markets as well as the Fair Price Shops is 100 to 200 gram per head per week. But here in our State, the supply of sugar not to speak of other essential commodities, is very low indeed. Supply of sugar to the Fair Price Shops is made only at the fag end of the week and the consumers can only get their sugar by standing in queue in the premises of the Fair Price Shops for hours together and that, too, for a little quantity of sugar, and that also only at the fag end of the week, i.e. Friday or Saturday in the afternoon. Besides standing in the queue for hours together, the people have got to attend to other business as well. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this has paved the path for the unscrupulous traders and profiteers to hoard as much sugar as they can leading to the great hardship and scarcity to the people. Therefore it is the duty of the Government to see that sugar is being supplied to the Fair Price Shops in time, and I would like to make some suggestions to the Government through you Sir, that the Government should be keen, vigilant and alert to see that the consumers get their essential commodities in time and also the Fair Price Shops should get their regular supply in time. Now , in Meghalaya the prices of essential commodities are so high compared to the prices prevailing in other parts of the country or in the neighbouring states, and they have gone up to such an extend and such a height that it has really gone beyond the reach of the common people and the consumers. Poor people cannot buy the sugar so highly priced, they have got no means to buy at an exorbitant rate. The low paid Government servants, cannot maintain their family with what they get because the price is so high. There is no proper management by the department and the Government  to look into this so that the low income groups and the low paid Government servants are given some relief in these days of hardship. The Government must come forward to give relief by way of giving subsidy in the essential commodities in the matter of prices so that our people do not bother for an increase in their salaries. They want that Government should properly check any trend of rising price and also see that price falls within reach of the common people. Therefore, measures should be taken by the Government which I feel has been inactive and indifferent in this matter. They should be keen, vigilant to see that the common people do not suffer because without food they cannot live. It is the primary objective of the Government to see that the people get food and that also within their limited means. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  As no other member would like to participate in this discussion I will now call upon the Minister-incharge of supply to reply.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols -Roy (Minister, Supply) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful for the opportunity to reply to the various points raised by the Members. First of all, it has become the general practices of the people if anything goes wrong, the Government is to be blamed whether the Government is responsible or not. For the essential commodities, the Government has taken due responsibility to get the food supplied and to provide them to the people of the State. There are a number of items which the hon. members may consider as essential like Baby Food but no Government in the country has any control over this particular item of food, and also a number of trade items which the Government has no hand whatsoever in controlling the production or sale or distribution. Therefore, we must clearly differentiate between those items which the Government in other parts of the country included them to take the responsibility for the others parts of the country included them to take the responsibility for the supply. Now, some of the hon. members have spoken, the Member from Phulbari and one or two other Members have stated about the scarcity of essential commodities. I am sorry to say that I cannot agree with them that there is unusual scarcity of essenti8al commodities in our State. The requirement of the State in so far as the essential commodities are concerned, is made from the allotment received from the Government of India month by month. The following commodities. are handled on trade account by the Government.

Rice

2000 Metric Tonnes

Sugar

338 Metric Tonnes.

Wheat

1000 Metric Tonnes.

        In case of rice requirement of the State it is also supplemented by local produce. The entire requirement of essential commodities of the State is as follows.

Rice

4000 Metric Tonnes

Sugar

700 Metric Tonnes.

Wheat

1500 Metric Tonnes.

        There is no law whatsoever preventing rice and paddy going to other States, but the D.G. of Garo Hills if he feels that it should be controlled, the may impose restrictions and this may be examined as suggested by the Member from Phulbari.    

        The essential commodities brought to the State from the Government of India re meant to supplement the supplies also available in the open market. Because of this, the Government of India has not allotted the entire  requirement of the State. Government has taken every step to see that the entire requirement of the State is met from the Government of India stock. In fact the supplies brought on trade account by the Government is to prevent scarcity conditions and to ensure supplies of these essential commodities at reasonable price to the consumers.

        Except for the lean month the supply of rice within the State is easy and the present allotment of 2000 metric tones received from the Government of India is sufficient. We are, however, watching the situation very closely to see that the allotment is increased  from our trade account whenever there  is threat of scarcity. Presently, report have been received from Khasi Hills and Garo Hills that they expect to face a tight position on rice with the existing allotment in coming months. Steps have been taken to obtain increased quota from Government of India.

        Now, so far as sugar is concerned, I have had the occasion to inform the Members in this House about the steps that we have taken for increasing the allotment. Our requirement is 700 metric tonnes on the basis of 100 grams per head per week. It has been cut down to 338 metric tonnes as the levy sugar at subsidised rates. We have made a representation to the Government of India a number of times. Personally I have spoken and written to the Ministers about 3/4 times. But unfortunately the could not help us. The balance requirement is expected to be met from the open market. The wheat allotment is 100 metric tonnes and the estimated requirement of the State is 1500 metric tonnes. The balance is met from the open market. No report of scarcity has been received from any quarter. Miscellaneous commodities like dal, etc., are no handled by the Government. This entirely depends on the open market.

        Regarding the rise in prices of essential commodities, I should say that it is a national phenomenon, as has already been anticipated by the hon. Member from Laban. In Khasi Hills, the prices of these commodities  depend on the Gauhati market and on the free flow from outside the State and From Gauhati to Shillong. On getting the notice that this will be discussed, I tried to get the figures for comparison between Gauhati and Shillong the retail prices of 5/6 essential commodities. The figures are as follows. For sugar in the open market at Gauhati, the price is Rs. 3.30P; at Shillong it is Rs. 3.40P. Masur Dal - it is Rs. 1.80 to Rs. 1.90P. at Gauhati ; at Shillong it is Rs. 1.90P Mung Dal the price at Gauhati is Rs. 3.10 P and at Shillong it is Rs. 3.20P. Salt is sold at 30P. both at Gauhati and Shillong. Lahi Rice Rs. 1.35P to Rs. 1.45P at Gauhati and Rs. 1.50 P to Rs. 1.60 P at Shillong. Mustard Oil is sold at Rs. 5.60 P both at Gauhati and Shillong. This shows, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that there is not much difference in the prices of commodities from Gauhati to Shillong.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- On a point  of information, Sir, may I know from the Minister in-charge replying to the debate as to how he accounts for the difference of 10 or 20 P. per kilogram for each commodity here in Shillong.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Supply) :-  I am just giving a report of the prices of commodities at Gauhati and Shillong. It varies from item to item. In some items there is no difference and in some item there is a difference of about 5 paise or 10 paise. This is probably due to the difference in charges of transport and storage at Gauhati and Shillong.

Shri Akramozamman :-  On a point of information, whether the Government has taken any step to compare the prices at Tura with Gauhati and Shillong. ?

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Supply) :- Not yet, It was suggested that the Government should take over the distribution of dal, mustard oil and other commodities, Since the prices of these commodities are high at source, it will be of no help whatsoever to take over the distribution specially when we have a very small staff to do this work. But the Government may intervene to help in transporting the commodities and to check whether their is abnormal rise in prices compared to Gauhati and other places.

        Now, it has been stated by two Members regarding hoarding and profiteering and general vague statements are made from time to time. All that I can say here is that if a specific case is brought to our attention, the Government will certainly take immediate steps. We are trying to streamline the supply Department and the Enforcement Brach, as suggested by the hon. Member from Laban. The Deputy Commissioners have already been instructed to be vigilant and ruthless with the profiteers and hoarders when they are detected. Though on certain commodities, like the baby food, the Government has no hand whatsoever in their production, distribution and sale, yet it is an important item used by the people. A complaint has been made by the hon. Member from Laban in this respect. The Government will look into it whether there is any misuse or black marketing of this commodity.

        Next, it has been complained that the atta supplied was very bad. This depends on the supplies obtained from the Food Corporation of India. The wheat which is available is made into atta at mills at Gauhati. There have been no specific cases brought to my attention that the quality is very bad. But since the hon. Member has mentioned about this, this will be looked into as regards quality.

        Now, rice comes from the Food Corporation of India, which in turn brings it from some other parts of India and distributes it to fair price shops. Here also it varies from time to item depending on supplies coming from different parts of India. Here also as regards the quality, that will be looked into. We have instructed the Deputy Commissioners to see that there is no adulteration in this or any other essential commodities. According to experts, whom we have consulted, it would not be economical to do the crushing of the small amounts of mustard seeds produced in Garo Hills by installing crushing machine in the ginning mill there. However, we will have this matter also again investigated, as suggested by the hon. Member from Phulbari. The question of shortage of fish was mentioned by the Member from Laban. It is true that we have been discussing the supply of fish from Bangladesh for a long time. According to the notification of the Government of India, the trade in fish with Bangladesh is to be done by the Central Fisheries Corporation. Since there is not office of the Central Fisheries Corporation in North East India, the Government of Meghalaya has taken the initiative and suggested to the Central Fisheries Corporation to appoint traders as their Agents. The Central Fisheries Corporation has appointed some and agreements have been signed and just a few days ago the Director of Central Fisheries Corporation had come to Shillong and it is expected therefore that fish will soon come from Bangladesh.

        Now, the price of atta has been fixed by the Government of India from time to time. It depends on many factors But it is not so abnormally high in Shillong as compared to any other States.

        Regarding C.I. Sheets, this is not a controlled item. The Government has got certain quota for its own requirement and for the requirement has got certain quota for its  own requirement and for the requirements of the Government in Khasi Jaintia Hills District. C.I. Sheets have come and the quota for the Garo Hills is on the way. But these are for Government requirement.

        It is unfortunate that regarding sugar we have not been able to persuade the Government of India about our situation inspite of the fact  that they are allotting to other States to the tune of hundred or hundred and fifty grams per week per head but our allotment comes to only  75 grams. However, we shall be taking up the mater again. Now the price of sugar is fixed by the Government of India at Rs. 2.15. It is same in Shillong or anywhere else. There was some confusion that has taken place about the transport cost and that is being sorted out. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said that if there is any contravention of any specification and if it is brought to the notice of the Government, we shall certainly look into it. The Deputy Commissioner have already been directed to look into this matter regarding price. We have also taken up  with the Food Corporation of India. It is really a problem of the retailers coming to Shillong to take their requirements spending such lot of time for their small requirement of sugar. Probably it is due to only one godown being far away from the main part of the town. So we must think of the inconveniences of the retailers and this has been brought to the notice of the F.C.I. We shall further discuss with representatives of F.C.I shortly again. F.C.I. will be urged to open more godowns in various places and the proposal of the Government in this regard is that F.C.I. takes the responsibility for binging the essential commodities up to the headquarters towns like Tura, Shillong and Jowai and that godowns should be opened in certain rural areas the F.C.I. is prepared to take over the distribution,, this is under discussion and we hope that the problem of distribution will be sorted out. Well Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have listened to all the Members regarding this problem. This is a continuing process. We however recognise that there have been some lapses on the part of the staff from time to time This will be looked into. But by and large the situation is not so bad as to be discouraged about it. We have to arrange supply from other parts of India, some suggestions made by the Members concerned will be looked into and particularly those from long term point of view involving the Agricultural Department. This will be examined by the Department concerned


Motions

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  Now let  us come to item No. 4, i.e. motion to be moved by Prof. M.N. Majaw.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the increasingly acute scarcity of drinking water in certain parts of Shillong Town, such as Jaiaw Ward, Mawkhar Ward, Kech's Trace and Rilbong Ward, Laitumkhrah Ward and Mawprem Ward.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  Motion moved. Before I request Mr. Majaw to initiate discussion I would like to inform the hon. Members that in view of the time limit I will give 10 minutes to the Mover and 5 minutes to other Members- two from the Opposition and 2 from the Ruling Party will get a chance.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  As a matter of fact this motion needs more of action that of words. Bill since we sometimes have to compel the Government to act where necessitated and that compels us sometimes to come forward with words. Now there is no need for description  at length on the object had  terrible sufferings of the people of Shillong due to scarcity of water. But the problem of water is not same in all parts of Shillong. there are some parts where water is overflowing, overflowing and overflowing,. Therefore my submission is that the problem of Shillong today, is not so much for scarcity, it is more due to distribution or rather this scarcity is not being distributed equally. There are some places where water is flowing  from the tank for the whole day. I do not object if the Government say that it is a matter of the Municipal Board. But the Shillong Municipality exists for the people and Government also for the people and the Government can exercise control over the Municipal Board when we find that the Shillong Municipal Board has hopelessly failed in its endeavoure or lack of endeavour to provide water in those areas where there is great scarcity of water. Why not starting fresh  re-distribution of water pipes. We are compelled to draw the attention of the Government or ask the Government to suspend the Municipal Board till such time when the Municipal Board is in a position to ensure proper distribution. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are parts in Shillong, e.g., Umpling particularly near our very famous refugee colony where there is plenty of water overflowing and overflowing and overflowing. There are parts of Lachhumiere, where we can take the hon. Members of the Treasury Benches, particularly of the Government, where large tanks of water overflow the entire day. Close to Ward Lake also, near the office of the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies  and near the Assam Financial Corporation, there are two large tanks where water overflows the whole day. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we can indicate to the Government through you, the areas in Shillong where water overflows. On the other hand, if we are to go to some other parts of Shillong, we find that this scarcity is so terrible that even the people are buying water. What is the meaning of this ? If the Government cannot supply the essential commodities to the people, we have just brought out the resolutions condemning the Government for not doing so, but the most essential commodity, is water. I submit, a man can live without food for a few days, a man can live without clothes for many days, a man can live without shelter for several years, but we have yet to see a man who can  live without Water. This is one of the most essential things. After air that he breathes, water is the most essential commodity for a man. If the Government or its agency the Shillong Municipal board cannot give drinking water in certain parts of Shillong, I submit that in those parts of Shillong the Government or  the Municipal Board have failed miserably. To substantiate all this is not difficult. All that we have to do is to take a walk in the evening or in the morning where we will see that lines of people with vessels of all descriptions, and sizes, small kettles, huge cans, kerosene oil tins and large buckets, are waiting and waiting for hours and very often the people who are right at the end of the queues get no water at all because the water tricles out for 15 or 20 minutes only. This is a fact. There is no need for me to elaborate it. This can be better felt than described.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Which are the particular areas ?

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  The particular areas are Jaiaw, Mawkhar, Garikhana, Rilbong, Laitumkhrah, and Mawprem and others. We can point out other also. But these  are the most important areas. there are certain areas also but we do not want to have a very long motion. But this is a fact and it has been experienced by all persons irrespective of political affiliation, irrespective, of community, irrespective of class. This is a thing which affects both sides of the House. It is a common subject. It may be that we only in the Opposition are more alive to this matter and have had to bring it up in this House. But we are confident that the shoe pinches on the other side also. Now one of the solutions to this problem is equal distribution. When Shillong was set up long time, ago there were few people in Shillong. So the Water supply system was set up only for a small population. Subsequently and haphazardly as more houses have sprung up, pipelines were drawn in all directions. I submit right at the start, there was no detailed and well formulated plan for the distribution of water. The present distribution system obviously is unplanned. There are parts where water is surplus. There are parts where there is scarcity. So we recommend to this House that Government set up an Assembly Enquiry Committee to immediately investigate into these things and to indicate the areas where there is surplus water I propose to the Government that there should be a minimum change at the junction of the water pipes to that there should be better redistribution of water.

Shri D.N. Joshi :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while  supporting the contention of my friend, Mr. Majaw , I beg to submit that the problem of water scarcity in Shillong  is  very acute so much so that yesterday I had no bath because there was no water and this morning my children could not go to school in time because there was no water available to cook the food. In Mawprem, only yesterday we found one truck carrying two tanks full of water came and people in thousands rushed to the water truck to get a kettle and small bucket of water. But after a few were supplied, the tanks were exhausted and on enquiry, it was found that no more supply of water should be made to that locality after truck ha gone. We saw hundreds of persons-boys and girls, old and young going back disappointed, disgruntled and dejected. I found even tears rolling down the cheeks of some of the girls who could not get a single drop of water. They had to go to Mawlai where there is a natural source which is also not adequate to meet the requirement of Mawlai people even. They wait there for hours to get a bucket of water and in this spruces, they waste their time. The time is lost for the office-goers to go and attend office in time, the time is lost for the school going children to go to schools in time and to attend to other vocations of life. As my friend ahs already pointed out, the scarcity is man-made. The distribution of water of Shillong Town is very bad. There are certain localities in Shillong which get plenty of water and it is over flowing and some houses and premises are flooded with water, I should say. In Lumparing area, Madan Laban area, Lachaumiere area, there is not scarcity. But in Laban proper and Rilbong also, there is scarcity of water although water sources happen to be in that area. I have found that water is leaking out of the road  near the junction of Lukier Road and Shillong-Cherra Road from the big pipes laid down by the P.H.E. for supply of water to Barabazar. Mawkhar, Jaiaw and Mawprem. For several months, I find that water is leaking out, but nothing practically has been done to plug these leakages. I do not see any reasons why this Government has become so callous about this most essential commodity. I should not say commodity, the object without which we cannot live and especially in a town like Shillong where we have to attend to our occupations in time, in a town like Shillong where we have to attend to our occupations in time, this non-availability of water which is man-made scarcity has become a factor for making them very much unpunctual and this scarcity is responsible fo the running of the health of our people here. Therefore, I suggest to the Government to take up this Water problem in Shillong in right earnest and as my friend has suggested, to constitute a Committee comprising of some M.L.A.s of this House and some other Government officials to look into this malaise and find out ways and means for the equal distribution of water so that this man made scarcity no longer persists here in Shillong. 

Shri F.K. Mawlot :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like say a few words on this subject. As the hon. Mover has already mentioned, water is one of the most important factors to human lives. We have seen we have experienced as most of the hon. Members who are sitting here experienced, the scarcity of water even in the Assembly Hostel. So many times I entered the lounge for want of water, when I entered I found that there was no water, even the tap in bath room was dry as a result, I had to go to the tea stall and had a cup of milk.. Luckily I had money with me so I could pay for the cup of milk (laughter). In this connection , it is a pity that our poor people in Shillong are not having water to wash their faces even. They have to spare whatever quantity of water, having been brought from far away for cooking, washing and also for washing their faces. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know what is the root cause of this, but the Government should actually have acted immediately to see that water is made available the inhabitants. Just yesterday, when I was returning from Polo ground and Golf Links I came through Oakland hill, I saw water overflowing in some one's house. There is plenty of water. In this locality, water is overflowing from the tanks and in some parts say Mawkhar, Jaiaw and other places, people are not getting water to drink even. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my submission is to request the Government to find out the cause and to repair the pipes if there is any leakage any where and also to see that those places where they are getting abundant Water supply, should be diverted to other places which have no water at all. The distribution of water as it is a at present is not equitable at all. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, through you, I request the Government to see that the distribution of water is made equal in every part of the town.

Shri B.B. Shallam :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, although I totally disagree with the mover of the motion that a man cannot live without a drink (Voices - water) to me I get the impression that it must be something less than water because I can say that to me personally Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can live throughout my life without drink. But there is no denying the fact that there is scarcity of water as has been stated by the Mover that in some places there has been abundant supply of water whereas in some other places it is dry and the people are suffering. I happen to  live whenever I came to Shillong at Nongthymmai which formed part of Laitumkhrah Municipal Ward and a part of Mylliem Syiemship. In this area also I find that there is scarcity of water where I could see that poor people suffer because  of this scarcity of Water. But I am glad to say that while I was in Shillong, staying in that locality, I found that these people, themselves told me that they were happy now because of certain steps proposed to be taken by the Government. I have to consulted the Government is taking steps to remove this scarcity of water, they have told me that the Government is going to do. Even one of the Minister had visited the area and realised the problem of the people. So his indicates the awareness on the part of the Government how to fix this problem of scarcity of water........

Shri Maham Singh :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are not interested in what is to be done, but in what is being done.

Shri B.B. Shallam :-  Of course we have to get a reply from the Government so far on  what is to be done. I would also like to get a reply from the Government whether what has been told to us by the people of that locality is really true or not. So my point is about the suggestion made by the Mover of the motion whether the Assembly Committee is necessary to be appointed by this House so that this problem can be remedied. So we should suggest to the Government to take real steps so as to remove this problem. It must be remembered that this problem is not a problem that we can solve overnight. It is problem to be looked into-money to be found, we have to find out the cause and others. This is not a problem that can be solved as easily as it may be suggested. We should wait for the reply from the Government whether real steps had been taken to see that this problem is remedied. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy that this matter has come up again before the house. In fact this question has taken much of the time during this current Assembly Session. Long before this question is taken up today the Government and the members of this side have been seized of the problem and had expressed concern over the acute water scarcity at Shillong. What surprised me is that in the motion while many wards which are affected by the scarcity are mentioned one very important ward which is very acutely affected, the South East Mawkhar, has not been mentioned. It shows that the Mover attaches importance to certain areas while leaving......

(interruption)

Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I accept the amendment to the Motion.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my pint here in participating in the discussion is that, as the hon. Member from Nongstoin has put a query - What is the root cause ? Let us give a reply to that. If we can give a reply to the root cause then we can actually understand and appreciate the problem of water scarcity. It is no doubt a chronic one. But this time, coupled with the long drought, the problem has become more acute Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if I may give a reply to the root cause of this problem , is is that there is a dwindling supply of water and the sources. In fact, last time.. I have taken much pain to press the Government on this matter. It is no longer a matter of the Municipal Board alone, it is of the Government itself. I am happy that this matter is taken up by the House again. We have seen certain action taken by the Government, for instance, we have seen that recently water tankers are moving around the town, these are being loaned to the Municipal  board by the Relief and Rehabilitation Department. It is a great help. Since the problem has become an emergency, it is good that we have more tankers, having only three tankers is insufficient. But so far as distribution is concerned, I quite agree with the Mover that there is certain mal-practice. I am happy, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the Government are fully aware and concerned about this in as much as they got the services of Shri Chandrashekhar, an Expert from the Government of India on Public Health matter. He came here and made a through study. This itself shows the concern and anxiety of the Government to solve this problem. What is needed now is to augment the resources of water. As suggested by the Mover, let us share the scarcity of water when there is water problem. Most Members of this House, I think have not seen the source of the Shillong Peak Range. You will be surprised to see that this source has gone down very much and is drying. The  only way therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir is to see that the implementation of the Umkhen Scheme and the Crinoline Scheme be taken up immediately. These will, to a certain extent, ease the problem of scarcity. So far we have seen that Government are taking steps, but what I want to say is that Government should increase the number of water sources to give and distribute water to the people and secondly to see that the schemes of Umkhen and implemented. So far as long-term position is concerned, Greater Shillong water supply scheme is there and it will be taken in due course. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we should appreciate the problem in its proper perspective. My contention is that the Government as well as the Members from this side are very much concerned about this problem as I said initially. Formidable solution is to have more water tankers to distribute water to the people.

(Shri P.N. Choudhury rose to speak).

Shri K.M. Roy :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have decided to allow 2 from this side and 2 from that side. If you allow them, you should also allow us to speak.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :-  Then I will not allow. May I request the Minister-in-charge to reply.

Shri Williamson. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, at the very outset I would like to make it clear to the hon. Members that the Government are not complacent about the situation. We fully share the concern and anxiety expressed by the hon. Members about acute scarcity of water in Shillong. the efforts made by the Government have to be looked in the context of the power of control over the Shillong Municipal area which has been transferred to us only from 21st January, 1972. Apart from this, the problem is quite chronic and has persisted for a large number of years. I do frankly admit that the efforts made for improving the situation have brought about only marginal variations which might not have been perceptible in view of unusual drought which has prevailed during the current Summer.

        2. With a view to putting the matter in its true perspective, I would like to refer to some basic data in this regard. The average annual rainfall of Shillong is about 2,450.30 mm. (100 inches approximately) a year.  The rainfall is also showing fluctuations and variations every year due to the denudation of forests and cutting of trees in the green belt in and around Shillong. The Shillong Municipal area derives its water supply mainly from the following springs and streams : Wah Jalynnoh, Wah Risha (Laitkor Forests)., Madan Laban, Umjasai.

        The usual experience is that the availability of water during the rainy season, i.e. from June to September, is more than the requirements. During November, December and January, the total availability of water is in the neighbourhood of 12 lakhs gallons a day which is about 50 per cent of the demand. During the dry months of the lean season from February onwards till May, before the onset of the monsoon, the availability gradually drops to about 6 lakhs gallons per day and may fall even to a lower figure during the period of extreme drought. On the basis of a very conservate estimate the daily requirement fo Shillong, on  the basis of the existing population figures, should be 20 lakhs gallons per day in the minimum. This mean that the availability of water during the lean season is about 20 per cent of the requirements.

        3. In view of the acute scarcity of water in Shillong and the insufficiency of smaller schemes, the Government are taking up the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme. As hon. Members are aware, the question has been under correspondence with the Government of India for quite some time. One of the difficulties in regard to the execution of the scheme was that according to the prevalent pattern of financial assistance, water supply schemes in urban areas are to e taken up as commercially viable schemes on loan system from the Life Insurance Corporation of India, and are mostly execute through the local bodies, e.g., Municipal Board or Corporations, to whom the loans are given direct by the L.I.C In view of the peculiar conditions in Shillong, this procedure was, however, not found applicable. Hence, the State, Government had suggested for undertaking the scheme as a special project for which assistance was claimed outside the State Plan. After considerable negotiations and discussions, the Government of India have ultimately agreed to the discussion of the Scheme as a State Plan to be taken up with the loan assistance, from L.I.C. A provision of Rs. 60 lakhs has been made in the current year's budget out of which Rs. 20 lakhs will be contribute out of the Plan resources and Rs. 40 lakhs will come as L.I.C. loan. The scheme is programmed to be completed within 3 or 4 years.

        With  a view to improving the Water supply, the Crinoline Falls Schemes has been taken up at a total cost of Rs. 1,90,000. The water from the scheme has started flowing into the Municipal system. Similarly, the Umkhen Water Supply Scheme for improvement of water supply in Laitumkhrah has also been taken upto a cost of Rs. 6 lakhs. The water from the scheme has also resulted in augmenting the total availability of water. The Crinoline Falls Scheme as originally  initiated provided  for tapping the water flowing in the Crinoline Falls and its emerging into the Municipal Water Supply System at Lady Hydari Park Point. The scheme has been executed on this basis. Subsequently the Municipal board had proposed a supplementary scheme for diverting the entire water from the Crinoline Falls to Barabazar tank by building a separate pipe line and by installation of a pumping set. The scheme has been prepared and is under examination from the technical angle. Apart from the technical feasibility of the scheme to be determined on the basis of variation of contour through which the pipe-line will pass the other criterion is how the scheme will fit in with the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme. Moreover, an examination of the scheme is also necessary from the long-term point of view of avoiding anfractuous expenditure. There is an acute shortage of pipes and other steel materials required for execution of the scheme during the current dry season. In view of these factors, the advisability and the technical feasibility of the scheme is being closely scrutinized. The State Government are also helping the Municipal Board in regard to the undertaking of temporary measures to meet the situation. One truck mounted tanker and 7 tanks have been given to the Shillong Municipal board in 1973 with a view to arranging the distribution of water in scarcity affected areas. I have also instructed the Police Fire Service if possible to spare one water tank wagon in addition to these as an interim relief. As the hon. Members are aware this is the fire season and therefore it may not be possible to spare the fire vehicles all the time.  However, they are going to spare at least one vehicles. The Public Health Engineering Department of the State Government is examining whether any short-term measures or schemes could  be undertaken  with a view to augmenting the water supply during the period of execution of Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme which could be integrated with the said scheme and on which the expenditure may not prove in fructuous. Now with regard to the suggestion that a Committee should be appointed to consider the matter I cannot agree to the proposal because this is a matter which has to be gone into by experts from Delhi., I have already got the recommendation submitted by the experts  from Delhi. Now the detailed estimate is to be worked out and it is now being examined both by the Public health Engineering Department and also by the Municipal Board. There are as many as seven recommendations made and for the information of the House I will read them out (1) Disconnection of direct house toppings on Pressure mains and laying of additional distribution network from reservoirs in such localities so that house connections can be given from distribution mains instead of pressure mains. (Municipality to indicate the financial implications with details for this proposal. ). Now there has been talk about the defective system of distribution. This has been found out by the expert and this is one of the suggestion. (2) Fixing of 12 mm or bigger size ferrule in each house connection with openings restricted to 1/4" 1/8" so that houses farther from the reservoir or the houses in low lying areas do not draw more water than the houses at high lying areas connected to the same tank. (Municipality to indicate the financial implications along with full details). Now financially it is under process.  (3) Specific allocation of sources to different wards of Shillong by opening or laying new mains and closing the valves of existing mains (4) Construction of additional storage reservoirs. Now these are the suggestions :-

        (1) Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the words benefited are Police Bazar and Jail Road and the capacity of the reservoir is 18,000 gallons

        (2)    Lummawrie near St. Edmunds College-the ward benefited is Lummawrie and the Capacity of the reservoir is 1,600 gallons.

        (3)    Nongthymmai near Motinagar junction - ward benefited Nongthymmai Municipality area, the capacity is 2,500 gallons.

        (4) Arbuthnot Road - ward benefited Arbuthnot Road and the capacity is 4,000 gallons.

        (5) Repairing of Upland Road P.H.E.- Tank wards benefited are Upland Road and Laitumkhrah main road, capacity is 56,000 gallons.

        (6) Lumparing (near grave-yard) water benefited Lumparing and the capacity is 18,000 gallons.

        (7)  Kench's Trace - ward benefited Kench's Trace and the capacity is 10,000 gallons.

        (8)  Malki (near Arunachal C.C's residence) ward benefited areas near about the "CLEVE" building and the capacity is 3,000 gallons. This will produce altogether 57,100 gallons.

        5. Improvement of distribution system from each reservoir by disconnecting the direct connections from each reservoir and laying a distribution network to fit in with Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme. This requires detailed survey and investigation for preparation detailed estimate.       

(Mr. Speaker, occupied the Chair)

        6. Advance action - sanction of one division and one sub-division and posting of staff to be in full-time charge of the maintenance of town water supply scheme as well as to carry out detailed surveys and investigations for immediate improvement and long range plans for Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme and Shillong Sewerage and drainage schemes for which staff is provided in the 1973-74 annual plan for advance action.

        It will, therefore, be seen that the Government is not sleeping over this matter. These were the immediate interim relief measures for the improvement of water supply. So from this, I am sure Mr. Speaker, Sir,  the hon. members from Garo Hills will agree with me that it is no use to set up a Committee which cannot go into the details. We have the most  experienced man from Delhi. If we are not concerned about this problem there would have been no move on the part of the Government in requesting the Government of India to send the expert. Now, these are ready schemes and we are going to work out the detailed estimate and for that purpose we are going to set up a machinery for which a provision has been made in the current budget. Now, for the immediate relief, as pointed out by the hon. Member from Jaiaw, we have supplied  water through 7 tanks  from mounted trucks. The 7 tankers are placed at the disposal of the Municipal Board and were are going to see whether  the Police Fire Brigade trucks can also be  spared. One has been promised by the I.G.P. and he will try to help. But, this being the fire season, it will not be possible to make these vehicles available for a long time. May I again inform the hon. Members that the Government is seized of the problem and I can assure them that the Government will be taking necessary measures to help the Municipal Board to tide over the difficulties till the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme is implemented. In the mean while, I will tell the hon. Members of the House and the people of Shillong that the Government is doing everything that the situation demands.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are happy to note that the Government has shown such good intentions but we still submit that the urgency of the matter is such that it should have been taken up on a war footing. Now only 7 tankers have been provided but why not provide.....

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think we have only 3 tankers.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Well, 3 or 4 or 5 or 7. Why not provide 50 tankers for water distribution. We do not need great experts for this particular local condition. We can actually locate where the pipelines are wrongly connected. This can be done by an Assistant Engineer.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, the hon. Member himself has admitted that there is a defect in the system. Now, there is a net-work of the distribution system throughout the whole city and it was done many many years ago. It will not be possible for the Assistant Engineer or for any local man to go into this in detail. In my last remark I have had the occasion to mention that whatever help is required  from the Government to help tide over the difficulties, we will render help: it may be by procuring water tanks or by some other ways. But we are seized of the problem and it is a not the time to check on the responsibility. We are quite aware of the problem and that is why we have started helping the Municipal Board by providing the mounted trucks for carrying water to several scarcity areas. If more vehicles are required then we will see.......

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  They are required.

Mr. Speaker :-  The house has listened carefully to the replies given by the Chief Minister and the suggestion that a committee be set up by this House is not, at this juncture, required because the Government is seized of the problem. The Chief Minister has also promised that in order to tide over the difficulties due to scarcity of water in certain localities, to find out ways and means how to help the Municipal Board. So, I will only request all the hon. Members that since they have received the assurance from the Chief Minister they will co-operate with the Government, when the House is prorogued, to at least find out some of the wrong connections as pointed out by the hon. Members to the Engineer and to the persons who are supervising the distribution of water. So, the discussion on this subject is closed. Now we will pass on to item No. 5 of today's list of business. Prof. M.N. Majaw to move Resolution No. 4.


Resolutions 

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I move that this Assembly recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to revise, in view of the rising price levels, the salaries of the following categories of persons :

1.

Grade III and Grade IV Government Employees.

2.

Police Personnel of all categories;

3.

Doctors and Nurses; and 

4.

Teachers of all categories.

Mr. Speaker :-  Motion moved and now you can initiate the discussion. You have 20 minutes. Other will have only 5 minutes each.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the outset I must request the hon. Members of the Treasury Benches to bear out with us since this is not just being brought up from our side merely with the intention of having a debate or merely with the intention of winning a division, if there is a division.

Mr. Speaker :-  Are you drawing only the attention of the Treasury Benches because you say that the Treasury Benches will bear out. I think you should have asked the whole House. I have not been informed from your side. You have come to a full agreement on this ? At least you can say they can bear you out.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Treasury Benches have always been looking with prejudiced eyes and if we move that.....

Mr. Speaker :-  Now, that remark is uncalled for. I have never seen in this House that the Treasury Bench is looking upon any  hon. Member with any prejudice.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  The idea is that sometimes when a resolution is brought from the Opposition, well it has to be turned down even if it is further social measures for the improvement of society. Now, I will submit that this resolution vitally concerns the interest of the State - and  whether it comes from the right or left - it deals with the matter concerning the life of our people, of  a part of our people. Now the Government has admitted, as pointed out particularly in the Finance Minister's  Budget Speech, that there has been an increase in the wholesale price index. It has been pointed out at page 2 of the budget Speech of the Finance Minister that in December, 1972 the whole sale price index was 13.7 per cent higher than in December 1971 and also that the index of food-grams  went up by 17 per cent. Further the Finance Minister has said in the first week of February, 1973; "the wholesale price of cereals was 16.2 per cent higher than the level a year ago". Now, all this goes to prove that there has actually been a rise of prices. We  have just had a discussion on rising prices but this resolution is on the elation between such prices and the salaries of certain classes of Government servants. Now I submit Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the most hard-bit of the Government servants are the 3rd and 4th Grade employees. Their salaries, Mr. Speaker, Sir, are far below human standards and I do submit that it is impossible for the peons for example to just live on their monthly salary that they get from the Government and just from that salary plus other allowances that he receives, the total emoluments of a peon or chowkidar or sweeper or window cleaner, when they entered Government service, are Rs. 133.50 paise approximately. I stand for correction but to my knowledge these poor people get only Rs. 154 per month and that comes to Rs. 5 per day. So I wonder how many of us can live with Rs. 5 per day alone when we have to take care of our children, without having to pay for education of our children, without having to pay taxi fare or bus fare and without occasionally having to get any comfort, or going to the cinema, or buying radio or gramophone, or without having the comfort of buying new suits and new clothes  at all, but just to live on five rupees per day. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is impossible. These persons have got a family and they have to look after their families if they are married ; they have to support somebody else, sometimes there is their mother-in-law and father-in-law or sometimes they have to look after the old parents, it becomes impossible Mr. Speaker, Sir, only with these five rupees per day to do so.

Mr. Speaker :-  Very often, in general they have got father-in-law and mother-in-laws.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :-  I mean to be supported Mr. Speaker, Sir, Let us look now at the basic pay of the typists who entered Government service - it is only rupees 125 per month. If you look at the L.D. Assistants, their total emolument is Rs. 208.75 rupees per month.

Mr. Speaker :-  You mean in the Secretarial level of District Level ?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :-  In the Secretariat level Mr. Speaker, Sir, and  for the Upper Division Assistants - their pay scale is 425 rupees and that amounts to a little over 12 or 13 rupees per day which again is impossible for any man with that amounts to maintain his family.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Revenue) :-  What about the M.L.As

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :-  I do not talk about the M.L.As. but of the Government employees and I said the Upper Division Assistants get Rs. 425 per month which is not possible for them to live a decent life. Mr. Speaker, Sir, under the Constitution of India, which the Government is elected by the people and this august House, which all of us are following. The Preamble of the Constitution of India says : "We the people of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens, justice, social, economic and political, liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; equality of status and of opportunity and to promote among them all fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation etc". This is the Preamble of the Constitution of India Mr. Speaker, Sir, that we shall secure to ourselves - economic justice, liberty of thought and expression equality of status and dignity of the individual and further under the fundamental rights of Part 3 of the Constitution of India where the various kinds of rights to the citizens including Grade III and Grade IV  Government employees with freedom of speech and expression are clearly laid down.

Mr. Speaker :- No, no, the Grade IV employees cannot exercise their freedom of speech but they are governed by service rules

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- But they have got the freedom to live and Article 21 of the Constitution says - "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law". I submit that the basic  pay given to the Government employees particularly the Grade IV employees is in contravention of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Mr. Speaker :-  I think you have quoted the irrelevant portion of the Constitution and if a person does not have that equality of opportunity to rise in life, how can you expect that the Government will take up that matter by feeding everybody. If you consider from that point of view, it is really baseless. I thought in you resolution you wanted to state that the pay-scale of the Grade III and Grade IV Government employees are not proportionate to the pay -scale enjoyed by other categories of office assistants and officers.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- I am coming to that and my premises if I may point out is that if there is no opportunity for the Government servant to meet his needs in life then certainly he is denied to enjoy his liberty. Now on the Directive Principles of State Policy also. I am trying to establish the fact that the Government is certainly following the Directive Principles and further in addition, there is rise of prices. Then Article 38 says "the State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social economic and political, shall include all the institutions of the national life".. The State shall, in  a particular, direct its policy towards securing far (a) that the citizens, man and women equally have the right to an adequate means of livelihood, (b) that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to sub serve the common good. How can the Government raise funds in order to raise the salaries of these Government servants by controlling the material resources and (c) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment and then (e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocation unsuited to their age or strength".  Article 42 says - "The State shall make provision for securing just and human conditions of work and for maternity relief". Article 43 - says that "the State shall endeavour to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way, to all workers agricultural. industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities, and, in particular the State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operative basis in rural areas". Article 47 reads - "The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living  of its people and the improvement of public health as  among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health". Now what is the purpose of the State, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is to bring happiness to all.

Mr. Speaker :- You have generalized to much on the promises of the labourers and the promises of the people and citizens of the State. But you have not come to the basic problem of the Grade III and Grade IV  Government employees. It you take into consideration their salaries per week or per day to be only 5 rupees, then you must have known that in so far as the non-Government employees or daily labourers are concerned, they may get only 3 or 2 rupees per day. Their problems may be more. But if you talk only from the point of view the Constitution which deals with the basic aim of the State and the basic Directive Principles of State Policy of the Government to promote the general welfare of the people at large, and I think unless and until you can establish the real problems of those people whom you have quoted I think this particular resolution may be disallowed.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :-  I have already spoken on the particular pay scales of the L.D. As to be 123 rupees per month which is below human conditions. I have  very clearly pointed out how these scales of pay are being given by the Government I suppose this a embarrassing to the Government but these are the actual scales which the Government is now paying. And before I castigate the Government for these low scales, I want to say how the Constitution issued these directive principles to the State Government giving such living wage which is snot a living wage at all. Five rupees a day for a peon, it may be that others get 3 rupees but the crime of one is not the excuse for some-body else. It is not the excuse for the Government.

Mr. Speaker :-  So you are contradicting yourself on the Directive Principles of the Constitution. It is not a crime to live with 3 rupees per day.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :-  The Constitution issued these Directive Principles and the Government is supposed to carry out these principles. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when such is the scale of pay how can these persons live even at rupees 10 a day with a family, having to buy clothes, send the children to schools then how can these Government servants work honestly and efficiently. Take the scale of Policeman of all categories. The basic pay of a Constable when he joins the Force is Rs. 95. How on earth Mr. Speaker, Sir, can a Police Constable even with allowances which come to Rs. 165 per month, can he live or support his family ?. I think Mr. Speaker,  Sir, this is a most insignificant amount indeed.

Mr. Speaker :- Are they getting any free ration ?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :-  Not all Mr. Speaker,  Sir, Now, let us take the doctors and nurses and the teachers of all categories. The doctors and nurses as you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, are holding a very special profession, perhaps one of the most important professions looking after the lives of the people. They are entrusted with the tender and valuable job looking after the lives of our people, but they are not adequately paid. How can we expect from them full service and dedication. Likewise, the teachers are also holding the most honourable profession through-out the world, unless these teachers are given more commendable and more attractive scales of pay than what they are getting today, they are compelled to look to other vocations in order to secure the means of livelihood which the Constitution has clearly laid down as one of the Directive Principles to the State.

Mr. Speaker :-  Perhaps, we are the living examples how we have left the teaching profession.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, at last I get some help. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have heard the replies of the Government first of all the replies of the Ministers were all hackneyed  replied. "We have no money" they said. I shall endeavour Mr. Speaker, Sir, to say and I must demand of this Government that if we can simply say how much money can be raised but if they are prepared to raise the salary, if we can say clearly and distinctly how, even a sum of 6 lakhs of rupees can be raised then only we are still in doubt if Government can raise the salary or not. There is always trouble, it is under consideration, that is the policy of the Government. But if the Government have a courage to take the initiative, I believe there are certain avenues for securing money for the State. We are now going to indicate to the Government provided the Government will be prepared to take up these avenues to accept the suggestions. Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, I know, I made a careful investigation of the entire budget, I have noted that Government spent about Rs. 6 lakhs for the Grade III and Grade IV employees. I have also roughly estimated from the budget that out of Rs. 1,20,00,000 the Government is paying per year to the Grade III said Grade IV employees in the offices of the Government. Now, the rise in prices, the national rise in prices has gone up as far as 17 per cent. Even at the present rate of the price index, if the Government will raise the scale of pay by 17 per cent still it is fairly below the standard of human earnings. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, since the old scale is below the standard, I propose that the Government should raise the salary of those persons whom I propose that the Government should raise the salary of those persons whole I have mentioned here by 25 per cent, to increase this 25 per cent over Rs. 20,00,000 which is meant only for the Grade III and Grade IV employees. Now, I will add another 20,00,000 for the absorption of the retrenched personnel and the tribal employees now serving under the Government of Assam, another expenditure that can be entered into. Then the total amount will come to an approximate sum of Rs. 1,40,00,00 i.e. with deficit of Rs. 35,00,000 and for this amount the Government have to go with a bowl to beg from the Government of India for some more loans which we should make it up by ourselves here. To this amount now, we can add police, doctors and teachers and the total sum approximately spent by the Government in the budget on Police, Doctors and Teachers plus this 25 per cent increase in the salary and allowances proposed by me comes to the tune of Rs. 51,50,000 plus that Rs. 35,00,000 expenditure that makes an increase of Rs. 86,00,000. Now, how can the Government raise this Rs. 86,00,000 : (1) There are certain persons who are in the office and certain persons some of whom are unscrupulous traders coming from certain states outside. We have made thorough investigation recently and we found that huge volume of trade is only transacted by these persons in our State of Meghalaya  with particular reference to the Khasi Hills District. These traders export the trade from our State involving the produces like potato, brooms and tezpatta grown by our local people, and they depend upon the local supply of our people. I will not propose anything which will affect the local supply of our local people. They bring it from the interior and sell to the big merchant who comes from outside the State and then he exports it outside. I propose to the Government that the export trade of these three important items like broom, potato and tezpatta be nationalised immediately. I hope the nationalised export trade will bring an estimated income of Rs.7,92,00,000 every year.

Mr. Speaker :-  Is this a gross income or a net profit. ?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- This is an income, a share profit. Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will give  a break-up for this and I doubt if the Government is prepared to have the courage to nationalize this export trade. I remember last year or year before last, one gentleman a trader from outside the State was even a Member of the Planning Board of the Government of Meghalaya. If the Government has the courage .......(interruption)

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  On a point of clarification Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government will agree to accept this proposal and I would like to know whether he is himself prepared because according to his own Party the Members are always pressing the nationalization of trade.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir,  I beg to differ. I did not enter into such discussion in the course of my speech in the budget discussion or in the cut motion and resolution. My point is that other States have got their own resources to bridge the gap in every expenditure. I would like to suggest to the Government to tap some resources in order to meet genuine drawbacks in this respect. Broom for example, I am not speaking from my dream. The export traders are purchasing brooms from the interior at Rs. 41 per quintal and which they sell in Bombay at Rs. 276.00 per quintal. They are bought  from our people at Rs. 41.00 per quintal 15 thousand per truck. The trade handled by these persons in brooms alone is to the extent of Rs. 3 1/2 crores and making a profit at the rate and 25 lakhs just in brooms. Now, in potato it comes to about Rs. 3 crores 30 thousand. These are handled by the exporters. I have also gathered information from their own community that they handled these three items, namely, tezpatta, brooms and potato. Now, if the Government is prepared to nationalize just to export these three items, the profit will come to the extent of about Rs. 8 crores 92 lakhs out of which very easily we can meet the head-ache of the Finance Minister and play the deficit of Rs. 86 lakhs.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fully endorse, agree and support the resolution moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati. In my humble opinion, of all the resolutions brought before this House, I would say, this resolution is one of the most important in so far as it affects a sizeable section of our population, in whose hands our future, our well-being and the success of the various development plans and schemes lay. Without going into the details or the provisions of the Constitution. I will only go to the real difficulties that the people are facing as a result of the rise in  prices. I have calculated roughly the average income of these four categories of people. There may be difference here and there. But it will be round about Rs. 300 or Rs. 400. Out of this, they have to fix their budget and they have to finance their monthly expenditure. But these Grade III and Grade IV employees are supposed to be the backbone of the Administration or the  Government and their income is only about Rs. 300 or 400. With this income we can hardly expect them to be able to make their both ends meet. Very often there have been complaints that this Department or the Department cannot do the work and it has been admitted from the ruling side also. We must all agree  that it is very difficult for a hungry man or a half-starved man to give his best all out. If a man is not contented or if he is not happy in his life and at home, he will not be able to give his best in discharging his duties. I therefore, request the Government that something must be done specially for these Grade III and Grade IV people and also

(Mr. Deputy Speaker in the Chair)

the police. Many people have suggested for the increase of pay and allowances in order to improve their conditions and for their welfare and for the benefit of our own State and that more extra remuneration may be recommended for them. In the case of doctors are getting good amount of money say, Rs. 500 or Rs. 600  , or more, something ought to be done for them. There is no holiday or half day for them. They have to work almost 24 hours. They have to attend to emergency duty at any time. Therefore, I feel that extra benefit should be given to them. Otherwise, we can hardly blame them. They may be very efficient but instead of giving a correct prescription, they may just give any prescription because of the exhaustion. So also is the case of the teachers. The teachers are supposed to be the builders of our future. But I am afraid, many of them will not the stomach is empty and they are hungry, it is difficult to give good teaching to the students- and many of them would simply like to sleep in the school room. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would request the Government cannot do anything to these classes of Government servants, the least we can do is to hold the price-line about which we have already talked on many occasions. Merely increasing the pay will of course not be sufficient. There will be recurring increases in the price-line. So, I request the Government to hold the price line. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in supporting the resolution moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati, I would like to extend my heart full compassion for the employees concerned. While speaking on the pay of the different grades of employees in the office, I sometimes think how our Grade IV employees can pull on with life or make both ends meet. If we expect a man to work , first of all he must think of his strength, he must possess good health. Now, if his diet  his day-to-day diet is only dal and rice and nimakh,, can we expect him to possess good health ? Besides when he comes to office he is supposed to have  a clean dress and at the same time he must be smart and healthy,. Well with this 95 rupees scale of pay, how do we expect him to afford his family with food and clothes ? I hope nobody will not believe me if I say that I had to spend 120 rupees for my coat. But a poor grade IV employees cannot make a coat with such a meagre amount which he gets although he also needs a coat. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, just this morning  I entered a house in which four students were taking meal in the same plate one after another. When I asked them as to why they were not washing the plates, they replied that there was no water and no soap; this is because of the fact that the parents could not send money to them. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I therefore, submit that if we want perfect services from the people then the Government should please consider the case of employees" poverty. Poverty naturally leads to bribery. We cannot blame any Department for bribery or for corruption because it is due to poverty they resort to bribery. Sometimes we find that the Peons in some offices if they are asked to do some work; they will just delay it. Why ? because their stomach is empty as a result, they are not happy they are mentally sick and naturally they will want you to give them some 10 paise for buying a Jelebi. Now, when I come to Police personnel Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you go to Mawphlang gate, especially in the evening, you will find 2 or 3 Police constables standing at the gate and they will go straight to the Driver and will ask for Dui Anna or char Anna. Because these poor people with their income of 95 rupees cannot afford to get a cup of tea or anything. Now my submission is that we must remember that property leads to bribery and bribery leads to dishonesty. With these few words  I resume my seat.

Shri  D.N. Joshi :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while supporting the resolution moved by Prof. M.N. Majaw I would like to make certain observations. There are four categories of service. This resolution has supported only Grade III and Grade IV employees. As my friend had just spoken for the Grade III and Grade IV employees, I feel that the Government must see that this particular section get their pay enhanced and they should be brought to a level which will enable them to make their livelihood easier. In these days of spiraling price-rise it is very difficult for these people, petty Government servants to make their both ends meet. Again, besides the Grade III and Grade IV employees there are many unspecified grades ;they they may be Grade 5 or 6 or Grade 7. Say for instance, the state of affairs of Reid's Chest Hospital where there are employees not even Grade IV. They have got no protection, no provision for the protection and improvement of their health. There is no service condition maintained for them there. they are in service for many years but there is no scope for them to get other benefits. Their service have not yet been categorized. That has to be done. Their pay is very low as compared to the price of commodities. So 25 per cent increase as suggested by my friend is, I think, not adequate. So it should be 50 per cent. Now we talk of corruption in the Police personnel and other Departments of the Government. If our people are not adequately paid to maintain their livelihood corruption will be there and it will increase. Therefore in order to root our all these corruptions Government must come out with a  scheme to revise the pay structure of all the categories of Government services, besides these in questions.

Shri  W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the first instance, I would express my disagreement with the Mover of the Resolution as far as the provisions of the Constitution are concerned. He came forward with the argument that the Government is bound to increase the salaries and allowances of  their employees because there is a constitutional provision. The constitutional provisions for providing means of livelihood and other opportunities do not confine only to certain class of people, namely, the Government employees. The Directive Principle referred to by him does not aim at giving the minimum means of livelihood only to Government servants or employees. Sir, I have had the occasion to reply to this particular question when it was raised earlier. I agree that the pay and allowances available for this category of Government employees may not be adequate these days due to rise in prices. But let  us for a moment examine whether the rise in prices affects only the people serving under the Government or whether it affects the society as a whole. On the earlier occasion, when a similar question was raised, I have requested the hon. Members, who represent the people. Let  us try to compare the income of the lowest grade of employees of the Government and the people in general who are not in Government service. Now if we accept the view of the Mover of the Resolution, whether it will be fair for the Government to take up and consider for a certain class of people only without giving the same opportunity to the people, other than those who are in service, to earn the same amount or to have the same means of livelihood. Therefore, by bringing the constitutional provisions, I think the Mover of the Resolution has indirectly put himself in a very tight corner. Because of that provision,  it will not be possible for the Government to take up this question one-sided. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I come to the revision of the pay scale, I would like also to refute that poverty leads to bribery and corruption. I entirely disagree with this observation . We have come across a number of wealthy people who practice corruption. I came across thousands of poor people who live from hand to mouth but are honest and sincere. Therefore, on that ground, it cannot be argued that we should increase the pay scale to avoid bribery and corruption of the Government employees. I would agree  to the observation that we should make an attempt to hold the price-line and the Government will be doing it as far as possible. If the price line can be checked , it will benefit not only the Government employees, but also the people at large. Before I go into the merits of this proposal, I would also like to make an observation here. While the hon. Member  from Cantonment supported the Resolution, he held a different opinion with regard to the rate of increase. While the Mover of the Resolution  suggested 25 per cent the hon. Member from Cantonment desire 50 per cent Because of the difference, I am sure, ultimately he will not support the Resolution. There is a difference  with regard to the increase in the salary.

        Well Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, it was suggested that by going for nationalization of the export trade in respect of broom, pan leaves and potatoes, Government would be able to earn additional revenue of Rs. 7.92 lakhs. I am not a business expert. I do not know how far the date collected by the Mover of the Resolution are correct. But from my personal contact with him, apart from the suggestion brought forward in the House, I generally found him to have a lot of ideas about business. When we were travelling.........

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  No personal reference should be brought.

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-  This is not a personnel reference. It is an experience. When I was travelling with him together from Shillong to Tura, upto Nongpoh he could talk about 10 different business. I am very very doubtful about it. However, this is not the stage to discuss about it. Now without having this proposal examined by the experts, it will not be possible for me to accept readily that Government should nationalize the trade in all these commodities. If the Government has to undertake these exports, I will take it for granted that the conclusion arrived at by the hon. Member is correct and that the additional amount would be Rs. 7.92 lakhs. I do not know how the date about it are readily available to the hon. Member. To me it will be impossible to collect such data without myself entering into this particular business. It is only those who are in the filed who would be able to give the accurate estimate as far as the earning is concerned. They can of course give some idea. But here is a proposal which has come from the mover of the resolution.  I do no think Mr. Deputy Speaker,  Sir, that he has actually taken up this business. However, while Government will try its best to increase its revenue from various other schemes, we will have to examined  them and that too, with the assistance of the experts. We have to consult the experts, we have to ask the Government of India and we will have to appoint consultants. It is not possible, for me at least, to accept this proposal. So far as pay scale of the Government employees is concerned, it is always the practice to appoint a committee or commission with specific terms of reference  and make a specific recommendation to the Government in due course. I am sure, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member may recall that the Finance Minister, in course of his budget speech, has referred to the question of various services in the State of Meghalaya which is  under consideration by the Government. The services will be constituted only after the allocation of the Government employees between the Government of Assam and Meghalaya is finalised and this can be done only after the agreement as envisaged under the Proviso to the North-Eastern Areas Re-organisation Act, 1971 is signed. There was a question about it this morning. I have had the occasion to reply that the matter is pending with the Assam Government. We are all anxious to make a final decision. But when response does not come from the other side, it is being delayed. Pending such agreement and final allocation of staff belonging to different services between Assam and Meghalaya, the staff now serving in connection with the affairs of Meghalaya including those who may later be required to serve will be treated as on deputation to Meghalaya without deputation allowance. Technically, therefore, these persons may be considered as still belonging to the Government of Assam. Now, unless and until the service in Meghalaya are constituted, it is felt  that appointment of a Pay Commission will not serve any useful purpose at this stage because, for one thing, the Commission will have to go into the pay structure of a few specified cadres as mentioned in the resolution. At present, the Government of Assam have already constituted the Pay Commission to examine, among other things, the existing pay structure of all classes of Government servants and to recommend revised pay scales, wherever necessary. If the recommendations of the Commission are accepted by the Government of Assam will have to be made applicable to the Government employees now considered to be on deputation to the Government of Meghalaya. Most of the grade III and grade IV  employees, Police personnel doctors and nurses and teachers of all categories are at present on deputation to Meghalaya and it will be of very little practical utility to consider revision of pay of these Government employees at this stage. However, whatever be the result of the Pay Commission appointed by the Government of Assam. Meghalaya may also consider a line of action and review the position after constituting different services in Meghalaya. In this connection, the Government may take into consideration the recommendation of the Assam Pay Commission as may be accepted by the Government of Assam, and due consideration as may be accepted by the Government of to Meghalaya. It may also be pointed out that so far as doctors are concerned, certain financial incentives have been given  to those doctors serving in their interior. Considering the difficulties of getting accommodation in Shillong, Tura and Jowai and the high rate of rent charged for buildings and private houses, Government have also sanctioned House Rent and private houses, Government have also sanctioned House Rent Allowance to Government servants working in those places with effect from 1.7.70. We have also decided to continue the allowance. These financial benefits have not been given by the Government of Assam to its employees previously. The Government of Meghalaya, however, in  spite of the meagre resources, have always, kept the interest of the employees in view and will continue to do so and see that these employees at its disposal get a fair return for their services commensurate with their duties, functions and responsibilities. I would, therefore, now request the Mover of the resolution to appreciate the actual position as it stands at the present stage and to rest assured that the Government are taking great interest in the welfare of its employees and that when the time comes, this matter will be taken up in right earnest. So  I would request the Mover of the resolution to kindly withdraw his  resolution.

(Mr. Speaker, occupied the Chair)

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must first of all express my regret that the Leader of the House should have gone so low as to make personal reference against the persons, against the hon. Members as though to call in question the bonafides of the Members when making statement in the House. I have not come across a single example like this in one year of existence of this House and it is most unfortunate. Now , Mr. Speaker, Sir, talking of the good things and bad things in every class of persons there are good persons and bad persons in every class. But when it comes to a question of miserly when the person is actually on the verge of starvation, even a morars theologian will allow the starving man to steal from the nearest neighbour in order to live. Now the argument of some of the hon. Member is that if there is an object misery and a person just cannot live on this pay scale, it may breed corruption. Now as regards the Directive Principles of the Constitution, that I have pointed out, the Leader of the House said that if we are to raise the pay scale of grade III and grade IV employees it will be a kind of discrimination against others. But I submit that there are important parts of the Government. there are various other categories, there are various duties. We even have a case of say an aero plane pilot who has got very very high salary because he has certain duties to perform. These grade III and grade IV employees are actually the backbone of the Government. The officers on top may issue an order to handle files and unless those at the lowest level carry out the orders, nothing can be done by the Government and the work is paralyzed. So there is a very important role played by the grade IV employees. The grade IV employees though they get a very low salary, yet they play an important role. I think if 50 per cent increase is asked for, it includes 20 per cent and thus he is supporting us. Although Government has come up with a proposal, I humbly submit that this is the time of scarcity, as the hon. Member from Nongspung pointed out, there is scarcity of food, scarcity of Water as said earlier and as pointed out there is also scarcity of money for the people working in the Government. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I regret I cannot withdraw the Resolution.

Mr. Speaker :-  Since the hon. Member has refused to withdraw his resolution, I put the question before the House. The question is that this Assembly recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to revise in view of the rising price level, the salaries  of the following categories of persons :

(i)

Grade III and Grade IV Government Employees.

(ii)

Police personnel of all categories.

(iii)

Doctors and Nurses, and 

(iv)

Teachers of all categories.

        The motion is negative and the resolution is lost.

        May I ask Prof. Majaw to move Resolution No. 5.

Prof. M.N. Majaw :-  In view of the shortage of time, I will concede to Resolution NO. 6 and not Resolution No. 5.

Mr. Speaker :-  Mr. Lyngdoh of Mr. Syiemiong will you move Resolution No. 6. ?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :-  Mr. Speaker,  Sir, I beg to move that whereas the areas of Maharam Syiemship, Nongspung Syiemship, Mawsynram Syiemship, Bhowal Syiemship, Malai Sohmat Syiemship Pamsanngut Sirdarship, Lyniong Lyngdohship and other contiguous areas having a big population, are most backward and underdeveloped and whereas it is felt necessary to bring the administrative machinery nearer to the people, this House recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to create a new Civil Sub-division to include the said Elakas with Headquarters at Weiloi.


Observation from the Chair.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved, and since there is no more time to discuss this resolution, it will be carried over to the next Session and it will get the first preference. So before the House stands prorogued may I take the opportunity to thank all the hon. Members of both sides that they have been able to respect the Chair and the Ruling of the Speaker. It might have sometimes so happened that I offended the feelings of one or two Members. But I may tell the House that whatever I am doing from the Chair is only to enforce the rules and procedure and the authority of the House. May I remind all the hon. Members that this Session will go down in the history of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly as one of the most important Session. We have been able to create new convention,  we have been able to adopt and to adjust ourselves to the real spirit of parliamentary democracy. It is during this particular Session that, for the first time, the House has been able to form the real opposition party which will actually help in the proper functioning of parliamentary democracy. I had watched with keen interest that on many occasions Government was put to its toes and on some occasions some hon. Members walked into their own trap while in some occasions some hon. Members walked into their own trap while in  some others we found that we had been able to appreciate one another. I am sure there will still be occasion, when a true supporter of one member previously would come to a hot exchange of words with him the next day. This is a very important characteristic in a true parliamentary democracy. This is also the first time during this Session that the Speaker, on one occasion, had to reserve his ruling for one day and perhaps, this is the Session where there has been the largest number of points of order. Of course I think future history may describe this Session as a Session which has made each and every Member conscious of the privilege of the House collectively and the Members individually. We have been able to dispose of two privilege cases during the Session. Even at the very beginning of the Session we expected that one person would be reprimanded and he would be the first to be reprimanded. But unfortunately even that person was superseded by another. So, many of the important events of this Session have been very very unprecedented  and I  look forward to your co-operation in maintaining the dignity and the prestige of the House  and to exert  its authority  in the State. In conclusion, I can say that although there has been some very hot debate real sign of maturity of the House. We are no longer young. We have been able to adopt the adjust ourselves to the real spirit of a true parliamentary democracy.


Prorogation

        Since we have no other business to transact today, let me read the prorogation order of the Governor.

"Raj Bhavan

Shillong

3rd April, 1973

ORDER

        In exercise of the powers, conferred by Clause 2 (a) of Article 174 of the Constitution of India, I Braj Kumar Nehru, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby prorogue the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly at the conclusion of its sitting on the 7th April,1973.

Sd/- Braj Kumar Nehru

Governor of Meghalaya

 The House stands prorogued.

R.T. RYMBAI,

Dated Shillong,

Secretary

The 7th April, 1973.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.