PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLED AFTER THE FIRST GENERAL ELECTION, 1972.
The Assembly met at 9 A.M. on Monday, the 19th March, 1973 in Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.
Prof. R. S. Lyngdoh, Speaker in the Chair, Five Ministers, two Minister of State and fifty-two Members.
(To which oral replies were given)
Emergency Food production Scheme in Garo Hills
SHRI NIMOSH SANGMA asked :-
*4. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state
Whether it is a fact that the tractors and power tillers were received very late by the farmers during the operation of Emergency Food Production Scheme in Garo Hills?
Whether it is a fact that water pumping machines supplied to Garo Hills fail to give proper service?
The names of the agent who supplied these water pumping machine to Garo Hills?
SHRI E. BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) replied :-
(c) The pumps were originally purchased and procured by the Assam Government. The Assam Government are being requested to supply us the names of the agents.
SHRI SAMARENDRA SANGMA asked :-
5. Will the Minister incharge of Revenue be pleased to state -
Whether Government purpose to impose Land Ceiling in the State?
Whether Government have intimated the proposal to the respective district councils of the State with some directions?
SHRI E. BAREH (Minister incharge of Revenue) replied :-
*5. (a) No.
(b) Does not arise.
Agriculturist Marketing facilities
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR asked :-
*6. Will the Minister incharge of Agriculture be pleased to state
Whether it is a fact one of the most difficult problem faced by many agriculturists is lack of marketing facilities?
If so, what steps Government proposed to take to cease the problem?
SHRI E. BAREH (Minister incharge of Revenue) replied :-
*6. (a) - Due to sealing of the border trade with Bangladesh, the Agriculturists (Horticulturists) have to face difficulties in marketing of surplus produces.
(b) - An emergency marketing scheme for border produces is under operation, which is giving free transportation of border produces to Shillong and Tura Markets. This measure is taken immediately to cease the problem of the agriculturists. Steps are a foot to explore more marketing facilities and assistance in future.
SHRI S.P. SWER (Sohra S.T.) :- Whether the Agriculture Department process to have a full-fledged Marketing Wing under the Agriculture Department?
SHRI E. BAREH (Minister for Agriculture) :- The matter is under consideration.
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR (Mawlai S.T.) :- What about the produce of the agriculturists other than horticulturists?
MR. SPEAKER :- Please put the question properly again.
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- Here question 6 (a) includes all the agriculturists and not only the horticulturists. But in the reply it is stated that due to sealing of the border trade with Bangladesh, the Agriculturists (Horticulturists) have to face difficulties in marketing of surplus produces. Whether this includes both Agriculturists and Horticulturists?
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Whether produces are produced in the border areas were used to be sold in the markets in Bangladesh and we are trying to market all these commodities in consultation with the local leaders.
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- The question is not only meant for the border areas but the answer is concerned only with the marketing facilities in the border areas.
SHRI E. BAREH (Minister for Agriculture) :- For other we have not prepared any scheme to tackle this problem.
MR. SPEAKER :- In other words Government have taken up only the marketing problems in the border areas.
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- So the reply here is not properly framed.
MR. SPEAKER :- No the reply is in order but it should have been more definite in so far other areas are concerned, Government has not yet taken any steps.
SHRI MAHAM SINGH (Mawprem) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether it is a fact that other areas are also facing marketing difficulties for their produces?
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- The problem is not so acute as it prevalent in border areas.
SHRI MAHAM SINGH :- Is it fact that there are transport difficulties for sending potatoes, tezpata, etc., from Shillong to Gauhati?
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- That is due to shortage of transport and not for want of market.
SHRI MAHAM SINGH :- Is it not a fact that transport bottlenecks also stand in the way marketing facilities for the produces in the District?
MR. SPEAKER :- For that you should have framed a new question. Now let us come to Starred Question No.3 asked by Prof. M.N. Majaw. I have received a letter from Prof. Majaw authorising Shri S.D. Khongwir to ask in his behalf.
Compensation of Land Owners
PROF. M.N. MAJAW asked :-
*3. Will the Minister-in-charge of Revenue be pleased to state
Whether compensation has been paid to the land owners along the Dwar Ksuid Tyrso Road in Khasi Hills District from whom lands were acquired for the purpose of constructing the said road?
If not, when do Government purpose to pay the compensation?
SHRI E. BAREH (Minister, Revenue) replied : -
*3. (a) - No.
(b) - As soon as necessary formalities as required under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 are completed.
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- May I know whether land compensation in other.
MR. SPEAKER :- That is new question. This concerns mainly the Dwar Ksuid Tyrso Road.
Now, let us pass on to item No.2 of today's list of Business, i.e., Shri S.D. Khongwir to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54.
Call Attention Motion
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Assembly to a news-item published in the Democratic Review, dated the 26th February, 1973 under the caption "Rumour caused Night-marish Splurge of Sheer Anarch".
Mr. Speaker, Sir, fortunately or unfortunately I was present on the date of the incident that took place on 23rd February 1973 at Garikhana itself. I arrived there at about 11 A.M. and immediately thereafter I entered in one of the offices of the District Council. From there, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I could witness almost the entire incidents on the particular date and I would like to mention here with regard to that particular incidents on the date. When the crowd had started gathering but immediately when the Central Revenue Police .................
MR. SPEAKER :- Let the Chief Minister clarify. You may elaborate your stand point.
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was very much surprised to witness the scene of the of the incident on that particular date because of the fact that that the Police and the public, both sides, were having some sort of ding dong battle between them and it was very surprising that it amused me to witness this incident between the Police and the public because the Police themselves, as it appeared to me, on that particular day, were specially trained far as this particular matter is concerned. On that day it was communicated to the Deputy Commissioner and to us also by one of the hon. Members, Mr. P.R. Kyndiah when he confronted.
MR. SPEAKER :- By the hon. Member from Jaiaw.
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- I said Mr. P.R. Kyndiah; I mentioned his name, Sir.
MR. SPEAKER :- It is not polite to call the hon. Member by his name expecting the Chair and the Hon'ble Ministers. Each and every hon. member must address the other hon. member by the name of his constituency.
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- Yes, Sir, that day the hon. Member form Jaiaw, was confronted by one of the C.R.P. (Central Reserved Police) personnel he was almost hit by one of these C.R.P. Personnel. The hon. Member from Jaiaw went there together with us with the intention to pacify the turbulent crowd. So, with this intention is mind we went there.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minster) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know if the hon. Member is making a statement or is seeking information.
MR. SPEAKER :- Mr. Khongwir, I think you better seek clarification after the Chief Minister has made a statement.
SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- I just like to call the attention of the Chief Minister to this particular matter and I shall ask for clarification of required later on.
MR. SPEAKER :- The Chief Minister to make a statement.
SHRI WILLIAMSON A. SANGMA (Chief Minster) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, unfortunately I was not in the scene of occurrence as the hon. Member who calls the attention of the Government. So my giving the information before the House would depend on the report I received from the concerned Department. I was wondering when the hon. Member stated giving the details of the incident whether that will conflict with the information I am going to give before the House.
On 23rd February 1973 on receipt of information that two suspected child lifters were caught by the police at Garikhana and were severely beaten, Garikhana Police hastened to the spot and could rescue them with injuries and took them to the Beat House whether Assistant Inspector General of Police SB/CID, Meghalaya and some other officers were present in connection with other official duties. Some members of the public followed the Police to the Beta House in an agitated mood. A crowd started assembling there and it turned into a violent mob of about 2,000 people and started pelting stones on the Beat House. The mob demanded that the arrested persons should be handed to them to be punished, which the police could not allow. The police assured the members of the public that the suspects would be dealt with according to the law. But the mob did not pay any heed to this and became more violent and comminute pelting stone stones on the Beat House and police personnel, damping the roof, walls and glass panes and the windows, and also injuring several police officers and men.
The suspected persons, namely, Purna Bahadur Pusley and Pancha Bahadur Pusley, both of Nepal, were discrectly removed to the jail and remanded to judicial custody. Even though it was disclosed that the two persons were no longer there and some persons were allowed to enter and verify the fact, the mob was not satisfied and intensified their attract on the police personnel and Beat House. The mob overflowed into the neighbouring areas and also on to the Gauhati-Shillong Road where they began erecting high barricades of boulders on the National Highway on either side of the Beat House. They also set fire to some coal tar drums lying near the District Council Office. In the meantime, a Magistrate with Police reinforcements arrived at the Beat House and tried to persuade the mob to disperse, but the mob advanced towards the Beat House and continue their attack threatening to overrun the Beat House. The Magistrate then ordered a lathi charge on the mob and the resorted to a a mild lathi charge at which most of the crowd dispersed towards the Mawkhar Police Point and gathered there. Thirty-six rioters could be arrested behind the buildings and continued pelting stones on the Beat House and Police personnel. Meanwhile the Additional District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, Khasi Hills arrived with more police forces. The Finance Minister of Meghalaya, Mr. P.R. Kyndiah M.L.A., Mr. B. Alwot Diengdoh, M.D.C. soon arrived on the scene and due to their persuasion the mob eventually dispersed.
At about the same time, another suspected child lifter, namely Chini Bahadur Puslay of Nepal was caught by a crowd at Police Bazar and severely beaten. Police rescued him and forwarded him to jail custody.
Another suspected child lifter, namely, Harshna Bahadur Pradhan of Nepal was caught by a crowd at Bara Bazar and assaulted. He was also rescued by Police and taken to Cantonment Beat House from where he was sent to jail custody. The mob attacked the Cantonment Beat House and started heavy pelting of stones till police re-enforcements arrived, when they dispersed.
Another mob in the meantime also caught one Surendra Singh, Military Personnel near Ganesh Das Hospital and severely assaulted him. Police rescued him and handed him over to the Military Authority.
One person Shri Hasto Lyttan of Mawlai was also severely assaulted by the public at Jail Road suspecting him to be a child lifter. On receiving the information, police rushed to the spot and rescued him and removed him to hospital were he was admitted for treatment.
At about 3.30 p.m. orders under section 144 Cr. P.C., were promulgated by the Additional District Magistrate in the areas namely, Cantonment, Bara Bazar, Garikhana, Mawkhar, Wahingdoh, Jail Road, Mawlai bridge and European Ward upto I.G.P. Point as well as Mawprem area. After this is no further incidents took place.
Altogether seventeen Police Officers and men including the Superintendent of Police Khasi Hills, Second in Command 1st MLP Battalion, and also the Additional District Magistrate, Shillong were injured as a result of stone throwing by the mob. Three Police Vehicles were also damaged. For the incident at Garikhana, Cantonment and assault on Police personnel, altogether four cases were registered and they are under investigation. In total, 43 persona so far have been arrested and all of them were enlarged on bail by the court. For the assault on Shri Hasto Lyttan, another case was registered and is under investigation. Out of 6 suspected child lifters, 4 are still in jail custody one has been handed over to army authority and one Shri Hasto Lyttan has also been released on bail.
The suspected child lifters were interrogated in detail and these people were found to be wandering mendicants who earned their livelihood by chanting religious themes and begging from door to door. No evidence is available form any source to substantiate that any organised gang was involved in child lifting. To contract the false rumour in the Town regarding child lifting. To contract the false rumour in the Town regarding child lifting steps were taken by the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills, to issue a statement in local press and also a broadcast over the Radio requesting people not to be misled by such rumours.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said in the beginning, I was not at the spot and so I would not be able to give the details. However, he details as furnished by the Office are given. But as far as the question of deploying the C.R.P. is concerned it depends on the situation and if it was found that our own police were inadequate to cope with the situation, then we have to request the other forces also. I cannot for certain say yes or no that the police were involved in pelting of stone. But it is natural for the police when attacked to do something for self defence, and according to my information, the Additional District Magistrate was there and he ordered a lathi charge. That is the only information I had with me and I do not know whether the Chief Executive Member of District Council was there. But I have already informed about the presence of Mr. Brington Buhali Lyngdoh, Mr. P. Ripple Kyndiah and Mr. Alwot Diengdoh According to the latest information, as I said, when it was found that the police alone were inadequate to cope with the situation, then it was in the interest of the administration to request some of the forces. Thus the C.R.P. was there along with the Meghalaya Police.
Debate on the Governors Address
MR. SPEAKER :- Now let us pass on to item No.3 in today's list of business, debate on the Governor's Address Mr. Swer to resume his speech, but today I have to limit each and every Member to 15 minutes as there are numbers of them today, and Mr. Swer, I think you will be able to wind up your speech within 7 minutes.
SHRI S.P. SWER :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other day I referred to the Lalungs from Mawhati Constituency of whom the Member from Mawhati highlighted their backwardness to the extent of saying that they are almost naked. But I believe my eyes and most of us saw, right in front of this very Assembly Building and I saw that they were wearing colourful dress. I do not know by what yard stick they could be measured or to be said they were almost naked. I cannot dispute of their being most backward, but they are not the only people. As we know, there are thousands of people who are most backward who live in certain pockets in this State of ours, and that is why we see in this Governor's Address the Government's proposal for upliftment of the people of the State in general and of these people in particular. That is how the Government proposed to create more district and more sub-divisions and more administrative units. It is also found that by proposing this, the intention of the Government is to remove as far as practicable the regional imbalance in the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member from Nongstoin, I think, has referred to the land owners of Sonapahar area that the situation there is analogous to that of Cherrapunjee Cement Factory, but in course of his discussion, he said that these people are sorrowful hearts and confused in minds. I think the hon. Member is expecting a peace of mind from the Government for these people. But peace of mind is such a thing that the Lord Creator reserves to himself. Therefore I do not see that there is the analogy in that respect. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very happy to note that the Government is also seized of the rising of prices especially in essential commodities in the State, but this is an all India phenomenon. I congratulate the Government, specially the Supply Department, for combating against the rise in price specially in rural areas and the border areas in particular by opening up wholesale centres in almost every strategic point in the border. This building up of foodstuff and stocking up of foodstuff in the border area has to a great extent checked the rise in price of foodstuff and other essential commodities. Many speakers who have spoken expressed concern about scarcity of water in Shillong. (Interruption).
MR. SPEAKER :- You mean many hon. Members? There is only one Speaker in the House.
SHRI S.P. SWER :- Yes Sir, I mean hon. Members who have expressed concern about the scarcity of drinking water in Shillong. As far as I can remember, for the last 15 years or so we have seen the felling of trees in the Shillong Peak and in other places, rather everywhere, in the State. We know that sources of water will be affected if the trees are cut down. This should not be the concern of the people of Shillong along; if it is for all the people of the State in general because we see that water is disappearing every year from out hills and day may come when we will find that draught in our hills and flood in the plain. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must also congratulate the Government in respect of transport services. The Government deserve appropriation for one thing and that is the realistic approach in putting these services by the way of subsidising the private motor transport cooperators. If I may be permitted, this policy is really a policy of live and disposals. I think the bride should embrace the bridegroom who is energetic, smart and full of life. Therefore, I strongly support the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address.
MR. SPEAKER :- Before Mr. Khongwir makes a speech, may I remind that all other Members will each get 15 minutes but the groups leaders can get 20 minutes. They can speak more but that will depend upon the availability of time.
*SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR (Mawhati S.T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before discussing or saying anything on the Address of the Governor I would like to reciprocate the warm greetings extended by the Governor in the first line at page one. After that, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to page 4 pertaining to the proposal of more districts and administrative units. Here we find the proposal of the Government and the Government here becomes the promisor and we are the promise. This is a promise on the part of the Government to create more districts, more subdivisions and administrative units. With regard to this proposal of the Government or the promise of the Government to set up several more units within the span of five years, I would straightway suggest to the Government that within the current financial year of 1973-74, let us start with upgrading the two Subdivisions, that is Nongstoin Subdivision and the Simsanggiri Subdivision, into a full-fledged district. This is only to start with. (The Speaker left the Chamber and Deputy Speaker took the Chair).
I would like to refer next to paragraph 7 of the name page. It is with regard to the proposal of the Government to absorb all of almost all the tribal employees. We have been representing to absorb all the tribal employee Assam. On several occasion, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have had the opportunity to meet and talk to and to represent before the Chief Minister had assured us that from the Government's side they would do their utmost to absorb all them. He also promised and gave assurance that he would use his good office to get these persons absorbed in several Central Government office here in Shillong, for instance, North Eastern Council. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to bring to the information of the Government that as on 24th January, 1973, only two tribal employees were working in the NEC Office and these two tribal employees were not absorbed from the Government of Assam but they came from the Accountant General's Office and not from the Government of Assam. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at present, there are several lady employees down at Gauhati and we feel about them because of the inconveniences that have been caused to their homes here in Shillong. The difficulty is that, in some cases, the husband is working here at Shillong and the wife, the mother, is working there at Gauhati. So I would make Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, a simple proposal to the Government in regard to the lady assistants who are working to start a Deluxe Bus Service to run between Gauhati and Shillong in a subsidised rate so that those ladies can start early in the morning at 7.30 A.M. and go down to Gauhati and come back in the evening to Shillong. This is a simple proposal and I hope the Government will kindly consider about this.
Another point I would like to say is with regard to the ratio of reservation to the tribal employees in the Central Government offices. As on row, the ration of reservation is only about 18 per cent. This percentage might have been all right at that time because we were in the composite State of Assam and we were in the minority. But row the tribal people in Meghalaya, are in the majority had so this ratio of reservation should be changed and I implore upon the Government to move the Central Government to change the ration of reservation. Let it be vice-versa. Instead of 18 per cent for the tribals and the rest for the other communities, let it be 82 for the tribals and 18 for the other minority communities.
Next I come to page 6 paragraph 9 with regard to the border areas. In this regard, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have always been talking about the plight of the people of the border areas and about the sealing of the border trade with Bangladesh. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would suggest to the Government that some sound and permanent economic steps should be taken to uplift the economic condition of these people permanently Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we cannot always take the economic condition of our border people to the relationship with the other foreign country because, just the other day somebody was saying that the trade with Bangladesh has already been opened; it has been received. Actually, it is not. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest to the Government that in so far as the development programmes are concerned, we should tackle this problem in such a way that it will bring about the ultimate economic integration of the border areas with the rest of the State otherwise, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we fail to do so, I am afraid, that these border people sooner or later, will claim a state of their own, because of the difference we used to have between the border areas and the non-border areas. In fact, it has created a rift between us and them because of the economic condition.
Next, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to page 7, that is, with regard to supply of water. We have always been crying for water, water, and it is a welcomed proposal that the Government has proposed to take up the implementation of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme with L.I. C. loan. As a word of caution, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the implementation of this big word should be entrusted to persons who know how to do it. Just by the way, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme, especially the big tank constructed there at Mawlai. This information has come to me from a responsible person that according to the opinion of some experts this tank if all implemented, there is every likelihood of its getting burst.
Next, I come to page 8, paragraph, 15, the first line which his "The Government are seized of the problem of raising prices and the necessity for making available food-stuffs and articles of daily necessity at reasonable rates.
SHRI S.D.D. NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may we get a clarification from the hon. Member regarding the bursting of the tank. Does he mean the tank itself or the foundation under the tank will collapse. What is the information that he has got so far as this tank is concerned?
*SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am saying this to caution the Government. Besides, the information has come from a responsible person. Most probably, he knows about it that if it is utilised there is every likelihood of its bursting.
SHRI S.D.D. NICHOLS ROY (Minister, Industries) :- The task itself ?
*SHRI S.D. KHONGWIR :- The task itself. So with regard to paragraph 15 I would like to read from this paper : The Shillong Times March, 10, 1973 - under the caption "Railway Restricts Booking of Consumers Goods To Shillong Out Agency". "The N.F. Railway have imposed restriction on booking of goods to Shillong Out Agency with effect from February 23 last ......... that a huge quantity of good booked to Shillong Out Agency were lying un-cleared in more than 90 wagons at the Railway Yard, because the Assam and Meghalaya State Road Transport Corporation could not provide the adequate number of vehicles for lifting goods. Another paragraph Sir,
"It is necessary to explain here that more often than not, scarcity and the resultant higher prices of some articles are caused in Shillong due to such difficulties created by the failure of the Assam and Meghalaya State Road Transport Corporation to cause the transportation of goods to Shillong efficiently and expeditiously". So, this is the information to the Government, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, although we express our gratitude on the attempt of the Government to bring down prices at reasonable rates.
Next, I come to page 9, para 17. With regard to the proposal to establishment some industries, especially with regard to the establishment of major industries, I would like to point out Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that in the process of establishing industries especially major industries, there is always the problems of labour and the Government in its attempt to establish major industries specially should see and be alive to this problem the influx or flow of outside labour into our State.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would come to page 10. With regard to Public Health I think the Government would bear me out if I say that the overall position of providing medicinal facilities, especially in the rural areas, is demonstrably inadequate. In the rural areas we face so many difficulties with regard to the provision of medical facilities to the people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest, in so far as this is concerned, that our State now is being... (Bell rang) of roads. So, I do not see any difficulty for the Government to meet this problem by opening up some mobile dispensaries to caver to these areas where there are no static dispensaries. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while dealing on medical and health, I would also like to suggest to the Government to increase our State's quota in the mental hospital at Tezpur because, as of now, we have got only 4 seats whereas we have got so many mental cases in our jail. (Bell rang) I have almost finished, Sir.
I will now refer to page 12. With regard to the damages caused to the land and properties of the border people. Here, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the 28th June, 1972 the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of Relief and Rehabilitation had replied to my question and had said that there were 2680 petitions from the people in the border areas whose lands and properties had been damaged by the influx of refugees and in this answer to another question, out of 2680 petitions only 1663 petitions have had on the sport enquiries so far; and to another question, no amount has been paid, on compensation has been paid as on the 20th June, 1972 to them. So, I would humbly request the Government to kindly see to all this and help those people so that they get due compensation for the damages caused by the influx of the evacuees and last but not the last........
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- You are allowed one minute.
*SHRI STANLINGTON DAVID KHONGWIR :- Kindly grace me one minute. Sir, page 12 is with reared to the proposal on land reform and Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to express here that on that particular day, on the 11th September, 1972 when we had a meeting with the Chief Minister, I am surprised to note in this message of the Governor that there is a line in accordance with the consensus in the meeting. I would like to categorically state here before the House Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that there was never a consensus for setting up the Commission with a view to studying the land problems and making necessary recommendations for Khasi Hills District. There is no doubt that we had a meeting and talked of land problems, but there was never a consensus and I would like place this on record.
SHRI PRASVANATH CHOUDHURY, (Laban) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. While I welcome the Government policy to remove poverty, illiteracy and disease, I am constrained to say that the Governor's address does not say clearly as to how the Government propose to achieve their goal. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, only by constructing one and road here and opening up of Dispensary there we can not achieve the goal of removing poverty and making our State economically stronger. What I mean to say is that to build the State prosperous and strong a well planned programme for economic regeneration is a must, but the Governor's Address has defined merely a statement of departmental activities. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the acute unemployment problem has created a headache to all of us. In the Governor's Address there is very little or rather nothing encouraging to show the Government is keen to fight this gigantic unemployment problem. The presence of hundreds of unemployed young people in the State is that the Government should provide infrastructure of building of roads or housing schemes, irrigation and small industries on comprehensive basis, so that we can fight this unemployment problem. I would enable the unemployed youth to get jobs and this I believe will help of Assam ha constructed temporary buildings for their Capital at Dispur, Gauhati and this has given some employment to the local people there. So also I suggest that Byrnihat be developed as a small township. It can be built up as a centre for trade and industry and in this way we can enhance the income of the State. Sir, I would suggest to the Government to take up the matter with the Railway Minister, and see the Meghalaya is placed in the Railway map of India. When Darjeeling has been connected with Railways, I do not think it to be any difficulty to connect Shillong and Tura with Railways. At law we can have railway lines connected up to Byrnihat, to start with. Now coming to agricultural side I find that there is a glaring disparity and to remove this disparity Government should take up land reforms. I welcome the Government decision to set up a Commission to go into the land reforms question. But I would suggest that immediate steps should be taken to prepare records of rights so that our agriculturists can derive the facilities that have been advanced by the Financial Institutions. Sir, land reforms is a must for us if we want to remove poverty. Without progressive land reforms we cannot improve the condition of our agriculturists nor can we thank of removing poverty which the Governor in his address has stated is the aim of the Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, another burning problem that our people are facing is the rise in price. The price of all commodities has gone up very high and it is a great threat to the economy of the State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Governor in his address his stated that the Government has promulgated the Meghalaya Food Stuff Control Order. Sir, this is not enough. We do not know how many of those profiteers have been brought to book under the order. Unless this order is properly implemented we cannot control prices nor can we give any relief to our consumers. I would suggest that the Government should take up the wholesale trade on food grains and distribute the essential commodities through co-operative societies and at the same time to appoint Vigilance Committee for each and very Fair Price Shop. Unless this is done there is every possibility of Malpractices. As a matter of fact malpractice is prevailing in those dealing with food grains, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the subsidised sugar is supplied to the consumers at the rate of 150 grammes all over India, but unfortunately in our Meghalaya, only 50 grammes and sometimes 75 grammes of sugar is supplied to the consumers. I would suggest that the Government India to enhance the quota of sugar so we find, all over India is Rs.2.15 p. per kg. whereas the price charged in different Fair Price of shops of our State varies from Rs.2.30 to Rs.2.50 per kg. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to implement the Government's decision or policy what is needed is the Administrative Reform. The present Administrative setup was based on the line of the British Government, it is just a like square peg in the round hole. Unless the Administrative setup is reformed we cannot expect to achieve the desired result and the benefits that are meant for our people, will not actually reach them. The Governor in his address at page 9 has mentioned that adequate attention is being paid towards improvement of the transport system in the State. But Sir, the Shillong-Gauhati Road which is the main line of our transport system in incapable of meeting the needs of this State. We want that Meghalaya Government must have a big say in the matter of running this lifeline so that the supply of our essential commodities is not interrupted and we can get regular supply of foodstuffs. It has been reported in the press that due to shortage of Tracks a huge quantities of Shillong Foodstuffs is lying in the Gauhati Railway Yard and authorities have decided to stopping lifting of foodgrains for Shillong. This is a sad state of affairs. So, I would request the Ministers incharge Transport to took into the matter and also to take effective steps and measures for bringing these foodstuffs to our State immediately and maintain steady flow. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Governor in his Address has mentioned that a Crash Programme for increase in employment opportunities in the State both for educated unemployed persons and for the tribal employees at present working under the Assam Government has been sent to Government of India for sanction and making available financial assistance for the implementation of the scheme. Sir, with reference to this I would like to say that we need not depend entirely on the Central Government. State Government should formulate employment oriented schemes in the rural area as well as in the urban areas. Coming to this Government's employment policy, I would like to say that while I have nothing to say against the declared policy of the Government about the employment but I would like to say that besides that percentage have been given to my tribal friends, some found not a single of them has been given to my tribal friends, some reservations also should be made for other Meghalayan because I have found not a single of them as been given employment's so far. So my request to the Government is that some quota for employment of other Meghalayan should also be allotted while making appointments. And I would like to suggest that at least 20 (twenty) percent reservation should be given to other Meghalayans. If employment potentiality is not increased it will endanger the economy and society and it will also endanger the democratic system. So Government should formulate employment oriented schemes. Referring to Medical facilities as mentioned Pasture Institute. I suggest to the Government to examine the feasibility whether this institution can be expanded to make it an ideal Institute for other vital research works in medical lines, so that it can help our Medicos in their profession. I would also suggest that the Pasteur Institute should be kept opened irrespective of Sunday and holydays because it is an important public utility Institute. It is now kept closed on Sundays and holidays. My suggestion is that it should be kept (Bell Rang) I have come to a close opened irrespective of holidays and Sundays so that ailing people may get real benefit when they need. Another points is about Municipal Elections. Sir, the Governor in his Address ha referred to the Municipal Elections and said that the Election is to Municipal Board would be held as soon as delimitation and other formalities are completed. Sir, in the Extra Ordinary Gazette published in 19th September, 1972 Government announced that delimitation of Constituencies has been made and I wonder why the questions of fresh delimitation has arisen. I do not find any Notification canceling the previous one. So I want to get a clarification why fresh delimitation is required. (bell) One minute Sir, Lastly, I would also like to say that unless a climate is created for people participation in all developmental works of the Government to build up a planned society to develop this State will be a futile effort.
SHRI PRITINGTON SANGMA (Kharkutta S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion of thanks moved by the hon. member, Mr. Jormanik Syiem to the Governor's Address. While supporting the board policy of the Government as laid down in the Governor's Address, I want to make some observations and suggestions. Turning to paragraph 18, page 10, I do appreciate the Governments policy that in the field of education, emphasis is being laid on the qualities improvement and expansion at all levels. I consider it very much in conformity with the national policy. I really appreciate that now our Government is coming forward with determined policy to introduce compulsory primary education in our State which I consider it a long standing issue. I also appreciate that Government is going to set up a Board of Education. Again the policy which deserves appreciation, is that our Government is going to establish residential schools in the State. But, Sir, I am rather sorry that I fail to see any mention about the nursery schools. I do not know what is the policy towards this problem which I consider it very very important. But I think the policy will be involved here in the introduction of primary education upto the age of 14 years. But clear mention should be made as to how our Government is going to deal with the pre-primary education stage. Sir, I consider to be very very important because of the fact that at this stage of education, we can train our children for their educational growth in future. We all know that from spoon feeding, we grow up to bite hard bones. So to become educated, we need our children to start from nursery stage in a sound way. Sir, it is a fact that in Garo Hills, education is of a very very low standard. The basic problem is that there is no good nursery school in Garo Hills. If I am to say frankly in the whole of my Kharkutta Constituency, there is not a single nursery school of any kind. At Mendipathar also only few nursery schools are there. So, Sir, my special appeal to the Government is that maximum stress should be given to this stage of education so that our children are nursed and trained in a sound way, scientific manner and psychological way for their educational growth in future. In this regard, I would also suggest to the Government that teachers, not unqualified teachers but highly qualified teachers, should be appointed in nursery schools and for them training schools should be opened in Meghalaya because we do not have any Montessori or kindergarten training school in Meghalaya. So I would suggest to Government that it is high time to open this sort of training school for the nursery teachers. Again, Sir, teachers must be paid according to their educational qualifications. At present, they are given unattractive salary even at the rate of Rs.50.00 per mensem. They are also given salaries at the end of the year and for the whole year they have to suffer. How will they maintain themselves? The are like mothers who nurse our children in the school. Their case must be considered sympathetically. Sir, Again I would like to suggest to the Government to create good atmosphere for the children in the schools. There must be a scheme for feeding of the children and also nice equipments for play things and teaching also.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to Industry Regarding the question of industrial development in Meghalaya, I remember the Government is coming forward with a sound industrial development policy. But in so far Sericulture is concerned the scheme has not been implemented in a big way. Sir, what is the advantage of spending lakhs of rupees for this Department when there is no return, no revenue even though this department is going to be popularised in our State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is my humble submission that schemes have been undertaken by the department to expand the mulberry cultivation. But I may be permitted to say that in Garo Hills, this particular scheme or policy on mulberry cultivation has failed and it will fail also. Therefore, Sir, I feel that this scheme of mulberry cultivation should be dropped in Garo Hills and in it space Castor trees cultivation should be encourage in a big way. Again Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is another vegetation I do not know what they call in Garo language, in Assamese they called "Muga gash". In English I do not know what is the technical term (laughter). I call it "Muga Tree". Muga Tree cultivation must be encouraged by way of giving help to the individual Muga rearers.
Now, I will refer to the development of silk industry in Garo Hills. As you know, Sir, the Garo people are very interested in the cultivation of mulberry plant, and in rearing of muga and eris. In this respect I would like to say that nothing has been mentioned in the Governor's Address for the development of muga and eris. If we can give importance to the rearing of mug and eri skill worms in Garo Hills, I have not doubt it will bring very encouraging returns every year. So, Sir, in this regard, I would suggest that we should make a very realistic approach to the development of this industry. Therefore, I would suggest to the Government that some financial help should be given to the people in Garo Hills who are very much interested in the cultivation of Muga and eri silk.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, quickly I am coming to the issue of contiguous areas in the Garo Hills and Goalpara district of Assam. I am at one with those hon. friends who have already mentioned about this and briefly I would like to say that this is really a burning problem among the Garos and Khasis living in the border with Goalpara and Kamrup district contiguous the Meghalaya. Here in the Governor's Address we have seen that the two Governments, i.e., Meghalaya and Assam are going to sit together to solve the problem of border issue in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills. In the same way, I would suggest to the Government that these two Government should also sit together and find out ways and means to solve the problem and to help the people who are helpless and now who are at the hands of the Assam people. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to the creating more administrative units, districts and more Sub Divisions. I am also at one with my friends who have spoken about this and in this respect, I would suggest to the Government that the present Subdivisional Headquarters of Nongstoin and Simsangiri should be subsequently turned into districts and the new Subdivision at Nongpoh and Mendipathar are to be created for the welfare of the people. I welcome it policy and while appreciating it, I would request the Government to implement this decision early. With these few words, I resume my seat.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Mr. W. Syiemiong.
SHRI WINSTONE SYIEMIONG (Nongspung S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in the debate on the Governor's Address, what impressed my mind so much is that after two to three times reading, what I found is that after all the entire context is not so interesting but it makes rather a dull reading. I find that from paragraph 1 to paragraph 25 of this entire context nowhere is an indication, investigation or request soliciting the active co-operation of the people where we as a democracy cannot function without active participation of the people. As a matter of fact, whatever it may be the Government policy, its aim and good wishes, I am afraid it will be nullified if the people cannot co-operate. Here we find the Government has failed to fulfill its aim and I don't know whether the Government has forgotten its own people or it is some sort of an autocratic Government - his is very significant.
Another point that I should like to streets here it that nowhere is mentioned about the help and facilities to our youths. Sports as we know form a very important subject which build up the character of the youths. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is rather surprising to know that nothing has been mentioned about sport activities, not in a single paragraph or in a single line in the Governor's Address. Another point is that nowhere it was mentioned about our culture. I think and believe everyone will agree with me that one of the foremost reasons for fighting our Hill State is to maintain and retain our district culture. But what we find here no mention is made about culture. Again, there is mention only of development but no achievement at all, except in paragraph 13 on page 7 where there are some results in the field of agriculture.
There is no claim for any achievement. I do not know why after 2 years of Autonomous status and one year of full-fledged Statehood, we find in the Governor's Address only "with a view to" probable as many as 18 times it has been stated "with a view to", "with a view to" and "with a view" to in almost everything. I do now know whether the Government is doing everything with a view to dreaming a lot perhaps.
What is needed is that they should come out with some thing a bit specific otherwise the whole thing would become superfluous.
Now coming to another point i.e., at paragraph 15 it has been stated that the Government with a view to keep in check raise in price Government has promulgated the Meghalaya Food Stuff Control Act, 1972. I congratulate the Government for such promulgation. But what is the result of this promulgation. As we know, during last December the price of ordinary rice was about Rs.123 per quintal but within the span of two or three months it has gone up to Rs.133 per quintal. Then another important commodity, i.e., mustered oil. During December-January it was Rs.84 per tin but now it has gone up to Rs.88 per tin. With regard to other commodities I need not mention here and I believe anybody can checkup from his own family and know what is the condition. So in spite of promulgation from the Government the aqua state of affairs remains the same.
Then another point that is what the Government has stated about educational policy. I appreciate very much that stress has been given on the qualitative growth of education and it has proposed to set up Board of Education its own. But, I am afraid, that will not be sufficient. What is imperative is that there should be long term educational policy to suit our genius and needs and that was one of our solemn pledges in struggling for a separate Hills State. But it appears that the Government has totally forgotten their promise. Simply mentioning about the qualitative growth of education would not be sufficient. Who will not want this qualitative growth of education? Even the most backward States in Africa or Latin America would want it. But what is necessary is that there should be some long term policy, e.g., right from now there should have been proposal for setting up of an Engineering College either at Tura or at Jowai or a Medical College in either of the places if not is Shillong. Our students regarding always outside the State is not advisable. We have seen only on the other day that some students belonging to minority community had to flee to West Bengal in the wake of language riots in Assam. Although I am not pessimistic but who knows the same fate would not be in case of out student also? Therefore, I would like to impress upon the Government that there should be a long term educational policy.
The next point is about the Meghalaya Police Force. Our Police Force is very small and hardly one year ago it has come into being but it has not been modernised. In the near future, if we shall have to raise 10/15 more battalions, I believe it would be difficult then to modernise it. So, at this present juncture we should modernise the Police Force and I hope it would be a better Police Force than that of many other States. Otherwise I am afraid, it will be branded as a notorious force as in the case of Assam Police. Rightly or wrongly it is my opinion that our Police Force totally failed to tackle the holocaust occurred on 23rd February. Moreover, the Police should have been always on their guard to check all kinds of corruption. It is to my surprise that most of the C.I.D. personnel are roaming about within the Assembly Premises. Why not they go to Bara Bazar or Polo Ground where gambling's (and all vices) are so rampant? Instead they are keeping a close watch on M.L.As.
Now, it has also been stated with regret that the border with regret that the border with Bangladesh had been a seen of occasional clashes and the matter was brought to the Government of India promptly for action. While I congratulate the Government for such prompt action, at the same time I would urge upon like Assam Rifles or we may increase the strength of our Meghalaya Police Force. One or two battalions we may keep for the local need at Shillong and others can go to border. We cannot depend entirely on the B.S.F. which belongs to the Central Government. I hope the Government will look into this.
I would also congratulate the Government for its definite statement that the measures undertaken by the Government have borne some results so far as agricultural blocks are concerned. But at the same time I would like to remind the Government that there had been acute scarcity of fertilizers in the last year and if it continues in the next year also, I am afraid we will not be able to make much headway in respect of agriculture. In the Governor's Address it has been stated that there is no scarcity of fertilizers viz. Ammonium Sulphate. But in fact Ammonium Sulphate is not available. I myself along with Mr. Jormanick Syiem form the Ruling Party and Mr. Edward Kurbah have to spend 2/3 days to get it.
So far as the Shillong Municipality is concerned, as many of the hon. Members have stated, I do not know why the Government cannot finalise the delimitation of the Shillong Wards up-till now. Whereas the delimitation of the constituencies could be completed within a very short period before the general election. I hope the delimitation of the Shillong Municipality will be completed expeditiously.
Now in paragraph 14, there is a programme in connection with Block Agencies. Although this is a very good programme, the amount allotted to them it too meagre. In most of the Blocks only one lakh has been allotted. This is simply insufficient for the requirement, and if we are going to disburse these grants we must disburse them properly and efficiently. For example, from the 10 applicants, only one applicant will get although all the 10 applicants are genuine. And if a man requires Rs.100 he will be given Rs.50 only, so what is he supposed to do with it. Another points is that, we should see that after giving these grants, an officer must be deputed to check up whether these grants are utilised properly or not. Leaving only to the people, I think, will not be of very much help. So with these few words, Sir, thank you.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Mr. Dlosing Lyngdoh.
SHRI DLOSING LYNGDOH :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion of thanks moved by the hon. Member from Mylliem to the Governor's Address with all the strength at my command. I have no hesitation in saying that the progressive policy of the Government, aiming to remove poverty, illiteracy and disease is welcomed by all. Since the time is very short, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will tough only a few points.
Coming to the Commission for the land reform in Khasi Hills as projected at page 12, para 22 of the Governor's Address, I am very grateful for the bold decision of the Government in this matter for the interest of the common men. There existing land tenure system in Khasi Hills is a very good one in the olden times when population was small and the human wants are less. But now everything has increased in the geometrical progression while land remain the same. It is a fact that the relationship between the Khasis and their land is close as that between flesh and blood. It is also a fact that the Khasi people are very sensitive and also very curious about land. However, Sir, in the present day, as I have said before, it is absolutely necessary for land reform for the betterment and the socio-economic standard of the people in the Khasi Hills. In the two districts of Meghalaya, Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills, as we all know, they have already gone ahead with this land reform. Since the Khasis are very conservative in nature, as regards land reform, I may appeal to the Government through you, Sir, to tackle this matter in a very soft way. At present, there are many classifications of land in Khasi Hills such as Ri Raj, Rikynti, Ri Seng and so on and so forth. Ri Raj lands according to the customary practices of the Khasis, are managed by the Village Durbar, but now, Sir, I think it is no more. Everybody, specially in my Constituency (Umroi Constituency) everybody claims acres and acres of land for compensation without permission and knowledge of the Village Durbar or headman. Everybody puts a peg here and the and claims that the area is his and the Government paid high compensation for that land. Sir, as regard Rikynti land the customary practices is that that leader of the family, or the maternal uncle, whom we call in Khasi the Rangbah 'Kur' is the one who looked after the Rikynti land. But now Sir, this custom is being neglected and instead of the Rangbah Kur, the Paduh or the husband of the youngest daughter of the family seems to be in authority which is against the customs of the Khasis. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, land reform is the question of the day and it is absolutely necessary for the betterment of the people in Khasi Hills. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our cultivators are the people who have got land but they cannot get any Government assistance due to lack record of rights. In the modern society it is not possible to recognise the right the land owner specially in the country-side of the Khasi Hills because no one has got the record of rights with him over the land. That is why the Government cannot extend technical advice or any financial help such as housing loan, agricultural loans or grants, industrial loans or help such as housing loan, agricultural loans or grants, industrial loans grants whatsoever. It is not possible to give assistance to the cultivators in the country-side because tiller may not get the fruits but somebody else or the so-called Zaminder may claim the land and all this help will not be beneficial to the littler of the soil, but the Zaminder. So, Sir, land reform is absolutely necessary in Khasi Hills so that we can catch up with the other districts of Meghalaya in economic and social standards. Sir, may I read here the words of Mr. Bierut, the then Premier of Poland, which say "we should never forget that the grater part of our agricultural production comes, and for a considerable period will continue to come from individual peasants. To increase the speed of agriculture development we must therefore give more assistance in the form of export advice, equipment and suppliers, to private farmers". Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation once said "India lives in her villages, not cities. When I succeed in ridding the villages of their poverty have won Swaraj. To a people finishing and idle the only way in which God can dare appear to work and promise of food and wages". Henry George, an American Economist and the Author of a book entitled "Progress and Poverty", says "Land reform had always meant that the soil and the fruits thereof should belong to those who titled it".
The hon. Member from Jaiaw has made a remark that some people wanted to use this land reform matter as a political issue in this district. I will not repeat it. But I may be allowed to read the words of the World Council of Churches when referred to India.
"It is clear that the average villager, Hindus, Muslim or Christian, will support any party which promise some immediate economic relief". Land reform is, therefore, the basis of all economic progress. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us be fair to this subject of land reform which is a most important basis for the economic development of our State. I will not take much time Sir, as other hon. Members will take part in this debate but I will give only a few suggestions to the Government through you, Sir, to speed up the work of the Commission in this regard.
(1) To set up a Special Cell, which may be called the New Economic Policy or we may simply call it N.E. P. Department with efficient officers and staff and let these officers and staff be the pilgrims for this particular matter go to the nook and corner of the villages and let them collect the information for the better improvement of our land requirement. (Bell rang) I hope you will give me some more minutes, Sir.
(2) Let us equip with books and records dealing with Khasi Land Tenure System, the books which I may suggest that "Land Tenure System of the Bhoi written by Rev. Father Sngi Lyngdoh. With regard to Rikynti I suggest that the "Khasi laws" written by Mr. K. Cantlie I.C. S., be studied in this regard.
(3) To examine the Patta System now adopting by the Syiem of Mylliem. The Syiem of Mylliem in his good intention, has issued Patta to some parts of Shillong and Khanapara. The owners of these plots of land get benefits from the Government as other people do. So there are the most important things to be studied for implementation and (Bell Rang) improvement of the land system. And the last suggestion which I have to put through you, Sir, is to let the Commission submit its findings at an early date for the examination of this August House. With these few wards, Sir, I resume my seat.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Now Mr. Koch.
SHRI S.N. KOCH (Mendipathar) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank you for allowing me time to take part in the discussion on the debate on the Governor's Address. I took pain to go through it several time as because it is Governor's Address and I expected to find something new, but after going through this Address more than thrice, it is found that these documents cannot be called latter than an essay of the a high school student because in the Address of the Governor there is no policy in enunciated by the Government worth the name.
In the Address of the Governor, there should have been something mentioned about the new policies of the Government which they are going to take up in the days to come, i.e., during the financial year. Though the hon. Members in the Treasury Benches said about the policy I do not find here that there is any such policy. Here the Governor spoke about the budget commitments and objective for economic development like eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease. If someone goes through the Governor's Address, he, will find that it is absolutely zero. There is no mention of the specific schemes to be executed for removing poverty, illiteracy and disease. I do not know whether my taking part in the discussions will be at all beneficial. Last time also I took part in the discussion on the Governor's Address and several suggestions were made but I do not find that any of the suggestion has been accepted, because in a democratic set-up, the Government is by the majority and it is the views of the majority which gets weight and counted more. If the Government thinks so, I think the very system of convincing the Assembly for discussions will be useless if, I may be permitted to say, the suggestion the hon. members are allowed to be put forward any to discard if after words It will only be a waste of time waste of labour and waste of money. Everybody in the Government side also appreciated that there is acute unemployment problem is the State. But the Government, while speaking about unemployment, took more than a page referring to the absorption of the employees who are in the service those of the Government of Assam instead of saying about giving employment to those who are now living without any employment'. So, the Government seems to be the Government for a session of the people only. This is the Government for the people of creation class or group of persons only who already placed in a well of position. I do not know whether this Government can claim that is exists for the people the masses, for the poor and for the illiterates because this Government thanks only for the literate persons. They are definitely literate persons there who are already in the employment and so the Government has taken pain to speak about them in more than a page. The people who are not in employment are now reaming in the streets seeking employment from office to office and knocking at every door of the offices. They are going on submitting applications for posts and there are instances even graduates apply for the posts of peons. Such is the position obtaining now. But what is the Government trying to do for them. There is nothing in this documents and it is absolutely zero so far Government policy is concerned integrate to employment.
SHRI WILLIAMSON SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is desirable that the hon.. Member who speaks should be responsible when he refers to a matter. At page 5 it has been stated that my Government propose to set up a suitable machinery under a State-man-power officer for exploring further avenues of employment arranging for proper training and for ensuring follow-up action in regard to the schemes of employment generation. The existing machinery of employment directorate will continue to function with such strengthening as may by felt necessary." It will not be correct to say that we talk only about absorption. The question of providing employment to unemployed has not been lost sight of and it is being dealt write. The House should not be misled. It is always busy. I would, therefore, expect the Hon. Members to be factual and to base on the materials available in this Address of the Governor.
SHRI S.N. KOCH :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Hon'ble Chief Minister he clarified that the Government has a policy for employment of the unemployed. In paragraph 8 at page 5, it states that the problem of increasing unemployment particularly among the educated youth has been causing serious anxiety to my Government. Apart from continuing the special schemes for employment programme in rural areas, a crash employment scheme for educated unemployed persons has been sent to the Government of India of which I have made a motion earlier.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Sir, I wanted to come to this question but because of interruption I am to come now. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since the Ministers are at the helm of affairs of the State, they are definitely men of intellect. So instead of taking direct responsibility, they ended the whole matter by stating that schemes for giving employment to educated unemployed have been sent to the Government of India, so that the Government can take the plea when educated young people do not get any employment and ask the Minister, they can reply that they have sent the matter to the Government of India and shirk the responsibility.
SHRI W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will just again like to clarify to this. We have to get the assistance from the Government of India for financing the various schemes and it is not a fact that the Government is shirking its own responsibility. I would request the hon. Member to go through the entire address of the Governor and to come to certain definite conclusion. It is not at all desirable that while trying to blame the Government, responsible Member will simply choose one part or only the half portion of the subject that has been dealt with. I just hearing from my chamber when the hon. Member stated that there was no policy statement. But if the hon. Member goes through it properly, he will find as many as ten policy statements contained in the Governor's Address.
SHRI H.E. POHSHNA :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of order. While the hon. Member is giving his observations, does it mean that we will be dictated by what the Chief Minister wants?
CAPT. W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not a question of dictating. It is only a question of taking the opportunity for clearing the actual position. As the head of the Administration, if I do not take this opportunity to clarify the position then I think I will be failing in my duty.
SHRI S.N. KOCH :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Chief Minister has his time to reply afterwards instead of interrupting now because this type of interruption puts us in a difficult position. After all, as representatives of the people whatever we speak, we speak for the interest of the people and not for own interest. In any case, Sir, the Chief Minister state that there are policy statement. But he do not say which way the Government will proceed. We expect that there will be replies from the Minister concerned and that proposals will be put forward so that we can know which particular schemes for solution of the unemployment problem will be taken up by the Government. Now, Sir, apart from the question of this unemployment problem on which arose much controversy. I will not pursue this point, I would like to say about education.
Here in para 3 there is mention of eradication of poverty, illiteracy and disease. There is a question of driving away poverty illiteracy and disease from our society and that the Government will be adopting universal education in the age group of 6-11 By the end of 1975 and by the year 1980-81. In the age group 11-14 which the Government may call us policy statement. But my question is what are the steps the Government will take in the interim period. What Government is going to do as regards secondary education. The Government of Assam is going to take over the High Schools as the present set up of our education system is not serving our purpose. The main reason if we think over it is not far to seek. The Government is only giving some lump sum grants to the schools to pay the salaries of teachers as a result of which the school authorities are not getting qualified teachers. Teacher are being appointed only if they possess University Degree. So, naturally, there is a shortfall of teaching standards in our educational institutions. The only positive scheme given out is that the Government is going to establish an Education Board. I would like to know whether it is like the Assam Board of Secondary Education just to conduct examinations or whether it will be like the District Council's Boards for managing the L. P. Schools. In any case, mere setting up of an Education Board will not serve the purpose because during the British period we did not get opportunities by which we can educate our children. At the time of Assam Government the Government of Assam did not treat us on an equal footing for which the people of Meghalaya rose against the Government of Assam until they got a State of their own. At such the people of this new born State expect that something more would be done for them and not what had been done to them by the Government of Assam. If there is nothing new, can we call it policy statement in respect of education? The setting up of an Education Board as an administrative part ........... (Bell rang).
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Sir, because I interrupted by the Chief Minister for more than 5 minutes (laughter) I think some more time should be given to me. So, Sir, I would like to request the Government, through you, Sir, that if the Government has no immediate proposals to take over the Secondary Schools as being proposed by the Government of Assam, at least grants should be more liberal and not only giving lump sum grant of say, Rs.500 ad-hoc, Rs.200 library grant and Rs.300 building grant etc. By that amount neither the school authorities can construct a building nor can they pay to the teachers properly and in this way, actually in the areas in which there are educational institutions there also were are not a position to train up and teach our children in a way as we should have done. Moreover, on this education, during the last budget session. I spoke about scholarships for the non-tribal people because during the time of the Assam Government here is a provision of merit-cum poverty scholarships and as soon as Meghalaya came into existence aforesaid facilities was stopped. This hon'ble Chief Minister on being pointed out assured us during the last budget session that he would be looking into it.
Therefore, when he was at Tura some people met him when I was also present and at that time also the Chief Minister and that he world look into the matter and they would get the facility from the Government, if they got it clear. Through the Education Secretariat and the Chief Minister's residence is not more than a furlong but he could not look into this even within a year. When many students belonging to the non-tribal group were entitled to such facilities under Assam Government. I am surprised why the Government of Meghalaya could not extend the said facilities to this group of student of Meghalaya is coming into existence as full fledged State. The Chief Minister seems to have failed to keep his commitment he has made. So Sir, I request that Hon'ble Chief Minister to look into this and see that action is taken so that the non-tribal students get the benefit to merit-cum-means scholarships. After the creation of Meghalaya, it is the expectations of the people of the State irrespective of caste or community that whatever they were getting now they should get more but if they are deprived of facilities enjoyed earlier their feelings can be easily imagined.
Now, Sir, coming to economic development, I would like to say that last time we have spoken something on the regrouping of villages in Garo Hills but I do not know whether the Government has taken any steps so far.
CAPT. W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- It is mentioned in the Budget Session too.
*SHRI S.N. KOCH :- Yes, this time also it is mentioned and it is now the criticism against the Government throughout India that the Government is only paper Government but not the Government in practice. What I want to say is that Government should try to implement it in action and not merely by saying in paper and showing something to the people without executing anything afterwards.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Your time is up.
SHRI S.N. KOCH :- I may kindly be given two minutes more as I was interrupted. Now regarding Supply, I know that there is disparity between the rate of cement supplied from Assam Cement Factory, Cherrapunjee and cement purchased from Bihar. The Cement carried to Tura from Cherrapunjee cement factor cost at Rs.28 per bag were as cement purchased from Bihar at the Rate of Rs.16 per bag. Why this sort of disparity is going on and why Government could not realised it earlier and now the cement is being supplied to the contractors at the rate of 17½ and the Government is to pay about Rs.10 or Rs.8 form the State Exchequer per bag.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Mr. Koch, I told you, the time is up.
SHRI S. N. KOCH :- With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
SHRI DARWIN D. PUGH (Minister of State Education) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, With your permission I would like to make tow or three observations on what the hon. Member, from Mendipathar has referred to. Firstly, the hon. Member, referring to paragraph 3 of the Governor's Address has said that the Assam Government has taken over all High Schools and in this respect, I would like to point out that paragraph 3 talks of the extension of a free and Compulsory education to the children between the age group of 6 to 11 and age group of 6 to 14 by 1980-81. Naturally, this involves primary and secondary education and not, High School education and therefore, the statement made by the hon. members has absolutely no relevance. Secondly, he has mentioned the intention of the Government to constitute to Board of School Education and be has voiced doubts.
*SHRI FRANCIS K. MAWLOT (Nongstoin S.T.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification whether the Minister gives his replies as clarification and whether it is proper to give replies at this time.
SHRI DARWIN D. PUGH (Minister of State Education) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to be interrupted. I have taken your permission for clarification. Now, I consider that the hon. Member is making motion about a Board of School Education just being to hasty and impatient but if he reads the Address properly, he should have known that Bill is yet to be introduced in this Session, of this august House and at that time he should have taken an opportunity of discussion the nature of the Board. Then he has also alleged and charged that the commitment made by the Leader of the House concerning institution of Merit-cum-Poverty Scholarship has not been implemented and in this regard, I well only say that steps for constituting of this scholarship have not been taken and therefore, it is absolutely not correct. With these words I resume my seat.
MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER :- Now, Mr. Rabha.
SHRI MANINDRA RABHA (Tikrikilla) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very much pleased to participate in the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address moved by the hon. Member from Mylliem. Participating in this discussion, I would like to thanks to the Governor's Address moved by the hon. Member from Mylliem. Participating in this discussion, I would be implemented in the near future and that in why it is not clear how the Government will proceed in the near future and some points have been indicated of past history. What they have been indicated of past history what they have done so far last year, it is stated in this Address. I would just like to mention in page 3 Point No.5 in the Governor's Address regarding the boundary with Assam and Meghalaya which was mentioned as peaceful.
Though it was peaceful, but I know in my constituency what has happened on last 11th February, 1973. There was one dispute among the villagers of Moulakandi and the villagers of Goalpara District regarding the cultivated Boro paddy land measuring about 80 or 90 acres. Some of the people of the border district came and destroyed the Boro paddy of that village. This was an incident that happened there which broke the peace of the people of Garo Hills District and such incidents endangered our people. This was reported to the Police and before taking action by the police, the trouble was settled in a peaceful manner. I would like to refer in this case that there is likelihood of breaking of peace in these places. So precautionary measures should be taken in this regard. As pointed out by some of my colleagues, I like to sharer my view with them by those people who are residing in Assam especially the Rabha are very much concerning about their inclusion in Meghalaya, as they became disappointed with the Government of Assam not because of medium issue but because of some administrative disparities and for non-fulfillment of their demands, etc. That is why I like to request the Government to look into this matter so to see whether it would be possible to bring them to Meghalaya, I mean those Rabha people who are residing in the contiguous area of Meghalaya. (At this stage the Deputy Speaker left the Chamber and Shri S.D. Khongwir took the Chair). On point No.6, I like to refer, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that two new Subdivisions have been created, one at Simsangiri in Garo Hills District and the other at Nongstoin in Khasi Hills District. It is of course of matter of rejoice State. But I like to draw the attention that Government has proposed for creation of 4 new Subdivisions, few more administrative units and 2 more districts in the State during the next five years. I think our State which is comprised of only 3 districts, there is no further scope for creating two more districts in the State. If it is possible, in the near future, Government should look into the matter that the, Plains Mouzas of Garo Hills Districts should be formed into a district, as the people of that area are finding some difficulties to keep close contact with the District Council as it differs in respect of land reform measure and land tenure system with other parts of Garo Hills. So I like to suggest that if it is possible to create one more district comprising those Plain Mouzas in Garo Hills District with its headquarters at Tikrikilla it would be reasonable for better administration in the future. Mr. Chairman, Sir, at page 8 of paragraph 15, it has been stated that the State Government have also accepted the schemes for distribution of cheaper varieties of cloth through the Co-operative Societies. It is of course gratifying to note that the State Government and the Food Corporation of India have agreed to open godowns at various places in the State. This is also a matter of great pleasure. But in the matter of sugar distribution, I would like to inform the Government that in the Distribution, of Garo Hills, there was discriminatory treatment in the matter of distribution of sugar. So I would request the Government to take steps in this regard to reach sugar in my constituency as the public are always crying for sugar. As we are not receiving sugar from last January till today. So this should be taken note of.
In paragraph 17, in the field of industries, I would like to refer to small-scale industries in order to encourage sericulture, weaving and cottage industries. Of course the Government is thinking about setting up of more Institutions for absorption of the skilled people in the cottage industries and weaving, etc. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to motion in my constituency, Tikrikilla, most of the people are skilled in weaving and cottage industries. There are mostly Rabhas, Kacharis, Hajongs and Koches. So I would like to request the Government to set up one in that area. Mr. Chairman, Sir, in the Governor's Address, at page 12, gone back but the work of the Relief and Rehabilitation Department will continue for finalising accounts, setting pending matters and completing the rehabilitation of pre 1971 refugees who came from Bangladesh the is no necessity to keep the Relief and Rehabilitation Department just two years after their refugees who came before 1971. Of course most of them are living on cash doles and they are applying to the Government as they are not receiving these cash doles regularly. So I would like to request the Government to settle this immediately by providing 6 bighas of land per family or by giving Rs.6,000 per family as ex-gratia or loan. It is also correct that the Government is giving cash doles to these refugees right from 1964 to this day. So, I would like to request the Government to stop cash dole give them some kind of relief. At the same time I would also like to refer the flood affected areas in my constituency. Last year during the summer season some of the Minister was pleased to visit these places and he had extended some gratuitous relief to my people; but this relief came late and as it was given in term of seeds they could not be shown in time. As the result now the people are living in famine condition. Therefore, I would like to (At this stage, the Deputy Speaker left the Chamber and Shri S.D. Khongwir occupied the Chair) request the Government to look into the matter immediately for giving them some sort of gratuitous relief. With these few words, I resume my seat.
SHRI ROWELL LYNGDOH (Mawkyrwat S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to associate myself in the discussion on the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address moved by Mr. Jormanick Syiem. Going through the 25 paragraphs of the Address, I could find only 15 lines, of the aims and objectives which the Government has spelled out and if I am not mistaken, the Government are committed to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and disease. That is a very nice in, and No.2 - it proposes to settle the boundary of Mikir Hills and Jaintia Hills through mutual consultation with the Assam Government. No.3-it proposes to create four Subdivisions, a few administrative units and two more Districts. This is a very good aim on the part of the Government. No.4-it proposed to increase supply of liquor by granting more outs tills licensers. No.5-it proposed to create a number of additional posts at various levels to absorb the employees who are at present serving under the Government of Assam. No.6-it proposed to request the Central Government to consider the cash of tribal people for appointment in the Central Government to consider the case of tribal people for appointment in the Central office. That is a request only whether it will materialise or not is not known No.7-it proposed to have adequate provision in the Fifth Plan for border development. No.8-it proposed to entrust some developmental scheme to the District Council. No.9-it proposed to implement the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme with Life Insurance Corporation loan. No.11-it decided to take over in phase manner the Gauhati-Shillong Road. No.12-it proposed to set up Pharmacists' Training Schools. No.13-it proposed to start residential schools, No.14-it ensured to supply clean drinking water to each village. No.15-proposed to set up a Commission to study Land Reforms and land problems in the Khasi Hills. Mr. Chairman, Sir, out of these 15 lines of the aims and objectives which the Government has spelled out, I do not know which proposals the Government attached-more importance. Let us hope that drinking water in given preferences over outs tills.
MR. CHAIRMAN :- May I draw the attention of the Hon. Member, Mr. Pohshna, not to read news paper inside the House.
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am preparing my speech.
SHRI ROWELL LYNGDOH :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, apart from the above proposals there are many other burning issues of the day that the Government are silent in the Governor's Address about the Police Administration and its performance, corruption and its anti-corruption measures. There is also shortage of fertilizers which has been experienced by the people in the last few days ; people's participation with the Government ; and many other important subjects which are the burning issues of the day. On this and other points, the Government is silent as it will appear from the Governor's Address. But we all know, Sir, that the people of the State have been thinking and waiting for the moment when the new Government should do something on the Police Department and its administrator.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Government should have done something on this Police department in which the whole of the State are groaning about; by way of re-thinking and re-examination of the whole set-up to create such conditions and atmosphere, where Police are friends of the people and the custodians of law and order and the protectors the citizen. There should be a bold policy of the Government to eradicate corruption, partiality, discrimination. But it seems that the Government are still under control of some vested interest or some influential communities that it cannot judge by itself to do something for the betterment of the people. Sir, I have demanded that the Government should look into this matter and it evolve some plans or schemes by which this department can be reformed. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the hon. members of this august House will agree with me that there is corruption in our State. But whenever we refer to corruption the Government are asking for proof. But in this regard I would like to point out that even the Government which was armed with power and machineries and everything at its they expect others to give proof of corruption? We cannot deny and we cannot dismiss, Sir, that corruption exists in our State and that is the reason why developmental works cannot progress and there is no sign of clean administration. Sir, if we give indulgence to such practice, I think it will take only a few more years that the people with rise against this Government to tackle against the corruption which exist in the State of ours today.
Sir, I will come now to the question of fertilizer scarcity faced by the cultivators in the rural areas. Sir, the old distribution system which is very wrong indeed is still continuing this year also in spite of various objections raised during the last budget session. The Government should have evolve some procedure or ways and means by which distribution of fertilisers should reach the cultivators in the rural areas so that production of food-stuff and other necessaries of life is geared up every year. On this point the Government seems to be remaining silent because it does not want to give necessary fertilizers to the people. Again, Mr. Chairman, Sir, in the Governor's Address the Government is silent on most important points referred to by the hon. member, Mr. Syiemiong and that is about 'people's participation' in accordance with present democratic set up. It is strange to see that our people were not called for participation nor they were invited for any important matter. This silent on the part of the Government appears that the Government is anti-people, just because the Government is a Government of the leaders only. And I would urge the Government that if it is for the people, responsibility citizens of the State should be invited to participate in all Governmental and developmental activities.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, let me now refer to the rising prices mentioned in the Government's Address. As referred earlier by some of the hon. Members, the Government has only stated that it has issued the 'Promulgation of Food-stuff Control Order, 1972 and it seems as if any were satisfied with it. They do not bother to see whether the order is enforced or not and whether it is effective in all and every part of the State. Prices of essential commodities are still rising every day. There is no proper checking of the rising prices of food-stuff and other commodities in the whole State. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I feel that the Government should evolve some policy to check up the upward trend of prices from time to time. But as it is now, there is no sign of reduction ; prices are increasing higher and higher.
The Government is very much considerate and liberal as to ensure the supply of clean drinking water. Sir, we should not have expected to have a clean drinking water as stated in the Governor's Address. At least a suitable drinking water should be provided to every village. Any way, Sir, we are looking forward for the Government to fulfill its promise.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, though the Government has promised to give clean drinking water, it is strange that in every village in my constituency and other constituencies in the western parts of this District, people are very much suffering from water scarcity. Whenever people come to the P.H.E. Department with a request to help them in getting some supply of drinking water, there is no response, but they simply said it will be done. But it takes even many many years before the people come to know if their proposals have been accepted or rejected. For example, the Mawkyrwat Water Supply Scheme which have been proposed since last 5 years ago but it is not known whether the scheme. As the hon. member from Mawlai has stated the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme is not progressing in spite of lot of money has been spent. It may take another decade that the people will get drinking water. Therefore, Sir, it appears that the promise of the Government has no effect at all. It amounts to a lie, if you promise something which is not at all fulfilled.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, please allow me another one or two minutes. I would now briefly refer to the question of setting up a few more administrative units, Subdivisions and Districts as mentioned in the Governor's Address. In this particular case I would refer to one elaka, the Maharam Elaka which is integrated in the Nongstoin Subdivision. The demand from the people is that a new Civil Subdivision should be created comprising of many elakas in that a new Civil Subdivision should created comprising of many elakas in that area. This point I think the Government should take into consideration. Sir, I may refer again to the employment problems. I understand that the employees in A.G's and some Central Offices will immediately have to shift to Gauhati and it is very unfortunate that our employees, the tribal employees, (Khasi community, most of them) have to go down to Gauhati. It is therefore, requested that the Government of Meghalaya should request the Government of India to retain all the Khasi communities who are now serving in the A.G's office of the Meghalaya branch so that they will remain in Shillong. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
PROF. ALEXANDER WARJRI (Mawkhar S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I stand to support the motion of tanks given to the Governor's Address Indeed it is a very long Address and it contains a lot of informations. To me these are more news. The Governor in his Address has enumerated various accomplishment of the Government during the last one year. To me it is really surprising that such great achievements have been accomplished by this Government since the birth of a new State. The Governor also in his Address has elaborately enumerated the number of problems that are facing our new State, and I believe with the speed the works that were accomplished in the past year, these problems would also soon be solved. In my speech today, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to touch only some points.
First of all, as an educationist who has been in the teaching line for about 25 years, my main observation would be mainly on education. At first I would like to congratulate the Government for the honest efforts it has made to bring about the University - the Indira Gandhi University for the Hill people. It was the long cherished dream of the Hill people to have this Central Hill University. I join with the Hill Governor in offending our sincere thanks to the Nagaland Assembly which has passed a resolution thus enabling the Bill to be placed in both House of Parliament. During this session I would also like to express my congratulation and thanks to our Chief Minister who had left no stone unturned in order to bring about this. During the last session we were really at a loss when the Assam Government backed out and we also did not know what to do because the Bill that was to be placed before the Parliament was not according to our expectation. I remember in my speech I bitterly criticised the Government of India and I regarded it as an act of betrayal to the Hills people. Much water has flows between then and now. Through our Chief Ministers negotiation and diplomacy the Bills with the amendments, as suggested by us, is now going to be placed before the Lok Sabha. The bill in its present form is really welcoming and it has removed much of doubts.
First of all regarding the jurisdiction, through in the Governor's Address it has been stated the North-Eastern Region, yet according to our demand during last session it has excluded Tripura and Assam. As it is now the jurisdiction of University has been made specific. It will cater only to the needs of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal.
Secondly, I would like to come to the most important aspect, that is about teaching staff. Since we have no people to man and University in the teaching line at present, they should come from outside on contract basis. This, as I am made to understand has already been incorporated in the Bill itself. I have a firm belief that after 5 or 10 years our young boys and girls, after having qualified themselves would be able to man the University. A most gratifying scheme also had adopted by the State Government by which already a few young students had been sent elsewhere to get themselves preparing in research studies in order to get the degree required for teaching in the University. One point I would like to bring out for the Government to consider. That the Government should also encourage the professor of the existing local colleges to take up research studies with a view to preparing themselves in order to get Ph.D. Degree for themselves. These professor need not leave their colleges, they can still continue teaching but at the same time within three years they could complete their research and qualify themselves for Ph.D. Degree and this should enable them to teach also in the University. All that the Government should do is to offer them a yearly scholarship or a yearly grant of pay Rs.1, 000 and that they should submit from time to time their work to be checked by the Government. This is not a new thing. It has already been done in Assam by the Assam Government some years ago. In fact, the first tribal Ph.D. Degree holder who got Ph.D. degree in History, did his study in this way. He got a grant each year from the Assam Government and within 3 years he was able to complete his Ph.D. Degree. Then another thing also I would like to request the Government through you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, is that the Government should see that the non-teaching post in the University should be filled up by our own people right from the registrar to the peon. It should be filled up by the people of these hills. I do not say it should be only for the Meghalaya and, but it should be by the people of these hills to which the jurisdiction of this University is being specified and thus solve the employment problem of these hills.
Then next to the University, I would like to speak something on the Board of Education. In page 10 page 18, it is said like this "It is proposed to set up a Board of School Education for the State. The Government have accepted national objective to introduce universal education in the age group 6 to 11 by 1975-76 and in the age group 11 to 14 by 1980-81. I congratulate the Government for this proposal which I believe will soon be materialised. Compulsory and universal education (Bell rang). Just a few minutes Mr. Chairman, Sir, Compulsory education is a must, if we are to progress. Education is the foundation of a real democracy. The progress of our young State depends very much on the progress of education in the State. If our State is to become a shining out-post of North Eastern India and a path of beauty and grace, this must be achieved. But all this cannot be achieved if we neglect education or make it a thing of secondary importance. Now what about technical know-how form outside? Should we not send our young boys and girls to get training in various lines or better still is it not time for us to open vocational training centres in various parts of Meghalaya in order to have these industries. Before opening up these industries, I think we should open industries which would produce not finished good and articles, but we should open first industries and centres to produce skilled artisans (Bell rang) and therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to take up this first, as it is most importance before we bring any industry to the State of Meghalaya. I am sorry I have many other points to talk about, but since the time will not allow, I will resume my seat.
SHRI H. ENOWELL POHSHNA (Nongtalang S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, while taking part in the debate, I would like to read the last portion of the Governor's Address - I wish all of you and the people you represent all happiness and prosperity and hope that your deliberation s in the House will fruitfully contribute towards achievement of our declared goals". Sir, these are the best wishes of our Governor for every Member who is participating in this debate. But taking into consideration the 13 pages for a member to speak only 15 minutes, Sir, it is really very very critical on my part. What shall I say and what shall I not say in so short a time. What here to submit to your ruling. Some of our hon. Members have spoken as said that at present, it appears this Address is very dry Many times our Ministers are not here, many times the hon. Members of the Ruling Party and sometimes we also use to go outside. It appears that the debate is very very dull. Anyway, Sir, I will come to the first point, and that is regarding our Meghalaya being situated in the border of foreign country, i.e., Bangladesh. We have got some internal preambles which I would request the Chief Minister to say that the security of the people should always be in a safe condition. Sir, our borders are being guarded by the Border Security Force. In spite of the fact that the entire borders have been sealed on both sides, cattle lifting and other acts of theft as admitted by the Government in this Address - occasional clashes always occurred in our border, Sir. Therefore as one of the Hon. Members suggested, we should not leave the security of the border to be defended by the border Border Security Force alone but we should also have our own force to see that the security of the people living in the border areas is protected. Only on one occasion, Sir, that is last week, in spite of the sealing of the border on the 14th of the month, one day before the sitting of this House, an Officer-in-charge of the Muktapur Police Force, he himself crossed the border. Our people could not cross the border, but the police force can cross as thy like. He was caught by the Border Security Force but after 2 or 3 hours he was released for reasons unknown to us, Sir.
When the Chief Minister is here, I sometimes get nervous because he always demands for particulars and instances. It is very very difficult for us to get the particulars and instances because even Government with all the force of Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries and Special Offices cannot give definite instances of the measures they are taking in the Governor's Address. I take this matter to be an instance that the Muktapur Police Beat House should be properly guarded. On the other hand, Sir, Meghalaya is also a Border State. There are in our State money lenders who could move freely and land money at very high rate of interest. These people are interested in money lending only. They are outsiders and troubles have occurred for the sake of these outsiders, and there are some of them who are supposed to be the child lifters. There had been some clashes also between the police and the public disturbing the peace of the State and they were the cause of it.
Secondly, our State also happened to be in the North Eastern Council. We have go t many problems which are inter-State problems. We have the NEC here and we have every right to make demands for more employment and for more posts for the tribal people because the North Eastern Council itself emerged by the only with the creation of the State of Meghalaya. But through the North Eastern Council had been established here, the fruits of labour of our Chief Minister and other Minister had gone to other s in spite of the fact atta there is a need for demand for more employment of the local people in the North Eastern Council. We have got also m any inter-State problems as has been mentioned by many Members from Garo Hills. Last time I happened to be in Delhi and I met some Garo friends from Goalpara and Kamrup districts. They wanted to make a representation to the Prime Minister and they stayed there for one or two days. I do not know for how many days they actually stayed there. When asked, they told me that the could not even get chance to meet the Prime Minister and that they came from the contiguous areas of Meghalaya and Kamrup. I understand that they could simply present their memorandum without meeting the Chief Minister .................................... (Voices .................... Prime Minister!)
I like the Chief Minister very much and so naturally it comes out.
I am glad Sir, that the Governor has mentioned about the difficulties our people living in the borders of Mikir Hills and North Cachar Hills. These difficulties will always be mentioned on the floor of the House. The problems of the Garo people living the contiguous areas of Kamrup district and the problems of the Jaintia living in Mikir Hills will always be mentioned in Governor's Speech and it may probably mentioned in the Budget Speech which will be will be made the next Session. But, Sir, that will be a mere mention of the problems and difficulties of our people, our kith and km and our family members and our relations, and it is nothing but a lip service only just to console the people who are suffering. Anyway, it has been mentioned here that the problems will be settled by mutual understanding. Yes, understanding is there. Our Chief Minister understand the problems of these people. The Chief Minister of Assam also understand the problems of those people. But how far this policy of solving these problems by mutual understanding can be made. We happen to be in a country which uses of solve the problems of the people through agitation, which uses to solve the problems of the people through agitation, through police firing and some demonstrations and hartal and through direct action and so on and so forth. I do not, however think that this policy of solving problems through mutual understanding will continue to serve in future.
Now, due to the shortage of time, I will come to the internal problems of the State itself. The Governor in his Address at page one said "My Government are committed to the objective of economic development and eradication of poverty, illiteracy and dieses." This is the commitment of the Government and in the last page also the Governor said some thing like this - "My Government are committed to the objective of elimination of poverty and ensuring growth of the State towards prosperity, well-being and all-around development of Meghalaya. This is really a great commitment and I congratulate the Chief Minister and his Cabinet for this great commitment. But perhaps it may have been better for them not to have made this commitment because the problem of this new State is such a colossal one that it really very difficult to make such a Commitment. Of course, the sound of commitment is very nice. But inspite of the Commitment, it is said that the actual achievement of these objectives will depend on the availability of resources and the ultimate size of the plan. The commitment of the Government depends upon the size of the Fifth-Five year Plan. But what is the size of the Fifth-Five year Plan? We do not know about the uptil now. It is under preparation, as we have been told. One of the grates problems, Sir, we have to face today is perhaps poverty and unemployment. The Governor has mentioned about it many times and he said that the Government realised it and that the State Government is aware of the situation and the temporary set-back to the economy that may be caused due to the shifting of the Assam capital from Shillong and that it may add to the serious situation of the unemployment problem of our people. But what is this employment? In Jaintia Hills, they say that to get an employment in the Government they should joint the ruling party and some of them even compelled the members of HSPDP to join it. They say that if one is to be really effective in work, in developmental activities and in speeches in the Assembly, one should join the Ruling Party. In the last District Council elections, it had been said that unless one joins the ruling party, there is no hope for getting any post of teachers in the District Council L.P. Schools and this saying has been really put into effect. In the last elections, they invited to come and joint the primary units of the APHLC and said that grants would be given through the recommendations of the primary units of the APHLC. The people were thus compelled to join the ruling party against principles and against conscience. The Chief Minister may be displeased that I said like that. But it is really a fact and it actually happened.
SHRI W.A. SANGMA (Chief Minister) :- On a point of clarification may I know from the hon. Member whether I have ever asked any HSPDP member to join my party? Have I ever asked anybody ? It is unfair to make such a wrong statement on the floor of the House.
SHRI H. E. POHSHNA :- I did not say that the Chief Minister has said that but that has been said somewhere by some members of the Cabinet.
Another thing I want to say is that it appears that our Government is very machine minded. For every scheme and for every programme, whether it is in respect of administration or otherwise, we have to set up machinery - an administrative machinery. In the first page they said like this - "Members are aware that on the statement of full Statehood and on the transfer of Shillong Municipality and Cantonment of Meghalaya on the 21st January, my Government have initiated various measures to strengthen the administration with a view to equipping the administrative machinery. This is the first machinery. Secondly, when they stated that my government are seized of the problems regarding absorption of the tribal employees from Assam ... due to the shortage of time I will come to the paragraph taking into consideration the requirement for expansion of administrative machinery. Another machinery Sir, whereby Government propose to create a number of additional posts at various levels which will solve the problem to some extent by another administrative machinery. (Bell rang) Then I come to another machinery besides administrative machinery. To solve "the problem of increasing unemployment particularly among the educated youths had been causing serious anxiety to my Government". "My" Government propose to set up a satiable machinery (Laughter) under a Statement power officer for exploring further avenues of employment". They machine minded. Then another machinery, Sir, 'While Government have initiated measures for important machinery for Planning and Development in the State, the assessment of the administrative machinery and other relevant facts with a view to implement..." I am afraid, Sir, that they have got so many Machines; there will be accidents (Laughter) of machineries. We do not want Government to mansion (Bell rang).
MR. CHAIRMAN :- Your time is up- More than up.
SHRI H. E. POHSHNA :- And if I stand like this as there are so many things to be said will you ask the marshal to take me out? Perhaps I, should request the protection or the help of the Chief Minister (Laughter). At least another 10 minutes.
MR. CHAIRMAN :- You have already exhausted your 'machineries'. Now I cal upon Mr. Nongtdu.
SHRI ONWARDLEYS WELL NONGTDU (Sutnga S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address as moved by hon. Member from Mylliem. I would also like to make certain observations. We see the page 3 of the Governor's Address.
SHRI H.E. POHSHNA :- On a point of order Mr. Chairman, Sir, thank I have 3 minutes more.
MR. CHAIRMAN :- No you have taken 17 minutes.
SHRI H.E. POHSHNA :- Then excuse me, Sir, (Laughter).
SHRI ONWARDLEYS WELL NONGTDU (Sutnga S.T.) :- Page 3 of Governor's Address kestifiles the Government's determination to fight the three enemies of our State, and in that matter, o f humanity in general and also there is the determination of the Government to remove the imbalance of income between the different areas, in other words, connection of wealth and grater attention shall be paid to the more backward areas of the State and in this regard, Sir, at page 6 of the Governor's Address mention has gigantic measure taken to help our brethren in the border areas. It is said that an amount of then more then Rs.28 lakhs has been spent for the welfare of the border people during the current financial year. In this connection, I wish to say that it is not a matter of every but a matter of fact if I am to express that the Government of India as well as that of this State have tried their level best to help our brethren in the border areas But, Sir, though they are not complete or enough as human needs and problems too many and complex, I feel that I shall be failing in my duty if I do not mention here that there are other areas in State which suffer as much as that of the border people or perhaps more. For instance, the people of Saipung area, called the Biates or those of Umroi or Mawhati areas suffer more than that of our brothers in the border areas. I may be allowed to mentioned here Sir, that these people, especially the Biates of the Saipung area for two or three months in a year have to live on wild leases and roots of wild plants. Therefore, Sir, I would urge upon the Government so pay due attention to these areas hand in hand with that of the people in the border areas. I am also happy to see that at page 4 of the Governor's Address there is mention to create more subdivisions, administrative unit and districts in the State. In this regard, I wish to point out, Sir, that though Jaintia Hills District is sparsely populated but its area is vast enough and it is a fact that Jowai, which is a District Headquarter, is nearer to the western end of the district and far far away from the scattered villages of the eastern parts. In fact, Sir, if the villagers want to go to the District Headquarter, they have to walk on foot for 2 or 3 days in order to reach Jowai. Therefore, I feel Sir, if the administration is to be brought closer to the people if the Government officials are to met the people from day to day discuss their problems and find out what they actually require, at least one subdivision and one administrative unit should be opened in the Jaintia Hills District within a period of 5 years. I believes the Government it will study the problems of the Jaintia people and consider their problems in right earnest.
With regard to the problem of unemployment mentioned at page 5 of the Governor's Address, I wish to point out that the Jaintia district, has been created only recently, and the people of Jaintia Hills are very grateful t the Government for this. But, Sir, if the Government is to help the educated youths of the Jaintia Hills District, I fell that more District Offices, such as the District Transport Office, the Civil Surgeon's Office and other offices should be opened immediately and while appointing staff in these offices preference may be given to the local educated youths so that not only helping the people to save tie and money from coming to Shillong but also to help solve the unemployment problem to a great extent.
With regard to Crash Scheme mentioned in the Governor's Address, I find that is good enough to helping our rural people who are out o employment for a number of mouths in a year. But it is regretted that few Development Blocks have utilised very little of the money sanctioned for the current financial year and one of the Blocks have no utilised the money at all. It is only fair, I believe to the spirit of the scheme and for helping the poor rural people to utilise the money properly and fully within the current financial year. I believe that the Government should take necessary action to see that the Blocks implement the schemes well in time. It is also gratifying to see that the Government is seized the problem of scarcity of food and clean drinking water for the rural people of the State. I may be allowed to mention here one particular village in Jaintia Hills, Sir, mainly Shangpung village which is one of the biggest villages in Jaintia Hills is suffering very much from the acute scarcity of good and clean drinking water. So I would request the Government to see that this particular villages in Jaintia Hills well get good and clean drinking water within the next financial year. With these few words, as I said earlier, I support the motion of thanks moved by the hon. Member.
(At this stage, Mr. S.D. Khongwir vacated and Mr. D.D. Lapang took the Chair )
*SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM (Mynso Raliang S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, while associating myself with the motion of thanks moved in this House. I have some observations and suggestions on some of the portions of the Governor's Address. First of all Sir, I draw your attention to paragraph 5 were it was stated that by and large the State boundary with Assam was peaceful. Sir, I would like to bring to your notice that it seems that this is a very wrong information given by the Government. Actually, so far as the boundary with Assam is concerned it is not peaceful and people living in the border areas, especially in the boundary with Mikir Hills, are now in a state of unrest. We have learned last year something about this and that steps have been by the Government to bring amicable settlement of the boundary dispute in the State but nothing has come out up till now even after a lapse of one year. But we can see that only two meetings were held at the Minister's level. Therefore, I would like to suggest to the Government, especially the Chief Minster, to kindly pursue the matter steadily, firmly and vigorously to expedite this important, I mean not only important, but vary critical matter in so far as the boundary with Mikir Hills is concerned.
Secondly, I would like to draw your attention to the proposed creation of two more districts in the State. At page 4, I would like to remind you, Sir, that last year one district has been created namely Jaintia Hills District. But it is regrettable to tell you that uptil now a District as it ought to be, has not been fully up to the mark. So what I want to say Sir, is that when the District offices were created there, to expedite the matter so that the people of a newly born District of Jaintia Hills will enjoy full privilege due to them in their district. At present, Sir, even for registration of vehicles and paying tax by the vehicles owners and other things people will have to run to Shillong, and also to add insult to injury even the telephone connection given to the District Transport Officer was detached and for that reason we have come to Shillong and incur expenditure for coming and going from Jaintia Hills to Shillong for that simple purpose.
Now, if we turn to paragraph 8, we will find something stated about the employment policy of the Government. As stated by the hon.. Member earlier, this was based on quota and percentage basis - 40 for the Garos, 40 or the Jaintia and 15 per cent probably for absorption of those tribals now how under Government of Assam who are going down to Gauhati with the shifting of the Capital and if I am correct, Sir, 5 per cent reservation for the non-tribals. What I would like to point out and suggest to the Government is that since we have got our own District in Jaintia Hills, a specific quota for the Jaintia or Pnars should be given as was allotted to our friend in Garo and Khasi Hills.
Paragraph 10 tells us something of the proposal of the Government to entrust some development schemes to be implemented by the District Councils and we have experienced earlier in the road construction work that no such scheme was entrusted to the District Council, no provision has been made for payment of land compensation. I would like to cite has been a specific instance about what the District council took up in the implementation of construction of Pasyih-Mawkynsniah-Boroto Road. Nothing has been provided for land compensation along that Road and up till now, nothing has been submitted by the land owners. So, I would request the Government, that in matters of road construction, to see that a specific amount is sanctioned and allotted for land compensation.
In paragraph, 14, Sir, we have the repetition of the improvement of the three towns in the Sate since last year. Sir, this has been mentioned in the Governor's Address and implemented after the end of one year. I would, therefore, request the Government to kindly take special steps, and if possible, special interest in the implementation of the scheme regarding development of these three towns, Shillong, Tura and Jowai.
In paragraph, 13, Sir, gives us the policy of the Government agriculture. I would like to bring to the notice of the Government Sir, that nearly all feasible low marshy lands in Jaintia Hills had been converted into wet paddy lands. But now I say that we have no more feasible low lands for paddy cultivation for wet land paddy cultivation. Now, Sir, I would request the Government at least to experiment something by having a system of lift irrigation. Then I hope that will solve the problem of paucity of wet land cultivation Jaintia Hills.
In paragraph, 15, Sir, we find that the Government have initiated a policy of checking the rise in prices. May I remind the Government through you, Sir, that unless public co-operation is forthcoming, nothing can be done. So I would request the Government to see whether committees like Vigilance Committees and other committees can be formed with some powers invested in them so that these committees we help the Government in attaining the objectives so far initiated by them.
Again, Sir, in paragraph 18, it was mentioned that the Government propose to establish Pharmacists Training School. But, Sir, I would like to have some enlightenment whether the site for the location of the said school has been selected by the Government. If selected already, I would like to suggest to the Government that such a school being common to all the three District must be in the central places of the state.
Paragraph 19, initiates the policy of the Government on the electrification of rural areas. I would like to thank the Government for the activities undertaken by this Department. But I would like also to suggest at the same time that due to poverty, our people living in the same time that due to poverty, our people living in the rural areas, though electrification has been given to their villages could not afford to pay the cost of street light. I would, therefore, suggest to the Government to be kind enough at least to give the poor villagers street lights free of cost.
Paragraph 19, initiates the policy of the Government on the electrification 20, There we find that something has been said about primary education. I would like to bring to the notice of the Government though you, Sir, that there in Jaintia Hills. Tthe District Council had permitted the primary school teachers who have a return journey and not to stay in the villages, where they have their teaching. On this I would like to bring to the notice of the Government that it has severely deteriorated the primary education in the District. I would, therefore, Sir, suggest to the Government that since the cost of primary education had been borne by the Government would kindly take necessary steps to stop this return journey teaching by the teachers concerned.
Paragraph 20 speaks something about natural calamities. I regret to remind the House, Sir, that last year my adjournment motion on the outcome of last year's flood had been disallowed on the ground that the Government stated that they have already taken steps in the matter. But uptil now I would like to bring to your notice that no relief to the affected cultivators had been proposed in that paragraph that a Commission would be constituted by the Government to examine the land system in Khasi Hills. Sir, it was stated there that something been done by the District Council as far as Garo Hills District is concerned. But nothing has been mentioned about the District of Jaintia Hills may please be considered by the Government (Bell rang). Please give two minutes more.
MR. CHAIRMAN :- I will give you one minute.
SHRI HUMPHREY HADEM :- Sir, another thing I would like to bring to your notice on what has been stated in paragraph 23 that with the creation of the North-Eastern Council Office here at Shillong the Chief Minister had kindly enlightened this House that he expected that the problem of employment of some of our youths would be solved by the opening of this office. But so far our youths I would, therefore, like to suggest to the Government to kindly take bold steps in the matter and see that the problem unemployment is solved.
Lastly, we assure the Government that we shall be co-operating in implementation its objectives as envisaged in this Address, if at all our services are called for. With these words, Sir, since the time is limited, I resume my seat with thanks to the Chair.
MR. CHAIRMAN :- Now, Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh.
SHRI HOPINGSTONE LYNGDOH (Pariong S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have requested the hon. Speaker that I will speak tomorrow.
MR. CHAIRMAN :- Then Mr. Edward Kurbah.
SHRI EDWARD KURBAH (Sohiong S.T.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to participate in the discussion on the Governor's Address delivered to this House on the 15th March, 1973. While going through this Address, I would like to say something on some of the points mentioned in the Address. The first policy of the Government, at the very out set of the Address, is to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and disease. Now, Sir, to eradicate poverty when I come to the points speaking on behalf of the population are poor. The Mawphlang Block, though it was categorised as a forward Block most probably by judging from outside or from its headquarters, but the people there are very poor. When we go to the interior of the Block like the villages of Kran, Kynroh, Mawtneng, etc. we find that the people are very illiterate. Many of the grants did not reach the proper places. Therefore, the money could not be properly utilised and the schemes could not be implemented. Due to the backwardness or due to the largeness of the Block, many of the schemes could nto be implemented. Some of the schemes like construction of the bridge at Nongur could not be implemented. Sanction of money for construction of bridge was about Rs.7,000. But when we went to find out he real work, we could not find a single stone or any action taken by the Block. There is also another bridge at Patharan. An amount of Rs.5,000 of 6,000 was sanctioned for construction of the bridge. The people of both the places are complaining that when they have already got the sanction for the constriction of such bridge, but even the sign of the bridge could not be found in those places. So in this connection, I would request the Government through you, Sir, to see that the Mawphlang Block should not be categorised as a forward Block. But it should categorised as a backward Block since the majority of the people are backward and illiterate. Another point which I would like to say was about agriculture. The policy of the Government is to produce as much amount of crops as it can through the cultivators for the benefit of the people and the Government as a whole. It urges upon the cultivators to improve cultivation of the crops. But as we have learnt from the past and as many Members have found out, no mention had been made regarding the storage of fertilizers. Last year, Sir, also we have discussed the matter regarding fertilizers. There was storage of fertilizers in 1972. The may be due to the fact that the cultivators in every part of the country are using fertilizers and also many of these fertilizers have gone to the S.F.D. A. which are in excess. Many of the dealers from the western side have gone to the S.F.D. A. and have brought the fertilizers. So when the people are suffering from storage of fertilizers, I would request the Government as promised list year, to see that adequate supply of fertilizers is ensured because we find in practice that the supply of fertilizers has fallen short of the requirement.
SHRI E. BAREH (Minister, Agriculture) :- May I clarify, Mr. Chairman, Sir. In the year 1971-72, our State consumed only 5114 tonnes whereas this year our State consumes 9473 tonnes. So we can not say that the quantity of fertilizers is short as the demand is more than nearly double that of last year. That is why our quota of fertilizer allotted by Government of India is more. We have got a little less than double - from 5,000 to 9,000. We have tried our best but we could not get more than that.
SHRI EDWARD KURBAH :- I am very sorry, Sir, to be interrupted. I found that many dealers in fertilizers have gone to the agents of the fertilizers. But when they went there, they were told told no fertilizers were available. But when we see from the out side appearance, the cultivators somehow got the fertilizers. I do not know from which sources they got it and at a very high rate. So it appears that in the open market, fertilizers is available, but not from the Government agency. It is the duty of the Government therefore, to find out, the source of these fertilizers. If it comes from Gauhati most probably it was stolen in the way. So it is the duty of the Government to check that the fertilizer coming from the right place should reach its destination. So I would request the Government again to see that the entire quota of fertilizers should be supplied to the people at the right time when the people went them, and not only urea or supper phosphate will be supplied to the cultivators but also Ammonium in plenty should be supplied to them.
Now I come to another point, that it communication. Sir, with regard to communication if we compare with other parts in the State, in my constituency I find that not a least progress of road communication has been made in my constituency and even for the proposed road tenders have been called for. (interruption) ..........
MR. CHAIRMAN :- May I know from the hon. Member, whether he would like to continue his speech tomorrow because the time is up.
SHRI EDWARD KURBAH :- Yes, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to continue my speech tomorrow.
MR. CHAIRMAN :- The House stands adjourned till 9.00 A.M. tomorrow the, 20th March, 1973.
|the 19th March 1973||
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly