PROCEEDING OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY HELD ON 23rd MARCH, 1973 IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, SHILLONG

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STARRED QUESTION

( To which oral replies were given )

Mr. Speaker :- Let us take up starred question No.12.

        (Not put, Member being absent)

Starred Question No. 13.

        (Not put, Member being absent)

Scheme for reclamation of waste lands

Shri Salseng Marak asked :-

*14. Will the Minister-in-charge of Soil Conversation be pleased to state—
(a) Whether Government propose to take up the scheme reclamation of waste lands with the facilities for irrigation at Snalgiri and Gabil in Garo Hills ?
(b) If not, the reasons thereof ?

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

14. (a)—Yes if the public submit such proposals.
(b)—Does not arise.

Shillong Municipality 

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah  

asked: :

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir
Shri Winstone Syiemiong
15. Will the Minister-in-charge of Municipal Administration be pleased to state—
(a) Whether the delimitation of the constituencies for the Shillong Municipality have been complete ?
    (i) Whether redelimitation of constituencies for the purpose of election of Ward Commissioners in the Shillong Municipality has been finalised ?

(ii)

Whether the delimitation of Wards under Shillong Municipality has since, been completed ?
  (b) If not, why not ?
 

(i)

If so, the tentative period within which the election is likely to be held ?

(ii)

If so, when will the Civil Election in Shillong to be held ?
(c) When will the term of the present Board expire ?
Whether the said election was long overdue ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge, Municipal Administration) replied :

15. (a)—No, not yet.

(i)

No, not yet.

(ii)

No, not yet.
(b)—The delimitation of the constituencies of the Shillong Municipality could not be completed in view of the representation of Shillong Civic Welfare Association and other organisation in this regard.

(i)

Does not arise in view of (a) above.

(ii)

Does not arise in view of (a) above.
(c)—The term of the present Board will expire on 30th June, 1973.
Yes.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Jaiaw S. T.) :- When is the likely date for the election ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge, Municipal Administration) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the representation against the delimitation of the constituencies, I will not be able to give the exact date.

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) :- Will the Government take over the administration after the expiry of the present term of the Municipal Board ?

Mr. Speaker :- June is still far off.

Shri Maham Singh :- Yes. But will the Government take over the administration ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge, Municipal Administration) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government has not given a thought about it.

Shri Stalington David Khongwir (Mawlai S. T.) :- May I know Mr. Speaker, Sir, to whom the duty of delimitation of the constituencies was entrusted ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- Naturally these are up to the Deputy Commissioner in consultation with the Members of the Board.

Shri Stalington David Khongwir :- May I also know since when the work of delimitation was stated ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, since last year, but I will not be able to give the exact date.

Shri Maham Singh :- I think one year has already lapsed.

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the answer as already given here is that there has been representation from the Shillong Civic Welfare Association and that is why the whole thing has to be reconsidered.

Shri Maham Singh :- When will the electoral rolls be published ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, not yet. (Laughter).

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- It is a fact that the Shillong Municipal Board has been asked for reconsideration of delimitation of constituencies ?

Mr. Speaker :- Whether it is a fact that the delimitation of constituencies has been referred to the Municipal Board again for reconsideration ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This delimitation of the wards has to be referred again in view of the representation of the Shillong Civil Welfare Association and other associations.

Shri. Maham Singh :- When will the electoral rolls be published ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- After this delimitation of the constituencies. I cannot give the exacta date.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Construction of New roads under Meghalaya under Fifth Five Year Plan

Shri Pleander G. Momin asked :-

19.    Will the Minister-in-charge, P.W.D. be pleased to state the new roads proposed to be constructed in Garo Hills, Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills Districts by the Government under the Fifth Five Year Plan ?

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

19.    The Fifth Five Year Plan has not yet been finalised.

Work of the Nidhanpur Embankment Bund

Shri Manindra Rabha asked :- 

20.

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

(a)

Whether the work of the Nidhanpur Embankment Bunds has been stated ?

(b)

If not, when will it be started ?

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

20.

(a)—No.

(b)—It is expected that the Scheme will be started during the next working season of 1973-74.

Rengram-Rongrenggiri-Daruguri Road

Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :- 

21. Will the Minister-in-charge of P. W. D. (R. & B.) be pleased to State—
(a) Whether Black-topping of Rengram-Rongenggiri-Daruguri Road proposed to be complete upto 67 K. M. Post within this financial year ?
(b) Whether the sufficient and good condition of machinery power are supplied by the Department to complete the work ?

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

21.

(a)—No.

(b)—Yes.

Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S. T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 21 (a) When will it be completed ?

Shri Grohosing A. Marak (Minister of State, P. W. D.) :- It will be completed by the end of the 4th Five Year Plan. (Laughter).

Staff Nurses working in the Civil Hospital, Shillong 

Shri Francis K. Mawlot asked :- 

21. Will the Minister-in-charge of Health be pleased to State—
(a) Whether it is a fact that there are staff nurses who are working in the Civil Hospital for more than 10 (ten) years and are not confirmed yet ?
(b) The number of such staff nurses ?
(c) Reasons for which confirmation is delayed ?

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

20.

(a)—Yes.

(b)—7 (seven).

(c)—The above nurses are on deputation from the Government of Assam. Their confirmation can only be done by the Government of Assam.

Shri Maham Singh :- Will these 7 nurses be absorbed in Meghalaya permanently.

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Yes. Since they are already in the Civil Hospital, they will be absorbed permanently.

Medical sub-centre buildings of the  Zigzak Headquarter

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :- 

23. Will the Minister-in-charge of Health be pleased to State—
(a) Whether the plan and estimate for medical sub-centre buildings of the Zigzak Headquarter had been received by the Government ?
(b) Whether Government is aware that some local persons donated their cultivable lands long before, comprising an area of 15 bighas for the purpose ?
(c) If so, why the construction of this medical sub-centre was delayed ?

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

23. (a)—There is no proposal for construction of medical sub-centre buildings at Zigzak.
(b)—A plot of land measuring approximately 15 bighas was donated by the local public for constriction of a Primary Health Centre at Zigzak and not for construction of a medical sub-centre buildings.
(c)—Does not arise in view of (a) above.

Shri Samarendra Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the estimates had already been prepared and submitted long before, why the construction has been delayed ?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to Zigzag Primary Health Centre, I do not know whether approval has been given or not. That I cannot say.

Staff Quarters of Tikrikilla State Dispensary

Shri Manindra Rabha asked

24. Will the Minister-in-charge of Health be pleased to State—
(a) Whether it is a fact that, the staff quarters of Tikrikilla State Dispensary are in a dilapidated condition?
(b) If so, whether it is a fact that no sanction for repairing has been so far ? 
(c) Whether Tikrikilla Dispensary would be converted into a 6 (six) bedded dispensary with two nurses?

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

23. (a)—Yes.
(b)—Yes, Plan and Estimates fro the Civil Surgeon, Garo Hills are awaited.
(c)—No proposal for conversion of the Dispensary in to a six bedded Dispensary has been received. The matter will be considered on receipt of a proposal.

Bangladesh Military kidnapped Indian Citizens in Garo Hills

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked

25.

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to State—

(a)

Whether Government is aware that a contingent of the Bangladesh military forcibly kidnapped 21 (twenty one) India citizens from "Amakali", a place under Mahendraganj Police Station, Garo Hills on 28th November, 1972 ?

(b)

Whether the Chief Minister received and urgent wire on 3rd December, 1972 regarding the unfortunate incident from the people  of that area ?

(c)

Whether any investigation has been made by the Government regarding the incident ?

(d)

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

(e)

Whether any help in cash or in kind has been given to the affected families ?

Captain Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

25.

(a)—Yes.

(b)—Wires were received form the Deputy Commissioner giving a report of the incident. Wires and representations were also received from the people of the area in connection with the incident.

(c)—Yes.

(d)—The matter was promptly taken up by the State Government with the Government of India. Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills has also taken up the matter with his counterpart in Mymensingh. 

(e)—No.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S. T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in reply to 25 (a) has any reply been received from the Deputy Commissioner, Mymensingh ?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- No, Sir,

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Can the Government give any reason in reply to question 25 (a) whether there is any reason for not giving help so far in cash or in kind ?

Shri. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well these border incidents too, place on that day and the Government as a matter of policy cannot render relief to these people and it will depend upon the case. These people were taken into the custody of Bangladesh but according to our report, they were very much within our area, so the matter is being pursued and under such circumstances, Government cannot render any help unless the matter is finally settled.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw :- Whether among the 21 persons who were kidnapped forcibly any woman was included ?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I can give the names but not a single woman was there. No. 1 .............

Mr. Speaker :- No need read out the names, you find out only, if there is any female.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- No female.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on o the next item. Mr. S. D. Khongwir.

Shri Stalington David Khongwir (Mawlai S. T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Assembly I beg to call the attention of the Minister of State in-charge of P.H.E. to the editorial published in the Implanter, dated the 24th February, 1973 under the caption "scarcity" relating to the Umkhen water supply scheme.

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister of State, P.H.E.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, reference to the new item by the Editor of Implanter dated 24th February, 1973. Filtered water from Umkhen Water Supply Scheme is being supplied to the Shillong Municipal Board since 29th November, 1972 regularly, and the publication in Implanter that water could not come from this scheme is incorrect.

        The amount of water to be supplied to the Shillong Municipal Board for their Nongrim Road Steel Tank at Laitumkhrah is about 53,333 gallons per day as per the agreement with the Shillong Municipal Board and this quantity of filtered water is being regularly supplied to the said Nongrim Road Tank. Whenever surplus water is available over the above 53,333 gallons this also was diverted to Nongrim Hills Tank. The balance quantity is diverted to the P & T. Colony "Bohasshree" on Nongrim Hills Road, etc. No Water Supply could given to Nongrim Hills area as there are two rival committees who have gone to Court to decide which is the legally constituted committee and the matter is sub-juice. Matters are being installed shortly to measure the flow.

        Permanent solution. For a permanent solution of water scarcity in Shillong, the State P.H.E. Department has drawn up the Greater Shillong Water Scheme costing Rs.336.70 lakhs for the first phase and got it technically approved by the Ministry of Health, Government of India during the year 1972. Administrative approval to the scheme in still awaited from the State Government. It is expected to commence the work in the year 1973-74 provided administrative approval is accorded and funds for the said purpose are placed at the disposal of the P.H.E. Department. The Scheme is to be financed partly by L.I.C., loan and partly with State Plan recourses.

Shri Stalington David Khongwir :- But only one information I would like to seek from the Minister of State is that whether this water has already been distributed to the residents of the locality ?

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :- The Public Health Engineering Department supplied to the main tank; the distribution is done by the Municipal Board.

Mr. Speaker :- Now we pass on the to 3. Mr. Singjan Sangma.

Shri Singjan Sangma (Deputy Speaker and Chairman, Privileges Committee) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to present the Report (No. 2) of the Privileges Committee relating to the matter of privilege moved by Sarbashri S. D. Khongwir, M.L.A., and Hoover Hynniewta, M.L.A. against the Editor, Publisher and Printer of Young India.

Mr. Speaker :- The report of the Privileges Committee will be distributed to the hon. Members.

        Now, let us pass on to item 4, general discussion on the budget, I will allot to each hon. Member only 14 minutes. Of course Hopingstone Lyngdoh, being the Leader of the H.S.P.D.P. group will get 20 minutes. Now, I call upon Mr. Jor Manik Syiem.

Shri Jormanick Syiem (Mylliem S. T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while participating in the budget discussion, I would like to make my observation on a few subjects dealt within this budget speech presented by the Hon'ble Finance Minister. The first subject is about the economic trend in Meghalaya. It is gratifying to note that the cultivators are improving their produce by the use of  fertilizers. But to my information, fertilizers was not available in sufficient quantity although in reply to my questions the Government has replied that there was no shortage nor mal-distribution. It is very easy for the Department to give such reply. But since there are complaints form the public I would suggest that the Government would be pleased to look into the matter and find out which is correct, whether the official reply or the complaints of the public is correct. In any case, for the future, I would request that the Government would see that procurement to fertilizers be made well in advance so that the cultivators may get the fertilizers at the time when they are in need of them. This is linked up with Agriculture Department, Mr. Speaker, Sir. As I said, agriculture has generally improvement in production. They, of course, have not spelt out how this improvement has come about whether by irrigation or through other means. My opinion is that it is due to the use of fertilizers which, as I have already stated in my opinion is that is due to the use of fertilizers, as has been already stated before is not being procured in sufficient quantity because the Government did not take enough steps how to procure the fertilizers. It is now assured that Urea is available in plenty but the Khasi cultivators have not seen how Urea is as good as ammonium sulphate. If the Agriculture Department or the Blocks can demonstrate the use of Urea in the localities where the people can see then we may accept that Urea is as good as ammonium sulphate. Now coming to irrigation Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it is absolutely necessary that we should have minor irrigation. The major irrigation schemes will not be practicable in the Hills as we have not got and  flat lands where we can irrigate from one source. But there are many plots in the Hills which I fell that irrigation schemes should be encouraged. This is the only means whereby we can have permanent cultivation and also conserve the wooded slops because once people take up permanent cultivation then the hill-slops and trees will not be destroyed as it is being done at present. As far as Animal Husbandry is concerned as as mentioned in the Budget Speech at page 11, we have not seen much although it has been reported that the Upper Shillong Farm is making some headways and that the Cattle Farm there is now more or less self sufficient and if that standard of last year is maintained, then the people of our State may be trained how to use Cattle Breeding in a proper way and they must be  taught how they can bring up and improve Cattle Breeding in their own pens and in their own Cattle Sheds. Otherwise the experiment in the Upper Shillong Farm will not not be of much use to the people at large. Co-operation at page 13 it is said that the Government is going to introduce State Ware Housing Corporation, I thing Ware Housing Corporation is really a very necessary if we can devise ways and means how to preserve perishable crops like potato and other produce in the air conditioned or such other scientific methods where the people can keep their goods at least for sometime so that they will not fall into the clutches of the middlemen because the middlemen on seeing that there is plenty of supply, naturally bring down the price. If Ware Houses can be established in central places of State where the people can keep their good for sometime and wait for prices to go up that will be paid to them and this will be really a blessing to these cultivators. Otherwise as it is now we have seen the potato cultivators come in head-loads to Shillong and if the middlemen do not like to buy in big quantity they will surely bring down the price. So without Ware Houses these poor cultivators will have to sell their produce at any price offered because they cannot take back the produce home. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to appeal to the Government, through you, that the ware housing system should be introduced in various places and if it is possible it should be started at straightaway in central places. In my constituency, it can be started at 7th mile in Upper Shillong and if this is done, it will be really a blessing to the potato cultivators. If the cultivators can keep their produces for at least a week or two, it may raise the price and the potato traders of Shillong will have to go these Ware House instead of waiting the people to bring their produces to Shillong and reduce the price according to their choice. Now coming to Forests, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this subject is a very very important because of denudation which is really very alarming. Some 15 or 20 years ago things were quite different because the authorities than were quite strict on wanton cutting down of trees in the Reserved Forest and if one goes along the Gauhati road or Jowai road he would find thick forest on both sides of the road. During these 10 years all these forests have been denuded because restriction has been relaxed for reasons best known to the Authorities concerned. It had become so alarming because once you remove stone from a dam or embankment then you will find the whole dam or embankment will collapse ant there will be no water left in the dam or embankment. This is the condition of forests in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. I have not seen Garo Hills myself. But so far as Khasi Hills is concerned this is the position because restriction has been relaxed somehow, trees have been cut down outside and in towns and sold as fuel wood and even exported outside and in many other methods that have been adopted by the local people. So we have seen how these Hills of ours are becoming denuded and at no time it will turn into desert. It is good to introduce some kind of measure of plantation of teak and Sal trees. But such trees will be suitable only in semi-tropical belts. These kinds of trees will not grow in the upper ridges of the Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills Districts. For this upper plateau we need these kind of trees that will be suitable to the climatic condition. So I hope the Forest Department will do well to investigate the best variety of trees to be grown in these barren lands if they have to be re- afforested. Now coming to Education at page 16, I will say just a few points because much has been said by many Members that the system of education is not suitable in the present conditions. It should be job-oriented or at least we should have some vocational training. The Catholic Mission have stated many years ago and they have trained up some people who have become useful citizens and could stand on their own legs, even though they could not get services. Why cannot the Government also start such institutions so that boys who will be attending the evening classes can get also technical education as a second string to the bow so that when they come out of the institution they can stand on their own legs.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S. T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I begin my speech, I fell I must congratulate the Finance Minister and particularly the Finance Department for brining out two Budgets within a space of 10 months for the State of Meghalaya. I congratulate the Finance Minister since he did not bring out any new taxation for the second time. Ours is a very small State and perhaps poorest in the whole of India and I  feel that if any portion of taxes is imposed, it will tell upon the people. I fell that going always to Delhi and waiting for cash doles and grants will not do. Merely asking will not be enough. We are here under the democratic set-up and we Hills people are proud of our traditions and we, as a State must learn how to stand on our own feet. It is not respectable always to depend on Delhi alone. It is our duty and we should explore our natural resources to the fullest extent and by doing that dependence on Delhi can be very much minimised. Good earning can be made by augmenting our resources and by giving special attention to some subjects or Departments like Tourism and Forest. Though we have spent a good amount of money last year for Tourism, we find that not a single return we have received from it. Same is the case as far as Forest is concerned. We have invested a sum of Rs.72,00,000, rather there is a demand for Rs.72,00,000, but the return is only Rs.19,00,000. I do not know know whether this investment is good enough. Forest is supposed to be one of the most important source and it is one of our importance resources. But then only Rs.19,00,000 have been obtained after investing Rs.72,00,000. We will find that significant percentage of it has been spent on establishment. I do not know whether this is a wise principle. I fell that there must be some change in it. All the Members who have spoken before me have referred to Forest and they are very much agitated about Forest Department. I, therefore, fell that the Government come forward with a long term policy which we can implement and start immediately. Every year, in every speech, there is a reference to afforestation and that we should do after afforestation to augment our resources. But every year we find that our forests are being deleted. I do not understand the principle or policy why we should supply our timber to outside. I do not know why the timber has been supplied from our State to Bangladesh. I fell that this is a very bad policy and that we should stop it. Again, as I said earlier, our is a very poor State and primary importance must be given to agriculture. Apparently our State has an agrarian economy as more than 90 per cent of our people live in agriculture. I think, therefore, that detailed steps and detailed policy should be formulated so that agriculture can be developed and we can be self-sufficient as it is stated here that the Government also want to make the State self-sufficient specially in food-stuff. But simple-wish to become self-sufficient will not be enough. We should act towards that direction and we should fight this problem in a war footing. Our Agriculture Department, I fell, must be strengthened and expanded. The strength of the personnel or the staff of the Department must be increased. There should be proper and detailed investigation and good care should be taken of our agricultural area. We should know and made a detailed study of the position. They must study the condition of the soil and they must give maximum help to our tillers. In this connection, I would like to refer to what is called Cultivators' Demonstration, which is organised and held once in  a while only. I fell that this is not enough if we want to make our cultivators improve and adopt scientific methods of cultivation. For this reason, I  feel that the Agriculture Demonstrators must be stationed in every constituency and they should not be confined to Blocks only, because we find that it is not adequate to meet the requirements of the people.

        Now, coming to another point, I would like to refer to page 3 in which it has been stated by the Finance Minister that the economic forces in the country have a very great impact on the economy of this State also; if there is drought in the country, there is scarcity here our State also. If there is dislocation somewhere, there is adverse effect here also. Here let us read behind the line also and not only the  lines in the speech. There are many vested interests and as a result our people are hard-hit. I believe, everybody will agree with me that our agriculturists often cannot market their produce, especially potato, because some vested interest squeeze them and they can never get their rightful share of their labour. Here I want to stress that unless the Government does something to curb the activities of these vested interests and stops the corrupt parties or malpractices of these vested interests, our economy will never improve.

        Now, at page 4 it has been stated that the "rise in whole-sale and retail prices in Meghalaya was much more than in the rest of the country and the North Eastern Region due to the difficulties of transport and communications in the State". Here, that what is worse is that these vested interests always take advantage of the difficulties of transport and communication. Most of them, can easily predict the things or situation and they often quickly do something to manipulate so that the prices of things and commodities in Shillong will be inflated. I think the Government should see to this because if we cannot do anything against these vested interests, mere pious wish will not be of help to us.

        Talking about malpractices and corruption I would like to refer a little bit to the Police Department because it is this Department which is supposed to look after our people to safeguard their rights and to see that all sort of vices are curbed The Finance Minister in paragraph 48 has stated that there will be a Central Detective Training School Finger Print Training School in the State. I congratulate the Government for that but my point is that what type of people the Government is going to send there. People who are fit and qualified for the post according to the Government must be 5 ft. 3 ins. But the background of character and the past antecedents of a man is more important. The past antecedents and the background of character is not taken into account. They said that those who are 5 ft. 3 ins. only will are fit and they can easily get the job in the police force but they will not take those who are short even though they possess the good antecedent or background of character. I say that stress should be given on these rather than height, height is nothing.

        Another point I would like to say is when I come to paragraph 20 about Weights and Measures. Every now and then in the neighborhood as well as wherever I go on tour or even there in Shillong I was always confronted with complaint from the people who use to marketing that there is short weight every where. The Weights and Measures Department should look after the introduction of this new system.

Mr. Speaker :- I think Mr. Syiemiong you are referring to "corruption" and "malpractice" against the Department. Until and unless you can prove that somebody is corrupt, your remark is uncalled for.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- I accept your ruling. But I think corruption is a common word and I think the Government is aware of it. If the Government is not aware of that, the Anti-corruption Department will not be there.

Mr. Speaker :-  Anti-corruption is also with the Police Department.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- I think we the hon. Members on this House cannot establish a prima-facie case against any body when the Government cannot establish their case against so much of corruption everywhere.

Mr. Speaker :-  Only one minute more.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- Thank you Mr. Speaker. Anyway about Metric Weights and Measures unless these inspectors do look after short weight. I am afraid that nothing will come out from this Department. Everywhere we see short weight especially in fish market. If you  go and buy of half a kilogram of fish and you come back and you weigh it, it will be only ¼ kilogram. Government actually should do something in this regard. (Bell rang), Mr. Speaker, Sir, will you not give more time ?

Mr. Speaker :-  No unless and until your own party allots you more time by curtailing the time allotted to your colleagues.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- Alright Sir, I will request them later on.

Mr. Speaker :-  Mr. Mylliemngap.

Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap (Sohryngkam S. T.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before taking part in the discussion of the Budget of the Government for this year, I fell that I should congratulate the Finance Minister for presenting a very elaborate budget speech which gives us very less scope for discussion. Nevertheless I would like to draw the attention of the hon. Ministers to the following observations. First of all let me turn to page 23 of the Memorandum on the budget estimates of the Government of Meghalaya for the year 1973-74 under the Head ("O") Public Death we have seen that a sum of Rs.3,96,35,500 was posted as payment against loan and last year also we had the same type of payment for Rs. 9,72,500 lakhs. It seems that this payment of loan is an annual payment for which our Government is liable to pay but we do not understand why we are paying this loan every year if the apportionment between the two States have not yet been finished. And if the apportionment have already been finished we should like to know how much dues our Government is suppose to pay to the outstanding loan which have been appointed to our State by our elder sister State and it apportionment is already completed I would suggest to the Government through you Sir, that the work of taking over should be speed up immediately so that our assets and liabilities will not be take away stealthily without our knowledge. Also one more loan time is shown on "Q" Loan and advances on the same budget against loan to the Electricity Board. We would also like to know how these loans were advanced to the State Electricity Board and for what period of time and also the prospect of recovery of these loans. Secondly, I would like to turn to the Excise Administration. In regard to Excise Administration, I would like to point out, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this issue is a very delicate issue why ?— because in the Governor's Address it was laid down that the Government will grant licences to the licensees in the Syiemships and in other Chiefs' areas and that the Chiefs will be empowered to detect cases with consultation with the District Council. Here I am not very clear Mr. Speaker, Sir, about the Government's policy as to whether the Government will take both the powers of appointing licensees and realising licence fees or only the former one. Before taking up the case of the Khasi Chiefs, I agree that illicit distillation and illicit sale of liquor are rampant in our State and the drunkenness is very much intolerable. So Sir, I would like to place the following suggestions to the Government for consideration before we take a final decision on this particular issue. There suggestions are as follows :- 

To issue licence or permit to the adult consumers all over the State.

To distill liquor not more than the required quantity and the distiller to submit returns either weekly or bi-weekly to the Excise Inspectors who are also to specify the area of operation of each distiller.

To grant bar licence to the District headquarters and such bars should serve only foreign liquors or costly stuff so that the people cannot afford to think more till they become drunk (laughter) and, besides that, to deal severely if cases of drunkenness is detected. Further, to stop completely the movement of country liquor beyond the area of their operations and if any unauthorised movement of country liquor is detected, it should be dealt with severely. Further, I would like to say something about the Excise Staff.

        I regret to inform you and the House about the slackness of this Department. Last year, some time in the month of February, the Excise Staff raided some illicit-sale shops at Mawryngkneng, Pammora and Sohryngkham together with the people of the Syiem. But those cases, though registered, we do not know anything. What has happened to those cases ? And now the sale of illicit liquor in those shops has been doubled or even trebled than it was last year and they say that they do not care even the Syiem's people. They even said said that "the Excise Staff are in our pockets, why should we care". So, Sir, before I recommend to strengthen the force of the Excise Staff I would request the Government to take up those cases immediately, and aware them accordingly. As regards the collection of licence fee, I would like to remind Government that the Syiems, who are our traditional heads and traditional institutions are clinging to this source of income. As you know a drowning man will try to catch even at the straw. But I would like to remind the Government, Sir, that these Khasi Chiefs or Syiems are having the instrument of accession which is not only a straw for a drowning man but may also be a source of a saving hand and a ground which may lead quite few. Therefore, before we spoil the goodwill and cordial relationships of the Chiefs for the welfare and good administration of the State I urge upon the Government, through you, Sir, before taking up a decision on this particular issue, to take a deeper consideration, deeper than what they have already thought, so that we will not spoil their goodwill and relationship and also our living together which is very much needed in our State. Further, Sir, regarding the shortage of fertilizer, we have heard from many hon. Members that they were shouting about the scarcity of fertilizer. It is a well know fact throughout the whole country that scarcity is throughout the country and we cannot meet the demand unless our State take up this issue as a separate issue to install our own factory within the State. I have seen sometimes in the months of February or so, this year, in the Assam Tribune that a fertilizer commission has already agreed to install a fertilizer factory in Meghalaya  in view of the importance of potato cultivation in the State. Therefore, I urge upon the Government to take up this case immediately so that our cultivators will not be deprived of proceeding more and more food-stuff. Regarding scarcity of water in Shillong a lot of our hon. Members have spoken but here I have seen that there is no actual scarcity but only mal-distribution. There are areas where water overflows for 24 hours from the taps whereas there are taps with out a drop of water. In this connection, it seems that the pipeline network has been badly damaged because, at present, we have got only one Inspector and that Inspector is supposed to inspect the pipeline system in the whole of Shillong. But will it be possible for one man Sir ? And when if is not possible is better not to do any at all. Therefore, for the sake of enquiry and justice I put before the House (Bell rang) for its consideration so that the people or residents of Shillong should have a moral contentment if we can install a meter-system even in the water tanks. If this is done, the man who uses more water will have to pay more and the man who uses less water will-pay more. A man who uses water for washing his car lavishly will have to pay more. But how (Mr. Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair) can a man who cannot get even a drop of water pay the same tax. Therefore, I put this before the Government that a meter-system should be installed so that mal-distribution of water will be stopped and the people will have moral contentment. With these few words, Sir, I resume seat.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now, Mr. Fuller Lyngdoh.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh Mawnai (Mairang S. T.) :- Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, I think the Government has elaborately prepared a Budget, but it seems that it is not a satisfactory one. As it appears from the Budget speech present by the Finance Minister in page 2, paragraph 3, it is stated that "there has been inadequate rainfall in a considerably large part of the country as a result of which the agricultural production received a severe set-back with serious implications for the country's food position". It seems that the Government does not think about the ways and means as to how to increase food production of the country. In our State there are many rivers which flow right from the top of the hills and I think if irrigations are being constructed it will help a lot to the agriculturists of the State. Another reasons, Sir, as already spoken by the hon. Member just now is the untimely receipt of fertilizers which has caused a serious set back for food production in this State. In this respect, I would suggest that the Department concerned, I mean the Agriculture Department would prepare a statistic to know the actual quantity of fertilizers which would be required for the State so that the cultivators may not find difficulty in receiving fertilizers. Another point Sir, is regarding Medical. I have gone through the detailed estimate of the Budget and it appears to me that the Government seems to have forgotten those State Dispensaries which have been in existence for quite a long time. For example Mairang State Dispensary is a Dispensary with 12 beds and since the time of the Assam Government there was a sanction for the extension of the maternity ward for that Dispensary. So, I would request the Government that necessary allotment may kindly be made so that this proposal should not end in vain. The next point, Sir, is regarding Police Stations, there are Police Station and investigation centres in our State and I again come to Mairang Investigation Centre which is one of the investigation centres that has got a land of its own. But up till now, the Government has not yet prepare any sanction for the construction of quarters and Thana for that investigation centre. So, I urge upon the Government that it will please construct or prepare a scheme and make necessary allotment for construction of quarters and offices for the Mairang Investigation Centre. Sir, regarding roads or communications, I have only a few things to say Sir, Nongstoin Division is perhaps the biggest, P.W.D. Division in this State. The volume of work also in this Division is so heavy that it is necessary for creation of a new P.W.D. Division out of Nongstoin Division with Mairang as it its headquarter. The supervision of work by the Executive Engineer cannot be done properly due to the vastness of the division. Sir, only in Mairang Subdivision and Markasa Sub-division there are 10 new roads which have been undertaken by the P.W.D. But these roads cannot be completed in a shorter time due to funds, of course, and actually due to lack of supervision at the same time. So, I urge upon the Government to kindly make necessary arrangement for creation of a new P.W.D. Division in Mairang with Mairang as its headquarter. Then regarding supply, Sir, I have seen in the pamphlets issued by the Supply Department that there are some areas within the State for example, border areas who receive 200 grams per head per week while people residing in the up-land areas are receiving only 100 grams per head. This is really a partial treatment because, the people in the up-land areas also using sugar and in large quantity and as stated by the hon. Member form Mawsynram they would require 250 grams per week per head. So, I would stress upon the Government to kindly raise the quota form 100 to 250 grams per head per week.

        Now, regarding Transport, Sir, I have seen that State Government has a fleet of buses and I am glad to see that some of those buses have been sent to Nongstoin and Mawsynram and also to some other places. But, Sir, it is a matter of regret to find that there is no Line Inspector who check and look upon the conductors and the drivers who are driving these State buses. It will be a great loss to the Government in this respect. Sir, I have seen those buses coming to and from Nongstoin they are always full with passengers but on enquiry, I learnt that tickets were not issued to those passengers even though they have paid their fares. Therefore, Sir, I would request the Government to kindly appoint some Line Inspectors as suggested already by some hon. Members, to check and look into this matte. Besides these, there are a lot of things to be done in respect of agriculture which I think most of the people in this State are depending on it. I have seen form the budget speech that an amount of Rs. 4,10,000 has been earmarked for minor irrigation only. In this respect, I would like to suggest to the Government that not only minor irrigations but also big projects should have been given priority and schemes should be prepared so that the people in the State will receive the maximum benefits out of them. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Jaiaw S. T. ) :- Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, in the first place I think the Hon'ble Finance Minister deserves a word of praise for having been able to present his speech in the beautiful form which reflects taste and culture. In fact, he is also very considerate in having given us the opportunity to write our notes on the left side space of the text of the speech. It is very good indeed. I would also command that such forms should be present in future for easy guidance. But while speaking on the budget, I do not find much to say this way or that way since starting with the minus of one crore eighty six lakhs and then ends up by an overwhelming deficit of eleven crores sixty-eight lakhs. Now, perusing the budget estimates of the previous year, which shows a deficit of seven crores thirty-two lakhs, it now comes down to one crore and eighty six lakhs. This is due to non-payment of overdue loan of rupees four crores thirteen lakhs as principal and interest to the Government of India. Now, when this four crores thirteen lakhs was paid and cleared off still the deficit is shown to be at rupees five crores and ninety nine lakhs. Therefore, Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, it means that our Finance Minister has been able to close the gap by one crore thirty two lakhs. I have thought of giving him a word of praise for having done.  But I have seen no good reason for this. It is because there were no mobilisation of resources to cut all the expenditure which were mainly due to over-estimated opening balance in the revised budget, as indicated at page 3 of the memoranda which begins with plus on one hundred forty one crores and thirty six lakhs and which show that there was nothing extraordinary of the performance of the past year. Now, Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, in so far as the present budget is concerned, it is a budget which is definitely not rosy. If I am to use the word I think it is rather grim, grim indeed. But when we consider the deficit of eleven crores against the State receipt of one crore sixty one lakhs only.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Please come forward with any concrete suggestion.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- I am just giving the analysis. the State receipts as against deficit is one seventy or fourteen per cent, which is extremely low. Certainly it is a pessimistic picture. It is sad to find that the Government's share and resources have not been adequately exploited and tapped. But coming now to this amount of four crores thirty five lakhs which is on repayment of liability of last year, it is really surprising to note that it has one gone up to five crores thirty five lakhs. I do not understand why this expenditure on liability alone has increased so much.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance):- This is a loan on liability being credited from some sources and this is continuing every year in order to enable to the Government to bride the gap of the expenditure. This year we have four crores which ultimately comes to five crores when added with the interest.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Well, Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, it has been shown by the Government. In any case it is extremely and extraordinary too big. However, I feel that the Government of Meghalaya should be able to present a good case to the Government of India to write off this debt liability also. I think if this is done we can easily settle this liability which I have no doubt the Government of India will finance this infant State of ours which is geographically and economically backward.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- This deficit was due to the share with the composite State of Assam.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- My point is  that we have a good case to be presented to the Government of India for writing off this amount or the other alternative is that they can give us help through suitable financial relief to meet this heavy deficit. Now, as one hon. Member has suggested that this is a tax free budget, it is also very welcoming expect for the levying on taxes for meeting the expenditure which the Finance Minister has proposed to take shape through legislation. I am also very happy to find that the Government seized of the need to increase our resources by having a Taxation Committee which will go into the details of this matter very shortly. Now, in order to bridge the gap Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, I think there are two ways of approach. One is to mobilise our resources and the other is to cut our expenditure. In so far as mobilisation of resources is concerned, I do not know that as ours is a very small State with very meagre resources, whether we can go for any ambitious scheme of Mobilisation. Direct taxation is not at all welcome at this stage and even indirect taxation may not be feasible unless we know how to take the sources. But I have been thinking that at least this Government must be able to strike a direction by which we can say that there is an attempt to augment resources by resorting to certain positive steps. This is a matter which is delicate and I think the Finance Minister must be thinking seriously about this. I have been thinking about some States trying to mobilise resources and in certain States, they go to the extent of nationalising the cinema house. I know that in our State the scope is not very big, but the idea is not repugnant for a close examination. I know taking over of cinema houses will augment resources.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- For the information of the hon. Members, the Union Minister of State, Mr. I. K. Gujral, actually met me in the House of Parliament and stated that the Government is not going nationalise the Cinema Houses.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- But that will not prevent the Government to start new cinema houses. It is for examination whether we will get employment and better form of entertainment tax. So, I think this is a matter which deserve consideration. 

        Now, I will come to the other matter which is very small indeed but which will be, let us say, a step in the right direction. The other day I was walking in the Ward Lake. I am very fond of walking and I find that now a days a number of tourists are flocking to Shillong and particularly they go down to the Ward Lake to see the the beauty of the Lake. I wonder if it is not possible to have a sort of entrance fee in the Word Lake and Lady Hydari Park like other towns and cities. Of course it may be 5 paise, but it will also give some employment to the educated youths.

        These are the things which we have to consider. It may not be much but then it opens our eyes to certain resources which will not pinch the pocket of the people. So these are the few suggestion that I have for the moment. I shall give my suggestions in concrete form to the Government though other forum. Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, in order to bride the gap, there is a need of avoiding infructuous expenditure. Now in the matter of execution of work of P.W.D. roads, bridges and others, there are unscrupulous contractors in conspiracy with certain corrupt officials who are making tons of money by inflating the bills. These kinds of practices which ultimately lead to heavy strain in the State exchequer have to be controlled. On these matter, information comes to us, of course it is very difficult to prove it and we do get these kinds of information from time to time and I think it is high time for the Government to lose this leakage by having people of the Anti-Corruption Department or let us say plain clothes detectives who will detect this leakage. This also will help to a large extent in bridging the gap.

        The other point which I would like to suggest is of course very very important, that is to encourage the industries which will indirectly pay taxes to the Government and will increase the exchequer of the Government. So far as the budget is concerned, these are the few observations that I want to make. I will now touch on a  very important matter which has been discussed by many hon. Members of this House, that is water scarcity at Shillong. Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, I happen to reside in an area heavily hit by water problem, that is, Jaiaw, and I think I think many hon. Members of this House are also having their residence in Jaiaw area. If I remember correctly, my constituency is M.L.As. concentrated area. It has got about 9 or 10 M.L.As., and 5 M.D.Cs., and yes it is a fact that one hon. Member from Nongstoin is also from Jaiaw Lann Sona Lane or Jaiaw Shyiap. It does affect the efficiency of the hon. Members to come to the House without having their bath. For instance, in my case, I was confronted with a very small question form one or my children when I did not have my bath this morning. She said the earth is composed of three parts of water and one part of land. Then why are we having scarcity of water ?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- What was the reply ? For the information of the House. When I started functioning as Chief Minister of the Autonomous State in fact I requested him as Chairman of the Municipal Board to give me a glass of water to wash my face.

(Laughter)

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Anyway Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, my intention of giving some observations on this matter is to project before the House that people living in Jaiaw, Mawkhar and Mawprem are in extreme water famine. During his period of extreme water difficulty, my fear is not so much that they will not get water. But for the last few days, I have come across quarrel among neighbours and in certain areas, there was a flare up and a commotion and law and order situation was about to be disrupted. This question is so big. I am aware that both the Municipal Board and the Government of Meghalaya are taking keen interest in the matter.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- To which you are a party.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- In fact, I have been shuttled for the last three months form one office to the other to see that something is done. Let us appreciate the situation. I use the word which was used by the Chief Minister i.e., appreciation of the situation. Now the situation is really in a very bad way, the population is increasing and the water sources are dwindling as a result of denudation of forests. Because water comes form the springs. But due to denudation of forests water supply from the springs is extremely low.

        Now let us come to the distribution system of water. It is a very vital question. I quite agree that if we can streamline the distribution system, better situation may prevail. But primarily it is the supply of water which is a problem. I am very happy that the Government of Meghalaya after becoming a full fledged State was seized of this problem and immediately it has requisitioned the services of one expert from New Delhi, Mr. Chandra Shekar, who came to Shillong to study this problem in depth and he had submitted a very interesting report on it. In short the recommendations are that the need of augmenting water resources on long term, short term and immediate basis and also to streamline the distribution system. Of course he has also made a very interesting remark which I feel is very very important. I may refer here that it is the responsibility of the Government to provide water to the citizens of Shillong. However, I quite agree that it is the primary responsibility of the Shillong Municipal Board to supply drinking water to the citizens of Shillong but also it is a fact an accepted fact - that the State Government has got the main and ultimate responsibility to see that water goes to the people. This will be based on three arguments, Firstly, the then Assam Government in 1957-58 having appreciated the situation and having realised that the Shillong Municipal Board, despite its best wishes, with a limited resource cannot handle such an immense problem, came forward  with a scheme that very infamous P.H.E. scheme with an outlay of Rs.33,00,000. Of course that was a complete failure. Anyway, it established the fact that the ultimate responsibility lies with the State Government. I appreciate this Government very much that after attaining the full Statehood, it has placed the services of one very high officers, I.F.A. officer, as Chief Executive Officer to assist the Shillong Municipal Board. But the fact remains that the Shillong Municipal Board has no control over the forest from where water comes. All these devolve upon the State Government to see that water goes to the people. Now here is a question that the responsibility of providing water to the citizens of Shillong lies both with the Government and the Municipal Board. Let us not compartmentalize. Then it would be wrong. I am saying that, having fully realised that the Chief Minister who is in charge of the portfolio and also the Minister of State concerned are very much concerned with the problem. The snag is not with the mobility for appreciate by political executive, but the the real snag lies with the officials. I must confess through you Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, for the ears of the Chief Minister that somewhere between the political executive and the official executive, there is a flow. Now let me cite an example for the ears of the Chief Minister. Today when the Minister of State, Mr. Grohonsing A. Marak gave a statement on the call attention motion of the hon. Member form Mawlai, a mention was made that 52,300 gallons of water per day was distributed and given to the tanks Laitumkhrah. At the same time it was stated that the meter has not been installed. How was this measurement taken when there was no meter ? It is a very most point. This is a very ticklish question between the Municipal Board and the Government. I know for sure that this is a very important bone of contention between the Municipal Board and the Government on a question of installing the meter. All along the Municipal Board was requesting to kindly install a meter so that we may know much water really comes to the tank .....................

Shri Stalington David Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, there is scarcity of time.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Thank you for reminding me. Now with regard to effective implementation of Crinoline falls scheme. I am very happy to inform the House that the Chief Minister has shown a keen interest in the meeting which we held in his room in which I was also present as representative of the Municipal Board where we have discussed this matter and agreed that the water coming form the Crinoline Falls should be directly brought to Bara Bazar tank with a view to serving the need of the Jaiaw and Mawkhar complex which are in dire need of water. But my surprise of late I got the information from a very reliable source that the staff of the Public Health Department are not keen to go ahead with the scheme for reasons best known to them. I may just bring this for the information of the Chief Minister with a view to rectify that. Because if this situation continues there may be deterioration of law and order situation especially in my area. We have even been gheraod for the last few days by the people who are suffering from water scarcity. So my appeal to the Chief Minister, Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, is to take this whole matter as a Governmental matter and on a war footing. I am very happy that the Government have also placed the services of some tank wagons in order to distribute water to the water hungry people.

(Bell rang)

        Please allow me tow minutes, Sir, I seek your kind generosity. I would like to make a few observations on the Co-operation. Now Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, the Chief Minister the other day in his reply has made a very significant remark about eradication of poverty. Now this is not only a slogan or an empty worded phrase but it has got meaning. And in order to appreciate it, removal of poverty will not be effective if it is only confined to the town and cities of Meghalaya, but it has to go— it has to be encompassing because India lives in villages, so also Meghalaya. If you want to do anything, if you want to eradicate poverty you have to go to the villages and in the villages the mainstay of livelihood of the people is agriculture, so we are concerned with agriculture. But here co-operative plays a very important and vital part in the economy. I am happy, as a leading co-operative, to note that people in the hills are naturally co-operative minded. The Co-operative endeavour as demonstrated through our various institutions is too ingrained and I see that there is a big scope of co-operative movement coming in full bloom in this State. Now, Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, the Reserve Bank of India has come to study this problem (Bell rang) only one minute more, Sir. But pending the report of the Reserve Bank of India which is coming after a year or so, I would suggest that an advance action has to be taken. Advance action in the way that if  you just go to the Co-operative Department, you will find that the Registrar who is supposed to be the king pin of the organisation is  over burdened with various works of industries, forests, etc., and the Joint Registrar is over-burdened with all the other works and as such he cannot attend sobly to any co-operative works. The primary need apart from the co-operative involvement of the people is to give proper attention but there is no scope of that. So I would suggest therefore that the Co-operation Department should be adequately strengthened in order to be prepared to implement the report of the Reserve Bank of India, (Bell rang) one minute Sir, as it is very important. Of late the Reserve Bank of India has given Rs.40,00,000 to the Small Farmers Development Agency through the Apex Bank. It seems that the Reserve Bank of India is willing to go all out to help us. So we must try to streamline and re-staff the Co-operation Department so that this Department will be able to do the work effectively. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now, Shri Jackman Marak.

Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S. T.) :- Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak a few words, and I take this opportunity to speak on the budget prepared wisely by the Meghalaya Government. Sir, all that I was thinking to speak about, in this budget discussion have been mentioned in the budget and in the Governor's Address clearly. But I want to speak about education which is one of the burning problems of our State. Education as I have seen has got second place in the matter of huge expenditure of our State, and I hope within a few years education will get the top priority in our State of Meghalaya. Sir, I am very happy this time to see the creation of the post of A.D.I. of School in each District of the State but only the creation of some posts ...............

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Creation of post of A.D.I. of Schools.

Shri Jackman Marak :- Yes, creation of post will not improve matters unless and until measures are taken to take the people into confidence. Sir, we have seen a good number of schools have sprang up and the number of teachers also has been increased in our State, but the school are not receiving grants regularly. So, Sir, I would request the Government through you, to sanction money to the schools early. But one thing which I would like to mention here is about the activities of the Secretaries of the Government Aided High Schools and M.E. Schools. While in the Assam Government, the Secretaries of the High and M.E. Schools used to come to Shillong to get their school grants, but, Sir, so far my understanding goes, such activities may create bad elements in our State. So I suggest to the Government to put a stop to such activities by the Secretaries of the aided schools from this year.

        Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, now I come to border problems. The border problems of the Garo Hills district may be slightly different from those of the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District, I do not know what actually is the situation in those areas. But we know that since the sudden suspension of border trade, the economic condition of the border areas are deteriorating. So Sir, these things should be considered and Government should give them some test relief, works specially in the border areas. Some fair price shops should be opened in the central places in the interior.

        Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, I want to speak more about food situation. It is true that the last year the people have been given rice through the Fair Price Shops and this year also I hope people will be given rice through the Fair Price Shops. With the opening of these Fair Price Shops, the relief works should go to the people of border areas. Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, it is really a pitiable thing and in what miserable condition of our people are in. Not to speak only of those living in the border areas. Our people living in the border areas have been suffering due to lack of marketing facilities. But so far I know our Government is sincerely taking steps to improve the marketing facilities in the border areas. Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, one thing which I would like to mention here is that if we want to solve the food problem, we will have to be vigilant about the supply position. Many speeches in this august House and in the public platform will not help us but the rural leaders must be practical workers in the villages. If we give all possible help to the cultivators in food production we will be able to solve this food problem. We should create enthusiasm among the cultivators otherwise we may not be able to solve this food problem. Sir, we know about "grow more food" campaign and we should help the cultivators improve their lands by extending of all assistance. But unless and until the Government Officers co-operate this, it is not possible on the part of the public representatives along to achieve the aim in view. So I would suggest to the Government first of all to see that Government Officers are sent to the villages to teach the people how to work.

        Sir, I would like to say now about road communication. On the improvement of roads, I want to say about the Tura-Baghmara Road in Garo Hills. I have noticed that great improvement is being done. I saw certain improvement is being effected for the interest of the people of Garo Hills. But I am sorry to say that the Dalu-Baghmara Road is not so good. Some portions of this road should be widened before giving black topping. Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, on the Tura-Dalu from 12th mile to Chokpot, Improvement is not sufficient. It is a fair weather road. In time of fair weather buses are running daily but during rainy season, buses are not running and even jeeps cannot ply to Chokpot. So, Sir, this road should be improved and made all whether road. Sir, I have known that this Chokpot road was visited by our Minister of State for P.W.D., some high officials, our President of the A.P.H.L.C., as well as the local M.L.As. of Garo Hills. I would like to say that from Chokpot Block Headquarters to Chokpot Bazar this road should be black-topping in the interest of the people of that area. Chokpot is under my constituency (interruption) ......

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister of State, P.W.D.) :- For ½ kilo meter only.

Shri Jackman Marak :- Yes, for ½ kilo meter only, Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, now about construction of the road from Chokpot to Sibbari. Last year during the Budget Session also I had mentioned about this road. The road has been constructed upto eight kilometers only. This road does not only serve the interest of the public but from the security point of view, it is the most important road running along the border to Chokpot. All the hon. Members form Garo Hills have seen that this is the only parallel road. So I would request the Government to see this immediately. Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, in my speech in the last Budget Session, I had mentioned about provincialisation of the Chokpot M.E. Schools and the Sibbari M.E. School. I again would like to reiterate the Government to take this matter into consideration  and provincials these two M.E. Schools this years for the interest of the people of the area and of the State as a whole. Mr. Speaker, Sir, (interruption ......).

Mr. Deputy  Speaker :- I request the hon. Member to address me as Deputy  Speaker and not as a Speaker.

Shri Jackman Marak :- I am sorry, Sir.

        Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, lastly I want to touch on the proposed road from Simsangiri via Tura-Dalu road touching the P.W.D. road from Chokpot to Ziju. If this road is not constructed form Emandura gands to Simsangiri it will be difficult for the people to go to Simsangiri which has been made a Subdivision now. Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, as the time at my disposal is very short and as I have so many points I request you to give me more time. Now the road from Dimapara on the bank of Bugai river was constructed upon 3 (three) or 4 (four) kilometers but I want to request the Government to complete this road from Bugai River to Kanchikalak touching at twelve mile of the Chokpot road immediately. With these few words I resume my seat.

Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S. T.) :- Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, while participating in the Budget discussion, I would say that I am convinced that our Government it up and doing to the utmost for the economic development and for eradication of poverty, disease and ignorance from our State. Even the mightiest and the wealthiest nations of the world are not able to solve their problems fully and here in our new born State of Meghalaya, we have to face many difficulties. There are problems in our society and in the economic field. When we solve one problem, other problems will crop up and the Government will have to face all these things. However, I am glad that there is a bigger provision this year and I congratulate the Government for this. Fortunately, this time in our State we are having our Budget Session in March and I think this is the first time. I believe, now there will be ample time for implementing all the schemes and I would request the Government to see that all the amounts are released in proper time to the different districts and to the different departments so that all these amounts can be fully and properly utilised.

        Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, first of all, I want to talk about communication. The Government has given keen attention to this subject which, I think, really deserves. I would like to draw the attention of the Government to my area. I want specially to mention about the Ampati-Porakhasia Road which runs through "Salmanpara". In that road, a portion form "Chopapara to Porakhasia" a distance of about 7 miles has not yet been constructed. This portion is a low hilly area and the people in this area have no other-means of communication. Many culverts and bridges are yet to be completed in that portion. There are about 20 to 40 thousand people living in the area and they have only two markets there, namely, Porkhasia and Ampati. But due to the aforesaid reason that the road construction is not yet completed, our people there are facing great difficulties in marketing their Jhum and agricultural produces. Now, this being the border road which directly connects Porakhasia, I would request the Government to see that construction of this road is completed within 1973-74 with the budget provision. Some amount has been provided for this road but only making some provision will not be of much help. What we need is practical work-that work of the construction of the said road should have been thus completed.

        Secondly, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to the Tura-Mahendraganj Road. Here also construction of some culverts is yet to be completed. I would, therefore, request the Government to see that construction of culverts are completed before the rainy season so that the people their will not face any dislocation in respect of their road communication.

        Then Sir, in the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister, mention is made about the missing links in the border area. These being in the border area, effecting the border area very much. I do not know how these missing links are occurring there as these should have been done first of all. Anyway, I request the Government to see that these four missing links in the border, in the Indo-Bangladesh border that is in between Bangladesh and our State of Meghalaya, are completed as early as possible.

        Next, I  want to say something about the incident which occurred at "Amakali" under Mahendraganj Police Station Garo Hills. The families of the border villages are very poor and they used to sell bidi leaves, which we call in our Garo language "Gimbil Bijak". There in that aforesaid place "Amakali" the Bangladesh Military personnel, who intruded about two furlongs, inside our territory on 28th November, 1972, snatched away the things from the poor 21 tribal villagers of that area. These people used to sell "Gimbil Bijak" and whatever small amount they get by selling, it they used to purchase 2 or 3 kilogram's of rice and that is how they used to live. It is most unfortunate that nothing has been done and nothing has come out although 4 months have already elapsed despite so many representation made to the Government. The families of those people who have been taken away by Military personnel of Bangladesh are now passing their days with great difficulty and in anxiety and they are now on the verge of starvation. I would, therefore, ask the Government whether any kind of help can be given to them or not. I think that the Government should at least give Rs.2,000 to Rs.5,000 to those people as a token of help so that they can get relief to some extent and they will also feel that the Government is not forgetting them. They will fell that the Government is doing as far as practicable. From this very gesture of the Government the people of the area will also know that the Government is thinking about their distress and that they are doing at least something to them. So, I earnestly request the Government that some financial assistance may kindly be given to those families who are on the verge of starvation. I hope the Government will take up this matter also very seriously and vigorously with the Central Government so that the 21 tribal people who are innocent and have no fault of their own be realised by the Bangladesh Government without any further loss of time.

        Next, I would like to say something about the Department of Transport. Since the time is very limited, I shall just mention some points only. In this respect, I request the State Government to take up Tura-Mahendraganj line and to send departmental buses there. If our Government could send buses to ply on this route, it will be very helpful or our people living in the border areas. I want to point out to the Government that due to want of buses there, the local people are facing great hardship and actually their daily business occupation has been completely disrupted.

        Another point in respect of the Tura-Baghmara Road in which our Government sent a departmental bus from the 21st July, 1973 and that also not daily. It is plying on alternate days only, daily bus should be placed there and regularly and it should be extended from Baghmara to "Rongora". Sir, I do not know whether my time is over.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Almost finished.

Shri Samarendra Marak :- For want of time it is very difficult to speak. So, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to one important pacca bund in which an amount of about one lakh and fifty thousand rupees has been incurred. The damage occurred in the extension wall of this bund. I do not know whether it has been repaired or not. So, I request the Government to pay due attention to it. Sir, there is another point which I want to streets here. That is the case of the Chaukidar who is engaged to look after the bund. He is not getting any pay for almost one year as far as my information goes. I request the Government to look into this matter.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- May I clarify the point ? We do not appoint any Chaukidar for the work, we do not know that a man has been appointed.

Shri Samarendra Sangma :- Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, I do want to provide information to our Minister-in-charge in due course. Now I request the Government to see whether pucca bunds could be constructed by the Government one at "Jonjana" and another at "Kole" stream, near Boldamgiri and Kalichar respectively, under Ziggak block Garo Hills.

        Another point which I would like to bring to the notice of the Government is about leprosy. I want to speak something about it as it has very much in my mind and because it has affected a large number of people in my constituency. Those people are living in a horrible condition. There is no medicine for them there is no treatment and there is no help from the Government. Nagalpara, the entire village is affected, in Sanna Laskor area, under Ziggak Block, Garo Hills, there are many cases of leprosy. So, I request the Government to establish a leprosy home there as there are so many affected persons in the area. Moreover I request the Government to see that one leprosy treatment centre be establish there. This is one of the most leprosy affected areas. I request the Government to consider about it very seriously. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Deputy  Speaker :- Since Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh is absent I request Mr. Winstone Syiemiong to speak for 10 minutes.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S. T.) :- Thank you very much Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to continue my speech. Now all the points need not be touched by me due to shortage of time. I would like to refer to communication page 18 paragraph 22. I fully agree with the views expressed by the hon. Member form Mairang when he had stated that Nongstoin division is too vast and too big a division and consequently it could not be effective and rather lose its efficiency in doing its work. This particularly affects my constituency if you may allow me to refer to my constituency because I believe that in the entire district of Khasi Hills my constituency which is situated a little more than 30 miles here is one of the most backward pockets in the entire district. There is not a single road that passes through it expect the Mawsynram-Shillong Road which does touch only the fringe of the constituency. There is not a single village in my constituency where there is pipe water supply, not a village where there are medial facilities to improve the health of the people. Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, to many of my people car is still a light of luxury because most of them have not seen it. If they want to see a car they have to trot 7 or 8 miles. This really has kept them in a very backward state. If this, as I said earlier, Nongstoin Division, be bifurcated I believe some improvements will be there new roads can be constructed round about my constituency and others or else they will remain as they were allowed to remain at the time of the Government of Assam. There was a proposal at that time and one road was constructed in this area but that road till today is not motorable because of one bridge. On either side of the road construction has been made but that road is still not motorable because of the absence of the bridge and it is six years now. Another road that goes through my constituency is the Wahlang-Nongspung Road. This road also is left half done. I do not know whom to be blamed may be because Assam Government did not take much interest in completing it. But I do hope and trust our present Government would like to complete the other 5 or 6 kilometers. This road at present goes up in the steep of the hill where people cannot go up nor go down because it is so steep that even if it is completed to that extent it will not serve the purpose. So I would urge upon the Government that this being a planned road and as the people are very anxious to have the road, the Government should see to it that special sanction be made available otherwise that road will be in the same stage for another 2 or 3 years.

        Now I would like to say something Soil Conservation. This, I believe as everyone of us I hope will agree with me, is a very important Department. But the functioning of this Department I am sorry to say is very unsatisfactory. It has been stated in the budget speech that 83 per cent of our land in the whole State is a barren land and 8 percent of it forest land. Naturally this Department should take up on a war footing to plant more trees and to improve the condition of the soil. But here it seems we are following in the foot-steps on the past Government. I remember that there was a place in Weiloi where the Assam Government had been certain plots of land for re-afforestation but hardly three or four trees come up and there Forest Department is, apparently, not doing anything about it. This Department sometimes used to call for application for land terracing and everything. But I learned just there four days back was that while money is disbursed to these applicants for land terracing, many more applications which were received were not even investigated. No one come to investigate the land whereas somebody else simply got the money. This is a very sad state of affairs and I believe the Government would look into this and see for itself, that is, if the Government is very keen to conserve the resources of our soil, our land. This Department should work more seriously.

        As far as Transport is concerned, I would like to say a few words Mr. Deputy  Speaker, Sir, there has been a complaint from the people especially from the people of my constituency and also from the adjoining constituencies, that the introduction of the new transport buses from Shillong to Mawsynram or other places is not advantageous to them in so far as the fare is concerned which, instead of being lower than that on the private buses, is bigger. From here is Shillong the privates buses charge three rupees but the State Government Transport take more than Rs.3.50 or even Rs.4.00 or something like that. So, if the Transport buses of the Government are to serve the people, I feel tat the rates should be reduced so that the people can get something out of it.

        My last point about urban development. I appreciate very much the Government because it has taken up schemes like slum clearance and urban development in Shillong, Jowai and Tura towns. But I would suggest through, you, Sir, that in the particular place of Police Bazar in Shillong something should be done. The buildings here are made in a mushroom manner and they present a bad sight to tourists, etc. The whole of Police Bazar, especially the G. S. Road areas, should be carefully planned so that the buildings that would be constructed there would be in a planned manner. Dilapidated buildings here and there should be removed and we should not allow the people to construct sheds as they make very bad sight. So, I would urge upon the Government to have a good plan and at least try to make this place a beauty spot. Thank you, Sir.


ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Deputy  Speaker :- The House stand adjourned till 9 a. m. on Saturday, the 24th March, 1973.

 

R. T. RYMBAI

Secretary,

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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