Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held on 30th March, 1974 in the Assembly Chamber Shillong.




(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Mr. Speaker : Let us take up unstarred question No. 19.

Applications for undergoing training in Co-operative Society

Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S.T.) asked :


Will the Minister-in-charge of Co-operation be pleased to state-


The number of application received by the Department from the intending candidates from Garo Hills for undergoing training in Co-operative Society Business ?


The number of candidates already sent for training for the purpose?


If not, why?


The number of candidates from Garo Hills proposed to be sent for such training during the year 1974-75?

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

19. (a)





-Selected candidates has not yet been taken.


Decision has not yet been taken

Officiating Block Development officers in the State 

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :


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


How many officiating Block Development Officers are there in the State?


When do Government propose to post full-fledged Block Development Officers in  those Blocks?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Community Development) replied :

20. (a)

-Seven Block Development Officers are in the officiating capacity.


-Government have already taken steps to make immediate adhoc recruitment to the posts under the State Civil Service. The post of Block Development Officers will be filled up immediately when the recruitment was finalised.

20 (b).

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.): Will Government consider up-grading the officiating Block Development Officers?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Community Development) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, Government have no such proposal.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Does it mean Mr. Speaker, Sir, that when more B.D. Officers are appointed, officiating Block Development Officers will be taken away from their posts.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Community Development): Mr. Speaker, Sir, these new Block Development Officers are the senior most or most Extension Officers and they will go to their own posts.

Film Industry in Meghalaya

Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) asked :

21. Will the Minister-in-charge of Social Welfare be pleased to state -


Whether it is a fact that the Government intends to start a Film Industry in Meghalaya?


If so, where?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, in-charge of Social Welfare, Public relations, etc.) replied :


(a) - No.

(b) - Does not arise.

Shri H. Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Why not?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : That is argumentative.

Vacant Posts of Gram Sevaks and Gram Sevikas

Shri Manindra Rabha (Tikrikilla) asked :

2. Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be please to state-

(a) The number of posts of Gram Sevaks and Gram Sevikas laying vacant in Meghalaya (Block-wise)?

(b) Whether actions Government proposes to take to fill up the vacancies?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister of Community Development) replied :


 A statement is placed on the Table of the House..


Government have already recruited candidates for training at the Up-grade Training Centre, Upper Shillong. On successful completion of training they will be appointed as Gram Sevaks against the vacant posts.

    Government is also considering the question of reducing the minimum qualification required for appointment to posts of Gram Sevikas as no qualified candidates are available.

Surrender of money by the Planning Department

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) asked :

23. Will the Minister-in-charge of Planning be pleased to state the total amount from the Annual Plan Budget of 1973-74 surrendered by the Planning Department as on 15th March, 1974?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Planning) replied :

23.- As a result of the review of the position, the following saving were located in the Annual Plan Budget, 1973-74 of the Planning Department due to the reasons indicated against each item -

Rs lakhs
(As on 15th March, 1974)


1. Statistics          ...         ...


Due to non-receipt of calculating machine in time and late joining of technical staff.

2. Planning and Evaluation


Savings in Travelling Allowance and late joining of staff.

3. Advance Action           ...


Due to delay in approval of the schemes by the Nationalised Banks and savings in stipends, etc., due to shortfall of trainees and shortage of technical personnel.

4. Rural Works Programme


The probable savings of the Planning Department as well as of other Departments from the schemes included in the Annual Plan Budget of 1973-74 have been located and re-allocated to other schemes. Thus, there is no likelihood of any shortfall in the Plan expenditure except marginally.

Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) : What are the types of machineries which are not available?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : Calculating machines.

Inter-changing of Officers between Assam and Meghalaya

Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :

24. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state-


(a) Whether the Government has discontinued the practice of inter-changing officers on deputation between Assam and Meghalaya?

(b) - If not, how long it will be continued?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

24. (a)

- No. Actually, inter-change of officers between Assam and Meghalaya is made only in respect of I.A.S., I.P.S. and I.F.S. Officers as there are Joint Cadres for Assam-Meghalaya in respect of these Services with effect from 21st January, 1972.
        All other officers and staff taken from the Government of Assam are now on deputation to this Government but without deputation allowance pending their final allocation of State of Meghalaya as required under Section 64 (1) of the North Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971 or ultimate return to Government of Assam as, the case may be. most of the persons taken from the Government of Assam will eventually be taken over by the Government of Meghalaya except a few whom this Government may not retain permanently.


 - Does not arise.

Construction of Jakrem-Ranikor road

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) : asked :

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


The total amount allocated during the Third and Fourth Five Year Plan for the construction of Jakrem-Ranikor Road?


Whether it is a fact that a major portion in the middle i.e., from Kyniong to Nongrah of the said road has not ever been surveyed and will not be able to take up in the Fourth Plan Period?.


Whether the completed portion from Rangthong to Kyniong is motorable?


If, not, the reasons thereof?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh [(Minister of State, in-charge of P.W.D (R. & B.)] replied :


Allotment for Third Plan 1962-67- Rs.3,17,636.
        Ad-hoc 1967-68 - Rs.3,10,800.
        Allotment for Fourth Plan 1969-74 - Rs.34,63,000.


The road has been surveyed and estimate has been administratively approved. Technical sanction also has been accorded.


Yes, for a distance of 3 K.M. only from Rangthong.
The remaining length is not yet motorable.


 Bridges have not yet been constructed.

Post of malaria Surveillance Inspectors

Shri Choronsing Sangma (Rongrenggirir) asked :

26. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Health be pleased to state whether the post of Malaria Surveillance Inspectors and other workers of the Inspectorate are transferable?

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

26. - Yes. There is no Inspectorate under this Programme.

Schemes for Development of Border Areas

Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S.T.) asked :

27. Will the Minister-in-charge of Development be pleased to state -


The schemes Government propose to take up for the development of the Border Areas during this financial year 1974-75?


The schemes already implemented and the amount incurred so far (District-wise) ?


Whether the whole amount provided for the scheme has been spent?


If not, the reasons thereof ?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, border Areas Development Department) replied : 


(a) -

(i) During the first year of the Fifth-Five Year Plan it is proposed to start constructing some Atarial Roads and Feeder Roads in the Border Areas of the Garo Hills, Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills. Hanging bridges, minor, medium and major bridges will also be constructed.

(ii) The Public Health Engineering Department will also be undertaking water supply schemes at selected places.

(iii) Financial assistance will also be given to establish new Co-operative Societies and for strengthening some societies which are already in existence.

(iv) The award of stipends to eligible students from the Border Areas will be continued; and schemes are being prepared for bringing more areas under permanent cultivation and for the establishment of more livestock breeding centres

(v) It is also proposed to appoint one senior officer per District to co-ordinate and supervise developmental activities in the Border Areas.

(b) -

In 1973-74, the following schemes were undertaken by various departments :-

(i) Power tillers were purchased and minor irrigation channels constructed by the Agriculture Department in areas where terraced cultivation was possible. Assistance was also provided for the development of Horticulture.

(ii) The Public Health Engineering also completed part of the Multiphase Water Supply Scheme in Siju.

(iii) Stipends to students from the Border Areas were also provided through the Education Department.

(iv) Ten trucks were purchased for the Border Areas Marketing Scheme.

(v) Fourteen Border Areas Development Officers were also appointed to assist the Deputy Commissioners in the field of Border Area Development.

(c) -

Yes, it is expected that the whole amount will be spent by March, 1974.


Does not arise in view of (c) above.

Supply of Hardwood Sawn Timber, etc.

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) asked :

28. Will the Minister-in-charge of Forests be pleased to state -


Whether it is a fact that quotations for the supply of Hardwood Sawn Timber, ballies, etc., have been invited by the Government of Meghalaya for the year 1973-74?


If so, the number of quotations received?


The names of persons who offered the lowest rates for (i) ballies and (ii) Sawn Timbers?


Whether their quotations have been accepted?


How many persons were allotted with the supply of (i) Ballies (ii) Sawn Timber and (iii) Ballies and Sawn Timber with their names and address and the quantity allotted to each? To be shown separately for (i) Ballies (ii) Sawn Timber and (iii) Ballies and Sawn Timber.


Whether the Timber are meant for supply to Bangladesh?

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







(1) Shri W. Goyang.

(2) Khli Pohrmen.

(3) Stelin Bareh.

(4) Dengbri Tariang.

(5) P. Warjri

(6) Khraw Tongper.

(7) Hat Pohtam.

(8) Larian Pde.

(9) Peacewell Suchen.

(10) Badkit Buam

(11) Anon Nongsteng.

(12) Khrandiar Nior.

(13) Nightstar.

(14) Stodiwell Lyngdoh

(15) Thomas Khonglah.

(16) Joitsing

(17) Laitphar.


(1) Pring Shophoh.

(2) Yersting Lyngdoh.

(3) S. Nonglynrah.

(4) W. Syrpailin Cajee.

(d) -


(e) -

The number of allottees is as follows -

(i) Ballies - 147.
(ii) Sawn Timber - 50
(iii) Ballies and Sawn Timber - 4.
    Three lists showing commodity-wise the names and addresses of the allottees with the quantity allotted are placed on the Table of the House.

(f) -


Shri W. Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) : May we know the latest rates quoted by these people?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : I want notice.

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : The reply to 28 (a) (i) says that the number of allottees for ballies is 147. How many ballies were allotted? Here the number of persons who received orders for supply of ballies is 147. My supplementary is what is the total quantity of ballies supplied through these 147 allottees?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :I want notice for that question.

Control, Management of the Shillong-Gauhati Road

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.)  asked :

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


Whether the Government of Meghalaya proposes to take over the control, management of the Shillong-Gauhati Road?


(b) If so, when?


(c) If not, why?

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


- Yes.


- As soon as possible.


- Does not arise.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Reply to 29 (b), can Government give at least a target date?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Transport) : No, Sir, I cannot give the target date.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : What are the practical difficulties now being experienced in this respect?

Mr. Speaker : You mean the practical difficulties in the control and management?

Prof. M.N. Majaw : No, Sir, in the negotiations for taking over.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Transport) : Discussions are taking place between various officials and the question of practical difficulties will only emerge after we come to a final conclusion.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : But Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have been discussing this matter for more than two years. May we know what are the insurmountable difficulties which are yet to be overcome?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Transport) : We have not discussed for over two years as stated by the hon. Member. The scheme has to be prepared and on the basis of that scheme, discussions will fall place. Then only we can find out the practical difficulties. The scheme is being worked out by our Government. It was to be discussed with the Assam Government and the Corporation and then if thee is no agreement, then it is sent to the Government of India to make a decision.

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Is it not a fact that one of the problems that could not be solved is the percentage?

Mr. Speaker : This is a piece of information.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : As a piece of information, is it a fact or not?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : This particular question raised by Mr. Majaw relates to the assets and liabilities and has got nothing to do with this.

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna (Nongtalang S.T.) : Do we expect the taking over this year?

Mr. Speaker : The Minister has already replied that he cannot give the target date.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Transport) : I am not going to speculate.

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem S.T.) : What is the difficulty in taking over control and management?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, as already replied by my colleague, Minister in-charge of Transport we have prepared a scheme and the scheme has got to be submitted to the Government of India for approval. Before we submit the scheme to the Government of India, naturally the discussions will have to take place with the Government of Assam and the Assam Road Transport Corporation and then on the basis of the scheme, if there be some differences of opinion with the Government of Assam, the Transport Corporation and the Government of Meghalaya, then this question should be decided by the Government of India.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Transport) : Sir, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in addition to the Reorganisation Act, this is also required under section 47 (a) of the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950.

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, what is the difficulty in the Government of Meghalaya itself preparing the scheme without consulting the Assam Government?

Mr. Speaker : That is what the Minister has already replied.

Shri Upstar Kharbuli (Malki) : Will this scheme operating in addition to the State Road Transport Organisation which is operating at present?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Transport) : The whole scheme will be prepared by our Government and discussed with the representatives of the Government of Assam and the existing Corporation had only after that scheme is complete, then we will know the whole thing.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : When did the Government decide on principle to take over the management?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Transport) : I want notice for that question.

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : My question is why is it that the scheme of the Government of Meghalaya has to be discussed with the Government of Assam? This is not according to the Act.

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Transport) : The question is that because it is an inter-state road, we have to co-ordinate our schemes with the ideas of the Assam Government as the road does not end only in our State. That is why it is involved in certain inter State agreements.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Will Government .....

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise on a point of order. The hon. member has put three supplementary questions on this particular question.

Prof. martin Narayan Majaw : But since I was called by you, Mr. Speaker, Sir,  ...........

Mr. Speaker : Sometimes I fail to calculate this. I must be thankful to some hon. Members who would always be helping me in doing mathematical work.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, why the Government of Meghalaya cannot take only the portion which is under Meghalaya?

Mr. Speaker : You can say, what is the difficulty on the part of the Government to take over transport which falls within Meghalaya?

Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister of Transport) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, under the section 47 (a) of the Road transport Corporation Act, the scheme has to be prepared and forwarded to the Central Government for approval.

Grants-in-aid to the District Councils

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) asked :

30. Will the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs be pleased to state -


Whether it is a fact that grants-in-aid to the District Councils are released only after utilisation of previous year's grants?


Whether Government propose to waive this condition for all District Councils.

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs Department) replied :

30. (a)

- Yes.


- No.

Road Construction on Mawphlang P.W.D. Subdivision 

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh asked :

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


Whether it is a fact that only 3 Kms. of road was constructed in the whole of Mawphlang P.W.D. Subdivision (Maharam Areas) since Meghalaya became a full-fledged State?


The total length of the Rangthong - Ngunraw Feeder Road?


Whether it is a fact that the above 3 Kms. of constructed road is in the Rangthong-Ngunraw Road?


When will the total length be completed?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh [(Minister, P.W.D. (R.&B.)]  replied :


- No, Sir.
     In addition to the 3 Kms. of Road (Rangthong-Ngunraw) the following projects were also taken up during the 4th Plan period in Mawphlang P.W.D. Subdivision -
     (1) Mawthawpdah-Phlangdiloin Road (Sec. II and III).
     (2) Construction of Bridges and Culverts on Jakrem-Mawksiar Road. 


- The total length is approximately 21 (twenty-one) Kilometers.


- Yes.


- If fund permit, the remaining length will be considered during the 5th Plan Period.

Village Defence Party in Meghalaya

Shri Manindra Rabha (Tikrikilla) asked :

32. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) Whether the village defence parties in Meghalaya are functioning at present?

(b) If not, what actions Government proposes to organise the same?

(c) Whether Government proposes to equip the village defence parties with fire arms for effective functioning?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :



(b)-Does not arise.

(c)-There is no such proposal at present.

Shri Humphrey Hadem : 32 (b), What are the equipments supplied to the village defence parties?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : They are given torchlight's, blanket and sticks, that is all.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Jaiaw S.T.) : Are they given any remuneration?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : The registered ones are given pocket money of Rs.10.00 per month.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : 32 (a) How many are there in the Khasi Hills District?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : We are just going to organise. I cannot give the exact number. There are there honorary advisers, one for Khasi hills, one for Garo Hills and another for Jaintia Hills.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Sir, may I point out that in reply to 32 (b), it has been stated 'Does not arise'. But we have been told that the Government is going to organise these units.

Mr. Speaker : Whether they are functioning at present?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : How many are functioning at present in the Khasi Hills District?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I want notice for it.

Meghalayan Employees in the North Eastern Council

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.)  asked : 

33. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -  

(a) The number of Meghalayan employed in the office of the North Eastern Council at Shillong category-wise?

(b) The number of posts reserved for the Meghalayan in the above office category-wise?

(c) The step taken by the Government to safeguard the interest of the Meghalayan for appointment in the above office?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

33.(a) -

(i) Stenographer ...    ...      ...         ...


(ii) Upper Division Assistants   ...      ...


(iii) Lower Division Assistants   ...      ...


(iv) Peons    ...       ...           ...           ...


Total     ...       


     (b) -

At present there is no reservation of posts in the Council Secretariat for different communities or for different States.

     (c) -

The Government of Meghalaya have taken up the matter with the Government of India as well as the North Eastern Council for absorbing more Meghalayans in the offices of the Council.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : 33 (a), whether the appointments of staff are made in the North Eastern Council through Public Service Commission or Central Public Service Commission or Selection Board?

Mr. Speaker : That question relates to the North Eastern Council which is not a department of this Government. They have their own policy and procedure of recruitment which this Government has nothing to do.

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Laitumkhrah) : Here by Meghalayan employees does it mean that only scheduled tribals or other tribals of Meghalaya?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I will read out the particulars which are with me. They are : (i) Shri H.S. Rani stenographer, Shri H. Lyngdoh, stenographer, they are taken from the Inspector General of Police's office, Meghalaya, (2) Shrimati F. Malngiang she was taken from the Secretariat Administration Department of Meghalaya, Lower Division Assistant, Shrimati Jone Pariat, stenographer, taken from the office of the Anthropological Survey of India, Shri P. Shullai, Upper Division Assistant, Shri S. Nongsiej, Head Assistant from Accountant General's office, Shri S. Kharshiing, Upper Division Assistant taken from the Education Department, Shrimati N. Sangma, Lower Division Assistant direct recruit, Shri N. Khongji, Lower Division Assistant, Shri P. Sutnga, Peon and Shri K.P. Warding, Peon all these are direct recruits.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) : May we know from the Minister the total strength of the staff in the North Eastern Council?

Mr. Speaker : That is also not under the control of this State Government.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : 33 (a) may, we know from the Government what percentage these 11 person represent?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I do not know the total strength of the North Eastern Council as the North Eastern Council is not under the control of the Government of Meghalaya.

Shri Dhruba Nath Joshi (Shillong Cantonment) : What percentage is reserved for Meghalayans in the North Eastern Council?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : There is no reservation of posts at present.

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) : Whether these 11 persons have been employed in the North Eastern Council through the good offices of the State Government of Meghalaya?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : We have requested the North Eastern Council Secretariat to accommodate as many tribal employees as possible because of the shifting of the Capital. We have also take up this question with the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, to give some sort of instructions to the North Eastern Council Secretariat to try to absorb as many tribal employees serving under the Government of Assam.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T. ) : May we know the date upto which these 11 persons have been taken into consideration?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : That information should be obtained from the North Eastern Council Secretariat.

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir : Whether Government is aware that not a single person out of these 11 persons has been taken from the employees serving at present under the Government of Assam?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I cannot reply as I am not the North Eastern Council Authority.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) : asked

34. Will the Minister-in-charge, Municipal Administration be pleased to state -

(a) Whether delimitation of Shillong Municipal Wards has since been completed?

(b) If so, when will fresh election to the Shillong Municipal Board be held?

(c) Whether there is any proposal to change the system of election of Ward Commissioners?

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

34. (a) & (b) - Yes.

        The question of fresh delimitation consequent upon public representations, is however, under consideration.

        Election will be held when this is finalised.

        (c) - No.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T) : 34 (a), may we know the nature of the public representation - whether it is through private individuals or from the local bodies?

Mr. Speaker : In fact, there has been elaborate discussion on this particular subject and the Chief Minister and the Minister for municipal Administration had already given elaborate reply.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : But I think their reply does not cover at all. I want to know whether public representation is from private or from local bodies?

Mr. Speaker : Both the Chief Minister and Minister for Municipal Administration had already replied to it the other day.

Water Supply Scheme at Silkigiri, etc

Shri Jackman Marak (Chokpot S.T.) asked :

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

(a) Whether the Water Supply Scheme at village Silkigiri has been completed?

(b) If so, when?

(c) If not, why?

(d) Whether  Government propose to take up Water Supply Scheme at Chokpot?

(e) If so, when?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge, Public Health Engineering) replied :



(b)-Does not arise.

(c)-Due to lack of funds


(e)-During the Fifth Plan period.

Proposed Water Supply Schemes in Garo Hills

Shri Singjan Sangma (Tura S.T.) asked :

36. Will the Minister-in-charge, Public Health Engineering be pleased to state -

(a) Whether the Water Supply Schemes proposed to be taken up in Garo Hills District have been completed?

(b) If so, the names of the Schemes with their locations?

(c) The budget estimate for the scheme?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister-in-charge, Public Health Engineering) replied :

36. (a) - No.

       (b) & (c) - The names of the sanctioned schemes in Garo Hills along with their estimated cost is laid down on the Table of the House.

Shri F. K. Mawlot (Nongstoin S.T.) : 36 (a), may we know the difficulties on the part of the Government that not even a single schemes is completed in Garo Hills?

Mr. Speaker : That is a new question.

Fishery Subsidy for the Border Areas

Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S.T.) asked :

37. Will the Minister-in-charge of Fishery be pleased to state -

(a) Whether is there any provision for Fishery subsidy specifically for the Border Areas during this current financial year 1974-75 through the District Fishery Officer, Garo Hills?

(b) If so, why?

(c) If the answer to (a) be with affirmative by whom the Block-wise allocations are made and determined for the development of Fishery under the C.D. and T.D. Blocks in the State?

(d) The names of the Blocks in Garo Hills, where there are ample scope for the development of Fishery Tanks?

(e) Whether Government has taken up any scheme for promotion of Fishery in these areas?

(f) The Development Blocks in Garo Hills having the largest number of Fishery Tanks and the names of other Blocks having lesser number of Fishery Tanks?

(g) Whether the Government proposes to send one Fishery Demonstrator to Zigzak Development Block in Garo Hills where there is ample scope for Fishery Development?

Shri Grohonsing Marak (Minister of State in-charge of Fisheries) replied :


(a), (b) & (c) Since the Border Areas Department has been created to deal with the area, the Fishery Department has not been given any fund for development of Fishery in the Border Areas.

(d) - Feasibility survey has not been taken up so far.

(e) - No.

(f) - Rongram Development Block has got the highest number of Fishery tanks and Selsella Development Block the lowest.

(g) - One Fishery Demonstrator has already been posted at Betasing to cover the Fishery Development activities of Zigzak Development Block also.

Shri Maham Singh (Mawprem) : 37 (a) Whether Border Areas Department was got any personnel to examine the fishery schemes?

Mr. Speaker : The question here relates to subsidy and does not refer to the personnel.

Shri Maham Singh : But in the reply it has been stated that the Border Area Department has been created to deal with the area.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : As a general practice all these schemes are being taken up and implemented by the existing Departments of the Government. We have not set up separate technical agency but we have got the administrative set-up to scrutinise and co-ordinate the activities of the Department.

Number of staff in the Fishery Department

Shri Manindra Rabha (Tikrikilla S.T.) asked :

38. Will the Minister-in-charge of Fisheries be pleased to state -

(a) The number of staff in the Department of Fisheries (Category-wise)?

(b) Whether the said staff is adequate for the Department?

(c) Whether any loan or subsidy has been sanctioned to the applicants in 1972-73 and 1973-74?

(d) If, so, the number thereof (District-wise)?

Shri Grohonsing Marak (Minister of State in-charge of Fisheries) replied :

38. (a) - The number of staff in the Department category-wise is as follows :-


1. Gazetted (Technical)





2. Non-gazetted (Technical)





3. Ministerial (Directorate) -
    Class III               
    (b) Class IV                      ...    





4. Ministerial (District) -
    (a) Class III   ...     ... 
    (b) Class IV   ...    ...





5. Non-Technical (Skilled)





6. Non-Technical (Semi-skilled)





7. Non-Technical (Un-skilled)






- Adequacy or otherwise of staff, etc., is under close study and necessary action will be taken to augment if necessary.


- Yes.





1. Khasi Hills



    Proposed to be given subject to field verification, etc.

2. Jaintia Hills



3. Garo Hills



Drawal of T.A., D.A., etc., by M.L.As.

Shri Choronsing Sangma (Rongrenggirir S.T.) replied :

    39. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state whether the M.L.As are entitled to draw Travelling Allowance and Daily Allowance, etc., for attending any Advisory Committee or Board constituted by the Government?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

    39. - Yes. Members of the Legislative Assembly who are required to attend any Advisory Committee or Board constituted by Government may claim Travelling Allowance/Daily Allowance at the rate applicable to senior Grade Government Officers.

    However, no Travelling Allowance/Daily allowance is admissible when a member is required to attend such meetings within the radius 8 kms. from his headquarters.

Migration of Garos from Goalpara to Garo Hills

Shri Stanlington David Khongwir (Mawlai S.T.) asked :

40. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a) Whether it is a fact that hundreds of Garos from Goalpara District in Assam migrated to Garo Hills as a sequel to the recent disturbances in Goalpara District?

(b) If so, the total number of such evacuees?

(c) The steps so far taken by the Government to succour the evacuees?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :


(a) - Yes.

(b) - 182 families consisting of 859 members as on 25th March, 1974.

(c) - The evacuees have taken shelter at Dilma, Dainadubi and Bajengdoba. Relief measures have been rendered to them by distributing rice, salt and dal, etc.

Shri Stanlington Khongwir : Whether the relief given to the evacuees is adequate?

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had no occasion in this House to say whether it is adequate or not. But from humanitarian point of view we are trying to give some relief to these people. So far as ration is concerned we are giving rice, dal and salt. We do not want to give relief in a big way as that would encouraging these people to come over to our area.

Shri Pritington Sangma (Kharkutta S.T.) : May we know whether any action is taken by the Government for their honourable return.

Mr. Speaker : The Chief Minister has already replied at the time of reply to Governor's Address.

Emergency food production in Garo hills

Shri Samarendra Sangma (Salmanpara S.T.) asked : 

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

(a) The total expenditure incurred for the emergency food production last year in Garo Hills?

(b) The quantity produced during the said period?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :


(a) - No emergency food production was undertaken in Meghalaya.

(b) - Does not arise.

Mr. Speaker : Next item, i.e., call attention.

Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very unfortunate that for the third time the question of Pilangkata should be brought to the notice of this august House. We have had the occasion to bring call attention notice to the Government when a group of Armed Police with some senior officers destroyed the bridge of Pilangkata. After that Mr. Speaker, Sir, we had the occasion last November to report to the Government that a big group of people from Kamrup went to harvest the standing crops of the people of Pilangkata. Mr. Speaker, Sir, recently we have also reported to the Chief Secretary and also to the Revenue Minister that the people of Kamrup have forcibly measured the land of Pilangkata which falls within Meghalaya. It is very unfortunate that in the meeting between the Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam and the Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, the Chief Secretary of Assam assured that he would issue circulars to all concerned including Police Outpost, officers concerned and others. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fail to understand why this eviction notice was issued by the Additional Deputy Commissioner. I do not understand whether the Government of Assam issued such order or the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup issued that order of eviction on the 15th of this month which reads as follows -

        "That Assam Government has issued as eviction notice to the whole village of Pilangkata on 15th instant and they should leave their place within 15 days. Within 15 days of the receipt of this notice you will have to completely vacate the land otherwise you will be forcibly evicted". Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Chief Minister of Assam a few days ago made a statement in the Assembly that there was no boundary dispute with Meghalaya.

Mr. Speaker : This House is concerned with the statement made by the Chief Minister of this State.

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang : Mr. Speaker, Sir, our statement has admitted that there is a boundary dispute and which is a fact. Now Sir, the people of Pilangkata are well-behaved citizens, innocent and law-abiding people otherwise there would have been bloodshed due to harassment caused by the people of Kamrup and officers of the Government of Assam. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, patience has also its limit and, I am afraid, if this State of affairs continues, there will be a breach of peace and unfriendly relations between these two Governments. Therefore, I urge upon the Government to take immediate appropriate action so that this type of harassment, exploitation and intimidation is stopped. 

Mr. Speaker : Minister for Revenue may like to give a statement.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister of Revenue) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, this House may remember, as has been mentioned by the hon'ble Member from Nongpoh, that this question of Pilangkata area figured also in the previous Sessions. This area was a subject matter of a case with the High Court lodged by certain people form that areas. Then on the advice of the High Court, it was decided that the matter might be examined by a Committee. Before Meghalaya was constituted a Committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary of Assam with the Deputy Commissioner Kamrup and the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills, as Members. The report of the Committee was that the areas falls within the District of Kamrup. When Meghalaya came into being as an autonomous State, we studied the report and decided not to accept the findings of the Committee and that matter should again be examined jointly by the Government of Assam and Meghalaya. Now as already announced before that this Government has appointed an Adviser to the Government for boundary matters and the Adviser had taken up with the authority concerned.

        In Assam including the Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam to discuss this question and other matters relating to the demarcation of the boundaries between Meghalaya and Assam. The House is await that a few days ago, there was an incident of the destruction of the bridge in Pilangkata. The matter came to the House and we had discussions on that very unfortunate incidents. The matter was taken up at officials levels. I also had the occasion to visit the area where the people were peacefully living for a number of decades and they belong to the Khasi and Garo Communities. It is very unfortunate after a few days another incident such as this was referred to by the hon'ble Member, happened when the Additional Deputy Commissioner issued an eviction notice on the people staying there for a long period of time. They had property, permanent homestead, permanent gardens and paddy fields and it is very very unfortunate and beyond human understanding and without any justifiable reason that such arbitrary notice were issued. Our Officers on receipt of reports from the Police, immediately took up the matter with the counterpart of the Kamrup District. The Deputy Commissioner of this District took up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner of this District but immediately on the 4th, to our great surprise the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup issued eviction notice. Therefore it was decided that the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup should meet the Additional Deputy Commissioner of this District at Pilangkata and discuss the matter. The meeting took place, discussion took place there, and as already mentioned by the hon. Member from Nongpoh, at the Chief Secretaries level also there was a meeting to discuss this matter and the hon. Member himself did see the Chief Secretaries sitting there. From the side of Assam the Chief Secretary give an assurance not to take unilateral action in this matter. We can only hope and wait first to see the implementation of this assurance on the part of the Chief Secretary of Assam and also to see that no forceful and arbitrary actions are taken by the Government of Assam this not only in this particular case of Pilangkata area but in other cases also on which we have differences of opinion under the demarcation of boundaries like Khanduli and boundary between Mikir Hills and Jaintia Hills and also in the Khanapara area including Pilangkata. The Chief Minister had the occasion to make a statement on these matters in his reply to the debate on the Governor's Address. The hon. members had urged that suitable steps should be taken by this Government in this regard. All Members of the House may appreciate the delicacy of such matters where there are differences of opinion and disputes between one State and another in the same country. In the context f the circumstances, we, on behalf of the Government, have taken and will be taking all possible steps. We are deeply concerned and we are deeply interested in these matters as any citizen of the State. We would assure the hon. members of the House and the people of the State that we are extremely and keenly alive to this question and we would be seeking all avenues and opportunities and take all steps possible to see that these unfortunate incidents and tensions in the border areas are banished so that we can live as peaceful and as happy as possible among the citizen of one country as it should be. This is all I can say just at present Mr. Speaker, Sir. 

Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to get one information. Today is the 30th and it is now 15 days since the order of eviction was issued. I want to know whether the Government has taken up this matter?

Mr. Speaker : Do you mean this eviction order?

Shri D.D. Lapang : Yes Sir, because today it is 15 days since the date of issue of the eviction order.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) : This is matter was taken up with the Government of Assam on the very day we received the report. in order to stay eviction action on this notice. The proper authority is the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup, and the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills informed me that the Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup District has issued a stay order.

Mr. Speaker : Let us pass on to item No.3 Motions. The motion to be moved by Prof. Majaw on the progress and development of the Ri Bhoi Area.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House does not discuss the progress and development of the Ri Bhoi Area.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I burden this House with the discussion on may problems facing the Ri Bhoi, I would honestly request the hon. Ministers that while paying attention to the discussion, to kindly give answers pertaining to these problems raised, and not some type of replies which are perhaps prepared by the Secretaries. We like replies pertaining to the questions which we raise.

        Now, Sir, this Ri Bhoi is a vast sprawling area stretching into the South to the Umlew River and part of the Umiam river, then stretching in the East to the river Umkhen, Umlet and the Umiam West also again Umtru and the Umiam. This is a vast sprawling area of about 563 square miles covering 366 villages.

Mr. Speaker : Is that your definition because according to the understanding of the Khasi people, Ri Bhoi even includes Mikir Hills.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : We have just been discussing one of the problems on the border area. Therefore, I will not touch on that aspect of the matter because we realise that we do not want to unnecessarily hamper our relations wit h our sister State. Therefore, I will confine only to the geographical limits of Meghalaya and that portion of it known as the 'Ri Bhoi'. There are about 366 villages covering 3 M.L.As. Umroi, Mawhati, Nongpoh and half of Nongkhlaw constituency.


        I hope Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the mode of levity will not be the mode of levity of the Government.

Mr. Speaker : If you discuss constituency-wise, then Umroi excludes a part of it? because .......

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : It is a negligible part.

Mr. Speaker : What is the boundary of the Ri Bhoi?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : I have already given the boundary.

Mr. Speaker : Do you think that a part of Mawthengkut is not within Ri Bhoi and in that case it would have a far reaching consequences. And since Mr. Majaw you have confined yourself to geographical definition, Ri Bhoi also referred to the Lalung Hills of the Northern part of Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills District.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Yes. What I have done Mr. Speaker, Sir, is to take the boundary for the proposed Bhoi Administrative Unit. I take only those boundaries. Therefore, I have taken the geographical limits which the Government proposes for an Administrative Unit of the Bhoi. now there are several Syiemships also in this area, Several Elakas. Of course the largest is the Khyrim Syiemship and then apart of the Nongspung Syiemship. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, ....

Mr. Speaker : I think you must remember the Sohiong Lyngdohship. In that case you should know the boundary of Sohiong also.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : I think Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will speak more if I am less interrupted. The first problem of the Bhoi people is water. A person can live without food for quite a number of days, as many of the great fasting champions proved in India but no one can live without water for a long stretch of time and this drinking water is demanded, of course, everywhere. But as I am talking of this particular area, I would like to bring water from the source. But the source is dried up because of denudation of forest. People are unwantingly cutting out trees. A little water that they have is only from streams and ponds and that too a very dirty one. If you to then Lalung and Marmain areas, you will see that the source is muddy and even frogs jumping about.

        Now, Sir, the second problem is food. Food is related to Agriculture.

Mr. Speaker : I think I should interrupt here. If you are speaking about water supply and say that the people in the upland region region are suffering more than those living in the lower region and if you say that this water is dangerous for consumption because of malarial germs.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : This is a different question that will come in the end. Where others suffering more or less, the facts remains that the people are suffering. Now, Sir, where agriculture is concerned, is a very very big problem. In the first case we know that they have only one crop and at the time of sowing it also happened that elephants are coming and trampled upon the paddy sown. There are times where people spend sleepless nights to watch their paddy fields from being trampled by elephants. I know of the case when one Sirdar of Ja-ir spent two months sleeplessly, he fell into the fire and burnt his face just watching to drive away the elephants. We have often spoken in this House and I will come to that later on. What the Government had done, what the Government could do? In addition to elephants, there are bears during the maize season and there no weapons to kill these. At Nongtraw Kyrdem and Myriaw there are monkeys and in Thaiang there are wild bores, and caused great depredation to the people on their cultivation and these people after they have spent much of their time in the hot sun were squeezed out at the end of their labour. And then Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have the invasion from the Khutiwallas.

        Khutiwallas who allowed their buffaloes to walk over the fields of the local people and whenever the local people complaints these Khutiwallas raise their daos to threaten the local people. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, Sir, they will never observe the customary rights of the local people; they have even elected their own sirdars. There are instances where these sirdars have the audacity to summon the Khasi Sirdars to come before them. When I was elected as the M.L.A. of the Mawhati Constituency, there were only 21 Khutis but now there are about 43 of them. In the Umsohlait village these khuti-wallas are increasing further and once they came at dead of night. Some of them do not even know how to speak in Hindi. they are the people of India., Mr. Speaker, Sir, you can tell by their red faces and they look like they have come straight from the Himalayas.

        Thirdly, the problems of roads. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we all know, roads are the arteries but what roads are there in the Bhoi area? Of course, there is a big and famous Gauhati-Shillong Road which is also the only show-piece in that area. Then there is the Umroi road and that top was constructed because there would be an aerodrome at Umroi. Apart from that road, all the other roads are in a deplorable state, e.g. the Umling-Patharkhmah Road, the Nongpoh-Umden road, the Nongpoh-Umjari Road and the Road to Shillong-Um. Mr. Speaker, Sir, and their problem is this that the Bhoi area has got a small quantity of food or grains to carry to the markets for sale or exchange for mustard oil or other edible commodities like salt. But what can a poor man do? He can carry only 10 Kg. on his back or at most he can carry only about 20 Kg and because there no roads and jeeps he has to walk for two or three days to reach the bazars and when he reaches the bazar he is dead fired fired by that time and how much can such people bring to sell or exchange. In this way, Mr. Speaker, Sir, these people can make only a very small income and that too by carrying their produce on their poor backs; and, in case where there is a road it becomes impossible for a car and it would require a helicopter because thee are no bridges. Speaking of the Umsning-Jagiroad Road, there are 44 bridges and of these only 6 are semi-permanent and the rest are the most temporary and they last for about two months or two-and-half year or even loss these bridges collapse. I once had the misfortune when the bridge broke the moment the jeep reached the middle of the bridge. These things happen Mr. Speaker, Sir, and it is indeed an absolute waste of public money, if these bridges have to be reconstructed from year to year by spending about Rs.80,000. therefore, instead of building allow more money build two or three bridges this year and another two or three the next. But, Sir, the engineers says "Oh, we must let out contracts otherwise how can the contractors support their families?" In this way because the engineers and contractors want to live we have temporary bridges every year.

        Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in those case where the land has been taken, land compensation has not been paid in a number of cases. Of course, I know the difficulties of the Government and they have very few S.D.Cs and there are cases where there are disputes but why money cannot be paid at least in those cases where there are no disputes? When the road was being built from Dwarksuid to Tyrso, the promise was definitely made five years ago that the people of Iapngar would be given compensation within six months but five years have passed and yet they not been paid. Besides that, there is absolutely no dispute on a single holding but the wheels of the Government grind slowly and so there is no compensation paid although there is no dispute.

        Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, another need for roads is (At this stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took over), due to scarcity of food. if we really want to solve or particularly solve this problem of scarcity of food we can do so by having (Mr. Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair) roads extended to those areas with greater production or yield of paddy, e.g., the whole of Lalung area which produces about 400 truckloads of paddy per year. But this paddy goes to the bazars, at Jagiroad bazars. That is why this paddy goes to the plains of Assam and so Assam got our paddy while we face scarcity. likewise, the paddy, from Marmain about 200 or 300 truck-loads goes to Sonapur or Nartap because there is not a single road from the entire Marmain area. Now this is something that can be solved, if we have roads at least to the paddy producing areas so that we can bring food-grain into our markets.

        Then Sir, we have the problem of fires in the Bhoi area because there are so many thatched houses. You will rarely come across a tin-roofed house in the Bhoi area. The people there live in a thatched house having a mud-floor. These houses are made of bamboos and that is how once fire broke out the fire would spread over the entire village. Recently, 23 houses had been gutted at the Umshyiap village and these people lost everything in the fire and were left with nothing except the clothes in their bodies. If they go to the Deputy Commissioner they can get only Rs.25 each and if they go to the District Council they can get only Rs.25. Of course there is no doubt that there is a fund on natural calamities and I forwarded some applications ad hey have gone to the Minister-in-charge but they are yet to be conceived and to be born perhaps for two year or one-and-a-half years. But the loss of the people was great and each family must have lost about Rs.8,000 or Rs.9,000. And then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will now come to the question of existence, of how to live, how to combat disease and how to live the better standard of living. The percentages Bhoi Area show that out of 10 born only 2 live and 8 die. There are cases  where 9 out of 10 died for want of medical facilities, for want of food, for want of proper nourishment, for want of proper care for the children and out of 10 born 8 died and only two lived. Government is in support of  family planning and have appointed many Doctors under Family Planning Programme and for have strengthened this Planning to control the birth rate of families. Real Planning has been made by the Government for improving the health of the mother and child. But no attention is paid in this respect to those poor people. Health is a tremendous problem Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. in my constituency a large number also in Nongpoh Constituency  alone Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have about 200 lepers and there is and then cholera, small pox and other diseases have become fatal diseases. People who are suffering from those diseases ca go to the Hospital but they can get no medicines for lack of medicines. Then these diseases have become fatal and there are persons who died and families died for want of proper care. No body to look after them and we are very very grateful and happy that after a great persuasion  we have been able to persuade Mother Theresa to go at least to Bhoi area and visit those leprosy areas there and see whether she can help the lepers. We are also grateful to the Government of Meghalaya and especially the Minister-in-charge of Health when he assured us that he would give assistance for leprosy and it is a fact that in vast areas of Bhoi, there is not a single dispensary and even in places like Umden where there is a dispensary, the building is nearly collapsing and the whole structure in dilapidated condition. I only know of a few dispensaries along the Gauhati-Shillong road and in the interior, I think I am subject to correction of y colleagues, only Umden, Bhoi-lymbong along the Gauhati-Shillong road and one building only a structure with sign board, painted sign board is there. There is no indication of a true picture of Bhoi area only by putting that sign board.

        Now coming to Marmain road where there are many villages where even Missionaries do not go there. it is in almost miserable state that even Missionaries as I said never go there. I think I am the first person from outside, barring the Presiding Officers who go at least once in 5 years and also the first person to go there was the hon. Member from Pariong when he was the Executive Member-in-charge, Education went to open a school at Marmain. Even the Block Development Officer never have been there. The Gramsevaks was never known and never gone there. No Deputy Commissioner no body has ever been there. It is a vast area. In ancient days it is known as Khadarbongthai and they are still known as Khadarbongthai and people there live in poverty and disease and not a single road in the entire area and Sir, no body goes there. They live in their own primitive condition. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come to cottage industries. I am glad to say that in  the entire State of Meghalaya, people of Bhoi area are the cleverest weavers with due respect to Khasis, Garos and Jaintias. I have seen them in their looms, they are the cleverest weavers and I have seen when they look at any objects flying, they can reproduce the same image and put nice colour of the thread upon the weave clothing. We were bringing them and made them stand in front the Meghalaya Assembly building before to demand their rights and Government of Meghalaya has conceded to open schools at Umsiang. But although people have been ......

Mr. Deputy Speaker : So one problem has been solved.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : No, not yet Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have also seen that only buildings with nice sign-boards were placed whereas a demonstrator appointed never turned up in the place. He is only drawing salary every month faithfully. The poor Lalungs trembled to stand before that sericulture office because of their nakedness. They did not dare to see this office although they want to see these things. The buildings are there with nice sign-boards but no demonstrator who is supposed to be there, is available to help them. With the looms used there, the people can produced normally cloth for one week or even 10 days whereas Assamese looms can produce within one day. They are trying their best to push those big looms at subsidised rates, but big machines which Assamese people use are not accustomed to our people. They use small ones which take more time and labour whereas the big ones are more economical and can produce more and sell and earn more money at lesser time. Now barring this complaint of the demonstrator not being available at Umsiang Sericulture and Weaving Centre, which is indeed human failure, I am grateful to the Chairman of Apex Bank, the hon. member from Jaiaw who has initiated a programme to set up a big weavers of Bhoi area. But unless there is co-operation from all sides including the Government the best efforts and best intentions of that Society and the best desire of the people will not succeed. 

        Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, speaking on cottage industries I have one serious complaints to make that because of poverty in the Bhoi area and because of certain misguided advice given by the officers in the Block, there are some people who were looking forward for some grants of loans and Government has promised to give them grants and loans to some of them. But most of the time they are busy looking for grants. No doubt this thing has been there that the people entirely looking for grants and still there is a blame from the Government side in this respect. Take for an example Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the Cottage Industries grants are being given at the rate of 120 and Rs.150 per individual. The Bhoi people have to come 20 and 30 times to Shillong to meet the officers in their houses, sometimes to oil them but while they got a little amount of the grant or loan they had applied. I may say this is rather a very bad practice on the part of the officers. They have given false assurances to the Bhoi people and therefore, I put the blame to this Government for not doing justice to the Bhoi people. Application forms for such grants and loans were prepared by the department 2,000 or 5,000 copies were cyclostyled and these form were sold to the Bhoi people at the rate of Rs.5 per form by the head Assistant of the Department. In this way he could collect about more than Rs.50 each day from the pocket of the poor people who come to Shillong to get their application forms. So it can be better imagined describe how much these people spend each day for coming and going down about 20 or 30 times in anticipation that the officer whom they met will give them grant and will really do them justice. It does not mean that 4,000 people will get this grant but only 120 or 150 receive the sane after spending more than the amount they got. Another thing I would like to point out Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, and that is with regard to the industries department. Industries officers use to ask the Bhoi people please come to us, we will try our best, come to our house tomorrow morning we shall help you in getting your loan or grant. Poor people instead of returning to his place on the same day he had to stay another 3 or 4 days in Shillong to see these people and have to incur another Rs.100 to Rs.150 expenditure unnecessarily. And that is how they are going from poverty into a misery. They were cheated by those officers who gave them false promises that they can get Cottage Industries Grants on the plea that the Bhoi people give them this or that.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : What are those forms?

        These are application forms Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, likewise in the Blocks there were these application forms and unless the people buy these forms, they are not allowed to apply their grants in the ordinary paper. There were about 4,000 to 5,000 forms and out of these, only 120 or 150 people get the grant. There had been an occasion Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, where I told my people you will never get this do not go again and if one of you is included in the list of the 120 or 150 it might be by chance, Do not go 20 or 30 times like this for nothing. It is wasting of your money only. But I could not convince them, they were cheated and manipulated because of their ignorance. There was one man from Raitong. This man got a grant of Rs.400 from the Cottage Industries Department, after spending more than Rs.500 in coming up and down to Shillong in more that 30 times to meet the officers at their house and sometimes to serve them with dinner and curry and all that. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can say that this is really lie a leach, I may say that this Department is sucking the blood of every common people of the Ri-Bhoi. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also remember of one case when a man from Ri-Bhoi had asked for a loan for setting up a rice mill he has submitted an application long long time back and his application will take for two years to reach the whole of Government machinery and will and later on it was told that we have decided not to give it to you. But you will really surprise Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you go to Byrnihat area and look at the huge bulldozer which is leveling to the whole land that belongs to the people from Rajasthan who are going to set up another industry in Byrnihat. Coming to Education Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I should say that opening of so many schools in the Bhoi are is not welcoming. I agree with the statement of the Minister-in-charge of Education when he stated there are no students coming out for Lower Primary or M.E. Schools. But there are other ways for encouraging the students to go to the schools like M.E. Schools and Primary. I also remember of one specific case where the teachers in one village in the Bhoi area have worked hard day and night to construct their school for the benefit of those villages in the surrounding areas. These teachers are good teachers, qualified and hard working young men. They applied for grant to the Government for the construction of a hostel so that those students who have passed Lower Primary Schools at least come and stay in the hostel and continue the M.E. course and therefore, increase the population of that area. I had occasion and the privilege to be present when the Minister of State for Education opened an M.E. School at Umlaper. Some of the hon. members from this side also present in that occasion. Unfortunately, as it appears in the newspaper issued by the Director of Information and Public Relations Department that some kind of broadcasting to what the Minister had done on that day. There was mention by the Director of Information and Public Relations Department only to the speech made by the Minister at Umlaper. The Director of Information and Public Relations has ignored the Ruling's Party', M.L.As., who were also present there, it has not mentioned my name and because my name was excluded the Ruling Party's M.L.As, also were excluded. When some of the teachers met the Minister to express their grievances for having one hostel in the Bhoi area. i.e., at Umlaper, the Minister stated "I must first see if you first can work". He further told the teachers that when the right time comes I can give more fund than what you expected. I am wondering what is the right time. It might be if they have been a unit of the APHLC then the grant will be given or it could mean otherwise. But I say that these people of Umlaper are really hard working, they have done so much for the benefit of that areas. And therefore, I insists that they must get some grant for the hostel for M.E. Schools students coming from the neighbouring place, and to add to the population of that village. Another thing to be done as far as education is concerned is encouraging Night Schools and Adult Literacy Centres or Evening Classes. It cannot be opened in some area where people are relaxing in a spiritual way, a spiritual relaxation but in the Bhoi area where people are ignorant and there is so much of the necessity to establish Adult Literacy Centre. Because why I am saying so, the people of the Bhoi area are so ignorant that they even they do not know to count money. I know of the fact when these people are receiving their money, grant compensation by the State Electricity Board for the land given for the construction of this Umiam Lake, the Bhoi people even they do not know what is a Zero. They were easily cheated ten thousand for nine thousand. Simply when they were asked "Shon Kti" or put your thumb impression they will immediately put their impression and do not know how much of money they must have as grant. If you give them nine thousand they will pocket it and if you give them five hundred also they will simply have it and they do not know how much they must get. These things used to happened Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. there were some unscrupulous person also that sometime manipulated them diverting a portion of their grant to some villages or for their own benefit and fixed the actual grant at some smaller amount. Now, another thing and that is with regard to the influx of outsiders in the Bhoi area. I am talking this because the foreigners who used to come to the Bhoi area are of two types. They are the foreigners that come from beyond the Himalayas region and those who come from Afghanistan. The second variety are tremendously dangerous type of person. they used to come to Umsning, Mawhati and other places and give loans to those people at the rate of 20 per cent interest. If you want loan of 100 rupees they will charge 25 rupees interest.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Do you mean they are money lenders?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, they are the money lenders. 25 per cent of rupees is to be deducted as interest in the first month. 25 per cent these people are taking from the poor people of Ri-Bhoi per month and I know the case at Mawsyngkai. I do not know how the Government exercise checks on these people who come and suck and threatening our people. I had an occasion to go with the officer of the District Council who is in-charge of markets and with all praises due, the officer physically got them and threw them out because they have no right to conduct business in the tribal areas without the permission of the District Council. The Government should see to these people who are moving around the State. Unfortunately, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, because of the relationship with certain foreigners, these persons get themselves classified as the people not from Afghanistan though they are actually the people from Afghanistan and they pretend to be the refugees of the neighbouring country and came here and seek the protection of the Police. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are also persons in the Police Department who give certificates to them and so they can move freely without passport, whereas actually they are the Afghanists. They come to Umsning, Umling and Byrnihat on the market day as vultures and collected the money from the interior of Ri-Bhoi. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the third variety is being the people from Rajasthan who are inhabiting the Ri-Bhoi areas. Long live the outsiders and let the Ri-Bhoi be disappeared and let these people take away all the lands gradually to the poverty and ignorance of the people. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to know what the Government has done with these people. Regarding grants, I would to say that grants are given from the Blocks, here again my humble point is that I do not approve these grants. Why these petty grants of Rs.300, Rs.200 and Rs.100 as described earlier, to get the grant of Rs.200 a man has to come 20 times to the blocks and of course not empty handed. Besides that he has to take the officers to drinking booths, to the tea shops though he may not get that Rs.200. This is happening in the Bhoi Area. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you go to the Umsning Block Development Office, you will find there some people are vultures and the other victims of the vultures. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest instead of giving these petty grants, why not the Government collects all the money and buy Bulldozers and Tractors to plough and cultivate the lands. Instead of paying cash, buy machineries, and introduce mechanised agriculture in the Bhoi Area. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government is going to open the administrative unit in the Bhoi Area but it is of nobody-else affairs. The administrative unit of a State or District is the Sub-division. What is meant by administrative unit? the State is an administrative unit, the Block is an administrative unit and the country also is an administrative unit. So I want to know clearly and exactly the judicial powers of the head of the administrative unit. In 1972, we have moved for a Subdivision as Nongstoin and Sasanggirir got. We have asked for a Subdivision and we are being given with an administrative unit and we want to know exactly what will be the benefit we will get from it. then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government has done a very good thing by holding agricultural classes at Umsohlait. But I humbly submit Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is happening, in three lectures, you can very calculate, if you talk about nitrogen, so much of cow dung and dig 6 inches depths, you cannot understand very much in two or three lectures and when you have finished, you will find nothing has gone in the mind. Another thing is that, a plan has been proposed of paying Rs.6 per day for coming to listen to the lectures conducted by the Fertilizer Corporation of India. The Fertilizer Corporation through the Agriculture Department of Meghalaya has actually paid Rs 6 to the people and a big crowd gathered, to listen to the lecture and though the people do not understand very much yet they go and sit there and at the end of the day they can collect at Rs.6. it is good because it helps our poor people but I humbly submit Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Agriculture Department of the Government for doing this matter can appoint demonstrator to stay in a particular area for three months to give demonstrations to the people rather than giving lecture on nitrogen, etc., which the people cannot understand. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding the point concerning administrative power, the industries department will say come to Shillong and for a man who lives far away say at Umjong etc., when he comes to Shillong, if he finds that the officer is not in the office, has to stay 2 or 3 days and spends money for staying in Shillong. What I want too say here is the administrative unit of the Government should have certain powers at their level to settle the matter or give decision without asking a man to come to Shillong. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government has sent the elephant hunters after a lot of persuasion between the Deputy Commissioner and the Conservator of Forests for wild life protection. These elephant hunters have been sent with a huge number of guns in a jeep to go to the areas where there are many elephants. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our people have done everything because the elephants do not have tusks. they want to shoot only those tuskers. thus we see, Sir, these people have gone there for their own benefit, they shoot only the tuskers for sale of the tusk and not for the non-tuskers. I do not know how much money and petrol the Government has to spend for the jeep and besides the villagers have to spend food for these hunters who hunted nothing. Actually Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the non-tuskers are the most dangerous that the tuskers for destruction of crops. Regarding water supply projects, the Engineer and the Sub divisional Officer will say, prepare my lunch on such and such a day, I will come to inspect. After inspection he will say to the people come to Shillong and when they came, he does nothing. Then after 6 months the Sub divisional Officer from Nongpoh will say the Engineer will come prepare for his lunch and after inspection again nothing has been done and in this way the people will only have to feed the officer who has done nothing. Another thing Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government has done in the Bhoi areas is regarding electricity. The Assam State Electricity Board will fo to the people of the Bhoi areas said :let us dam the Umiam and Umkhen rivers and we will give you fishes to eat, water to drink and so many things, you will have another paradise if you allow us to fill all the paddy fields with waters". Of course Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister incharge has at least got the common sense, he has agreed not to have a second project at Tyrso Valley and the Secretary in-charge has also intimated that the Government will not set up a second project at Tyrso Valley in which 25,000 acres of paddy fields would be inundated. But still insist on the First and the Third Project. In the First Project, the people have tried to drive everybody but people concerned are trying to come back to survey the site.

        Then at the third Project at Sohsning-Lamalong from the Assam side they have constructed big concrete pillars. it is a pity to see these people trampling upon the uncut paddy of the poor villagers. I have taken a photograph of these people trampling upon the growing paddy on the fields without getting any permission. I can show the copies of the photograph of the Government and I have given some of them to some of the Ministers. This is so insulting to our people and this is how in a shameless way they are behaving with our people. I am grateful to the Minister-in-charge who had been so pleased to discuss the matter with me after the Tennis Match. But the Minister asked me why I was opposing this Rs.40 crores project and my reply to him was I was only obeying the wishes of the people. If the people say that let us have the dam, I will be the first person to obey and support it. But the people are determined to oppose it, and they are going to oppose it till death. They will never allow the Government to construct the dam and flood their paddy fields. But why does not the Government give up this project? Why they still trying to do it? the people want that the Government give up this project. We will oppose this project because it is going to flood the paddy fields of the poor villagers. We all know that we are short of food in the State. Yet, the same Minister who is in-charge of food and grow-more policy is now wanting to generate electricity by flooding the paddy fields of the poor villagers. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very very crucial matter and I want the Government to take a final decision on this. For the information of the Government I would say that there is one very important aspect which must be considered. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are now three projects - Stage I Stage II and the Stage III. The second Stage is at Tyrso and the Third Stage is at Sohsning near Lamalong. The area to be covered will be approximately 13 square miles. But the area to be covered by the Assam project will be about 25 square miles and the villages in the Mikir Hills will be completely flooded. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the people of Lamalong villager and the villagers of the area proceeded to represent their case before the Government of Assam. But instead the Deputy Commissioner, Diphu and summarily locked up the people in the jail and they are still rotting in the jail. From the point  of view of Meghalaya, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this area is very very important because it is the biggest paddy growing area. We cannot think of that area going under water. It is a very vast area and the paddy produced in that area does not go to Assam, as there are no roads and they suffer from communication, but they come mostly to Meghalaya. They bring the paddy to Mawhati and Umden Bazar and if we allow the Assam State Electricity Board to go ahead with the scheme, we will certainly be losing this paddy from the Assam side. We should consider this aspect seriously. Has the Government made any calculation of the quantity of food supply that will be lost? The paddy from Umswai region that comes to Meghalaya will be very very large. But we will lose all that because of the project. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the people in the Bhoi area always ask why do you want another dam when there are already three dams in the Bhoi area and from that area electricity is produced in Meghalaya from the Bhoi area and from that area electricity is taken to Mawsynram, Cherrapunji, Tezpur, Bongaigaon and other places. But in our own Bhoi area, we do not have electricity except along the Gauhati-Shillong Road. They have, therefore, every right to demand supply of electricity, the power which has been produced from their land, before having the fourth dam.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also request the Government not keep on increasing the consumption of charcoal. Every year the tenders for charcoal are increasing. But the supply of charcoal means the burning forests. The Government is asking for more charcoal and it has to be produced  and  great deal of forest and hills are to be burnt for the purpose with the result that the sources of our water supply are being dried up.

        Now the Government say that they do not have tractors and bulldozers. But I can take them to Mawlai where at least 20 tractors lying unutilised for want of repair.

        Next, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government is allowing the industries to be set up without considering the interests of the local people. There are industries coming up at Byrnihat. But is there any industry at Byrnihat with the local people being employed in their establishment? No. They are bringing people from Punjab. Rajasthan, Bihar and other places because the labour is cheap there and no local people are being employed in the factories.

        Another thing, how can this Government allow and give license to the industrialists who are non-tribals. There is an Act passed by the District Council and according to the provisions of that Act, no non-tribal can conduct any business or trade in the Sixth Schedule area, unless he obtains a license form the District Council. The Government should make a rule that no non-tribal industrialist will be allowed to set up industry unless his application is accompanied by the Trade License from the District Council. I find here that the Government is conniving in the violation of the rules made by the District Council. 

        Now look at the petrol pumps established in the Bhoi area. They do not possess the Trade Licence. But the gentleman dares to say to me that he does not need any licence. He has got no licence from the District Council for trading in petroleum in the area.

        Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government has failed to remove the gate at Byrnihat. this gate is maintained by the sister State of Assam. it is a very illegal gate. You have on the left side of the gate Meghalaya and on the right side is Assam. I fail to understand how another Government can make a gate at a place which is under our Government. Yesterday, I came by truck. I did not have a vehicle. The truck in which I was travelling was stopped at every check gate including the gate of Assam at Byrnihat which is well within Meghalaya. I tried to clear the way by rebuking the officer. But he showed me the paper saying that this is my order from the Government to maintain this gate. There is a big file on this in the Deputy Commissioner's office. We are asking the Government of Assam to push down this gate. But the gate is still there till today. It is a terrible thing for the poor people carrying things. Even a small quantity of rice is searched and seized. Yesterday some people were carrying small quantity of rice from Mawhati and they were fined for that. So, I demand that this gate should be removed immediately.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government has decided to open a hospital at Bhoi-lymbong. The Minister in-charge went and laid the foundation stone last year. But a year has lapsed and only the green grass, which is good for cows, can be seen there after the foundation stone has been laid.

        Next I find that Government has failed to take away the outsiders. I fail to understand why the Chin Hills Regulations should not be applied to these outsiders. I would request the Government to see that every cultivator is given scrutiny of land over which they cultivate. There are a number of outsiders and we will never allow the security of land to be given to them. Now, therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I call upon the Government to do a few things. I have discussed the problems of Bhoi area, but the Government has done nothing. The first thing I would to speak is in respect of grants given t\by the Government to individuals. Government should stop these petty grants to individuals but should gibe more money to institutions and individuals for tractors and  bulldozers. Secondly, Government should provide demonstrators in Agriculture department in the interior areas. Thirdly, there should be sufficient stock of seeds and fertilizers at subsidised rates at the block headquarters and not in Shillong, Fourthly, to immediately introduce an amendment to the wild Life Protection Act, at least in the Bhoi area,. like shooting of elephants, wild  boars, bears and monkeys those that are damaging the crops. Then in large well run organised villages, to set up their won water supply system with the assistance from the Government, in the form of pipes and cement and the people will give free labour, stones, and sand. The S.F.D.A set up local  committees in the villages having land in well organised villages, I demand that Government should give immediately compensation in those areas where there is no dispute, and also build up permanent bridges along Umsning - Jagiroad. No more temporary bridges will be built Instead of constructing temporary bridges each year, the funds should be diverted for permanent bridges.

        I would earnestly request this Government to give housing loans through the village durbar to few persons who like to build their permanent structures instead of thatch houses. We should not extend the housing loan only to the people within the town of Shillong. Some assistance should be given for rural housing as well. Then open dispensaries in my constituency. I will not speak selfishly but because my constituency covers almost half of the Bhoi area, and not a single Government dispensary is found. At least mobile dispensaries should be provided if you cannot have permanent structure (Voice - You mean by helicopter). Why not? Why cannot they walk. they should be able walk.

        Another thing I would request the Government is to stop excessive printing of forms. Why for 150 people, Government should not only print 400 or 500 but 5,000.

        Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, coming to building of grants for hostel for M.E. Schools so as to build up a population of students in the M.E. Schools form L.P. Schools and also open adult literary centres.

        Another thing is to place Police at every market day in the interior to check the foreigners. Kindly remove at least the Meghalaya side of the Byrnihat gate. We do not have to cow and how the Government of Assam for their gate, and kindly also keep the local M.L.A informed of the development. last time the Minister went to Umlaper. I had the misfortune of being the M.L.A. of that area. Neither the Member of the District Council nor myself got any notice of his tour. But the Receptionist of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly got a notice. The Superintendent of Police and Deputy Commissioner and about 14 or 15 people were informed that the Minister is going to Umlaper. But the local M.L.As are not considered fit enough to be given the information. I was selected a Member of the Public Accounts Committee being discussed (laughter). "Somehow I found out and I walked 22 miles and turned back. No notice was given to us. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a matter of courtesy. We may not belong to the party but it is the will of the people who have elected us. It is a matter of courtesy that Government should inform the local M.L.A. and Member of District Council, Government should issue orders to the non-tribal industrialists in the Byrni belt if they want to be more secured. This is in conformity with the trading license issued by the District Council, otherwise the State Government is convincing at the Act. This Act has been in existence for the last 24 years. No. 17, please stop this Umiam-Umkhen project. Go to the river Khri or river Kynshi where there are no rehabilitation or no paddy fields or if that cannot be done, I would suggest that you have wind mills to generate electricity as Holland is doing. We can generate electricity through wind mills. these are practical suggestions.

        Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, No. 18, I demand that Bhoi Block Development Block should be divided into 2 blocks - Umling Development Block and Umsning Development Block. I think my friends from Nongpoh and Umroi will agree with me that at this time, there should be 2 blocks in this Bhoi Block. No one, however talented he may be, can handle the entire Bhoi area with one block only.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, No. 19 I demand that there should be separate P.W.D. Division for the Bhoi area. The Shillong South Division extends right down to Pynursla and Cherrapunjee and also Umsning. These are worlds apart. There should be a separate P.W.D. Division. 

        Finally, under the  Fifth Five Year Plan, we should try our beset to allow local contractors  living in the area to work on the roads. In number of times we got contactors from far away particularly from the west and they go there as head contractors. A temporary bridge cost  Rs.1,800, but the actual is only Rs. 75 of a man from the Bhoi area. For construction of  a temporary bridge for only Rs. 75 can be constructed. But the bill signed by the Executive Engineer is Rs. 1,800 because in between there are sub and sub-contractors. With these 20 suggestions Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would earnestly request the Government to consider them as it has been stated that saying is one thing and going is another. 

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when a Bhoi comes to meet the Minister with all his nakedness, does the hon. Minister feel that this is my brother. Does he think while eating rich food over a nice table and sleeping comfortably that this poor Bhoi is his  brother who also fought together to get this State. Therefore, I request the Government to see that there is no disparity. 

Shri D.D. Lapang (Nongpoh S.T. ) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as one of the representatives of Ri Bhoi, I shall be failing in my duty if do not participate in the discussion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a slogan for development of Bhoi areas and as a son of the soil I should talk louder than anybody else. We have heard a lot about the backwardness of Bhoi areas from the hon. Members from Mawhati. But at the same time we cannot simply close our eyes to the achievement that has been made by the Government. There have been occasions to mention about some road constructed in Bhoi areas like Barapani Bhoi Road, Umden-Umling, Patharkhmah and etc, I am very happy that hon. Member from Mawhati had the privilege to feel the need and necessity of the whole of Bhoi areas. but it appears that he is not very much well-versed with the whole areas of Ri-Bhoi. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while coming to the actual problems of Bhoi area, it is our bounden duty to mention about the achievements attained by the Government. Perhaps the hon. Member from Mawhati does not have the privilege to be in contact with the different agents undertaken by the Government. Recently, I have had the privilege to contact the officers of the Veterinary Department and they are going to set up their units at Nongpoh, Byrni and Khanapara. New Sub-divisions of PHE are also going to be opened at those places. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also cannot simply remain silent over the proposed Pilot Research Project that is going to be set up at Bhoi area, the first of its kind in the State. Then the applied Nutrition Programme is also going to be launched in Bhoi area which is a notable item. We cannot also neglect the fact that few lakhs of rupees are being spent under crash programme for construction of roads in that area. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not agree with the mover of the motion that the local people should get employment in the Byrnihat Industrial Estate. We should have gone further by saying that the Government should not give any license to Industrialists coming from outside until these conditions are fulfilled. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know also that a large sums of rupees have been given to the various Co-operative Marketing Societies in Bhoi areas. I do not know whether it is to his knowledge or not. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Agriculture Department has taken up soil testing as demanded by the people. There is also a rural electrification scheme which is in the initial stage of implementation. This House very well knows that Umiam-Umkhen Project is yet to be taken up. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on 23rd of this months I met a team of experts coming from Delhi for tea research. The team visited my constituency but I do not know whether the hon. Mover has got any knowledge about it or not. Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can hardly believe whether the mover himself is convinced about the sincerity of the motion that he has brought before the House.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very unfortunate that one of our colleagues was so much over burdened with his own programmes in other parts of the State that he had no time to attend any meeting of the Block Development in Bhoi areas. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Mover did not attend a single meeting convened by the Deputy Commissioner for the development of Ri-Bhoi administrative units till today.

        (A voice - The meeting was convened by the Ri-Bhoi Darbar)

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not mentioning about Ri- Bhoi  Darbar, I am talking about the official meeting convened by the Deputy Commissioner. So it seems the motion for the development of Ri - Bhoi area moved by the hon. moved by the hon. Member that the next date of the meeting of the Ri - Bhoi units is on 18th ( loud laughter).

        The hon. Member has correctly stated that the Minister went there without his knowledge. No information was sent neither from the Minister nor form his people. But am I not correct to say that the Minister attended there at the request of the San- Raj Darbar of Umlaper. Am I not correct to say that the hon. Member had failed to convince even his own electorate? So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if that be the fact, then I say that the motion is insincere. The people of Umlaper represented to the Minister in-charge a memorandum for grants and may I tell him through you Sir, that the people of San- Raj Darbar had come to the Minister 3 days ago and the Minister had told them that the grant will be considered before the month of June. I am sure also that this has not gone to the notice of the hon. Member. I believe I am not wrong in saying that the hon. Mover has failed to convene the House. Hailing from the area and being the son of the soil, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have had occasions to bring to the notice of this House that in Bhoi area there are places where the people still are singing the nineteenth century song "God save our gracious King, God save the King" What I mean is that I have been shouting for the backwardness of the Bhoi area where development should have been taken up with immediate effect. But as a responsible representative of the State as a whole, I feel that for this newly born State, it is too early to expect too much.  I know what Government has done for the Bhoi area which is still going under the old maxim that "the petty done, the undone vast". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know also the saying that the "Rome was not built in a day". The Bhoi people will extend their sincere co-operation to the Government. They want positive approach and not a negative condemnation they want constructive suggestion and not a destructive criticism. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the hon. Member has brought some items for the development of Bhoi area I have also got many items that Bhoi area needs to be developed. For example, Bhoi area is a perfectly right place that the Government should take up some fishery schemes possible, and there are many rivers where schemes can be taken up. The hon. Mover should have said also that Ri Bhoi is an agricultural area, agricultural subdivision should be there where tractors, bulldozers can be taken from there and not from Shillong. He should have said also that the Leprosy hospital should be established there, but he said only P.W.D., subdivision should be thee. May I remind him Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that since last year, the Ri Bhoi Durbar in its meeting at Umsning stated that P.W.D. division be opened, in Bhoi area. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to say that creation of new Block at Umling is not a new suggestion brought forward by the hon. Member. the papers for another Bock in Bhoi area are already in Delhi. This is boding moved, I may remind the hon. Member that another Block is there and a new administrative unit will be inaugurated very soon. So, it will not be in the fitness of things that another Block should be opened. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, he should have mentioned about the special scholarship for schools in Bhoi area as well as distribution of loans, distribution of grants, etc. I think this is a general question of the Government, It is not a policy matter for the Bhoi area alone. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while saying that Government have made the achievements, I must tell the Member that his item will be taken up at a proper time and that all sorts of facilities extended to Bhoi area are also extended to other parts of Meghalaya which are equally backward and where poverty, illiteracy and diseases still effect the people very badly. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.

 Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful to the hon. Member who moved this motion with a lot of criticism and insult on the people by whom he had been elected. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Bhoi people as branded by the hon. Member from Mawhati, it seems they are  


Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : U did not say monkeys, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, he said that the people are very very poor and are starving for many many decades. Who are these people who can starve? Can the hon. member starve for 100 days. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the information of the hon. Member, I would like to say that Bhoi area is not lagging behind comparison with the border areas of the Lyngngam area within the same District. For your information, Sir, we have got a college at Barapani, we have got an airfield at Umroi, we have also one industrial town coming up at Byrni and also we have got the power project at Barapani which is the biggest project in the State. Sir, for the definition of the area, I think I would like to give a guideline to the hon. Member from Mawhati that the boundaries of the Ri Bhoi as defined by him are as lengthy as anything. The actual definition of the Ri Bhoi as per the British Government is from 3,000 ft. above sea level to the foothill. But according to the Ri Bhoi durbar, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the boundaries are stated like this. In the North, there is Lamare village, the uppermost of the region. In the East, there are Maiong and Makdoh villages in his own constituency, he should have known that. In the South, is the Barapani, the biggest lake in the State and in the west, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it Mawdem village a vast area. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, he said that there is no dispensary and there is no hospital. A new hospital has been inaugurated by hon. Minister at Bhoi Lymbong and many dispensaries are there. Why should he blame the Government. Within 4 years we have got dispensaries at Barapani which are well equipped. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, he should have visited the area, if he wants to know about the schemes for the Bhoi area. I request the hon. Member to spend 20 years to go and another 20 years to roam in the regions of the Bhoi area.

        I also would like to say something about the road and communication which the hon.. Member has charged the Government that road reached the paddy growing areas.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Mawhati S.T.) : No, Mr. Deputy Speaker, it is un-parliamentary.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the hon. Member and this August House that the richest paddy growing area is the Iapngar and the road has reached even to the heart of the village, and the other road, the P.W.D. road, has reached and passed through the heart of the Marngar village. If he wants to know more, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would request him to spend more time to go and see that the road has already reach the above two villages. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to deal with the point raised that the Bhoi Area has been infiltrated by foreigners. I do not understand, who are these foreigners? I do not know, if they are infiltrators from other States or other countries of the world. I think the hon. member should know that in Shillong there are many; in the heart of the town where he himself is living. I would like to remind the hon. Member that, if he mentions about the foreigners, he should mention Shillong also. The hon. Member has said that there are foreigners who have came at night after midnight ........


        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if he knows that the people are coming at one or twelve at night, he might be accompanying them or leading them .......


Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Carry on, carry on.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh (Umroi S.T.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as regards electricity many villages have been electrified. In his constituency itself, the Government proposed to electrify one Kyrdem village but he misled the people not to allow the electricity to go there.


        Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no co-operation between the local leaders and the local representatives. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as regards agriculture and also development of tractors and bulldozers, I think the people of the Bhoi area are the first to get these facilities.

(Voices - Correct - Correct)

        We have used them for speed agriculture purposes and also for fishery ponds. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the hon. Members is not very serious in running this motion but just to spend the time of this August House. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the main intention of the hon. Member in moving this motion is nothing but to insult the voters from Bhoi area by saying that they are starving. But for your information, Sir, in the Bhoi area there are some I.A.S. officers, some doctors, engineers and many nurses who are very hospitable as he said.

Prof Martin Narayan Majaw : Hospitable.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not, therefore, correct to say that they are starving. These people are not living with begging bowl. It is also wrong to say that these people are unable to read and write. They are Christians and can read and write. There are Christian missionaries who taught them. Moreover Primary School M.E. School and High School are there. It is wrong, therefore, to say that the Government have forgotten the Bhoi people. I think the Bhoi people are far better than the Lyngngam people. I would request the hon. Member to spare some of his time to visit Lyngngam area once or twice ............

(Voices - Nongpoh also).

        If he wants to have a comparison, let him visit Lyngngam area. I will not take much of the time of the House. I think, as the hon. Member form Nongpoh has said, that the motion as moved by the hon. Member from Nongpoh.......

(Voices - 'Mawhati')

        Thank you for the correction. Hon. Member from Mawhati. Before he makes these statements to mislead the people about the Bhoi area. I would request the hon. member to spend some more time more to study and the actual position of that area. We hope that with his contribution and the contribution of all the representatives from that area after the inauguration of the new administrative unit, we would do better. At least, if all the representatives of the area attend the Development Committees as suggested by my friend, a representative from Nongpoh. I would also request the hon. Member from Mawhati to attend the Development Committees so that he can give his ideas about the development programmes in that area. He is also requested to attend the Sub-Committees of the Block so that he can give his own idea......

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Oh he does not attend.

(Voices - 'No' 'No')

Mr. Chairman : Order, order.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : I would request the hon. member through you, Sir, to attend the Committees and meet the local people that he may know their difficulties and not by shouting from Shillong because by shouting from here the people there cannot get electric light nor it can reach Kyrdem.


        So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would request the hon. Member from Mawhati to go and see the villages for himself and he should go and see them in the day time and not at 12 O'clock at night.


        If he goes at 12 O'clock t night the poor people there may get frightened. With these words I resume my seat.

(Loud laughter)

Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Laitumkhrah) : Mr. Chairman Sir, ........

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, in supporting this motion, I would like to state that though we are not from the Ri Bhoi area, yet, being representatives of the people of the State in this august House, we know about the Bhoi area or any other part if the State and, as such, we are not in line with the views expressed by the hon. members from Umroi and Nongpoh, who do not seem to want development in those areas. On the other hand, we feel that there should be rapid development in those areas because those areas are still under-developed. The Government should have paid urgent attention to the development of these areas, especially in the sphere and also forest development.

        Sir, if we go to Gauhati we find that right from the Umiam lake to Byrnihat there is no P.W.D. road going to the left of the Gauhati Shillong Road, except the road from Umling to Patharkhmah. But even this road is not motorable during the rainy seasons. Therefore, Sir, the people in these areas are very much backward and illiterate also. So, Sir, I feel that first of all road communication should be extended to these areas. I would, therefore, suggest that the road from Umling to Patharkhmah should be properly maintained and that the bridge at Lailad should be replaced by a permanent bridge. A road from Lailad to Ummar, in the Nongkhlaw, Syiemship should also be constructed. Another road from Nongpoh to Iewsier and then across the river Umtrew to another bank of the river should be constructed to link up with the Nongkhlaw-Rani road. Then, Sir, there should also be a P.W.D. road from Zero point or Kyrdemkulai to go to Umpdem-Umlur to be linked up with the Nongkhlaw-Ranigodown road because these areas have vast agricultural potential and that the forest products are also very rich. The forest in these areas are, even up till now, being exploited by the Assam Plywood Company for last 18 to 20 years and after felling all valuable trees, they have now acquired more land for cultivation or growing of some kind of grass for production manufacture of some oil or scent. So Sir, why cannot our Government or any Government agency acquired the land for extraction of oil or planting of medicinal plants. As discussed earlier on the Governor's Address human element is a basic problem which should be first be dealt with. Education plays an important part in the development of the State and because of lack of education, the poor people have not come upto the standard to understand what development is. Therefore, Sir, education seems to be the first requirement that must be extended to these areas. So I would request the Government, through you, Sir, to provide enough money to the District Councils for establishment of lower primary schools and M.E. Schools as well in these interior parts even though at first there may not be many students. 

        Then, Sir, coming to the eastern side of the Gauhati-Shillong Road, we find that there is a P.W.D. Road from Umroi upto Bhoi-Lymbong or upto Iapngar but from Bhoi-Lymbong to Kyrdem and beyond or whatever road there is beyond that, is a jungle road constructed by forest contractors. This road is motorable only in the winter and when rain comes, it cannot be used any more not even by jeeps or other light vehicles. So, Sir, this road should be taken up by the P.W.D. to extend it to the remote villages in the Mikir Hills border linking these areas with the Sung valley of Jaintia Hills also. So, I do not at all understand how the hon. members from Nongpoh and Umroi could condemn right away that we are not sincere while bringing this motion. In fact, we from this side of the House re supporting this motion, of a feeling of responsibility to develop these areas and, of course, other areas as well like the Lyngngam area and some parts of the Garo Hills. Of course, this particular motion has been brought because we feel that the development of the Bhoi area which is very near the Gauhati-Shillong Road and where many of the State's resources like electricity, Forest product, and agricultural potential exist and yet the people are still very backward.

*Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang (Laitumkhrah) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, while participating on the discussion of this motion I would like to make it very clear that I do not want to go into controversy of charging anybody as other members have done earlier. I am here as one of the representatives of the people and as a responsible man to see that there is rapid and all-round development in the State as a whole. Well Sir, Meghalaya as a whole is a backward State. Recently we have classified some areas as backward and some as most backward areas and we give new terms to certain areas and Bhoi area also has come under that category. It is very unfortunate, I should say, that the Bhoi area where the first Development Block was established since 1952, whereas the developmental works of the Block have not reached the people. Of course we have seen in the whole State Meghalaya that this is not only a big problem of the Bhoi area. We have gone at least to some other places and there are some other places in Jowai District, some places in Lyngngam area and there are also some places in Garo Hills District which need rapid development. Sir, we have to find out the reasons that have led to the backwardness of these areas. Of course we cannot put the blame squarely on the present Government now. For the last  25 years these areas have been neglected completely by the previous Government. We have just taken up developmental works and it will be too much for the hon. member to expect much from the Government. The Government is doing its best although it is functioning under certain handicaps. Some information cannot be supplied by Statistics Department because it cannot compile the different data that are to be supplied to us. But we can press our arguments and give suggestions to the Government that we are handicapped for want of these informations. Whatever information I have with me here is only from Nongpoh Thana and from certain source of information. I have seen that in the Bhoi area there are 104 Primary Schools, 12 Middle English Schools, three Secondary Schools, Colleges of course they have put nil, except one at Barapani which they have claimed. There are seven Dispensaries, one maternity and Child Welfare Centre. Health Centre, two, Family Planning Centre 4, pucca roads 44 and Kutcha roads 158, post offices 10, telegraph office nil, telephone communication nil excepting one at Nongpoh. Now, Sir, the picture is not very discouraging. I know that recently there are more dispensaries opened up and more roads taken up by the Government and more primary school are going to be established by the Government. One hospital is going to be set up in Bhoi-Lymbong and so the figures are not very dismal, but there are many places which do  not have these facilities at all. Anyway Sir, I am not going to say where development should be taken up. Now Sir, the reasons for the backwardness of these areas are : No.1, the Government of Assam depended for the livelihood of these areas on primary schools, on agriculture and on forest. No.2, is a very serious reason, i.e., the chronic indebtedness of the people, No.3 - it has been pointed out almost by everybody that there is lack of proper communications, No.4 - which is also very important is the indolent and inactive habits of the people living there, No.5 - is the inadequate educational facilities extended to those people there.

        Now, Sir, the over-all perspective for development of these areas is the aim of attaining sustained improvement in the income and standard of living of the population so as to bring them progressively up to adequate economic standard of living as that of other areas. Therefore, Sir, the developmental strategy will be to reorganise agriculture on a sound footing. To bring in modern methods of cultivation, to extend the area of cultivation by reclaiming more land. But Sir, all these benefits should go to the local people. We have seen reclamation of land there and it is not the local people who have got all these benefits of tractors, bull-dozers and things like that. Of course there are some local people who have received the benefits. But most of the benefits have gone to wrong persons. This is because of the land tenure system. We have to see about the land tenure, the land holdings, what I mean is that there should be a thorough enquiry on the land-holding system in Bhoi area. Otherwise Sir, those people will not be able to reap the profits of all developmental works undertaken by the Government.

        Then Sir, there is also development of animal husbandry and fishery so as to increase the production of subsidiary foods and to enable the people to have a different occupational employment and not to depend entirely on agriculture.

        Then there is also road development and Government has tried to develop road communication system so that the developmental activities are gaining momentum and reach the far-flung areas of the State. There should be feeder roads, link roads to enable the growers to bring their produce to the markets and get a profitable price and not to be under exploitation of the middlemen who have gone there - and made a profit- excessive profit at the cost of those poor people-and also Sir, in order to bring them forward to participate in all the developmental plans of the Government, I feel that proper educational facilities should be extended to those people. I feel that I should suggest to the Government that there should be a compulsory education in those areas. I am not talking only of the Bhoi area but we must have compulsory education in all the M.E. sections and also we are talking of residential schools. I would suggest that at least one of those schools that the Government contemplates to establish goes to the Bhoi area where the people will be directly involved and as it is today, those people do not have any hostel except one or two here and there and that is not adequate. As I said that once schools were established people will be directly involved. I know of one particular case in the Bhoi area and I want that it should be on record. I know of a local man from Ri-Bhoi from the far-flung place, most interior village and that man is a Priest of the Roman Catholic Mission. He was a practical and social worker which is for the Government to know he had done. He had seen that this people cannot come forward only through grants. What he did is that he has taken a few of those young boys, about 40 in number, and took them with him to Bangalore and sent them into different trainings. After they were sent back to the respective places in the Bhoi area-most backward area of Bhoi-area they will be asked to do this or that work for which they were specialised. I had the occasion to meet them last time in Bangalore. They were very fluent in speaking English, they know how to drive tractors and bulldozers, they know about double cropping and in this way, people from the remotest village in the Bhoi area get their training. As they have not finished the course to their now they will come back after the expiry of their training course to their own business in their own land. So this is how we can make people get themselves involved in the plans and programmes through training. With these few suggestions, I would request the Government to look into this problem immediately. Thank you.

Shri Reidson Momin (Dadenggiri S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to participate in this motion by saying that our State as a whole is a backward State and it is up to each and every one of us, to every citizen of Meghalaya to see that our land is developed, our people are educated as far as possible. We are only human beings and we have seen at this stage for a number of years and even if we want that our State of Meghalaya should be properly developed in one year or two, we will not be able to do it and we cannot expect much from the Government, because the Government has its own short-comings. They do not have adequate number of staff and proper machinery in the field of administration. It is not possible on the part of the Government to implement the schemes and execute the works in order to develop our State within one or two years' time. The hon. member from Nongpoh has rightly pointed out, "Rome was not built in a day". We must have patience although every one of us likes to see that we reach the same status with the rest of the country. Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is good that the hon. Member from Mawhati brought forward this motion to focus the need for development in his area. I cannot subscribe to his views in the sense that in the District of Garo Hills also not only certain areas but the District as a whole is very backward. I would rather congratulate the Government for trying their level best to develop our District as will be evident in the case of the District of Khasi Hills. The other day I went to Cherrapunjee and I was surprised to see that the road has been widened for double traffic and so much improved from what it used to be in the past 20 years. This is one of the achievements of our Government after we have got a full-fledged State. I am confident that the Government of Meghalaya will be able to do good to the people and to develop the State as a while if it is given a chance and if it gets the helping hand from the representatives and citizens of Meghalaya to co-ordinate all developmental works of the Government.

        Now talking about the facilities and privileges that are lagging behind in the Bhoi area. I quite agree with the hon. Member from Umroi who stated that the Bhoi area, has got the biggest lake in the whole State of Meghalaya. Again the Bhoi area is very fortunate to have an aerodrome coming up in Umroi although we do not get things according to our likings. But it is definite that the Government is moving forward in the direction of developing our State. I would like to say that when the Government is trying to do something good to the people or for a particular area if every one of us as responsible representatives of the people co-operate with the Government, we shall be achieving our goal very soon. But if somebody thinks that because he belongs to the Opposition, he should oppose all developmental activities have that ideology and sentiment then we will still remain as backward as we are today. Therefore we need some constructive approach in dealing with the policies of the Government. Otherwise we shall not be able to march forward hand in hand with the rest of the country. that is why I would request my friend and the hon. members in the Opposition not to stand in the way of each and every developmental work the Government intends to take up. We should not simply criticise the Government simply for the sake of criticism. I do not know about the proposed damming of the Tyrso valley. But I have the same feeling as the hon. member from that area has criticised the Minister in-charge of Industries. I do not know whether it would be better to dam that river to generate electric power or whether we leave it to the villages to cultivate the land. What I mean to say here is that we should co-operate with the Government and we should think this way or that way how best the villagers will be benefited because it is they who elected us and we are to represent them. there should be better co-ordination between the people and the Government. I think the hon. Member from Mawhati has spoken something about the influx of foreigners and the menace of wild animals also. As I have stated earlier this menace of wild animals is there in Garo Hills also and I have a hope that the Government will definitely do something to destroy those wild animals which depredated much of our cultivation every year. I hope that the Government will do something to prevent this so that in future we will be able to reap our harvest without being deprived of our labour and sweat. Well Sir, in this aspect of the matter, I quite agree with the hon. member from Mawhati that the Government should immediately do something and look into the matter, With these few observations I now resume my seat.

*Shri G. Mylliemngap (Sohryngkham S.T.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, in associating myself with this motion, first of all, I would like to remind the hon. members that when we are talking about the progress and development of a particular area or a particular State, we have to take consideration the existence of our State because a boy of one or two years old cannot be matured. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would have welcomed this motion if it is actually based on the wishes of the people, we all know that they all need progress and development because we cannot deny the fact that we have to do something for them and there is no denying the fact that there are more things to be done. Mr. Chairman, Sir, if in a span of two years of our existence, we have done everything what else is there to be done in the following years. Therefore, I feel that overnight development will not bring much benefit to the people. Mr. Chairman, Sir, let us take the case of a rabbit. The rabbit has got used to darkness and after its suddenly being focused by the headlight of a car it cannot move anywhere and becomes the victim of somebody. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I feel that overnight development may not do good to the people.

        Mr. Chairman, Sir, I agree with the hon. member from Mawhati when he said that there was a wanton cutting of trees. But who has done this? The people of the area are the custodians and nobody could touch even a single tree without their knowledge and permission. Mr. Chairman, Sir, 'Khuti' is a very prominent problem in the Bhoi area but these Khuti-wallas are not living in the air or on the water, they are living on land and these people have no right over the land in the Bhoi area. From where have they got the land. The hon. Member has mentioned the need for having records of rights over the lands. But our own people have given lands to these Khuti-wallas without taking into consideration the after effect which they will be facing in course of time. It is as if they are praying for death to come and when it came they put the blame on others. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as I have said, if it is the spontaneous wish of the people, then the motion is good because the human element is very important factor which must be taken into consideration. Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is the responsibility of all hon. Members to see that these people are developed in all spheres of life and they should not be partially developed just to become the victims of others. With due respect, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to cite one example to show that these people have their own way of thinking, their own way of doing things and their own way of approach to actual life. A man and his wife living in the Bhoi area went to the jungle to cut firewood and each brought back one head load of firewood. They were sitting on the roadside for hours and hours together to dispose of these two headloads of firewood. This is another example, Mr. Chairman, Sir, of a man and his wife. The husband went to the jungle from early morning to collect fire-wood while his wife was preparing food at home. When the food was ready, she went to the jungle to give it to her husband and by the time the husband had collected three headloads of fire-wood. The wife returning home carried one headload of firewood to the roadside and the husband in the meantime could collect ten headloads more of fire-wood. Thus in this case both husband and wife could bring 10 headloads of firewood in a day. When the firewood was taken to the roadside for sale the husband was selling while the wife went home to prepare food for him and the children. You can see the difference between thee two couples. In the first case, the husband and wife could bring only two headloads of firewood in a day whereas a man working with intelligence and with different approach to life could bring 10 headloads of fire-wood. This is the fundamental thing which the hon. member has to educate the people in order to bring them to a certain standard of understanding so that the people can come to a level ground where it will be possible to develop themselves. (At this stage the Speaker occupied the Chair). Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would therefore, say that if this motion is really the spontaneous wish of the people, there will be development and there will co-operation from the people. But if there is no co-operation from the people all programmes and schemes of the Government will be a failure. With these few words I resume my seat. Thank you.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh (Pariong S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawhati. The motion before the House is that the House does now discuss the progress and development of the Ri Bhoi Area. The motion opens enough scope for discussion. The hon. members who have spoken before me have different views while making their observations. I believe the idea of the motion is to discuss the need of progress and development of the area economically and socially. I believe that it is not the attitude of the Mover to make an insult to the people by saying that the Bhoi area, Lyngngam area or the Hadem area are the most backward areas in the State.  The Mover of the motion has no intention as such. He does not intend to insult the Member who represents that area. The motion is simply meant to bring a discussion on the need for progress and development of the area economically and socially. So, Sir, as the hon. member from Umroi has observed, it is wrong on the part of the hon. member from Umroi to say that Bhoi area is not backward because it has got the only airfield in the State or that it has the best and the biggest lake in India or that it has the First Development Block in the State and the first Hydel Project built by the Government of Assam in the State.

Mr. Speaker : May I also say that according to the Khasi legend the pure Khasi race originated from the Bhoi area.;

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : It does not the mean that because of all those things the Bhoi area does not need any more development and progress. But as the Mover has said and I also want to say that the nearer the place or the place around the foot of the lamp placed on the table is darker that the place at the next distance.

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Lyngdoh, may I point out that nobody has said that there is no need for further development of the Bhoi area. Opinions differed in this respect. Some of the hon. Members have expressed that so long very have seen signs of development.

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am mentioning all these just to clarify the position as against the stand taken by the hon. member from Umroi. In spite of the Hydel power dams, the first Development Block, airport, etc., the attempt of the Mover has been to discuss about the fact that the Bhoi area is still backward economically and socially. It is a fact that Umtru Hydel Project and the Umiam Hydel Project were the first projects to generate electricity and to supply it to the State of Assam and also to our State. But if one looks around one will find that the electricity which ahs been generated there has mostly gone to the State of Assam and it has not been extended even to Umrleng area or Mawrong village, which is a renown village in the Bhoi area. It is a fact that the first road in the State is the Gauhati Shillong Road. The hon. member has mentioned about it. But this road did not bring any development that we need for the people in the Bhoi area. Rather it has exposed to the merchants. The rich timber merchants first came to the Bhoi area, we are proud of it, but they have only extracted the timbers for their own benefit and did not do anything for the development of the area which we need. they have simply destroyed our forests. So, considering the need of development in the Bhoi area I may say that the Mover has rightly brought this motion before the House.

        Let us then come to the area from Mawhati or Mawrong, within a radius of about 40 miles. The area here is very vast, right from the border of Mikir Hills and Jaintia Hills towards Assam upto the border of Garo Hills. In the Fourth Plan proposal it has been mentioned that this one of the most backward areas in the State which need to be developed. Sir, if a road is constructed across the foot-hills right from Umling upto the border of Garo Hills, it will be in between 70/80 miles. in this area at present there is no road at all except one Company road. People living in this stretch of land have no road communication. if the road is constructed there, that will help the people economically to carry their produce to the markets or to buy and bring some other articles or materials from the markets to their places. So, considering the need of the area, this task should be undertaken.

        Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the stretch of land right from Patharkhmah upto Langdongdai, a radius of about 30/40 miles and from the upper region down to the foot-hills, at the stretch of about 40 miles there is not even one single dispensary. Sir, there is imperative need for development and upgrading the people in the Bhoi area. When I say Bhoi area I mean the areas which have been originally inhabited by the Bhois and also by the people who migrated from other areas from Maharam side, from Khyrim side, Nongspung side and Khadsawphra side.

Mr. Speaker : What do you mean 'from Khyrim side'?

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : I mean from the plateau region down to the Bhoi area of Khyrim State itself. The need for development is mainly how to protect the people from the attack of many diseases. The people need firstly good drinking water supply. The whole stretch that has been discussed has no good drinking water supply. Not a single scheme for water supply has been taken up there. Sir, it is correct to say that there is nothing of the sort.

        Secondly, Sir, there is no dispensary and the people are living in the mud in the jungles The disease is not only malaria but there are other which diseases are harmful to human beings. Sir, the hon. Member fro Laitumkhrah said that the habit of the people there is laziness. I am sorry, Sir, to use that word but I do not have any other word to use here in describing the nature of the people that they are lazy.

Mr. Speaker : The nature has made the people more lazy?

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : In fact, that is correct, nature itself has made them like that. Because of the heat and because of the disease, people do not like to work and they are also not healthy. Health is the most important thing, Sir. There is no child maternity centre. I am not exaggerating. But if you go there, as somebody has said, if you go to Thawiang and Marmain area and if you look at the data collected by the Census, you will find that the majority of the population are suffering from these diseases. At the infant stage, they are attacked, specially the female child, by malaria and other diseases. In other slopes of the Bhoi area e.g., Jyrngam and Rambrai these disease are prevalent. So, if we could help the people get rid of these diseases, then they will be more active energetic and they will be useful as man: power resources for the economic development of the State.

        Another thing, Sir, is about education. it is not correct, Sir, as one member from that side has said, that 80 per cent of the people of the Bhoi area can write and read. If we consider the State as a whole of course n Garo Hills, the percentage is the lowest, ten the Bhoi area is the worst including Lyngngam or Hadem area in the Jaintia Hills. I am sorry to say that, but it is a fact. I am not insulting the hon. Member from that side. It is not 80 per cent, Sir, I am doubtful that it is even 40 per cent to 50 per cent. In Shillong I am doubtful if it is 80 per cent. Sir, the hon. Member from Sohryngkham has said that it is 80 per cent and that we should reserve some percentage for the coming years and then we stop there. I cannot accept the argument that the Bhoi area has reached 80 per cent literacy. Of course the percentage in certain areas is 40 per cent. But I am doubtful even 25 per cent if you take Bhoi area as a whole. I myself have roamed in these areas. I have opened the schools at Marmain in 1964 when I was a Executive Member of the District Council. None of the people there within a radius of 6 miles can read and write. Only one boy who was in the Army was educated and was appointed as a teacher there. Sir, even now I have received petitions from the people of these areas for additional teachers and that reminds me that all of them cannot sign their names. Therefore the whole belt of the Bhoi area needs special attention in the matter of education. I agree with the hon. member that if we could impose compulsory and free education upto Class VI i.e., M.E. Standard, that will help these people a great deal.

        Another thing, Sir, if we are to consider at all the economic development of the State, we cannot ignore the Bhoi area. Our State is deficit in food. The whole slope is like a chair and the plateau is going down gradually to the plains. There is a place in the middle of the slope which is very good for cultivation and this area is in fact the agricultural area before we reach the plains specially in the western side right from Patharkhmah westward the area falls suddenly down to the plains.

        So this area is also rich for development of forests. There are also vast fields, as the hon. Member has said, in the Umsiang area and Umiam valley. Considering all these aspects for the economic development not only of wet cultivation in the river valleys but also in the slope. If in Naga Hills the people can use terracing wet cultivation in the slopes why not in Bhoi areas. Therefore, considering the climatic conditions if our Government takes up a comprehensive plan for the slopes and the valleys of Bhoi, I hope double cropping can be easily raised and because of the climate and rich soil, forest resources also can be augmented in the foothills i.e., on the border of Assam and also on the upper region 10 miles width which form the belt between the the slope and the table lands. I we can take up such programme in that area, our future economic condition, not only for the Bhoi area but also the State as a whole, will be much improved. Sir, I agree with the hon. Member that if we construct a dam on Umkhen-Umiam river valley, it will minimise our scope for agricultural development. And we shall have to sacrifice a vast area, paddy cultivable areas, which will be submerged if this dam is constructed. As the hon. member has stated, it is not our intention that we do not like to co-operate with the Government. We also want that our State should generate more power and sell it to Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, West Bengal and Bangladesh to accrue income for the State. But Sir, the circumstance such that we must develop our agriculture ; we cannot depend always upon the foodgrains from outside. We shall have to be self-reliant in respect of food. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also agree with the views of the hon. member that we should try to improve the condition of the people of the backward areas who are groaning under ignorance, illiteracy and disease for many many years. Not that we should bring them to Shillong and keep them in luxurious places like Pinewood Hotel. They will not be able to utilise all these things suddenly. So the process of development should be gradual. Sir, one of the hon. members has criticised the mover of the motion that instead of shouting big big talks inside the House he should attend the Block Committee's meeting. Here I would like to remind him that this House is the proper forum where we should discuss our various problems and not in the Block office. Our responsibility does not lie with one Department only. We are concerned with many Departments of the Government, viz., Agriculture, Education, Communication, Health and so on and so forth. 

        Sir, regarding construction of temporary bridges for which the Government spends Rs.8,000 or Rs.9,000 rupees, I want to say that this does not help the people at all. We know these temporary bridges were used are to be constructed during the months of December - March, when the people do not need bridge. The necessity of bridges is felt during the summer season when all the rivers are in spate. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that instead of spending money for temporary bridges, they should construct permanent bridges which will be more economical. With these few words I support this motion.

Shri S.P. Swer (Sohra S.T.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I welcome the motion brought by the hon. Member from Mawhati and I think we all know that our State consists of backward districts. I do not say that there is no need but I fully agree that there is need for development in the Ri-Bhoi areas. But we should not forget also that there other areas in other districts where the need for development is felt very much. We know, even in our border areas of the entire State, there is great need for development. There is need for more road communications, more bridges and more land reclamation. Even those areas which are not in the border but adjacent to border areas like Khadarblang or Khadarshnong, are very backward. there are many such pockets. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to touch a few points brought forward during the course of the discussion. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to touch only few points brought forward by the hon. Mover of the motion. The motion is to discuss the progress and development of the Ri Bhoi area. But in fact, in the course of his speech, he goes against the progress and development of the Ri Bhoi area. He talked too much about graziers and the land used by these graziers, but he is very much against the remedial measures sough by the Government through the Land Reforms Commission .....(interruption).

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance, Planning etc) : May I point out that the Rules do not permit that we extend the sitting beyond 1 p.m. At the same time I may be given time to reply. So, I request the hon. Member to conclude his speech.

Mr. Speaker : I think the whole House will agree to the suggestion of the Minister. At least on this very important motion, the House would like to hear a reply from the Minister. So, unless and until I give him at least 20 to 25 minutes' time, he will not be able to touch all the important points raised during the discussion, I now invite the Minister in-charge of Finance, Planning and Revenue to reply.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance, Planning and Revenue) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like very much to have more time to speak on this motion which has aroused the interest of the discussion. The motion has highlighted a very very important area, its problems and its potential for its development and for development of the State as a whole. Whether the motion lacks sincerity or not, I wish it were moved with all sincerity. This motion and the participants in the discussion had dwelt on the points and various problems concerning not only that area, but which have got relevancy for the Member from Mawhati who moved this motion had referred to the creation of the new administrative unit in the Ri Bhoi area. I would like to request him to accept that this is indicative of the mind of this infant State right from its coming into being. the first administrative unit was created in this area. this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, indicates the anxiety, interest and concern of the State Government in the area, not only by this Government, but by the Government of India and the Government of Assam also have indicated their special interest in this area. The first Block Development created for the whole District, I mean the whole State of Meghalaya was created in the Bhoi area in 1953. that also shows the attention, the special attention of the Government of India and the Government of Assam in this area. I will just make a shortly reply about the unit. The unit as has already been informed by the hon. Member from Nongpoh will be inaugurated shortly.

        Then about the judicial powers. there is no question of judicial powers attached to the unit or the officer. Judicial administration is inn the hands of the District Council right from the village court. There is no question and it is not very important for the purpose of this unit. It has got no relevancy to the judiciary. I happened also to be the representative of the entire Bhoi Area right from 1962 to 1968 when we resigned from the Assam Assembly. therefore I am also emotionally involved as the hon. members from Mawhati Nongpoh and Umroi Constituencies in this area. It may be perhaps because of that long association which is one of the factors for which I have brought to the Cabinet and the Government for immediate creation of the Ri Bhoi Administrative and I hope that in future it will be developed by and by. One very important point raised in this House by the hon. Member form Mawhati is about electricity. Here I would really very much emphasise and urge upon the Members of this House on the big question of development of the State as a whole, that is the development of power. We should have a balanced approach as a representative of the Constituency and also to represent certain areas. It is true that for the sake of the State, each of the members of this House will bring to light, or focus the attention of the State or of the people of be conscious that we are representing the State. Now there is a statement that I wish should not have come out from the hon. Member from Kynshi constituency of Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh, or development of Khri, the constituency of Mr. Hoover Hynniewta and not from this area. I am afraid this is a very very bad and dangerous approach as a responsible Member of this House. If we have this approach, I do not know how, but we shall have to divide again the State of Meghalaya into constituency States, perhaps another 60 States if we have this approach Mr. Speaker, Sir. So I would perhaps think that the h9on. member does not mean in this way but it is an opportunity for us to discuss. I wish the hon. Member is not here to discuss the opportunity to develop only a certain part of the land but to approach the question of development of the State as a whole. it is true that Kynshi river has a very very great potential for the development of power and also the Khri and Umkhen river. Therefore when we speak even for lighting purposes of the houses. If the hon. member will believe me, before we used to go out on tour, first we went to see the schools and dispensaries, we went for the village roads. These are in the old times when we used to visit in our tours. Now the clamour of the people, then how much this Umiam-Umtru project has been favourable to the State compared to its use now and the potential for its use in irrigation or for agriculture or for industries. Then comparing the benefits to b derived from the projects to speak against it totally for the submersion of land for cultivation, is completely out of balance. So I, would wish that we should have in this world everything. there is nothing which is absolutely loss or absolutely gain. this is really a project; that is, a practical project by calculating the gain as well as the loss or vice versa. Whatever it is, so far as the particular project which the hon. Member has raised much objection is concerned, I would inform the hon. member and the House, Sir, that this Project is not yet a decided project on the part of the Government because it involves a very very complicated case and we are trying to study the pros and cons. it may be that the Government has not yet prepared even to investigate. but so far as the case of submersion of food growing areas is concerned, I would inform the hon. member that stage II which is involved the submersion of Tyrso valley is completely a very small area. We do not depend only on officers who informed us of the place but we ourselves look upon the maps and plans. However, it is a question which has not yet been investigated and not yet certain because the official plan has not been prepared. Sir, about road development in the Bhoi area, the matter has been taken up right from the Second, third and fourth plans and it is true that the implementation had been very slow in that year and this Government's first priority now is to complete the spill-over of the Third and Fourth Plans. About the temporary bridges, we may have different opinions. Once the people know that the road is coming, they would not wait for construction of permanent bridges to connect the two approach roads. they would every now and then demand for bridges connecting these roads. Thus the construction of temporary bridges take place. It is for the need of the people themselves that construction of temporary bridges was carried out.

        The question about the influx of the Khutis first of all is to be dealt with mainly on the Sixth Schedule. The District Council had, for a fact, we know, some years past tried to get a preparation of the survey report but the approach is not so much of the political approach of outsiders. the question here is the question of diverse interest between the Khutis and the cultivators. Whether he is a Khuti or non-Khuti, but diverse interest is the problem. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish the hon. Member to look at this question from real aspect of the matter. now I have tried to meet the representatives of the Khuti -wallas of how strike a balance. Then there was a proposal from the leaders of the District Council at that time that we should have some sort of separation between the two. Certain areas may be reserved for the Khutis and other areas will be for the people. Therefore, it is the question between the khutis and the cultivators and not the the question of influx of outsider.

        Certain areas may be reserved for the khuti-walas and the other agricultural areas will be separated from there. The incidents between the cultivators and the Khutiwala is not a question of outsider but it is a question of getting an agreement of sites first from Syiemship Raids and the Government. Whether land is available or not because for a big Khuti farm so many Khutiwalals have to be together as before in the old form. Now of course a new system has been followed i.e., stall feeding. it has been experimented here and there and the cattle is no longer allowed to roam. Therefore this question of growing fodder does not arise in view of the fact that the cattle are kept in the stalls and they would not need too much land. this point is to be considered by the Government and the District Council and after this we may be able to come to a solution of this great problem of the people who have cattle and agriculture. Great problem of the people who keep cattle and also the people who take to agriculture and, in fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the priority of development in the State there is now more and more emphasis on the development of veterinary and animal husbandry for Meghalaya which is  very suitable. But the terrain difficulties are a natural problem to agriculture which may not be developed to the extent we desire and as there is ample scope for the development of veterinary and animal husbandry we are ready to consider this question very seriously on how to develop it in our State like horticulture and others. So, I would request the hon. Members to give a serious thought about this question for this is a very important problem to be solved immediately. let us, therefore, not hear any more of this talk about outsiders and foreigners once this problem is solved.

        Now I come to industries. Sir, while we are crying for development of industries in the State, there is, on the other hand, an apprehension that with the development of industries or interest as a small community will be jeopardised. Of course, on every problem there are two sides and there is a question of planned approach. the first is at least to bring our State into the industrial map of the country and, as such, in order to bring new ideas and broader outlook to the people certain industries are encouraged to be set up in the State because because we also know our difficult economy. it is not only here but in Assam also. therefore, there is no question of everything to be done by the local man. We propose here to get the co-operation or collaboration or whatever it is with the industrialists of the country. it is not only the industrialists or entrepreneurs of any particular State. Of course, I would assure the hon. Members that the apprehension on this question is very genuine. that is rue. It has been raised not only by the hon. members on the other side but also by the hon. Members on this side who have spoken in this House on the genuine apprehension because the question of industries involves many many things. Rather than speaking loudly here, I would suggest that the hon. Members discuss together informally, strictly without the Galleries and the Press, this problem thoroughly for the interest of the people. The hon. member from Mawhati had stated what I had felt in my heart that the petty grants were spoiling the character of both the people and the officers. I would, therefore, say that let us also consider this question and see how we can really deal with then grants so that they will really be beneficial morally and also economically to the people of the State. the most important aspect as pointed out by Prof. Peter Garnett Marbaniang and followed by Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, is the second factor may be the first factor on development. One is the natural resources. And then come the technical resources or financial resources and, on the other side, is the human factor. Here, as the Hon. Speaker, had stated, the human factor in this area has been raised because of the history. It is a point of ease and disease the ease because of the rich soil, as the hon. member has stated : throw anything and you see it grow; therefore, there is no incentive for hard work and the population, at that time, was very small and therefore it led the people to a life of ease. At the same time, it is a question of physical nature which affects the health of the people who cannot, even if they wish, exert physically due to diseases like malaria and beri-beri. I remember when I went to these areas for the first time in 1962-63 on account of the elections, we walked right through Umsiang for six days, we walked from here to Nowgong and heard the history of what had been going on there. But there is hope now and malaria has been eradicated to a great extent. there is a report to that effect.

Mr. Speaker : Before time runs out, may I ask the Minister how many minutes more he would require?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Planning, etc. ) : I will take 10 minutes more, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : Is it the sense of the house that the sitting be extended beyond the Schedule? (Voices : Yes, Yes)

Prof. martin Narayan Majaw : May I also be allowed the right of reply according to Rules?

Mr. Speaker : Generally in the motions, there is nothing but in the resolutions.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : But,  Mr. Speaker, Sir, the rule is very definite and it is imperative.

Mr. Speaker : If you want I will give you two minutes later.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Planning, etc. ) : In this very important question I would invite the co-operation of the hon. members to go into the question of human material which has been highlighted by Mr. H.S. Lyngdoh. Therefore, we have to spread education through social organisations and through the Block Development agencies. Once the incentive to create is there, the desire for better living would arouse the consciousness. We are all human beings and we have to create a lot of mass consciousness and the improvement of the areas has really been phenomenal. Now, when we see the villages in the Bhoi area we notice the changes - bright young men, boys and girls moving about but before you did not see growing children, they died-infant mortalities were great. But now, their health has improved a good deal and this will persuade us to believe that there has been development. The break-through has started and with the interest of all the hon. Members, if we approach objective, sincerely, and with conviction then this area will not grow only now, it has already contributed to the growth of development. The potentiality is great, if we want to improve our resources as I think we are all agreed upon the principle of improving and developing the potentiality of this State. Let us co-operate in order to develop. I am reminded of the speeches of the Chief Minister when once on this question he reminded us that all of us have demanded for a separate Hill State and in the  negotiations against argument of viability, I remember that every time there is a question as to whether this State is viable and we said that in the beginning we will not have viability but in future we will have great potentiality for viability. But now after having our own State why should we go back to our own argument for viability? This is wrong and economically unsound on our part. Let us develop this great potentiality for the benefit of the people. Can you imagine that in my own village of Laitlyngkot when I visited my old house there, I never dreamt of electric light before, but now there was light. I was so surprised, happily surprised to see that my old village was electrified. I am also glad to learn that light is reaching Mawphlang, Mylliem, Mawkyrwat, Nongstoin, Markasa, etc., villages. So are we not happy and should not we give light to the people of those villages? Yes, there is no limit to the need of light, no limit to the need of cultural development and scientific development. Power is indeed very very much indeed for irrigation and cultivation. Therefore, I would really appeal to the members to have a positive approach for development of the State and while we are representing the people of our constituency, we are also representing the State as a whole. therefore, I stress very much on this point that we should be positive in our approach towards achieving an all-round development of our State.

        Then now on the question of Forests Department which Mr. Lyngdoh has spoken, I would like to say that we are all agreed because forests are of such a great value to us. Forests give us water and it is a fact that without forests our lands become barren and Government is conserving forests and we need the co-operation of the District Council to do so. 3 per cent of the forests in our State are under the control of the Government, 97 per cent are private and under the administrative control of parties, because many parties my run the District Councils afterwards and we may have the full co-operation fro them because without co-operation we cannot and improve the forests. The last point which I would like to stress here is that we have got two very approach of self-reliance and the other is the approach of regional balance. There should not be any regional imbalance in our State. The Chief Minister, as Chairman of the Planning Board and Advisory Council, has stated on many occasions and had made it very clear that there is no use for development only in one place, in one spot like Shillong, Tura and Jowai. But what is more important is balanced development of the State as a whole. Therefore, if we all agree today that one area is more backward than other areas, then this approach to bring that area up with the rest of the country or the State is empathically the policy of this State Government. Then we can assure the hon. members that in fact we have listed the Bhoi area as a specially backward area. We all know that our whole State is backward and therefore we have listed Bhoi area also as backward area. It is now the responsibility of all and Government wants the people to co-operate with the Government to development that area. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

*Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the House is now happy with the reply to this motion. I would also like to congratulate the Finance Minister for the very fine reply. I also congratulate the hon. members from Laitumkhrah and Dadenggiri who have adopted a balanced approach to this motion. I will not launch a personal attack on ......

Mr. Speaker : You need not refer to any personal attack. If there be any personal attack today I will verify from the tape-recorder and do the needful. You need not therefore counter attack the hon. Member of the House.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It took us by surprise that even unparliamentary words were used. Now I will only point out that reply to one point, I have no intention at all of adopting a sectarian outlook or regional outlook in talking about the rivers. It is only those people living along the length of the rivers Umiam and Umkhen where they have paddy fields on the other side. Whereas in the case of the Khri and Kynshi rivers there is no vegetation or paddy fields and I wonder why a project cannot be constructed over there. may I inform the Minister-in-charge that while Umiam Project was under technical survey, I had the occasion to take some photographs myself, I have given some copies to the Minister in-charge also. The photograph shows the presence of concrete mixers, concrete blocks and others which were brought there by the Assam Government all along the course of the Umiam river.

Mr. Speaker : But that was from the Assam side and not from Meghalaya side.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : This is a point project. Let us not have a kind of debate between the Ruling party and the Opposition.

Capt. Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Of course, this project is not installed by the Government of Meghalaya but it is a joint project.

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) : But we have stated that this Government has not committed nor decided to construct a dam. I shall be happy, if some agency could go and investigate on this.

Mr. Speaker : The time is up and the discussion is closed.

Shri Winstone  Syiemiong : To raise half an hour discussion on a matter arising out of answers to Unstarred Question No.5 laid on the Table of the House on the 25th march, 1974 on the subject "Non receipt of pay of the P.W.D. staff of Mawsynram Subdivision."

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Mynso-Raliang S.T.) : But the time is already up. Sir.

Mr. Speaker : I have already taken the sense of the House. It is the common practice in every Legislature that unless every item is completed, we can extend the sitting of the House beyond the scheduled time.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong (Nongspung S.T.) : My intention in raising this discussion, apart from other things is first and foremost to get further information to the reply given by the Minister-in-charge to my question because the replies are not very satisfactory.

Mr. Speaker : They are rather critical, if you compare with the question. I would request the Ministers that in future, they should answer more to the points raised in each and every question.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : This is a very important question because it involved payment of salaries to certain categories of staff. The staff did not get their pay during the month of May, 1973 because of lapses on the part of the department whether it was deliberately done or not that we never know. But the reason that was stated here was that money was lost. In this connection, I would like to know why and how the money was lost. It might be that there is something on the part of the officer concerned; and what action that has been taken against this man we do not know. As far as my information goes, this man has been punished only with realisation of Rs.20 per month for 186 instalments for 15 years. he will have to pay only at the rate of Rs.20 per month. I do not know, if there is some other punishment that was meted out to him because I feel that at the rate of Rs.20 it does not affect nor serve as a punishment to the person concerned. But rather it will encourage other officers to go on like this. I do not know why other punishment cannot be inflicted on this person. On the other hand I do not know also the reason why the Government did not sanction at that time as some sort of ad-hoc payment to the staff and the people working under the Division. I understand from the reply to the question that sanction was accorded only in the month of March, 1974. that is after my question is tabled in the House.

Mr. Speaker : So you are helping the Government also to speed up the work.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : We would like to know from the Government why sanction could not be made earlier because the staff were tremendously suffering. I understand that a representation also was made and for these reasons I would like to get some more clarification form the Minister-in-charge.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State P.W.D.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I speak on the facts of the case, I would like to state categorically that it is not the case of fraud. Secondly, I would like to state that it is not a fact that the Government has initiated action on this matter only after receipt of the question. This will become the findings as I have placed the facts of the case on the Table of the House. Now the money was lost by the Head of Mawsynram Division on the 2nd June, 1973. Now the amount involved is Rs.3,113. Together with cash the current cheques book No.6303 was also lost as has been stated in the reply to the question. What happen we do not know. But the fact remains that both the cash and the cheques book were lost on the 2nd June, 1973. Immediately on the same day the Head Assistant reported the matter to the Officer in-charge of Police Station and the local treasury Officer, Shillong and to his immediate superior officer, the S.D.O. of Mawsynram Division. Then on the 5th June, the Executive Engineer concerned reported the matter to the Chief Engineer-cum-Secretary, P.W.D. On the 21st June, 1973, the Department took up the matter with the Finance Department to issue sanctioning order for re-withdrawal of the amount which involved pay and allowances. Simultaneously the Department also pursued the matter with the Police Department and requested them to provide the Department with full and complete Police Report. On the 1st August, 1973 the Finance Department intimated to the P.W.D. its inability to agree to the re-withdrawal of the lost pay and allowances without furnishing the Police Investigation Report and unless the Finance Department is informed of punishment taken against the defaulter, if he is found at fault. Then on the 13th March of this month, on completion of the investigation report, the Executive Engineer of Mawsynram Division was directed by the Chief Engineer to recover the amount from the Head Assistant in 13 instalments. On the 21st March, 1974, the Finance Department again intimated that it has agreed to the re-withdrawal of the amount involved and on the next day the Executive Engineer concerned was given formal sanctioning order to withdraw the amount. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the staff concerned must have suffered during these months. But I would like to take this opportunity to state categorically that the staff have been suffering not due to the fact that the Government id not act promptly but in any case the suffering has been caused by the carelessness of the Head Assistant concerned. I would like to state and inform the House that not only the incumbent concerned is being penalised by recovering the lost amount out of his salaries, he has been also transferred to the Divisional Office as an Upper Division Assistant.

Mr. Speaker : Do you mean to say that transferring the Assistant from one office to another is a punishment?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, he is no longer holding the responsibility which he was holding before.

Mr. Speaker : The question raised by the hon. Member is other punishment did the Government impose?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, first he has to pay back the money and secondly he has been transferred and, that is the punishment so far imposed. He is no longer the Head Assistant.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would to know firstly whether it is regular on the part of the Head Assistant to carry a cheques book of the Division along with him apart from the pay bill? Secondly may I know what were the reasons that the rate of Rs.20 per month was realised as a punishment for the lost money. May I know the reason why the rate of recovery was raised to Rs.70 and furthermore what are the findings of the investigation?

Shri D.D. Pugh : The findings of the investigation are that the money was lost due to negligence and carelessness of the officer and that is why he was penalised.

Mr. Speaker : The question is why the rate of recovery of Rs.20 was raised to Rs.70?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would only say that the Department on  a second thought considered that the rate of recovery of Rs.20 per month is not a punishment and immediately the rate of recovery was raised to Rs.70 per month.

Mr. Speaker : Is it regular for the officer to carry a cheques book along with him?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of State, P.W.D.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not regular.

Mr. Speaker : The House stands adjourned till 9 A.M. on Monday the 1st April, 1974.


Dated Shillong.


The 30th March, 1974

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.