Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9.00 a.m. on the 2nd April, 1975 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair.

Present :- Seven Ministers, Two Ministers of State, Thirty-two hon. Members.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up starred question No. 15. But before we take up the question, I will inform the House that I have received a letter from the Chief Minister informing me that he is indisposed and that his business will be attended to by the Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs.

STARRED QUESTIONS

(To which oral replies were given)

Visit by the Office Superintendent  of the Chief Minister's Secretariat to Umsyiem

Shri S.P Swer asked :

    *15. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to State -

    (a) Whether it is a fact that the office Superintendent of the Chief Minister's Secretariat visited Umsyiem on 27th February, 1975?

    (b) If so, whether it is a fact that the said Superintendent was duly authorised to represent the Chief Minister in the cultural function organised by the people of the Umsyiem?

    (c) Whether he was authorised to take vehicle No.MLG-202 while visiting Umsyiem on the said date?

    (d) If so, who bore the cost of P.O.L.?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

15. (a) - Yes.

      (b) - No. He was invited by the people of Umsyiem to attend the function.

      (c) - Yes.

      (d) - The P.O.L. cost was borne by the Officer himself.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, is it not a fact that the Minister-in-charge of Public Relations was also present in the function?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : Yes, Sir.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, is this vehicle No.MLG-202 allotted to the Office of the Chief Minister's Secretariat?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : No, Sir, it was allotted for the use of the Secretariat of the Chief Minister.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : May we know who inaugurated the function?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : I require notice for that.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Is the officer allowed to take the office vehicle for the purpose of private invitation?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : No he is authorised to do so.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Under what rule the Officer is entitled to use MLG-202?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : Under special authorisation.

Shri W. Syiemiong : May we know who authorised, Sir?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : The Chief Minister himself.

Mr. Speaker : Let us pass to unstarred question No. 137.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(Replies to which were placed on the Table)

Terracing Scheme in the State

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

137. Will the Minister in-charge of Soil Conservation be pleased to State -

        (a) The extent of new terracing schemes taken up in the State during the years 1973-74 and 1974-75 with the amount of expenditure?

        (b) Whether cultivation is being done in those terraced areas throughout the year?

        (c) The crops cultivated in those newly terraced areas during the years 1973-74 and 1974-75?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Soil Conservation) replied :

    137. (a) - During 1973-74, 1129.35 hectares of terracing were done in the three district at an expenditure of Rs.11,48,636.32p.

        During 1974-75. sanction has been issued for terracing 1,392 hectare at a cost of Rs.27,50,000.

        (b) - No.

        (c) - Mainly hill paddy, but in some areas potato, maize, cotton mixed with paddy, etc. have been done according to local conditions and cropping pattern.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : 137(b), Sir, when the answer is 'No' may we know for how many months was cultivation due?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Soil Conservation) : The period when there is no cultivation is after the harvest till the sowing season.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : 137(b), was any help offered by the Government for the sale of produce that was cultivated or has the Government any avenue for the sale of the produce?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Soil Conservation) : Yes, Sir. The Government is helping them to find a market for their produce.

Mr. Speaker : 138

Re-grouping of villages in Garo Hills

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang asked :

138. Will the Minister for Soil Conservation be pleased to State the progress of schemes to re-group small villages in Garo Hills?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Soil Conservation) replied :

138. There is no separate scheme for re-grouping of villages. It forms part of the Jhum Control Scheme, under which action has been taken to benefit 486 families. The schemes are in progress and are supposed to be completed towards the end of the financial year.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : 138(a). How many families have been benefited so far, since the scheme is in progress?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Soil Conservation) :  486 families.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : What is the ultimate objective of the scheme?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Soil Conservation) : I require notice for that Sir.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : How much money has been spent on the scheme?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Soil Conservation) : By the end of this financial year it is expected that an amount of Rs.4,40,000.00 will be spent.

Shri W. Syiemiong : May we know the total population of those 486 families?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Soil Conservation) : I have no information on that, I, therefore, require notice.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : At the field level who are the officers-in-charge for implementation of the scheme?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Soil Conservation) : The Demonstrator and Deputy Ranger.

Posts of Gram Sevaks in Community Development Blocks

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked : 

139. Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be pleased to State -

        (a) Whether the posts of Gram Sevaks in the Community Development Blocks are pensionable?

        (b) If not, the reason thereof?

        (c) Whether it is a fact that in some other States the posts of the Gram Sevaks have been made pensionable?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister-in-charge of Community Development) replied :

139. (a) - No.

        (b) - The posts have not yet been made permanent.

        (c) - Yes.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : 139(c). In which States are pensions allowed to Gram Sevaks?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister-in-charge of Community Development) : So far from the information we received, the post are pensionable in West Bengal, Orissa and Nagaland.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Will the Government consider the grant of pension to those retired Gram Sevaks in future?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister-in-charge of Community Development) : We will consider.

Work-charged staff in the office of the Executive Engineer, P.W.D. (R. & B.), Shillong Division.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :

140. Will the Minister -in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to State the number of Worked-charged staff appointed from 2nd April, 1972 to 31st December, 1974 (category and community-wise in the office of the Executive Engineer, P.W.D. (R. & B.), Shillong Division?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister-in-charge of P.W.D.) replied :

Category

Community

1. Driver

...

...

...

Khasi-1
Bengali-1
Manipuri-1

2. Chawkidar

...

...

...

Nepali-5
Bengali-3
Khasi-1

3. Mali

...

...

...

Bihari-1

4. Handyman

...

...

...

Nepali-1
Assamese-3
Behari-1
Khasi-2

5. Sweeper

...

...

...

Punjabi-1

6. Electrician

...

...

...

Bengali-1

7. Plumber

...

...

...

Khasi-1

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Are there any vacancies existing now among the categories of work charged staff?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) : These appointments are made according to the need of the work and vacancies occur from time to time.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, are all these people appointed directly by the Selection Board?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) : These appointments are made by the Executive Engineer.

Shri W. Syiemiong : May we know the pay scale of the drivers?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) : This is a new question and I require notice for that, Sir.

Availing of casual leave by Public Works Department Officers

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :

141. Will the Minister-in-charge  of P.W.D. be pleased to State-

        (a) The names of P.W.D. Division in which officers while inspecting the works on site availed casual leave and went outside the work site during the last three years.?

        (b) Whether it is a fact that P.W.D. Officers, in-charge of the Gauhati-Shillong Road availed casual leave and went home from work side on several occasions?

        (c) Whether it is a fact that such availing of leave during inspection on work site is in contravention of the travelling allowance rule?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister-in-charge of P.W.D.) replied :

    141. (a)- Shillong P.W.D. Division.

            (b) - Yes. The year-wise informations are indicated below :- 

1972-73

...

On 1 occasions

1973-74

...

On 2 occasions

1974-75

...

On 3 occasions

(c) - No.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : It appears that the Officer-in-charge of the G.S. Road availed leave and went home from the work site on several occasions. Does it not affect the work, Sir?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) : For the year 1972-73, one occasion, for the period of 1973-74, on two occasions and for the period of 1974-75, on three occasions. So there are only six occasions. As you can see, the number is not much, so it does not affect the work.

Shri Dlosing : Lyngdoh : May we know, Sir how long for the officer availed leave?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah : I require notice for that, Sir.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : May we know, if T.A. is allowed for journeys for casual leaves?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) : There is  no travelling allowance.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, is it possible for an officer who is in the work site to be allowed to take leave without proper sanction?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) :No, Sir.

Shri F.K. Mawlot : In the absence of the officer, is any substitute appointed?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) : No, Sir, the next senior officer takes charge.

Supply of seeds to the flood-affected areas.

Shri Manindra Rava asked :

142. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to State-

    (a) The total quantity of seeds supplied to the flood-affected areas of the State showing every kind of seeds (District-wise)?

    (b) Whether the seeds were supplied on relief or loan basis?

    (c) Whether monetary relief has been rendered to the flood-affected people?

    (d) The amount spent for administration of various flood relief measures for the flood-affected people?

    (e) Whether any special care has been taken for protection of rabi crops in the flood-affected areas?

    (f) If so, what measures have been taken so far?

    (g) If not, why not?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

142. (a) - Seeds supplied so far during 1974-75 to flood-affected areas are as follows :- 

Garo Hills.

Khasi Hills.

Jaintia Hills.

1. Paddy

...

405.90 qtls.

78.55 qtls.

2. Mustard

...

153.00 qtls.

...

...

3. Black gram

...

279.00 qtls.

...

...

4. Wheat

...

499.00 qtls.

...

...

5. Potato

...

...

222.50 qtls. 

        (b)-Seeds were not supplied at relief basis but at 50 per cent subsidised price and the balance 50 per cent as loan. In Khasi Hills people have, however, repaid the loan in full.

        (c)-Yes. An amount of Rs.5,34,450.00 was sanctioned for supply of seeds on 50 per cent grant basis, i.e.-

Rs.

1. Garo Hills District

...

...

...             ...

4,69,450

1. Khasi Hills District

...

...

...             ...

   45,000

1. Jaintia Hills District

...

...

...             ...

   20,000

        An amount of Rs. 25,000 was also allotted out of State Relief Fund to the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills District for giving relief to the flood affected people.

        (b)-Rupees 8,826.63 p. were spent for requisitioning of vehicles, P.O.L. charges, labourers, purchase of stationery and hiring of boats. No amount was spent on administration as the relief works were carried out by the existing staff.

        (e) & (f)-Yes. plant protection measures against pest, specially in case of paddy in Garo Hills and supply of power pumps (13 Nos.) specially for Boro paddy in the same district.

        (g) Does not arise.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot : We will be glad to know the method of distribution of paddy seeds, mustard seeds, etc. The principles laid down for the distribution of various items.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : The principle followed is on the area of the land and the requirement of seeds.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh : To which areas were these seeds distributed?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : I require notice for that, Sir.

Shri F. K. Mawlot : 142(a), may we know by whom was the distribution carried out?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : By the District Agricultural Officers, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri F. K. Mawlot : 142(c), whether this monetary relief was given to the families or to individuals?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : To the cultivators, Sir.

Shri F. K. Mawlot : Yes, but whether it was given to the families or to individuals?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : To the cultivators who may happen to be the head of a family.

Shri F. K. Mawlot : But my question is ...........

Mr. Speaker : You have already crossed three supplementary questions. Hon. Members will remember that in an unstarred question there is less scope for putting supplementary questions because the information supplied by the Ministers is in greater detail.

Candle Factories in Garo Hills

Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch asked :

143. Will the Minister-in-charge of Industries be pleased to State-

        (a) Whether it is a fact that there are candle factories in Garo Hills District?

        (b) If so, (i) the number thereof, (ii) their location and (iii) the owners of the firms/factories?

        (c) The production capacity of each factory?

        (d) The quantity of raw materials allotted to each factory?

        (e) The name of firm/company or agent who supply the raw materials to the factories?

        (f) Whether production of candles has been started?

        (g) If so, under which trade marks?

Shri Salseng Marak (Minister of State for Industries) replied :

143. (a) Yes.

        (b), (c) & (d)- A list showing the number, location, owners, production capacity and quantity of raw materials allotted is placed on the Table of the House.

        (e)-1. Shri Sailendra D.Shira, Chandmari, Tura.

              2. M/S Meghalaya Auto Agencies, Tura.

        (f)-Yes.

        (g)- Manufacturers are not selling their products under Trade Mark.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : 143(f), have much has been produced so far in the form of candles?

Shri Salseng Marak (Minister of State for Industries) : I require notice, Sir.

Government rice wholesalers in Khasi and Garo Hills Districts

Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked : 

144. Will the Minister-in-charge of Supply be pleased to State-

        (a) The names and total number of Tribal and Non-Tribal Government rice wholesalers in the Khasi Hills District and Garo Hills District, in 1972-73, 1973-74 and 1974-75.

        (b) The total allotment of rice made by the Food Corporation of India during these years in these two Districts?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) replied :

    144. (a)-A statement is paced on the Table of the House.

            (b)-No allotment of rice was made by the Food Corporation of India.

Shri W. Syiemiong : 144(b), may we know why there is a variation in the number of the wholesalers in Khasi Hills District because in 1972-73 there were 23, in 1973-74 we found there were 24 and in 1974-75 we found there are 14 only. May we know the reason of this variation.

Mr. Speaker : What are the reasons for the variation in the number of wholesalers in the Khasi Hills District?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : The main reason is that we do not have much to distribute. So, if we appoint more wholesalers that will not be for the benefit of the wholesalers and not for the consumers.

Shri W. Syiemiong : May we know why in 1973-74 there were 24 wholesalers while in 1974-75 there were only 14?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : That is because the D.C. has appointed them according to the circumstances and the need of the period.

Shri W. Syiemiong : May we know what were those circumstances?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : I require notice for that question, Sir.

Shri Jormanik Syiem : May we know, if the wholesalers have been appointed in the interior?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : In the Nongstoin Subdivision.

Shri H.S. Lyngdoh : How many wholesalers have been appointed so far?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : I require notice, Sir.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : 144(b), what is the total quantity of Fair Price rice supplied or delivered to the State Government for distribution during the period under review?

Mr. Speaker : Here the question is regarding allotment of rice for the two districts. Whether the F.C.I. made the allotment district-wise or State-wise?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government of India made the allotment to the State Government not district-wise, and the allotment was not made by the F.C.I.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : My question is - what is the quantity supplied or delivered to the State Government for the two districts during the year under review?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : Although I have prepared a statement for different period, yet I require notice because it is not possible to keep all the statements here.

Shri F. K. Mawlot : Sir, the Minister said that the allotment was made by the Government of India to the State Government. May we know whether these things were handled by the State Government or by any other agency?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : By the F.C.I.

Allotment of cars and scooter from the Government quota

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :

145. Will the Minister-in-chare of Transport be pleased to State- 

        (a) The number of tribals who applied for allotment of cars and scooters from the Government quota in 1974?

        (b) The number of cars and scooters allotted in 1973 and 1974 and to whom?

        (c) Whether it is a fact that a few cars and scooters from Meghalaya quota are generally allotted to non-tribals and non-Meghalayan?

        (d) If the reply to (c) above is in the negative, the names and the addresses of all the persons to whom cars and scooters have been allotted by the State Government during the last 3 (three) years?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of Transport) replied :

145. (a)- The number of tribals who applied for cars and scooters in 1974 are :- 

Ambassador Cars

...

...

...

...

17 Nos.

Premier President Cars

...

...

...

...

  9 Nos.

Bajaj Scooters

...

...

...

...

85 Nos.

Lambretta Scooters

...

...

...

...

13 Nos.

(b)- Number of cars and scooters allotted in 1973 and 1974 are :-

1973

1974

Ambassador Cars

...

...

...

54

47

Premier President Cars

...

...

...

34

26

Bajaj Scooters

...

...

...

48

87

Lambretta Scooters

...

...

...

48

84

        (The names are given in the statement placed on the Table of the House)

    (c)-Yes.

    `(d)- Does not arise in view of (c) above.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : 145(b), Sir, from the data supplied we have seen that so many scooters have been allotted in the year 1973-74. may we know whether all these scooters are used in the State?

Mr. Speaker : Whether all these scooters allotted to the people of the State?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is difficult to determine whether they will use for all time or at all times in the State.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : Whether licenses for these scooters have been issued by the State Government alone?

Mr. Speaker : Your question is whether all these scooters have been issued in the State of Meghalaya?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : Normally it should be so, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : 145(c), how many of these scooters have been allotted to non-tribals and non-Meghalayan?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the entire list is placed on the Table of the House.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : It is difficult to know form the list whether a person is a Meghalayan or non-Meghalayan?

Mr. Speaker : In any case, the answer to that question will be quite long. If the Minister cannot reply, he can say that he requires notice.

Shri F. K. Mawlot : 145(a), may we know who are the agencies dealing in scooters?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : That is a new question.

Mr. Speaker : Yes, that is a new question.

Shri F. K. Mawlot : It is not a new question, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : I have ruled it.

Shri W. Syiemiong : 145(c), may we know the reason why the quota meant for the tribals has been allotted to non-tribals?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the basis on which these scooters are allotted is this. Top priority is given to employees of the Government of Meghalaya which is also includes the M.L.A's and M.D.C's. Now, these employees cannot obviously always be Meghalayans or tribals, some of them, come from Kerela, from Punjab or from Maharashtra.

Mr. Speaker : Even among the M.L.A's there are non-tribals also.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Sir, what is the quarterly quota of scooters for the State?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : Fifteen per quarter plus an ad-hoc quota per annum.

Shri H. Hadem : Are M.L.A's and M.D.C's also classed as employees of the Government?

Mr. Speaker : He said that M.L.As and M.D.Cs are given first priority.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : How many M.L.As have got scooters?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : The names are given in the statement placed on the Table of the House.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : In the year of allotment, may we know the names of the firms from which vehicles are picked up?

Mr. Speaker : I think that question I have already ruled out.

Prof. M.N. majaw : In the allotment order, may we know the names of the Firms only for these two varieties of scooters?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I require notice.

Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap : Mr. Speaker, Sir, how many scooters have been received during the year 1974?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : I require notice.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : The Minister has not replied to my question. My question was both the cars and scooters. May we know the reasons for the cars also why the quota meant for Meghalayan tribals were allotted to the non-Meghalayans?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : The allotment was made for the permanent residents of the State and also those who are temporarily residents of the State and as far as the cars are concerned, the cost of the cars is so great and their maintenance cost is greater. Hardly three or four or five people come up for cars and every-body who has applied has been allotted cars.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy (Minister, Industries and Power) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I add the quota allotted to the State is under the discretion of this Government and it is the Government who has allotted certain categories by giving top priority as already stated by the Minister. It is not laid down by the Government of India as to what category and how to distribute.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, what does the Minister mean the words permanent residents? Does it include both the tribals and non-tribals? In case of the non-tribals how it is determined?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : That is a new question Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong : But it follows right from the previous answer.

Mr. Speaker : This is a supplementary to a supplementary question and in fact you may take another opportunity.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot : Mr. Speaker, Sir, is it not a fact that the military officers are also getting?

Mr. Speaker : That is why they say the employees of the Central Government are also getting.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot : May we know whether the employees of the Defence Services have got their own quota or not?

Mr. Speaker : Of course you cannot ask the question here. You can ask that question only in Parliament. Now Unstarred question No.416.

Protection of the Bridge Approach at Ampati, Garo Hills

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked : 

146. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to State-

        (a) The steps taken by the Government in order to protect the bridge approach at Ampati in Garo Hills which is inundated by the Daru river, on the Tura-Mahendraganj Road every year?

        (b) Whether Government is aware of the fact that any damage to the bridge approach at Ampati will entirely disrupt the communication link of the south western part of Garo Hills?

        (c) The amount already spent for the protection works at Ampati bridge approach?

        (d) Whether Government is aware of the fact that the present protection works near the Ampati Bridge approach is incapable of withstanding the onslaught of the current of the Daru river during the rainy season?

        (e) Whether Government is aware of the fact that the present damage to the Ampati bridge approach was caused by the strong current o the Daru river during the rainy season?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah [Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R. & B.)] replied :

        146. (a)-To protect the bridge approach timber bridge spurs have been constructed. Further one timber with drumsheet walling has been provided on Ampati side approach.

        (b)-Yes.

        (c)- Rs.33,557.00

        (d)- The Department have taken suitable measures to protect the bridge.

        (e)- Yes.

Rabi Crop Programme

Shri Singjan Sangma asked : 

147. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be please to State-

        (a) Whether any Rabi crop programme has been taken up by the Agriculture Department in the State in general and in flood-affected areas in particular during 1974-75?

        (b) The total acreage under wheat cultivation in Mouza V, VI, VII and VIII of the Garo Hills District during 1974-75?

        (c) The number of pumping machines supplied to the agriculturists for irrigating the wheat fields in different development blocks?

        (d) The cause of non-functioning of filter points installed in the villages of Magurinari, Pheskandi and Huripur of Garo Hills?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister i/c, Agriculture) replied :

147. (a) Special Rabi programme has been taken up in flood-affected areas in addition to usual Rabi programme.

        (b) Area under wheat in the Mouza concerned are estimated as follows :-

Mouza-V- 25 Acres.

Mouza-VI- 230 Acres.

Mouza-VII- 56 Acres.

Mouza-VIII- 39 Acres.

        (c) Pumps were not supplied exclusively for wheat cultivation to any block. However, the pumps provided by the Agriculture Department to different blocks are as follows :-

1. Betasing

...

...

...

8 Nos.

1. Selsela

...

...

...

2 Nos.

1. Zikzak

...

...

...

2 Nos.

1. Dadengiri

...

...

...

1 No.

        The above do not include the pumps provided by the block authorities directly.

        (d)- The main cause of non-functioning of the filter points in considered to the fall of water level to a considerable depth.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : No.147(a), was any Rabi crop programme taken up in Khasi Hills during 1974-75?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : Yes, Sir.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : How many hectares or acres of land were covered by the programme in Khasi Hills?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : I want notice, but I can tell you the quantity of seeds, if you want.

Mr. Speaker : No, that is not asked by him. Now No.148.

Disposal of Land Compensation Cases

Shri Humphrey Hadem asked :

148. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to State-

        (a) Whether all lands compensation cases connected with various road construction in Jowai Division have been disposed of?

        (b) Whether money has also been paid to the deserving claimants?

        (c) If not, what are the pending cases?

        (d) What steps have been taken to expedite disposal of and payment for pending cases?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister-in-charge P.W.D.) replied :

148. (a)- No.

        (b)- Payment for pending cases has not been made.

        (c) - A list of pending land compensation cases is placed on the Table of the House.

        (d)- The Department is trying its best to dispose of the pending cases.

Shri Humphrey Hadem : No. 148(c), may we know whether advance compensation has been paid for the Raliang-Sohsniang road and Mynso-Pasyih road?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister-in-charge P.W.D.) : I require notice for that.

Shri Humphrey Hadem : No. 148(d), may we know what are the formalities still pending in the disposal of these cases?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister-in-charge P.W.D.) : Pending cases are with the Collector and we are trying  our best to communicate to him to dispose of the cases as early as possible.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : May we know whether the compensation for the land occupied by the office of the Executive Engineer, Jowai has been cleared or not? 

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister-in-charge P.W.D.) : I require notice.

Payment of bills for carpeting of roads in Shillong and National Highway No.40

Shri Kisto M. Roy Marbaniang asked :

149. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to State-

        (a) Whether all the bills for carpeting of roads in Shillong Town and National Highway No.40 near Upper Shillong Farm have been paid to the contractors?

        (b) Whether final inspections of the carpeting were made by the Executive Engineer before the final payment to the contractors?

        (c) Whether Government is aware of the fact that the carpeting has not been done as per specification and as a result the carpeting has started corroding in many portions of the completed works in the town as well as in Upper Shillong Farm?

        (d) If so, what steps the Government has taken to repair the corroded portions and at whose costs?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister-in-charge P.W.D.) replied :

149   (a)-No.

        (b)-Final inspections were made.

        (c)-Carpeting has been done as per specifications. Stripping (corroding) occurred due to inclement weather.

        (d)-The portions have since been repaired at contractor's cost.

Shri Kisto M. Roy Marbaniang : Mr. Speaker, Sir, 149(c), here the reply is that carpeting has been done as per specifications .......

Mr. Speaker : Are you making a speech?

Shri Kisto M. Roy Marbaniang : No Sir, but I want to point out the defects but I am sorry Sir, my throat is not clear so I cannot ask any question now.

Shri D.N. Joshi : Mr. Speaker, Sir, No.149(c), may we know whether carpeting has been done according to specification?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister-in-charge P.W.D.) : It is being done.

Shri D.N. Joshi : My question is : when they say that carpeting has been done, corrosion took place due to inclement weather,. Whether there was inclemency in winter season also?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister-in-charge P.W.D.) : The weather is very certain here in Shillong.

Mr. Speaker : Now No.150.

Black-topping of Chockpot-Tura-Dalu Road

Shri J.C. Marak asked :

150. Will the P.W.D. Minister be pleased to State-

        (a) Whether Government propose to blacktop the road which connects the Tura-Dalu Road with Chockpot?

        (b) If so, when?

        (c) Whether Government propose to construct the road from Chockpot along the bank of Darreng river?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah [(Minister-in-charge P.W.D.)]  replied :

150. (a)- Yes.

(b)- Work is proposed to be taken up in the next financial year.

(c)-The road proposed to be constructed between Chockpot and Sibbari is not strictly along the bank of Darreng river. The proposed alignment will touch many interior villages like Silkigiri, etc.

Scientific exploitation of minerals, etc.

Shri D. Dethwelson Lapang asked :

151. Will the Minister-in-charge of Mines and Minerals be pleased to State-

(a) Whether action has been taken to enrich the State through a judicious and scientific exploitation of minerals and other natural resources?

(b) If the reply be in the affirmative, what are those actions and what is the present position?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister-in-charge of Mining and Geology) replied :

151. (a)-Yes.

(b)-In all the mineral-based industries proposed to be set up in the State, scientific mining of the minerals involved is planned. Project Reports are required to include relevant chapters on planning for such scientific mining activities. The mining of limestone by M/s Komorrah Limestone Mining Company for supply of this mineral to Bangladesh already under production is one on scientific line. Mining of Sillimanite by M/s. Hindusthan Steel, Ltd. in Sonapahar areas as well as mining of limestone by M/s Mawmluh-Cherra Cement, Ltd. in Mawmluh are on scientific lines. All new mining projects will be on scientific lines. As regard coal, the Directorate of Mineral Resources has been investigating the coal reserves of the West Darranggiri coalfield and their mine ability for something under the guidance of the Coal Mines Authority, Ltd. So far the Directorate has drilled 12 bore-holes in a particular block over and above the boreholes drilled by the Geological Survey of India and the Directorate of Geology and Mining, Assam, in the past. Based on the result of these investigations so far, the Coal Mines Authority has established a net proved reserves of over 40 million tonnes of coal in that block. This is considered sufficient to feed the proposed Thermal plant and Clinker Project. The investigations in the adjacent block are continuing.

        With regard to other investigations, the Directorate is also at present conducting geological investigations for limestone, clay and coal in the Lumshnong areas in Jaintia Hills, limestone, coal and kaolin in Khasi Hills, clay feldspar quarts, etc., in Garo Hills. Besides, the Geological Survey of India has its own programmes of investigation in the State.

        With regard to forest produce, the forests under the control of the State Government have been brought under the Working Plan for judicious and scientific exploitation. In order to tap and exploit the inaccessible forests roads have been built to connect these Reserve Forests with the main line of communication of the State.

        About hydro-power potential in the State, according to the Survey Report made by the Central Water and Power Commission on the power potential of the Brahmaputra basin, the power potential in Khasi Hills alone is of the order of 1.66 Million KW. The hydro-power potential in the other Districts has not been assessed.

        In the Umiam-Umtru Basin out of 0.59 Million KW of potential, only 0.37 Million KW has been developed in the Umiam Stage I, Stage II and Umtru. When the Kyrdemkulai Project, now under construction, is completed, another 0.022 Million KW will be added to the existing Umiam-Umtru System. Only a small fraction of the vast hydro potential has been tapped so far and much is left to be investigated and developed in course of time. On the recommendation of the Technical Committee of the North Eastern Council, preliminary investigations of the Leshka Hydro Project in Jaintia Hills and Umiam-Umtru Stage IV in Khasi Hills are being taken up by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board. Investigation of Upper Khri Project and Kynshi Hydro Electric Project is also under consideration.

Printing of Government Calendars for 1975

Shri Humphrey Hadem asked :

152. Will the Minister-in-charge of Information and Public Relations be pleased to State-

(a) The number of Government calendars printed for the year 1975?

(b) The cost per copy?

(c) To whom were those calendars distributed and how many were given to each?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of Information and Public Relations) replied :

152. (a)-Seven thousand five hundred.

(b)-Rupees 6.96 paise.

(c)-Calendars were distributed as follows :-

Copies

1. Chief Minister

...

...

...

   200

2. Speaker

...

...

...

   100

3. Ministers

...

...

....

1,000  

4. Deputy Speaker

...

..

...

   100

5. Leader of Opposition

...

....

....

.    50

6. M.L.As

...

...

...

1,410

7. M.D.Cs

...

...

...

   790

8. D.I.P.Rs (District)

...

...

...

   200

9. Meghalaya House

...

...

...

   100

10. North Eastern Hill University

...

...

...

     50

11. Deputy Commissioners

...

...

...

     90

12. Secretary to District Council
      Executive Committee

...

...

...

     90

13. Raj Bhavan

...

...

...

     10

14. Central Government Officers in Shillong

...

...

...

   125

15. President of India

...

...

...

       5

16. Foreign Embassies

...

...

...

    200

17. Meghalaya Government Officers and Staffs

...

...

...

 1,200

18. Union Ministers

...

...

...

    100

19. Central Government Officers in Delhi

...

...

...

    100

20. Travel Agencies

...

...

...

    200

21. Other State Governments

...

...

...

    120

22. Chief Secretary

...

...

...

      20

23. Shri B.K. Nehru in England

...

...

...

        5

24. B.D.Os

...

...

...

    340

25. M.Ps

...

...

...

    150

Total

 6,655

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, No.152(c), what does the Government propose to do with the remaining undisposed calendars?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of Information and Public Relations) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I reply to that question I would like to take this opportunity to make a verbal correction to a printing mistake against Serial No.24, page 14. The figure 340 should be read as 240. Now concerning the remaining calendars in the custody of the Director of Information and Public Relations, they are being distributed to visitors to the State and to some people who should have been given and who have been inadvertently left out.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : No.152(c) Serial 14, what are the ranks of those Central Government Officers who received the calendars.

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of Information and Public Relations) : The ranks have not been specified or determined or prescribed. But attempts are made to reach as many Central Government Officers as possible.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw : At Serial No.20 of this same question, may we know what are the names of these Travel Agencies?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of Information and Public Relations) : I require notice for that.

Mr. Speaker : Now Question No.153.

Development of Tourist spots in Jaintia Hills

Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked : 

153. Will the Minister-in-charge of Tourism be please to State-

(a) The spots the Government propose to develop for the purpose of tourism in Jaintia Hills District?

(b) When the Government propose to take up the schemes?

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister of Tourism) replied :

153. (a)-Thadlaskein Lake.

(b)-Work to implement the scheme is in progress.

Shri W. Syiemiong : 153(b), Mr. Speaker, Sir, when was the work started?

Mr. Speaker : The work to implement the scheme of Thadlaskein Lake?

Shri D. D. Pugh (Minister) : Some of the schemes were started very recently, about a month ago and some had started earlier.

Shri W. Syiemiong : May we know how many schemes are there, because the answer to question 153, there is one only.

Mr. Speaker : I think Mr. Syiemiong, this was a similar question which in the past the Minister in that particular question had already said that the beautification of Thadlaskein Lake included a number of programmes, such as building, dismantling the old building and so many other things. I think the Minister had referred to these himself.

Shri F. K. Mawlot : May we know what is the estimated amount Sir?

Mr. Speaker : This was replied to. Unstarred question No.154

Royalty on Transit-pass of Coal

Shri Lewis Bareh asked :

154. Will the Minister-in-charge of Mines and Mineral Resources be pleased to State-

(a) The amount of royalty collected on transit-pass of coal at the Eastern Check Gate during the month of October, 1974 to December, 1974?

(b) The rate imposed per truckload?

(c) The various types of coal lifted during the said period?

(d) Whether all the permits were duly countersigned by Meghalaya Transport Authority?

(e) Who is the checking authority of the movement of the said trucks?

Shri Stanley D. D. Nichols-Roy (Minister-in-charge of Mining and Geology) replied :

154. (a)-The amount of royalty collected on transit-pass of coal at the Eastern Check Gate during the months of October to December, 1974 is Rs.8418.00.

(b)-The rate of royalty per tonne of coal is Rs.2. Hence the rate per truckload depends on the carrying capacity of the truck.

(c)-Mostly lump coal obtained directly from the mine which contains impurities like carbonaceous shale.

(d)-Yes.

(e)-Enforcement of the District Transport Officer concerned, staff of the check gate also by the police under Motor Vehicle Act, 1939.

 Zero-Hour

Mr. Speaker :Now let us pass on to the next item, Zero-Hour. Prof. Majaw to draw the attention of the Government to the intervention of the State Government to ensure adequate representation of tribals in appointments in Central Government offices in the State.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : I was under the impression that it lapsed yesterday.

Mr. Speaker : Oh, I am sorry. The subject relates to many dangers caused to the health of the citizens by the pollution of air caused by old or by defective vehicles emitting black foul smoke from their exhaust pipes.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, this subject of air pollution has been exercising in the minds of not only the Stet Government or the Central Government.

Mr. Speaker : Yes, it is an international question.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : In India and also all over the world. Last year an order was issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills prohibiting vehicles moving in the road which emanated foul black smoke, because this smoke emanated from the pipes is a danger to the health of the pedestrians who have not get vehicles to ply in the city of Shillong and also in other towns in Meghalaya where traffic has increasing rapidly. Now before the Government can do anything on the matter, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to the fact that many Government vehicles are themselves perpetrators of this foul action to the innocent citizens of the city and the most famous vehicle is the MLG-1 (Laughter). If you will be blackened by the black thick smoke-screen, where you may even involve yourself in a motor accident and the amount of black smoke produced by this vehicle is too much, and then I will come down to other ..........

Mr. Speaker : Do you mean that MLG-1 is old and defective?

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Defective, Mr. Speaker, Sir, because the pipe rings have not been cleaned and all other mechanical and engineering side of it and so this column of smoke. Then of course we have the notorious divisions of State Transport Buses and Trucks which are still plying under the Corporation. They ply merrily along the road and cover the pedestrians who have no means of travelling by car to those who have to walk have been blackened by this foul black smoke emanating from the vehicles. I hope the Government will take some action on this rather than penalise the innocent people by checking the piston rings or carborators. Why not start with the MLG-1 first. 

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must admit that air pollution which is caused by the foul black smoke that comes out of the exhaust pipes of the vehicles is a very real menace to the health of the citizens. As the hon. Member from Mawhati himself has already given an indication that he knows the cause of the exhaust emission which is both black and foul, I shall not go into the details of the various causes why this foul air or gas emanated. I must also admit that until just a few minutes ago. I was not aware of the fact that the MLG-1 was one of the vehicles which is mainly or to a large extent, responsible for this air pollution (Laughter). It is a fact that the buses belonging to the A.M.S.R.T.C. and also the buses belonging to the M.S.T.U., the Meghalaya State Transport undertaking, have been noticed to produce this foul black gas. As far as the M.S.T.U buses go. I would like to re-State the fact that due to lack of facilities to properly maintain these vehicles, it has been  very unfortunate that these vehicles have been emitting this smoke, foul gas. But I can assure the Member and also the entire House that these matters will be looked into and in fact, as far as the MLG-1 is concerned, I can assure the House that immediately as the House rises today, I shall give necessary instructions to the Department concerned or the officer concerned to ensure that this is rectified.

Mr. Speaker : Let us pass on to the next item. I have received a notice from Prof. M.N. Majaw which reads as follows :-

"To The Secretary, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shillong. Sir, under the provision of Rule 158 and 159, I beg to give notice of a complaint of breach of privilege against the Editor, Publisher and Printed of the English Weekly, the Implanter for publishing a blatantly false and malicious news item at page 6 of the 15th March, 1975 of that weekly entitled "Full support to the Government policies assured" particularly in the first para of the report referring to my speech in the Assembly while participating in the discussion of the Governor's Address. The reports contained in that first paragraph are in their reference to me, deliberately false and it is my contention that the intention of this newspaper report is malicious. I, therefore, submit this complaint and intend to move it tomorrow, the 2nd April, 1975 immediately after the question hour. Yours faithfully, Sd/- Prof. M.N. Majaw".

Ruling :- I may inform the House that I have read this news item in the Implanter and I have checked also the speech of Prof. M.N. Majaw in the proceedings. It is true that in the first paragraph the Editor has misreported but in no way it affects the dignity of the House or any of the Members. In such a case, the proper procedure is that I should write to the Editor and Publisher concerned to meet me in my Chamber and to direct him to issue necessary corrections and as far as I have read it thoroughly, I find that there is no prime-facie case. And I, therefore, rule that the motion is out of order.

        So, let me come to the next item. Under Rule 242(1) of the Rules and Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I am inform the House that one valid nomination has been received in favour of Shri P. Gare Momin to fill up the vacancy in the Committee of the Public Accounts for the remaining term of the Committee. Shri Pleander Gare Momin is declared elected to the Committee on Public Accounts.

        Next item. Under Rule 244(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I am to inform the House that one valid nomination was received in favour of Shri Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang to fill in the vacancy in the Committee on Estimates for the remaining term of the Committee. Shri Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang is now declared elected to the Committee on Estimates. Under Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I appoint Shri Plansing Marak as Chairman of the Committee.


ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE CHAIR

Announcement of the nomination to Legislative Assembly

        Next Announcement. I announce the names of the Members to constitute the following 6 different Committees of this Legislature :

 1. Under Rule 259 I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Rules Committee.

1. Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, Minister, Parliamentary Affairs, etc.

2. Shri Maham Singh, M.L.A. and Leader of Opposition.

3. Shri Hoover Hynniewta, M.L.A.

4. Shri H. Hadem, M.L.A.

    The Committee will function under my Chairmanship.

2. Under Rule 257, I nominate the following the hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Government Assurance.

1. Shri Jormanik Syiem, M.L.A.

2. Miss Percylina Marak, M.L.A.

3. Shri W. Syiemiong, M.L.A.

4. Shri Samsul Haque, M.L.A.

5. Shri Edward Kurbah, M.L.A.

        Shri Jormanik Syiem will be the Chairman of the Committee.

3. Under Rule 251, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Subordinate Legislation.

1. Prof. Alexander Warjri, M.L.A.

2. Shri Manindra Rabha, M.L.A.

3. Shri S.N. Koch. M.L.A.

4. Shri Samarendra Sangma, M.L.A.

5. Shri Rowell Lyngdoh, M.L.A.

        Prof. Alexander Warjri will be the Chairman of this Committee.

4. Under Rule 246, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Privileges.

1. Shri Singjan Sangma, Deputy Speaker.

2. Shri D.D. Lapang, M.L.A.

3. Shri S.D. Khongwir, M.L.A.

4. Shri Nimosh Sangma, M.L.A.

5. Shri S.P. Swer, M.L.A.

     Shri Singjan Sangma, Deputy Speaker will be the Chairman of this Committee.

5. Under Rule 239, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Petitions.

1. Shri Reidson Momin, M.L.A.

2. Shri Jagabandhu Barman, M.L.A.

3. Shri Choron Singh Sangma, M.L.A.

4. Shri Shri D.N. Joshi, M.L.A.

5. Shri Brojendro Sangma, M.L.A.

        Shri Reidson Momin will be the Chairman of this Committee.

6. Under Rule 313, I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Library Committee. 

1. Shri P.N. Choudhury, M.L.A.

2, Shri Jackman Marak, M.L.A.

3. Shri Medison A. Sangma, M.L.A.

4. Shri F. K. Mawlot, M.L.A.

5. Shri Besterson Kharkongor, M.L.A.

        Shri P.N. Choudhury will be the Chairman of this Committee.

Report of Business Advisory Committee

        Next Item : Report of the Business Advisory Committee. I am to inform the House that I received a notice from Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, M.L.A., requesting me to extend the current Budget Session of the Assembly for 5 days for getting the Private Member's Business done. Accordingly, in pursuance of Rule 230 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee was held on the 1st April, 1975 to consider this issue. The Committee went through the list of Private's Members' Business and found that excepting the 3 Motions standing in the names of Prof. M.N. Majaw, Shri Lewis Bareh and Shri Edward Kurbah and 2 Resolutions to be tabled by Prof. M.N. Majaw, no other business is outstanding for the current Session. The Committee is unanimously of the view that it will not be proper to extend the sitting of the Assembly in order to get a few outstanding items of business. I hope this has the approval of the House.

(Voices-Yes, yes)

Censure Motion

        The next item is also regarding another letter which I have received from Shri F. K. Mawlot.

To

       The Speaker, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shillong.

Subject :- Censure Motion against the Minister-incharge of Transport, etc., Shri D.D. Pugh.

Sir,

        Enclosed please find herewith a Motion to censure the Minister-in-charge of Transport, etc. Shri D.D. Pugh under the provision of Rule 233 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Yours faithfully,

F. K. Mawlot.

        In this connection. I have gone through the proceedings of yesterday and I have listened to the tapes also very carefully and after reading the whole proceedings, I found that there is one portion of the speech of the said Minister which is not relevant to the subject matter referred to on the floor of the House and I have already ordered to take out this particular paragraph and on the other issue raised yesterday about the use of the word "nonsense" which was alleged to have been uttered by the Minister, I have read the proceedings and I did not find that word "nonsense". I did listen to the tapes also and perhaps the word might have been uttered-I do not know-but it was not audible. So, in any case, it does not find place in the proceedings-but the word :nonsense" if ever was used at any time, it is definitely unparliamentary and therefore, I will order the expunction of the word "nonsense" from any part of the speech by any Member who might have uttered yesterday. So the matter may be closed now.

No Confidence Motion

        Next item. This is a notice that I have received from Prof. M.N. Majaw. The letter reads as follows :-

To

        The Secretary Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

        Dated the 2nd April, 1975.

Sir, 

        Under the provision of Rule 133 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, I hereby give notice of my intention to move the following Motion of No-Confidence. Now, this House hereby its want of confidence in the Ministry led by Shri W.A Sangma.

Yours faithfully,

Prof. M.N. Majaw.

        Those who are in favour of this Motion, please rise in their seats.

(Twelve members stood up)

        Leave is granted and I fix on Friday, the 4th April, 1975 as the day for discussion of this Motion.


Calling Attention

        So let us pass on to the next item of today's list of business. I think since we have about three hours, may I have the leave of the House that in spite of fact that ..... Sorry! I forgot. The next item will be a calling attention motion by Prof. M.N. Majaw, under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Shri M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business  in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, to the news item published in the Bengali Weekly, "Tarpan" on 1st February, 1975 under the caption- "For the attention of the Government of Meghalaya", I may point out, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this news item makes important reading because of the reference it makes to the Government of Meghalaya. The news item States that certain person by the name of V.T. Gopalan of Calcutta took an amount of money of Rs.17,000 from a business man of Calcutta with the assurance that with that money he will start some business with another business man in Meghalaya and it was stated that he was he has very intimate relation with the Chief Minister and he even said that he is related to the Chief Minister.

Mr. Speaker : Related to him?

Prof. M.N. Majaw : And the weekly "Tarpan" States for that the Government of India and Government of Meghalaya would make an enquiry into this news item. A copy of the weekly was also given to the Trade Adviser to the Government of Meghalaya, Calcutta and he sent it to the Chief Minister of Meghalaya. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we would like to know what action has been taken. But it is very unfortunate that the Chief Minister is not in the House. If we were here in the House, he might be able to give us more information on it.

Mr. Speaker : Since the Chief Minister is not present in the House, all the information will be provided by the Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister-in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Bengali Weekly "Tarpan" dated 1st to 8th February, 1975 published a news item under the head " Attention of the Government of Meghalaya is drawn". In this item , it was alleged that a certain person called V.T. Gopalan residing at 2/A, Mrigendralal Mitra Road, Calcutta 17, used to give publicity to the effect that he is closely connected and related to the Chief Minister of Meghalaya. It was further alleged in the news item that he had taken money from certain business men promising them that he would secure contract for business with Meghalaya Government.

        The factual position on the basis of materials available with the Government is as follows:-

        Shri Gopalan has married a Khasi lady, Smti. Hilda Syiemlieh. He had met the Chief Minister and some Ministers of Meghalaya in Calcutta and also in Shillong in connection with an application for an industrial loan for his wife, Smti. Syiemlieh, who had applied for an industrial loan to the M.I.D.C. This application is being processed in the normal course and she has been asked to give certain clarifications. It is not a fact that Shri Gopalan is closely connected or related to any of the Ministers of Meghalaya. On his request, the Ministers had met him in the same way as they would meet any member of the public who seeks an interview.

        When the Government's notice was drawn to the news item stated above, the matter has been referred to the appropriate department for enquiry in consultation with the Government of West Bengal and suitable action would be taken depending on the findings of such enquiry.

Mr. Speaker : Now the next item will be the presentation of the first report of the Public Accounts Committee. Since the Chairman is absent, may I ask Prof. M.N. Majaw. 

Shri M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in absence of the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, I, on behalf of the Chairman, beg to present the first report of the Committee on Public Accounts on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, 1970-71. In this connection I may inform the House that the said report was presented before the Hon. Speaker on the 6th January, 1975 before the expiry of the term of the previous Committee. As the Assembly was not in session at that time, the Hon. Speaker had been good enough to provide us with a copy, which has been placed now on the Member's table.

Mr. Speaker : Let us pass on to the next item. There are only two resolutions today. May I have the sense of the House that although two resolutions stand in the name of the same Member, they may be taken up.

(Voices - Yes, yes)

Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I move that under Rule 316 read with the proviso of sub-rule (3) of Rule 115 be suspended for disposal of No.4 resolution.

Mr. Speaker : It comes to the same thing and the House is supreme.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : The only question in this matter is about the question of preparedness of the Ministers concerned thinking that only one resolution may be taken up in a day and so they might not have anticipated that Resolution No.4 may coming up today.

Mr. Speaker : The Minister-in-charge can reply and we have no objection on. So Prof. M.N. Majaw to move Resolution No.3.

Shri M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I move that this House recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to take immediate and effective steps to control the abnormal rise in the prices of essential commodities in the State.

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved and you can initiate a discussion.

*Shri M.N. Majaw : In a State where all of us, atleast those who are tribals, fall under matrilineal way of life, this resolution should have been moved by the house-wives because they are the wives who really feel the pinch in trying to make both ends meet and look after their families. But in the absence of such opportunities for the ladies, we have to come forward specially on behalf of the citizens of the State where the people suffer as a result of the abnormal rise of prices of essential commodities. One of the major reasons Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the continuation of this monopoly, to which we had referred and which had an unpleasant happening yesterday, by the Assam and the Meghalaya States Transport Corporation along the Gauhati-Shillong Road. As I had indicated yesterday and as is well-known to all of us, everything except air and water, I suppose, come up along this road for the consumption of our people and even the smallest matchbox is affected by this monopoly of the Corporation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the Corporation carries the goods in its own trucks or by its sub-carriers trucks. Now in both cases, the Corporation or the officers of the Corporation claim that there is shortage of vehicles and that they cannot carry the goods. The traders of Shillong or of Tura or of Jowai lay their goods at the Railway godown in Gauhati or at the State Transport godown in Gauhati and when the Corporation says that they have no trucks when the traders have even to use persuasive methods, more left-handed than right-handed, to persuade the officers of the Corporation to be kind enough to carry their goods to Shillong and thence forward to Jowai. This involves an expenditure of not less than Rs.100 per truck at the minimum, apart from the additional expenditure involved, in staying at Gauhati and giving food and drinks to some officers who will ultimately be persuaded to carry their goods in their trucks. Having spent so much and having paid the demurrage charges and having involved in damages, then the goods are pilfered all along the way by the very careful custodians of these goods, the drivers of these trucks, and ultimately when these goods arrived at Shillong, they are either damaged or stolen and brought here in partial contents. What is the result of this. We may abuse the traders here in Shillong. If he is an unscrupulous trader, he makes use of this golden opportunity to increase the price not merely by a margin and the hapless victims are the humble citizens of the State. This is a major cause for the rise of prices in Shillong and other parts of the State affected by this unjustified monopoly over the Gauhati-Shillong Road. We cannot say too much on this and we do not want to divert again to the unpleasantness of yesterday, but these are the facts and we do hope that this aspect of the matter affecting the life of the common man will be appreciated particularly by those in high position who have the goods at their disposal to render service at their beck and call. That they may kindly remember the poorest of the poor who constitute 99% of our population who do not have these facilities and who really feel the pinch of rising prices. Now further Mr. Speaker, Sir, once the goods arrive here or even the essential commodities- the F.C.I. rice and sugar, they are never in the total quantity at which they left so much so that even the Railway or the State Transport Corporation did not allow to weigh the goods. I am referring to rice particularly, before they are taken away and before their departure from the F.C.I. godowns in Upper Assam or Punjab or somewhere else. All along the Railway routes, these have been pilfered and by the time the stocks arrive at the Railway godown at Gauhati, about 5 or 10 Kg. of rice has been subtracted or taken out from these bags. Then the Corporation carries them straightaway and brings them here in Shillong. The drivers of course help in lightening the burden of the poor trucks and ultimately when rice arrives at Shillong, it is allotted to certain traders and these traders again try to make up for their loss. Right from the origin upto the destination they are to make up the loss. This rice is allotted to the fair price shop dealer who will take it far away in the Bhoi area or Lyngngam area and in some other area, 50 to 60 miles away. When he arrives Shillong to collect this rice in which case again is pilferage and when the quota goes down to Nayabunglow or Umsning, it is further decreased. When he goes there to pick up his rice, he has just to follow what the mahajan or the businessman does, a little twisting of his fingers and he manages to pump off rice because from 100Kg, i.e., per quintal, there will be only 70 or 80 Kg. and then again that is pumped off to the people in the villages who receive still smaller quantity because the poor retailer has to make profit and this has a disastrous effect upon price rise. Everywhere somebody is making a margin of ways it goes right down until it reaches the mouth of the humble citizens. It costs an enormous sums of money today. Matters have become so bad that formerly one carried a small purse with a small basket for purchases. This is the situation today and this is the cry of the house-wives and those who have to make both ends meet. Even if you leave out the problem of food, you come to clothing. We know that the Government of India imposes certain percentage upon the cloth mills in the sale of cheap cloth to the citizens of India. 30 per cent, if my calculation is correct, is to be sold at a controlled rate. There again we know of the same stumbling block. When the bales of cloth come to Shillong through the A.M.S.R.T.C., there is no proper checking by the Government officers or the staff of the Government to see that this 30 per cent of the cloth is to be sold at controlled rate. I for one do not know any such organisation of the Government. So the cloth is sold at any price. Of course you will see the price is there on the cloth. As you know every shop in Shillong can give you a rubber stamp made over-night. The original price is stamped on the cloth and this is sold to the poor man at exorbitant rate. Then added to all that, we know that these big traders, unscrupulous traders from outside the country even today in Barabazar in Shillong will not sell cloth according to meters they sell and are still selling according to yards and feet. We have reported this to certain offices-in-charge of this and if you go in-cognito to some of these shops and ask for the cloth-particularly if you are dressed as a villager - it will be measured out in yards and feet and not in meters; and, thereby, while the trader buys his cloth in meters and sells it in yards and feet he stands to gain about 3 inches per meter and that accumulated together, at the end of the whole bale of cloth, amounts to quite a lot and that again affects prices. There are various factors affecting the price of essential commodities in the State but I am bringing in only those aspects which are related to the Government so that the Government may not just say : This is an international phenomenon all over the world as in the case of petrol whose price has gone up. These are facts, no doubt, but whatever are within the jurisdiction of the Government should be looked into so that the life of a common man, a poor man, can be made less burdensome. Further, Mr. Speaker, Sir, whenever we go to these big and powerful traders - and some of them are thinking that they are more powerful than the Ministers - we find them to be haughty with the consumers. The whole attitude is wrong. Actually, the Government should try to give more weight to the consumers so that the consumers can be more assertive in their rights. But the trader knows how to placate some high-ups and so he adopts a haughty manner to the consumer while, on the other hand, the Government should try to encourage the consumers to challenge the exorbitant price. Then only we would have a different situation in the State.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, as regards mustard oil, let us take it to be a very common commodity used everywhere by most people. We know the price of mustard oil which is a rising phenomenon from days gone by. Why cannot this Government introduce edible oil from other vegetables, particularly from sun flower. This is being done in other countries of the world and the best type of sun flower is planted in Russia. With the Government be prepared to import it from Russia so that our people in the interior can be encouraged in this line? And all it requires is a small humble crushing machine or it can be crushed on some stone in order to extract this oil and use it in place of mustard oil which is terribly exorbitant and also adulterated. As a matter of fact, a mustard oil plant is only a few inches in height and in some areas particularly in the northern parts of our State and Assam, where we have the poppy plant, the poppy or opium seeds come into the mustard oil and so there has been now and then a case of paralysis or blindness. This is also adulteration whereas the sun flower plant is 3 to 4 feet in height. Moreover, each flower produces thousands of seeds and the plant itself does not require much care. So the people can easily be encouraged to grow sunflower and crush oil and then they can take the residue and give it to the fowls. The residue is good for fowls but, of course, that is up to the Minister of Veterinary. The people also can get this oil at cheap rates. We can have small cottage industries in the State producing vegetable oil and so we will not depend on mustard oil coming from outside the State at exorbitant rates. Besides, it is of a very poor quality. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for other commodities we need not say much. But in so far as essential commodities, let us try to have as much help from the Government as possible. Even in the case of kerosene oil. Is real checking being done? I know of one case of a man who bought 20 tins of kerosene oil and when he reached his village he found that 5 tins were filled with water and when he came back and claimed that the tins were filled with water, the shopkeeper said : What can I do? This water has come from outside Meghalaya or from Gauhati. And all know that it is easy to liquify the soldering in the tin and extract the kerosene oil and then pour water. That can easily be done in anyone's back-yard and there are cases of the poor villagers being cheated and by the time they get home, they find water in the tins.

        Then also Mr. Speaker, Sir, as regards shoes made from leather, we know that most people wear shoes and since we are to do a lot of walking in the streets the consumption of leather is perhaps the highest and the price is still higher although thousands and thousands of animals or cattle are killed in this State- despite objections by some of our friends. But the hides go down to pace outside the State and come back in the form of shoes or cured leather at very high prices. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Government has been in existence for 5 years and yet they have not encouraged the growth of a single leather industry or a hide tanning industry which would, in a small measure, reduce the exorbitant prices of shoes and other leather goods. I will not take away the time of the House, Mr. Speaker, Sir, by mentioning all the commodities but it is essential that there should be greater intervention on the part of the Government so that, as far as possible, there will be control of this exorbitant rise of prices.

* Shri F. K. Mawlot : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the mover himself, the hon. member who has brought this resolution, has spoken many things right from the start upto the end and so, I have not much to say. But as the matter is very important and as the Government is also seized of the problem we hope that this Government would take proper steps as early as possible so as to curb down the rising prices of essential commodities. Even salt, which was a cheap commodity and used by every citizen and by both human beings and animals, Mr. Speaker, Sir, its cost has gone up all of a sudden. We of course, being male members of families are not used to shopping but when sometimes we visit the bazars we are astonished to find the prices to be so different from the previous prices of essential commodities within a short span of one or two months. But why the price of salt shoots up immediately. It may be because of the shortage of salt in Bangladesh, and there instances where it is reported that smuggling through the borders in the State took place during the last year and may be even now. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would urge upon the Government to check this up or seal the borders, thereby, I do not mean that the borders should be completely sealed, and that there will be no exchange of goods, but by the word "seal" I want to say that the Government should post Police personnel on every hat day in the border areas so that smuggling of essential commodities from our State can be checked. This point is not only concerned with salt alone but also with other commodities like rice, sugar, etc. With these few words I support the resolution.

*Shri Upstar Kharbuli : Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a very vital subject and I feel that it is my duty also to offer my suggestions to the Government in tackling with this problem to whatever extent that may be practicable. Sir, I would like to reiterate one factor that has already been cited by the hon. Mover of this resolution and that is the impact of transport cost on the rise of price of essential commodities in the State. Sir, this State, we know, is solely dependent on road transport. There is no other means of transport here in our State and as such the road transport plays a vital role in our economy. Much has been advocated about the proposal to demonopolise the G.S. Road. But besides this, I feel that there is still scope left also for the Government to examine and to implement in respect of other feeder roads serving the State as a whole. Sir, we know that the fees fixed by the Government in respect of permits for various types of vehicles plying in this State are generally on the higher side compared to other States. This has got a very great impact upon the vehicle operators in our State and this is one of the reasons why most of them are also shy to take up transport business. So I feel that it is time for the Government to review this aspect and try to bring down the rate of fees at par with other States. At one time there was clamouring that most of the vehicles plying in the G.S. Road are registered in the State of Assam. That is one of the reasons, I feel, attributable to the fact that if anybody registers his vehicle in the State of Assam he has to pay less fee compared to our State. So if anybody gets that opportunity, he will not hesitate to do so and that will really affect the revenue of the State Government here since most of the vehicle owners would try to get their vehicles registered in the neighbouring State and ply the vehicles in our State. Besides this, I would like to suggest another thing. I remember at one time during the composite State of Assam, the then Deputy Commissioner of this particular District had wisely appreciated the services rendered by the Mama Jeeps in our State. How these Mama Jeeps had operated in so many far flung interior places. 

Mr. Speaker : What do you mean by Mama Jeeps

Shri Upstar Kharbuli : That is the popular term. It means those second-hand Jeeps manouvred by our local mechanics which really to go the credibility and ingenuity of our people in motor mechanism. That particular officer had gone to the extent to suggest to the Government to consider allowing these Jeeps a tax holiday so as to enable them to go in the interior parts of the Districts in respect of transport. So the position is still more or less the same as before. The condition of the roads throughout the State is anything but good and comparatively less sturdy vehicles cannot ply in all the roads. They will hesitate to ply in the interior roads. But our Mama Jeep are quite capable or they are sturdy enough and they can go into such places which would normally appear formidable for other vehicles. I therefore, feel that now also we can consider that aspect either by way of reducing the rate of fees or allowing them a tax holiday in appreciation of their services.

Mr. Speaker : Since there is nobody to participate, will the Minister-in-charge reply?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am indeed very thankful to the hon. Member who has moved this resolution for bringing in some statements and some suggestions how to improve the lot of our common men who have being facing acute hardship due to the high prices of essential commodities. I think when I replied to the Cut Motion during the voting on demands for grants under Supply Department I have made it very clear that we are not producing any essential commodities in this State. But  we have to depend entirely for the essential commodities coming from outside the State and that even the hon. Mover of this resolution has himself admitted by pointing out so many irregularities and malpractices taking place right from the railway shed till it reaches the retailer in the interior. The Government of India had been making efforts to control and stabilise the prices of essential commodities and have also taken steps in this direction with all the resources as its command and other assistance from the financial institutions like the Reserve Bank of India and the nationalised Banks. The effort of the State Government in controlling price rise are very limited in view of the fact that our State is not a producing State in regard to essential commodities except for a small quantity. For the supply of most of our essential commodities, we have to depend on the producing centres outside the State and on the allotment made by the Government of India from the Central Pool. Consequent upon this, prices of commodities procured from outside the State will be determined by the factor operating at the producing centres over which the State Government has no control whatsoever. While considering the abnormal rise in prices in the State, we have to take into account the remoteness of our State from the producing centres and also the absence of railway connections to our State with the rest of the country. This factor definitely should make the prices within the State at reasonable level by ensuring adequate supply of essential commodities within the State throughout the year. In spite of the fact as mentioned by the Hon. Mover himself, that there are transport difficulties and bottleneck, the Government is very much aware and concerned about the difficulties faced by the common man on account of the increase in the prices of essential commodities. In Meghalaya, the situation of serious acute scarcity as faced by other parts of the country has so far been avoided. We have not been facing with acute difficulties as other parts of the country had been facing. Even in regard to increase of prices that has taken place in Shillong, it has not been abnormally high when compared to that of Gauhati from where most of our supplies come. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, though I agree with the Hon. Member that this rise in prices has really affected our people, but when compared to other parts of the country, I think, we are still a little better in this State of Meghalaya. The hon. member has also dwelt quite some time on the question of the monopoly of the State Road Transport Corporation which the Hon. Minister-in-charge has made it very clear that this matter will be settled soon and I hope that when it is settled all these problems faced will be regularised and will be taken care of. He also mentioned about the ineffectiveness of the Weights and Measures Department and the malpractice by some traders with regard to the weight of the commodities. We have got a Department to enforce on the proper use of these weights and measures and it will certainly look into and enforce the law properly. He also mentioned that some of the cloth dealers while selling their cloths to the consumers, even today, are using yard, feet and not metre. We have trying to check but I cannot say definitely that we have been able to check it. However, there might be some stray cases here and there but that also, I will ask the Department to see to that and tackle with the problem. He has also complained about the high-handedness of the rude way of treating the consumer by the traders. In this respect, it is very difficult for us to know but I can only request the hon. Member or anybody through you. Sir, that if there is any specific case and it is brought to my notice. I will certainly take action on that. About encouraging our cultivators to grow sunflower for converting into edible oils, we have got a programme in the Agriculture Department to introduce growing of sunflower and we are taking up this matter also.

Mr. Speaker : But the hon. Member is suggesting that the State Government should move the Government of India for the import of sunflower seeds from Soviet Russia. Did I understand it correctly.

(Voices- yes, yes)

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : We will try to procure seeds Sir, wherever we can and we will certainly, if we need some seeds from Soviet Russia, approach the Government of India to help us to procure the seeds from Russia. He also referred to the distribution of kerosene oil by saying that there was no proper check. Because one fellow brought ten tins of kerosene oil but when he reached the interior, he found that five are full of water. I do not know how far it is correct. I may tell him, that kerosene oil is sold loose and not in tin, it is sold in litres. Therefore, I do not know how that man could get tins of kerosene oil in which five tins is water.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : But we referred to the earlier period.

Mr. Speaker : Anyway the Government must have taken steps on that.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : We are not selling this kerosene oil in tin. It is sold loose and I think, there is no more chance for this malpractice. He also leather which we are using for our shoes. We are probably using more shoes than others because in most part of our State we have to walk on foot and he said Government have not encouraged any industry though we kill thousand of animals which could be utilised for leather industry. This matter concerns the Industries Department actually, and as far as I know the department awaiting for the project report and the matter is still under consideration for having this industry in the State.

        Mr. Francis Mawlot, the hon. member from Nongstoin referred to the high price of salt. There was as apprehension that it is going away across the border of Bangladesh. This we have already taken care of and we are trying to check the flow of this commodity across the border. The hon. Member from Malki referred to "mama jeeps". This concerns taxation and I have nothing to say in this matter. He wanted that taxes should be reduced on the "mama jeeps" so that they can take the goods to the interior places. This is actually irrelevant.

Mr. Speaker : I will advise the hon. member to take the opportunity of bringing an amendment to the relevant Act.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I have said, we from the Government side are very much concerned about this and we are trying to reduce, to cut down this high price with all the power at our command and we sincerely hope that with the co-operation of everyone, we may be able to check this trend of high prices. As I have said before, we have very little to do in this matter, because we are not producing all these essential commodities in our area and we have to depend entirely from outside the State, and so the hon. Member must realise that very little can be done. But whatever we can do; I assure the hon. Mover, will be taken care of and I also request him to withdraw this resolution.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : While admitting to some of the arguments put forward by the Minister, I would not like the Government to be complacent in thinking that as the trend of prices is as elsewhere, nothing should be done about it. We are happy to note that the Minister has taken a very active of the matter and since he is also new to the task, we would at least take the trouble and spare him the pain and I withdraw my resolution.

Mr. Speaker : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his resolution?

(Voices ...... Yes, Yes)

        The resolution is with leave of the House withdrawn. Prof. Majaw to move resolution No. 4.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House recommends to the Government of Meghalaya to put a stop to the growing influx of beggars and vagabonds into this State, more particularly in Shillong, Tura and Jowai and in villages along the Shillong-Gauhati Road.

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved.

Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, when we fought for a separate Hill State, we had certain definite objectives in mind and one of them, the most notable of them, is the preservation of our tribal identity, the identity of our people as a distinct community and we want to determine our future; to shape our own destiny ourselves within the territorial jurisdiction of areas known to be ours and inhabited by our people. But unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, Sir, because of various circumstances we have seen our happy State was being evaded by hordes of people at various times within a short history of the State. The worst invasion we had was during the unfortunate hostilities across the border prior to the creation of Bangladesh and official reports placed them at only about 7 or 8 lakhs persons who came inside the State but we actually had unofficially about 14 lakhs of people which is more than the population of Meghalaya; and we thank God really that these persons went back to their fatherland and motherland. But they have left behind Mr. Speaker, Sir, a few persons who may be classified as vagabonds because they have nothing to do but stand in their hippie dress on streets corners and eagling the young passers-by and using their spare time in nefarious activities. We have not only these people from across the border but we have people, destitute from other States in India. We know there are millions of beggars in this country and most of these beggars are lazy. They seem to earn more money by begging and never perform an honest day's labour. And there are gang leaders who collect the collections of these whom they sent to beg. There have been cases in Gauhati. At this stage, Shri Upstar Kharbuli, Chairman, occupied the chair. High Court, Mr. Chairman, Sir, of gang leaders, criminals who have kidnapped small babies and deliberately maimed them, taking out their eyes and crippling their hands and feet because the more the horrifying scene of the human spectacle, the more likely a kind person to give alms to the beggar; and these amounts are collected at the end of the day by the gang leaders. There are such gangs in Shillong and many of us are shocked lately by the growing population of these beggars, in Shillong which goes on increasing. None of our people, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am proud to say, has ever taken to begging except one or two very rare cases and exception proves the rule. Mr. Chairman Sir, of course in the House when one moves a Motion, one has to be, but that does not make a man a beggar; but in the streets, in the roads there are beggar, but we never see a tribal begging.

        We have a sense of pride in this part of the country that was given by God. We have a wonderful climate and wonderful customs and we have a wonderful living that our tribal people are not begging. But then we have persons from outside the State who are veteran beggars and taken to begging for generations whose fore-fathers also were engaged in begging and have set up the slums along the streets and foot-paths of the State and in every part of the State and who are trying to eliminate our existence by sending all members of their families to beg here in the State. We have few mad persons or lunatics also roaming here in the streets and roads of the town and in some parts of Meghalaya. But we have not yet opened up Lunatic Asylum or Mental Asylum in our State. We have also those who are actually being convicted or caught or even the under-trial persons in jail who are acting in a mad way and we have a few demented cases roaming in the streets of Shillong performing obscene action to the consternation and shock of the pedestrians. How can we check all these bad actions. We don't have such check gate as in other States for controlling the entry of such persons into our State, but then our State Government is shouldering the responsibility of looking after our own people. I would urge upon the Government to look into this matter promptly. Then I would like to remind this Government as to what happened to the Residential Permit Bill after so many months that we have passed in this august House and this Government has failed to secure the consent of the President of India to this Bill and this is the real failure on the part of the Government. We would like to have a definite reply from them because therein lies some hope of controlling the influx of the outsiders into our State. Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have also got the influx of foreigners into our State. Unfortunately because of the peculiar international customs between this country and neighbouring countries there are persons who were allowed to come freely to India and there are people even in this State coming from neighbouring countries. For example, in my own constituency there are people who have been taking a fee of four thousand rupees per family to bring those people into the interior parts of that area and even the headmen sometimes were bribed to accept them or to allot them with a small plot of land to cultivate and I can say that as far as my Constituency is concerned the population of foreign nationals has increased a great deal. Although they claim to be from some part of India but from their facial appearance they are red with fair cheek and they are persons who obviously come from Himalayan region and they cannot speak a word of Hindi. Mr. Chairman, Sir, this is a very serious matter and how they were brought is just by paying a fee. So I would request this Government to work in collaboration with the District Council which has certain powers to check their entry. This Government should give necessary aid to the District Council to check these persons. But there has been a complaint from the District Council that when they ask for police from the Deputy Commissioner or from the Officers concerned, because as we know the District Council has no police, it takes weeks and months to get the permission because it appears the files move too slow. So we cannot get the enforcement personnel or the police to enforce the regulations of the District Councils which could help in reducing the population of those vagabonds.  I should call them vagabonds because they come stealthily into the interior and they have ostensible mode of employment and occupation when they live in our land. I would request this Government to make some assessment of the number of beggars and vagabonds and also foreign nationals who have entered our State through the Gauhati-Shillong Road. For example Mr. Chairman, Sir, we know many of those people have opened small shops for selling illicit liquor or engaged in the sale of more prohibitive occupation. They cater to almost all the desires of man sometimes to the consternation of the decent people who are travelling along the Gauhati-Shillong Road. Now there is a law that has been passed by all the District Council who are travelling without license be allowed to engage in any trade in the Sixth Schedule areas. We have seen that in one or two District Councils, it has been done but it has not been done in this District and the present administration of the District Council has inherited the lapses of the past because they even have not been able to extricate those persons who have come without license whatsoever. Here again our Government have got police to enforce the law but it becomes very difficult to get the necessary response and on the contrary this Government is giving license for setting up of industries to the non-tribals without ensuring beforehand that the District Council has a law to be observed or carried out against those persons. As a matter of fact before the State Government issues license to the non-tribals to step up industry they should also ensure to get their application through the District Council for such trading license and in this way they would get the co-operation from all concerned. So I would request the Government to take up this matter in a right and earnest way. The Government should also see that biologically and lower strata of society are more fertile because those who live a rich life eat more nutritious food and more fat and protein and naturally they have the lower mortality rate whereas those lower persons like those vagabonds and beggars have increased the number and they multiply almost like guinea pigs. Mr. Chairman, Sir, let us not take it as a light matter because we have seen in the community have been taken over by another community from outside because initially they cannot control the influx of outsiders into their States. This is a very serious matter and now you may laugh and think about it lightly that you may live another 30 or 40 years and you may say what do I care about that. Like responsible leaders who claim to look after the future of the State, we may consider to ensure that our children and grand-children live in State which we never conceived or dreamt to belong to the outsiders who will only come and reap the harvest planted by us.

*Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the resolution moved by my friend from Mawhati which is a question of influx of beggars and vagabonds in this State. It is a well known matter which has been there and which has been neglected by the Government to control these beggars in the State. It was all along a practice in India that these beggars are not abnormal people who by a freak of nature have become abnormal and they cannot work and earn their livelihood and so they have become beggars. But, Sir, the beggars in India are very healthy in fact. They are very much like other citizens. But they got have got a tradition to live by begging. If you ask them, they will say that it is their profession and it is their way to earn a living. We have seen sometimes in newspapers that some leader have demanded that Government should not make any more small coins because that will indirectly help the beggars. Government should issue only one rupee coin or one rupee note and all these 5 paise or 10 paise coins should not be issued any more so that it will help the beggars in times of rising prices and high living of the people in the country. So Sir, we have seen that in some States of India, as last year I had been to the south, in Madras and in the States of Kerala and Karnataka the Government in those States have prohibited begging and if you look at every nook and corner in those States, in the trains and buses, you will find posters that have been written "Beggars are not allowed, do not encourage begging". So it is high time Sir, - we are fortunate as some have said, that in this land neither in Khasi Hills, Garo Hills nor in Jaintia Hills, it is not the custom of the people to beg and none of them is a beggar. All beggars here in our State have come from other parts of the country. But we have seen that some Khasis are imitating this profession of the outsiders. One day, Sir, I saw a very strong and energetic fellow at Nongpoh, he said he is related to the Chief Minister but he has been exploited by one non-tribal business man in Garo Hills and had nothing more to do and so he had to resort to begging and he is begging now at Nongpoh street. He claimed that he is a relation of the Chief Minister and he has no other means but to beg because he has seen that some people earn their living by begging. Sir, we are fortunate that the climate of this region does not favour begging because sometimes we have seen, specially in the winter months all the beggars suddenly disappeared from the streets of Shillong. But Sir, as I have said, because of this influx of beggars and the manner in which they are doing here, I am afraid that our people may adopt this way of life by imitating them. So Sir, in this way, we can say prevention is better than cure, because nowadays, we can see people in Shillong are imitating the other people of other States and even all over the world, and with this problem of unemployment, we are afraid that if this begging is not looked into immediately, our boys and girls and our young generation may also adopt such profession of begging.

        Another thing Sir, is regarding the vagabonds who are there in the State. If you go to the interior you will find outsiders who have come from Bhutan or Nepal. These people are roaming about in the interior from place to place, from market to market and from khuti to khuti. The Pathans or the money lenders (Voices - the Kabuli-wallas) are roaming about for they have got some money to loan to the people or we do not know the reason why they are roaming there, but they are there all the same, especially in the Bhoi area, Sir. We find that these people from Bhutan, Nepal have been engaged also by some of the Khutiwallas. We also have learnt that there are some organisations in Gauhati and these organisations sent all the jobless people to roam about in the interior and are roaming from place to place escorting the promising graziers whom they are to protect because our Government never protect the Nepali Khutiwallas or the District Council never protects. So on that plea, they eat and live with them, they will remain one day at Mawhati, next day, you will find them in Langpih and they may stay there for some months. Next, you will find them in Nongstoin and then in Pyndengrei and then they go again to Mawhati. From Mawhati they will go to Mikir Hills and from Mikir Hills they will come again to Mawhati and then to Langpih and then to Rambrai and so on. These are the vagabonds, Sir, and they are jobless people and they are remaining like this, staying sometimes here and sometimes there. This is the State of affairs, Sir, and these vagabonds used to stay along the G.S. Road and hundreds of them - of these jobless people are sleeping under the bark of the tree, sleeping in the nook and corner of the street and then sometimes they went with one "dao" or one "star" as we call in Khasi (Voices- Namlo) and when they found that they cannot get anymore food, they will just go to the village side or jungle and cut any tree. young trees, and then they come to the village and sell them. Also they will collect fire-wood in the jungle and cut and destroy the trees and the forests and after drying them, they will sell them to the people in the street. These vagabonds, Sir, in fact, have damaged the belt of our green forests and at the same time, they are disturbing the society- I mean- the lives of the people in the rural areas. So, Sir, it is high time now that the Government comes forward with a policy, with a legislation to restrict the influx of these vagabonds and also of these beggars. I do not see that there will be any difficulty for the Government to do this. Just the other day, we have heard a statement from the Minister himself that the population of Shillong has increased very much. We don't know whether they are beggars or vagabonds or whether they are people having work here in Shillong. But, for instance, as has been stated in this House that according to the census of 1971, there at Umpling there are about 3,500 people. But why now i.e., 1974 a matter of 4 years, the population there had increased suddenly to 15,000 people? I do not know whether these additional 11,000 or 12,000 people are vagabonds or beggars or business people. Why should there be a sudden increase of this population by about three or four times in such a short period? Not only that, there is still an increase in the population of Shillong Barabazar, Police Bazar, in the slums near Mawlonghat, Polo ground and everywhere and in all parts of the town. So, Sir, I support the resolution that this Government should come forward with some measures to prevent this-I may quote the famous line-"Prevention is better than cure". So, before this calamity comes to a point where it cannot be controlled, that means, when the influx of vagabonds and beggars into the State cannot be controlled, Government should take necessary preventive measures in this regard. With these few words, I strongly support the resolution.

*Shri W. Syiemiong : Sir, I fully endorse and support the resolution moved by my hon. friend from Mawhati. As a matter of fact, Sir, the hon. Members who spoke before me have very eloquently said about the important aspect of this resolution. What is left and what strikes me is only one point. Sir, I believe that we shall all agree that the vagabonds or the beggars are not only the people who are of Indian origin or Indian nationals. They also might belong perhaps to some other countries that means, that they are foreigners because from their movement. Sir, it is obvious that some of them-some of these outsiders that we have seen in the streets of Shillong are foreigners especially judging from the fact that they do not seem to have any regular employment. They appear to be no better than those vagabonds or beggars. In this context, Sir, I want to know whether this Government has taken any action to find out how many of these foreigners who are roaming about in Shillong, how many of these are real vagabonds because it may be that some of them are being engaged in some espionage works also. We very well know, Sir, that this part of our country lies in the eastern corner of India and it is a very sensitive area. Only today, we have seen in the papers that the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs comes down to Imphal-perhaps he had some business there to do. But, Sir, the people from Afghanistan-many of them are in Shillong and many of them are engaged in money-lending business. It may be true that some of them are in their good business but many of them are engaged in money-lending business. Has the Government done anything about the exorbitant interest charged by them? It is said that their interests go up to 25 per cent in the interior and how can these people go there - especially to the north-eastern corner of India. Most of them, I understand, claim themselves to be refugees of Pakhtoonistan. There is no clarification as to whether this Pakhtoonistan State really exists. But these people come here to engage themselves in the nefarious activities against the interest of the State. Mr. Chairman, Sir. I would like very mush of the Government would enlighten is on  this particular aspect also and see that these thinks checked.

*Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs, Law, etc.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, as already mentioned that according to the rules only Resolution No.3 will be taken up to-day and for that reason, we have not come prepared to reply to this Resolution No.4 and the Speaker was kind enough to say that we reply on the next private Members' day. So on that basis, I would request Mr. Chairman, Sir, that reply to this discussion may be taken up later on, i.e., on the 4th.

*Prof. M.N. Majaw : On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, Sir, if this matter is disposed of then a point of order is with regard to the Meghalaya General Interpretation Act, 1972 which clearly States that under Section 40 every Rule or Regulation made by the Government of Meghalaya, as also any enactment, shall be laid as soon as possible before the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya. Now, we have the last day, i.e., on 4th and this may not be sufficient for the purpose and we know that there are certain Regulations and Rules made under the enactments which are not yet placed before this Assembly. The law States clearly that an earliest opportunity should be taken to place these on the Table of this House, So, I hope that Government will do something about this on the 4th of April.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh ( Minister, Law etc. ) : This will be looked into.


ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Chairman : Since we have no business for the day, the House stands adjourned till 9 a.m. on Friday, the 4th April, 1975.

Dated Shillong,

R.T. RYMBAI

The 2nd April, 1975.

Secretary

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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