Proceeding of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Assembled at 9. a.m. Friday the 7th March., 1975 in the Assembly Chamber Shillong
Mr. Speaker in the Chair.
Present :- 7 Minister -3 Ministers of State and -35 Members
QUESTION AND ANSWER
(To which replies were laid on the Table)
Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day taking up the Unstarred question No.1
Revision of the Wages to the Muster Roll workers
Shri Onward Leywell Nongidu asked :-
1. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public work Department be please to state :-
(a) Whether Government proposes to revise the wages to the Muster Roll worker in the State?
(b) If so when will the revised rate take effect?
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah Minister, Public work Department (Roads an Buildings) replied :
(b) This under the active consideration of the Government an drill be given effect to as soon as decision is arrived at.
SUPPLEMENTARY DEMANDS FOR GRANTS ETC.
Let us pass on to Item No.2. Minister-in-charge of Finance, to present the Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1974-75. But since the Finance Minister is not present the Chief Minister may present the Demands.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg to present the supplementary Demands for Grants and supplementary appropriation for the year 1974-75.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to Item No.3 Mr. P.G. Momin to initiate the discussion on the Governor's address.
Mr. P.G. Momin :- Mr. Speaker Sir, it has been a great privilege for me to have this opportunity to initiate discussion of the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address, which I have already moved on the floor of this House on the 5th instant. Mr. Speaker, Sir as you are quite aware of the fact that not a quite long time has passed but only a period of three years ha lapsed till today from the date e we have achieved the full-fledged State of Meghalaya. However, Mr. Speaker Sir, during this short span of period, I am very proud to mention here that our Government has taken up all developmental activities to uplift and to improve the economic social and political conditions of the people of Meghalaya. Mr. Speaker Sir it has been a very great pleasure for me today to associate myself to the Governor's Address and to throw some of my observation, I would like today that as the governor has rightly stated in the Para 3 of his Address, we all are quite aware that the last years was one of the worst years which badly effected the economic condition of the people of our State. As the Governor has already stated that although economic condition due to natural calamities has been badly affected on our state up all possible helps and has taken up all immediate measures to cope with the, situation during that periods. As a matter of fact, although the situation has turned to such an extent that the people specially those who are living in the low lying areas within got entire State of Meghalaya have to leave their hearths and homes for months together and the condition turned to such an extent that some of them had to sell their children because of inability to feed them. But then through the kind efforts and keen co-operation given by the Government all possible help have been flown to different directions to various families of the affected areas and as such somehow the the situation has been brought into normalcy. Mr. Speaker Sir, secondly I am very very proud indeed to mention here today that as the Government of Meghalaya has already promised to the people of our State regarding setting up of the new Administrative Units and the New Civil Sub-divisions, those promises have been complied in action. Therefore the people of our State should realise the fact that the Government is running in proper wheel in achieving its own goal. Mr. Speaker, Sir it is my sincere hope and firm believe that as the Governor has already stated in Para 4 assuring us that new more Sub-division and Administrative Units will be coming up in future. I am very very definite that these things will come into shallow incursion time. then coming to Para 5, I would like to mention briefly the that is because of the efficient an keen co-operation of our Government that we have been able to set up the Gauhati High court Bench at Shillong. As a result which, it can now serve the people of State in a more convenient way and fulfilling long desire felt of our people Then Mr. Speaker, Sir I would like to come to Pare 8 of the Governor's address where as he has clearly stated regarding specific schemes likely implemented particularly concerning the District of Garo Hills in the field of agriculture. As all hon' Member assembled in this session are quite aware that especially in Garo Hills there are only two traditional practiced of cultivation i.e. Jhumming and Wet cultivation. We are all quite aware that the jhumming is being practiced from the time immemorial inhabitant of Garo Hills but then we realise now that this is one of the greatest enemies of the economy of the people. As a matter of fact this practice in winter to be stopped by all sections of the society and the people living in our State.
It is my firm belief and strong conviction that the plans and programmes of the Government which are being chalked out in this Paragraph of the Address will be successfully implemented and I further hope that the standard of living of the people and their economic conditions will be improve in near future.
Mr. Speaker, Sir coming to the field of industries, we all realise that in conformity with the assurance given by the Governor in his address last years the some industries already mentions at that time have been started by our Government, I do hope this new industries in our State as already assured in this address will soon take their proper shape. Then Mr. Speaker Sir, coming to para 15 of the Address of the Governor, I would like to say that it is the greatest achievement of the State Government talented people of our State we have been able to open the doors to young talented people of our state by giving them ample scope and opportunity in setting up the Examination Centre here in Shillong. We all know that we are really very very much handicap in giving impetus to the young talented people of the new generation who will be the builders of our State. in the future. Now by providing this examination centre, it is my sincere belief Mr. Speaker Sir that more rooms will be opened and much scope will be there for our young people and I hope that we can play a great deal for the betterment of the sons of the soil in the regard. So, Sir in the view of all this fact that I have stated to day I repeat that the address given by the Governor is a genuine attempt of the Government and I fully supports the programmes and policies enunciated in the address. And it is sincere belief that the hon. Member who are assembled in this House will extend their full support and keen cooperation to my motion of thanks with these few words, Sir I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now, Mr. Pohshna to move his amendment to the motion of thanks.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker Sir I beg to move that at the end of the motion of thanks moved by Shri P.G. Momin, M.L.A, on the Governor's Address on the 5th March 1975 the following shall be added :
'but regrets that there is no mention in the Governor's Address about the de-monopolisation of the G.S. Route in respect of goods traffic marketing of border produce outside the State, opening of more technical; institutions in the State and the steps to be taken to check the rise in the prove of rice and other essential commodities.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Mr. Pohshna and Prof. Majaw will get 25 minutes each and other s will get minutes each.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir while moving this amendment to the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address, I would say that as far as the address in concerned, I am equally very thankful to the Governor for his address. Before taking into consideration the points raised by me through this amendment, I would first of all like to refer to page 18 paragraph 27 of the address. I quote "The recent changes and the re-allocation of portfolio among the Ministers of my Government are expected to ensure better attention to various subjects and aspects of administration and development." Sir this paragraph has really given the full picture and correct assessment of the performance of this Government during the previous years and the situation has developed to such an extent as to warrant the recent changes and re-allocation of portfolios among the Ministers of the Government in order to ensure better attention to various subjects and expects of the administration and development, although there is not mention of any detail regarding the inability and failure of the Government. But these very words "expected to ensure better attention to the various subjects and also to give good administration of the various aspects of administration and development have thrown the cat out of the bag.
Although I am not going into the details, but as mover of this amendment, I find it very difficult to make mention of many things in course of my observation during this debate in view of the re-allocation and portfolios to the Ministers. About Transport, I find that the Minister of Transport is no longer in-charge of transport and the other man is there to look after transport as a result of the change in the portfolios. Therefore, I should not be very cruel to the new Minister for Transport. Sir, though in my amendment I say that we regret that there is no mention in the Governor's Address about de-monopolisation of the G.S. Route, but at the moment the G.S. Route is being run by the Assam Meghalaya State Road Transport corporation and in actual practice the G.S. Route, but at the moment the G.S. Route is run by the Assam, State Road Transport Corporation although the name Meghalaya is always there since the State has come into being. Further I used to find that this name - Meghalaya has been misused for the business interest and very often for the business that is not good for the interest of the people of the State. While running this Corporation if there is anything wrong - it goes to the State of Meghalaya - it is like one sign board in Police Bazar where it is written "Meghalaya Wine Store" - this I have discovered because I happened to frequent to the Congress Office on the Thana Road. An outsider when he saw will think that the State of Meghalaya is running a big business and that is the Meghalaya Wine Store. I also was thinking at the very site of the store that the Government of Meghalaya has started a Wine Store in Police Bazaar. But actually when I got into the wine store I smelled something I found it is being run by a business man I find (Laughter).
So, Sir the name "Meghalaya" has been misused, whatever has been done by the Assam Government or the Assam State Transport Corporation the blame goes to the State of Meghalaya for the areas and portions and the mileage which is under the State of Meghalaya. Sir, G.S. Road is very important road. Sir I remember the previous State Transport Minister when he was an M.L.A. under Assam Government used to speak about the de-monopolisation of the G.S. Road but now when he is a Minister in-charge of State Transport of Meghalaya this monopolization of the G.S. Road still continues. It is my opinion as well as the opinion of everybody that G.S. Road is a very important road. It is the only road where the transporters are to get experience and benefit from their transport business. Sir, recently the Government of Meghalaya have been very kind to grant some trucks to the unemployment youths of the State but unfortunately, these trucks are not getting Permits to ply on the G.S. Road which is very profitable for them, and they are plying on not very good roads in the State. Sir if we go to the State Transport Station of Meghalaya opposite Anjalee Cinema which is a very grand Station we will find one, two three sometimes five, and even sometime ten State Transport Buses of the Meghalaya lying idle standing without tyres, without engines and what not. This is because these vehicles are replying in very bad roads and of it is difficult for the Government to maintain these trucks and these buses in the roads within the State, then how much are we to think about the fate of the trucks of the private owner and those which were given to the unemployed youths of the State. This is a sorry state of affairs. Of course, we are expecting that the G.S. Road is going to be taken over by the State of Meghalaya but it is already four years now that promises have been made in this House, But nothing comes out uptil now.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the road is till under the control of the Government of Meghalaya and not under the Transport Department.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Sir, Meghalaya is only a counter signature body as far as G.S. Road is concerned. this is a very important road in the year 1970-72 when the Government offered to give loans from the banks, many people have started purchasing trucks. But if we go into the roads, we will find that many tribal truck owner are out of picture now because they cannot use this road. But instead this road is being enjoyed by the truck owner and truck association outside the state From here to Agartala, to Calcutta the truck of the other people outside the State are plying up and down and while for the people of the state they are to carry sore coal, timber potatoes but have to run empty while returning to Shillong; at least one truck will have to spend 100 rupees for the cost of diesel another things. This is a loss to the State and on the other hand, till after the road is de-monopolised, I think it will be very difficult for the process of everything to go down. How can we expect the progress of agriculture for the Bhoi area if they cannot carry their produces because of this continuous monopoly?
Sir, I am coming to the other subject-the marketing of border produces outsides the State. There is no doubt, Sir that the Government is taking serious steps and schemes to solve this problem but at the most it appears that the department concerned are not serious in the implementation. For example some trucks have been purchased for carriage of border produces and for one border truck, one officer one handyman, one driver and may be one manager are appointed and these trucks are plying only inside the State where no markets are available. Whereas the transport is very difficult because of the unconvinced due to monopoly. Market is there beyond Gauhati but Gauhati is still under Assam and the border trucks cannot ply on this road. The poor people of the border area, Sir I have seen, have sent some oranges to Shillong, but it is surprising enough that they have to depend upon the mercy of the traders in Shillong because of difficult transport facilities and the border people cannot market the produces in a very smooth manner. As far as Jaintia Hills is concerned, I would like to draw the the attention of the Chief Minister that this marketing of border produces is practically nil. Three trucks have been allotted for Jaintia Hills an these three trucks for the last 7 months have been lying idle in the office and the compound of the office of the District Agriculture Officer. I have seen one truck, MlG-660 plying one day on the 27th of the last month to Dawki. I asked "where are you carrying the goods? Are you carrying them to the border areas?" They said they are carrying the oranges for Byrwai Village a place near Bapung-carrying oranges from the upland areas to the border areas. When I asked the Agricultural Officer whether it is a fact that on 27th of last month (February) a certain border truck has been used to carry the oranges. etc., he said I do not know the whereabouts to this truck. I know the whereabouts of two trucks lying idle with no tires, etc in the compound of the Agriculture Officer. And on every bazaar day, the people from Dawki, Nongtalang and Muktapur are going to Jowai in order to sell betelnuts and other produces and they have to depend on trucks and buses owned by the local people for themselves and their goods. Just imagine what will be their fate - if they depend on these truck of the Agriculture Department which are always lying idle in the Agriculture Office and so the poor border people cannot carry their goods by these Government truck. They have to go to the private truck owners at a very high rate of transport changes. On the other hand, sir I say that the border people cannot find good market for their produces even within the State. So something shelled be done in order to explore and find markets outside the State. Previously we never know that oranges from the border areas of Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills have been sent to Calcutta and other place of India but during the last ten years or so, these oranges have found markets outsides the State and this has help the poor border people especially those who are hard-hit to maintain their livelihood as they have to find markets for their produces? But it very difficult for them unless this marketing is done by the Government. Why I say this? It is because there are beautiful signboards such as the marketing section of the Agriculture Department. But what are these departments doing? I had been to the border areas. It seems they are more interested unmaking schemes or orders, but they are not serious in implementing the schemes. Therefore, Sir I would like to impress upon the Government to see that something is done for marketing the border produce outsides the State Government itself.
With regard to opening of more technical institutions in the State. I would like to say that with the coming into being of the University and also with the opening of many colleges in the State, our young boys and girl who have already got good education would also get knowledge in the technical field. With regard to Medical, at the moment, we have to depend on the Gauhati Medical college and the Dibrugarh Medical College for our boys and girls. But Sir, it is very difficult to get 5 seats or 10 seats for our student - the students of Meghalaya. So, Sir it is high time that a Medical College be established and the earlier the better so that the interest of the people and also that to the students be achieved. Similarly, with regard to agriculture also we have to depend on other States. So it is with engineering. It therefore appears as if the Government is not serious about the setting up of these institutions in view of the absence of such schemes.
The other point, Sir is that steps should be taken to check the rise in prices of essential commodities. Sir this is a very very important subject. As a matter of fact, Sir I have gone through the 19 pages of the Address but here is no mention at all about the policy of the Government or about the steps to be taken by the Government for checking the price of rice. Sir if you go the border areas, you wild find that the price of rice varies from Rs.2.85 to Rs.3.50 per Kg and that also depends upon the arrival of goods. And the then in the open market also the price of rice has gone up. I may mention here that the last harvest was during the months of October and November and so it is only 3 months after the harvest. But if the price of rice shot up to round about Rs.3.00 per Kg what will happen in the months of June and July? Further, there is no mention about the buffer stock of the State. We do not know what would be the food position of our state. I think Sir, something should be done seriously in this matter. I would like to cite an instance that in the Jaintia Hills they have got heir town rice and so long supply of rice for the border areas comes from the Government. But now it is a wonder that the some rice like those of ration shops is available in the opens marker and the same quality is supplied in the ration shops. With regards to sugar, Sir I would liked to state that there is plenty of sugar in the open market and despite the Meghalaya guest Control Order I understand that there will be a very big picnic in Jowai because of the bounty of the sugar (Laughter) Further, Sir there is plenty of sugar in the open market whereas the poor people get only a very small quantity of sugar about ½ Kg from the ration shops. This happens in the town, and if this goes on in town, can imagine the position in the rural areas where the poor consumer will simply believe what the ration dealers say. The poor villagers would simply put their thumb impression without knowing whether they are to get 5 Kg or 0 Kg of rice and ½ Kg of sugar when they ask the ration as to why they get only ½ Kg of sugar the dealer would simply say that the Government is nor supplying. But Sir, if you go to the open market you will find that there is plenty of sugar the quality of which is not different from the one in the ration shops. I do not blame the open market because it is an "open market" (Laughter) but who has created such situation? Of course, the Supply Department is there and they can ask the F.C.I. for hundreds and thousands of quintals whereas in the ration shops there is very little quantity. What is this, Sir? If you travel from here to Jowai you will find one B.O.C. Petrol Pump where people get kerosene oil which is available in plenty in the open market at higher rate. But the poor consumers have to spend one day or two days and sometimes 6 hours or so or may they have to absent themselves from their daily labour only to get some quantity of kerosene. So, Sir there is something wrong in the machinery that controls. Therefore I would have to differ from the mover of the motion when he says that the economy of the people improved. It can be seen from the supply of rice, sugar, kerosene an other essential commodities. But if the people are to absent themselves from their works for getting some quantities of rice, sugar and kerosene will it not effect heir economy.
Mr. Speaker :- You have only two minutes.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Thank you, Sir but we have to think about the economy and how it affects the people. Therefore, in spite of the fact that there is rice in prices of essential commodities, in spite of the fact that there is difficulty for the people to get employment and in spite of the fact that there is very little or the agriculturists to get good markets for other produces, there are also some difficulties created by the Departments concerned. I may say here that this is a very unwise policy that the people over and above the fact that they have to absent themselves from their daily works, they get a small portion of the essential commodities. With these few words, Sir I move my amendment.
Mr. Speaker :- Prof. M.N. Majaw to move his amendment.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg to move that at the end of the Motion of thanks moved by Shri P.G. Momin, M.L.A. on the Governor's address on the 5th March 1975, the following shall be added :-
"But the House regret that the Governor's Address has made a serious and objectionable remark in the concluding paragraph, which tantamounts to political interference by the Governor's in the functioning of Parliamentary Democracy within the House; has made no provision for the basic needs of the common man; has made no reference to the implementation of the U.G.C. scales of pay for College Teachers; has not spelled out any measures to be adopted by the Government to check corruption in the administration, to root out social evils and to control the abnormal influx of vagabonds and foreign nationals into the State; has not enunciated a clear policy for proving commercial and industrial avenues of employment for uneducated youth nor for the licensing of industries proposed to be set up by tribal entrepreneurs of the State and has not referred to the Procurement policy of the Government with regard to essential foodgrains"
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am grateful to the hon. Mover of the motion for giving us this opportunity to move an amendment. Had it not been for his motion, we would not have inestimable privilege of speaking on the performance of this Government in the past and its rosy promises for the future. But I must say Mr. Speaker Sir that this beautifully printed work of art is a most ill-conceived work of literature and as an account of the achievements......,
Mr. Speaker :- It is really a work of art?
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Well, the pointing is neat and the types are clear and the paper is of a very fairy high quality. But as a work of literature, Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg to submit that it is very very inadequate and as a record of the achievements of this Government and still worse of the promises that it gives, it is a very ill-drafted piece of literature. I understand that it is the old case that too many cooks spoil the broth. I do not know how many department each one of them give their own relevant paragraph and the whole thing mixed together by some so-called master mind. I suppose they put all these together and appended an introduction and a conclusion, I will briefly go through some matters which warrant notice of this Government. Now on page 3 Mr. Speaker Sir there is reference to test relief schemes. No doubt some test relief schemes were implemented. We must give the devil his due. Some schemes were implemented, but there are still so many to be taken up. The floods in our State were not only confined to one district or two. All the three districts suffered from floods.
Mr. Speaker :- Before you proceed any further, you cannot say give the devil his due. Whom do you mean by the word 'devil'
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- That is merely figurative.
Mr. Speaker :- But it is un-parliamentary.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Well you give the author his due. Now Mr. Speaker Sir, though there has been some reference in page 2 top the flood in low lying areas in the Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills district, I wonder whether due attention was really paid to his. Perhaps the distribution of the test relief schemes, in some cases, was not proportionate to the genuine needs of the people of these areas. There are some areas in the Ri-Bhoi for examples that suffered severely because of floods. Although these are hilly areas, because of flooded rivers and particularly, as I had mentioned in the earlier session, Because of man-made floods caused by the erstwhile Assam State Electricity Board. The loss in term of standing crops land and manure in incalculable. Almost the entire length of the Umiam rivers from Barapani right upto Amjong was devastated on both sides by the sudden release of a wall of water from Barapani. But no compensation has yet been paid by the Government, not a speak of the new Board which has just been born to the unfortunate farmer along the entire length of the Umiam river who suffered from man made floods. I request the Government to see it now that the Board has come under our Government. I would also request the Government to see that there will be no repetition of these man made floods this year. They could at least have sirens all along the length of the Umiam river or some other ways of releasing water from the Umiam lake regularly every night during the rainy season so that there is no sudden release and rushing of water from the hills of Barapani down to the plains of Amjong.
On the administrative unit for the Ri-Bhoi, we are grateful that at least the voice of the people is partially heeded to for the genuine needs of the development of the area. We must atleast have a subdivision f or the Ri-Bhoi and I am sure my hon. colleagues from that areas will also support this move irrespective of party affiliation. With due respect to the hon. High Court of Gauhati, Mr. Speaker Sir, as it has been mentioned in this address, we are amazed to find that it is merely an office but practically it is functioning in Shillong. Most of the cases still go down to the Gauhati High court. We rarely hear of a Judge coming up to Shillong although the bench was set up. I am afraid the bench was vacant.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we come to the Meghalaya State Electricity Board. May I ask the Minister in-charge what is the crime of a tribal officer that a tribal cannot be appointed to be a member of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board. It is a crime to be a tribal in the State that has fought for a separate Hill State. Are our tribal officers not qualified or must we go to America to be qualified? What is the special concern that this Government has for persons from outside the State to be members of this Board? We had at least brilliant, intelligent and efficient officer of the State to be members of this Board. But there is non. It is a disgrace to this Government that we could not include certain persons from the State as members in this Government on this.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, on agricultural development, the address may say many things about agricultural development. But if we are to look merely at the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India that was placed on the Table of the House the day before yesterday, It will make a very interesting reading. I am sorry that his agricultural development has created a lot of confusion at least in the functioning of this Government. There have been instances of potato seed farms, of fertilizer distribution of cases for looking after the foodgrains. There was a scheme for potato seed farms and the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India says-"No evaluation of the working of the scheme was conducted at any stage At page 32 of the report it has been stated that nowhere investigation was conducted to ascertain reason for the poor yield. I shall read from the Report page 32, that no evaluation of the working of the scheme was conducted at any stage. Nor were any investigations conducted to ascertain the reasons for the poor yield in the farm with a view to devising ways and means to improve the yield. In particular no steps were taken to ascertain the minimum irrigation facilities necessary and to conduct soil testing for determining the requirement of fertilizer and manure". Sir, this is the true state of affairs and what has been stated in the Governor's Address is only a promise for the future. Now speaking about agriculture, I would like to say that there are ways to increase food-grains even without taking up a very big scheme. There are ways of increasing food-grains production in the State, i.e. by tapping up food grain that are going down to Assam from the border of Meghalaya. We have very often suggested not only here but also at different platforms in the district that there had been a large exodus of food grains across the border of Meghalaya; not only from this district but also from Garo Hills district, If this could be checked, certainly the Government could have put a halt to the drainage of food grain and there by they could have sold the food grains at market rate. Here I would like to say something about the failure of the procurement policy of the Government. Of course there is no mention about their procurement policy of the address and I suppose they are ashamed of their failure. But since we are having the same Minister for Agriculture, we hope the condition will improve.......
and I would earnestly request the Government to kindly forget the procurement policy adopted by the Central Agencies. Our suggestion from this side of the House is that the Government should buy food grain as the market rated during the harvesting season when the market rated of food grains would be very low and preserve these food grain and resale them to the poor farmers at the same low price laying only the incidence of expense for procurement. Because the Central Agencies, If they are entrusted, would force upon us the all India rate. There is no jurisdiction at all in imposing the all India rate because India is comprised of so many States; there are various types of agriculture in various State; different conditions prevailing in different States and it is impossible to do justice in determining the rates for this State from two thousand miles away. Therefore, I would request the Government to procure paddy during harvesting season, preserve it in the warehouses and resale it to the farmers during lean period at lower price.
Now, I would like to refer to a very disgraceful feature that a supply gate has been set up right inside Byrnihat by another Government which is an insult to our sovereignty. How a supply gate can be set up by another Government inside Meghalaya for checking all Government vehicles including the vehicles of the M.L.As.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna :- Probably the vehicles of the Ministers also.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Of course I do not know whether the vehicles of the Ministers are also being checked or not but what an audacity on the part of another Government to erect checkgate on the road which is being controlled by the Government of Meghalaya; 90 percent of this road falls within Meghalaya and how it is that a supply check gate could be set up on this road to harass the farmer and traders who are going to Sonapur. Generally, on every Bazaar day, i.e. Saturday people who go to Sonapur and buy 10 or 20 kilos of paddy were being ill treated by the supply inspectors who are not under this Government. Sometimes they are being fined for carrying their bare essential commodities. So I would request the Government to consider such action as an insult on our sovereignty and as such the supply check gate should be uprooted forthwith.
Now with regard to SDDA, I must admit that the SFDA has performed an excellent job in the State; at least they have helped in creating an infrastructure of P.W.D. roads in the State. But unfortunately, I am told that during next five years no road construction would be undertaken in the rural areas by SDFA since the Central Government has directed the SDFA to take up irrigation and other work in rural areas excepting road constructions. But my humble submission is that we are still lagging behind in respect of communication especially for transporting agricultural produce. Therefore, I would request the Government to impress upon the Central Government the grant for the building of roads in the interior should be continued. It would be really very useful it some bridges the constructed instead of constructing roads in some areas. For example the villagers from Mawhati or tyrso valley are to cross the river Umiam during rainy season when the river Umiam would be in full spate. So it would be of much help if a bridge is constructed over this river. Because if a bridge is constructed, at least they can walk a long distance as our people are accustomed to walk. But crossing a river is different matter altogether.
Now coming to page 7, Mr. Speaker, Sir where it has been envisaged that "my Government attach due importance to the functioning of block agencies as affective channels for implementing development programmes in the rural areas." This one sentence will destroy all development in the State because the performance of the block in the rural areas, especially in the interior places, is nil. Even a common villagers, especially from Mawhati if he is asked whether he wants to continue the blocks, he is would simply say 'No', Now of course we have got one EAC for Ro-Bhoi so we can by pass the Block Development Officer. Because if a poor former is go through the Blocks he will simply pay penalty, he will be punished because there are many leeches to suck his blood.
Mr. Speaker :- But you have got you non-official Chairman over the Block
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Sir, I quite agree that the Chairman is a good friend of mine and fine colleague of ours but he will not preside over the meetings to check the days to day functioning of the Blocks.
Now I would like to deal with a notification in the Meghalaya Gazette of 1st March, 1975 of course issued by the Departure of Sericulture of the 24th February 1975, that means 18 days after the expansions of the Ministry, i.e. the 6th February, 1975, the Minister of State for Excise became a Minister by Government Notification, he is being made a member and President of the Committee. Eighteen days after the hon. member from Resubelpara became a Minister, Government issued a notification that he would be a Member and the President of the Committee. This what happened in the Blocks level which is too obscure and rather reluctant for the President to preside over he meeting being himself a Minister. Now, Mr. Speaker Sir, on Para 8 of the Governor's Address we have industries, and on industries I would again like to say something on certain persons in the Industries Department who treated our local entrepreneurs as worthless, who have no money no intelligence or even no skill for running industries why they the Department are falling in love with the outsiders for setting up of industries, God knows. If one cannot believe, I may just quote the Report of the Controller and Auditor General of India for the year 1972-73. I would like to refer to the Meghalaya Cinnamon and essential oils. I beg for the patience of the House that in page 59 of the Report, the Meghalaya Industries Development Corporation Ltd. Undertook a scheme for manufacture of cinnamon oil and other perfumes based on processes developed by the Research and Development Corporation of India, Jorhat. The licence for manufacture of cinnamon oil and other perfumes as obtained by the company on 15th April 1972. Rupees 5.000 were paid as premium in December 1971 to the National Research and Development Corporation of India for the licence to utilise the know how for fourteen years with the stipulation that royalty at 2.2/3 per cent on the net ex-factory sale price of the products manufactured would be paid yearly to the Corporation Now, in May, 1972 the firm from outside the State was offered according to the words used by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India an offer to the firm from outside the State was received for setting up the Cinnamon and Essential Oils in Meghalaya including other perfumes like lemon grass ginger oils in Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. accepted the offer on May, 1972. and in this same month immediately this Government accepted the tender offered by this Company the offer which came from outside the State and then the Government decided to abandon the earlier schemes and incentives by the tribal parties. What happened behind the screen we do not know.
Mr. Speaker :- When you quote the C.A.G.'s Report please avoid any common otherwise it my prejudice the mind of the Public Accounts Committee.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- The Government accepted the offer in May, 1972. The offer was made in May, 1972 and was accepted on the same day, in May 1972 and later on abandoned the earlier schemed including the feasibility report prepared by the firm. this firm came into being for setting up cinnamon and essential oils by Company into being for setting up cinnamon and essential oils by the Company. But it cannot be denied by the Minister that there were reputed parties the tribal parties of this State who have submitted their schemes to the Government, but I suppose because they are tribals their offer cannot be accepted by the Government but instead they take somebody from outside the State for merely a bottle of scotch whisky in the Pine wood Hotel. Why cannot Government encourage our local entrepreneurs in the State to undertake this industry? Perhaps it might be due to political causes or vice versa. We really want an enlightenment on this matter. On the agreement between the Meghalaya and Assam Government to lay on the Table of the House the terms of the agreement. Has the honourable agreement been implemented? No one knows. Does it bring the honour to our State or we are simply bartering our birth rights to somebody else unknown to as. I would like to know that are the exact term of the agreement. Mr. Speaker Sir on education, we are very sad indeed to find that the Governor has made no mention about the recommendation of the University Grants Commission for school and college teachers to augment pay scale of the various categories of teachers in schools and colleges. This is rather very unfortunate. We have though that there should be some references to this or he might have mentioned that the matter is under active consideration of the Government. I regret to find that cannot be found anywhere in the Address. We all know that certain college teachers are labouring so much and it is their honourable profession no doubt to get better salaries and attractive scale of pay. But there are certain numbers of college teachers who were considered to be within the middle income group. They have to incur a good deal of expenditure on their day to day life but their salary does not commensurate with expenses they incur. Mr. Speaker Sir, coming to supply of drinking Water in the rural areas, at page 13 of the Address, it is stated the Government attached utmost importance to this. It is a very big joke of course, to find that kind of importance they attach to water supply or the importance that it should be given Mr. Speaker, Sir, when last year i.e. in the year 1973-74 the Public Health Engineering Department surrendered 93 lakhs of rupees were surrendered in the year 1973-74 utilised for drinking water scheme in the rural areas. 93 lakhs of rupees were surrendered in the year 1973-74 utilised which is impossible to explain what do they mean by Utmost importance and I think the words should have been expressed by 'Utmost unimportance" We know, Sir that man can live without loaf an bread for a longer period, but he cannot live without drinking water. This is the state of affairs in the Public Health Engineering Department. In the last session, I remember we have seen a big demonstration by the people from Mawlai that they did not find any water in the tap after an expenditure of Rs.22 lakhs by the said department for Water Supply scheme in the urban areas. How much less they will be doing the simply and ignorant villagers in the rural areas could be better felt than explained. We suggest that the entire Department should be re shuffled and an active person should be placed in charge of the Public Health Department who can implement the schemes drawn up the Government.
Coming now to Employment Schemes at page 15 of the Address Government is not doing it best to absorb the tribal employees from Assam. Perhaps, the Government is not willing to bring them. Because in the Heads of the Departments, you may find there are a number of adhoc appointment, and the Government may make an enquiry on this, that a number of adhoc appointment were made by the Heads of Department preventing the entrance of tribal employees now serving under the Government of Assam. What happens behind the scene is that when the term of adhoc appointment of any person would cease some big person of his or her blood and bones might have influenced the Head of that particular department for an extension of his or her appointment on adhoc basis. That is why there is no room for the tribal employees from Assam. I know from one officer that the government after careful scrutiny, recorded as many 60 cases of adhoc appointments were being made so far. What will be destiny of our tribal employees if this sort of practice is allowed to continue. Steps should have been taken to bring all the tribal employees from Assam. How many of them should have been absorbed now had there been no appointment on adhoc basis, we do not know? But I would urge upon the Government that those people who have worked so hard in the Hill State Movement should be absorbed and they should be properly absorbed.
Mr. Speaker :- Can Government servants take part in politics? I think they can atleast give their support.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- But I will not expatiate on this. At page 18 of the Address as my colleague has spoken on the induction of four more Ministers into the present Ministry and that by mere change in the re-allocation of portfolios among them, this Government are expected to ensure better attention to various subjects and aspect of administration and development. this is rather an amazing statement that while in the past they have not been able to ensure better attention due to lack of the four new Ministers, and that this could no find place in the Address of the Governor last time. If in the past, they could not ensure any attention and because of the new Ministers, then this Ministry should have been abolished and let the Ministers, then this Ministry should have bee been abolished and let the new Ministers be included to form a Ministry. Then only we have now a foot ball team of eleven ministers led by a captain.
Now, Mr. Speaker Sir, the last paragraph is more objectionable of course. How can the governor get the full support from us. It means that he ants to impose upon this House a single party Government.
Mr. Speaker :- But the Governor can do no wrong.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- That is why we are requesting the Government when we know that this is drafted by it. It is like something passed by the Cabinet and the given to the Governor to read out. But how can we in the Opposition Benches give full support. We are always ready only to give cooperation and not full support. Full Support is unthinkable in a parliamentary democracy like ours. But we may come and sit the in the Treasury Benches and make 58 Ministers besides the hon. Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House, when they have asked us to give full support to the Governor and the Government. But Sir, how can there be full support when for example in a Planning Board which was reconstituted recently with 16 Members and that the Government have given representation in the Planning Board from every Party excepting our Party, the HSPDP. Why did the Government single out HSPDP alone to be excluded from the Board to plan for the State during the next 15 years. What wrong has our party done and what is the crime committed by our party where as every party has been represented in the Planning Board; but no Members from the HSPDP was included. They had decided to ask us for dull support but they have singled out our Party from the Planning Board. While other MLAs have been included ad Member in the Border Areas Development Board, no member from our party was included and also in the Public Works Consultative Committee not a single Member from our Party has been included whereas other parties have been included as per Gazette notification of the Government, Every party has been represented in these committees but not from the HSPDP....................
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Mr. Speaker Sir, if the hon. Member would look at other Committee, he would find that not only other parties, but HSPDP also has been represented and it ia not correct to say that their party has been excluded.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker Sir, in every committee other parties have been represented but our party has excluded especially in the Planning Board where all other got represented. Mr. Speaker Sir, what do they expect to plan when they ignore us. You may ignore us and our party in this House, but the people will not ignore us the people may think that probably your homes are elsewhere, may be in America, when you retire after your defeat in 1977, and no there. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Kisto Mohon Roy.
Shri Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Speaker Sir, it is my privilege to associate myself with the Governor's Address and I am very thankful the Governor for his speech when he has touched almost all important subjects of the State. At the beginning , he has spoken on the law and order situation in the State and Mr. Speaker Sir, I think we should be proud of the fact we in Meghalaya are one of the best States in India. As at present regarding this law and order situation, the Governor's has remarked correctly that Meghalaya is one of the best as compared to to other State in India. And here the Governor has touched also something about natural calamities. Of course, it is correct that in 1974-75 the unprecedented natural calamities have occurred in our State. Almost all the low lying areas in our State have been damaged by flood especially in Garo Hills. One hon. Member from the Opposition side also had spoken something on natural calamities of our State and he said that nothing has been done from the Government side in this regard. I think it is wrong because I have seen many things has been done in the Agriculture Department they have tried to call for tenders to expedite the irrigation work in order to prevent these natural calamities which have occurred during this year 1974-75 and they are already in the process of prevention.
(At this stage the Speaker left the chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair)
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker ,Sir the Governor has also touched about the administrative set up a fact which we cannot deny that the Government has already implemented some of them and that the rest should be implemented within this fifth Plan period.
Then coming to Agriculture as I said just now we are very very glad that the Governor in his Address has also anticipated an achievement of 4 percent during this year and we hope it will be more by the next few years. Sir the Agriculture Department also has tried to help the people in the rural areas by means of the setting up of the Apex Marketing Corporation.
Now regarding SFDA as ha been acknowledged or praised by the hon Member from Mawhati about the working system of the SFDA, I am glad that opposition members also have agreed with the working of the Agriculture Department to step up agricultural Production in the near future.
Then at page 10 of the Governor's Address mention was made about Transport and Communication and as we are having a joint Road Transport Corporation with the Government of Assam, which is not all satisfactory. The Government is making survey for the connection of Railway lines and for Rope-way line from Cherra to the plains of Assam. We appreciated these plans-they should be expedited early. I would also request the Government to bifurcate this State Road Transport from Assam immediately and let us have our own corporation. That is for the interest of the State and the people And regarding health, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we should also be proud that in the interior part of Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills, but now in almost every dispensary, even in the remotest rural areas and extreme corners of the State, the post of doctors are filled up.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Are you speaking about your own constituency.
Shri Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang :- I am not speaking only of my own constituency, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I am speaking about the State as a whole and about constituency of Mr. Pohshna also which I visited with him only and other day.
About the Border Areas Development. Here Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would request the Government that all there border areas development officers should be posted to the border areas, they should be located in the border areas so that they should be well acquainted with the developmental works of the areas besides what has been done by giving them grants in test relief works, subsidy for agriculture and some other developmental works also. All these border areas development officers should be stationed in the border areas to that they can teach the people how to develop and to change the system of agriculture. Regarding the Assam-Meghalaya Border also, it has been very correctly referred by the Governor's in his speech to the efforts relating to Blocks I and II of the Mikir Hills district, our Government has tried its best to persuade the State of Assam to come to the understanding so as to transfer back these areas to the District of Jaintia Hills, as it was before, and regarding other areas connecting between Khasi Hills and Assam also our Government did not sit idle in this matter, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, rather they are pursuing and statement also had been made in the Lok Sabha that the Government fail to meet each other and settle the dispute amicably.
In page 17 of the Governor's Address regarding Land Reforms Commission. I would like to request the Government to try to speed up and process the report of the Land Reforms Commission which has been submitted to the Government, so that the long cherished hope of the people of the State could be achieved, since we know that since 1923, many of our leader like the Syiems, Sardars and Dalois were anxious to bring in the land reform system in our area, but due to finance difficulties at the time, and also because the British Governments did not encourage them, they could not do much. But we are very thankful today that Government are taking up this matter seriously and I hope that within a very short time, the Government will submit its report to this august House.
Lastly Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir as has been said by my hon. friend just now, Mr. Majaw, about the formation of the Consultative Committees, I differ very much with him. I think the Government has done its best in constituting all these committees in every department for better implementation of schemes and also to see to the performance of their respective departments relating to developmental works in the State. What has been said by him about the exclusion of his party from some committees, I think is quite wrong Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, if you go through the Gazette, you will find that many of the H.S.P.D.P. Members have been included in almost every committee, but every Member of this House, cannot expect to be included in any committee even from the Ruling Party also we cannot expect that every member should include in every committee. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, before I conclude, as I said, I am very proud that it is my privilege to second the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address which has been moved by Mr. P.G. Momin this morning.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now Mr. Jormanik Syiem. you will get 18 minutes.
Shri Jormanik Syiem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir in supporting the motion of thanks move by Mr. Momin this morning, I have a few observations to make on the Governor's Address. I have seen that Government have made all-out efforts to make Meghalaya a peaceful and prosperous State in spite of limited resources. They have tackled most of the points which need improvement, of the economic condition of our people right from the control of the Jhumming, developmental programmes, industrialisation and all other developmental programmes which we need in our infant State. However there is some room for improvement in the general administration. The Governor's Address has rightly given the position that the law and order situation in the State has been well under control and that our State is a peaceful State that cannot be denied. But in so far as general administration is concerned, there are rooms for improvement. The courts and investigation machinery which took a long time to submit their paper before the court and the courts also could not dispose of cases unless the police papers are places before them with the justice delayed is justice denied.' So. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, in this respect I would like to appeal to the Government through you, that general administration needs gearing up so that the litigant public will be relieved of the hardship they have been suffering from when they have to attend the courts date after date without getting their cases heard.
In every sphere it is gratifying to note that the Government formulated various plans and schemes, as I mentioned, that Jhumming which has been a chronic problem in our State and now that out Government has taken up this problem to the economic condition of our cultivator will be augmented, improved and also the various resources will in future be augmented I give every support to this programme which our government taken up.
The coming to the other schemes which our Government taken up, I would like today something about the bifurcation of the Electricity Board. Whatever the shortcoming may be may be, it has been the achievement on the part of our Government to get the that Board bifurcated this year, I mean in January of this year. It is hoped that when we have got our own Electricity Board, we shall be to understand what will be the benefit that we are going to get, how are developing our own natural resources water power and other industries wherever possible. It is not gratifying to see that there is lack of transport facilities which is still under the control of Assam and Meghalaya joint corporation and therefore people are facing all sorts of difficulties in getting their goods booked from one place to another. They have to get the clearance of the Transport Authority from Gauhati. But if our Government could get this separated or bifurcated, I hope most of the hardship that is being caused to the traders and other people of our State will be very much relieved. I however, do not agree with the amendment moved by hon. Member from the Opposition that no mention has been made in the Governor's Address about the de-monopolisation of the G.S. Road, It is true that everybody wants to have the same road to ply but let us not forget that the G.S. Road connects not only Meghalaya and Assam but it also connects all other State from Bihar, Bengal and then through Assam to Cachar Mizoram Tripura and all these places. So it will not be possible to say that this G.S. Road should be opened or should be de-monopolised and also our Government has yet to see the position of this road is de-monopolised whether we can have the control over it, whether we can get the necessary resources of revenue which we are expected to get by monopoly of passengers and other vehicles. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I think that it is not yet time for the Government to de-monopolise the road just at present.
Coming to other items in the Governor's Address, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to congratulate the Government in having started running some industries within the State which mainly depended on the natural resources available in our own State. Having started the Kommporrah lime Stone Ply wood, jute and other small industries, I mean in the long run will be a source of revenue and will be beneficial to our people to our youth who are to be employed in these industries if they care to get themselves trained and then take up the responsibility to man these establishments. The Government has considered al aspects needed for the employment of our youth. They are also going to undertake this venture besides other avenue of employment which, I hope, will be able to absorbs a good proportion of the unemployment youth of our own State. In these few years we have made every effort to see that our people get all the benefit that can be made available to them within a very short period. They have already absorbed a number of people from the Assam Electricity Board. It is not possible al at once to absorb every one and it is also necessary that new entrants have to be provided for jobs in the Government. So I do no think that it will be possible for the Government to absorb everyone serving outside the State to join in our small offices in the State. But it will be an endeavour of the Government that they should explore all possible avenues how best they can tackle the problem and absorb these people who are still out side the State and provide them with suitable posts in our own State, bearing in mind that a number of educate people are coming out from the colleges from year to year; these also will have to be provided somewhere in the offices of the Government. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not like to dwell much but so far as the produce of the border areas is concerned which has been said by the hon. member who moved the motion of thanks, I would like to say that the usual marker of the border people has been Bangladesh. Only a very small proportion of the produce can be disposed of within the State or in any other parts of India but their main market will be in Bangladesh which is foreign country, and for this, it is for the Central Government to negotiate, to tackle, to arrange and settle with the Government of that country in order to help our border people sell their produce in with the Union Ministers in-charge of Foreign Trade and we cannot blame that the Government have neglected this part of the State. Infact, they have tried all possible means how to help the border people, how to get their produce disposed of either within the State or out side the State. I know that certain articles are going to Bangladesh besides coal and lime stone. Oranges also are going to the market of Bangladesh. The only article that is not being transported, not exported is pan leaf which is of course the main source of income for the people of the border areas. Otherwise in due time, I hope that all the produces in the border areas will find their markets within the State and in other parts of the country as well.
With these few words Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I command that the Motion of thanks moved by the hon. Member from this side of the House be adopted by the House. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. D.D. Lapang, you will get 10 minutes.
Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir I rise to associate myself with the Motion of Thanks. While falling in the line with the Motion of Thanks brought forward through the Governor's Address moved by the hon. Member, Mr. P.G. Momin I would also like to make some observation, and I do believe that as responsible representatives and reasonable leaders they would fall in line with me also to say that the message contained in the Address is full of spirits, hope and encouragement, because it tell the achievement of the Government during this year. Besides giving so many assurances which we do hope will really go into implementation during the forth-coming financial year. Mr. Deputy speaker, Sir, time may not permit me if I dwell on all the points mentioned in the address. So I will only take some of the important points and recast my observations. We have just heard the observations of the colleagues from the other side who do not at all look from the merit side of the address but who have dwelt and spent their time in looking only to the demerit, loopholes and the things which have not been done. In my opinion, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, it would be very much appreciated if we all come forward with a sense of co-operation and join hands with the Government and bring forward constructive suggestion instead of casting remarks which are destructive. Yes I do agree with our hon. friends from the other side of the House, Shri H.E. Pohshna that the G.S. Road is a headache to everyone in Meghalaya because this has hampered the trend of development of transport etc, in our State. The monopoly of the G.S. Road is very much to our disadvantage. But at the same time, I do appreciate the viewpoint of our friend who ha highlighted this point that he is actually expressing his opinion on the Governor's Address for bringing all these important points bit in fact, the Government is actually playing its role to the best created a headache to all, he said he will not be that the G.S. Road has created a headache to all, he said he will not be very cruel because this Department of Transport has been shouldered to a new Minister which he does believe that thing will be better in the hands of the young and energetic Minister. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, our hon. Member also said that the marketing of border crops is a must. We do agree and I would also like to say the Government would also take the initiative to ease market for potato and other crops and produces of our State because the upland people also are facing the same difficulty. Our hon. friend Mr. Majaw from Mawhati got sufficient time to express his opinion later on but it is really very unfortunate in my opinion, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, as I have been following his speech, his deliberation that I may come to the conclusion which I do believe that the House will also agree with me in as much as be does not bring any constructive suggestion. He has govern a negative approach and really this does not bring any benefit to anybody. On the day that our Governor's delivered his address, her from the very start of the Session, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, the hon. friend whom I have just mentioned now has had the occasion to disturb the Address of the Governor knowing fully well that he will have his time sufficiently to express his opinion, his agreement or disagreement. I would not to be the advantage of the House if we really want to maintain the prestige of this august House. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, this counts very much, Yes, I do agree with him when he mentioned that the people of the flood affected areas are facing great trouble and I fall in line with him that in a certain area of Byrnihat and some other parts where the Government should pay much attention nothing has been done till today. The Government could help them by giving them financial assistance to the extent of Rs.2.000 per family to reconstruct their economics condition but nothing has been done, I would request Government, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, through you to look into the matter and also to urge upon the Government o upgrade Ri-Bhoi Administrative Unit. I am glad to say Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, that the Ri Bhoi Durbar has already sent a memorandum to the Government to upgrade the present administrative unit into the Civil Subdivision and I really fall in line with Mr. Majaw in supporting the memorandum already submitted by the Ri Bhoi durbar.
The programme of the F.C.I. has completely failed, I have had the privilege of associating myself with this agency and Mr. Majaw requested the representative of the Ri Bhoi to extend their full cooperation. We have spent some days to the meetings conducted by the agency but it is unfortunately to say that we cannot get any result because we cannot force our people to give paddy to this agency at a much lower price than the market rate. This should be amended and see that proper attention is given that paddy should not go outside the State and the procurement agency should not exploit the local people. While helping other, we should not forget the ones for whom we are taking the responsibility.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while coming to power, as mentioned here, I feel the Minister-in-charge deserves congratulation when at long last, the pending question of bifurcation has been given effect to. We have get our own Electricity Board which we do hope will be able to design this Board by our own tribal genius and to the greatest benefit of our people, But I would like to caution this department that the division of assets and liabilities which is pending should be taken up immediately, this project the S.E.B has been termed as a losing concern. No one can make us believe in that. It is not at all losing concern. That word cannot be uttered in this House. We have seen that the Komorrah Limestone Mining Company is making profit. We know the M.I.D.C. is making profit. When the Government of Meghalaya has taken up the Cement Company in 1971-72 it has not incurred any loss. So let us say that this project also will not be burden to our State. But it will really be a source of revenue.
Coming to health, it is a good thing that the Government has given priority to the extension of health and medical care facilities in the rural areas. We really appreciate that medical care in the rural areas is really a carrying need of the day. We have seen as has been mentioned, that training programmes of para medical personnel are being arranged and also various incentive are being extended to doctors. It has been started that doctors are coming forwards to serve in the interior areas in spite of difficulties they are in face. I fully agree with our colleague, Mr. H.E. Pohshna that we should have an institution instead of sending our people outside the State to some other colleges. It is high time that a medical college should be here and also the nursing training college. Perhaps the Governor could not find space to accommodate such a need although I know Government is fully aware of this need which I do hope they are moving forward to implement it at the must and that and that besides the civil Hospitals in our district a State Hospital is necessary for our State to be located in the capital of the State. I would urge upon the Government to move N.E.C. to allot certain amount of fund for the construction of a State Hospital which will not give benefit only to the State, but to the whole of north-eastern region. New when these hospital have failed to extend any help, the unfortunate patients are bond to go a long way either to Calcutta or Delhi or Vellore. The patient who is a poverty stricken man will to face his untimely death when no help could be rendered. It is high time for our Government to come to the rescue of such unfortunate persons by establishing one good hospital here to be fully equipped with modern equipment and with specialist from India and abroad so that his problem can be solved.
Coming to unemployment scheme, we fully appreciate the employment programme of the Government by extending employment opportunities to the rural areas who need mercy and help from the Government. This policy of extending facilities to the interior most part of the State should be included under the half-a million jobs programme. This is a welcomed programme which ahs helped many people.
Coming to the Civil Task Force, it is not an easy task. We are grateful to the Government for bringing the facilities to accommodate more rooms to the unemployed people who are really looking for it and have not got any employment so long. I would suggest Mr "Deputy Speaker, Sir, that such schemes should also be introduced in the urban areas. Why not a scheme in the urban areas be prepared for the unemployment educated who are loitering in the street and get themselves involved in social evil with undesirable elements. But by having such employment, they will be useful to the State and also helpful to themselves. I would suggest to the Government to request the N.E.H.U. to open a class for journalism for our people. If our people can be trained in accountancy, banking hotel and restaurant management, business management in the Half-a-million jobs programme, then Government can prevent these young people from getting involved in social evils. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the 'Half-a-million job programme' should be implemented faithfully and religiously. In the year 1972-73 the fund to the tune of Rs.5 lakhs was allotted to the MIDC which according to my knowledge has not been spent. So, Sir the meaning of the half a million Jobs Programme will not work unless the programme is made feasible and practicable. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like the Government come forward with a scheme for short-period training to the student during the winter vacation; so why not have short period training for them instead of seeing them loiter in the streets. So, this training will be useful to them and the Government may consider giving them co-operative training industrial training etc, and also training to the small children who can do extra manual labour during the vacation. Besides, Sir there small children will be able to earn some money for purchasing books. This will also prevent them from loitering and going astray and damaging their own character during the short period of the vacation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the half a million jobs Programme should also be extended to some other agencies like co-operation, technical institutions, printing press and others so that this programme will really be very affective an beneficial to the people.
Coming to the Administrative set up, I fully appreciate the policy of the Government for decentralization. Here Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I really fall in line with Mr. Majaw when he pleaded very much that the extension be made with the coming into being of the Ri Bhoi administrative Unit so that the people will realise how meaningful (Bell rang) Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, if you will kindly allow some more minutes because my colleague Shri K.M. Marbaniang did no spend his allotted time and that he has allotted his time to me (Laughter).
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- You will get only three minutes.
Shri D.D. Lapang :- Coming to the Administrative Unit, I fully agree with the policy of the Government and we have requested the Government to upgrade it. But I do not understand the view point of my colleague; Prof. M.N. Majaw, when he said that the Development Block are useless; that they are extracting and sucking the blood of the local people. while appreciating the points that there are some difficulties in this agency, we cannot deny the bright side of it that this is the only agency of the Government to go into the interior and meet the the masses. This is the very meaning of decentralization of the Block. If there is a Block Office the rural people cannot go to the Agriculture Office, the P.W.D. Office, the D.Cs Office. But the Block Office has got al this agencies connected with it. I am surprised that Prof. Majaw did not come forward with suggestions for rectifying the irregularities. But we have discussed in the Block Committee and that is why we have come forward with a proportion that a non-official Chairman should be appointed in the Block committee to rectify these irregularities and to check corruption and malpractices. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Blocks can check these undesirable activities, I say it will be a very very good agency. If the Administrative Unit is there and the Block agency also is there it will be a real co-operation to focus the implementations of the schemes, not to speak of the Bhoi area only, they are areas where the Administrative Unit cannot go but the Block can go. For the Bhoi area are demanding another Development Block. So Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, while I do not fall in the line with Prof. M.N. Majaw negative remarks, I would urge upon the Government look into this matter an d to remove the irregularities through the co-operation of our representatives who are responsible and reasonable representative (Bell rang)
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Your time is up.
Shri D.D. Lapang :- Kindly allow me some more time. I am going to finish. Coming to agriculture I would like to say that the Agriculture and Soil Conservation Department should have a very close understanding. There are places in Garo Hills where the Soil Conservation Department had done its duty terracing the land with the intention of bringing the people to the terraced areas under the scheme of re-grouping of villages. But there are places in Garo Hills, where the Agriculture Department has not come forward with the schemes; so also as the P.H.E. also has not come forward with any scheme there is not drinking water. The medical Department has also not come forward and so there are no medical facilities. So the soil conservation Department will be unable to execute its programme if other Department do not join hands for the benefit of the people. I fully appreciate the double cropping pattern of the paddy and potato that the government is introducing to the people in Mylliem. This will really bring benefit to the people, so Sir, I would request the Government through you to kindly introduces the scheme to other areas also.
In the industries Department we have seen a lot of achievement by having the Assam State Ware housing corporation owned by the State But when other industries come up, we would caution the Government to see that the employee should be selected from among our own people and also to check the influx of outsider because our people will be allowed up by the big number of people coming from outside (Bell rang).
With regard to co-operation, I would urge upon the Government to extend financial help.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Your time is up and there are other hon. Members also who would like to participate.
Shri D.D. Lapang :- May I request you to give me some more time if there are some minutes left before we close?
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now, Mr Cecil Marak. You have 18 minutes.
Shri William Cecil R. Marak :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir I rise to support the amendment motion moved by the hon. Member Mr. H.E. Pohshna, it is very interesting to note that the 19 pages of the Governor's Address could not even cover the food policy of this Government for the current year. This aspect cannot be overlooked in view of the pass experience of the scarcity of food grains in our State. I think we may have to face the worse situation of food grains this year as a result of the carious factors like flood and other natural calamities which have caused great damage to our standing crop this year. In this regard, I would therefore urge upon the Government to at least extend more financial assistance to boost up cultivation of commercial produces of the State. Many of the hon. Members have been speaking about the performance of the Government. But it has been alleged that no constructive suggestion is being made by the opposition Members. But here I structure suggestion is being made by the Opposition Member. But here I am giving a constructive suggestion that is regarding the infra-structure on communication : My suggestion is that there should be road communication between Ampati Mahendraganj, Mankachar and other places. With regard to transport, I would ask the transport department to give facilities to our people and extend bus services to Simsangiri Rongreng, Bajengdoba, Phulbari, Mahendraganj and even up to Mankachar. Now it appears that we are getting only one Bus Service between Shillong and Tura which is al carrying passengers of twp buses in one bus.
It is also very unfortunate when we heard that long ago one Pharmaceutical Institute would set up at Tura but I don't see any existence of Pharmaceutical Institute at Tura. Of course there is one Industrial Training Institute at Tura but that Industrial Institute has not been upgrades till today, no Principal has been posted; it is still under one vice Principal. And the most dismal feature is that there is only one student who is studying in that Institute. Therefore, I would request the Government at least to find out the reason why our local boys are not interested in getting admitted into the Industrial Institute.
Now regarding town development, I would like to refer to the news items published in various newspapers where it was reported that the Chief Secretary had remarked that he consider Shillong as his drawing room But I do not know whether he consider Tura as his bed room. With regard to town development I would like to mention that I have not seen anything conspicuous excepting a big bridge near the residence of the Civil Surgeon. I do not see and other bridges being constructed any-where in the town where the small school children are to cross the rivers.
Now I would like to come to rural electrification. I have seen that there was a proposal during the Fourth Five Year Plan for rural electrification. It has also been categorically stated that during the Fourth five Year Plan period there will be expansion of electricity up to Garobadha even. But today we passing through the second year of the fifth five year plan but electricity is yet a far cry to the people of Garobadha.
Regarding supply of sugar I would like to say that supply of sugar in Garo Hills is very irregular. We have seen the Fair Price Shop dealers are supplied with only 4 or 5 bags of sugar per month which rather put them in a complicated position. So I would request the Government to look into the matter.
Regarding water supply we have seen that acute scarcity of water is prevailing in the town areas of Tura especially at Howkhana. I do not know about other areas in Tura whether they are getting water or not.
Now I come to irrigation facilities. But in Garo Hills what we find? If we submit a schemes or a proposal to the Government. i.e. Agriculture Department they use to say that they do not construct any irrigation project which cost more than Rs.10,000. But it is not possible to set up any irrigation project below Rs.10,000 or within Rs.20,000. So in the regard what other facilities the Government can give in respect of irrigation project are going to be within Rs.20,000. Regarding the sanction of this self help scheme or T.D. scheme from the Government to the district it should be on more realistic basis. Sir, it is learned that there is an encroachment by 25 families in Meghalaya, at Phulbari in the district of Garo Hills. Whether the Government has taken adequate measures to check such encroachment.
Regarding administration of Justice in the District of Garo Hills, I do not see any reason as to why so many ADMs have been posted in Garo Hills District. It is a disadvantage to have so many ADMs and one does not know what are their functions. It is simply a wastage of money from the public exchequer. The disadvantage is like this. If we approach the ADM, that ADM will shift his responsibility to another ADM, and there is no proper Deputy Commissioner for the Garo Hills District. It is not known to us why it so happened in this particular district. As such I would request the Government to give proper answer to this question. Another thing which I would like to point out is that when we go to the head of District Office, for any public matter we never get him in time as he is very irregular in attending office. In some other offices, we never see them in the office and it seems that they are not attending offices in time. May we know that is the Government instruction on this. With these few words Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Is there any other hon. member who would like to participate? As there is nobody to take part, the House stands adjourned till 9 A.M. tomorrow, the 8th march, 1975.
|T. T. Rymbai,|
|The 7th march, 1975||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,|