The Assembly reassembled at 9.00 a.m. on Saturday, the 13th December, 1975 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair. 

******

Present : Eight Minister, three Ministers of State and 36 Members. 

Mr. Speaker:- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up unstarred question No.2. Is there any supplementary question? Since there is no supplementary question, let us pass on to unstarred question No.3. Is there any supplementary question?

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Compensation to the Ex-Zamindars in Garo Hills

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :   

 2.

 Will the Minister-in-charge of Revenue be pleased to State- 

(a)

The total amount of compensation so far due to the Ex-Zamindars on account of the abolition of Zamindary system in Garo Hills, by the Garo Hills District Council?
 

(b)

The year in which the Zamindari System was abolished in Garo Hills? 

(c)

Whether Government propose to consider some financial assistance to the Garo Hills District Council so that the land compensation can be paid to the Ex-Zamindars?
 

(d)

Whether the Zuddary system is still prevalent in Garo Hills?

(e)

If so, when will it be abolished?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister-in-charge, of Revenue) replied : 

2. (a) 

- Rupees.7,90,688.93 as compensation only. Interest if any will have to be calculated at the time of payment of the compensation.

(b)

- 1958-59. 

(c)

- The matter is under consideration of Government. 

(d) 

- Yes, there is an area of 5,864B-4K-6L still under 'Jotedari, tenure. 

(e)

- Government have initiated necessary steps to acquire this area and to abolish the tenure. 

Appointment of Superintendent in the Governor's Secretariat Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh asked : 

3. 

Will the Chief Minister be pleased to State- 

(a)

Whether it is a fact that a junior U.D. Assistant from the Governor's Secretariat, Dispur (Assam) has been appointed direct as Superintendent in the Governor's Secretariat, Meghalaya?
 

(b)

If so, under what rules the appointment has been made? 

(c)

Whether the approval of the Meghalaya Government has been obtained for that appointment?

(d)

If so, when?

(e)

If not, why not?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied:

3. (a)

-Yes, in the Governor's Household Establishment. 

(b)

- Appointments in the Governor's Household Establishment are made by the Secretary to the Governor of Meghalaya with the approval of the Governor. 

(c)

- No. The approval of the Government of Meghalaya to the appointment in the Governor's House hold Establishment is not necessary. 

(d)&(e)

-Do not arise in view of (c) above. 

Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Sir, No. 3

Mr. Speaker :- Please name (a), (b), (c) or (d). 

Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Sir, the question is under what rule the appointment was made because the reply does not in fact refer to the question. So, I want to ask Sir, under what Rule the appointment was made?

Mr. Speaker :- Before I would ask the Chief Minister to reply may I just inform the hon. Members that ordinarily the personnel staff of the Governor or of the Ministers or of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker are usually not debated inside the House but the House has the right to know but generally we never make a controversial issue. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Governor's Secretariat and the office of Military Secretary to the Governor are two separate office. The cost on the Governor's Secretariat staff is charged on the Consolidated Fund of the State under Article 202 (3) (c) of the Constitution. At the moment the Secretariat staff of the Governor consists of the following:-

(1)

One Secretary to the Governor who also functions as Military Secretary to the Governor as a measure of economy.

(2)

One Upper Division Assistant who was appointed in an officiating capacity on deputation from the Government of Assam. 

(3)

One Stenographer (Grade II). 

(4)

One Typist. 

(5)

Two Chaprasis. 

        The Governor's Household staff headed by the Military Secretary to the Governor forms part of the Governor's Allowances and privileges. The staff on the Governor's Household establishment consists of :-

(1)

Military Secretary to the Governor

1

(2)

Aide camp to the Governor

1

(3)

Medical Officer

1

(4)

Assistant P. S. to the Governor

1

(5) 

Superintendent

1

(6)

Accountant.

1

(7)

Aide-Camp's Clerk

1

(8)

Typist

1

Mr. Speaker :- But this information is not necessary. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Posts borne on the Governor's Household establishment are created in the Governor's Secretariat and the incumbents thereto are placed on deputation in the office of the Military Secretary to the Governor without deputation allowances fro the purpose of conferring pensionary and other retirement benefits on the incumbents under orders of the Government of India as the Governor's Allowances are quite inadequate to meet the pensionary charges of the employees. 

Shri W. Syiemiong :- May we know the name of this particular person. 

Mr. Speaker :- The name of the person may be in the list that you read just now. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want notice. 

Shri W. Syiemiong :- It is very strange, Sir. 

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the question of details is ordinarily asked in the supplementary questions?

Mr. Speaker :- The questions of details are not asked in unstarred questions and in any case there are times when the Ministers are also in difficulty to open each and every page. 

Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether there are no senior assistants in the Secretariat?

Mr. Speaker :- So far as the personal staff of the Governor or any VIP is concerned, it much depends upon the choice of the incumbents concerned because sometimes there may be senior people but they are not fit for the post. That is why some juniors are given enhance. 

Expenditures incurred by the Fishery Department. 

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :-

4.

Will the Minister-in-charge of Fishery be pleased to State-

(a)

The amount spent by the Fishery Department through the Block Development Officers in Khasi Hills District during the last three years (Block-wise and year-wise)?

(b)

Whether it is a fact that most of the fishery grants are given ignoring technical approval and proper schemes and estimates?

(c)

The amount spent by the Fishery Development during the last three years n the Mawkyrwat Block?

(d)

The nature of schemes taken up by the Government through Block Development officer, Mawkyrwat Development Block during the last three years for improvement and construction of fishery ponds in that Block?

 

(e)

The rate of grant per acre given for the general improvement of fishery ponds in the Mawsynram Block?

Shri Grohonsing Marak (Minister, Fisheries) replied :

4 (a)

- Payment was made  direct to the private Pisiculturists of respective Block but not through Block Development Officer as follows :- 

Name of the Block

Amount paid during

1971-72

1973-74

1974-74

Rs. Rs Rs
1. Mylliem  Development Block  ...

4,005

2,660

5,4500

2. Mairang Development Block  ...

4,700

5,800

4,300

3. Bhoi Area Development Block

...

8,389.22

19,915

15,100

4. Mawrynkneng Development Block ...

1,308

1,500

1,950

5. Nongstoin Development Block ... 4,985

8,258

6,800

6. Mawkyrwat Development Block ... 4,580 5,800 4,800
7. Mawsynram Development Block ... 4,000 5,250 3,800
8. Shella Bholaganj Development Block ... 3,450 3,750 3,25
9. Pynursla development Block ... 4,609 4,200 1,500
10. Mawphlang Development Block ... 4,315 2,900 1,000
(c) 

- The amount spent in the Mawkyrwat Development Block during the last three years is as follows :-

                                                

General Border Area

Rs. Rs.
1972-73 ... ... ... ... 4,580  4,500
1973-74 ... ... ... ... 5,800 Nil
1974-75 ... ... ... ... 4,800 10,000
(d)  - The schemes taken up by the Government during the last three years for improvement and construction of fishery ponds in the Block are General Subsidy, Border Areas Subsidy.
(e)  - The rate of grant is based according to General Subsidy Rules which is 1,500 per acre of water or 50 percent of the total estimated cost of the project whichever is less subject to the  maximum of Rs.3,000 for all the Blocks in the State including Mawsynram Block.
 

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Sir, how much is the water-area in the 10 blocks ?    

Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, Fisheries etc) :- Sir, I want notice

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Who supervise the works of all these fisheries ?

Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, Fisheries etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the forms are distributed through the Block Development Officers and the forms are collected by the staff and demonstrators. Then after receiving the forms we ask our officers to make an enquiry. But no one supervises during the working time.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I refer to 4(d). How many schemes were taken up ?

Shri G. A. Marak (Minister, Fisheries etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want notice. 

Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I refer to 4(a). What is the output of fish taken from these ponds after spending several thousands of rupees?

Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know. 

Mr. Speaker :- No, the Minister has not replied. 

Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang :- What is the output of fish derived from these fisheries when he Fishery Department has spent so much of money during these two or three years?

Mr. Speaker :- That is a new question. 

Shi Winstone Syiemiong :- In view of very large area of some of our Blocks may we know from the Minister the exact location of these schemes taken up under 4(d) 

Mr. Speaker :- That is another unstarred question.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- But the question is about the location of these schemes, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- In an unstarred question generally there can be no scope for any statistical data. 

Shri Humphrey Hadem :- In reply to a supplementary, the Minister stated that there is no supervision on the working of these fishery ponds. Whether it is a fact that payment was made after final verification and final measurement by the staff concerned? 

Mr. Speaker :- That is a supplementary to a supplementary question. 


Motions

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass n to the next item. Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh to move his motion. 

Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this Assembly do now discuss about the indents of machineries and other materials by the Public Works Department. 

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since the motion deals with the facts and figures the discussion will be for half and hour. You can now initiate the discussion. 

Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in bringing this motion before the House for discussion, I will not take the time of the House and at the same time it is also no necessary to refer back to the budget for the year 1975-76 because everything has been provided category wise. The amounts earmarked for the construction of roads, namely earth work and also cutting of road proposed to be constructed and provision has also been made for construction of new bridges and completion o bridges and also for purchase of materials and so on and so forth. But we learn from the people that the PWD this year has made lots of indents in excess of the amount provided in the budget. Sir, the provision which has been earmarked for other construction works has been spent on indents of machineries and other materials like road rollers and hume pipes. These machineries and hume pipes have been lying all along the roads in the State involving crores of rupees, and as such, the bulk of the expenditure earmarked for this Department has been incurred only on those materials which are not at all used for construction works because they are already excess materials since 1974. These road rollers have been taken from the then Assam Government, may be some of them have been purchased by this Government prior to 1974. Therefore there is no necessity at all for the new indents in view of the fact that these machineries have been inherited from the then Government f Assam are sufficient for the work. Now all these bulldozers and road rollers have been kept in the PWD godowns. We have see such dumping of these materials in Mawsynram PWD. Subdivision- the whole compound has been dumped with these rollers and bulldozers and they have got rusted there for the whole year and they are of no use now at all. Consequently the money which has been earmarked, rather voted, by this Assembly has been used mostly for purchase of these materials and not for other works like cutting of roads and earth work which ought to have been done primarily by the Department. But all these works have been lying stagnant. For further information of the House, Sir, the dues that should have been paid to the contractors for the work that has been done during the year 1975-76 have not been paid inspite of lapse of four to five months' time. If you calculate the amount invested by the contractors for execution of these works, it will come to about 40 to 50 lakhs only in Jaintia Hills district alone and in Khasi Hills it will be about 70 to 80 lakhs remaining unpaid to the contractors. Same is the case with Garo Hills. Therefore, the poor working people who are employed in these construction works in these roads are in great difficulty because they did not get their wages. The contractors may be first class or second class contractors but it cannot be expected that they would be able to make such a huge investment running into several lakhs of rupees. Not only that. The excess work has been done and although the provision has been earmarked for construction of roads and not for indent of machineries. I do not want to cast any reflection, but I want to get a clarification because there is a suspicion as to why the indent is so much necessary as we have already constructed these roads some five or ten years ago. But now is has been proposed to destroy the culverts by putting the hume pipes. Sir, we consider it a waste to replace those concrete works by these pipes where the roads have been constructed and already completed. So, we want to be clarified why the money which is meant for construction works has been spent on indent of these materials thereby blocking the road construction. With these few words, I move my motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Member who would like to participate.

*Shri. Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion moved by the hon. Member from Pariong on this particular indent of machineries and other materials by the Public Works Department. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out only a few facts relating to a particular Division of the Public Works Department and that is the Mechanical Division. The Mechanical Division of the Public Works Department is directly involved in purchase the disposal of machineries. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think every body knows about the affairs of the Mechanical Division of the Public Works Department, how they disposed of and how they indented materials for the Department. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will deal only with the disposal portion of the Mechanical Division. Sir, we know and perhaps the people of Meghalaya know the affairs of this particular Division of the Public Works Department of our State, how they disposed of materials and vehicles everybody knows. 

Mr. Speaker :- You said that everybody knows but at least I do not know, so would you kindly tell me about that affair. 

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for your information. I would like to inform, the people of Meghalaya through you, and the State as a whole that there are several machinery in this Mechanical Division which have been condemned and disposed of and you might have heard Sir, that inside the compound of this  particular Division of the Public Works Department there was a fight between the contractor and the purchasers of machineries and vehicles of this Division. At the time of disposal of some materials and machineries such as vehicles and stone-crushers, there was a violent fight in the compound of this particular Division here at Shillong and that affair, I think, everybody knows. Mr. Speaker, Sir, now why there was such a violent fighting inside the compound of this particular Division? You know Sir, for condemning  the vehicles or machinery there was a Committee but this Department along with the some other officers in violation of the Committee appointed under the Chairmanship of the Commissioner, set up their own Committee in the Divisions level and they have condemned these vehicles and machineries by the three Committees one at Mairang another at Nongpoh and the other at Shillong where they invited buyers for the disposal of machineries and vehicles, etc. Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, after they have formed the said committee for disposal of these machineries an materials, the amount of sale and the assets left out of these machineries, were removed by them to unknown destination and when the purchasers came after verification they found that about 22 to 25 parts of the vehicles or machineries have been removed I do not know the destination where all these parts from vehicles have been removed. So when these contractors or purchasers came for purchase of these machineries there was a quarrel and fighting took place in the compound of the Mechanical Division of the Public Works Department. I do not know why such things should have happened in the office compound where law and order is properly maintained. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there were many vehicles that have been condemned by the Committee under the chairmanship of the Superintending Engineer and under the Chairmanship of the S.D.O of this particular Department. It is surprising to know that the records and resolutions of that meeting are kept by the Executive Engineer of the particular Division and not by the Committee. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know how the Executive Engineer of the Mechanical Division can live a better life then any of us and I do not know also how he lives a majestic life with costly Scotch whisky every night. Therefore Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know how this particular officer of the Mechanical Division of the Public Works Department can live a better life than all of us.  

Shri Plansing Marak :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the hon. Member is a member of the Estimates Committee and I object to the disclosure of the secrets of the Estimates Committee here. 

Mr. Speaker :- The Estimates Committee was examining not only this thing but the hon. Member has also the right to speak inside the House but before he continues I will only advise him not to bring the name of a person although by implication the name of the officer seems to be known to him. So I would advise the hon. Member to take up the matter with some appropriate authorities where the officer concerned will have a chance to defend himself.  

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have mentioned only the post held by the said officer and not his name. 

Mr. Speaker :- But from the way you describe the majestic life with scotch whisky it appears that you know the person. 

Shri Dlosing Marak :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know that we are not allowed to speak in the House about all these things but it is a fact that if you go into the sad state of Affairs, I think everybody knows it and I request the Government, through you, to make an investigation to see whether the vehicles, machineries or spare parts are there or not. I think Sir, when we condemn any vehicles the spare parts of it should be there and it should be in a running condition. 

        So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appeal, through you, to the Government and especially to the Hon. Minister-in-charge of PWD who is a strong man to make an investigation and send the Police force immediately. I would also request the Government, through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to send a very strong audit party to see how the indents come and how they are disposed of and also to see how the spare parts of the vehicles and machineries are used. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will not talk much on this (Bell rang) But I want to bring only a few more points on indents. I think that the materials and machineries indented by this particular Division on behalf of the Government and different departments are new ones but they supply the spare parts from the old vehicles and machineries. That is why the vehicles could not run properly, not even to the estimated mileage, because the new spare parts supplied by the factories not used in those vehicles but instead the spare parts of the old and condemned vehicles are fitted. That is why Mr. Speaker, Sir, the expenditure, as Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh has stated, has increased every year to an unimaginary amount because there is no Purchase Committee. I believe that there should be a Purchase Committee to see that things should be purchased from the factories at the rates approved by the Government or the Government of India. But, Sir, it is only one man who purchases the bills and there is nothing to see after that. This is a public business and it is also a public matter and, therefore, it should be made known to the public and it should be studied or planned with the knowledge of the public o Meghalaya. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat. 

Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Members? May I ask the Minister-in-charge to reply?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah, (Minister, PWD etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must thank the mover of the motion for bringing out certain points for consideration of the House. Now the motion, as has been rightly pointed out by you, is regarding indents of machineries and other materials by the PWD. So I will try to confine my reply to the points raised in the context of the motion. The mover of the motion has brought home one fundamental point and, that is, the indent of materials and machineries particularly in the current year has been in such a way that the amount so spent has affected the payment  to the contractor and also not meeting the expenditure on road construction. Now, in the first place, I would like to mention that road construction in Meghalaya, particularly in the hilly, area, is not an easy operation. It is a highly complicated process for the simplest reason that the hilly terrain with the its steepness, gradients and drops and all that need special kind of skill and technique. Then again, we have the difficulty of rainfall which is quite a factor in the construction of roads. Then we have some other difficulties which in short, mean that construction of roads including bridges in Meghalaya is a highly expensive affair unlike in the plain areas. In view of this, there is need of an infrastructure for road construction which means, in effect, that any road construction in Meghalaya has to be strengthened by our having proper machineries and equipped with materials. It is in that context perhaps that it looks as if the PWD is holding a storing machineries and materials more than it requires. Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh had referred to the time when we took over from Assam, and we might have gone with the idea that we have in our stores a number of road rollers and other machineries like granulators and others. But the fact is that out of 53 numbers of road rollers which were handed over to us at the time of the formation of the State of Meghalaya as a full State, only 20 were in good condition. 33 were not in good condition. Out of 17 granulators, only 7 were in good condition. There, we had felt very strongly as a Department that we have to be adequately equipped with machineries like bulldozers, road rollers and others. So as a result of that thinking, right from 1972 the Department had made indents of road rollers etc. Only in 1972 we have indented 29 road rollers and then again in 1973, 30 numbers. It may be a surprised to the House to know that indenting machineries like road rollers is not an easy matter. You may indent today but you cannot expect to get it tomorrow or the day after. In some cases, it has taken two or more than two years to receive the machineries so indented. For instance, the road rollers indented in 1972, the 1st consignment reached us in February, 1975. So also with regard to other machineries like granulators, crusher and so on. Therefore there is need of prospective assessment on the need of machineries. However all the indents that we have placed earlier have started to come in 1974 and 1975 and I must inform the House that in the year 1972-73 when there was a discussion in the House about the inability of the Department to spend the money so allocated, we had found out that one of the main factors leading to that state of Affairs was the inadequate number of machineries and materials possessed by the Department. If I remember correctly, in that year, we under spent the amount. Since then we had been very serious to get adequate machineries. So, we are today, and today I must give the information to the House that tin the year 1975 we had indented only a few  road rollers and in February 1975 we had indented two numbers of bulldozers. And again with regard to some other machineries we had indented few of them as most of the orders were placed in 1972, 1973 and 1974.Therefore, the contention that we are trying to eat up the Plan money during the current year is not correct. Now, during the year in  question, i.e., 1974-75 the amount ear-marked under Roads & Bridges in a Plan sector is Rs.272 lakhs, on Tools & Plants Rs.19.50 lakhs and so on. The total amount comes to Rs.300 lakhs. Now in so far as indenting of the machineries is concerned, the amount of the expenditure is met under the Tools & Plants head. Regarding the other materials purchased like rods, steel, sheets and all that, the expenditure is met from the Suspense Account. Now if there is any consignment of materials sent to the Division then it is ear - marked to the construction of the road. Therefore, there is no question of spending the money on machineries at the cost of constructional works. This is not correct. The fact is that we do face certain problems now-not being able to meet the demands and the dues of the contractors. This is a fact. But this has come out mainly because of the working capacity of the Department. In earlier years we had difficulties because of inadequate holdings of stores like steel, cement and others, but of late, we have been able to strengthen our stores position to the extent that we are able to strengthen our stores position to the extent that we are able to take up any work and the tempo is very very fast. It is because of the tempo of constructional works that facing some problems. But again, in the current year we have been given on by Rs.3 crores in the plan sector although we had expected that we should be getting a higher allocation. Unfortunately, because of the financial constraint in the country which is affecting us, we are not in a position to spend more than we require. So this is the problem. With regard to the tempo of developmental work the capacity of the Department is the same if say the Personnel Positioning and also the absence of difficulty in getting the materials like cement, etc. But I can assure the mover of the motion that the Government is fully exercised with this question; and in fact, only a few weeks ago we had a meeting of all the Executive Engineers and the top engineers of the Department with a view to finding out ways and means on how to meet the problem of making the payment for dues to the contractors. I have given instructions to the Department and I do agree with Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh that the contractors who have got small works with small payment should be attended to as quickly as possible. This is being done. I think I have covered all the points. 

Shri Maham Singh :- Another point is regarding the purchase of hume pipes. 

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, PWD) :- Yes. Anybody who happens to travel between Shillong and Gauhati, I think, would testify to the fact that the road is now in a much better condition. I have been there myself only recently. It is fortunate that we have got those hume pipes which we have purchased at that time. I think the hume pipes are made of materials which are strong and durable and I must make a note here that they are far better than the other type of culverts that we used to have earlier. 

        That is technical opinion of the experts; of course, mine is that of a layman. The technical opinion is that the hume pipes are made of good material which can stand the stress and strain and, as such more durable. But we are also trying to see that they are properly used as early as possible, Since Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh has raised this point on the use of the hume pipes, I will certainly make it my personal effort to see that the hume pipes are utilised in the best way possible. 

        Now in so far as the point raised by another hon. Member, Mr. Dlosing Lyngdoh, regarding the work of the Mechanical Division is concerned, 

        [At this stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair].  

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Sir, it is a fact that some time back, while auctioning the condemned machineries and vehicles, there was some kind of disturbance because of the eagerness of the participants to compete as a result of which we had to stop the auction. The Government is now seriously thinking of substituting this form of disposal by, perhaps, calling for quotations. This is being looked into and I hope in a short while we will be able to take a decision. 

        Now, about the working of the Mechanical Division. In so far as the indent of motor parts or their shortage in the Division, I must tell the House that this matter had come up before me a few months ago and I must confess that we were not happy with the workings of some officers of the Division. 

        Now we have to look into the case thoroughly and it is because of this eagerness on our part to see that the Division is administered well and efficiently that inefficient and corrupt officers were taken to task. It is because of that two officers working under this Division had been initially suspended and later dismissed. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will see for that the Government is very keen to see to the working of the Division and for that matter the whole Department is put on gear which is smooth; well-oiled and be in a running condition. That is what we are doing. Now since the hon. Member Shri. Dlosing Lyngdoh, has brought another point for information of the House about some officer's majestic life, I would like to say that this question cannot be settled just at the moment. This is another nature of question which has come up before the House. As it is now, we do not have any such complaints of this nature. However, since this question has come up before the House, I think it calls for immediate attention an as such we will look into this matter and try to find out if there is any truth in it. So, I would like to assure Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh that we will examine and we will take appropriate action at the right time Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it appears that most of the points I have covered, but I must in passing say that I am very thankful to the hon. Members for bringing out these points before me and before the Department and this is our wish that this Department which is dealing with the such vital and important part of the administration should be run in a manner that will enthuse confidence in the minds of the people. With these words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Discussion is closed. Let us pass on to the next motion to be moved by Shri Rowell Lyngdoh. 

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss about the difficulties faced by the people of Maharam area due to absence of direct communications with the Subdivision Headquarters.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you may raise a discussion. 

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hope the discussion on this motion will by very brief as it concerns only a specific difficulty of the people of a particular area. Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of the House that since the creation of the Subdivision at Nongstoin, the people from Maharam area which constitutes nearly one-third of the whole area of the Subdivision and the population is nearly two-thirds, are facing much difficulty because of lack of communication to approach the Headquarters of the Sub-division. Sir, the area also has been represented by as many as five MLAs but if the people of that area i.e., Maharam area, want to come to the Headquarters of the Sub-division, they have to travel through another Sub-division, i.e., the Shillong Subdivision. Without passing through Shillong Sub-division they cannot approach their Sub divisional Headquarters, i.e., Nongstoin. Therefore, it has put the people of that area into great hardship and difficulties because when they go for any business connected wit the Government and for that matter with various offices of the Subdivision, they have to travel almost 200 miles or so if they want to come to Nongstoin. First they have to come to Shillong then to Nongstoin and back to their own places through Shillong. Therefore, Sir, we understand that there is a great handicap in road communication, of course we appreciate the Government that for some time they have started the work of road construction aiming at linking the Headquarters with those areas in question. But the progress of the work is too slow that I do not know how long it will take for the road to become motorable but the facts remain that the work has not been completed. Then Sir, there is one major bridge also which has to be constructed over the Kynshi river. Of course, when I say that the Department is too slow in constructing roads I would like to cite an example, i.e., the construction of Mawthawpdah Nongstoin road for which the Department has invited tenders and work orders issued since the period of 1974-75 for the portion from Rangblang to Nongkhlaw, but till to-day the work has not been started. It is more than one year, Sir, from the date of allotment of works but yet work has not been started and I do not know when the road will be opened to the people of the Subdivision. Therefore, Sir, the people are really placed in a very difficult position for any and every purpose, whether it is in connection with the offices of the Government or for the private purposes. Sir, under the Fifth Five Year Plan one road was proposed in the scheme which will link Mawkyrwat, which is the biggest centre in the eastern part of the Nongstoin Subdivision, direct with the Headquarters. But although the Fifth Five Year Plan is going to be over soon, nothing has been done for the construction of that road. Even survey has not been done and I do not know how long it will take to solve the problem of the people in the matter of communication. Therefore, I would remind the Government that when we think of bringing the administration nearer to the people  road communications should be provided to them so that they could be nearer to the administration. As it is now, Sir, it is farther away from the people rather than nearer. Sir, previously when Shillong was a Sub divisional Headquarters, ironically we find that the administrative was nearer to the people but now we find it is farther away which is contrary to the aims of the Government and the aspirations of the people. So, Sir, with these few words, I resume my seat. 

Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while discussing the motion, the Government side seems to be in the minority. I think they will not able to listen and reply. 

        (Voices : He is here. The Minister-in-charge is present to reply)

        In this regard, I would like to say a few words just to remind the Government on the need of road communication. The question raised by the hon. Member is to provide communication to the people of the south eastern side of Nongstoin  Subdivision, i.e., Maharam area. In fact, Sir, it is not only Maharam area, although here in the motion it is mentioned only about the difficulties faced by the people of Maharam area. This actually should include Langrin, Nobosohphoh and Mawiang, the then Khasi States which are included in the Nongstoin Subdivision. Sir, it is a matter of expediency and I know fully well that the Government is aware of this. The motion has been brought because of the urgency and of the need of the people for their day to day life, the need of road communication is very much felt for direct connection with the Subdivision Headquarters. So, Sir, as the mover of this motion has stated, there is another link to be made, if at all communication is to be made, between the southern side of the Subdivision, i.e., Maharam and the Sub divisional Headquarters of Nongstoin. This road has actually been under construction for at least five years or may be more. This road is only about 24 or 25 miles in length and for the last five years not even earth covering has been finished, not to talk of the huge bridge which is to be constructed as Kynshi river. If this road is completed, it will serve the purpose of linking the south-eastern side of the Subdivision with Headquarters of Nongstoin. While discussing this motion I want to impress upon the Government on the need of taking up this road on a top priority basis so that the problems of administration can also be solved. Sir, another link which will serve equally well is the one in Jakrem-Nongshilliang road from the northern side of Maharam and Mairang Syiemships. In fact, in the eastern side of the subdivision, they need this road to link the entire area with the headquarters of Nongstoin. This road was also constructed since the Fourth Five Year Plan under the erstwhile Government of Assam. As  it is now, only 10 or 11 miles of the road have been completed and another bridge over the river Kynshi was to be constructed. So far I have learnt that survey and estimates have already been done and there is no difficulty for the Government to start with the construction of the bridges. This bridge is very important and if it is not constructed then it will be difficult to carry on the work on the other side as materials for road construction have to be carried over this bridge. 

        (At this stage the Deputy Speaker left the Chamber and Shri H. Hadem, Chairman, occupied the Chair)

        Another link, Mr. Chairman, Sir, is a road which can link Langrin area with Nongstoin. I understand there is a proposal for such a road but so far nothing has been done about it. If there is such a road then the people will not face the difficulty of going from Rangblang to Nongstoin. But if this road is not constructed, then the people will have to go through Byrki then eastward to Rangblang and again turn westward to reach Nongstoin. So, if there is a  link from Wahkaji to Nongstoin up to a point called Domtraw near the side of the bridge on the Nongstoin-Rangblang road then it will serve the entire area of the south-eastern part of the subdivision with the sub divisional headquarters. 

        Government have stated that their policy is to bring the administration closer to the people. That is why the Nongstoin Subdivision was created. So, if the Subdivision fails to function properly due to lack of proper communication, then it is high time that communication should be improved. So, I urge upon Government to see that this road should be constructed and save the people of the inconvenience of first coming to Shillong and then again to Nongstoin. So, what is the use of having this subdivision when the administrative functions of the said Nongstoin subdivision are not fully implemented it utilised. For instance, Sir, the Deputy Inspector of Schools, Nongstoin has to come several times to Shillong to get the bills passed here in the Shillong Treasury for those Schools situated in  this south-east area. Because of these difficulties, of lack of adequate communication in the area, it is good that he himself straggled like that in order to help the people who are in need of his service. This obviously indicates the non-functioning of the Sub divisional Headquarters at Nongstoin. Therefore, Sir, I would impress upon the Government as rightly sated by the hon. Mover of this motion to connect the said links of Rangblang- Nongstoin - Nongshilliang - Jakrem, etc. Another proposal that I have is the immediate connection of the three other links from Wahkaji to Nongstoin to bring all these areas, most backward parts of the State closer to the administration. As you know Sir, Nongstoin Subdivision is one of the most backward areas in the State and only by the opening up of more communications we can bring the area closer to the administration in such a way as to speed up the developmental activities in the near future. Sir, these three links are very very essential and they need immediate attention of the Government. With these few words, Sir, I hope the Government, as they have already indicated their interest and as most of the Ministers used to visit Nongstoin in a group and talked about development they might have seen all these things with their own eyes. It is only a real attempt to implement what has cropped up in their minds and what they have seen. I hope in the next visit of our Ministers to Nongstoin, something will be done in this respect. 

Mr. Chairman :- May I now call upon the Minister-in-charge of PWD to reply?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister PWD) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, we are one with the hon. mover of this motion, Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh, to see that the difficulties faced by the people of Maharam due to absence of roads communication are removed. In fact, this has been one of the main corner-stones of the Government policy that there should not be any regional imbalance. We do not want any region to be backward while the other region is developed. We would like to see that this imbalance is removed. I quite agree with the members on the need that the administration should go closer to the people. It is because of this realisation that we have constituted the Nongstoin Subdivision and if the trend of thinking which exists today in the State is implemented, I am sure within a very short time the Subdivision may be upgraded. So it is clear that we are wanting to bring the administration closer to the people and in that context it is our policy that our road communication should be a bulk work of a policy to bring the people closer to the administration. I do not want to deal at length in this particular matter at this stage. I would only like to say that we are concerned with this and we appreciate very much the difficulties faced by the people in this particular area. It is a very important area no doubt, as already mentioned by the mover that five M.L.As are representing this area and it consists of one third of the area of the entire Nongstoin Subdivision. It is really very very important. Now, we have at present contemplated or rather are in the process of having road communication for the three separate links to connect Nongstoin with the most important centre of this area that is Mawkyrwat which is, as mentioned by the hon. Member, a thriving centre of development.  It could be a very important centre of economic development for that area. Naturally, Mawkyrwat is the key area.  From Mawkyrwat we would like to connect road communication to Nongstoin which is a Subdivisional Headquarter. At present, a road is being attempted to connect Mawkyrwat with Jakrem, Pariong , Nongshillong. Another one is from Mawkyrwat to Mawthappdah and Nongkhlaw via. Rangblang. Now, I will deal only with two facts. 

        As I have stated previously the construction of roads in that area has to be deferred on account of not having the materials enough to go ahead with road construction particularly, bridge works. Many times on the floor of the House mention has been made about roads without bridges and we were seized of this problem. Now, we have taken steps to get all the bridge materials what are called, built-up-girder units. So today, we are in a position to go ahead particularly when cement position is improving. How long it will improve, we do not know. Cement is the most important material which was lacking at that time. Looking at the present position of things, immediately, we thought of connecting Mawkyrwat and Nongstoin somehow it appears to me that at this stage it is pressing that the bridge over the river Kynshi on the Nongshillong Jakrem Road should be taken up immediately. In fact I can assure the members, realising myself about such need after visiting those areas I have already taken steps to see that tenders were called and comparative Statement made. In a few days time, we are issuing work orders for the construction of a bridge perhaps even within this Session's time because I would like you see that Mawkyrwat comes through and opens up to the Nongstoin Headquarters as early as possible. It is a very important area. I can also appreciate the problem faced by the people in not having road communication from Mawkyrwat to Nongstoin. There is a proposal to the construction from Mawthawpdah, Pambriew and Rangblang upto Nongkhlaw. There is a bridge to be constructed on this road and work order has been issued. We are taking up this matter seriously and we have provided all equipments necessary for the construction of the bridge and I think the work should speed up. In order to get these road communications through at the earliest I personally feel the need of immediate construction of Nongshillong-Jakrem Road via Pariong. This road  comprises of three sections with a total length of 20.4 KM. Two sections of 10 KM are nearing completion and work on the third section, I think, should have been taken up by now. So far as the other road mentioned with specific pointed ness by the member on the construction of Nongstoin-Mawthawpdah road. Of course, we have certain problem. The proposed road is 25 KM. out which 5 KM of the road has been taken up and work orders for the execution on this stretch have already been issued. So far as the remaining length is concerned, I have instructed the department to take up survey work. So you can see now that the plan is to connect Nongstoin Sub-divisional Headquarters with Mawkyrwat area. 

        The other suggestion made by Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh about connecting Phlangdiloin up to Langrin via Wahkaji, I may inform the House that we are seized of this matter and there is already a proposal which we are examining. I can assure the hon. Member that we will leave no stone unturned to see that this area which is economically backward should get the facilities by road connection. Of course, there is now difficulty in getting finance which is also in a very bad way throughout the country because as you know Mr. Chairman, Sir, the country is passing through a certain crisis on financial front leading to inflation and therefore serious steps were taken to constrain the expenditure, as a result of which there are difficulties in so far as fund are concerned. But even then, areas like this one, which have definitely been under unfavorable situation would be looked into and we would like to remove all the unfavorable conditions as early as possible. It is our wish that this area should be opened as early possible. It is our wish that this area should be opened up as early as possible. With these words, I resume my seat. 

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- May I seek one clarification from the Minister, Mr. Chairman. Sir, as to whether the Department has any proposal of joining Maheshkhola area, of even having a link from Maheshkhola area up to Nongstoin Sub-divisional Headquarters through Nongkulang, Mawsaring and Maweit towards Nongstoin?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, PWD) :- I have already mentioned that there is a proposal and now we are examining it. 

Mr. Chairman :- Now we come to the next motion. I call upon Shri Joshi to move his motion. I give him 30 minutes. 

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that this Assembly do now discuss about the need of bringing the civil area within Shillong Cantonment under the Civil Administration of the State of Meghalaya. 

Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved. You may discuss now. 

*Shri D. N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, if I remember a right, I had move down the floor of the Assembly when we were in the other building about the desirability of bringing the area of Cantonment which is inhabited by the civil population and which is known as the bazar area under the Civil Administration of the Government of Meghalaya. I remember and I do believe that all the Members here also remember that the Leader of the House had assured us that he would take up the matter with the Government of India in the Ministry of Defence to see that the said area is brought under the Civil Administration of the Government of Meghalaya as soon as possible. But long 2 years have elapsed we have heard nothing about the progress made so far in this particular aspect. Sir, we all know that Shillong Cantonment was part and parcel of the town of Shillong. The area is quite contagious to the city of Greater Shillong and we all want to see that the Government is trying to develop and beautify Shillong town, though in their own way, they could do better. One part of  Shillong which falls within Municipality has been developed since it is under the Government Civil Administration but the other part remains yet undeveloped. The development is not simultaneous but the progress of development is seen  only in the Municipality area. The other day I had the occasion to listen to the speech of the Deputy Minister for Defence who said that part of the Shillong Cantonment is inhabited by civil population which is known as barabazar area and it falls within the lowest category of cantonment bazar, I learn that there are categories in the Cantonment like A, B, C and D areas and the Shillong Bazar Cantonment area happens to fall under the lowest category. Therefore, the fund earmarked for the development of these areas which fall under the lowest category is very low or so meagre and with that meagre amount, the progress of development in the said area cannot be expected. So with that situation we cannot expect to have that tempo of development as we are having under the civil areas of Shillong Municipality. I feel that the whole city of Shillong with be much developed so that it will be in keeping with  that of Municipality when that area is already brought under the civil administration of the Government of Meghalaya. Sir, when Shillong Cantonment area was formed, I was told that part of cantonment was outside the main town of Shillong and in between there was jungle which did not form the integral part of the town of Shillong, but with the passage of time and with the extension of Shillong, it became, in course of time, part and parcel of Shillong town. Sir, in that part of the town there is misdistribution of water although water is in abundance. It is only because the administration there paid scanty attention to the area in which there is civil population. The roads and drains there are in a very bad shape. We have a plan to develop Shillong in such a way that in course of time it becomes one of the most attractive cities of the country which will attract tourist from all parts of the country. But when this area remains in the hands of the Defence Authorities and with this slow progress of development, our dream and expectation. I am sure, will not come true. It would be something like on part of the check leaving like that without any beautification. 

        The Government of Meghalaya have to extend hands for running schools there. I think there are two or three schools which are getting grants from the Government of Meghalaya. There are L. P. Schools, M. E. School and there is a college also which is situated in the cantonment area and the Government of Meghalaya has to look to the financial side for the educational and developmental purposes of that area. But the area has remained undeveloped beyond our expectation. 

        Here in Shillong we had a discussion with the civil administration for having a good stadium and our Government, times without number, approached the Defence Authorities for making over the Garrison Ground to the Government of Meghalaya in order to bring it under civil authorities so that our State Government could develop a stadium there. Though the Garrison Ground happens to fall within the very heart of the town, nothing tangible has come out yet. 

        Mr. Chairman Sir, there are public latrines spread in that area and they have become a source of nuisance to the public passing by that area. Sir, while passing through the road where the latrines happen to be situated, the people, whether of the city or town or from outside, will have to face obnoxious smell coming out from those latrines and this should not have been there. Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is only because no attention has been paid for the civic amenities for the people living there and for the beautifying aspect  of the town in the area by the authorities that be. Therefore Mr. Chairman, Sir, I feel that it would be in the fitness of things and would be in keeping with the development works taken up in other parts of the town, if that particular area also comes under the civil administration. Then only those people living in the area would get the same privileges and facilities of having their area developed by the State Government in a phased and systematic way. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the cantonment area is meant  for our Defence Department and we do not dispute with their area-whether it is a small cantonment or a big cantonment, specially in the border areas. Mr. Chairman, Sir, our State happens to be a border State and we want that certain sections of our people should get all facilities in training, recreation and also which area. I do not mind, being in their possession. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, the areas which do not serve the purpose of the defence needs which are being inhabited by civil population, should not remain without any department. They should go to the civil authority.

        Mr. Chairman, Sir, now a few years back, I know the Defence Department had acquired a large portion of land in the Bhoi Area in order to have a very big cantonment area and nearly 3100 acres of land had been acquired and through the reliable sources I came to know that the people residing in that particular area had to leave the place. But up till now that cantonment has not come up. Mr. Chairman, Sir, if the Defence Department or the Cantonment Authorities want to have a better cantonment area, they should hand over those portions of the area inhabited by the civil population of Shillong to the State Government so that they can have a planned development of the area and we can have a better Shillong and we can live a better life and can attract more tourists to augment our poor State exchequer. With these few words. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I conclude my speech.

*Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I wonder whether we can be as eloquent and factual as the hon. Member from Cantonment has been, in describing the actual condition of this particular part of the land which is situated in the Shillong town itself. But, Mr. Chairman Sir, I feel that there is one particular point which I would like to bring out and it is this that the need of the present day to acquire land is so acute in Shillong, that the people have even gone of the extent of acquiring land for the construction of their own residential buildings, to the extent of constructing their houses near cemeteries and drains and even near the cremation ground. Sir, all these have happened just because there is short supply of land in the Shillong town. Those who can afford to but land at higher rates, can very well get the land within the town area itself. But the majority of the people who cannot afford higher rates for purchase of land, will have to go very far from Shillong town. So, from this we can understand this need of land to the people. But the peculiarity of the situation is that most of the land is lying unused or fallow in the Shillong town, within the cantonment jurisdiction and if the Defence Department actually needed it, we should not grudge against it. Of course, there are many areas which are used by the Defence Deptt. of the Central Government. There are also civilian houses in many places in Paltan Bazar, Bara Bazar and Jhalupara cantonment areas and we will find that Cantonment area is in name only and in fact, it is a commercial centre and not for the small traders also because they cannot compete. They have no chance. I have heard that certain persons who would like to have some stalls in this area, not could get necessary and requisite permission because they have to apply right up to Delhi and they have no long strings to do so. But certain interested persons can easily acquire these places as will be evident. We see not certain banks, certain big shops have sprung up and these buildings do not belong to the Defence Department and they belong to certain persons. How come these people have got acquire these things. This is the tragedy of the situation. I, therefore strongly urge upon the Government to kindly look into this matter and to have some sort of dialogue and understanding or arrangement with the Central Government so that part of this unused land may be transferred to the civil authorities so that the population problem, the housing problem in Shillong town may eased a little bit. With these few words Sir, I conclude my speech.

Shri H. Enowell Pohshna :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, in support of the motion moved by my hon. friend, I will cite only one instance to show that vacant land under Cantonment area is not used for the purpose of cantonment. As a man who used to frequent Shillong State Transport Station which is in the cantonment area, I have seen two or three buildings have been constructed not for military purposes but for some other purposes. In spite of the fact that Government want to preserve these precious places and beauty spots there, the springing up of these buildings has marred the beauty of these places. That is the only instance I want to cite although there are many instances. This is one of the central places in which all people frequent, including passengers coming from Garo Hills, Nongstoin and from Jaintia Hills. It is inside the Cantonment area but although this area is meant for the Cantonment, it has been used for business purposes and therefore I support the suggestion that the area be places under civil administration. 

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, with only a few words, I would like to associate myself in the discussion of this motion before the House, on the question of bringing the Shillong Cantonment area to the Civil Administration. Sir, considering the growth of civil population in Shillong town at the present juncture, as some hon. members have stated, there is an urgent need to bring this area under the civil authorities although it is under the control of the military authorities but has been used by the civil population for business and other purposes. Sir, the presence of these stalls and buildings there is an eye-sore to the public. Although initially, this area is taken for military installations or for some other defence purposes, but we find that certain people have been allowed to have their stalls this way or that way in the cantonment area. So this is the question which needs clarification as to how this has been allowed to the public as the hon. Member from Nongtalang has just now stated. They have made it a trading area making the place very unhygienic and uncivilised. At the same time, Sir, a question has to be considered for bringing that part of the cantonment area to the civil administration because nobody can deny the fact that the place as proposed in the motion to be transferred to the civil administration is really a place which has its natural beauty preserved since a long time past. If at all this area can be brought under the civil administration and made it a commercial and residential place, I think there will be a great impact on the cleanliness and beauty of Shillong as well as on the health and sanitation of the proposed population that may be kept there. But as it is at present, Sir, some of the areas around European Ward or around NEFA Secretariat or an area adjacent to the Civil Hospital where there is the old Garrison Cinema up to the Lady Keane College are being kept in tact with their natural beauty worthy of the name of Shillong with the pine trees all around the forest. The presence of these forests and pine trees prevent the air from being polluted and will add also to water preservation and so on. So this aspect also has to be considered, if at all the purpose of handing over this area to the civil administration materialises. There should be a proper plan to take this area in order to avoid any misunderstanding and also misadministration that has been going on there. For instance, the question of improving a portion of the road known as the Shillong-Dawki Road from Anjali Cinema to petrol pump a question of only a few yards was prevented by the military authorities. This has caused a lot of disturbances and inconveniences to the traffic and pedestrians over that area. But later on that has been settled and now that road has been improved. But considering Sir, the need of beautifying the town of Shillong which has also been mentioned by the hon. Member in this motion it is very very necessary to include it within the Civil Administration. Because normally thee place of military installations or cantonment should be away from the public places or from the residential area because it creates many misunderstanding and clashes with the civil population. In fact the main road should be away from the residential areas because the people from the rest of the entire western part and southern part of the country if they want to go to Gauhati and Jowai, they have to come to Shillong and they have to cross this area and I think clashes will be there. In all matters of administration also the concerned people find difficulty. So, Sir, I am of the opinion that this area should be handed over to the Civil Administration but with proper care and attention and if at all this area is taken a proper plan must be there and the areas should not be just taken over like that, as otherwise, slums will be created and this will spoil the beauty of Shillong and the surroundings areas and it will not serve the necessity and interest of the people as moved here by the hon. Member. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat. 

Mr. Chairman :- Mr. Mylliemngap. 

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, thank you for the chance you have given me and I express my thanks also to the hon. Member who has brought this motion and I would like to associate myself in the discussion of this motion. As you know, Sir, since the inception of our new Government, the Government is very eager to develop, improve and beautify Shillong as a hill station. But because of the cantonment area in and around Shillong on the east and south west the Government is finding lot of difficulties in every direction and there is very little scope of expansion and development because of this cantonment area. And as you know Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are lots of roads and bridges in Shillong itself which are very much neglected and the Civil Administration cannot do anything in this respect as the control and management of the said roads are with the Military Board. And, the Civil Administration also is facing difficulties in planning to beautify Shillong because on one side of the road is a civil area and the other side of the road is within the cantonment area and if they plan they can plan on one side of the road only but not on the other side of the road because they have no say on it. And as a consequence there may be proper drainage on one side of the road and there may be good buildings duly authorised for their construction but on the other side of the road they cannot do any improvement as the civil control and management is with the military. As you know, Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are lots of demands for the recreational activities of young people in this town for example, we have been demanding for a stadium and the fact which, up till now the Government cannot have a stadium for the recreational activities of young people in the town is for want of land. I know that there has been lot of negotiations, there has been lot of correspondence and other efforts from the Government side at least to get some lands from the military authorities for having a stadium but the military people will never yield and they will never agree to the request of the civil population. Besides that, Mr. Chairman, Sir, even the bus station for which actually, we should be thankful to the military authorities for allowing the State Government to have the State Transport Station within their compound, but that won't solve the problem and the need of the passengers, as they do not allow even to have a shelter t protect the passengers from rain and sun as without which they have to wait for the buses in the open air because they do not allow the civil authority to build waiting sheds, as it is stated, and the passengers have to wait and stand in the open in the sun and in the rain and there are, as you  know, Mr. Chairman, Sir, lots of passengers who are sick and weak and if they do not have a place even to rest. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I feel that as it is now, the expansion of Shillong is very much required and the civil population is on the increase day by day. We feel that we should request the military authorities to give some of the adjacent areas to the Civil Administration so that there will be scope for expansion and development of this lovely town of ours. With these few words, I conclude. 

Mr. Chairman :- May I call upon the Minister, Revenue to reply. 

Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, we do appreciate the interest shown by all the Members of its House on this question. So far as this is concerned, it is only two years back as the mover mentioned about the Chief Minister's statement on this matter, but in fact as some of the hon. members here may be aware that as far bay as 1954-55 when the then Home Minister Pandit Pant visited Shillong, this matter has been discussed by the Hill Leaders for alternative arrangement for the Cantonment Area in view of the fact that at present the Cantonment Area is right at the centre of the town s mentioned by the hon. Member from Sohryngkham and in the south, east and west of the town beginning right from in front of the Assembly only fifty yards away upto 7 miles in the south, about 3-5 miles in the east and then again right to Barabazar biggest bazar of the State and forming part of the biggest shopping centre of Police-Bazar. It is really at present a very difficult position. We do not know what was the situation hundred years ago when the Cantonment was established in this town. But actually today, as all the hon. Members have mentioned, it is a very very difficult position. This question was taken up and had been taken up from time to time with the Home Minister, the Defence Minister and the Army authority and so on and so forth. But we also should have to appreciate the difficulties on that side. In any case, so far as this motion is concerned, it is to bring the civil area of the Cantonment area within the Shillong civil administration of the State. I do not know what the hon. Member meant- in what form the civil administration should be because as it is at present the law and order is being maintained by the State Government in that area. Then again, supplies also are being dealt by the State Government in that area. It is only for the civic matters they have got their own arrangement i.e. the Cantonment Board. However, the hon. Member did mention about disparity between the development of the Cantonment area and the Municipal areas. The hon. Members may say how the relative difference of developmental amenities within the Shillong Municipality compares to the Cantonment areas. As far as the matter is concerned, it is perhaps natural that when the administration of certain area is very far away, they are bound to be slow and that perhaps, it would have been getting better attention for development works if it is within the local administration of the Municipality or the State Government. In any case, I do appreciate and agree with the opinion expressed by almost all the hon. members about the anomalies, about the difficulties of the situation. We will be pursing this matter with the authorities concerned to see how we can adjust each other's needs, the needs of the Cantonment for defence purposes and the needs also of the civil population and the civil administration of the State. Since there is no different opinion on this, I do not want to take much time except that we appreciate much about the difficulties of the situation obtaining and we would take up the matter for having alternative arrangement for the convenience of all persons and Defence purposes as well as the needs of the civil population. 

Shri D. N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, will the Minister-in-charge of Revenue be pleased to apprise the House of the progress made in the matter of having a Stadium in Shillong at Garrison Ground. I believe the Government has taken up this matter with the Defence authorities. 

Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, well the matter was taken up by the Shillong Sports Association and the Association approached the Government and the Government together with the Association did approach the Central Government and the authorities concerned and again this matter is not a new one, it was taken up right from before the creation of the State. About the progress I do not know but we do have certain appreciation from the authorities of the Garrison Ground. 

Shri D. N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, another matter, I was given to understand that the Cantonment authorities have approached the State Government for providing fund for undertaking works like road construction and I believe the Government of Meghalaya or through the agency of the Government of Meghalaya certain roads have been taken up for construction. Now will this Government propose to take over these roads in Bara Bazar like the Lukier Road for the development of other places in Shillong?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, PWD) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, whatever we had, we have to adjust the situation. The situation as pointed out by the Minister for Revenue, is anomalous but despite the difficult anomalies of the situation, we have been trying to adjust so far the need of the Shillong town and the general public, as pointed out by the hon. member from the Cantonment area. Sir, it is a fact that Lukier Road has been taken over by the Government after having consultation with the Cantonment Board and the Military Authorities. I remember right from the time I was in the Municipality, it was very difficult to get any work done within the cantonment area but of late there has been certain appreciation from the other side. This is also a fact and perhaps with this kind of adjustment till such time when the whole situation is solved, we can do something about it. I would like to add that with regard to the question to the question of Garrison Ground, the Government had pursued the matter very vigorously. In fact, last time when I was in Delhi, I took up the matter personally with the Defence Minister. There was a lot of  appreciation on the need that we should have stadium. But, of course, they do have difficulties from the defence point of view. But even then the situation today is not as bad as it used to be. 

Shri W. Syiemiong :- So we can be quite optimistic. 

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, PWD) :- We are not very optimistic but we are open to optimistic (Laughter) With these words Sit, I resume my seat. 

Mr. Chairman :- So discussion on motion number 5 is closed. Let us take up motion No.6 by Mr. Pohshna and possibly this is a policy matter. It is not necessary that time should be fixed.

(Voices.................. Yes, no time should be fixed)

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, may I raise a point of order. I think we cannot fix the time for discussion but we can prescribe a time limit for the speeches. According to Rule 131 (6), the Speaker may, if he thinks fit, prescribe a time limit that for the speeches. But not time limit has been fixed. 

Mr. Chairman :- There is no specific rule by which the Speaker cannot fix the limit for a particular subject and I would request the hon. member who raised the point of order to kindly confine himself to a particular rule which bars the Speaker for fixing the time. Under Rule 315, the Speaker has already fixed this morning 30 minutes for one motion and so this remains unless another rule is substituted. 

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, if I understand him, the time limit is fixed for the discussion and not for the motion. 

Mr. Chairman :- It had already been fixed. This is a small and compact motion and only 30 minutes have been allotted for the disposal of the motion itself. Since there is no specific rule pointing out that the Speaker cannot fix the time limit for the disposal of a particular matter and that this comes under Rule 315, let us now come to motion No. 6. 

Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, since the motion has been listed in the list of business the Speaker the other day said that a time limit can be fixed for each member who will participated in view of the number of motions already admitted during the session of the Assembly. Now to say that no time limit can be fixed for this particular motion, I think it is very unfair. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I think it would be better for the hon. members to discuss this. 

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, according to the rules, may I refer again to Rule 315, which reads "all questions not specifically provided for in these rules and all questions relating to the detailed working of these rules shall be regulated in such a manner as the Speaker may from time to time, direct" Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, all questions not specifically provided for in these rules shall be regulated by the Speaker but not so with regard to motions. While we have got chapter 16 which deals with matters relating to  motions, there it has been specifically mentioned that no time limit for the discussion is fixed. But then only a time limit for speeches is prescribed that is, if the Speaker thinks fit and, therefore, Mr. Chairman Sir, this has been specifically provided for in the rules. Therefore, this Rule 315 does not apply at all for a thing which has been specifically mentioned in the rules itself. 

Mr. Chairman :- There are no two opinions about that.  The Speaker can fix the time limit  for speeches. But there is no specific rule that bars the Speaker to fix the time limit to dispose of one particular motion. Moreover in a particular rule relating to Business Advisory Committee, it is clearly stated that the Committee would recommend the time limit for each and every item and that has not been brought out by the Business Advisory Committee and as such, it is upto the Speaker to rearrange the thing and as the Speaker has already ruled, I think it will not look wise on our part to challenge the ruling of the Speaker. 

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am not challenging but I would agree to fix the time. But then on a point of property, I would like to say that if you fix the time limit by half an hour for the entire subject and supposing there are 60 or 40 members who would like to take part, would it be proper and is it a common sense that each one would be able to speak for 2 minutes or 1 minutes. We are not questioning your right to fix the time limit for the speeches and not for the subject. 

Mr. Chairman :- That will be discussed later on. But at the same time, we cannot go over what has been ruled out in the same session. Actually it would be better for any hon. Members who want to participate in a particular motion to give their names in advance. It is not a failure on the part of the Speaker but it is a failure on the part of the members themselves and this has been clearly stated in the rules. Let us not waste time but let us come direct to the business in hand. Now Mr. Pohshna. 

Shri H. E. Pohshna :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that "this Assembly do now discuss the various steps undertaken by the State Government in the implementation of the 20-Point Economic Programme announced by the Prime Minister of India". 

Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved. 

Shri H. E. Pohshna :- Sir, in this motion though there are various steps in the Programme, which is a very very big programme, yet I will confine my discussion only within the few steps taken by the State Government. I am really very grateful to the State Government for the prompt action and also for the prompt decision, specially of our Chief Minister, who had made an immediate declaration of his co-operation with the programme and has proved that our State Government is not behind actually they are in the fore-front-in expressing their co-operation for implementation of the 20-Point Programme. On the other hand, we cannot deny the fact that in spite of the seriousness of the State Government to implement the Programme our State is a new State Government and that the people are backward especially in the village to understand the importance of the programme. I would like to say that the people in the rural areas do not actually know what is this Economic Programme, in the implementation of the Economic Programme, our State Government and the Government of India have put great stress on the price front and on the supply of essential commodities at lower rates and therefore, the people have understood that this coming down of prices is all due to the Economic Programme.      

        As far the Supply Department is concerned, I must say that they have been serious in implementing this programme and the Price of essential commodities, especially the food-stuffs has much gone down. This has become a great help to the economy of the people. Even then, in my opinion, something should be done so that our State will be safeguarded in future from shortage of food-stuff. This is a thing for which we should be prepared. I do not know much about centres or whole-sale centres in all the Districts of the State. But in so far as Jaintia Hills is concerned I find that the concentration of wholesale centres is only in the town or in the District headquarters while the people in the villages especially in the border areas have to go all the way to Jowai to get their rice through their dealers. Moreover, we cannot deny the fact that, as has already been stated earlier, our State is not properly equipped with good communication. During the monsoon season, if there is no stock of rice in the village, especially in the important road heads, the people would suffer if there is road blockade or natural calamities effecting  communication and so I would request the Government to take necessary steps to see that the supply of food stuff is done effectively and for the whole year. Further so long as they are centered in the towns like Shillong, Tura and Jowai, the temptation is there that the people would do something else instead of sending the food-stuff to the proper places. Any way, so far as the food-stuff is concerned I agree that much has been done for the people but regarding the other essential commodities like C.I. sheets, iron rods and others, something should be done so that the people in the villages can get them. On the other hand, Sir, how this supply of food-stuff has been distributed? The Government of India scheme is that it should be streamlined through co-operatives. There is no doubt that the Co-operatives are not functioning properly due to bad management, corruption etc. But since it is the Government's policy that this is the only channel through which the consumers will derive their essential commodities, I suggest that Government will insist in doing the distribution through co-operative consumer's store.  

        From the point of view of agriculture, water and power are very very important for the setting up of agriculture industries and lift irrigation. But though there are many scheme on agriculture, not much has been found with regard to irrigation in the State. Especially in the case of lift irrigation which requires power. The work of the Electricity Board in the rural areas is very very poor. Even if the people want to start industries or go for lift irrigation there is no chance for them because of lack of electricity in the rural areas. Therefore, along with the scheme of the Government for provision of irrigation facilities to the people, rural electrification should be done in a way that will really deserve and fit in with the name of "Emergency" period. Before the proclamation of the Emergency, rural electrification has already been started in many places but after proclamation of emergency it appears that there is no work at all, as if it has been stopped. I am glad to know that the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture and the Agriculture Department have opened some irrigation projects in some of the border areas but unless we get this rural electrification implemented early, I doubt that the schemes can be expedited. 

        Again, Sir, there has been mention in the programme about providing house site for the poor people. This is very very important. The success of the programme, as has been stated before, is to see that the poor are benefited, the homeless people to be provided with shelter, the hungry people to be fed, the unemployed to be provided with jobs and the low-paid people to be provided with responsible wages. Even for the Government employees it is very difficult to maintain their own families with a small pay. In the towns, it is a well known fact that there are many people who require houses for shelter. What Government will provide for their shelter? I won't take much time; rather while moving this motion my whole intention is not to discus much but to get more clarification from the Government about the various steps so far taken to see that the programme is a success in the State. Therefore, Sir, before taking my seat, I would request the Government to give us some clarification about the implementation of the schemes and steps so far are taken so that our people are really benefited by this programme. I have read in the gazette that Co-ordination Committees have been formed for the three districts if the State. It is really very very good if our people of the districts participate but uptil now we have not heard any public meeting or any meeting where the Co-ordination Committees would come and clarify, interpret or explain to the people about this programme. Therefore, I would request the Government to see that these Committees function properly so that our people especially in the village will be enlightened about the programme. It will not be out of place to mention that the programme is a difficult one that even the high officials are in the dark to understand its various implications. To cite an instance in my district whenever someone asks for permission to popularise this 20-point programme, the DC, Jowai with much hesitation gives permission. If application is made one week ahead, the permission will be granted very late and by such action of the officers, the importance of the programme and its implementation appear less important to the people. Our chief Minister knows how much was the burden to popularise the demand for Statehood and how much it is difficult to get the co-operation of the people unless you make proper publicity of any programme. Today we are very very grateful that we are allowed to discussed this 20-point programme and I would request our Chief Minister and other Minister to explain to us as to what steps have been so far taken by the Government in the implementation of the programme and I take this opportunity through this motion to seek clarification from the Government about the steps taken so far and also what future steps are going to be taken in the implementation of the Programme.    

(At this stage the Deputy Speaker occupy the Chair)

*Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very much thankful to the mover of this motion. But I shall be failing in my duty if I do not thank the Government for the farsightedness shown by supporting  the 20 point economic/programme enunciated by the Prime Minister, though I have no chance to know anything from inside  the Government, i.e., about the working of the Government on the implementation of the 20 Point economic programme because I am not a member of any of the committee. Just before my coming to the House I was told by one of my friends that he came to know that the Chief Minister loves me very much. I simply replied  that there was no reason why the Chief Minister should not love me. 

(A voices - who loves you?)

        I said Chief Minister

Shri. W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Why I should fall in love with you ?

Shri S. N. Koch :- On my enquiry of why this question of loving and not loving he said because it is told whenever I speak Chief Minister also speaks; whenever I stand to speak anything he also stands. This automatic magnetic coincidence on the floor of the Assembly shows somewhat peculiar attachment of Chief Minister towards you, he said. In turn I said I have great respect for the Chief Minister and probably for that reason the Chief Minister also loves me and respects me or probably he loves me and respects me because I also come from Garo Hills District from which the Chief Minister comes. Now as I said that I have no chance to know anything about the working of the Government from inside because in token of his love towards  me who also knows me to be an ailing man has not appointed me in any committee to save one from the troubles of coming to Shillong all the way from Tura to attend committee meetings. I have to depend on the news-papers report. I feel very much enthused whoever I find in the news-paper that the Government of Meghalaya under the dynamic leadership of Captain Sangma, our Chief Minister, said anything in support of what Prime Minister did. In matters of extending support to the Prime Minister, I can say and I am proud to say that when even the Congress Chief Ministers of other States have not spoken anything about 20-point programme or about this emergency, our Chief Minister has spoken supporting this 20-point economic programme and emergency. It appears from the above fact that he is always behind our Prime Minister and I believe our Chief Minister will leave no stone unturned to change the face of this State by implementing the 20-point economic programme. This 20 - point programme, as has been enunciated by our Prime Minister, may not be very much relevant for other States but I feel it is relevant very much to our State. Because our State is not only new but also we had to start from the scratch. But I am sorry to say although we hear that our Government is behind the Prime Minister in implementing the 20 point economic programme, so far I know from the news-papers, daily or weekly, which I used to read, practically nothing has been achieved till today. As a public representative I am to meet the people and make tours occasionally and from my personal knowledge and report from the public the statements run contradictory to the reality in respect of implementation of the 20-point economic programme. For example the implementation of programme on agriculture. Since ours is a State the economy of which is based on agriculture; ours is a State in which 90 percent people depend on agriculture and if we want to prosper our State we shall have to pay maximum stress on agriculture but nothing is done to boost up agricultural production under the 20-point economic programme. Of course I do not say that the Minister-in-charge programme of Agriculture should go to the fields personally and plough the land. But there are certain Government machineries through which the Government should boost up the production. And that can be possible only through proper irrigation facilities. In Garo Hills, the entire belt starting from Kharkutta up to Baghmara border is full of agricultural fields but production not be augmented for lack of proper irrigation system. Now we are passing through the second half of the twentieth century and when people have reached the moon and now are trying to go to mars, we are still after a pair of bullocks. This fact alone is sufficient to gauge the backwardness of our State in the field of agriculture which calls for vigour drive to implement the 20-pooint programme, for achieving the minimum target in the agricultural production front, such as scientific method of cultivation. Many of our agriculturists and even M.L.As have never seen a power tiller which  is one of the needs of the time to improve agriculture. But nothing has been done to improve the condition and we are not only after a pair of bullocks but also we are completely left at the mercy of the nature. During this year 1975, there was very little rain that was insufficient to cater to the need of the agricultural fields. And this 20-point programme was enunciated long part in July 1975, which is the peak period for sali or wet cultivation. Having seen that acres and acres of land are lying fallow for want of water I have written to the Chief Minister, to the Deputy Commissioner, to the District Agricultural Officer but there was no response. The response I got from the District Agricultural Officer on repeated pressure was that there was no workable power-pump as all lying out of order, no fund and no mechanics to repair them converting the Agriculture Office and the Block Headquarters as museums of idle power-pumps, tractors etc., lying here and there and some operators are being paid. It may not be a handsome salary, but anyway we are passing the budget and their salaries are being paid for rendering useful service but they are not doing so because the power pumps are out of order. The lands are lying fallow and the cultivators could not cultivate and the result is that they could not raise any crops. Our Prime Minister, I do not know, whether she is aware of these problems of our State or not but in any case she has given us the 20-point programme which programme if implemented in right earnest will harvest a rich dividend. This programme was enunciated some time back in the month of July 1975, as I stated earlier, and this is a peak period of Sali Cultivation i.e., wet cultivation. Our Ministers and Officers knew it very well that during this period there was no rain or very little rain and that is why it was the appropriate time for taking adequate measures to help the agriculturist under the 20-point economic programme. I used to read the daily papers and there are daily news in the Assam Tribune that the Government of Meghalaya is going to implement the 20-point economic programme. But I looked to the field and the people only to be disappointed that nothing was done as being published in the Press and hand-outs. There are criticism against the Government in the papers and even in the western papers that the Government of India is a paper Government because more are written in the paper doing little or without doing anything at all. Our Government also issues statement in the papers on what is being done, but in the field there is nothing to be found. Let me cite an example. Once a Union Deputy Minister, I forgot his name, came to Goalpara. He is the Minister of Community Development. He came to Goalpara. At that time I was studying in the BA Class. When he came to Goalpara, the Sub-divisional Agricultural Officer, Goalpara submitted a statement with regard to pit manure. But the area of compost manure shown in the statement of the Officer is so much so that it becomes more than the area of the Goalpara sub-division. Such was the report of the Agricultural Officer. He has not even taken the trouble to know the area of Goalpara and also the compost pit manure of his report. This happened some time in 1962.  

        Then there is another point and that is the observance of economy. What is the economy of our Government? It is seen that the Government used to issue circulates emphasizing strict economy and the same circular is issued again and again by the higher officers to the subordinate officers such as by the Secretary, then by the Directorate then by the District Officers and so on an so forth. As a result one Officer used to receive about ten copies of the same circular at the cost of huge drain o public money, labour, etc, in the name of economy. Such are the instances. 

Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- If I may be permitted Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to intervene. Right from the beginning of the discussion on the subject, the Chairman had made a statement that this subject is very very wide and important and he has not fixed the time limit for discussing this motion. The mover of the motion himself has really given the right approach and the right spirit in discussing this very important subject, an important programme of the country and of our State. But if the hon. Member persist sin asking for details queries on matters of administration which really do not concern him, then the spirit of the motion and also the importance of the subject is lost. Through you, Sir, I would like to impress upon the hon. Member to take up on the lines of what the mover of the motion has moved and discussed it in the right spirit for the betterment of the State and understanding of the problems in order to achieve the object of the programme.

Shri. S.N. Koch :- Thank you Anyway, what I want to say is about the economy which is in the 20 - Point economic programme. I am sure I have not seen any irrigation project taken up by the Agriculture Department. But I do hope that in the coming days the Government will take one or two projects. Why I am speaking like this.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Order, order. Mr. Koch, what is your suggestion with regard to the question of implementation of the 20, point programme in order to improve the economic condition of our people. Instead of speaking in a round about way, you should suggest something concrete in order to give some indication to the Government.

Shri. E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member has not been inside the administration himself. If he really reads the papers as he claimed to do, then he will know what steps the Government has taken for irrigation schemes. Even now we are asking for tenders for one hundred wells in Garo Hills. He is just leveling blanket criticism without ascertaining the facts. We are going to sink one hundred tube wells in Garo Hills for irrigation and he stated that nothing has been done.

Shri. S.N. Koch :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if I just come here and suggest without caring to know where the defects lie it will be of no use. A doctor cannot just prescribe this or that medicine without proper examination and diagnosing the disease. He just does not give quinine without first diagnosing disease. So if I am to put forward any suggestion I must see where the defect lies. We all have our own failings and difficulties, because as I said before, if a doctor gives even an injection without first ascertaining the disease it will be of no use. That is why I am trying to show where the failure lies, which however our Minister should not take as mere criticism for criticism's sake but to find out the real disease. There are as many as 20 points in the programme and all the points may not be applicable to our State. What I am trying to stress is about the points which are vital to Garo Hills, because I come from Garo Hills and my constituency in Mendipathar. The entire area of my constitution is an agricultural area and I know that irrigation is essential in that area. I have put several questions on these irrigation schemes and I got several assurances from the Agriculture Department that something will be done. The people of Mendipathar could not cultivate their crops properly due to lack of rain and irrigation facility, of course it may not be justified if I say that Government is lagging and I do appreciate certain difficulties because these are not like electrical switch that a button is pushed and light is burned. Some practical things are to be done though the sole question is whether the Government has done, as promised or published in the papers. So, if I blame the Government squarely it may be unfair because things are not coming up as they should have come. But there are factors for which I must say that Government is far from expectation. As for example, Children project is lying for a very very long time since the time of Assam till today. They are still lying and even if I say like that it should not be taken as criticisms, because I think that also will be unfair on the part of the Government. I am aware of all these things; but in any case I will again request the Hon'ble Minister of Agriculture to look into it because so far as Garo Hills in concerned irrigation is an important factor, without which we cannot survive. There were times of course, when we had no need of artificial irrigation when nature was kind and bounty. But with the passage of time, with the growth of population, the scale of jhum cultivation also increased causing destruction to all the forest resources which dried up the channels, brooks, rivulets and streams. Still there are some big rivers which could be tapped and utilised for irrigation of agricultural lands. But as I said in the beginning, Government has done anything to provide irrigation facilities to the agriculturists for reasons best known to the Government, till date in Garo Hills. Now with regard to the landless in Garo Hills, I may say there are some majajans who are becoming richer and richer day by day at the cost of the poor agriculturists. After independence, they have established themselves as landlords in Garo Hills. They are now having 200, 400, 500, and 600 bighas of land. All these lands belong to tribals of Garo Hills. It might be due to the fact that many of the hon. Members do not know the economic difficulties that all these lands have passed to the hands of these big businessmen and mahajans. So the time has come now for this Government to bring certain legislation for fixing a ceiling on landed property and to protect the interest of the poor agriculturists. Right from Mahendraganj upto Phulbari, if the Government desires to know, they will find that out of 80 percent of the agriculturists, 70 percent of them are entirely under the grip of unscrupulous mahajans. Because, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, every year due to flood or for any other reason, crops failure is there. They do not know from where they will get the money to re-cultivate their lands and to compensate the loss. Of course, there are Government financial institutions in some places but they are not very bright and in some places they are not available at all. As such, the only source where they could get the money is from these mahajans and therefore, most of the agriculturists in Garo Hills are under the dirty clutches of mahajans and money-lenders. There is a provision in this 20-point economic programme-one is land holding, i.e., fixing of ceiling on land and bringing such legislation to establishes financial institution to relive the people, the poor agriculturists. I believe many of the hon. Members will discuss on this and let them speak on other points but my request to the Government is that they must look into these three things i.e., irrigation projects, bringing of legislation on hand ceiling and either liquidating or bringing in the financial institution nearer to the cultivators so that they could be saved from the grip of the money lenders.  

Shri S. D. D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- On a point of clarification Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to ask one question from the hon. Member, if he would like to clarify. He referred to certain lands in Garo Hills that had passed from the tribal people of Hajong to the hands of big mahajans etc. Whether this transfer of land from tribals to the mahajans presumably, the non-tribals has been approved by the District Council or whether this transfer is being legalized or not?

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Land Transfer Act is applicable and the District Councils have get powers to act the land transfer regulations under the said Act. Now the District Councils have enacted this since a long time back. When it was brought to the notice of the court, the court gave a ruling that the District Council is not competent to enact such law. Therefore, we have passed a law in this Assembly and we have authorised the District Council to operate this law. It is up to the District Councils to see how the land from tribals to the non-tribals is transferred. But whatever might be the case, it must get first the approval of the District Council. As far as irrigation schemes in Garo Hills are concerned, the hon. Member might not have gone to his Constituency where several lakhs of rupees had been spent for irrigation projects. The work has been allotted to the contractor and the construction is still going on. A sum of Rs.900,000 has been sanctioned for the purpose and Sir, I doubt very much whether the hon. Member has gone to his Constituency.

Shri S. N. Koch :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have not said that it has not been done but my contention is that this proposal was implemented very late and there is a lot of development to be done. With regard to the Land Transfer Act, I know there is a law but only law alone cannot help the people. It is the duty of the Government to see that our cultivators and poor people get the minimum needs and since there is a provision under the law, the Government must try to bring the financial institutions closer to the people so that this programme will be properly implemented. If that could not be done my only request is to liquidate such loons through financial institution. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Then why don't you come with concrete suggestions? 

Shri S. N. Koch :- I said that there are many loopholes in the implementation of this Programme. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- On a point of information Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I request the hon. Members to visit Mendipathar? You will then see that work has been taken up. 

Shri S. N. Koch :- I have not stated that the work has not been taken up but my contention is that there is not a single project-I mean irrigation project, which has been constructed or which the Government has completed construction at all. 

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, his point is that Government is too slow in its implementation and he wants that the Government machinery should be speeded up.

Shri Plan Sing Marak :- I would like to get one clarification from my hon. friend that there is not a single irrigation scheme in his area. It is a fact?

Shri S. N. Koch :- So far as my knowledge goes it has been not completed. 

Shri Plan Sing Marak :- I would like to know then in whose area this big irrigation scheme falls because this irrigation scheme costing about Rs.9,00,000 is already there since last year. I would also like to know under whose Constituency this irrigation project falls?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, does the Hon. Member know where Caidragar is ? (Laughter)

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, whether this irrigation project is completed one year back or not completed at all is not a point. I think the hon. Member wanted to say only that the Government is too slow in the execution of this project. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- But he cannot speak on his behalf. His complaint is that there is not a single project taken up in his Constituency. I know for sure that this period has been taken up during the time of Assam and the Government of Meghalaya took over this project last year. The work has been allotted to the contractor and it is now in progress.

Shri Plan Sing :- It is very surprising that the hon. member does not know his own Constituency. Even he does not know that one big irrigation scheme is going on in this area. I myself who come from Tura know that a big irrigation scheme is going on in this area. I think the hon. member does not go to his own Constituency. 

Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Sir, I rise to speak on this 20-point Programme launched by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India and within this short period of 6 months or so, if anybody closes his eyes for this whole period of six months and opens now, he would certainly notice the differences in every sphere of economic activities specially activities which comes under the purview of these points and programmes as laid down by our beloved Prime Minister. As far as streamlining the supply of essential commodities through Co-operative Societies, I know for sure, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the Government has tried its best wherever possible to streamline the distribution of essential commodities through Consumer Co-operative Societies. In Shillong almost all the Consumer Co-operative Societies are doing the distribution of essential commodities and even in the rural areas some of the Co-operative marketing Societies and the Multipurpose Co-operatives Societies which are up to the standard of taking up such work have been entrusted with the distribution of essential commodities. As regards checking or control of prices, I have the least hesitation to say that the Government has come to required standard of controlling of prices of essential commodities. And as regards relief to the weaker section of the citizens of the State and the country, I think the Members of this august House do remember correctly that only yesterday, a Bill was introduced in this connection which is known as the Meghalaya Rural Indebtedness Relief Bill, 1975 and for providing books and text books to students, the Government has gone ahead in establishing some book banks in all the three District Headquarters of the State. The Government has also done something in encouraging our young boys and girls for taking up apprenticeship in different trades to make them fit to take up their responsibilities in different spheres of activities, and the Government, I hope has also done something in toning up the administration of the State, If I am not wrong, about 21 officials have been dismissed and some people are also under suspension and I hope the Government actually is up and going on the implementation of the 20-Point Economic Programme as laid down by the Prime Minister of India. But nevertheless Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, all these 20 points may I not be relevant to our State and I hope whatever relevant to our State, to our people, to our way of life, the Government will give a serious thought and make its best efforts to better off the economic condition of the people of the whole State. To be more precise, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is high time that the Government should take into consideration the programme of providing house sites or programme for making cheap dwelling houses in the rural areas. This fact, of course, at the co-operative level we have been thinking that the Co-operative Housing Schemes may perhaps be able to meet the challenge. As you know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the main attention of the whole of these 20 Point Programmes is focused on the potential of power generation. Water plus electric power, you all know is the key to production. If the Government puts forward its effort, its attention in this particular aspect of the programme, I hope a lot of other programmes can also be launched side by side and with these few words, through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish further success would be achieved by the State Government. I also request the State Government to examine further the programmes which are applicable and suitable to our own State, to our people and I wish that we should be more serious and speedy towards implementation of other economic schemes so that we will get the benefits which the whole country is aiming to arrive at. 

Shri Plan Sing Marak :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to participate in this motion. I am happy to say that Government has already stated to fulfill the 20-Point Economic Programme initiated by our Prime Minister and for this purpose on 11th November, the first State Co-ordination Committee had been invited and we had some discussions so that we can fulfill this 20-Point Economic Programme announced by our Prime Minister. On examination, we found that there are certain things, which are not applicable in our State. As for example, partially there is no question of land ceiling in our State. Because to make land ceiling, certain amount of land is limited and practically there is no such person who has acquired such a big plot of land in our State and also there are certain things which we cannot take up. It is not the intention of the Prime Minister to introduce all these 20-point Economic Programme in every State. Every State should introduce this 20 - Point Economic Programme according to its applicability. For example, in our last meting I raised an objection to one of the proposals and I said that it has been included as one of the programme initiated by the Prime Minister. It will not be applicable in our State because it may hamper the working of the District Council and I will not explain here. The person who understand the Sixth Schedule and the powers given there in the District Council will be able to understand and I have objected to it in the discussions. With regard to the fulfillment of this 20-point Economic Programme, our Government has already gone ahead with certain scheme. As for example, we appreciate the improvement of agriculture and food production. For this purpose, at least in Garo Hills, the Government has taken up a number of irrigation schemes and a number of terrace cultivation schemes and these things are going on, as the Department has taken up schemes that they have studied and seen by their officers in different areas. With regard to irrigation I would like to say that with great difficulty, our Government can find the personnel to man this important subject or department. For Tura, very recently, I think with great difficulty, the Department has found out a person to be appointed as an Executive Engineer by the Irrigation Department and now schemes are going on. It is really regrettable that one of the hon. Member has said that nothing has been done in the field of irrigation. The 18th instant is the last date of receiving tenders for these schemes which will cost  about 9 or 10 lakhs in Phulbari area. In Meghalaya any representatives should take interest in the developmental work of the State and understand what developmental works are going on in their districts. I know for certain that tenders have been called for these schemes and a number of persons have given their tenders to the department concerned. But unfortunately, because of short notice certain contractors could but get the time to submit their tenders. And as a result the Department was compelled to extend the date. The last date of the tenders to be received is 18th December. In this way in the field of irrigation we have been trying our level best to improve the field works. In my area itself, I have got two irrigation works, one has already been done and another one is going on. In this way I have seen the activities of this Irrigation Department. But unfortunately, this Department could not get the suitable personnel to examine and see places and how to execute the work. Now we have got the personnel and the Executive Engineer and the work will be speeded up Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the field of education also, we should promise our people to help develop their educational standard and this Government should try to eradicate illiteracy and in order to fight out illiteracy and to improve primary education, very recently some of the officers of the Education Department-namely, Sub-Inspectors and Deputy Inspectors have been placed at the disposal of the District Council and I believe that this action will help the District Council to solve certain problems which they are facing today specially in respect of giving  pay to the teachers. Also to the High Schools and M.E. Schools and specially to the hostellers, some kind of subsidy has been given. For example, papers exercise books and also the Fair Price shops as arranged by the Supply Department specially for the hostellers by giving special quota. In this way the Government is going on with this 20-Point Economic Programme. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that the Government has not lagged behind-it has already started some works as initiated by our beloved Prime Minister. 

Shri H. E. Pohshna :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out one point only. The hon. Member referred to the District Council in connection with the implementation of this 20-Point Economic Programme. May we know what the District Council has to do with this 20-Point Economic Programme?

Shri Plansing Marak :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just referred to one particular factor relating to the District Council which it will not be possible if we take up form our side. 

Shri P. G. Momin :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to participate in this motion. As we are very much aware, the main objective about the 20-Point Economic Programme as initiated by our Prime Minister, is to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, and this factor is very vital and important for our country as a whole. It is my sincere belief, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that this 20-Point Economic Programme, as has been enunciated by our Prime Minister, will contribute a lot in improving the economic condition of the people. In this regard, I for myself, am quite happy as some hon. Members who have already advocated earlier that our Meghalaya Government has gone ahead in implementing the schemes in a more effective manner. Now so far the schemes that have been proposed to be implemented are being implemented by our Government. I would like to point out certain vital points that are very much acquainted and well known to me. Sir, as this House is quite aware, as one of the hon. members had rightly printed out, I would like to remind the House again that one of the most important pieces of legislation is the Rural Indebtedness Relief Bill which has already been introduced by our Government with the sole objective to provide for more facilities to the rural areas in order to uplift the economic condition of the people in the rural regions. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is my sincere belief that by introducing this Bill and implementing the schemes under this Bill, some schemes can be successfully implemented without any doubt, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Sir, as I have already enlightened earlier that since the main objective of this 20-Point Programme is to relieve the weaker section of the people in the country as a whole, not to speak or confine to our State only as our Government has already taken up certain measures, I would like to highlight on some schemes that have been implemented and are being implemented by the Government of Meghalaya and in this respect in one way, we have been very much successful in bringing down the prices of all commodities. All of us are conversant with the prices of commodities in the nook and corner of the State. The prices prevailing at present as compared to the previous prices, are known very much even to the child. It is a fact that the prices of all commodities have been reasonably cut down. This is due to the concerted effort of the Government. To my sincere knowledge and belief, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is well known that through sincere actions and keen initiative taken by our Government, we become more disciplined and the administration in all Government offices has been running smoothly and effectively. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to eradicate poverty and to maximize food production in our State, our Government is also taking keen initiative to improve the food position in our State By providing various schemes for irrigation in different places. Especially it is my privilege to mention on the floor of this House, that one of the major irrigation project is being taken up and being implemented in my own constituency by the Government of Meghalaya. Also Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, under this 20-Point Economic Programme, the Government of Meghalaya has taken up certain schemes to provide more facilities to the poor and needy students of our State. In this respect, I would like to point out that the Government of Meghalaya is kind enough to provide Books Banks so that the poor and deserving students can take advantage of the facilities provided in order to further their education. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is my sincere belief and hope that various schemes that are being implemented by the Government of Meghalaya under this 20-Point Economic Programme as enunciated by our Prime Minister will yield good result and fruits will be derived by the people out of these schemes that are being implemented by the Government. With these few words, I resume my seat. 

Shri D. N. Joshi :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very thankful to the hon. member for bringing this motion thus enabling us to discuss various steps taken by the State Government in the implementation of the 20-Point Economic Programme as enunciated by our Prime Minister. While we M.L.As as public representatives, are supposed to be responsible, and we are responsible for the development and progress of our State and to bring about prosperity and happiness to all our people. The main reason behind the enunciation and announcement of this programme by our Prime Minister is that the progress so far made is very very slow and it, has to be speeded up and accelerated so that the aspirations of the people of India as a whole to have economic freedom from poverty are fulfilled as soon as possible. Even after 27 years of Independence, the real economic independence has not come and there were some sorts of agitation and some sorts of inner grimblings in the minds of the people, that even after the achievement of Independence from foreign rule, our people are still languishing under the pangs of poverty. Now, here in our State, also most of the 20-Points Programme are applicable and we believe that this Government of ours here also has taken up the implementation side of the economic programme, but the place in which it is taken is not, I feel, very much satisfactory because for the speedy implementation of these programmes the participation of the people at all levels is very desirable,. There are Coordination Committee set up by the Government to see and to co-ordinate the successful implementation of various programmes. We as public representatives expect that we should know fully well what the Government is doing to implement these things and it is in keeping with our duties, that we need, whether in the other States or this State, that in every Co-ordination Committee the participation from our side also should be there. But I know uptil now there is a Coordination Committee formed in the State level where some of the representatives from the Government and from other political parties are taken and also in the district level after a lapse of six months, I believe, Coordination Committees have been formed where people other than Government people or other parties say, Congress Party or from H.S.P.D.P., C.P.I. or other group also have been taken but the option of sending representatives from those parties to the Co-ordination Committee was not given to those respective parties because of some sorts of  nomination from Government. 

Shri Plan Sing Marak :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of clarification. The hon. Member has said the Committees do not include people from other parties except M.L.As. I think that is wrong because although some are not M.L.As but still we have seen some representatives belonging to the parties. 

Shri D. N. Joshi :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have not said so. I do not know why the hon. Member is very much upset. I have not said so, if I remember aright. 

Shri Maham Singh :- I think Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this mean from like thinking parties only. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes, we cannot take the Members from all political parties. We take only those parties which subscribe to our view. 

Shri D. N. Joshi :- Sir, any way, but the people participation and involvement and their representatives must be there in the Co-ordination Committees. I wish and demand of the Government that all the M.L.As in the State level or in the District level must be there in the Co-ordination Committees and the MDCs in the District and other levels. Now Sir, coming to the programme itself. I believe, the Government has enunciated certain schemes for the speedy implementation of these programmes but to my dismay I must say that we public representatives have not been supplied with the information of what the Government proposes to do in respect of, particularly, implementing this 20-Point as far as this programme is concerned. Well we have our budget provision and we have other discussions regarding the Government schemes regularly, but for this particular 20-Point Programme and its speedy implementation, we have not been taken into confidences if I may say so. Therefore, to meet the ends of justice, I, urge upon the Government through you Sir, that we should also be involved we should also be invited to take part in the Co-ordination Committees. 

Shri D. D. Pugh (Minister, PWD) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I know whether the hon. Member suggests that the entire House should constitute the Co-ordination Committees. 

Shri D. N. Joshi :- Yes, Sir, there are Co-ordination Committees in the State level, and District level also and therefore, all the Members should be taken as well as in the Sub-divisional Level Committees which are going to be set up. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- These have already been set up. 

Shri D. N. Joshi :- Then, Sir, all the M.L.As and MDCs should be the Members of the different Committees. 

Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fact the guidelines for constituting the different Committees have been circulated from the Centre and it is under these guidelines that we should proceed. 

Shri D. N. Joshi :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it will be possible on the part of the Government to apprise the Members of the progress of the works and schemes taken up for implementation, from time to time. That is what I want to impress upon the Government, because it is very desirable. Sir. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Shri H. S. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to take part in this Motion moved by the hon. Member from Nongtalang. Sir, this is the first time that since the proclamation of the Emergency and with the announcement of the Prime Minister of the 20-Point Programme of the Government, that we in this House have got the opportunity to discuss about the matter. Taking for granted Sir, that this House is of the opinion that we, from this corner of the country, have accepted the 20-Point programme declared by the Prime Minister of India. And I do not think Sir, that there is any other opposition to this, though in fact it was during the emergency-and the people have not yet been able to express their opinion either to support the programme or oppose it. But so far we learn that there are no other people who are against this. So, taking this as the programme of our Government, Sir, I would, therefore, come to certain aspects of the discussion on this. Though we have accepted the 20-Point programme as such, some of the points are not at all relevant to the need of the State. There are 20 of them, as categorically stated by the Prime Minister, but some of them are not at all applicable and necessary to be implemented here in the State. In fact, in general, it is necessary for the rest of the country as a whole but not here. But if we eliminate some of these things, I may say that only 9 of them, somebody may say 16 of them and so on and so forth. But Sir, there are really certain items of these programmes, which are very very important to be implemented. So far as this is concerned I agree with the hon. Member from Cantonment who had expressed hat our Government, although earlier they have stated, that they will start to implement the 20-Point Economic Programme declared by the Prime Minister. But uptil now, as the Mover of the Motion said, we have not yet been able to see any steps taken by the Government from speedy implementation of the 20-Point Economic Programme. Our masses, the public and even the hon. members of this House have not yet clearly understood how all these programmes have been attempted by our State Government and what is the priority of these programmes. In fact, it is understood categorically that the Government will take up implementation of these programmes of these programmes according to priority. 

        At certain level we had discussion and from the Government side they have given expression that certain programmes will be accordingly implemented. But Sir, it is not at all so, the 20-Point Economic Programme seems to be not feasible or practical to our State as we have not been able to see definitely what are those programmes done. Looking at this booklet published by the Ministry of Broadcasting it has categorically mentioned about the implemented 20-Point Economic Programme according to priority where some of the points will be taken up later on. I do not want to criticize the Government in not having been able to make us understand about the programmes. But in fact, we are involved in the matter and it is also our duty to suggest to the Government the step that are necessary fro implementation of the 20-Point Economic Programme, but where is our chance to do so?

        Only the other day and only once we were consulted. As I said, I do not want to criticise the Government for not having been able to implement the programme intentionally and with sincerity but without thinking of the after-effect of it. Sir, they have very much published big talk and along with the 20-Point Economic Programme have made other programmes at the expense of the Government and also of the people. 

        I have seen the Minister have tried to go the interior places to explain to the people. They have arranged tour programmes, especially to my areas, in the western areas, that most of these meetings and conferences have been held by  group of Ministers, not any one Minister but four or five Minister are attending those meeting at the same time. It may be so Sir, because of the enthusiasm of the Government to implement these programmes especially the other one. But Sir, in my observation, the outcome of this is far below our expectation. In fact, there is a lot of wastage of time and energy of our Ministers. We have not been told  which of these programmes are to be done by the Government and which are to be organised for the party. In fact we need the co-operation of the leaders and citizens of the State but as a matter of fact we are beating about the bush. With all the complications the leaders were talking the outcome and results of these campaigns and conferences at Mairang, Markasa, Nongstoin, Mawthengkut, Mawkyrwat and other places are not encouraging, so far as the implementation of 20-Point Economic programme is concerned. And the steps taken by the Government need again another round of campaign but I do not want to hurt the hearts of the Ministers if I say that one programme should be taken up at a time.  

        But we must curtail the expenditure of the citizens and we should try to economize the expenditure not only  by the Minister from the State account as a whole but also from the individual sources. Sir, I am also a member of the Committee and I have received instructions from the Hon'ble  Speaker that the Committee members should not perform expensive tours because of this Economic Programme declared by the Prime Minister. Sir, this economic Programme if implemented is for the economic betterment of our people and the State, as such, it should not create something which is prejudicial to our people because our people have the experience of meeting the Ministers, leaders, M.L.As and the M.D.Cs mostly during the election only. They always come to a public meeting to listen to a Minister, M.L.A. and M.D.C. of this party and of that party and they will try to listen and observed in that line and they  have not come to listen to the Minister for the economic programmes. I have seen also the Ministers, besides explaining to the people about the 20-point Economic Programme, they are also organising party conferences or party meetings and as a result of that, the people get very much confused. So in a rather pinching language, I must say that there is something greater which has to be done for full implementation of the Economic Programme as announced by our Prime minister than political programmes. Sir, I have expressed these thing from what I have seen, observed and experienced and, so through you, I would like to suggest to the Governments for immediate implementation of the Economic Programme, since Committees have been just constituted by the Government at different levels. 

        At the State level, District level and Subdivisional level also Government has duly included leaders of different parties in such committees. I am sure, that Government will come up with more definite programmes and will sincerely chalk out these programmes, as recommended by these committees, so that we can implement these programmes effectively. Sir, another aspect to be considered is that in order to implement all these programmes, we need a lot of money. I do not grudge for this provided we talk less and work more. Even assuming that financially our State is poor but if we are to implement this programme successfully and sincerely, we can do that by only selecting those relevant problems. In our State we do not have problem of land distribution and payment of income-tax and cases of black-marketing and smuggling, as there is no smuggling of such dimensions as to affect the economy of the people. I quite appreciate one aspect of the programme that has been enunciated by the Prime Minister, and that is to give facilities to the students. I myself am the Secretary of two or three schools and have received book grants from Government for the libraries of the schools, for being given to the students on loan basis. But I regret to mention here that our State being a backward State, the question of unemployment is mounting and registers an increase. As has been stated, the Government of India will make sincere effort to look after of the the interest of the young educated people belonging to scheduled castes. The majority of the people in the State are scheduled tribes. But uptil now, the Government has not done anything toward that end. But I do not wholly lay the blame on the Government for this because immediately offices or establishments cannot be created to employ people for lack of finance. 

        In the matter of raising food production, there is no doubt that Government have attempted to irrigate some paddy fields and valleys. But so far, we have see that very small amount has been provided which is not at all adequate to irrigate a small plot of land, even an area of 100 acres. Our lands need irrigation and for launching major irrigation schemes such amount as provided will not be sufficient to raise food production. We have enough scope for flow irrigation. But because of lack of fund, these things cannot be done. We need to develop small scale industries as well as medium industries which will entail a lot of expenditure say Rs.40 to 50 lakhs for each. As at present, we have not seen anything done towards establishing medium industries or small scale industries, although Government has come up with the Supplementary Demand for other matters but not on this. On the score of trade and marketing the Government has to consider the question of bringing down the prices of all commodities as this is the burning problem of the day. There is no denying the fact that prices of rice and other essential commodities have slightly come down as a result of the good harvest this year. We thank God for the good harvest this year. But we have not been able to bring down the prices of other commodities in the bazar. But the fact remains that unless those producing Sates are in a position to bring down the prices, our State which is a consumer State, cannot lower down the prices. So I do not blame our State for this as this is an all-India phenomenon. I will not take much time of the House but if we are to discuss in detail, there are many things required to be done. But at present, Sir, we need the co-operation of the people from all sides and at the same time the Government should come toward with the scheme of the 20-Point Programme. If not all, let it be 10 or 9 or 5 or 3 points and our Government should come forward with the points and implement them sincerely and efficiently. 

Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang :- I want to participate in the discussion. 

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- You will get only 2 minutes. 

Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang :- Then give me a chance next day. What shall I speak in one minute?

        Anyway at the first instance Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, personally I am thankful to the mover of this motion. At the first instance also when he started to move the motion, he has admitted that the price line of the essential commodities in the State has very much come down. That is a fact which nobody can deny. He has stated very clearly in his own words that the price has come down to the extent that it is below that of other States in India. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel that the mover of the motion also has admitted the fact that the Government of Meghalaya has taken steps regarding this 20-Point Economic Programme enunciated by the Prime Minister of India. There are some aspects of the programme which are not in conformity but nevertheless it can be implemented in our State. 

(A voices -The time is up, Sir)

(Bell rang)


Adjournment

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Marbaniang you may resume your discussion when the House sits again. Now, the House stands adjourned till 9. A. M. on Monday, the 15th  December, 1975.

Dated Shillong R. T. RYMBAI,
The 13th December, 1975. Secretary,
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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