Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, held at 9. A.M. on Friday the 14th March, 1975 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong.
(Mr. Speaker in the Chair.)
Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up unstarred questions.
(To which replies were laid on the Table.)
Rate of Diet for patients in Government Hospitals
Shri Brojendra Sangma asked :-
14.Will the Minister in charge of Health be pleased to state:-
(a) Whether it is a fact that the Government is spending only Rs.2.00 per head day for diet for the patients in various Government Hospitals ?
(b) If so, whether the Government propose to increase the existing rate for diet of patients considering the high priced of food-stuff ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister in charge of Health) replied :-
14. (a) The existing rate of diet for patients in Government Hospital Dispensaries and Primary Health centres in Rs. 2.25 p. per patient per day.
(b) Yes. The matter is under consideration.
Post of a Drug Controller.
Shri Humphrey Hadem asked :-
15. Will the Minister in charge of the Health be pleased to state :-
(a) Whether it is a fact that the post of the Drug controller has fallen vacant ?
(b) If so, since when?
(c) The name of the precious incumbent ?
(d) The reasons of his discontinuance of service ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister in charge of Health) replied :-
15 (a)- No.
(b), (c), & (d) - Do not arise.
Dispensaries proposed to be opened in 1975-76.
Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked :-
16. Will the Minister in charge of Health be pleased to state the number with locations of Dispensaries the Government propose to open in 1975-76 in the State ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister in charge of Health) replied:-
16.The number and location of new Dispensaries for 1975-76 have not been finalised.
Pharmacist Training Schools at Tura.
Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked :-
17.Will the Minister in charge of Health be pleased to state :-
(a) Whether it is a fact that the Pharmacist Training School as Tura has not yet functioned ?
(b) If so, the reasons which hinder the Training School from functioning ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister in charge of Health) replied :-
17. (a) & (b) Yes, it is due to delay in joining of the Special Officer who has been appointed he is due to join in April 1975.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna :- When is this training school expected to start ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister in charge of Health) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, as soon as the Special Officer joins the Institution.
Shri Mahan Singh :- Mr. Speaker Sir is there any alternative revetment for Jowai ?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- No Sir.
Conversion of Tura town committee into a Municipality.
Shri. Samarendra Sangma asked :-
18.Will the Minister in charge of Municipal Administration be pleased to state :-
(a) Whether Government received any proposal from the District Council, Garo Hills to convert the Tura Town Committee into a Municipality ?
(b) If so, what action is being taken by Government in this respect ?
Shri. P Ripple Kyndiah (Minister in charge of Municipal Administration) replied :-
(b)-The matter is under consideration of Government.
Extraction to Coal
Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked :-
19. Will the Minister in charge of Mining and Geology he pleased to state :-
(a) Whether the Government is aware that coal is being extracted in and unscientific way in the State ?
(b) If so, whether the Government proposes to regulate the manner of extraction of coal in the State ?
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister in charge of Mining and Geology) replied :-
19 (a) - Yes.
(b)-This is under active consideration of the Government.
Literature Board in the State
Shri Brojendra Sangma asked :-
20. Well the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state :-
(a) Whether there is a Literature Board in the State of Meghalaya ?
(b) If so, the names of the existing members of the Board ?
(c) If not, whether Government propose to establish the aforesaid Board in the State ?
Shri Peter Garnette Marbaniang (Minister of State in charge of Education) replied :-
(b)-Does not arise
Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu asked :-
21. Will the Minister in-charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state :-
(a) Whether the Government is aware of the fact that the construction of the Sutnga-Road has been stopped ?
(b) If so, when does the Government propose to re-start constructions of the said road?
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah Minister in charge of Public works Department replied :-
21. (a) The earth work on the road was completed. The road could be opened because of some work still left to be completed on the two bridges. The materials for the first bridge have been received and the works are in progress. The works in the second bridge will be taken up when the first bridge is completed.
(b) The work in the first bridge is in progress.
Announcement by the Speaker.
Mr Speaker :- Before we pass on to item No 2, let me read out the message from the Governor which I received yesterday :-
"D.O. No. GMEG/102/75
Raj Bhavan Shillong
Dear Mr. Speaker,
I thank you for you D.O. letter No. AS6/MLA /75/11011,dated the 12th March 1975 informing me of the motion adopted by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly at its meeting on 11th March, 1975 in regard to my Address. I take this opportunity of sending you and the Assembly my best wishes.
With kind regards.
Sd/- Lallan Prasad Singh
Governor of Meghalaya
Now let us pass on to item No 2. But before Shri H. Enowell Pohshna calls the attention of the Minister Industries under Rule 54, let me make some observations regarding this calling attention. In so far as the main news item published in the Khasi Newspaper U Nongprat Lynti dated 4th March, 1975, is concerned the main head lines as quoted are most undignified and unparliamentary and from the context of the dignity and sanctity of the House, I rule those words as unparliamentary. But I will allow Shri. H.E. Pohshna to call the attention of the Minister, Industries under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of the Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to the main news item suiting the language which has been quoted in that newspaper because the contents under that particular news item warrant at least the information that the House expects from the Minister.
Shri H. Enowell Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to call the attention of the Minister Industries under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to the main news item published in U Nongprat Lynti dated the 4th March, 1975, under the caption "Meghalaya Essential Oils & Chemicals Ltd." which has recently been opened and it appears that some sad incidents has taken place which have hurts the feelings of the local people. I would therefore request the Minister to make a statement on this.
Shri S. D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Sir, Meghalaya Essential Oils & Chemicals Ltd. is a joint sector of Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation Ltd and Camphor & Allied Products Ltd. The project has been up to manufacture a range of essential oils and chemicals like Cinnamon Leaf Oil and its derivatives, lemon grass oil and its derivatives, gingers elo-resin, emetine hydro-chloride, etc. The authorised capital of the Company is Rs. 55 lakhs. The capital cost of the project ultimately will be about Rs. 55 Lakhs. So far the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation has invested about Rs. 2.46 lakhs and Camphor & Allied Products about Rs. 2.46 lakhs. The project envisages setting up of units near Shillong. A unit has been recently set up at Mawshamok to manufacture cinnamon leaf oil from cinnamon lead or tezpatta leaf.
It has been set up the heart of the tezpatta growing area. Tezpatta leaves are being purchased from the local public at the rate of Rs. 28 per quintal which is considered a fair economic return to the local producers. Besides, the firewood for the centre is obtained by engaging local people and price of Rs. 6 per quintal is being paid for the purpose.
The incident referred tot in the news item is under investigation of Police. Briefly the facts are Shri A. K. Dutta, Site In-charge of the Company was disbursing about Rs. 5,500, on 24th February 1975. He found an amount of Rs. 960 missing. He informed the Sirdar of the village who searched the people present. But the money was not found. Later on Shri Dutta lodged a written complain which was forwarded by the Sirdar to the Cherrapunji Police Station which resulted in the arrest of two persons. The matter is under investigation of the police.
A complaint from one B. Syiem as was received that two officers has molested two women in Mawshamok. But in the enquiry held on 28th February 1975 and 3rd March 1975 none of the local people complained that any staff of the Company has misbehaved with the local ladies. No one by the name of B. Syiem could be found in the village.
No maid servants has been kept in the house of the Manager. However it was learned that once or twice one or two of the lady factory workers had prepared tea, etc., for the Manager and had cleaned the house. It is possible that this may have led to suspicion that the ladies may have been molested.
The staff have been cautioned not to employ any ladies in the dwelling houses. Further enquiry is being made into the whole matter.
Mr. Speaker :- Is there any complaint from any lady ?
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- No, Sir. We could not trace anyone, not to speak of any lady, to complain in that locality so far.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to item No.3. Minister-in-charge of Finance to beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1975.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1975.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be\granted to introduce the Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1975.
(The motion was carried.)
Now I shall read out the massage from the Governor :-
"Raj Bhavan Shillong.
The 8th March, 1975.
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1975.
Sd/- Lallan Prasad Singh
The Minister to introduce the Bill ?
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1975.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House
The question is that the Meghalaya Finance Bill, 1975 be introduced.
(The motion was carried and the Bill was introduced.)
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill.)
Let us pass on to the item 4 Minister Finance.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Passengers and Goods Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 1975.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Passengers Goods Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 1975.
(After a pause.)
The motion is carried. Leave in granted.
Now, let me read the message from the Governor :-
"In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya Passengers and Goods Taxation (Amendment) Bill, 1975.
Dated Raj Bhavan Shillong
Sd/- Lallan Prasad Singh
The 8th March, 1975
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir , I beg in introduce the Bill.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved . Now I put the question before the House.
The question is that the Meghalaya Passengers and Goods Taxation Amendment Bill, 1975 be introduced.
(After a pause.)
The motion is carried. The bill is introduced
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill.)
Let us pass on to the next item.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Amusements and Betting Tax (Amendment) Bill, 1975.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved I pout the question before the House.
The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Amusement and Betting Tax (Amendment) Bill, 1975.
(After a pause.)
The motion is carried and leave is granted.
Now I will read the message from the Governor.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by the Clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India , I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya Amusements and Betting Tax (Amendment) Bill, 1975.
Dated Raj Bhavan, Shillong.l
Sd/- L. P. Singh
The 8th March, 1975
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir I beg to introduce the Bill.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now, I put the question before the House . The question is that the Meghalaya Amusement and Betting Tax (Amendment) Bill, 1975 be introduced.
(After a pause.)
The motion is carried and the Bill is introduced.
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill.)
Now let us pass on item to 6.
Laying of Committee's Report.
Shri Singjan Sangma (Chairman, Committee of Privileges) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay a copy of the Ninth Report of the Committee of Privileges on a matter relating to a complaint of alleged breach of privilege by Shri H. hadem, M.L.A., against Shri Upstar Kharbuli, M.L.A., and Shri E.K. Mawlong, M.D.C., Chairman and General Secretary respectively of the Public Demands Implementation Committee.
Mr. Speaker :- Now Item 7.
Extension of time for submission of Committee's Report
Shri Singjan Sangma (Chairman, Committee of Privileges) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House agrees to the extension of time for submission of the Report of the Committee of Privileges to a complaint of breach of privilege by Shri H. Hynniewta, M.L.A. against Shri G.G. Swell, M.P. and Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha, till 31st July 1975
Mr. Speaker :- Do I have the leave of the House that if agrees to the extension of time ? (Voices yes, Yes.)
Now, let us take up item No. 8. Since I have received no list of names of the hon. Members who will participate, anybody can rise.
General Discussion on the Budget
Shri Maham Singh :- But I have submitted the names of the hon. Members of my group.
Shri Akramozzaman (Phulbari) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, during these days, particularly when the nation itself is facing a grave economic crisis, it is very difficult for the members to give a suggestion as to how to overcome these crisis. However, one thing was striking the minds of the members of the Assembly as well as the people outside that the price was soaring so high, and this price hike has been admitted by all of us. When there is a deficit budget, there is a tendency to create this price like in consumer goods and other essential commodities. . . .
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Zaman, you will have to confine your observation within 19 minutes.
Shri Akramozzaman :- Thank you. Sir, so far as our State is concerned, it was not possible most probably for our Finance Minister to place a surplus budget because of the fact that many natural resources and human resources could not be tapped as we desired, and for that reason, we could not also go for more market borrowing or for more taxation measures. So, a deficit budget in our State is but natural which we are bound to accept. But at the same time we are to do something to see that the natural and human resources which are not utilised are properly tapped and how the production of consumer goods can be increased . If we can tackle the problem in an effective way I believe the price rise which is prevalent in the eastern region may not have a bad effect on the State of Meghalaya. So, I am not in a position to say that the deficit budget in our State is not avoidable this time. Sir, in this budget speech, we have heard from the Finance Minister the statistics about the average price line of the nation. We know that soon after the creation of Bangladesh the Prime Minister herself warned the nation that there might be economic crisis when the whole country would be involved with the emergence of Bangladesh. As a matter of fact, when the way efforts were going on in the second World War it was found that the whole world was involved. Naturally when the was a conflict for the creation of Bangladesh, all the eastern States in the eastern region had their part to play in raising the demand for war efforts. But in this respect we should have been more alert to see what would be the impact of the price line in our State. We know that there is an increase in the average price line of the nation. It was also found that since April 1973 to December,1974, within this periods of 18 months, there was 55 per cent increase in the price line not to speak of other areas. But in our State how much this economy impact was and what is the price line, nothing has been mentioned in the Finance Minister's Budget speech .Therefore, I feel that there should be something in the ratio of the nation's economic, an average impact on the economy of our State. But I am rather sorry to find that this important item has not got a place in his speech. Sir, as the same time we have not also found anything mentioned about the growth of agriculture in the next year's programme as well as the programme for industrial development of our State. What is the growth rate we have achieved last year as also the target for this year, there is no statistic at all. I believe in a deficit budget like this, this very important aspects of matter particularly statistic should have been clearly stated so that the nation may be enlightened as to the economic situation of the State, in order to boost up food production. If this could be done, I believe the rising price line could well be overcome by by the productive side of the economy. As such, I feel and I strongly recommend to the Government that this statistical achievement in the field of economic development of the State is most essentially required in the days to come. Moreover, we have not seen yet any statistic that is being prepared by the North Eastern Council in allotting funds to our State indicating the economy of the State as well as of the North Eastern States as a whole. What is the economic backwardness of the individual connection, I wish to say that in the allotment of funds to the Eastern States by the N.E.C. there must not be any unfair deal to the effect that the bigger States get bigger amounts. I do not believe that those bigger States should get a bigger amount or first preference. Most unfortunately, we have not seen anything on this and it is obvious the even the NEC does not have those statistical data of the eastern States. Therefore, I would request the Government to take up this matter to see that equitable distributions of funds is made for the all round development of the North Eastern areas especially with regard to the price line and growth line the NEC should place the funds at the disposal of the Eastern States on equal footing. Although there was an unprecedented flood in some parts of the State. I wish to say that there is hope for economic upliftment of the people. However, Sir, I glad that the mentioned is made in the budget speech of the Finance Minister for devising ways and means to ease this problem. But on the other hand, I am sorry that no mention was made in the Finance Minister's Speech about the loss of lives due to flood. Whatever might be, I am glad to say that I am very happy in my heart that the Government has done whatever to save the people from starvation at the time of the flood. The plain areas right from the Phulbari to Bhaitbari were under water during the flood and it was a dreadful challenge to the Government and the people of those areas. Even the administration in the area had been tremendously affected that nobody could expect that within so short a time the Government could rehabilitate the effected families of 3000 people in different camps. Here is the human wisdom to combat the challenge thrown by nature. We cannot say that this Government cannot do anything or cannot tackle the problem. But most un fortunately, followed up action on the rehabilitation of those suffering people was such that this Government deserves appreciation. Sir, so far as I am concerned, at the instance of the Hon. Chief Minister and the Finance Minister I had the privilege to sit with the secretary Agriculture and the Director of Agriculture in a meeting to discuss about the remedial measures, the diseases to the crops and many varieties that are required for the flood affected areas of Garo Hills. I have requested the Secretary and the Director of Agriculture to see that follow up action not only in the matter of supplying seeds, but also in the matter of supply of medicines and insecticides and other irrigation facilities should be extended by the Department. I believe this time wheat cultivation is being done extensively in the plain areas as compared to that in the precious years. Moreover, Sir, it is very unfortunate that there is shortage of pumping machines for irrigation facilities. Some of the fields are dried up and if you visit these places right from Phulbari upto Paham, the first areas affected by flood, you will find nothing except a barrack to store water. I had the occassion to visit those places accompanied by the District Agricultural Officer, the Director of Agriculture, the District Council Members and the Members of the Village Council of Garo Hills. Every time we approached the authorities of Agriculture Department, their reply given was that they would look into the matter but afterwards, they would say that it was impossible. Therefore, Sir, I wish to say that this revealed the prejudiced mind of the Government itself and the expectation of the Government and Finance Minister to raise the target to 1.25 tonnes would be hard to achieve. Government should have taken adequate measures to step up production of Rabi crop under the programme in those areas besides the help that was given to them . Here to cite an example, there was Boro cultivation and in this respect, I have to meet the District Agricultural Officer here in Shillong - if I am not mistaken it was on the 4th February, to request him to supply one pumping machine. Later on 16 February most probably, I sent a telegram on 8th March I got a letter from the DAO dated 6th March in which he has requested the Assistant Engineer, Agriculture to place a pumping machine. But when he received the pumping machine from Shillong he placed that machine at the Majibari village where there was one deep tube well. The pumping machine was of 5 Horse Power whereas - it should have been 10.H.P. I had brought this to the notice of the Secretary, Agriculture and the District Agricultural Officer and they said that the machine would be changed. But nothing has been done up till now. So without taking into account the seriousness of the situation and the activities of the people, I am afraid that expectation of the Finance Minister to produce at last 28 lakh tonnes of food grains would be belied. I am sorry to say that there has been failure of Rabi crops during this year, and there was acute economy crisis in these areas and this economic crisis has affected the poor people even to the extent of the selling their own children.. The poor people were compelled to sell their own children with the hope to redeem them when the economic situation has improved . Now they are placed in a camp and due enquiry was made by the Deputy Commissioner and the District Social Officer also into the matter. The District Social Officer had given his recommendation that these poor people should be given some gratuitous relief and other financial help. Sir, they are organizing these voluntary organisation with the purpose that the poor children would be sold and kept there till the economic situation has improved when they would be returned to their own parents. I think there is a detailed report of the names of such children and of the incident given by the District Social Officer. And there were cases of a number of starvation deaths in the said area. To cite one example, in one particular village 92 person died due to starvation. Well we may not agree that there was starvation death. But we may agree that deaths occurred due to malnutrition. Sir, what would be the impact of the death of these 92 person in that particular village because of malnutrition. I leave it to the House to judge as to what is the impact. This is the outcome of economic depression. I sent a wire requesting the District authorities to look into the affair. On the 20th February one truck load of seeds came to Phulbari and when somebody contacted he found that it was not possible to purchase the seeds. Then again on 21st February I learned from the Chairman of the Village Council that the Director of Agriculture would send two tractors to Phulbari . These two tractors came there on the 6th March but one tractor came without a plough and the charge is high . So I would appeal to the Government to at least see that the seeds, I mean Ahu seeds, are given on loan basis and the rate for tractors be subsidised so that we should be able to help our people and see that they are treated on special footing because they are put in very hard circumstances. There was a discussion the other day in the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Co-operative Apex Bank that they would give about 50 per cent loan to the Co-operative Societies. When I tried my level best to contact the Co-operative Societies I learned that unfortunately they would not be able to pay this 50 per cent loan. In this connection I would request the Government to see that there is a dearth of co-operation from the people's side especially when people are dying of starvation and suffering from malnutrition in the flood affected areas of the State. I believe such being the circumstances, Government should take notice of it. (Bell rang ........). Sir, another one or two minutes please. I wish to say that there was tremendous work in the flood control side and I am glad to see that the work has been expedited. But due to lack of funds some of the works could not be executed this year. This being the position, Sir, I would request Government to consider the question of abolition of the E. and D. Department. I learned also that this Department would be tagged with the P.W.D. and so far I know there is no complain from the Agriculture Department. But when this particular Department is handed over to the P.W.D., I don't know what will be its fate. I know it is a very helpful Department in agriculture and irrigation side because without E. and D. Department agriculture development would not be possible especially in Garo Hills.
Then another factor is that power also is required to develop agriculture. There was a thermal plant in Nangalbibra and I think we have heard that the N.E.C. has agreed for a plan with 260 MW. to be installed there for the coal mining operation to that area. But Sir, we have not seen anything in the Budget about such plant for coal mining if Garo Hills District. Sir, I know that thermal Plant is going to be installed there at Nangalbibra. I can tell a story written in Bengali by S. Wajeb Ali. There was boy, who when he was a student used to go to the grocery shop and used to find one man reading the Ramayana in the morning and in that shop there was one man who was sitting on the box and another boy who was selling the goods. But after 30 years when that boy was in the Bengal Civil Service, he visited again that shop and found that shop was in the same condition and one old man was reading the Ramayana .But another man was sitting in the box and another boy was selling the goods. Sir, it is difficult for me to tell this story (Bell rang). I want to say only one more sentence. When he enquired he was told now and the man who used to be in the box is now reading the Ramayana and the boy who used to sell the goods is now on the box and another boy is selling the goods now. So Sir, many changes are there but the tradition is the same. Sir, here the Government is changing from the Government of Assam to the Government of Meghalaya and Electricity Board has changed but the tradition should remain the same and so the implementation of this thermal plant should not be changed. With these few roads I resume my seat.
(The Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair.)
Shri S. P. Swer :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very happy to have this opportunity to take part in the general discussion of the Budget, Sir, going thought Budget Speech of the Finance Minister, I could feel the pulse of the Government, the pulse of a heavy heart because of the natural calamities and the inflationary condition and situation prevailing in the country. I can also see through the Budget Speech the strong determination of the Government to achieve the targets in every field of development. But to achieve the target aimed the targets in every field of development. But to achieve the targets in every field of development. But to achieve the targets aimed at within a stipulated time, it depends very much on the coordination. While implementing the schemes of the Government, it depends on proper coordination amongst the departments of the Government. Sir, the Finance Minister in every subject, has death within depth and it needs no repetition that the Government is all out to improve the economic conditions of the people. But in this regard, Sir, I have some observations to make also. While going through this booklet on the Review of the Implementation of the Development Schemes and Programmes for 1975-76, at page 57 of the Review we find that in the special programmes for the backward areas it is said like this while the entire State of Meghalaya is backward, in view of the Scheduled tribes constituting more than 80 per cent of the total population of the State, as well as on the basis of the accepted economic indicators, yet there are areas which are considered to be specially Backward Most Backward. The following is a list of such areas." I am surprised, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to find that in this District of Khasi Hills according to the list there are only 5 blocks or areas in 5 blocks where most backward and specially backward areas are mentioned. Sir, in this connection, I would like bring to the notice of the Government and also to this august House that in the Shella-Bholaganj Development Block, there is also an area, a big area which is called the Khadarshnong where there are about 36 villages, but that areas has not found place in the tentative list of these Backward Areas as declared. In this areas, we find no road communication even up to this days, but only recently, the Government, P.W.D. has just started construction of the road by the name of Mawdok-Khadarshnong road, only in section one which covers a length of 10 Kilometers. We all know that the length of this road is not less than 80 Kilometers and to construct a road of 80 kilometers, I do not know how may years it will take for completion, because by experience, we find Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, that even a road of 23 miles from Mawsmai to Shella which was started in 1952-53, the greater part of the it is still a gravel road up to this days and there is also the Mawmihthied-Mawsahew Road, the length of which is about 12 miles, and to this day, it is still a fair whether road So I cannot imagine how many years it will take for construction of a road of 80 kilometers or more than that and how many years it will take for these people in the Khadarshnong area to remain backward? Therefore, I urge upon the Government to bring these area also under the tentative list of the most Backward Areas and for the information of the Government and this august House, This area also does not fall within the Border Areas. So, I would also like to bring another information which is the cause for anxiety amongst the people in Cherra area and the whole border area of Cherra-Shella region. Last year, we had a very very difficult time when the Shillong-Umtyngar-Cherra road was blocked due to erosion and the whole formation of the road was eroded. Sir, on this road, from the 19th mile to the 23rd mile i.e. on the Shillong-Cherra road, you will find that the road formation is on the disrupted soul and loose rocks and with the increase of vehicle traffic, this road needs to be diverted to another new road. Some time ago a diversion was suggested from the 18th mile to the 23rd mile of the road. This is matter of 6 miles only in length, and this new diversion, if constructed, will pass through some more villages that the existing ones. And, we know that the traffic on this road will be very very heavy in 2 or 3 years to come, because of the trucks carrying cements. At present, the Cement Factor produces only 250 tonnes per day. There are so many vehicles plying on this road for carrying cement and we know that this factory is going to increase the production upto 950 tonnes per day, and when the expansion plant will be commissioned, then the number of vehicles plying on this road will be more. And, the plying of vehicles on the road causes vibration very constantly. Therefore, the people are now apprehending that this road may get blocked again in the coming summer season. Therefore, I would like to urge upon the Government to take all measure to see that this road is not blocked and also to take up the alternative road in view of increase in the traffic on this road.
Sir, I like also to touch another point which is also the cause for anxiety of the people and that is the Cherrapunjee Hospital. This Hospital should have been completed by last year but, as I said before, unless and until there is proper co-ordination between the Government Departments, the delay is bound to occur in the opening of this Cherrapunjee Hospital. We know upto this day, that there is no water for the hospital and here are the two Department involved - one is the Public Works Department to complete construction of the buildings and to do the inner-water connections and the other is the Public Health Engineering Department to bring water upto the main tank. Although the people of Cherra are ready to part with any water source for the hospital, the difficulty lies between these two Departments of the Government because the Public Works Department could not complete inter-water connections and the Public Health Engineering Department could not bring water to the tank. The Public Health Engineering Department could not bring water to the tank because the money is lying with the Public Works Department and the Public Work Department asked for the estimates from the Public Health Engineering Department and the Public Health Engineering Department could not prepare the estimated because there is no money to do the survey work and to prepare the estimates, (laughter), and the poor Health Department is in the air. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stress this point that never beautiful and important are the schemes, however strong is the determination (bell rang) of the Government to achieve the targets of development, it depends very much on the proper coordination amongst the Departments of the Government .
Now, Sir before I resume my seat, I would like to touch only one point, and that is about the development works in roads and communications by the Blocks and also by District Councils . We find that these two agencies do not have proper equipments and instruments for carrying out survey works and we find that, when roads were handed over by these two agencies to the Public Works Department the alignment is completely changed because of the gradient or this or that and the other (Bell rang) . Therefore, I think this is a waster of Public money because whatever money is spend, it should be spent properly. Roads and communications should be properly surveyed so that the public money meant for construction of these roads etc is not wasted. With these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Plansing Marak you will get 9 minutes.
Shri Plansing Marak :- Yes, Sir. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the budget proposal moved by the Finance Minister. I also give my thanks to him for presenting the budget in this august House and for giving us an opportunity to participate in the discussion of the budget. As in the Address of the Governor, the Finance Minister also suggested that remedial measures are to be taken by the Government as a result of natural calamities. It is feared that the natural calamities may repeat this year also according to Punjika. I do not know what is Punjika, but one of my friends was telling me that according to Punjika the same thing may repeat. So I am afraid, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that we may have to see repetition of the same story. Therefore, I request the Government to be ready to meet this natural calamity. At the same time I would like to suggest to the Government to take up construction of embankment beginning from Bholapita upto Rajabala. Because these being the low lying areas are subjected to submersion at any time. It was also stated by the hon. member from Phulbari that this entire areas is a rice producing area and the whole area was submerged under flood water and the crops were destroyed.
The Finance Minister has also referred to rural electrification in his speech. It is quite true, as he stated ,that while in Assam implementation of the schemes was rather slow that a portion of the money which was earmarked for rural electrification, was to be surrendered this year because the time is so short and it will not be possible to spend the whole amount. But for this we do not blame the Government because it was ear-marked when our State Electricity Board was still with Assam and our Government has taken over this Electricity Board very recently, and therefore the responsibility for this is not of our Government but of Assam State Electricity Board. But it is no doubt very discouraging. Now that we have got our own Electricity Board I request the Government to accelerate this important work so that we shall be able to complete electrification of certain rural areas. Now to accelerate this work, in my opinion, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we require an officer of wide experience and determination so that his noble enterprise can be a success. I would like to refer to the power failure in Tura Town and I would like to ascribe it to the negligence of the offices concerned there. Every year there is power failure for one hour, for half and hour or for fifteen minutes and this fact has always been reported to the S.D.O. and his reply was that there is only one machines in Nangalbibra and when there is power failure they find it difficult manage electric supply. I therefore ask him whether he has proposed to the Electricity Board to supply two engines. But Sir, according to his reply he has not done it. So I request the Minister in charge to see that atleast to maintain this power station there should be atleast two generators.
My next point is about agriculture Almost in every speech of the mine I have been mentioning about the importance of agriculture since it is the backbone of the economy of the people of Meghalaya. In this connection I simply would like to refer to the resolution passed by the Garo National Council in its last General Conference at Ampati. There in that resolution, the people of regions No. 1 and No. 2 of the border areas complained that inspite of their best attempt cattle lifting is so rampant that they cannot cultivate their lands properly. The entire border areas is a low lying areas where they go for cultivation. But this year many could not cultivate their land as a result of cattle lifting. Therefore, the demand of the people of this region, i.e Region No. 1 and No. 2 is that since they are not able to keep the cattle for the purpose of cultivation, Government be requested to supply more power tillers. In fact some of the people living in the border areas at long last got the opportunity to purchase the power tillers and the to their utter surprise they found that they could produce more rice than before . Now they are taking keen interest to procure more power tillers. Therefore, Sir, as per resolution passed by the Government National Council. I would like to request the Government to supply more power tillers that cultivators will not fail to cultivate their lands and all attempts for production activities will not be shattered. With regard to cattle lifting they have also suggested that we should bring it to the notice of the Government whether it will be feasible or not to have the community cow-shed. For this they want to reserve one entire field and make the community cow-shed where all the villagers can keep their cattle collectively. Further I would like to request the Government to kindly examine the feasibility of such a common cow shed as envisaged in the resolution of the Garo National Council and whether Government proposes to take action on it in order to fulfil their demand. I would also request the Government to decentralise the purchase of agricultural tools and implements. I think the agricultural tools and implements are purchased by the Directorate and they are kept here in the capital. Then the department asked the district officers to come up and get those articles. In my opinion, I think there is double expenditure because the Directorate purchased these articles from outside and they are brought to Shillong. For example, if the articles are purchase from Gauhati, they are brought to Shillong and if they are to be supplied to Tura the officer from Tura will have to come to Shillong and take them back to Gauhati and Tura. So there is double expenditure. It would be better if the Department can arrange in such a way that the tools and implements are directly supplied to those places where they are required. That will minimise the expenditure.
I would also request the Government to encourage the use of fertilizers. Supply of fertilizer is the duty of the gram Sevaks. But it is found that the gram Sevaks do not stay in their respective stations. I am very grateful to the new Block Development Officers. Since they are newly appointed and since they are taking keen interest in the work, they started taking action against those irresponsible gram sevaks and I believe, if they control in this way, they would be able to make the gram sevaks stay in their respective stations. In the way the gram sevaks will be able to support fertilizers to different places.
I would also request the Government to take early action to supply seeds an to encourage double cropping. Now to make double cropping, there is a great problem because the cattle are let free after the month of January soon after the crops are harvested. Therefore, people cannot go in for double cropping except Ahu Paddy. Therefore, it would be good if we can take action to prevent stray cattle so that people can cultivate their land for double or treble cropping.
I would also like to appeal to the Minister in charge to be careful about the statistical report on agricultural products. If I remember, correctly last time when I spoke about the Supply Department, the Supply Minister replied that this year we are going to get less quota of rice and more quota of atta. The reason is because of the incorrect statistical report of the Agriculture Department. For an acreage, Meghalaya has been covered with food production. The reclamation has been exceeded beyond the whole acreage and according to the statistical report, Meghalaya is now a surplus area. As such they refused to supply enough foodgrains. According to the information we are going to get only 8000 tonnes against 14000 tonnes which we were getting last year. So it would be good if Agriculture Department can give correct statistical report so that there will not be any misunderstanding. It is quite true that the report of the Agriculture Department may be correct in regard to land reclamation because I know in my area, one particular land has been reclaimed for 3 times. The size of that particular area is 3 bighas and when it is reclaimed consecutively for 3 years, it comes to 9 bighas. So in this way incorrect statistical report is misunderstood by the people outside.
Now coming to Irrigation Department, I would like to request the Minister in charge to appoint Executive Engineers as soon as possible. I am told that one Executive Engineers has been appointed for Irrigation Department, but I think he has not joined yet. It would be good if he joins and starts the works as soon as possible. I would also like to request Government to see that proper survey works is carried on in order to survey the perennial streams and the possibility of constructing irrigation works. Some people have been appointed in order to carry on survey work, but I find that they are not discharging their duties properly. So it would be good if they are encouraged to discharge their duties properly.
Coming to C.D. Block, I would like to say that in the district, this is the only department through which we can implement the schemes which we have taken up. But these Block Development Officers who are supposed to discharge their duties properly are not getting enough funds from the department, and the funds which has been placed at their disposal is not at all sufficient. Therefore, I would request the department to place some more funds at their disposal.
Coming to education, I would simply support the suggestion made by my hon. friends from Dalamgiri Constituency, Mr. Ira Marak. In this connection, I would also refer to the suggestion made by my hon. friend from Zik-zak that there are certain areas where there are no schools. It is quite true that in such places, schools should be opened. But what I am against is the random opening of schools in which schools are open for the sake of opening. I think it is not good. In Garo Hills you find there are political schools. When there is political rivalry, people start opening different schools.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Do they teach politics in those schools ?
Shri Plan Singh Marak :- I do not know (Bell rang). May I have two more minutes or have I crossed the time ?
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- You have already exceeded the time.
Shri Plan Singh Marak :- I will simply suggest one or two points with regard to education. Point No .1 is that we should encourage science education. Without science education, we cannot train our boys and girls in different line. Point No. 2 is that we should frame rules and regulation of our own to recognise the schools and give grants to H. E. and M.E. Schools. As I understand, they are still following the rules and regulations framed by the Government of Assam and now that we have our own State, we should have our own rules and regulations by means of which we can give grants and also recognise the schools. Sir, we should also restrict haphazard opening of schools and there should be terms and conditions. Now it appears that in spite of the fact that we have got the terms and conditions, e.g. within a radius of 5 miles no M. E. School can be opened this has not been observed by the people . So, Sir, this should be strictly imposed.
With regard to the grants-in-aid we cannot fulfil certain conditions laid down by the Government of Assam because of consecutive failure of students and because of bad results. But if we can take up this matter then we can encourage the students and also the schools. We should also stop admission to other schools by students who get plucked. These students used to get admitted in new schools in spite of the fact that in their transfer certificate it is written "got plucked" and they are getting admission in higher classes. So this should be stopped. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I have some more points but since my time is up, I think I will stop here.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now Mr. Sibendra Narayan Koch .
Shri Sibendra Narayan Koch :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had been observing for the past few days the hon'ble Finance Minister had been looking at me with a smiling face and I believe that the Hon'ble Finance Minister was very much expecting that I should pay compliments for his magnificent production of his 1975-76 budget papers, and I assure him that I shall not be miser to compliment him for presenting big and bulky budget demands for 1976-76 which I carried and after reaching my Assembly Hostel I felt some pains in my arms as it is very bulky containing hundreds of pages. The budget documents are so bulky running into hundreds of the pages that it is rather difficult for me to read it finish it and then see whether there are the programmes which will benefit the people if implemented. It will require at least some weeks if not months to finish it. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our Finance Minister deserves compliments of this gigantic task.
After going through the Budget Speech, I must confess that a qualitative change is observed because the Government has come up with certain constructive suggestions and policies. The Finance Minister has also shown of the achievements such as bifurcation of the Electricity Board and also certain industrial set-ups the State which are very much encouraging and helpful to the State. But, despite these, I cannot be one with the Finance Minister because of the conspicuous silence about the Government policy on judiciary. Our Finance Minister, who is also the Minister in charge of Judiciary, knows that I have, on a number of occasions in the past, spoken of this subject on which I had stated that, for the successful functioning of democracy three things are necessary : Judiciary, Executive, and Legislature, each being independent of one another. So far as Judiciary is concerned it is the most important organ in our social life and in our society, but it is still uncared for and the Government has not come up with any fidentic policy as to whether it is going to separate Judiciary from the Executive or not. As I have had occasions in the past to speak on this subject, I would simply request this time that our Government should do something to separate Judiciary from the Executive and thereby, help the suffering masses.
As we know, Sir, the Governor's Address and also the Finance Minister's Budget Speech have laid emphasis on agriculture, transport and road communication. Sir, so far as this Department of Agriculture is concerned the hon. Member from Phulbari has spoken a great deal on it. So I would only like to touch on one point i.e., a class of cultivators who are the greatest contributors to the State granary and they are the inhabitants of the Garo Hills' foothills area. These are the Koches and the Hajongs. Unfortunately, I do not know whether it is deliberate or not on the part of the Government to deprive these people of their works but it appears from the very working of the Government that it is intentional and deliberate - that these people are thoroughly overlooked. Nothing is done by the Agriculture Department for the improvement of the lots of these cultivators; there is no irrigation not to speak of supply of fertilizers and improved seeds to them. I have personally seen, that after the last successive waves of floods there were some subsidies and loans given to the people of flood affected areas but unfortunately this help did not reach this class of cultivators. I had the occasion to contact the District Agricultural Officer that not only the people of Mauza No. 6 but also the people in the foothills of the District in Mauza No. VI and VII suffered fuel to the damage caused by floods. But unfortunately, no grant, relief, subsidy or loan were given to these people and acres and acres of land have remained fallow because their main cultivation is Sali which has to be transplanted by growing seedlings. To grow seedlings it requires about 2 months. These are poor people and whatever they transplant after growing seedlings on more than one occasion were destroyed by floods. But from the Government side nothing was done to help these people. Sir, though these people are the greatest contributors to the state granary who produce sali paddy which is the only paddy which generally our people prefer. So, Sir, I would request the Government that in coming years the inhabitants of those foothills areas of Garo Hills shall also be given due care. So far as transport and communication are concerned our State buses are running from Tura to Shillong. But there is only one bus coming from Shillong and one from Tura. There had been occasions when I had spoken on this matter that after 6 A. M. now the time is changed that means that the time for departure from Tura is 6.30 A.M. After 6.30 A.M. is no way out for the people of Tura to avail of any bus. So I would request the Transport Minister to make some arrangement so that there should be buses from Tura in the evening also. Why should there be only one timing ? Last time, as a Member of Estimates Committee we had visited many States and we have seen there are provisions for buses for travelling almost throughout the day and there are provisions for night service also between the places requiring 12 hours or more journey. Therefore, I believe it would not be out of place to suggest why we should not have provision for night service between Tura to Shillong and vice versa. It will enable people from Tura to come to Shillong at night and perform their jobs at day time next day in Shillong and they can go back to Tura at night time. Moreover, Sir, there is no bus service between Shillong and Tura via Garobadha Phulbari and Tikrikilla and Shillong-Tura bus service also dies not ply through Mendipathar and Resubelpara. This is one of the most important routes but here there is a serious lapse on the part of the Transport Department. While taking part in the Governor's Address I pinpointed the need of introducing Simsanggiri-Mendipathar bus service as Mendipathar area falls within Simsangiri Subdivision, and the Simsabgiri Civil Subdivision is likely to function very shortly but there is no bus service between Simsangiri and Mendipathar. So, a bus service Simsangiri and Rangsai via Mendipathar Bajengdoba be opened to facilitate the people of these area of Simsangiri Subdivision to go to their sub divisional headquarter. I would also request the Minister concerned to open bus service between Dudnai and Tura via Resubelpara. At present the Shillong-Tura Bus goes through Krishnai. But if the people from Resubelpara or Mendipathar want to come either to Tura or to Shillong they shall have to come to Krishnai to catch Shillong-Tura Bus but again there are no transport facilities between Mendipathar and Krishnai except some small mama service which too very often meets with breakdown and for that one has to stay overnight resulting in taking 3 days to reach Tura covering the distance of hardly 70 miles. Whereas in 3 hours' time people now-a-days can reach London and it takes 3 days to come to Tura from Mendipathar. It is indeed very strange despite the fact that Finance Minister has presented this budget envisaging many ambitious schemes, but it would be of no help if those are not materialised. Only paper works would be of no help. I would therefore suggest that Shillong-Tura Bus service should return via Mendipathar and Resubelpara.
We have also seen in the Governor's Address that a Jute mill would be set up in Garo Hills. But we do not know anything about the project report or feasibility report except the fact that this just mill would be located at Bajengdoba which is not a jute growing area. And I believe Mendipathar would be the most suitable place for setting up of the proposed jute mill because that is the jute growing areas. I hope the Minister for Industries will take note of this.
Now regarding tourism I would like to say that some works are going on for the improvement of Tura peak and my house is located in such a place that one has to go to the site through my place. I was told that he labourers engaged in this construction work charge 15 rupees for carrying a cubic ft. of timber. At present the price of timber ion Tura Rs. 20/22 per cubic ft. As a result the total charge of construction will be exorbitant and this is due to the lack of road communication from Tura Town in Tura peak.
Now regarding education it has been observed that the Government appears to have given much stress on education. But we have heard also a statement contradictory to the policy of the Government from an hon. Member of the Treasury Bench. He has suggested that the Government should put a ceiling on the expansion of education. But here I would like to point out to him that a place like ours, i.e. Garo Hills where we are yet pursue the parents to send their children to schools, where are to request the parents to send their children for learning A,B,C how he could advise the Government to put a ceiling in expanding educational facilities. Sir, I am constrained today that probably since he has become M.L.A and can afford to send his children to some convent, like Loretto, etc., he is against the expansion of educational facilities for the masses so that the ignorant and illiterate people remain illiterate and ignorant on the apprehension that those illiterate people may be able to know that actual state of affairs going on and may pose as potential danger in his easy sailing political life and ruling over them taking the advantage of their ignorance. I would rather suggest that their should be a special cell under the Education Department so that some education go to the villages an encourage people to send their children schools and have institutions for that purpose.
So, I oppose the policy as it is dangerous but then the hon. Member has unveiled the true picture of the ruling party as to how they are going to treat the dumb masses, like a traveller in over-crowded train wherein a passenger somehow tries to board the railway compartment despite protest and opposition from the already boarded fellow passengers when he wants to get tin but as soon as as he gets in he too behaves the same way and does not allow others to get into the compartment and leaves him pushing away. The hon. Members who suggested tot he Government to ban opening of new schools are also showing their behaviour as Railway passengers to their fellow men for whose well being he stands for. Sir, only one point, i.e., from the Appropriation Accounts of 1972-73 it appears that the Government has surrendered as big an amount as 3.60 lakhs under the head do setting up Training Schools and Colleges. Sir, there is a long standing demand that a basic training school to train up the Assamese and Bengalee L.P School teachers and which had been discussed in this House but till today, we do not find any such training centre so far set up by this Government. I do not know whether the Government intentionally and deliberately is not establishing the basic training institutes for the L. P. Schools teachers of the said category to deprive the teachers and the taught of the benefit of getting proper education as a result of which many L. P. Schools teachers now, because they were not trained, are not getting the benefit which they should have got and are also not in a position to impart education which they should have given to the school-going children. Sir, I also wonder to see that money has been surrendered to the tune of Rs. 4.49 lakhs under the head "Scholarship forth year 1972-73". In the year 1960 when Meghalaya was under the composite State of Assam, some ex-tea garden communities and Kochs of Assam are regarded as most backward communities and there by Government adopted a policy to give financial help to the schools and college going children of these communities considering their backwardness in the field of education while at the same time they have not been included in the list of scheduled tribes, but it is seen that the students belonging to Koch community are not given scholarships but Government prefers to surrender this sum of Rs. 4.46 lakhs. This I could not understand. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now I call upon Mr. K. M. Roy Marbaniang. You will get 19 minutes.
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I am very glad to have this opportunity to participate in the discussion of the budget speech of the Finance Minister presented to this House on 12 the March, 1975. Personally, I am not so happy and I share the feelings of the Finance Minister when he regretted very much to present a deficit budget to the tune of Rs. 97.99 lakhs which is more than Rs. 4.41 lakhs that of the last year's budget. Let us examine the various development departments of the Government during these years. I am also glad that the Government of India has tried its level best to curb inflation by restricting the flow and supply of money from the Reserve bank of India and other allied banking institutions so that this inflation could be fought in a proper manner. The object of these measures was to restrict the money supply and the purchasing power in the hands of the people so as to reduce the imbalance between demand and supply. Restrictions were also imposed on the payment of dividends by the companies. Actually what happened these days is not only in our State but in the whole country and in the world. We are living in an era of inflation and recession. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir , as I have said let us see to the all round development in the various departments of our State. As already said, I am not so happy to have this deficit budget of Rs.97.99 lakhs. But we cannot but appreciate the Government in the various department which have tried their level best to improve the economic conditions of the people of our State. I feel Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the development which the Government have achieved during the past two or three years are worth the name if we compare with the development achieved in the past 20 or 25 years. We are far better now than during the past years under the former Government since we have achieved independence. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to go directly to the Department concerned where some of my friends have expressed their unhappiness about the performance of certain department . But I would remined them not only to see from one angle and from the pessimistic point of view. In the Agriculture Department, as far as we can see, from the budget speech of Finance Minister, actually we are proud that we have made a lot of development compared to the previous years. The Government are trying to improve the irrigational facilities so that we may have wet cultivation all the year round because as in the past, we do not have any wet cultivation all the year and in the dry season where to stop cultivation because we are depending entirely upon the monsoon. I feel so glad that the Agriculture Department and its allied department are trying their utmost to improve the productive capacity in our State. I have seen that they have invited tenders costing several lakhs of rupees for irrigation so that our people in the State will get a chance to cultivate their lands throughout the year. Regarding Soil Conservation, also the department is trying its very best to reclaim large areas of lands in our State. I have seen while proceeding from Mawphlang to Balat large areas that this department had reclaimed along the barren hills by terracing so that our people may cultivate rice. Potato, maize in those places which were uncultivable in the past. During the last few years areas of land were brought under the scheme. I remember last year in the discussion of the budget many of the hon. Members are not satisfied with the working of the Animal Husbandry Department. Our Government is trying its best to improve the working of this department with the cooperation of the Danish Government and quite a good number of cows and bulls were brought from Denmark and as such it will improve lot in providing dairy products like ghee and others. In the Community Development Department, Sir I remember at one time almost all the members of these house have gone to the extent of critising that this Department has totally failed. At that time the Government has come out with programmes that this Department should be improved. But I am proud Sir that this Department also has been improved and this time the money spent for Development is being checked by appointing a non official Chairman in the Block Development Committee. I hope in future all the development worked of these Blocks should be taken up with proper care and examination so that all the development works in every Block should go to the people and it is the people within those respective Blocks who should get the benefit. As we have seen in the past all the money that had been spent by these Blocks had gone with the wind if I may say so or was uselessly spent. But now with the new plans of the Government these C. D. Blocks will be really at great benefit to the people.
I will now come to communication side. In this department as I see although many of my friends in the Opposition will not agree with me, there is much improvement. Those who have got eye to see let them see and those who have got ears to hear let them bear (laughter). Let them hear the failure of the Government and let them hear the success of the Government. I see a lot of improvement that has been made during the last few years. I heard one hon. Member who has spoken that there were so many roads left untouched unrepaired by the Department. But I remember right from the time when I was a boy when these roads were really not in good condition and left unrepaired under another Government, but they are now improved by our Government, we should be proud that we have seen improvement in these roads which were not usually done by the previous Government. But now we have seen even topping as was done by the precious Government by, as I said even carpeting also is now done.
Shri Maham Singh :- It is carpeting of the roads.
Shri Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang :- Yes carpeting of the roads.
Shri E. Bareh Minister of Agriculture :- That is a lawyer's term according to you but not a contractor's term .
Shri Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang :- Sir, I remember there are certain roads in the border areas which we have been fighting to get for a long time but the previous Government did not take up any work. But now I am glad to tell this House that even these border roads have been constructed and linked with other parts of the State.
Now Sir I will come to supply of essential commodities. I hope each and every one of us will be glad that in this respect that while other parts of the country are suffering our State did not suffer much. I can boldly say that our State is one of the best States in India as far as supply of essential commodities and food stuff is concerned. I hope that in the near future that Agriculture Department would be able to help the people to grow more food so that we shall not depend on others but we will be self sufficient in food.
Therefore, I hope that all hon. Members of this House will cooperate with the Government in all respects an specially in giving more stress and importance to the supply position of the state.
Then I now come to Tourism Department . Just now one hon. Member from Garo Hills has spoken about the improvement of the Tura peak. He has stated about the cost of transport that it is so high. He even compared with some areas of the worlds that it takes lesser time to come from London to India than to go from one place to another in his own Constituency. Anyway, I want only to remind the hon. Member that 'Rome was not built in a day'. Laughter let us look to the works that the Government have executed so far . Let us look at the positive aspects of the matter also. I think in this regard the work done by this Department during these few months of the year has been considerably good.
I will now come to health . I remember that in many of our dispensaries in the rural areas we have got only the buildings in name and nobody to man them. We have got no medical men no doctors and no para medical staff to man these dispensaries while we were under the former Government. But we should be proud of our Government when they have been able to fill up the post with qualified doctors and medical staff.
And now I will come to Transport Department which my hon. friend has just spoken before me. He has stated that transport from London to India takes less time than in the places within Meghalaya. Actually there was some controversy in the propriety of these roads and whether they belong to Assam or Meghalaya. Any way we should be glad to know that the N.E.C. have taken up the matter and will try to improve these road so that transport facilities should be extended to those areas as stated by the hon. Members from Mendipathar. He has stated that it will be quicker to come from London to India than to travel from one place to another in his own constituency. Well that might be true but we should be glad to learn that the N.E.C. has taken up the matter as I said earlier.
Then I come now to the most controversial subject and it is a subject which most of the Members from the H.S.P.D.P. group have participated and that is Land Reforms Commission. Now the report of the Commission has been laid on the Table of the House and I hope that cooperation of the all friends should be given so that Government will be able to speed in implementation of land reform in our Khasi Hills specially as I said earlier that this is the long standing anxiety of the Khasi people for many years in the past but did not get such a chance because the predecessor Government did not give their co-operation. They were not interested at all in the improvement of our District (Khasi Hills). But I hope now with the present Government we shall be able to go ahead with this which will go to the benefit of our people in this district. Lastly I will come to the Border Areas.......(Interruption).
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- On a point of information may I ask whether the hon. Member has read the report ?
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang :- No. I have not read at all but I have seen as it has been placed on the Table of the House.
Shri Maham Singh :- May we know what is the recommendation of the hon. Members ?
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang :- The commission has completed its own job and the report has been placed on the Table of the House and it is for us now to see that it should be implemented and I hope that with the cooperation of all the House even from the Opposition side laughter it will be implemented soon.
Now I will come to the Border Areas Department , Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is really a chronic disease , since the partition of the country the border areas in our state are really a chronic disease. Now I want to impress upon the Government that since they have created the Border Areas Development Department , I would like to request them to take proper steps to ensure that all the officers posted in the Department should not be located in Shillong only. They must go to the border areas, themselves
(Voices - yes, yes)
and get themselves acquainted with the people and find out ways and means to help the people in the border areas. As I said in the past I do not want that the past should be repeated. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, all the Officer appointed in this Department are stationed here in Shillong. So I would request the Government in this respect to take a serious view of the matter (Bell rang ) and I hope that with the creation of the Border Areas Department the chronic disease of the border people should be wiped out and that they will get relief. With these words I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now I call upon Mr. Humphrey Nongrum,
Shri Humphrey Nongrum : - Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I rise to participate in the Budget discussion and I shall dwell specially on the Budget Speech of the finance Minister at page 15 pare 31 under Border Areas Programmer. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir tit is needless for me to emphasise on the extent of the suffering is non-stopped it is a continuing one and now it has become a chronic one as Mr. Kisto Mohon Roy Marbaniang the Member who had just spoken before me said. It has become chronic problem and from the side of the Government relief has been given to the people and this relief also has become a chronic relief (laughter). No permanent solution yet has been found of this problem people had been living in the fond hope that trade between the Bangladesh people ad the people of our border areas will be re-established but from 27 years, experience, we have found that this is not a fact. It seems that the border trade cannot be re-established. Now as we know, the border trade has stopped and the border hats are quiet on the border fronts. There is no rice in the border no food stuff and if there is some rice some where the price is too high it is soiled at about Rs. 5 to 6 per kg. As you know the people in the border areas are very poor they cannot afford to buy . And as we all know last year there was a great flood especially in the low lands of the border areas in the flood has done greatest havoc to the crops the crops have been destroyed and the people could not have a good harvest and in some areas where the flood did not damage the crops it was the elephants who have done the destruction. The people have complained about the elephants to the Government and the Government have sent for elephant hunter have no bullets (laughter). I do not blame the Government for the Government are no manufacturing the bullets, but the fact is that the crops have been destroyed and the people could not do the harvest. The food of the people has been eaten away by the elephant and I am afraid God forbid that in the next few months during the monsoon months there will be a time when then people would be facing hunger and starvation ad they will have to go and steal the food of the elephant like bamboo shoot, eatable leaves, roots etc, ( laughter ). So, this is the problem we are facing today in the border areas. In his speech the Finance Minister has mentioned that 50 lakhs of rupees have been earmarked for the year 1974-75 and this year 65 lakhs of rupees were earmarked to be spent in the next 12 months in the years 1975-76. 65 lakhs of rupees at a glance seem to be huge amount but as we know the length of the border right from Sonapur in Jaintia Hills to Mahendraganj in the Garo Hills? District will be about 400 to 500 kms. And the breadth as defined buy Government is about 10 kms. So, the amount which is only 65 lakhs of rupees for such an areas is very meagre the length is 400 to 500 Kms and the width is 10 Kms. So considering this, the area is very vast and the population is great and if we calculate per kilometre length multiplied by 10 Kms it will be 10 Sq Kms and this calculations plain surface and considering the areas surface it will be twice or more than twice the real earth surface. An amount of Rs. 65 lakhs is equal to a little over? Rs.16000 over per one kilometre length of the border. So the fund is too small for the development of this vast areas having a great population. And this fund also as usual will become just little relief. It is a drop of relief in a border full of problem. I am afraid Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, in future our people will be used to this kind of relief like people who are used to some kind of medicine they will become addict addict to relief of this kind; we will have to fund out ways and means how to cure this kind of and I would request the Government to consider this matter more seriously and especially as I have said because of last year's flood and at they same time Appeal to the Government to please be prepared for the situation food situation that may arise in the next few months. The Government must have enough reserves of foodstuff to meet the situation because the present quota of supply is to small to meet the needs of the people . Then as it is now the people are getting according to the supply quota issued for hardly 4 meals in a month. So we can calculates from that how much more is the need of the border people to help them in the coming months as at present they have got no more stock or any more reserves in store. They have eaten up everything now and they will have to live only from what they get as wages from any kind of developmental works like roads construction. The Border Areas Development department have not yet started functioning and I believe that this is because of the fact that the Border Areas Development Department just been recently created and also may be because the Government have not got enough fund at its disposal for this . Therefore any physical development is yet to be made. But, still to help our people in the border to let them live during the year, I request Government that all programmes, schemes that are already in the Plan for the border should be implemented and let the work be started now so that the people will get work and get the means to pay for their food. In this respect Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in talking about the roads and developments in the border areas, I am glad to have seen the road from Balat to Maheshkola to Garo Hills but all the bridges except one have not been completed one link is missing on the river Kynshi as the bridge on this river has not been constructed up till now. I would like the Minister in charge to give information to the House why this particular bridge is not constructed why this link is still missing . Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I need not dwell at length on the problem since I know that the House is fully aware of the gigantic problem that we are facing in the border areas. I would only like to give my humble suggestion to the? Government because I believe that if the Government will take my suggestion seriously it may pave the way to final solution of this problem.
My suggestion No. 1 is that the Government will construct good roads to link the border producing areas with the marketing centres within the State or even outside the State.
My suggestion No.2 is land reclamation. All cultivable lands in the border areas should be reclaimed.
My suggestion No.3 is that intensive campaign should be there to educate the people to wean them away from the old traditional cultivation like cultivating pan leaves. They go on nursing pan leaves year after year. We know that his pan leaf cultivation is no more suitable now because the border hats are sealed and there is no profitable markets for the same outside the State. So nursing of pan leaf now is useless. I may say that it was a means of livelihood to the grand old parents in the old days but no more now to their grand children. So let the people be educated to cultivate such types of food crops and such types of cash crops as are suitable at present . In food crops I suggest that tapioca, kushu, potato, sweet potato and soybean. Paddy of course in is the main crops but if the land is not suitable for paddy these other crops will be most suitable. And cash crops we have got the two best black pepper and pipul. These crops are not perishable and they fetch good prices. So if the Government will make intensive campaign to educate the people to cultivate these crops. The people will be far better off economically then they are now. And it is my belief that if the hats are shifted away from the border lines to a distance of atleast two kilometers we can do something about checking the smuggling of goods and other essentially commodities. Let this line be free from the border people who are going to bazaar. And No.4 suggestion is that let the Government make the necessary drive to improve the village and cottage industries village. Village Industries like preservation of topiocas, potatoes, kuchu and sweet potatoes etc. These can be preserved by village industry. Let the Government make a drive improve bee keeping in the border as the border people have shown great interest in it. So let the Government improve bee keeping and let honey flow in the border. Number five suggestion I would like to request the Government to start the sales emporium in the town of the State so that the farmer of the border areas can sell their products. And from the speech of the Finance Minister mention was made of Khadi and cottage industries, about cottage industry particularly, I would like upon the Government to constitute a Board as soon as possible and to give the Board all the facilities so that they can make an extensive tour all over the State to improve the industry. Finally Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir I sincerely hope that this amount of Rs. 65 lakhs which is provided for the border areas programmes will be in addition to the other developmental heads under which the Government proposes to improve the lot of the border people. With these few words I resume my seat Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Raison Mawsor now to speak.
Shri Raison Mawsor :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I also rise to participate in the general discussion of the budget as presented by the hon'ble Finance Minister. Sir in Nongstoin subdivision the Government have posted one Subdivisional Agricultural Officer and I want to discuss here about the help to be given to the cultivators and farmer of this area in the interior. Many a time we have discussed about that help to these people of this rural area. In Nongstoin subdivision, the Government in the Agriculture Department have allotted on old tractor and a power tiller. But this old tractor is not in a proper condition. The machines inside this tractor are defective.. In fact there this also one driver appointed for using this tractor. But since the tractor is not in good condition, this driver also has stop coming to office regularly and he spend most of his time in fishing. The Sub divisional Agricultural Officer of Nongstoin has written so many times the Chief Engineer Shillong to repair this old tractor. But uptil now nothing has been done from the side the of the Government. The people of this area have also met the Agricultural Officer of Nongstoin subdivision for providing them with one new tractor but Sir nothing has been done as yet. So I request the Government to look into this matter.
Sir now about the
natural calamity last year many hon. Member have spoken about the heavy rainfall
and as a result our people has to face great difficulty for food. Specially in
the border area and also from the urban area, the people have enjoyed the grant
of test relief scheme. Under the Test Relief ? Scheme last year only some grants
were allotted to the people of the border areas who are within ten kilometer
away from Bangladesh. And I now request the Government to look into this matter
carefully because who knows that these people may be from Bangladesh also. Mr.
Speaker, Sir, the condition of the people of the border areas has not yet been improved and I request the people from Kamrup and Goalpara but also from this particular areas. Sir last year I have brought this matter to the notice of the Chief Minister to afford test relief schemes to these villages but..................
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Mawsor now the scheduled time is up You can continue your discussion tomorrow.
Now, the House stands adjourned till 9. a.m. on Saturday the 15th of March, 1975.
R. T. RYMBAI,
The 14th March, 1975.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.