Proceedings of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative assembly assembled at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday, the 3rd April 1976 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.

Present -

7 Ministers -

2 Ministers of State and

36 Members.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Question.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(Replies to which were laid on the Table)

Payment of Public Works Department Contractors Bills

Shri W. Syiemiong asked :

114. Will the Minister in-charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that most of the Public Works Department Contactors' bills for works already done in the current financial year, 1975-76, have not been paid?

(b)

If so, the reasons thereof?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, Public Works Department) replied :

114.(a)

- It is a fact that some of the bills have not been paid.

(b)

- Due to shortage of funds.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Sir, what is the exact amount of shortage required for payment of the bills?

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

Shri S.P. Swer :- Whether the Department has asked for funds to meet the shortage?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, P. W. D) :- Yes Sir. 

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- What are the main reasons for this shortage of funds?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, P. W. D) :- Due to adequate allocation.

Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme

Shri J.M. Syiem asked :

115. Will the Minister in charge of Public Health be pleased to state when will the scheme for water supply to the Greater Shillong be implemented?

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

115. - Work on the Greater Shillong Water Supply scheme has already commenced and according to present schedule the scheme is expected to be completed during the 6th Five Year Plan period subject to availability of funds.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- When did the work commerce.

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister P.H.E.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, land has been acquisitioned already.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- I wanted to know when did the work commerce?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister P.H.E.) :- Land acquisition is also part of the work.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- What was the original estimate?

Mr. Speaker :- That was answered already.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, has possession of the land been taken by the Government?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister P.H.E.) :- It is still with the Deputy Commissioner. We have placed money with the D.C.

Shri Maham Singh :- My question was whether advance possession of the land has been taken by the Government?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister P.H.E.) :- The Department has not taken the possession.

Shri Maham Singh :- Whether any notice has been issued for the land?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister P.H.E.) :- I require notice.

Construction of Primary Health Centre buildings at Zigak Block, Garo Hills

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

116. Will the Minister in  charge of Health and Medical be pleased to state -

(a)

The extent of progress so far in respect of the construction of buildings of the Primary Health Centre of Zigzak Block Headquarter, Garo Hills?

(b)

When will the construction of the said buildings be completed?

(c)

The total amount so far incurred in connection with the construction of the said buildings.

(d)

When will the necessary medical staff be posted to the primary Health Centre at Zigzak?

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

116.(a)

- Ninety-six per cent of the works has been completed so far.

(b)

- The buildings are expected to be completed in April, 1976.

(c)

- Rs.1,74,441.00

(d)

- As soon as the buildings are ready.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- May we know the original estimate of the scheme.

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- I require notice.

District Magistrate's Seal

Shri M.N. Majaw  asked :

117. Will the Minister-in-charge of Law be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the Government is aware of the fact that the round seal of the Khasi Hills District Magistrate's Court still refers to the Khasi-Jaintia Hills District?

(b)

Whether the Government is aware of the fact that the seal also refers to the Khasi-Jaintia Hills District as being within the State of Assam.

(c)

If so, what steps Government propose to take to rectify the seal?

(d)

Whether Government has checked the round seal of the Courts of the District Magistrate of the other duties in the State?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) replied :

        117. (a) and (b) - One seal bearing the seal of the District Magistrate, K.J. Hills, Assam has been used through oversight by the office of the Prosecuting Inspector, Shillong Court.

        (c) - The Deputy Commissioner has taken steps to rectify the mistake

        (d) - Necessary instructions have been issued to all District Magistrates.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- In what case was the seal used?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister Law) :- I want notice.

Mawlai Water Supply Scheme

Shri S.D. Khongwir asked :

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

(a)

The total expenditure incurred during 1974-75 and 75-76 (upto January 1976) for the maintenance of Mawlai Water Supply Scheme (Year wise)?

(b)

The total expenditure, if any, incurred for repairs of the distribution system of the scheme during 1974-75 (upto January 1976)

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister P.H.E.) Replied :

118. (a) and (b) - Rs.99,768.68 for the year 1974-75 and Rs.68,411.79 for 1975-76 upto January 1976. These amounts are inclusive of expenditure on repairs of distribution system and no separate account is maintained for repairs of the distribution system.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Sir, it is a fact that the maintenance cost and repair cost of distribution system is paid in the same bill?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) :- Separate account is maintained for this.

Introduction of meter system for taxis

Shri L. Lyngdoh asked :

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

(a)

Since when the Government have introduced the meter system for the taxis in Shillong?

(b)

How many Enforcement Officers and other staff have been provided to enforce the meter system in Shillong and its suburbs?

(c)

What are the names and address of the companies with supply taxi meters in Shillong?

(d)

Whether these taxi meters can be repaired in Shillong or else where in the State?

(e)

What is the price of each taxi meter in Shillong at present?

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

119.(a)

- Meter system in Shillong was introduced in the year 1958.

(b)

- There is one Enforcement Inspector and three Enforcement Checkers to enforce the meter system in Shillong. Besides, there are two Motor Vehicle Inspectors also to check the meters at he time of inspecting the vehicles.

(c)

- There are two companies, viz :-

(1) M/s. Goenka Engineering Works, Keating Road, Shillong
(2) M/s Auto Agency, Jowai road, Shillong -3
(d)

- Repairing of taxi meters can be done in Shillong.

(e)

- The present price of taxi meter in Shillong is about Rs.1,616 (Rupees, one thousand six hundred and sixteen) approximately.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- When taxi fare charged on meter started in Shillong?

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

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- In the case what is the duty of the enforcement staff?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) :- The duty of the enforcement staff is to check periodically whether the meters are in order or not.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Here is answer to (a) it has been stated that the meter system was introduced in 1958. May we know whether this has been implemented?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) :- Sir, efforts are being made to see that the meter system is practised.

Shri Maham Singh :- Has any taxi been prosecuted for running without meter?

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

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- May we know what is the use of having meter in taxis?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) :- The objective is to see that the passengers are not over-charged.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- In which workshop the repair work is done.

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

Shri Maham Singh :- Whether the enforcement staff submit reports regarding checking?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) :- Whenever they go out on checking it is their duty to submit reports.

Twausdiah Water Supply Scheme

Shri H.E. Pohshna asked :

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

(a)

Whether tenders have been invited for the works of Twausdiah Water Supply Scheme?

(b)

If so, when and what are the names of the contractors who were allotted with the works?

(c)

Whether the work has been started?

(d)

If so, when?

(e)

When the works are expected to be completed?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister in-charge of Public Health Engineering) replied :

120.(a)

- Yes.

(b)

- Tenders were invited on 17th January, 1975 :

(1) Shri G.R. Khonglah.
(2) Shri Katway Pohsnem.
(3) Shri Dengbui Tariang.
(c)

- Yes.

(d)

- In November, 1975.

(e)

- By 1977 if fund is available.

Water Supply Schemes

Shri H.E. Pohshna  asked :

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

120.(a)

The names of water supply schemes taken up during 1975-76 and the amount sanctioned for each scheme?

(b)

What are the schemes proposed to be taken up during the year 1976-77?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister in charge of P.H.E. of replied :

121.(a)

- The names of water supply scheme taken up during the year 1975-76 are as follows :

Amount sanctioned

Jaintia Hills -

Rs.

(1) Nongtalang - 9.538 lakhs
(2) Amtapoh - 5.245 lakhs
(3) Syndai - 8.675 lakhs
Garo Hills -
(4) Bolsong - 6,80,200
(5) Sonamati -    21,900
(6) Rongsakona -    27,100
(7) Bandalkona -    19,700
(8) Ring Wells at Phulbari -    58,600
(9) Ring wells at Mauza V -    58,600
(10) Dorambokgiri - 6,14,000
(11)  Jengjal - 8,67,400
(12) Nongchuram - 6,60,700
(13) Jambal - 9,96,200
(14) Darram - 8,87,200
(15) Soinang - 4,24,400
Khasi Hills -
(16) Umpohwin - 3,55,800
(17) Mawroh - 5,76,000
(18) Sinai-Mawsynrut - 2,58,000
(19) Umwai-Mawlong - 8,57,300
(b) - A number of rural water supply schemes proposed to be taken up during the year 1976-77 are at various stages of investigation. The number to be taken up will be known only after the dry weather discharge and other details have been recorded. 

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out here that again (a) the amount for Nongtalang should be 9.538 lakhs and so also the other figures.

Mr. Speaker :- That is a printing mistake.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- How long will it take to finalise the investigation of the scheme?

Mr. Speaker :- That is too vague a question to be replied. For one scheme it may take one week whereas others may take more time.

Water pumps in the Office of the District Agricultural Officer, Jowai

Shri H.E. Pohshna asked :

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

(a)

The total number of  water-pumps placed at the disposal of the District Agricultural Officer, Jowai?

(b)

Whether the water-pumps are in good condition?

(c)

Whether it is a fact that one water-pump has been lost at Muktapur area?

(d)

If so, when and by whom?

(e)

What action has been taken by the Department to recover the lost water-pump?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

122.(a)

- Eighteen numbers

(b)

- Yes.

(c)

- Yes.

(d)

- On 7th April 1975 from the paddy-field of one Shri Havelock Shullai of Muktapur.

(e)

- The matter has been taken up with the office in charge Police Out-Post, Muktapur and also the Deputy Commissioner, Jaintia Hills District, Jowai.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- When the water-pump was given to Mr. Havelock Shullai?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) :- It was on 19th December 1974.

Shifting of State Transport Station

Shri M.N. Majaw asked :

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

(a)

Whether the Government has any intention of shifting the State Transport Station and Office from its present location at Police Bazar to a more spacious and less congested plot of land?

(b)

If so, where is the proposed new plot located?

(c)

If not, whether Government considered the present location as suitable and satisfactory?

(d)

Whether it is a fact that a site near the former meter factory has been selected a few years ago for this purpose?

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

123.(a)

- No.

(b)

- Does not arise

(c)

- Yes, Sir, for the present.

(d)

- Yes, by the erstwhile State Transport Undertaking of Assam Government. This has been resumed by the Government of Meghalaya in the Revenue Department.

Shri H. Hadem :- Whether it is a fact that this present State Transport Station at Police Bazar is still under possession of the Assam-Meghalaya State Transport Corporation?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Minister of Transport) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Construction of sanitary latrine in Tura Town

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

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

(a)

The total number of sanitary latrines constructed of the Public Health Engineering Department in Tura Town during the year 1975-76.

(b)

The total amount financed by the Public Health Engineering Department for each such sanitary latrine?

(c)

The total amount already spent for the construction of sanitary latrines in Tura Town by the Public Health Engineering Department during the year 1975-76?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister in charge of Public Health Engineering) replied :

124. (a) - Nil    

        (b) and (c) - Do not arise.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Is there any proposal?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister PHE) :- Yes, Sir.

Kharukol Water Supply Scheme

Shri Brojendra Sangma asked :

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

(a)

Whether there is any Budget provision for Kharkukol village water Supply scheme during the year 1975-76?

(b)

If so, the total amount sanction of this purpose?

(c)

The total amount spent so far for the said work?

(d)

What type of water supply scheme has been taken up at Kharukol village?

(e)

Whether it is successful?

(f)

If not, what alternative scheme will be taken up at Kharukol village?

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

125.(a)

- Yes.

(b)

- Rupees 40,000,

(c)

- Rupees 4,149.

(d)

- Hand tube wells scheme.

(e)

- No.

(f)

- Alternative schemes are under investigation.

Shri Brojendra Sangma :- (d), who has suggested to take up the Kharukol Water supply scheme in flood affected areas?

Mr. Speaker :- I think it is obvious that the engineers suggested the schemes.

Shri Jackman Marak :- (f), when will the investigation be completed? 

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, PHE) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is difficult to give a definite date and time of completion of the investigation.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- (e), may we know the reason for the failure of the scheme?

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, PHE) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the scheme is unsuccessful although the engineers tried to implement it as there was no respond as to the source of water.

Office of the Trade Adviser at Calcutta

Shri H.E. Pohshna  asked :

126. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

What are the duties and functions of the Trade Adviser at Calcutta?  

(b)

The number of the present numbers of staff of his office with name and designation of each?

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

126. (a) This Officer is responsible for the movement of essential commodities into Meghalaya and for the procurement of iron and steel materials and cement (when necessary), sponsoring movements by rail to Meghalaya of essential commodities on Government account and also on Traders' account. The Trade adviser maintains co-ordination with various suppliers, Railway and Transport companies and performs duties relating to the clearance of goods imported by the State Government Departments and public undertakings by Customs and Port Commissioners and ensures their dispatch. He has to look after the exports made by various public sector undertakings of the State Government and arrange their handling. He has been authorised to issue permits to foreigners visiting Meghalaya under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963. He is the Officer-in-charge of the Guest House (or circuit House) in the Meghalaya House, and is responsible for arranging air and rail passage for Ministers and other Government officials. He has to do such liaison and other work with the Government of West Bengal, the Railways and other authorities as it require from time to time.

        (b) - A statement is placed on the Table.

Payment of Wages for works under the Crash Scheme at Ummat

Shri L. Bareh asked :

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

(a)

Whether it is a fact that the Block Development Officer, Khliehriat has not yet paid the wages of the local people who were engaged for works under the Crash Scheme at Ummat during 1972-73, 1973-74 and 1974-75?

(b)

If so, whether the Government received any representation for non-payment of wages?

(c)

What action the Government has taken so far in the matter?

(d)

Whether the Government is aware of the fact that the overseer of the said Block had recorded the works done by the local people on the instruction of the Block Development Officer?

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

127.(a)

- No, it is not a fact.

(b) and (c)

- One petition claiming wages for the work done during 1971-72, 1972-73 only was received on 18th October, 1975. This is being enquired into.

(d)

- No such instruction had been issued by the Block Development Officer.

Supply of Power Pumps to C.D. Blocks in Garo Hills

Shri Nimosh Sangma asked :

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

(a)

The number of power pumps supplied to the different Community Development Blocks in the District of Garo Hills so far?

(b)

How many of them are in serviceable condition at present?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Community Development) replied :

128.(a)

- 170 numbers.

(b)

- 41 numbers.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- (b), how many of those power pumps which are out of order are reparable?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, C.D) :- I will require notice for that.

Shri W. Syiemiong :- May we know where are they at present?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, C.D) :- In different places.

Loan to P.K. S. Brick Industry, Garo Hills.

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

129. Will the Minister in charge of Industries be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the proprietor of the P.K.S Brick Industries, Damalgriri in Garo Hills has applied to a loan of Rs.10,000 (ten thousand)?

(b)

If so, in which year and on what date the said loan application was received by the Department?

(c)

When were the necessary formalities completed and agreement deeds drawn upon by the applicant?

(d)

When will the loan be given to the applicant?

Shri Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Small and Cottage Industries) replied :

129.(a)

- Yes, for Rs.20,000.

(b)

- The 24th February, 1975.

(c)

- The 14th November, 1975.

(d)

- A loan of Rs.10,000 as approved by the State Loan Board was sanctioned. The Bank Draft was sent through the Assistant Director of Cottage Industries, Garo Hills, Tura on 22nd March, 1976. 

Phulbari Ginning Mill

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

130 Will the Minister in charge of Industries be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the Phulbari Ginning Mill in functioning properly?

(b)

What is the total amount involved in establishing the Ginning Mill at Phulbari?

(c)

Whether any financial assistance was rendered by Government during the past few years to the Ginning Mill at Phulbari?

(d)

What steps are being taken to make the Ginning Mill more productive?

Shri Salseng Marak (Minister of State, Small and Cottage Industries) replied :

(a)

- Yes.

(b)

- The total amount involved in the implementation of the Co-operative Cotton Ginning Mills Ltd., Phulbari was Rs.2,63,161.

(c)

- Yes.

(d)

- Steps are being taken by the Management to make proper use of man-power, machine and idle powers of the Mills. The operation of the Oil-Extraction Unit attached to Ginning Mills is expected to start from April, 1976.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- (a) who manages the affairs of the mill?    

Mr. Speaker :- That is a new question.

Shillong District Jail

Prof Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

131. Will the Minister in charge of Home (Jails) Department be pleased to state -

(a)

What is the registered capacity of the Shillong District Jail?

(b)

When was this capacity registered?

(c)

What was the actual average population of this Jail during the year 1975?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

        131.(a) and (b) - Registered capacity of District Jail in 1950 was 150 but in 1969 this capacity was increased to 230 by converting the Jail workshop to accommodations.

        (c) - 343.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Whether there is any proposal for extension of the Shillong District Jail?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, once a District Jail is constructed at Nongstoin and a District Jail at Jowai, the condition will be very much eased. As such, there is no immediate proposal for extension of the Shillong District Jail. 

Provision of facilities in the District Jail, Shillong

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

132. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state whether the State Government has provided any of the following for the convenience of prisoners in the District Jail, Shillong?

(i)

A library or reading room stocked their books and magazines in different languages?

(ii)

Indoor games?

(iii)

Sanitary bath rooms attached to the sleeping barracks?

(iv)

Mosquito nets for all inmates?

(v)

A sufficient number of taps with running water?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

132. -

(i)

The Jail has a library stocked with books of different languages for use by the prisoners.

(ii)

Yes.

(iii)

No.

(iv)

No. Nets are provided only to Security Prisoners and 1st Class Prisoners.

(v)

A sufficient number of taps is provided but during the dry season the piped water becomes inadequate and has to be supplemented by water tanker and spring water.

Shri F.K. Mawlot : (ii), what are the types of indoor games provided?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- These are the indoor games provided like ludo, playing cards, carrom, badminton, etc.

Beneficiaries under the Minor-Irrigation Project at Khliehriat

Shri L. Bareh  asked :

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

(a)

The names of the beneficiaries under the Minor Irrigation Project at Khliehriat and the amount allotted for each scheme?

(b)

The location of the schemes with the total area of paddy field benefited by the schemes?

(c)

Whether the Extension Officer of the Khliehriat Development Block ever checked and verified the actual works done by the applicants?

(d)

If so, the location of the schemes duly checked and verified by the said officer?

(e)

The criteria adopted by the Development Officer for selecting the schemes in the said Development Block?

(f)

 Whether all the schemes were placed before the Development Board of the said Block for approval before the implementation of the works?

(g) If not, what is the function of the members of the Development Board of the Block vis-a-vis the social and economic welfare of the public in Block area?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

133.(a)

- The two minor irrigation projects under execution by the Agriculture Department in Khliehriat Block since 1974-75 are Kwai Lift Irrigation Scheme with an outlay of Rs.2,72 lakhs and Umpleng Lift Irrigation Scheme with an outlay of Rs.5.22 lakhs.

         About 500 farming families are expected to benefit by these two projects. The actual position will be known only after the schemes are completed and the projects commissioned.
(b)

- Projects are situated in the south eastern part of Sutnga area along   Sutnga-Nongkhleih road.
          The total areas likely to benefit are about 420 hectares (Kwai-120 Hec. and Umpleng - 300 Hec.)

(c)

- No. The projects are under the execution of the Engineering Wing of the Agriculture Department.

(d), (e), 

(f) and (g) - Do not arise.

Office of the S.D.V.O. Nongstoin

Shri Francis K. Mawlot asked :

134. Will the Minister in charge of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary be pleased to state -

(a)

The particulars of the present staff in the Office of the S.D.V.O., Nongstoin category-wise with dates of their appointment?

(b)

Whether they are directly recruited before or after the creation of the office at Nongstoin or transferred from different Departments?

(c)

If they are direct recruits, whether advertisement for such recruitment are made?

(d)

The number of applications received?

(e)

Who conducted the interviews or on whose recommendation were the appointment made?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary) replied :

Posts

Date of joining

134(a) One Veterinary Assistant Surgeon 12th July 1975
One L.D. Assistant cum-Typist 7th November 1973
One V.F.A.    -     - 25th May 1974
One Mobile Peon transferred from District Animal Husbandry and Veterinary office, Shillong 1st July 1974.
Two Peons 1st July 1974 
16th March 1975
One Chowkidar 1st October 1973
Two Poultry Attendants 31st January 1976
5th February 1976
One Pig Attendant 5th February 1976
One Chowkidar at Pig Farm 1st February 1976
One Chowkidar at Poultry Farm 1st February 1976
One Driver  1st June 1975
One Chowkidar at Aradonga Veterinary Aid Centre 12th May 1975
(b)

- All recruited after creation of Nongstoin Subdivision except one peon attached to Mobil VAS who was transferred from the office of the District Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Officer, Shillong.

(c)

- They are recruited (1) by Meghalaya Public Service Commission, (2) by Director, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary and (3) by Sub divisional, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Officer, Nongstoin. The posts were duly advertised.

(d)

- For the posts of Grade III and Grade IV, 115 Nos. of applications were received.

(e)

- For Veterinary Assistant Surgeon, the Meghalaya Public Service Commission conducted the interview and recommended the appointment. For the rest of the posts interview was conducted by the S.D.V.O. Nongstoin with the help of the local leading persons and recommended the appointment.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- (e), here in the reply, it is given the number of persons recruited by the S.D.V.O. May we know as to the categories  and the number of persons who are selected by the S.D.V.O.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary) :- The grade IV and grade III interviews were conducted by the S.D.V.O.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Whether the S.D.V.O. is competent to do that?   

 Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary) :- I have replied long ago that these adhoc appointments were made by they will be regularized at  the proper time.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- What is the number of tribal grade IV employees in the office of the S.D.V.O. Nongstoin with their names and addresses?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary) :- I will require notice for that.

Mr. Speaker :- Actually you could have included this in this question so that the Minister can come prepared with the replied. In an unstarred question, the Minister is not expected to come prepared with replied to so many supplementaries.

Amount provided for Border Areas Development Programme

Shri Brojendro Sangma asked :

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

(a)

The total amount provided for Border Areas Development Programme through the Agriculture Department?

(b)

The names and locations of the schemes to be taken up under the said programme?

(c)

The amount spent so far?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of Agriculture) replied :

185.(a)

- Rupees 12.00 lakhs during the year 1975-76

(b)

- The schemes are -

(1) Border Area Marketing Scheme
(2) Scheme for Power Tillers.
(3) Scheme for Subsidiary Food crop.

        The schemes are meant for the entire Border Areas and not for any specific location

(c)

- The total allotted amount is expected to have been spent.

Shri Brojendro Sangma :- (b), how many power tillers have been purchased so far?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of Agriculture) :- I will require notice for that.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- (a) through which Department this scheme worth 12 lakhs of rupees has been implemented.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of Agriculture) :- Through the Agriculture Department. 

Shri S.P. Swer :- (b) Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know the amount earmarked for each scheme.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of Agriculture) :- Border Area Marketing Scheme - 10 lakhs, Scheme for Power Tillers - 1 lakh and Scheme for Subsidiary Food crop - 1 lakhs

Number of projects or schemes in Border Areas

Shri Nimosh Sangma asked :

136. Will the Minister in charge of Border Areas Development be pleased to state the number of projects or schemes that have been taken up to deal with the inputs and outputs of agriculture products in the border areas?

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas Development) replied : 

136. There is no such scheme to deal with inputs and outputs of agriculture products in the Border Areas.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know what are the items that constitute the agricultural inputs?

Mr. Speaker :- I would request the hon. members to remember that if they ask so many supplementary questions in an unstarred question, I am afraid the Minister will not be able to reply. So I would have been given in the form of starred questions.

Power Tillers for hire in Border Areas

Shri Nimosh Sangma asked :

137. Will  the Minister in charge of Border Areas Development be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether Government have taken any decision to keep power tillers in the headquarters of Development Blocks in Border Areas, for hire to public?

(b)

If so, how many power tillers are going to be placed under each Development Block comprising Border Areas?

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas Development) replied : 

137.(a)

- No specific decision has been made and the matter is under consideration.

(b)

- Does not arise in view of (a) above

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- (a), where are the power tillers kept at present?

Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas Development) :- I required notice for that.

Incidence of crimes

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

138. Will the Minister in charge of Home (Jails) Department be pleased to state -

(a)

The year-wise break-up of the incidence of crimes in the State from 1972 to 1975?

(b)

The number of jails in the State. Their registered capacity and their actual average population during 1973?

(c)

What steps Government proposes to take to ease the overcrowding in jails?

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

138. (a) - The statement is placed on the Table of the House.

        (b) - Three jails including the temporary Special Jail at Mawlai. Their registered capacity and actual average population are as follows :-

Name of Jails

Registered capacity

Actual average population
1. Shillong District Jail 150 + 80 = *230 . . .  343
2. Tura District Jail                      101 . . .  186
3. Special Jail, Mawlai.                      140 . . . 143

        *Note - 1. Besides the previous capacity of 150, additional capacity for 80 was made by converting jail workshop into accommodation.

2. Accommodation for 40 mental cases has recently also been made available in a building at Tripura Castle Road.

        (c) - To ease the overcrowding in the Shillong Jail, Government have moved 38 prisoners (36 Non-Criminal Lunatics and 2 convicts) to a temporary buildings at Tripura Castle Road within this month. The Juvenile Delinquents from Shillong are also proposed to be shifted to Reformatory Centre at Sohiong very soon.

        As regard Tura, a new plot of land outside the town has been selected for a new jail site. Plans and estimates for construction of a Jail at Simsangiri and Nongstoin are under preparation.


Calling Atention

Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next item. Mr. S.P. Swer.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to a news item published in the "Implanter" of 25th March, 1976, under the caption "Over Conscious Indeed?".

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, here I just want to say a few words that on that date of 25th March 1976, one Shri B.N. Wahlang, a well known and reliable cabinet maker and building contractor in Shillong came in a Taxi No. M.L.S. 1298 and this Taxi was caught by the Police and it was searched and when the Taxi was searched nothing was found which is in contravention of any law. But the inmates of that Taxi were arrested by the Police. That is the information we had and it is not understood of the reason for their arrest.

Mr. Speaker :- Will the Chief Minister make a statement?

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sir, on 25th March, 1976 at 2.45 A.M. five persons namely Shri Kali Das Kuri, Shri B.N. Wahlang Shri M.S. Raji, Shri Hem Kalita and Shri D.R. Rynjah were found by Police Patrol Party near Mawlonghat, Shillong, moving in a taxi No. M.L.S. 1298. When the vehicles was stopped and checked by the Police the inmates of the car started giving a different statement and when being questioned by the Police on patrol duty, they rather rather started to challenge the Police. It was found that some of them were in a drunken condition and as such they were taken to Civil Hospital and after examination it was as such they were taken to Civil Hospital and after examination it was found that of the 5 persons two of them were in a drunken mood as the police investigation must have disclosed. They were taken to Thana for further investigation after examination was done in the Civil Hospital at 3.15 A.M. After further interrogation of Thana, they were released at 7.30 A.M. It is not a fact that as it was stated in the Implanter that they were charged for gambling and no case for registered against the above arrested persons. The specific ground on the basis of which suspicion of the Police Party was caused and arrest affected that they were found moving in a taxi at odd hour namely 2.45 A.M. and instead of telling the Police the real reasons for their moving around at that hour, they challenged their authority.


Statement by Minister

Mr. Speaker :- Before we pass on to the next item, I have received notice from the Minister in charge of Excise who desires to correct the wrong information that he gave to the House yesterday. Will the Minister speak?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Excise) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday on the reply to supplementary question No. 96 (c) as regards the nationality of Shri Cheeyuam Sang, I was under the impression that since bar license was granted in his name, he must have got Indian citizenship certificate, but on further verification I found that this fellow has come to India since 1939. He came to Assam in 1940 and from 1940 to 1962 Shri Cheeyuam Sang stayed at Guahati, Tinsukia, Jorhat and Shillong. His main business during those years was at Tinsukia and Shillong. He was a registered forest contractor. During the Chinese aggression in 1962, Shri Cheeyuam Sang was interned at Rajasthan. He was released in 1967 and came to Shillong and opened the Oriental Restaurant at Police Bazar, Shillong in 1970. He also took lease for working a private forest at Nongkhlaw Syiemship from 1957 to 1962. Shri Cheeyuam Sang is a holder of People's Republic of China Passport No. 066953 issued on 11th February, 1974 and valid up to 11th February, 1979. He is allowed to stay in India till 27th May, 1976 vide Department's letter No. HPT. 11/76/45, dated 15th January, 1976. His application for Indian citizenship which he submitted in 1956 is pending with the Government of India. So I, would like to correct that he has not acquired the Indian citizenship because his application has not been entertained by the Government of India. It is still pending.

Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, since correction to the supplementary question was made by the Minister, whether there is any scope to seek further clarification?

Mr. Speaker : Yes, you can seek clarification.

Shri H. Hadem : In that case whether the granting of license to him for the benefit of his bar will be considered by the Government?  

Mr. Speaker : No, it is the duty of the Government to find out to what extent foreign nationals can do business in the country it is a long procedure that the Government will have to find out and if the is entitled, of course, the Government will have to find out and if he is entitled the Government will have to cancel his license. So let us pass on to the next item. The Minister-in-charge of Industries to complete his reply to Motion No.2. 


Motions

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) : Mr.  Speaker, Sir, yesterday we had a discussion on the question of facilities and encouragement to be given to our tribal people for carrying on business and hon. Member from Mawlai, Mr. Stanlington David Khongwir had spoken about the benami license and also about the so called permanent license to cetin individual who produced a lady whom he had  permanently married. He requested not to encourage such benami transaction. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not think it is the policy of the Government to encourage or not to encourage  marriage an any one is free to get married, but it would not be the duty of the Government  to see that our people should get married with people coming from outside and to see if they can marry or not with the people of this State. Perhaps it is for the hon. Member and all of us concerned to bring about an atmosphere of greater responsibility of us concerned to bring about an atmosphere of greater responsibility among our own people to see that the marriages of trade convenience or business purposes are not undertaken. This is a matter for the society as a whole and I don't think that the Government will come in the picture. The hon. Member from Mawlai had suggested that the Government should give loan to start small business. But uptil now the Government policy is that at the district level small loans up to Rs.2,000/- or so are given to the entrepreneurs for small scale industries. In so far as the starting of small business like panshop etc. is concerned it is not the policy of the Government to give loans to such people. Actually, it is the function of the Urban Bank and there is an Urban Bank under the co-operative sector and it provides small loans to our people and many of our people have been provided with such loans for business purposes. So I would like  to suggest here that when the hon. Member referred to his constituency and other constituencies that there is cope for providing small loans to entrepreneurs to start small business and so far as the Government is concerned, the Industries Department had provided loans for certain small industries. I would agree with the hon. Member that efforts should be made to implement in a more strict manner, the Act for trading by non-tribals. Those traders who have not the licences, are not to be provided with any new licences. The idea behind it is that more tribals should come into the line of business and trade and the Government of Meghalaya will also use its good offices to discuss this matter with the District Council and the importance in the implementation of this particular law of the District Council. Well, the hon. Member from Nongpoh had referred to the trade centres and to the assistance given by the Government in special training and suggested to follow up so that those who get training are given financial loans in an easier manner. Mr. Speaker, Sir, certainly we will give the instructions to the department concerned that greater follow-up should be looked into so that those who are trained in tailoring, carpentry etc. are given necessary loans so that they can undertake business and other trades in various skills in which they have been trained. The hon. Member from Nongspung was of the opinion that the political autonomy was not enough and that the improvement of the economy was very important and we would certainly agree with him. Mr. Speaker, Sir, he had suggested that we have to examine how best we can encourage our people in business and in a particular field of dairy farming, poultry and pig-rearing and so on. Mr. Speaker, Sir, our Government have already done this and we have a programme for giving assistance and subsidies to our people who like to take up animal husbandry and this is one of the very important ways by which farmers can earn supplementary income by improving animal husbandry and by providing very important products from these animals such as various mild and dairy products. He had also suggested that the Government should constitute a Commission to look into various ways and means to improve the entrepreneurship and business acumen of our people and this will be taken into consideration. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have concerned most of the points and I would like to thank the hon. Member who moved this motion, who gave us an opportunity to discuss the importance of this matter in giving encouragement, incentive and facilities to our people in our State for coming to the field of business and trade. 

Mr.  Speaker : The discussion is closed. Let us now come to Motion No.3 to be moved by Mr. Syiemiong or Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh. 

Shri W. Syiemiong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the difficulties faced by the employees of all categories in the C.D. Department pertaining to their service conditions.  

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. You can initiate the discussion now. 

Shri W. Syiemiong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the outset I would like to make it clear why this particular motion on this particular department was initiated by us. The main reason that make us to initiate this particular motion is that we have come to understand that of all the departments in the State, perhaps, the C.D. Department, if not most important, at least is one of the most important departments in the entire State so far as it affects the rural people in our county as a whole and so far as our State of Meghalaya is concerned, the majority of the people are affected n the rural areas.  Therefore, this particular department which affects their lives, must have that importance. We remember very well that this very department was the out-come of our Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. He actually wanted that each and every village in the country should be a self-sustaining economic unit. Sir, another way of making our people understand about the role of democracy is by getting them involved in the very administration of the country by opening this particular department i.e. this block agency. That is why, Sir, we want now to discuss here that if we are very keen about developing our State, some special efforts, special attention must be given to this particular department. This is the only department that looks after the execution ad function of more than one department. But here I would like to mention that I do not actually mean to refer to the administration at the State level and the Directorate level. What I want to say is about the Block Agency which actually affects the people, and as I said earlier, that this department is the only department which deals with the function  and implementation of the many other departments right from construction of roads and bridges to agricultural activities, industrial activities and almost everything that concerns the lives of the rural people. That is why much money in the previous years has been spent. Lakhs and lakhs of rupees have been spent and, in fact, we also from this side would wish that more money should be spent under this Department. Only the other day, there was a cut motion in my name in which I was supposed to support the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat on this particular cut motion, but on second thought, because of shortage of time on that particular day being the last day and because of so many reasons, I thought if I move the cut motion, I would merely be over-critical in one particular aspect only. Whereas we all want that this particular department should be given more and more money, but at the same time we are afraid that if more and more money is given to this department we will see worse and worse state of affairs as it was before. But since 1972, there has been some change because since 1972, that was my first experience and I hope my friends here will corroborate with me that the people form that time onward have taken keen initiative and keen interest to look after the functions of this particular department. That is why, to a certain extent from 1972 onward some improvements have been there. The fact remains that, as a representative of the people, we cannot afford to be over active although we may wish to, but we cannot afford because of the numerous activities, but we must take keen interest which would make the particular activities of this department effective. So naturally when we examine these things, we can understand that the fault perhaps lies somewhere, so to say the staff because as it was before, if given only them, if left only to them, the bridge that was supposed to be constructed by them in the first monsoon would be washed away. I have had the occasion to mention here and put unstarred question some time back, when I was very much apprehending that if that particular bridge would be constructed by the Block people, it would not last long and indeed in the very first monsoon, in the first year as soon as it was constructed, the bridge at Mairang Block was washed away. We find a lot of other schemes like the crash scheme, but  I am not going to say much about the crash schemes because as I have said, if left to these people of the block to do the work, most of the money, even it given for the betterment of the people, will be just a waste. There have been lakhs of rupees that have spent on crash schemes, and even in my own constituency about more than one lakh and twenty thousand have been spent, but not a kilometer of road ahs been constructed, that is at Tyrsad, and the construction of that particular bridge, so the Chairman of the Block Committee who is there with me, will  bear me out that such is the thing if we, are representatives, do not take active part in the affairs of this Department. As I say, before we actually try to find out the anomalies and ills of this Department and to locate their faults, I feel that we must also at the same time try to examine in what kind of situation, in what kind of position these people who work under these agencies are at present. Let us take first the case of the grams sevaks.  These gram sevaks are the people who are the ears and eyes of the Government. They are the ones that the Government come into constant contact, and through whom the Government come into constant contact with the people. These are the most important people in so far as the administrative machinery of the Government is concerned and the people in the rural areas can come into contact with the Government. But look at their position. As far as I can understand, the service condition of these people is such that they do not understand where they are. They were appointed and trained by the Agriculture Department by they have to work under the C.D. Department and they were trained as agriculturists, but they were given all kinds of work in which they were not trained. Their pay is so meagre and they have to be constantly on the move and there was no scope whatsoever for any promotion  for them or even for confirmation of their services. Many of them are graduates. I know quire a number of them who are graduates and there are many who passed P.U.C. and naturally you can hardly expect anything from these people, and if they remain in this particular, Departments, their future will be doomed.  Therefore, they will have less feeling, less incentive to work, can we blame them? Their pay is so meagre, which is less than the pay of the L.D. Clerk and they have no future prospects, no confirmation and they remain temporary for years together. I know some of them have been working for 15 to 20 years but they are in the same condition. there is no hope for them. Can we expect anything good for them?

        Now I come to the other categories of officers like the Extension Officers of the Agriculture or the Animal Husbandry or the A.C.Os. Their condition is no less different from what they were, though, of course, they have a parent department, but then, they were transferred to the Community Development Department and they received no additional deputation allowance or anything of the sort and a lot of them have been complaining that they do not understand where they belong to and where is their originality. Whether the Parent Department is Agriculture or Industry or Statistical Department or whatever it is, but so far as their work is concerned they do not understand their loyalty is, at one time, the B.D.O. will ask them to do some work and at the same time, the Department will ask them to do something so how can these people perform their duties properly. So naturally it is very hard to expect these people to perform their duties properly. So naturally, it is very hard to expect these people to perform their duty with loyalty and sincerity which we should expect to them.

Mr. Speaker :- I want some clarification. Do you mean that these officers who are being deputed from Agriculture Department or from the Department or from the Department of Animal Husbandry to the block receive deputation allowance within the same Government in the same State or when they were due for promotion, they cannot get promotion in their own department.

Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- As a matter of fact, as far as I under stand when a person in any particular department is transferred to another department he must receive some deputation allowance. That is usually the case. Some deputation allowance is there, some other allowance also is given and sometimes, considering the type of work he does, or if there is constant travelling, some special allowance should be given to them. Another point, which I raised earlier Mr. Speaker, Sir, is about promotion. It has come to my notice that actually a good number of them in so far as promotion is concerned, have been overlooked. The parent department had overlooked and that is why they have remained stagnant in the same position for years together. Naturally as I say, you cannot expect good things from these people. I know that some S.E.Os, S.Is or Extension Officers have been promoted to the posts of B.D.Os but they still remain in the same position. I understand that there are 2 or 3 or 4 B.D.Os who were appointed Project Officers some 15 to 20 years back by the C.D. Department  but I understand that till this date their service has not been confirmed an they remain as B.D.Os till this date whereas many of their junior officers some of them have become their superiors through promotion. Some 3 or 4 unfortunate people remain as B.D.Os for the last 15 to 20 years. They do not know where they belong. Whether C.D. Department will claim them or whether Agriculture Department will claim them or which particular department will claim them and  Government cannot simply dismiss them. No wonder, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this being a very important department, how can you expect that good works can come out of this particular department. So I call upon the Government to look into the service condition of those people working in the block offices and those people who have got lien in the parent department, they are to be confirmed in their posts or should be attached to some particular departments so they understand where they belong. With these few words, Sir, I commend my motion for the acceptance of the House.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also would like to associate myself with the discussion of this motion. Of course many of the points have been raised by the mover of the motion. Nevertheless I would like to stress that the majority of the employees in the blocks are facing difficulties pertaining to their service conditions because of the fact that in the block agencies the posts are being manned by the people from different departments. As has been stated by the mover of the motion, these people................

Mr. Speaker :- I think except one category.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Of course some categories of posts like clerk etc.

Mr. Speaker :- I think the Social Education Organisers do not belong to the parent department.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- These are  from the Education Department. So, many of the Extension Officers are drawn from other departments, and therefore, when they are in the blocks their loyalty is divided - one is  to their parent department and the other to the Block Officers and also to the officers of the C.D. Department and also to the Deputy Commissioner who is the head of the District. They are so many bosses and they will not know what to do. Therefore, they will not have much concentration on their work. Therefore, there are officers who wanted to pay loyalty to their department. They often do not care the orders of the B.D.O. or other officers who belong to C.D. Department. But then there are officers who wanted to be more loyal to the B.D.Os but they are being harassed by the parent department. So in this way, the work is the block suffers. As has been stated by the hon. Member who moved this motion, there are B.D.Os who have been promoted to this rank. They are from other departments like S.E.Os who belong to Education Department. There are A.E.Os from Agriculture Department who have been appointed as B.D.Os. But these B.D.Os draw the pay of the earlier posts with certain allowances as B.D.Os. But then in the gradation list, I do not know how they will grade them if they are to return to their parent department. Whether they have kept any post reserved for them which is equivalent to the post of B.D.O. Therefore, we expected that the C.D. Department should create permanent posts for the B.D.Os so that when any officer is promoted to the post of B.D.O. he should not remain in the old post of S.E.O. or A.E.O. Then there are some difficulties being faced by those employees who have been recruited directly by the D.Cs or by the C.D. Department itself. Sir, posts like L.D.As. mated establishment of the D.C. in the blocks. But in the case of other Assistants like Accountants, then L.D.A.-cum-Cahier, driver, peon, chowkidar,  muharrirs, gram sevikas are posts which have not been own position. I understand that there was a proposal from the C.D. Department where they have proposed  from the C.D. Department where they have proposed that the block muharrirs should be absorbed in the P.W.D. and then these gram sevika should be absorbed in the P.W.D. and then these gram sevikas should be absorbed in the Agriculture Department and gram sevaks were proposed to be absorbed in the Education Department. I think only last year, some time in August, that move was there. But then they have not yet received any information or any decision of the Government whether they accept the proposal or they want to do something else. But in the case of Accountant, L.D.A.-cum-Cashier, driver, peon, chowkidar and some other categories of posts they do not understand where they belong. They do not come under the establishment of the Deputy Commissioner or under the C.D. Department, but they are still remaining temporary as the hon. mover of the motion has said.

Mr. Speaker :- I do not understand your point. Temporary or permanent is a definite question. But if you say that they do not understand where they belong to, I think that is clear because they have been recruited by C.D. Department and they belong to that Department. 

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- In case of some Accountants, they have their own departments which are making their posts permanent. But in the case of those from the blocks, they do not understand because their post is to be sanctioned every year.

Mr. Speaker :- I think that is the normal procedure for every post.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Sir, that must be, but these posts are very important and it is the duty of the Government to look after them as they have been looking after any other establishment. As it is, Sir, the accountants of other departments can get higher appointments or promotion. But in this case, Sir, these employees have to remain in the same position as they were and may continue till they retire. Also they do not get the benefit which is enjoyed by the permanent Government servants and this is the same with all categories of staff. Therefore, Sir, these employees do not understand as to who is responsible for that and also they do not know whether their posts will be retained permanently or not. They do not feel secure, and if they are not secure, then naturally the work will suffer for they will be thinking of their future as to what will happened tomorrow because they are not certain of their service. That is why we say there is difficulty for all categories of employees who are recruited under this programme. I would, therefore, request that Government should how consider and take a decision as per proposal which was  given last year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the Gram Sevaks and Gram Sevikas and other categories of employee of the Block like Accountants, L.D.A-cum-cashier, drivers, chowkidars and peons, if at all the  Blocks are to be retained, the posts should be made permanent. So, Sir, if Government consider their case, I think their performance also will improve and things will become  as they should be. With these few observations, Sir, I associate myself with the motion which has been brought by the hon. Member from Nongspung.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Lyngdoh.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also would like to associate myself with the motion moved by the hon. Member from Nongspung. The member has mentioned in his motion particularly about the service conditions of the people working in the Block level. But the hon. member has also made some remark about the fund position which is not in accordance with the motion he has moved.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, I agree with some of the points which the hon. member has already mentioned regarding the condition of some of the officers working under the Block Development Officers especially the S.E.Os, AEOs and other Extension Officers attached to the Blocks. I take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to remind the hon. member that some of the SEOs have been promoted to the rank of BDOs and most of the Gram Sevikas to senior Gram Sevikas. Also some of the AEOs have been promoted to BDOs. 

Mr. Speaker :- What posts?

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- AEOs, Sir, Agriculture Extension Officers. I hope the hon. Member who moved this motion knows that those officers who have been promoted were considered on seniority basis. With regard to some of the staff working in the Blocks, the hon. member from Mawkyrwat has mentioned that most of the clerical staff are are now amalgamated with the staff of the Deputy Commissioner recently. For his information, one of the officials, of the Block from Mawphlang has been transferred to the Ri Bhoi Administrative Unite under the Deputy Commissioner. I would also like to refresh the memory of the hon. member, Sir, that the present BDO of Mawphlang, the BDO of Mylliem has been promoted from the rank of SEO. This is the same with regard to the BDO of Nongstoin and other cases.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Lyngdoh, with regard to these posts, I think you must remember that if certain SEOs are promoted to BDOs, then they may have a superiority complex vis-a-vis the other Extension Officers who may not have a chance of getting promotion to BDO. But I am not saying that what you have stated is not correct.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, promotion is given on seniority basis and efficiently. For the information of the hon. member from Nongspung since he has mentioned about the position of the Gram Sevaks and Gram Sevikas, these two belong to the C.D. Department and they have also initiated by the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Also we should remember the basic education was initiated by the Father of the Nation and in this regard I would like to state that most of the teachers under this basic education scheme have got neither pension nor promotion as this scheme is still in the experimental stage. So the people who are willing to work under this scheme know from the beginning but with the hope that it will be better if the future. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to mention about the financial difficulties faced by the officers and staff serving under the Blocks. Besides the points raised by the hon. Members from Nongspung and Mawkyrwat, Sir, at present there are three categories of BDOs (1) BDOs who were appointed after passing the Meghalaya Public Service Commission who are more or less than EACs and SDCs (2) Graduate BDOs who were promoted from Social Education Officers and (3) Under-graduate BDOs promoted from Extension Officers. Here we find that the first category of BDOs get the highest pay, higher than the Graduate BDOs while the Graduate BDOs are getting more pay than the udner graduate BDOs. We find that all these BDOs do the same type of work more or less but the pay varies. So I would request the Government, through you, Sir, to see that the officers doing the same duties and having to shoulder the same responsibilities to get the same pay. I would request the Government to consider that they get the same pay so long as they are in the Blocks and when they have to be transferred to their own respective pay may be considered. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also suggest that these three types of BDOs should be placed only under one category so that they can render better services. If we can keep only the BDOs who have passed the MPSC's examination or those graduate BDOs who have not passed the MPSC's examination, then I think they will be in a better position since they will be getting the same pay with the same responsibility.

Mr. Speaker :- That is not a formula Mr. Lyngdoh, you want to compare between the I.A.S. officers and the State Service officers, doing the same type of jobs. You cannot expect the State Service officer to get the same type of jobs. You cannot expect the State Service Officers to get the same pay as the same pay as the I.A.S. Officers, it might be that the State Service officer is doing the maximum work. In fact, you might have suggested that non-graduates should not be appointed.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- I want to come to that point Mr. Speaker, Sir, Since the responsibility is very heavy I think, in future, let us have only graduate BDOs through the MPSC's examination so that they can do better in their duties when they are put as incharge of the Blocks which have got responsibilities of the different departments and in their charge.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while associating in this motion, first of all, I would like to remind the hon. members of this august House that this Department, the Community Development Department, came into being in 1952 and with the passage of 24 years, this Department is still a temporary department. Many people who have joined service in this department some of them have passed away, some of them are still to serve for four or five years. Whereas their position as it is now, as mentioned by some members, specially in the case of schematic personnel like Maharirs, cinema-operators and Mali-cum-Chowkidar of the Agriculture Department and even the Gram sevaks and Gram-sevikas fall under the schematic provision of the schemes of the Blocks. You know Mr. Speaker, Sir, that when this programme was launched in the whole country, there was a prescribed staffing pattern which the Government of India has laid down, the staffing pattern to be followed through out the whole country and in those days, there were Extension Officers from different departments, from Agriculture Veterinary, Industries, Education  and Cooperation Departments and in the plain areas they have also the Panchayats. So all these people have to do their extension work to propagate the programme and activities of the different departments in the different Block areas. As time passed by, Mr. Speaker, Sir, all these Blocks passed through different stages. At the initial stage when the Block has just been opened they were called or known as pre-extension and then after that, they come to the Stage-I where there are sufficient money, sufficient posts and everything was in a abundance. It is is a full swing when the Block is in Stage-I. When they come to Stage-II, allocation of fund is reduced according to the pattern laid down. When they come to Stage-III it is still further reduced and after that, they become normalised and the departments will take back all their personnel to their own departments and the difficulty is with the people who were employed under the schematic provisions and also the difficulty being faced by the Gramsevaks and Gramsevakas who are not owned either by the Agriculture Department or by the D.C. (Establishment) or by the Community Development Department or by the Education Department, You know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, now most of the Blocks in our State are being normalised and these poor people like gramsevaks and gramsevikas are facing difficulties in the mater of their service conditions. I know during the end of this financial year, many of the schematic posts are to be abolished. We do not know what will be the fate of those persons after serving 20 to 21 years, well they will have to start afresh, but where? Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is also understood that unless the department is made permanent these people even if they want to remain in the Community Development Department their posts cannot be declared as substantive or permanent and this itself will deprive all those persons of the pension benefits. Mr. Speaker, Sir, actually those gramsevaks were appointed and recruited by the D.C. (Development) but the D.C. (Development) is only a cell within the D.C's office to look after the developmental programmes and also it is something just like a sanctioning authority to sanction development programme and Block schemes. Therefore, the D.C. (Development) except the establishment staff, cannot entertain any other field staff. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a fact that the fate of the Gram Sevak and Gram Sevikas - the people appointed under the schematic provisions is hanging in a balance with the Government should give serious consideration to find out ways and means and finalise the issues which have been hanging for a pretty long time, to come to the key posts. As has been mentioned by the hon. member from Umroi, there are three categories of posts of B.D.O. number one is being manned by those people who have been promoted to the post of B.D.O. from different Departments like Education, Agriculture and Veterinary Departments. As has been recently done, some of the posts are also being manned by the people appointed under the recommendations of the MPSC and there are certain cases here and there where the people have been appointed by the Assam Government under direct appointment as B.D.O.

Mr. Speaker :- Who are still being retained now?

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Yes, who are still being retained now and they have been in existence for more than 20 years. These people must have rendered service for not less then 20 years.  These people must have rendered service for not less than 20 years or so and their days of retirement may not be far off. Therefore, the service condition of these people who were directly appointed and are still retained as BDOs, I feel, needs reviewing either to encadre them under the MPSC regulations or to send them to any department-I mean a permanent Department so that they can be absorbed in their substantive posts for finding out a workable formula so that they would not feel neglected. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that the service conditions of the people in the Blocks, who are the immediate machinery of the Government, should be looked into and that the Government should finalise whatever pending issues are there. With these few words, I resume my seat. 

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while taking part in the discussion on this motion I would like only to make a few suggestions. As the hon. Member from Sohryngkham has just spoken before me, I would also like to urge upon the Government to make this C.D. Department a permanent Department. That is number one.

        The number two suggestion, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that the post of Gramsevaks, Gram Sevakikas, Muharrirs, Operators - either for pumps or power tiller - be made pensionable, and in this connection, I would like to suggest that the posts of Muharrirs may be absorbed by the P.W.D. which should make the posts permanent and pensionable. Again, for the posts of Gram Sevaks I would like to suggest that the Agriculture Department absorb them and also make the posts pensionable because these Gram Sevaks are trained personnel from the Gram Sevak Training Centre at Upper Shillong run by the Agriculture Department. Then another suggestion I would like to make with regard to the Gram Sevikas that the Social Education Department absorb them and the Operators of pumps and power tillers should be absorb in the Agriculture Department. So, Sir, these are the suggestions I would like to place before the Government, through you, so that the Government may find out a workable formula on how to make these posts permanent and pensionable for the interest of the incumbents.

Mr. Speaker :- Will the Minister reply?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Community Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do greatly appreciate the interest and concern shown by the mover of this motion on this Department which, as has been stated by him, is a very very important Department of the people in the rural areas. In fact. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when this movement the C.D. movement - was launched in 1952, our then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had envisaged a revolution that would change the face of India. So much was the hope and aspiration of the work of this Department. The problems in the rural areas of our country, however were so vast, big and difficult that whatever attention was given during the last 25 years had not yet been able to fully fulfill the dream of Pandit Nehru at that time. But we have to admit that a great deal has been achieved in developing and brining development-consciousness among the people, the vast masses in the rural areas of our country.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker in the Chair)

        I am very happy and grateful to the hon. mover when he mentioned that after 1972 the situation of work in the Block Agencies had improved and this kind of improvement was possible due to interest should by the people's representatives in the working of the Blocks and it is in agreement with this view that this Government had gone a step further in bringing non-official leaders to man the Blocks as Chairmen of the Blocks. The other day I had also given the figures and the facts of the funds being specially created by this Government to finance the work and activities of the Blocks. Now, Sir, regarding this particular subject of the motion regarding the position of the different categories of employees in the Blocks, the hon. Members have very rightly expressed their concern over the service conditions of the employees working in the Blocks. As stated by the hon. Member from Sohryngkham, Mr. G. Mylliemngap, the whole Department, right from Secretariat level, Directorate level to the Block level Community Development Department is still a temporary Department. Therefore all the posts from the Director down to the Gram Sevaks and Sevikas, Muharrirs and Peons are still temporary according to the pattern laid down by the Government of India for all blocks. However, Sir, if we go into the actual position of the posts we will find that most of the posts have been manned by permanent offices and staff from other Departments. Now of all the 24 B.D.O.s in the State only 2 are still cadreless officers. They are purely B.D.Os not belonging to any other permanent Department. One B.D.O. is on deputation from Arunachal and as we had stated all the U.D.As and L.D.As working in the Blocks are linked up with the permanent position in the DC's establishment. Then all the Extension Officers belong to permanent Department; they have come to the Blocks merely on being sent by the Departments to carry out works of the Department in the Blocks. Now we have seen most of the hon. Members have shown concern about the position of the Gram Sevaks and Gram Sevikas who have been drawn for certain jobs and they still continue to remain not in the substantive position. This question is now under consideration  of the Government and so also in the case with other staff like Muharrirs, Operators and so on. These are also being considered by the Government as to whether it is possible and desirable and practicable to place them in some substantive position in certain permanent Departments. Now, Sir, I am thankful for the knowledge that was put forward by the hon. Member from Sohryngkham about the nature of the condition of the organisation of the Blocks in the pattern of the Government of India. Now after 25 years these Blocks in the State have become normalised. In fact according to the pattern the position should have been that all the Extension Officers from other Departments should have been withdrawn. But then all Members would say that in spite of the fact that the Blocks have been normalised yet Blocks are still functioning as they used to function and all the officers from the other Departments are still in tact. So also the Gram Sevak and Gram Sevikas will continue as before. From this is clear that in practice the Government have realised the need to continue the work under these Blocks in the rural areas and as stated earlier in spite of the fact that the fund position of the Blocks has reduced very much, yet we have been able to channelise funds to the Blocks to fully utilise the services of all the staff that have been placed in the Blocks in the rural areas. So Sir, it would appear that we have no real difference from our side in the House so far as the importance of the Blocks is concerned. Now it is also under the active consideration of the Government to see how to remove the difficulties of the staff.

        Of course, we are also to consider in the context of All India pattern as far as Blocks are concerned. Therefore, as I stated, we are almost in one mind regarding the importance of the Blocks and also about the need to give a sense of belonging, a sense of security and the need to streamline the loyalties of various staff which are under active consideration of the Government now.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now the discussion on the motion is closed. Let us take up Motion No.4 to be moved by Shri Rowell Lyngdoh.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the performance and maintenance of the Meghalaya State Transport Buses in the State.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, through this motion, I would only like to lay stress on the performance and services rendered by the State Transport buses in our State. So far we expected that these State Transport buses of the Government would solve the problem faced by the travelling public who have been suffering for a long time for lack of transport. I also just want to point out here and there is lack of maintenance of these buses. Sir, this State Transport Undertaking was started about three years back and as per the Finance Minister's statement in his Budget Speech this Transport Undertaking is a commercial undertakings and therefore it has to operate on business lines. Of course we also under stand this and that is why the Government also has charged certain rate on the passengers who travel by these buses. But I do not know exactly how many buses we have got in our State, and looking from the review of the implementation of schemes, Sir, I mean the review which has been circulated to all Members, we have seen that up to the year 1974-75 as many as 24 buses were added to the fleet and then up to 1975-76 some 15 more buses were purchased and later on 18 more buses were purchased by the Government. Therefore Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, up to the end of 1975-76, if we only add the new figures to the original purchase, I think it will come up to nearly 57 buses altogether. We all know that there is a demand of these buses everywhere in the State and we also know that there is shortage of buses and lack of transport facilities and communication here in our State. Wherever the roads are opened every body requires buses or transport to ply on these roads so that they can travel from one place to another. So by simple calculation, if we place only four buses in one route then we would have about 14 routes where these buses could ply. But as I said I do not know exactly the number of buses that we have. I hope the Minister will give the correct number in his reply later on. During  the speech of the Finance Minister we find that in the current year the aim of the Government is to operate the State Transport buses only on ten roads. Sir, this will not be sufficient at all if you take into account the total number of buses that we have. I think more roads are to be operated by these buses. Even in the short routes I think we can at least operate three buses for the whole day and that too by running twice or thrice a day. As I have said already it will not be sufficient for the Government to place the buses only on 10 routes. People of many parts of the State want to have buses to ply whenever there is a road an even in those already existing roads the passengers experience great difficulties for shortage of buses. Not only that, sometimes there is lack of maintenance also Sir. I have seen in one station here in Shillong, of course I do not know of any other town, buses were lying idle in that station. Although these buses were purchased some three or four years back but it is found that most of them are condemned and unserviceable and now they are lying in that Shillong Station. So I do not know what type of maintenance was done for them by the Department concerned. When you compare these buses with the private buses, you will find that the condition of private buses in far better and they can give better service than these Government buses. Private buses can run for 6 years or 7 years or 8 years and so on and they can still earn money because they are in good condition always. So we also expect that Meghalaya State buses which have just been started to operate in our State should have been of good condition and their life should have been longer. As it is, we have seen that they are not in good running condition and most of them are condemned. We should actually have taken up more routes and not only these 10 routes and if the condition of these buses is good we should have got benefit through their service. There should not have been handicap on transport and the difficulties experienced by the passengers would have been removed if only properly maintenance is done of these buses. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know what is the difficulty on the part of the Government to keep proper maintenance. We expect that the Government would maintain things better than private individuals. Private individuals do not have finance as the Government has, to maintain their transport. But if we think of the present condition we find that the Government transport are lagging much behind other private enterprises. Sir, even with the new buses, I find that sometimes they break down on the way and this gives the passengers much trouble. Sometimes those Government vehicles get struck up somewhere on the way because of minor defects and on many occasions I find that the passengers also remain stranded half way due to the break down. I myself experienced this once when I was travelling by this State Transport bus. There was a break-down on the way because there was puncture of one of the tyres and when I asked the conductor and driver why don't you repair here, they said we do not have even a spanner or any tools with us. They said because it is brand new, so the office do not supply them with those tools for repairing purpose.

        This, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, really gives much difficulty to the passengers. So the people who wanted to go to market and do business in the market lose their chances for the day and even the Government Servants who wanted to attend to their official duties could not do so. And if was a great harassment to the people, Sir, all this happened because of lack of maintenance of the State buses by our Transport Department. Moreover, it seems, Sir, that the staff also do not pay much attention to their duties and at the nick of time when the vehicle is about to start, then they will check the buses. It seems, Sir, that there is no checking prior to the departure of the buses. Sir, once we had a bitter experience during the last winter Session. Sir, many Members from Garo Hills as well as from Khasi Hills reached the station. There was one vehicle No. MLX 35 which  was allotted for Tura and another bus No. MLX 36 was allotted for Mawkyrwat. Accordingly, all the people boarded the bus which was to leave the station at 7 O'clock in the morning. But Sir, at about 7.30 A.M. we are informed that there were some defects in the vehicle and they would have to change the bus. As a result, many to our friends from Tura had to face much difficulty as they had to take back their bags and baggage's from the bus. On enquiry they informed us that the bus meant for Tura will go to Mawkyrwat and the bus meant for Mawkyrwat will go to Tura. In this, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we had to face lot of difficulties on that day. There are many Members here in this august House who were travelling by the bus and I hope that some of them will corroborate with me on this particular point. Sir, it shows lack of maintenance on the part of the Transport Department. It also seems that the staff of the  Transport Department have less responsibility. And the other day when we discussed about this lack of maintenance on the part of the Transport Department, they said that there was no engineer. But the engineer has joined, eh must have now looked after the difficulties of this department. And we also have heard that the Transport Department will open a mechanical shed and workshop for maintenance of these buses. But Sir, it seems that nothing has been done so far by this department and all the State buses are lying outside the premises of the motor station and if we go inside those buses which are kept as out of order we will find that the seats have been destroyed and almost everything inside the buses is damaged. So even if these buses are sanctioned. I don't think that they will fetch any good amount of money. As I have already said, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that there is lack of maintenance on the part of the State Transport Department. Therefore, I would like to request the Government to give more attention to this particular department and whoever is responsible for this lack of maintenance should be taken to ask. Sir, the performance of these States buses should be improved and since it is running on commercial basis, it should earn more revenue for the Government. Sir, we also know that since  the time of Assam Government there has been lot of misappropriation of money by the staff. The buses conductors issue tickets to the road-side passengers and the money generally goes to their pockets. Sir, it is very doubtful whether such money will be accounted by the office. Some the buses are over-crowded, specially during bazar days and when the buses are over-crowded the conductors could not possibly issue tickets to the passengers. But I do not know whether such money collected without ticket will go to the account to the transport office or not. I also do not know whether the Department ever think of having some check on this matter. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir,, even in this M.S.R.T.C. we have seen that there are lots of checking and strictness. But still the conductors get the chance to manipulate such collection of money or fare from the road-side passengers. I do not know whether those tickets which they issued to the road-side passengers are the real tickets or mere pieces of paper. Here also I have seen Sir, that during the bazar days, like Nongstoin bazar, Mawkyrwat bazar and Sohra bazar, the buses are crowded by road-side-passengers and during these bazar days the conductors just collect the fare from the passengers and only to a few passengers they ill issue tickets. So I do not know whether the money collected from such road-side passengers will go to the State exchequer.

        Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on this. I would like to request the Government to see that these buses which are lying in the station, should either be repaired or they should be immediately auctioned when they feel that they cannot be repaired or economically maintained in the Department. Otherwise what is the use of keeping these junks of vehicles which is a loss to the Government as a result of the delay in the disposal of these vehicles, Sir. So, I would like to request the Government to maintain these vehicles properly and should have at least a workshop or mechanics which should be employed by the Government, they should strictly supervise and maintain these vehicles up to the standard and whenever the vehicles ply in any road, spare parts should be kept in the bus as well as mechanics should be there is possible, if not a mechanic, at least the driver should be directed to repair if these is any minor defect, because sometimes when the vehicles went out of order on the road, it is sometimes embarrassing because even we as laymen can repair it, but the driver of the Department would say that he is not entitle to repair or to touch the vehicle but he is only to drive it, because if this happens, the passengers will suffer. So I would expect that the Minister will clarify this position also that from now on we would expect that there is better maintenance. So with these few words, I move this motion. Sir. 

Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the motion is so worded that it clearly indicates that it seeks to raise a discussion on (a) the performance and (b) the maintenance of the buses of the M.S.T.U. In fact, the motion really has sought to raise a discussion on the maintenance of the vehicles because the performance of any vehicle naturally depends or will depend on the maintenance. On this count, I must admit that the maintenance has not been cent per cent satisfactory and that too, due to unavoidable reasons. We, as of today, have a fleet of 52 vehicles and yet at present we have no buildings of our own to accommodate the workshop and therefore, the repair works are either undertaken in the open or in a room given on loan by the Assam and Meghalaya State Road Transport Corporation. This room also serves as a store for the various condemned parts. As various workshop facilities are expected to be available to the Organisation or to the undertaking when the existing joint Corporation is bifurcated, the Meghalaya State Transport Undertaking has not considered it necessary to take up now constructions. However, sanction has been given for construction of a Station Office and a 4 vehicle garage that means a garage big enough to accommodate 4 vehicles. Construction is expected to be taken up during the current financial year. Sanction for the laying of water pipes, etc for bringing water of the Station Yard has also been given. Cleaner vehicles will be put on the road when this facility is made available. Setting up of a central workshop in Shillong and regional workshops one each at Tura and Jowai is also receiving very active consideration of the Government. We do have mechanics and these mechanics have been provided or are equipped with all the necessary hand tools, but no machineries have yet been installed for want of accommodation as I said earlier. Both repair work and engine overhauling are done by private firms and work being allotted  on the basis of the lowest quotation tendered. Engine works done by outside firms have not been found to be satisfactory. The Organisation is still to find firms which can work to our satisfaction. The few engines that were repaired by the Organization's own staff are performing very well indeed. But due to insufficiency of mechanics and as I said, lack of workshop facilities, naturally the work of over-hauling engines becomes a very slow process. But this also will be rectified when we are in a position to recruit more mechanics to serve the M.S.T.U. In fact today the facilities available are so inadequate that even minor works like soldering and battery repairing and other have to be given out to private firms. As I said earlier, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as on February 1976 this year, the M.S.T.U. has a total fleet of 52 vehicles. Of these 16 were shut down, that means off the road. Of these 16 vehicles that are off the road, five require major body repairs, 3 requires repairs of the body due to accident and 8 require engine overhauling. At the beginning of the year, it was found that almost all the 18 vehicles purchased during the commencement of the operations in 1972 required overhauling of engines and major body repairs Phasing out of these vehicles had to be made gradually so as not to upset the existing traffic schedule. Of the 13 buses requiring body repairs, 8 have been completed and repair work in respect of 5 is in progress. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it will thus be seen that despite the fact that the undertaking today does not have adequate facilities to undertake repairs especially major repairs, yet the Undertakings has made every effort to have the vehicles repaired and to keep them in trim. As I said at the very beginning, the motion is very specifically worded and it seeks to raise discussion on the performance and maintenance of the M.S.T.U. busses. The hon. mover of the motion has however, had occasion to raise the question of the number of routes that are not taken over by the M.S.T.U. and he has also expressed his dissatisfaction over the fact that more routes have not yet been taken over. He has also raised the question of non-issue of tickets, etc. These points - Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, will be replied to when motion No.16 corms up which reads as follows :

        "This House do now discuss the present functioning of the Meghalaya State Transport". That has been tabled by Mr. Pohshna. The second point "This House do now discussed the affairs in the Meghalaya State Transport" has been tabled by Mr. F.K. Mawlot. Nevertheless Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to assure you and the House that some of the very useful suggestions have been made by the hon. member  have been noted and I would also like to assure you that the Government is fully seized of the matter pertaining not only to the maintenance of the M.S.T.U. buses but also of the more effective functioning of the Undertaking. In fact we are already processing the plan for the setting up of a Central Workshop, as I said earlier, here in Shillong and 2 Regional Workshop - one at Tura and one at Jowai. We feel confident that once these workshop are set up, neither the travelling public nor the members of this House will have occasion to complain against the maintenance of the M.S.T.U. buses.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Discussion on motion No.4 is closed. Motion No.5 to be moved by Mr. Hadem

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this Assembly do now discuss the necessary of bridging the river Myntang at Kurelia on the way from Sahsniang village to Psair village of Jaintia Hills District.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved.

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to take much of the time of the House as probably you might say that why such a small matter has been brought before the House. But, Sir, this is a very peculiar matter which needs the attention of the Government and as such, I would only confine my observation to very  few points and I do not want to emphasise on the things which are not relevant to the issue. Sir, you know very well the most of our people in Jaintia Hills are cultivators and by the word 'cultivators' I mean both male and female. This particular place which I have mentioned in the motion is a place in which the cultivators from the other side have to cross the river Myntang and besides you know very well, Sir, that the cultivation season starts right from May every year and the cultivators from this side are facing difficulties during the monsoon season.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Which side?

Shri H. Hadem :- The side of the river bank, as one side lies the village and on the other side leis the cultivation. for going to their place of cultivation, they have to cross  the river when it is a high flood. At the same time, we should know that the poor cultivators have to do most of their work during the monsoon season. Therefore, we can easily imagine that they have to face great difficulties not only in the case of shortage of their rations but at the same time the people from the other side for marketing in the village at Sahsniang. This bazar is held once a week and as such, during summer the people have to face a lot of difficulties Sir, it is a very pitiable to learn that some times either the inhabitants of Psiar or of Sahsniang village do not know that the river was in spate because sometimes the weather might be bright in some places but the water was coming down from upstream and the poor people have to be kept on the their banks. Sometimes even the sucking children have to face difficulties. Sir, I do not want to exaggerate, but it is fact, and as such, I would request the Government, through you, to solve the problem by constructing  a foot bridge over the river. With these few words Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri O. Nongtdu :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while participating in the discussion on the motion moved by my hon. friend, I would like to make a few observations. In this respect, the land in which these  two main villages are situated, viz., Psiar village and Sahsniang village is very fertile. Also the land on both sides of the river Myntang is very very fertile and is actually one of the most fertile portions in Jaintia Hills. The people here depend mostly on agriculture. So Sir, I would like to stress that if we want to encourage produce to market and also it is very necessary for them to move from one place to another.  As it is at present, Sir, there is plenty of waste land round about these two villages where people can easily cultivate paddy. So there is much scope for cultivation round about these villages. So, Sir, it is essential that a bridge should be constructed, as stated by the mover of the motion, so that it will give a lot of help to the people in brining their agricultural produce to the markets. With these few words, I resume my seat.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the mover of the motion and the hon. Member from Sutnga for brining to the attention of the Government the need of a bridge over the river Myntang, at Kurelia, on the way from Sahsniang village to Psiar village. I fully appreciate the points raised by them because I know very well that this place has great potential for agricultural production as well as the fact that it  is one of the most fertile areas in Jaintia Hills. In fact, my department has also taken up this matter in so far as surveying is concerned. So whether we have to go for a suspension foot bridge, or jeepable bridge or any other type of bridge, that is to be seen later. But the matter is receiving our serious attention and I will instruct my officers to undertake more surveys and perhaps come up with specific purpose for the construction of the bridge. At the moment we can not take it up immediately, but subject to availability of funds we would take is up in right earnest and it will receive all the attention it deserves.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Discussion on the motion is closed. Let us come to Motion No.6 to be moved by Shri F.K. Mawlot.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House do now discuss the affairs of the Mawmluh-Cherra Cements Limited.

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

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the first instance, I will try to give a brief picture of the establishment of the erstwhile Assam Cements, the name of which is later changed to Mawmluh-Cherra Cements Limited. Sir, the setting up of the factory at Cherra was initiated or proposed by Shri Maham Singh who was then M.L.A. representing the border areas. This was in 1953. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the proposal was accepted by the State Planning Board and the said Board recommended to the then Assam Government for establishment of the factory at Cherra with a view to ameliorate the economic condition of the people living in Cherra and those in the southern belt of the border areas whose economy was shattered due to the partition of the country. 

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Sir, the Government of Assam refused to take up the factory in the public sector. So an approach was made to a private firm under the name of one Shri H.D. Mundra and whose Head Office was located in Calcutta. An initiative was thus take by Shri Mundra for establishing this factory and he formed the Company in Calcutta. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the said person Shri H.D. Mundra ran into difficulties with regard to the LIC and subsequently lost interest in establishing the factory. Now when Mundra fails to take the initiative, Mr. Maham Singh, Mr. K.M. Diengdoh, late Mr. T. Cajee and others tried to raise money for contributing in the share capital originally initiated by Shri Mundra. They also approached the Government of Assam to take over the project or to contribute to the share capital but the Government of Assam simply refused. So when the Government of Assam had refused, those persons have participated in the share capital and they started the Company. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, inspite of the efforts made by the gentlemen mentioned earlier, Mr. Maham Singh, with due respect to him being a member of this House, Mr. K.M. Diengdoh and the late Mr. T. Cajee they have failed again to collect a substantial capital to establish the factory. So they had tried to persuade the Government of Assam to participate in the share capital. Ultimately, the Government of Assam had agreed to participate in the share Capital. Now, at the beginning as I said, the matter was initiated by the private party and the formation of that Company was started in Calcutta as the registered office of the Assam Cements Company Ltd. But when the Government of Assam had agreed to participated in the share capital under the public sector,  the registered office was shifted from Calcutta to Shillong. Now, they have stated the factory. But the Government of Assam on the recommendation of experts said that establishment of the factory at Cherrapunjee was impossible and thus, they have recommended Umtyngar to be the location of the factory. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that was of course, by the founder of the factory. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that was of course, by the founder and initiator of that Company and ultimately, they had agreed that the factory would be at Cherrapunjee. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in that way, bit by bit and slowly, the Company have been converted into a Company of the Khasi people. When they had taken over the management of the establishment of this factory from the time Mr. H.D. Mundra had left, all the burden of the management and affairs of the Company actually fell on the shoulders of Mr. Maham Singh. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when the Government of Assam has participated in the share capital the burden still fell on he shoulders of  Mr. Maham Singh. For example the finalisation of Technical Consultancy Agreement with the foreign Company, the land acquisition applications and applications for loan from the L.I.C. etc., were being done by Mr. Maham Singh herself without any remuneration for quite some time. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the factory was set up and it carried on for some time with the participation of our local people and the Government of Assam. Ultimately, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when Meghalaya came into being, this Company was taken over by the Government of Meghalaya, the people at large, and also the Members of this august House were hoping that efficiency and increase in the production will be improved and that service of the common people will also be improved. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to cite an example of the mal-practice and corruption and inefficiency in the management of the Cherra-Mawmluh Cements Co. Ltd. one Mr. A.K. Dasgupta B.E., the officer in charge of Gannon Dunkerley and Co. Ltd, Cherrapunjee had been complained that a few lakhs of rupees of over payment were make to the said Company. This is an over payment which had occurred due to the inefficiency in the Accounts Department. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, over payment was made during the year 1968-69. In this respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am compelled to read out one letter written by Mr. A.K. Dasgupta to the Managing Director of the Assam Cements Co. Ltd. It is a copy, Sir. Will you kindly allow me to read it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- How did you obtain it?

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- The matter was taken up by the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee with the Government of India as such, this copy was sent to the Member of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee. That is how I obtained this copy. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the letter, dated 14th March, 1972 was addressed to Shri M. Das, Managing Director, Assam Cements Ltd., Shillong. The letter reads like this - "The  undersigned was posted to Cherrapunjee as site-in-charge of M/s Gannon Dunkerley and Co. Ltd. at the time of construction of your factory buildings and the accounts with M/s. Gannon Dunkerley and Co. Ltd were finalised under my full knowledge. Now, I want to reveal to you something which will prove how the corruption has penetrated into your organisation. In term of Agreement M/s Assam Cements Ltd were to supply materials to the contractors and the recovery to be made at the rate fixed in the tender. The civil construction work was completed long ago and the final bill also prepared by your officers some time in the last part of 1968 and on the basis of that payment (over payment) had been made to them. I am citing below one case how your Senior Accountant destroyed all the records in order to make personal gain. All the materials, requisition slips were brought to your Shillong office for the purpose of audit, reconciliation etc, by the said Accountant. In course of checking, it was found that recovery for the following quantity of materials was not included in the statement prepared by your Civil Engineers but the requisition slips (Acknowledgement) of receipt of materials by the contractors, were found by the said Senior Accountant in the bunch of requisition slips forwarded by Cherra office to your Shillong office. The value of the following quantity of the materials which were supplied to the contractors but not recovered was as follows :-

(1)

Cement.......................... 59/95 Metric Tonnes at Rs.195 per metric tonne which comes to the tune of Rs.11,600 (2) Steel comes to the tune of Rs.60,078. The matter was defected by the said Senior Accountant at the time of checking the requisition slips and a sum of Rs.15,000 was paid to him in a cinema hall of Shillong to destroy those slips and who accordingly did it in presence of one of the staffs of the contractors. The fact can be proved because the other copy of the slips (to be retained by the contractor) can be produced, if necessary. 

        I am quoting also another instance which can be checked very easily to prove the correctness of my statement. A sum of Rs.23,000 approx., was not realised from the contractors though the contractors themselves deducted the hirage charge of the following items in their R/s Bills of 2nd Phase civil construction work. R/s Bill from the 20th onwards may kindly be checked. In the final bill this amount was deducted for the personal benefit of Financial Adviser and Senior Accountant.

    Rs.
1. Hirage charge for trucks for 67 days -  6700
2. Hirage charge of dumper -    375
3. Hirage charge for 2 pumps -    135
4. Hirage charge for steel cube mould -    291
5.  Hirage charge for compressor -  2,996
6. Hirage charge for Road Rollers -  5,278
7.  Hirage charge for Road Rollers (taken on loan from A.S.E.B.). -  8,000

        There are other cases of non-recovery which will be intimated to you in due course.

        In view of this your Accounts Department is reluctant to finalise the account with this party and only Rs.4,000 approximately to be paid to the contractors according to your F.A.

With regards and thanks,

Yours faithfully,

Sd/- A.K. Dasgupta

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, why the over payment or the amount mentioned here accrued was because of the fact that the materials were supplied by the company. The costs were not deducted at the time of preparation of the bills that the contractors themselves had indicated the amount of deducting while submitting their bills to the company. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, why the Senior Account had destroyed the requisition steps was because he wanted to conceal the amount. Now the thing is whether the company had taken any action against the said defaulting officer. To my humble knowledge, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this defaulting office had not even been warned. So the company had, for some reasons best known to them, tried to conceal the facts from the Board of Directors. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether the Board of Directors has discussed the matter. But, so far my knowledge goes, it is still lying untouched by the Company; and the man who was responsible for all the overpayments made to the said company is still enjoying an easy life. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have also the requisition slip given by the same gentlemen and which the Minister can see and if he wants to verify I am ready to help him.

Shri E. Bareh Minister Agriculture, etc :- Why don't you give them at Dispur? They are old cases.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Again, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, overpayments were made to Messrs. Hindustan Construction and Shalimar & Co. These were also civil contractors during 1971-72. This happened because of the inefficiency of the Accounts Departments and, of course, the Senior Account is the main person.

        Another instance, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is that an employee at Gauhati had purchased fuel in the name of the company's car No. MLS. 308 during the month of May to August, 1975, while actually the car was in the garage. This employee had been purchasing fuel in the name of the garaged car and of course the fuel was used for his own vehicles. This has been done without the authority of the senior officers. When some difficulties arose, this gentleman had approached the Senior Officer to give him sanction for utilising fuel in the name of the company's car while the petrol was put into his own car. So Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not know whether the management knows anything about it. But that very senior officer had given sanctions for using fuel purchased in the name of the company's car. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Accounts Departments of the Company had also passed the bilks and the amount claimed by that very employees was reimbursed. This was done without the knowledge of the management. I do not know what is the duty or actual work of the Director-in-charge if all these irregularities and not noticed or that the whole management des not know anything about such irregularities. I am constrained also Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to mention here that the same person or the Depot-in-charge at Gauhati, after he had put in 4 years' service, had purchased a car, a truck and a plot of land at Khanapara. 

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, another instance is that the Mawmluh Cherra Cements Limited have paid demurrage and wharfage of the tune of Rs. 1,26,000 during 1975 due to the negligence of staff an the management concerned. Why they had to pay this much on wharfage and demurrage because the Depot-in-charge at Gauhati was negligent; he never cared to take delivery of the consignment and as a result, the company had to pay heavy demurrage and wharfage of the railways.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the management had tried to find out the reasons of such huge amount of demurrage and wharfage which was paid by the Company to the railways because the management have not done anythign to find out the reasons and not to say of the action taken against that particular defaulting officer.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the list showing the amount paid for each R/R article is here.

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- You need not read out the whole content of the list.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- If the Minister-in-charge also wants to know about the amount I am ready to help him. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, during the years 1971 to 1974-75 it comes roughly to the tune of Rs.15 to Rs.20 lakhs of demurrage and wharfage paid at Bongaigaon and at Gauhati. This is also Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the fault of the Account Department which the management should think of renovation for bringing better administration in the services of the Company and the people. They should have taken some steps towards finding out the reasons of such huge amount and unnecessary expenditure. The defaulting officers should have been dealt with accordingly. 

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this had not been done by the management and as it is now, the matter is still in the cold storage.

        Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the excess payment made as railway freight is approximately Rs.800 for every consignment of heavy machinery. There the Company had as many as 100 heavy machineries. The consignment payment is Rs.800 each, that means, the amount of freight which the Company had paid was Rs.80,000 approximately. But this overpayment was made because our clerk had collected money and because the Company had not asked for any quotation of the rates of  freights to be paid to the railways before they take delivery of the materials Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this amount has also accrued because of the negligence of duty of wharfage in charge. Similarly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the excess freight comes to the tune of Rs.21 lakhs which was paid at Gauhati. This excess payment occurred in every year in every item of consignment. I would like the Minister in charge to give us a clear picture as to how this over payment has occurred. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is  matter of great regret that this over payment cannot be recovered even now because no claim was preferred to the railway authority in due course and now all these are parts of time limitation. The claim for Rs.90,000 for non-receipt of materials, steel and plants was turned down by the railways on the ground of time limit. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this has occurred after  the Company was taken over by the Meghalaya Government and the Meghalaya Government made an enquiry as to why the cost of materials comes to the tune or Rs.90,000 which was not received by the Company. But this amount was paid to the railways and no claim was preferred in due time. Now this amount of Rs.90,000 is a complete loss. There is no hope of the Company recovering that amount. On this point. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like the Minister in charge to give a clear picture. In this matter. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Director in charge is responsible for his negligence of duties and the amount of Rs.90,000 was paid without receiving the materials. The Director is very irresponsible for his duties. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the balance sheet for 1977-78 stood at Rs.1,72,738.15 paise which was kept under the suspense account. This amount was noticed by the auditors because the auditors submitted the report on 22nd June, 1971. But the matter, as pointed out in the reply of the management to the comments of the auditor, was noted. Simply noted in the book it was not followed up by the management. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is also a matter which had been brought to light by the auditors.

        But the Company has simply closed their eyes and kept the audit report in cold storage. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you please allow me also I may read the report. Of course the Minister has read the report the roughly. So I will not read. In the report, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it has been stated that the Chartered Accountant has clearly mentioned that the Depot in -charge Gauhati was  responsible for the amount paid without the sanction of the authority. That report was placed before the Director in charge after the management was handed over to Meghalaya but no action was taken from the end of the Government towards finalisation or regularization of this amount. On the other hand, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, instead of action being taken against the Depot-in-charge of his negligence and corrupt practices, the Director-in-charge who also happens to be the Secretary of the Industries Department has given the permit to the same fellow to bring methylomide to Shillong for manufacture of soap. I do not remember exactly whether last year or the year before last there was such talk about this methylomide. There is one local party at Mawlai who are manufacturing soap but they do not get methylomide, that methylomide, which is imported from Australia is net coming to Shillong rather it is being sold in Calcutta in black-market. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like the Minister should go through this and if I am wrong I would request him to send me the correct documents Sir, it is a clear case of favoritism. Why is the Director in charge of lenient to this man, so close to this fellow, in spite of misconduct and such behaviour and moreover the permit was given to him again. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is worth while to bring to the notice of the Government that the wife of the Proprietor of Depot-in-charge, Gauhati, and the Director-cum-Secretary of Industries hails from the same place. This may be one of the reasons. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the suspense account of Rs.5,56,741.41 paisa was kept in suspense and the balance sheet for 1968-69 also had not been finalised with the Audit till 1972. The most serious thing here is that this involvement of this huge amount was not brought to the notice of the Board of Directors. Only Rs.1,72,000 was brought to the notice of the Board of Director but what is the reason for not taking into account this amount of Rs.5,56,741.41 paise and not brought to the notice of the Board of Directors. May we know the reasons. Sir, there was a notice in the Assam Tribune issued by the Company on 29th and 30th November, 1971 that the Company calls for parties who require cement at Gauhati and they shall be paid a carriage charge of Rs.37.40 paise per metric tonne. That is also on condition that the bills from the parties should be supported by the receipted challan from the Gauhati office. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is in contravention of sub-clause (b) of clause 8 of the Cement Control Act, 1967. Para 5 of the notice itself it is contravention of sub-clause (b) of clause 8 of the Act. Sir, I am reading only the relevant portion of this clause. "No producer shall, himself or by any person or on his behalf sell-(b) any other variety of cent at price exceeding Rs.125.53 paise per metric tonne free on Rly. destination/Rly. Station plus the excise duty thereon."

        Now there is an explanation to that. The explanation is this for the purpose of this order in the expression free on Rly. Destination means the price at the destination point. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I leave it to the wisdom of the Minister in charge who will give reply to the House But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you allow me to read Para.5 of the notice and interpret. It means parties requiring cement at Gauhati and beyond shall be paid carriage charge of Rs.37.40 paise per metric tonne and submit of the bills should be supported by the receipted challan from the Gauhati office. So Mr. Speaker, Sir,  the notice of 29th and 30th November, 1971 is a clear violation of the Cement Control Act. Of course, in 1971 the Government of Meghalaya had no hand since the management was still with the Assam Government. But Sir, this practice is still being followed by the Government of Meghalaya. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am therefore, constrained to say that the Director-in-charge is not a responsible person. 

Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Still you have got points?

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- I have got as many as 24 points and now I have come to point No.10. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, by the said notice of 30th November, 1971, the Company has shown that sales were effected at Gauhati. Now Sir, the actual sale was done at Cherrapunjee whereas according to this notice it was shown that the sake was effected at Gauhati. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, according to the list, about 10 lakhs of rupees were shown as the Assam Financial tax which should have come to the coffers of the Government of Meghalaya. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the company had given the information to the Chief Cement Controller that the sales were effected at Gauhati. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that very working that bills should be supported with treasury challan at Gauhati office is very much objectionable to me, why? Because for the cement which goes from Gauhati or Dibrugarh onwards Nowgong, Tezpur or Sibsagar and so on and so forth, the trucks did not go to Gauhati because they have loaded the quantity of cement either at Shillong or at Cherrapunjee itself. Normally they used to load at Cherrapunjee and so why should they unnecessarily go down to Gauhati, a distance of about 9 miles or so. But from Cherrapunjee they go straight to Nowgong and so how do they expect to get carried charge for the extra distance of 9 miles or so. The carrying charge should have been deducted for a  distance of 9 miles while going down from Gauhati to Cherrapunjee. As I said, this is of course pretty matter, but the most important one is that by showing that the sales were affected at Gauhati means that we are losing the financial tax here. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, here also I am constrained to say that the Director-in-charge is against the interest of Meghalaya. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, corruption in this Company is so rampant. It has also been brought to the notice of the political parties and I am glad that the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee had taken up the matter with the Government of India and if I am allowed, I will read out the letter issued by the Chief Cement Officer effecting some charges, I should say in the same policy evolved by the Government of India. The matter, as I said was taken up by the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee with the Chief Cement Controller of India.

(At this stage, Shri D.N. Joshi, Chairman occupied the Chair)

        Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, this is just an information to know in what way the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee had taken up the matter and if you allow me I will read out  the contents of that letter now. it is only a copy that I have.

Mr. Chairman :- Yes, you can read out.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress Committee,
Congress Bhavan : Shillong, Dated Shillong the 14th June, 1942.
From : President, Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress

To

The Chief Cement Officer,
Office of the Cement Controller,
Cement Control Division
D/1-A, N.D.S.E., Part II
P.O. New Delhi - 49

Sir,

        Perhaps you are aware that the Meghalaya is a very industrially backward State and Assam Cements is the only industry on which quite sizeable population of Meghalaya is dependent for maintaining their livelihood.

        We should be grateful if you kindly clarify the following points so that we can place before the public some constructive suggestions for the development and prosperity of this only industry in the State of Meghalaya.

        Assam Cements Ltd, published a notice in the Assam Tribune on 29th and 30th November, 1971.

        I think that is enough just to know how the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee took up the matter with the Chief Cement Controller, and I think that is enough for the information of the House.

Mr. Chairman :- Will the hon. Member please place the letter here on the Table of the House?

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Yes, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I said I am ready and I have prepared copies to be placed on the Table of the House and if you want just now I can proceed and place it on the table of the House. 

Mr. Speaker :- No, you carry on and later on it should be placed here on the Table of the House.

Shri F.K. Mawlot :- I will read out again........ the Assam Cement Ltd. published a notice in the Assam Tribune on 29th and 30th November, 1971 which is reproduced below :-

        1. We are not getting Road Transport trucks for transportation from Cherrapunjee to Gauhati.

        2. Parties requiring cement should arrange trucks for transportation of cement from our factory at Cherrapunjee.

        3. Present price of cement is Rs.12/04 per bag including taxes etc.

        4. We may supply cement ex-Depot at Cherrapunjee on payment of Rs.12/40 per bag at Head Office, Shillong. The Truck No. in which the same will be carried should be furnished on the application.

        5. Parties requiring cement at Gauhati and beyond shall pay carriage charge at Rs.37/40 per M.T on submission of bills supported by receipted challan of the Gauhati Depot.

        So in this letter the M.P.C.C. had also put question to the Chief Controller, which I will read out :

        Question No. A : Whether this Notice particularly, Para 5 of the Notice contravenes sub-clause (b) of clause 8 of the Cement Control Order, 1967? How the company can pay only Rs.37/40 per M.T. presumably the approved carriage from Cherrapunjee to Gauhati while a customer is to spend another Rs.33/- per tone by the Railway to take a tonne of cement at Tinsukia? What is the meaning of the free on rail destination railway station?

        Question No. B : How the company can pay Rs.37/40 per M.T. on submission of the bills supported by receipted challan of the Gauhati Depot which the truck does not in fact report to Gauhati Depot and for some destination the trucks do not have to ply via Gauhati and how the company officials at Gauhati also are issuing and endorsing challans? Whether you are reimbursing the freight of such type of transactions?

        Question No. C :- Whether the sale in accordance with this notice of the company would be treated as sales from Ex-Depot at Cherrapunjee or sale from Ex-Gauhati Depot of the company? And how the company is showing these sales to you?

        Question No. D :- Whether the company can reimburse Rs.37/40 per M.T. to the parties of Gauhati and beyond as stipulated in the notice as a carriage charge from Cherrapunjee to Gauhati other than the company's approved contractor? Why the carriage charge for such parties should not be equivalent to railway freight for a distance of 100 miles i.e. the distance between Cherrapunjee and Gauhati? 

        Question No. E :- Whether Central Sales-tax would be leviable for sales to the parties of Gauhati and beyond?

        Question No. F :- Why the price of cement at Shillong is higher than Gauhati and other places though the public were assured that this higher rate is temporary ? Is it true that rate at Shillong has been fixed by you?

        Your early reply will be highly appreciated. If there is any difficulty to reply to my queries for some reason, the matter may kindly be intimated to us. We would also be grateful if you kindly intimate us the address from whom we can get these replies in the event of you difficulty.

With regards,

Yours faithfully

Sd/- President,

Youth Congress Meghalaya,

Shillong.

        So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, this letter was written by the President of the Youth Congress, Meghalaya to the Chief Cement Officer, Another thing, Mr. Chairman, Sir, is the rebate on the above.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to know from the hon. Member whether a copy of this letter was sent to the Director-in-charge, Assam Cements for his information or not?        

Mr. Chairman :- I would like to remind the hon. Member that this information should be authenticated later on as the Chief Minister wants to know whether a copy of that letter was sent to the Director in charge of Assam Cements.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- As I said, Mr. Chairman, Sir, no copy was sent. There were many correspondences made previous to that. So ultimately this is also natural with me that if I do not get anything, I will go to my mother and ask. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, another thing is the rebate. The Company had promised to give rebate up to 3.30 per cent if the party takes the cement for the factory itself. But Sir, it was also intimated to the Controller that this rebate is actually not given for those parties who will lift the cement from the factory. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not know whether it is a corruption or not. But I think that this also should be replied accordingly by the Minister-in-charge. Sir, some charges of corruption were also published in the local newspaper i.e. "Shillong Times" dated 6.12.75 and after some time we were expecting the Company would issue the rejoinder refuting the charges. But Sir, to our utter dismay, the Company did not issue any rejoinder.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- What were the charges?

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the charge of corruption as published in the "Shillong Times" dated 6.12.76.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am glad that since he has referred to the publication and he has also decided to bring it to the notice of the House, I hope that he will not desist from the main charges.

(At this stage, the Speaker occupied the Chair)

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Yes, I am talking about the main charges made by the newspaper and also in the letter written by the President of the Youth Congress, Meghalaya, about which I have already elaborated here in the House.

(Voices - That is vague)

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think I have already given all the details and now it is the duty of the Company to accept it or not. If they do not accept the charge then they should come out with a rejoinder.

Shri Hoover Hynniewta :- You mean the charges contained in the letter which you have read out?

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- No, I mean the charges published in the newspaper. I have illustrated all the charges and few of them I have already elaborated and I have listed down all the charges and I have still a few which I am going to elaborate Mr. Speaker, Sir?

        Nongstoin P.W.D. Subdivision has purchased has purchased a good quantity of cement from the Company.  Mr. Speaker, Sir, they have appointed M/s. G.R. Thakuria and the National Carrier and Co. and those parties were appointed as carriage contractors by Nongstoin Division and they also happen to be carriage contractors of the Company from Cherra to Shillong. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the funny thing is when there is no stock in Shillong and no receipt was entered in Shillong office, the Nongstoin Division is getting the quantum of cement. The appointment of these people by Nongstoin Division was for carriage or for transport of cement from Shillong to Nongstoin. Now the company has appointed the same persons to carry cement from Cherra to Shillong. So what did the parties do, they look cement from Cherra to Upper Shillong and from Upper Shillong to Nongstoin without determining the quantity here in the Shillong office. So in the Shillong office the record is that there is no stock, whereas in Nongstoin Division they got the required quantity. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir............

Mr. Speaker :- It is more economical to the Company

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Yes, it is more economical on the part of the contractor, but it is a loss on the part of the company and on the part of the P.W.D. Division. Let me tell you how, these things happen. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you go down from Upper Shillong to Shillong the distance is 7 miles. Now if they take this cement from Cherra they have to go all the way to Shillong the distance of which is 40 miles.

Mr. Speaker :- That is understood. The contractor will gain if he charges on the mileage of 7 miles up and 7 miles down, but then whether the Company or the P.W.D. will earn in the sense that there will be no charge for loading and unloading in Shillong?

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- They have to pay the Company has to pay for the distance from Upper Shillong to Shillong and also the Nongstoin P.W.D. Division has to pay for the distance they have not covered. This is my point. This uncovered distance was paid by the Company as well as the Nongstoin P.W.D. Division. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, again I am constrained to say that if these payments were always made, who are responsible for such over payment. Who is responsible for that? When the Cement did not come to Shillong and the Company paid for the extra for the extra 7 miles which they have not covered. The Company is making payment for the extra 7 miles and the Nongstoin P.W.D. Division also is making extra payment of 7 miles. There is some officials who are in league with the contractors. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have almost come to the end. The Company as far as we understand now is facing great financial difficulties. There are debts which they could not pay and even for salaries of the employees also, they are in a very difficult position to pay and the production has to be stopped because there is no space for storage. This difficulty of marketing of our cement is not because of the quality. I should say, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not because of the quality that sale could not be made, but it has arisen because of the fact that the officials of the Government did not know how to deal with the consumers. They do not know to behave, e.g., Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had experienced that myself, a few years back, when I wanted to permit for a few bags of cement, I came to Shillong office and the office told me that there is no stock. Well when there was no stock so I went back.  But another fellow who came one day after me, he came back to Nongstoin with a truck-load of cement and when I asked how did he get, he said why not, there was plenty, there were also torn bags which showed that they were kept there for a long time. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think each and every one of us is able to presume what is happening and why this is so. Mr. Speaker, Sir, unless the Company which was taken over by the Government of Meghalaya changes its policies and also deals very drastically with corrupt officials and also officials who neglect their duties, there is no hope for this Company going forward. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I heard that the Company could not even pay the cost of limestone which they have purchased so as I have said, the production had to be stopped. I do not understand whether this Company which was taken over by the Government of Meghalaya will go a long way and whether this Government will be satisfied if this factory collapses. With due respect to Mr. Maham Singh, he has invested a big sum of money, more than a lakh of rupees and if this Company collapses, poor man, he will be nowhere (Laughter). So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I mention this not that I want to praise Mr. Maham Singh, but he had done a good thing, he has stated the Company with a view to stabilizing the economy of the people of Cherra and the people of this District. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in spite of the fact that he had invested a good amount of money for the benefit of our people, if the Company fails he will lose that money from which actually he did not gain anything. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this Government will not be pleased to simply watch if the Company collapses. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am skipping some points so that I can finish in time.

Mr. Speaker :- You can continue till Monday.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- The Depot-in-charge at Gauhati, the same man to whom I have made a reference at the beginning of my speech had also prepared pony cart charges for materials which were lifted from the Railway godowns to the godown of the Company at Gauhati and that amount comes annually to about Rs.1,000. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I should not say whether it is a matter of thousand rupees, but the loss of public money is not a matter of joke. If I lose a few rupees, if does not affect any one, but it affects me only. If that amount of one thousand rupees is lost by the Company, it also means that is is a loss to the share holders including Mr. Maham Singh (laughter).

Shri H. Hynniewta :- But you have not proved that it is a loss. It may be the actual charge.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am coming to another point on this and that is the same person signed the receipts by putting his own thumb impression. The thumb impression is supposed to be that the pony cart driver. Mr. Speaker, Sir, another thing is that there are as many as seven cheques..............

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not understand the point of pony cart affair. He said that the receipts for the pony cart charges were signed by the pony cart driver with his thumb impression.

Mr. Speaker :- He said that the thumb impression was not of the pony cart driver but that the Depot-in-charge at Gauhati.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- In order to enable the man to get back the money which he has spent, he has to give the vouchers and the receipt because there are no pony cart carriage at all. He simply made those bills and singed by putting his thumb impression. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there were as many as seven cheques amounting to Rs.45,000.

Shri H. Hynniewta :- Are you sure about this thumb impression business? This is a very serious charge.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- That will be proved by the Finger Print experts if the Minister takes keen interest. It is not me. When I made a charge I think the members understand. The seven cheques amounting to about Rs.45,000 were dishonoured by the bank. Some parties had issued cheques to the  to the Company for lifting cement but these cheques when produced to the bank were dishonored. Now the parties which have issued the cheques have taken delivery of the cement whereas when the cheques were produced to the bank were dishonoured. Now the parties which have issued the cheques have taken deliver of the cement whereas when the cheques were produced to the bank, they were dishonoured. But these cheques were kept in cold storage for 3 years.

Shri Maham Singh :- Has the amount been realised?

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- I will come to that Mr. Speaker, Sir, The cheques which were dishonoured were not brought to the notice of either The Director in-charge or the Board of Directors by the Accounts Department. They were kept under the safe custody of the Accounts Department without giving any intimation of the authority.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- What does it mean by Accounts Department?

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- When I say Accounts Department, I mean that the Company must maintain the Accounts Branch. Now I fail to understand the functions.............

Mr. Speaker :- Are you sure about all this, Mr. Mawlot?

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, If I made any wrong statement as I said earlier..............

Mr. Speaker :- I have the impression that the M.C.C. is very efficient is giving information to the hon. Member and I wish they should pass all the information to us also.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- As I said, the matter has been thoroughly dealt with by the M.P.C.C. against the M.C.C. So the matter is well known. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to have a clarification from the Minister............. 

Mr. Speaker :- What is M.P.C.C.?

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to have a clarification from the Minister in-charge as to the duties and functions of the Accounts Department when these irregularities have been kept hidden for so long by the Accounts Department and over-payment after over-payment was made year after year. It is the duty to make false bill and make over-payment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, again the Depot-in-charge at Gauhati was given 5 years' advance increments in spite of the fact that the  was responsible for all this.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of information. All the allegations have been brought, through you against the Company which will have to be taken note by the Minister in-charge. But suppose the Company decided to make an enquiry into the charges brought by the hon. Member from Nongstoin whether he is prepared to give evidence because for whatever he said here, he is responsible.

Mr. Speaker :- That is your request at the personal level. If there is any enquiry, the hon. Member would be ready to give evidence.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- I may also mention for the information of the Chief Minister that the money was spent on purchase of fuel in the name of the Company's Car which was used for the private car of the particular man. He was given this at the time when the Anti-Corruption Branch had started the Investigation I think that is clear to the Chief Minister.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Sir, the matter to which the member had referred has come to the attention of the Company and the Company had referred the matter of the Chief Secretary and now it is under the investigation by the Anti-corruption Branch of the Government.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- So. it is clear, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that in spite of the short-comings, irregularities and corruption of this very gentleman, he was given five years advance increments in 1973. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mr. M.K. Choudhury was appointed as General Manager of the Company in 1972, but this gentleman has no experience in the manufacture of cement. But then there was another gentlemen, one Shri Mangirai who had fifteen years experience in cement manufacture. He was Chief engineer by then and claimed the post of General manager and the Company ignored his claim on the fact that he had 15 years experience but the Company chose to favour Mr. Choudhury who had no experience at all. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mangirai left his post as the Company did not comply with his demand and after he left, the post of Chief Engineer fell vacant. At that time the next senior man was a local tribal. But even though he is a local tribal, no consideration was given to him at all and, of course, they have tried to get someone from outside. But at least they have appointed that gentleman whose name I have not mentioned, but I will mention it now, Mr. M.F. Blah, as Additional Chief Engineer but not chief Engineer. Purposely they have left the post of Chief Engineer vacant in the hope that may be someone either from Bangladesh, Nepal or Russia can be appointed. But when they failed to eventually get such a person from outside they have promoted. Mr. Blah to the post of Chief Engineer. But of course, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this was only a few months back.

Mr. Speaker :- But this was a matter of procedure.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if it is a matter of procedure, then let me cite another instance. Sir, the person who was holding the post of Chief Chemist left the post and as a result it was vacant. This person who was previously holding the post was not even a science graduate - I mean a B.Sc. degree holder. 

Mr. Speaker :- You mean that the former Chief Chemist was not a science graduate.

Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Yes, Speaker, Sir, and I mentioned this just to substantiate what you have said that it is a matter of procedures. So the person who was holding this post of Chief Chemist was not a science graduate and when he left the post became vacant. But the man who is next to him is a B.Sc. degree holder but he was not given the post though he is a local tribal and my teacher. He was not given the post and I want clarification from the Minister on this point also.

        Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in 1972 if I am not mistaken, I will check the reports. One motor had broken down. During the time I do not know what happened, but the Company entrusted someone to find out the cause of the damage to the motor and also find out who was responsible for this. But the report of the findings are not given till this date. Sir, in this respect if I am not mistaken, the Minister in charge had occasion to come up with a reply in this House that they have sent the motor to someone for repair but they have failed to repair it. As a matter of fact, there is one local tribal who had volunteered and had asked the Company to let him repair the motor. He also said that he could repair the motor but in spite or that they sent it outside but even then the motor could not be repaired in spite of the fact that the Company has deprived the local engineer. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is another instance where the Company went against the interest of the local  tribals not only in appointment but in other matters as well. So this is against the interest of Meghalaya.

        Again Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Company had not framed any service rules. The employees do not know what are the terms and condition or other rights while serving in the Company as there are no service rules. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the meeting of the Board of Directors they have simply passed a resolution and the letter number of that resolution is SOMCCL/SH/SEC/SO/177/175/4048 dated the 13th and 15th December 1975.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Mawlot, I think you will have to continue on Monday. It is really a very good research work on the part of the hon. member.


ADJOURNMENT

        Now, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 a.m. on Monday the 5th April, 1976.

R.T. RYMBAI

Dated Shillong

Secretary

The 3rd April, 1976.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.