Proceedings of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9 a.m. on 6th April 1976 in the Chamber, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shillong, with the Speaker in the Chair.


Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the Day by taking up Unstarred Question No.157



Replies to which were placed on the Table of the House

Forest Office of Ichamati

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

157. Will the Minister in charge of Forest be pleased to Government -


Whether there is any officers of the Forest Department stationed at Ichamati?


If so,


What is his rank?


How long has this Forest office been maintained at Ichamati?


Has any revenue been collected by this office during the last five years and if so, what is the annual break-up from 1970 to 1975?


Has any revenue been collected from the export of rocks and stones for Ichamati river during the last two years and, if so how much?


Has any revenue been collected at this office from the export' or transit of raw lime-stone, during the last two years and, if so, how much?


What is the quantity of limestone exported?

Shri Grohon Marak (Minister, Forest) replied :


- Yes.



Forester Grade II.


Records available with us indicate that this office has been in existence since 1964.


Yes. The following amount has been collected in the Beat Office at Ichamati -

















- No.


- Yes. Rs.883.75.


- 707m exported to Bangladesh

Shri H. Hadem :- 157 (b). May we know what is his total emoluments?

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of Government, Excise) :- I will require notice for that.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Is the same Officer in the post from 1964?

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of Government, Excise) :- Yes, Sir.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- What is the collection during 1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73?

Mr. Speaker :- That is not allowed for so many years.

Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- And for 1970-71?

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of Government, Excise) :- I didn't get the question.

Mr. Speaker :- The question is what is the net collection during 1970-71?

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of Government, Excise) :- I want notice, Sir.

Staff in the Office of the District Jail

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw  asked :

158. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state-


Whether the District Jail, Shillong, is under staff?


If so, why and for how long?


Whether it is a fact that at one time there were 3 Assistant Jailors, in addition to the Jailor at the Jail?


Whether it is a fact that there is now only one Assistant Jailor?


Whether the Government proposed more Assistants Jailors in the District Jail?


Whether the Office of the District Jail has a Typists, U.D. Assistant, L.D. Assistant and Peons?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :

158. (a) and (b)

- The Matter is not under examination.


- There were two Assistant Jailors attached to the Shillong District Jail until 1971 when one of them was transferred to Jorhat District Jail.

       (d )

- Yes


- The matter is under consideration.

       ( f )

- There is no post of Typists, U.D. Assistant, L.D. Assistant and Peon attached to the Shillong Jail.

Shri H. Hadem :- (f) Sir, Whether the Government is considering to create these posts?

Mr. Speaker :- No. Mr. Mylliemngap first.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- 158 (a). What is the yardstick used in this examination?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no specific yardstick.

Shri H. Hadem :- 158 (f). May we know why even the peon have not been appointed?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The work of the peon is being done by the inmates.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- What staff are appointed in other district jails?

Mr. Speaker :- That is another unstarred question. (Laughter)

Improvement of Garobada-Mahendraganj Road

Shri Samsul Hague asked :

159. Will the Minister in charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state -


Whether the Government proposed to improve as well as black top the road from Garobada to Mahendraganj via Ampati under Barengapara Division?


If so, what measure has been taken in this respect?

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

159. (a)

- Yes, there is a proposal for improvement of Geometric only for Garobada-Ampati Road.


- The project is expected to be taken up in the current financial year 1976-77.

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

160. Will the Minister be pleased to state -


Whether the Government is aware of the fact that the Assam Jail Manual stipulates that the Local M.L.A shall also be a member of the Jail Visitors' Board?


Whether the Government of Government have adopted the Assam Jail Manual for the administration of the jail in the State?


If so, the reasons for not appointing the local MLAs at Tura and Shillong as members of the Jail Visitors' Board?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :


- Rules 19 of the Assam Jail Manual Vol. I provides that the M.L.As of any District, shall be ex-officio Visitor's of all Jails of their respective Districts but there is no specific provision for appointing them members of the Board of Visitors under Rule 20.


- Yes.


- Some local M.L.As were appointed as non-official members of the Board of Visitors constituted under Rule 20 of the Jail Manual for District Jails at Tura and Shillong.

Shri H. Hadem :- 160(c). May we know the names of those appointed as visitors?

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes. There is one M.L.A. in the Visitor's Board. He is Mr. P.N. Chowdhury.

Mr. Speaker :- In that case, the answer should be corrected.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes, Sir. For the Shillong District Jail there is only one M.L.A. the Chief Executive Member of the District Council and Miss O. Roy. For the Tura Jail, Mr. Plansing Marak, M.L.A. and Smti. Percylina Marak, M.L.A.

Shri H. Hadem :- Since the number of the Shillong Jail inmates is increasing with convicts brought from Jaintia Hills, may we know why no more M.L.As...............

Mr. Speaker :- That is a new question.

Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, all the M.L.As are non official members and so they can visit.

Mr. Speaker :- All the sixty M.L.As including myself can visit the Jails with the permission of the authorities. In other words, any M.L.A can visit.

Requisition of Staff from Animal Husbandry Veterinary Department (District Branch) of the Government of Assam.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh asked :

161. Will the Minister in charge of Agriculture and Veterinary, etc. be pleased to state -


Whether it is a fact that many ministerial staff requisitioned from the District branch of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department of Assam are being absorbed direct in the Directorate of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, Meghalaya, some on promotion?


If so, the number of such staff?

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


- No.


- Does not arise in view of reply to (a) above.

Realisation of Entertainment Tax

Shri Enowell Pohshna asked :

162. Will the Minister in charge of Finance be pleased to state -


The total amount realised as entertainment tax from each of the Cinema Halls in the Government during the years 1973-74, 1974-75?


How many Sales Tax Inspectors have been appointed for each District?

Shri Brington Buhai Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) replied : 







Anjalee Cinema





Kelvin Cinema





Bijou Cinema





Dreamland Cinema





Singhania Cinema





Marynhian Cinema





Chhabighar Cinema









Khasi Hills -7
Jaintia Hills-1
Garo Hills -2

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- 162 (a). Is there any proposal to review?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, finance) :- I am not aware of it.

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know what is the reason of the downfall of the tax as Sl.6 is concerned, i.e., downfall of 1974-75 from 1973-74?

Mr. Speaker :- That is because of the downfall trend.

Supply of Rice by the Food Corporation of India 
                           (Shillong Branch)

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

163. Will the Minister in charge of Supply be pleased to Government -


Whether it is a fact that the rice now being supplied by the Food Corporation of India (Shillong Branch) to the wholesellers and fair price shops in Shillong is partly from 1971 stock now lying in the F.C.I. godown.


Whether it is a fact that the rice now being supplied by the F.C.I. is collected by sweeping up all the remnants lying at the bottom of godowns, including a good deal of rubbish and dirt?


Whether it is a fact that there have been several complaints in Shillong from customers who have brought such rice from their fair price rice suppliers?


Whether it is a fact that several bags of such dirty rice were also supplied to the District Jail Shillong of which 2(two) bags were half-filled with sand and dirt?


If so, what steps does the Government intend to take in the matter?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Civil Supplies) replied :

163.  (a)

It is not a fact.


It is not a fact.


It is not a fact.


It is not a fact.


Does not arise.

Treatment of Under-trial Prisoners

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

164. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state whether in the under trial prisoners in the District Jails, Shillong, are better treated than convicted persons in that Jail?

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

164. Under-trial Prisoners and convicts are two quite separate categories of prisoners and their treatment is regulated by the relevant provisions of the Jail Manual.

Posting of S.D.M.O. and Staff Nurse at Williamnagar.

Shri Choronsing Sangma asked :

165. Will the Minister in charge of Health be pleased to Government -


Whether S.D.M.O. and Staff Nurse have been posted at Williamnagar?


If now, the reasons thereof?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister Health) replied :


The S.D.M.H.O. has been posted and the Staff Nurse will be posted.


Does not arise.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- 165(b). When did the S.D.M.O. join the post?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister Health) :- He was posted on 18th February 1976.

Mr. Speaker :- When did the Officer concerned join the post?

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

Shortage of Drinking Water

Prof Martin Narayan Majaw asked :

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


Whether steps Government has taken to meet the frequent shortage of drinking water in Shillong especially during the summer season?


Whether the Government has already started work on the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme?


If so, what is the progress?

Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister P.H.E.) replied :

166.  (a)

The Public Health Engineering Department have taken up 3 new Water Supply Schemes as an interim measure for augmenting water supply to Shillong town viz. Umkhen Phase I and II and Crinoline Falls yielding about 4 lakhs gallons of water per day to meet the frequent shortage of drinking water.




The revised estimate of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme was administratively approved on March 1976 and land acquisition proceedings have been completed for the reservoir area. Tenders for construction work will be invited shortly.

Names of Wholesalers and Retailers of Controlled Foodstuff.

Shri Enowell Pohshna asked :

167. Will the Minister in charge Civil supplied be pleased to Government -


The names of all the wholesalers of controlled foodstuff in the districts of (i) Garo Hills, (ii) Khasi Hills, (iii) Jaintia Hills?


What was the total quantity of rice and atta issued to each wholesaler during the years 1974-75 and 1975-76?


The names of all the retailers in (i) Shillong town, (ii) Tura town, (iii) Jowai Town?

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, Civil Supplies) replied :

167.  (a)

A list is placed on the Table of the House.


A Statement is placed on the Table of the House.


A list is placed on the Table of the House.

Share of Minor Minerals

Shri Samarendra Sangma asked :

168. Will the Minister in charge of Forest be pleased to Government whether there is any outstanding amount yet to be paid to the Garo Hills District Council as share for minor minerals?

Shri Grohonsing Marak (Minister, Forest) replied :

168. (a) - Yes.

Shri Samarendra Sangma :- What is the total of such outstanding amount?

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of Government, Excise) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, the total amount as share on minor minerals as on 31st March 1975. Rs.19,34,707.70

Shri D.D. Lapang :- When will this amount be paid?

Voices - In the course.

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of Government, Excise) :- I will require notice, Sir.

Shri H. Hadem :- Whether the amount of Rs.19 lakhs and some thing is purely the share of District Council or including the collection cost of the State Government?

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of Government, Excise) :- As a share of the District Council, Sir.


Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next item, i.e., Resolution No.4 to be moved by Mr. H.E. Pohshna.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday I had wanted to place.............

Mr. Speaker :- I have fixed it for tomorrow. If I had rejected it, you would have got the information.

Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move Resolution No.4. "Whereas Jowai Government College has been functioning in rented buildings since September 1967, and whereas the site for building has already been selected and acquired and whereas the demand for the construction of a college building has already been made from time to time, this Assembly therefore urge upon the Government of Meghalaya to take early steps for the construction of the said college buildings".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.

Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have only a few words in moving this resolution. The main subject for moving this resolution is the early construction of the said college building. Why I say this is because the college students are increasing and that the present building appears to be not sufficient to accommodate the students not to speak of a playground. On the other hand, I am afraid the delay in the construction of the said college will entail a huge expenditure on the part of the Government. During the last eight years, so far it comes to my knowledge, the monthly rent for the college building is Rs.1000 and if at the rate of Rs.1000 per month the amount spent so far has already exceeded one lakhs of rupees for the last 8 years. This amount could have been utilised for other purposes in the college building. Sir, why I move this resolution is because, I know that the present Minister of Government for Education is taking serious steps to see that the building is constructed and also in view of the fact the very assurance of the Chief Minister inside the House has not been  implemented.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- What was my assurance?

Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Last time you have assured that the building will be constructed.

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It has got to be implemented when the opportunity arises in the next year when the Planning Commission will provide the fund.

Mr. Speaker :- I think the Government is an interested as you are.

Shri H.E. Pohshna :- I know Sir, that the Government is interested as I am. But we are more interested because all the time the people will ask us as to when the college building will be constructed. If there is any sign for starting the work, there is some hope. For example, I will cite an instance of the road to the college building which is under construction and it is almost completed and the name of the road is given as Lulong Jowai College Road. But when we go to the College, we do not find any college at all in existence. So with these few words I move this resolution only to remind the Government of its assurance to start construction of the College Building as early as possible.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to support this resolution. As a matter of a fact, I think Mr. Speaker, Sir, the  land having been acquired since 1967, the construction of the college building should have been started much earlier. But I do not know what is the reason for not taking up the work. We must bear in mind, that with the delay, every year the cost of construction also goes up. As a matter of fact during the last five years the cost of construction has gone up by about 50 percent. Apart from the difficulties faced by the students of Jaintia Hills, I would Mr. Speaker, Sir.........

Mr. Speaker :- I think even students from Khasi Hills and Garo Hills can go and study there.

Shri Maham Singh :- Yes. Students from the whole Government. So I would say it is really necessary that the Government should start construction of the college building as soon as possible. With these few words I support the resolution.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am rather confused by this resolution because I was all the time under the impression that a beautiful cemented building has already been put up in Jowai as shown in the Government Calendar as the Jowai College. Therefore, I am rather confused. However, I support the resolution.

Mr. Speaker :- But in the calendar the people might have got the impression that Government must have purchased that building.

*Shri Peter G. Marbaniang, (Minister of Government, Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very thankful to the Mover of the resolution for reminding us to this important duty that we have in front of us.

Mr. Speaker :- Do you mean to say that you have forgotten?

Shri Peter G. Marbaniang, (Minister of Government, Education) :- No. Sir, that is uppermost in our mind. And in fact we have been trying our best to construct the college building there in Jowai. But due to certain setbacks especially with the rise of prices of building materials, the whole estimates had to be revised. As such, we have to go and ask for more money from the Government of India. Sir, we have asked the P.W.D. in fact to submit estimates for semi permanent building of Assam type and to go ahead  this year. Of course, the main plan of the building will be prepared late. When we take up building of the main plan, this semi-permanent building will be converted into laboratories or hostels and teachers quarters and something like that. So the matter has been agitating our mind very much and I request the hon. Member to withdraw the resolution. 

Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is the first assurance of the Minister of Government, Education, and I am reasonable every time, I withdraw the resolution (Laughter). But my request is that it should be implemented as early as possible otherwise next time. I will come again with the same resolution (Laughter)

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his resolution? (Voice....... Yes, Yes). The resolution is, with leave of the House withdrawn. Mr. Khongwir to move his resolution.

*Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that whereas Meghalaya has vast potential for tourists attraction, this House recommends that steps be taken to develop tourism in right earnest.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government itself had admitted in a number of proposals in the Fifth Five Year Plan that Meghalaya had immense potential for the development of tourism and development of tourists facilities, however, is still in the infant Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is every attempt on the part of the Government to develop this very industry and there is also every attempt on the part of the Government to develop this very industry and there is also every attempt on the part of the Government to set up tourist lodge, tourist bungalows at Shillong, Tura and Jowai and also to develop tourists, facilities in the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in so far as these aspect of this particular matter are concerned, I would not like to deal with them just now and my intention in bringing this resolution before the House is to suggest some other ways and means besides the development of tourists lodges or the improvement of roads or the  improvement of tourists'; spots and beauties. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I don't have much to say on this particular subject but I would like to a few suggestion to the Government and I would also request Government to kindly consider the proposals that I will be giving to the Government. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the first and the most important thing in tourism to my mind is the people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think, I will not be wrong if you yourself would like to visit say for example, Japan. I don't think that the first thing you would lie to see there is only the snow-caped mountains or you would like to go to Hiroshima or Nagasaki or the crowded cities like Tokyo and other cities but, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the first thing that you would like to see in Japan in the people that means to understand the people, to meet them because the Japanese people are renowned in their manner, honesty, hard-working way of life and so on and so forth. So also, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to impress this very important factor on the Government in so far as development of tourism in our State is concerned. We have to be more careful in so far as our people are concerned. It is a matter of satisfaction that we the people in Meghalaya are known for our hospitality. We are hospitable and this fact has been clearly brought out by the Members of the CPA Delegation who happened to visit Meghalaya some time last year. Not only one Member but certain Members have expressed the behaviours, the attitude, this hospitality of the people in Meghalaya. One Member has expressed that of the several State that he has visited in India, he found that Meghalaya has the best. And, when we asked him why did he find Meghalaya as very pleasing, he said that he is charmed by the attitude of the people inhabiting this particular Government. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have got no ready-made suggestions to give to the Government in so far as our people are concerned, but I just want to indicate to the Government that one of the most important aspects in so far as development of this particular industry is concerned, is the people, Mr. Speaker, Sir, nd, there is a mention here by the Government that one of the handicaps in this regard, I mean in regard to tourism is the lack of adequate accommodation facilities for different classes of tourists. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government has, as I have said earlier, tried their level best to invite private parties most probably to establish lodges and hotels and from the Government side also they are trying to establish tourists' lodges at 3 different places that is Shillong, Tura and Jowai. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in so far as this particular matter is concerned, about accommodation I have got one suggestion to make and this practice if I am not mistaken, is being followed in other European countries especially in Switzerland. Now, from the Tourism Department side, they could invite a resident of, say, Shillong-let us deal with Shillong first to open up some kind of guest houses or something of the kind in which in the same building itself let them set apart one small room to us as a bed room and one bath or small study room, I think just there 2 or 3 rooms will suffice.

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- What about the kitchen?

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I will come to that, Sir. Then these families who are willing to take any tourists will give them a small bedroom, a study room and a bathroom and then with regard to kitchen, I don't think that he is necessary because my proposal is that the tourists who go and stay there, will stay together with the owner of the house. And, then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the owner of the house will introduce him to some of our people and I would also like to add that the tourists who come, especially tourists from outside our country, would like to know about the people. And, the best place where they can know our people in by staying together in these houses. And, besides creating employment to those people, those people will also act as guides Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is just a suggestion and it is up to the Government to consider and refine this suggestion after they accept it in principle. I would also hasten to add here, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that in so far as tourists who come to our place are concerned, for those who want to stay in these houses, that should be confined to couples only.

Mr. Speaker :- Otherwise, it may encourage......... (laughter)

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I will not encourage single tourists either male or female to come in these houses and once again, I would suggest that this should be confined to couples only. (laughter). So Mr. Speaker, Sir, the third thing is that the people who come to Meghalaya would want to take something with them and generally, Sir, what we can offer to give them when they come to Shillong or Jaintia Hills is only the bow and arrows and some kinds of cane-works, which we call "Knup' or some other things. I would suggest Mr. Speaker, Sir, that we can make some replies of the dancers like the Shad Suk Mynsiem, or some dolls or token or something like that from the Laho Dance or Wangala Dance by making some dolls or token or something like for the tourists to purchase and in turn, these things will create employment to our people who are making these mementoes. The next thing Mr. Speaker, Sir, is with regard to the Meghalaya advertisement, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in so far as Khasi Hills is concerned, I have seen that is almost all the advertisement signboards, the only advertisement that is put up there I will stay this with due regard to the hon. Member from Mawprem is that of the Shad Suk Mynsiem.

        Let us have the advertisement of water falls of Khasi Hills, forest of Khasi Hills, hill or Khasi Hills, etc. why should we confine to the  advertisement of only Shad Suk Mynsiem. We have not Nongtalang dance and other dances and other beauties that we have in Meghalaya. So, I would leave it to the Government to consider this aspect. While speaking about sing-boards, I have notice at Jorabad there is one sign-board. 'Welcome to Meghalaya". But unfortunately this sign-board has been erected in a place which is not within Meghalaya.

Mr. Speaker :- Are you sure that this area is not within Meghalaya?

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- So far I know the right side of the road does not fall within Meghalaya. Of course about the area which I am mentioning, the Government may say is a disputed area, i.e. the area is under dispute. But if that area falls in Assam I would request Government to remove that advertisement to our own side. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to suggest that along the Shillong-Gauhati road there are certain important villages that we come across. they are Umsning, Nongpoh Niangbari, and others. I would suggest, that, if possible, we should put up a sign-board very conspicuously so that whenever tourists from outside arrive these particular places at once they will know the name of the place without asking anybody. It has been done along the road from Gauhati to Boko; there are conspicuous signboards for all important villages. Along the Shillong-Cherra Road it has been done. Then Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out that whenever tourists come to any place, first thing they would like to do is to go to Market. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very pitiable to note that condition of our markets here in Shillong and also in other districts of Meghalaya. There is so much congestion at Iewduh and Iew-Musiang or even Tura. In this connection I would like to suggest that why not we open some other small markets to divert the congestion of Iewduh around Shillong. For example at Mawlai, Nongthymmai, Lawsohtun or any other place. This will minimise congestion of Iewduh. I would also suggest that the Gauhati-Shillong Motor Station should be removed from the present location, if possible. Again I would like to suggest something about the tourists. Whenever the people from outside come to our Government, as I have expressed earlier, we have to show some respect and courtesy to them. but sometimes it becomes it become very difficult for us to differentiate a person whether, he is a tourist or not. And it so happens whenever these tourists needs our. Therefore, I would like to suggest that, without forcing the tourist. Government should introduce some kind of badge for the tourists beautifully printed. Without forcing them, we would request the tourists to put on these badges so that wherever they go in Meghalaya everybody will know that they are tourists and as such they require some help. I think this will help a lot. Next I would like to suggest, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that there should be a telephone connection in the Taxi Stand here in Shillong, I do not know about Tura. But here..............

Mr. Speaker :- I think the Taxi stand is very close to the office of the Director of Tourism.

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- What I am trying to being Hotel is that suppose a tourist in Pine-Wood Hotel needs a tax in case he has got no care, if there is telephone connection with the Taxi Stand, he can bring a taxi. Again I would suggest that the Department of Tourism may conduct a Refreshers Course to teach our taxi drivers about the importance of good manners and hospitality. I think it is very very important. And next Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also suggest to the Government that in so far as the District Councils are concerned these are very special institutions in Meghalaya and Assam. Nowhere in any Government in India you will find such kind of District Councils. Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have heard a lot about about the working of the Panchayat in Gujarat and Maharashtra. We would very much like to go to Maharashtra just to study the working of the Panchayat there and also to Gujarat to see that functioning of their Panchayats. So also here in Meghalaya we have got these District Councils which are very special only here in our Government and also in Assam and Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is necessary to project the image of these District Councils so that people from other Governments in India would like to come to our Government even with the more fact that they would like to study the working of these District Councils or just to see how they are working in the same manner as we from Meghalaya wanted to go to other Governments to see the working of those Panchayats. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no mention here about the publicity. It is necessary to organise wide publicity to attract tourists to various places of interest in Meghalaya. This should be done by printing of pamphlets, folders and brochures and cards, etc. Advertisement in the newspapers, journals and periodicals etc. would also be very very important. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to add to this long list of publicity that plain envelop also should be printed by the Government and there must be some nice wording in a stamped envelop but in plain envelopes and these envelopes will will be sold to the residents of Meghalaya and other people. So, they can use them while writing to their relations in other Governments and this will help quite a lot in publicity in so far as our Government is concerned. Of course about, other details it is up to the Government to see how to work our but this is just an idea that I am giving to the Government. Last but not the least Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to suggest that our Cinema halls here in Shillong, Tura and Jowai also should be improved. So, with these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I move this resolution and I put forward these various suggestions of mine to the Government for their kind consideration.

*Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while supporting this resolution I have also certain suggestion to make. My friend has just given various suggestions to the Government to improve tourism  in our Government and I have found that I should also give some more suggestion which he could not cover for improving this particular Department. Sir, when the tourists come to Shillong or for that matter to other parts of our Government, many of them used to come by air to Gauhati or by first class train and from there they come to their destination in our Government. They try to avail of pool cars from the Government Government Transport authority. But generally they never get such cars and rather they are forced to come to Shillong by the express buses which they call super buses and so they are subject to undue harassment. Sometimes they are compelled to come by tourist taxis from Gauhati for which there is no regular timing for their departure and also where there is no fixed rate and sometimes the tourist taxi drivers or the tourist classwallas charge Rs.20 per head or Rs.25 or it may go up to Rs.35 even and so the tourists have to undergo all sorts of harassment and torture. Sir, in this connection I would cite one example. Sometime ago a family from Delhi came to Shillong with first class return tickets. They came up to Gauhati by 1st class train and from there, in spite of their frantic efforts to get the first class car provided by the Government, the Government could not do so and so they were compelled to come to Shillong by the so called super buses which are no better than the ordinary buses and the only differences between the two is in colours and sitting arrangements and when reaching Shillong, since they were not accustomed to travel in the hill areas by such buses, their children had on several occasion to vomit and on their return home, then had to go by their express buses as before. So I would suggest that this Government should have pool cars attached to Transport Department here in Shillong and Gauhati in order to promote the interest of tourism in our State. This will help the first class passengers who would like to visit our Government to travel to their destination in our Government.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Joshi I think that will bring about administrative difficulties if the State Transport will have to place pool cars. But what they have to do with the first class cars if they run by the State Transport?

Shri D.N. Joshi :- But they have not got such first class cars now. During the British regime or even during the composite State of Assam, there were first class car but, unfortunately, now after achieving our full-fledged Statehood, we have not been able to provide with first class cars, light cars to be attached to Transport Department. to see that in future light cars are made available to the Transport Department to facilitate the tourists who would like to visit our State to come by these cars. Whenever tourists come to  our Government and for that matter in any part of the Government, they would like to adjourn here and visit some places of interest and then on Sunday or on worshipping days, they would like to go to their respective place of worship e.g. the Churches, the Mosques, the Gurudwaras or temple by these cars. Now Sir, these place of worship also should be made attractive so that the impression they could carry with them when they go back home out of these places of interest and worship will be very much appreciated by them.

Mr. Speaker :- I think Mr. Joshi the Churches and the gurudwaras and the mosques are much better here and they are very very clean and attractive here in Shillong. But if you say the Government will take note of all these temples, Churches and printed in the book to be published by the Information Department then it is a different matter.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, these Churches, gurudwaras, temples and mosques form part of interest in which tourists can go for worship and if they are not up to the make, the Government can come forward and make certain grants to the authorities or Management concerned to improve their place of worship.

Mr. Speaker :- I think Mr. Joshi let us understand the real aim of tourists who come to the country and their convenience in transport their interest in Churches and we will be able to find out whenever they will be included in the list of the books issued by the Department, but what is lacking for those books is really the place of historical importance.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Now the places of historical importance, as you have rightly said, should find their place in the guide book and whatever they come to Shillong, Jowai or Tura, naturally they would like to see all the District Court, High Court buildings, Assembly building and also other important buildings. Sir, here in the District court the Office of the important buildings. Sir, here in the District Court it is housed it is not very much attractive to the tourists. It is in the same old buildings as it was some 30 attractive to the tourists. It is in the same old buildings as it was one 30 or 40 years ago. It needs extension, it needs beautification. Because Sir, the tourists would like to see these places when they visit our Shillong town. So Sir, for the interest of promotion of tourism, I want that the Deputy Commission's office and the Court building should be improved.

        Another thing Sir, which forms the most important and essential part of our life is water. Sir, tourists coming from outside want sufficient water to take bath and wash their faces and feet etc. But here in Shillong our Government have tall and big scheme of water Supply, but uptil now even in the Tourist Lodge or in hotels and else-where they have not been able to provide sufficient water to them. Therefore, it is incumbent on the part of the Government to..........

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have already talked about this matter.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, but not in connection with the tourism Department.

Mr. Speaker :- But let me inform the hon. Member that the Minister incharge of Tourism is not responsible for constructing D.C.'s Court building etc. But the Minister-in-charge, Tourism, may be responsible in informing the Church leaders for reconstructing their Church buildings.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the Government function there is complete co-ordination amongst different department.

Mr. Speaker :- I think it is not necessary for you to outline the whole thing which is involved here. The mover has rightly pointed out that the character of the people is really number one point and the Government also must think about the type of tourists to whom the Government should encourage to come to this part of this country. There are certain class of tourists who have, instead of helping the Government, became a menace to the Government. If you go to Kalengkut Beach at Goa, I think nobody would like to go there. Because the tourist who visit those places are the ones whom Meghalaya should not encourage. No doubt we want tourists to visit our Government but at least of a first grade standard who come here on their study tours. Perhaps the business people who can come here to relax themselves and invest their money for the good of the people of Meghalaya and these are types of things which help the people of Meghalaya. It is the duty of the Government to improve, as I said the places of historical importance, and as the mover has pointed out atleast the functioning of the District Council should be given in the guide books and guide lines. And then there are many other functionaries like the Syiem, the Dolois, the Lasker, the Nokmas, the Lyngdohs, and these are the peculiar institutions that we have and all these we have written down in writing and perhaps that time may come when Government will have to sell it to really good people. Because Government cannot take all kinds of projects overnight. As for instance, there are so many water falls in Shillong  but the Government have really made road connections to these places. Let us say Marai cave. But nobody has visited this place.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, you have rightly pointed out that there are places of interest and there are places of natural beauties like Bishop's Falls, Beadon's Falls and Elephant Falls etc and there are high hills and deltas here and for want of good road communication people find it difficult to go there and the approaches to such beautiful place have become obscure. Therefore, Sir, wherever there are places of tourist attraction, the road communication must be made and that should be done speedily and in those places rest house with beautiful canteens to supply cold drinks, tea coffee and snacks should be opened. So with these few suggestions, Sir, I hope that the Government and the Department of Tourism will see how best they can promote tourism in our Government and attract as many tourists as the Government can, even from aboard, to increase our Government exchequer and also invite Scholar, you have rightly pointed out, Sir, and we can have exchange of ideas with them. In this way. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think we can march ahead in the path of prosperity

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I am also interested in this particular subject, I would like to make some observation on this resolution. While supporting the previous Speaker I would like to say that my number one suggestion is that there is a big hill near Kynshi which is known as Mawthadraishan or Mawthadkrai. It is a very beautiful hill and if a tourist bungalow is constructed there are if the road communication is improved to the place then it will attract many tourist from outside the Government. I think it is also possible to make big area as a sort of game sanctuary because there are still good forest. So if that place can be developed, it will be one of the most attractive spots to the tourists. Besides this, we still have got another good place which the tourists may like to visit, say Baghmara. Here the tourist can enjoy angling etc. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as mentioned by you about some important historical place, it is worth maintaining and some of them are Marai and Rapleng and these are beautiful places for tourists attraction. So these places may also serve our purpose for attracting tourists who may be interested to go there and see all round scenic beauty towards Sylhet, Jaintia Hills, Khasi Hills and War areas. Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a place in Jaintia Hills know as Weiyale. But I do not know whether it is going to be submerged with the opening of new Kopili Project and if submerged it will be like Barapani and it will be good spot for the tourists. 

        And the Kshaid Rynji is a good place which ought to be a tourist attraction. These are the few spots which I can think and of which can be made into tourist attractions. Apart from that, I appreciate very much the very good suggestions made by the hon. Mover of the resolution but I think we will have to see how far these are practicable and whether guest houses can be started with 3 rooms at least which are suppose to be expected to reserve for guest, a couple they say. Of course, that also is a difficult subject to deal with. How far this can be practicable. Supposing I have got a house and I set apart 2 or 3 rooms, if no guest comes, it will be a loss to me, so from that point of view, I think it is not very practicable Then, of course, Government might examine the few instances where people are prepared to keep such houses and to cater to the needs of the tourists as the Mover said. 

Mr. Speaker :- I think a distinction must be made between the real tourists and guests. There may be some people from outside who may come under invitation to stay with me or with you, but the real tourists would not like to stay with anyone.

Shri Jormanick Syiem :- According to me, if that is possible, the Government might examine how many families can reserve such rooms for accommodation of tourists in order to get contact with the local people as you put it. There are other thing which have been mentioned by the Mover of the resolution. One is the bazar I know bazars are not very good for the tourists to see but how can we start a new bazar unless it is close to the town itself and also lands must be available and that the bazar or market must also be governed by certain factors such as the willingness of the people, the goodwill of the traders and all that. So these are the practical difficulties which we may have to fact in starting new markets straight away. If we can have a place like the present sweepers line and of course in this can be removed from there by the Municipality or by the Government we may start a super market there and it will be a good thing to see-but to go to Lawsohtun or to Nongthymmai perhaps Mawlai is a likely place if land is available, but whether there will be any land available and I doubt very much if it can be develop into a prosperous market because people would like to confine themselves to the town area. So these are the practical difficulties which I think will have to be taken into consideration. In so far as other parts of Shillong are concerned. I think Government is well alive to the need of the tourist and it seems that they have already made a good headway in improving tourist attraction is places near Shillong. I do not know whether they have done anything about the Sweet Falls which is also a very good tourists spot within the Cantonment or Army control, but surely there should be a good road leading to the Sweet Falls from the north. I think the tourist would appreciate this beautiful falls which the Khasis call the "Weitdem" it is really smoke-like when it is in full flood. Now the teer area has been cleared yesterday, (Laughter) I do not know what is the scheme of the Government and what they are going to do. It has been a dark spot of the town and also an eyesore to the tourists but now the Government have been able to clear up yesterday morning. I suppose this teer place can be developed into a good market-an ordinary market-instead of making people sell their goods on the roadsides. These are the few suggestions I have made which I think Government also is aware of the needs, for we have to make some suggestions as there are certain spots which may not strike the Government but it is up to the Government to see which of the suggestion are practical. We cannot simply plunge headlong for we may regret if we found that they are not practicable.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to associate with this discussion. We are very grateful to the hon. Member from Mawlai for enabling us to participate in the discussion and express our opinion on the subject of tourism. Tourism is a very important part of the programmes of the Government as very well put forwards by the hon. Member with his considered suggestions I full appreciate the suggestions which are very very important which I hope the Government should take them for implementation, but at the same time, Mr. Speaker, Sir, while coming to the performance of this Department, it is to be appreciated that in the current year, they have really improved a lot compared to the former years. The Tourism Department have really tried their best to implement the schemes and beautify the beauty spots and also it is worth mentioning that this Government has a name in the Tourist India as international map of tourism. Now when we look at the performance and the programmes implemented by this Department, we have obviously seen that in Shillong they have made a lot of  improvement in the Ward's Lake and the Lady Hydari park and to mention other items they have completed, Crinoline Falls, the Raj Bhavan Annexed in Shillong Peak and there are several roads constructed to facilitate the tourist to go and see the beautiful spots like the Hot Spring at Jakrem  which has been neglected in the years gone by. But now Tourism Department had their part there also. In Jowai side, we have seen that they have improved the  Thadlaskein boathouse and also the tourist bungalow.  They have improved the street lights also in Jowai and they have made an improvement on the tourist bungalow in Tura Peak and they have constructed roads to the beauty spots there. Now I understand that Tourism Department has also considered that Barapani lake will be a resort complex and this will be implemented very soon. But instead of all these, there is much room for improvement and a lot of programme has yet to be implemented I fully appreciate that the office of the Tourism Department was located in a very small corner which seem to be difficult for the tourists to locate it. But keeping in view the importance of this office, they have shifted to a place opposite our Assembly office near the taxi stand with the beautiful decorated hall. There is also the office of the Sheba Travels in the same building. This will facilitate the tourists for going and coming out. While the associating with the suggestions put forward by the Hon. Member I have also some suggestion to make. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I understand the Tourism Department is also becoming a technical department whereas lot of construction works were entrusted to the P.W.D. are now being entrusted to the Tourism Department. It will be in the fitness of things if this Department have their own technical section to be manned by technical persons so that things will not be interrupted by the P.W.D. and they can do the construction works by themselves in a much expeditious manner. We have got the office right from 1975. Only last year the Tourism Department have opened offices like Information Centres at Gauhati, Calcutta, New Delhi and Tura also. But the condition of the offices is still very pitiable. It will be more attractive than they are now if these Information Centres will be housed in a more attractive accommodation. we fully appreciate the difficulty of the department as for instance, in Delhi, we the Meghalaya Houses, but the building is small and it can hardly accommodate the official , and people going from Meghalaya to Delhi. But I understand that they have planned to construct a new building. Sir I would request that Government will keep in mind that a good office with a spacious rooms be set part to be allotted to the Tourism Department for opening these Information Centres and the same thing may be done for Calcutta and Gauhati also. I would like to join hands with the.....

Mr. Speaker :- From the point of view of tourism Mr. Lapang, Calcutta office is more important than Delhi especially in so far as foreign tourists are concerned besides getting all information, they are required also to get permit from the Calcutta office.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- So far as Calcutta office is concerned, there is also an Officer-in-charge attached to the Meghalaya House but he does not have his own room and the room that he occupies is being partitioned by screen. I have had the occasion to be there and fortunately on the day when I was in Calcutta, certain tourist came and visited the office and it is really awkward on our part that they do not have good rooms and at the same time insufficient of literature provided to them. So there are some loopholes which are yet to be removed from this department. I understand that the Meghalaya House, Calcutta will be shifted to a good and convenient place. While advancing these arguments, I would like to express my opinion that the Government should look into the matter and as very well remarked by you, Sir, that Calcutta is a much important centre and it will be very essential that a good building be allotted to the Tourism Department there.

        While joining hands with the suggestion made by the hon. member for opening of shops, I have one point to put forward that is, Nongpoh. Of course, not because it is my constituency but because Nongpoh happens to be located in the National Highway and is the half-way of the Shillong-Gauhati Road where all vehicles use to stop there and have something.

Mr. Speaker :-What is that something ?

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Let us exhibit something also. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest that Tourism Department should construct shops there. Now the shops which are there are not upto the mark. You will find one is roofed with C.I. sheets another with mat and so on. If the Tourism Department construct cemented buildings, by the side of the road and give to the people on rent, the people will pay rent and some exhibition centre can be arranged so that out souvenirs like cane and bamboo arts and crafts can be exhibited  by the Tourism Department. It will be quite and acceptable place for the tourists to see and buy something on their way home.

        Another point before I come to the end I do not want to take much time of the House-is the sitting room in the Passport office. We have heard that tourist coming from outside when they go to the Passport office, they do not have chairs or good space sitting and the staff of that Passport Department should also show courtesy to the tourists. they should be cordial and hospitable. So with these suggestion for a good sitting room and dealing with the tourists in polite manner, it will focus the image of our people in Meghalaya. So with these few words, I say that having seen all attempts made by this department and that a lot of pending programmes have yet to be carried out by this department, I do not see that this resolution is very essential and I am constrained to say that I do not support the resolution brought forward by the hon. Member.

*Shri Winstone Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, so many members have spoken on this particular subject but as for proper development of this department which is going to help increase the finance of our Government. I feel that, in my humble capacity, I must add some more suggestion over and above what the hon. members have spoken before me. At the very outset, I quite agree with the remarks made by you some time back that one of the reasons why the tourists undertake tours to other places is first of all for scholars, to study places and know the people, for some others simply to know and get some information. But there is also some another class of tourists which are quite in abundance who undertake tours in order to get some relaxation after all the endeavours that they have undergone in the day's work. Naturally, in this connection, I feel that if the Tourist Department is going to be improved, it should also see to this aspect that it is not sufficient to bring people from outside to attract them here but there must also be some way to retain them as long as possible in this Government of ours by giving them some sort of diversionary activities e.g. in the Barapani Lake, we can at least either through Government efforts or private enterprise, encourage some people to start some clubs where people can come and sking and voting and if we can do that I believe people can stay for longer period in summer times. Some boating arrangement in some other places like Ranikor, Komaghat and Dawki areas can be made were apart from normal type of boating, we can also stage, like we staged the other day a vintage car rally and there amusements in order to attract people from various parts of the country. Furthermore, in this area we have two very important and famous places like Mawsmai and Cherrapunji. If something could be done there then many people will be attracted to these places. I do not have any idea - a specific idea at present and I will leave it to the Government to do something about this. Also these places are of historical importance and especially Cherrapunji the people would like to stay there as it is very healthy and it has got a panoramic view specially as far as the plains of Bangladesh is concerned. So something should be done about these places and we could have archery competition and a seasonal "Shad Suk Mynsiem" where people can be attracted especially the tourists and they would thus like to remain there for a few days' time thereby increasing the revenue of our State. Another important factor, we have to consider is accommodation. In order to have proper accommodation hotels should be constructed and incentives for hotel industry should be created. So a hotel should also be established in these places so that the tourists can have the benefit of good accommodation.

        I have heard a lot about Pinewood Hotel and in this connection, a lot of complaints too. I do not know whether it is "Two Star" "a Three Star" or "Unstarred " for that matter, but the fact is there are lots of complaints about it. This is a Government concern, but we as members of this House have the occasion at a loss of profit, we realty do not know. So my only request to Government is to bring out the accounts of this particular hotel and at the same time to see that the condition of that hotel is improved which at present is not of credit to our State. So, Sir, I feel that we need more hotels in our State not only in Shillong itself but in the interior also.

Mr. Speaker :- Just a minute, Mr. Syiemiong. You have just spoken on this particular point and this is a very important matter. Can the Minister inform the House as to whether a report on Pinewood Hotel have ever been places before the House.

Shri S.D.D Nicholas-Roy (Minister, Tourism) : No, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- That should be done in future.

*Shri Winstome Syiemiong :- Lastly Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to add that there are other spots in the State which needs immediate attention and development in order to attract more tourists in the State. These spots are Garampani hot water spring and Jakrem hot water spring with the exception of a very few places, I think in the whole of India there are no suck places like these, and we are fortunate that nature is kind enough to bestow on us these natural wonders. So we should exploit these advantages that we have and develop them and thus we can attract more tourists to our State. With these few words I support the resolution moved by my friend from Mawlai. 

*Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to oppose the resolution. The resolution sat that " recommends that step should be taken to develop tourism in right earnest". Sir, I am glad to submit that Government have been doing it to the best of their ability and in right earnest. They have developed tourism to the best of their capability within these last few years. As such, Sir I feel that I must oppose the resolution. At the same time, Sir, I would like to put forward some suggestion for improvement of tourism in the State. Of course, the hon. Member has just stated now about the development of some of the attractive spots like the hot spring at Garampani. But really, Sir, I am not mistaken this hot spring is not on our side but on the other side of the Kupli river and does not fall within our State. It so happens, Sir, that during our school days we read in the Khasi Geography that this hot spring falls within Khasi and Jaintia Hills District but now it seems that it falls on the other side as the Kupli river is taken as the boundary between the two State of Assam and Meghalaya. Anyhow, whether it belongs to our State or not, so far as tourism is concerned, the tourists will have to pass through our State and in passing though we may have the chance to get some income for our State.

        Sir, besides this, there are many other places in our State which are of historical interest. All of these are at present not cared for by the department and it seems the department have not collected the information on all these places. So Government should do something about this by collecting data, the location and their size as up till now nothing has been done for the preservation pf these very important places. For instance, Sir, there is a historical place in the Kupli river itself which is known as "Yale". But it is indeed very sad to learn and if this is correct, when this Kupli project will be completed, this "Yale" as well as the hot spring will be submerged under water. By saying  this, I do not mean that I am opposing the construction of this project rather I would request that ways and means should be found out so that these two important places could be preserved not only for the interest of our State and the nation as a whole but also for posterity which is one of the background of our people.

Mr. Speaker :- You know, Mr. Hadem, when the Aswan Dam was constructed, many archaeologists and historian were weeping for the great loss. But that country has to make a progress ad march with the times. This is same in our case.

Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in that case then, a submarine should be provided; at least once in a blue-moon people can travel under the water ad see those places. 

        Now we have these stone monoliths, At present these monoliths are not cared by the present generation or by the department. These monoliths have got a historical background also and also act as a witness of the greatness of our forefathers.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Hadem, I think it is high time that Government should come up with an amendment for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments because in that Act monoliths are listed in :Historical Monuments". So it is high time that the Government should bring an amendment so that these ancient monoliths can be preserved.

Shri H. Hadem :- Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the advice you have given and I hope Government will take necessary steps to this effect, as we are very much sincere and earnest about the reservation of our culture in the State. I do not have much to say, but it is really gratifying to note that Government has done a lot in the field of tourism during the last two or three years and we hope they will continue to do this in time to come. With these few words I strongly oppose the resolution.

Shri S.D.D. Nicholas Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am grateful to the hon. Member from Mawlai for the various suggestions that he has made in discussing his resolution. It is true as pointed out in the Fifth Plan Draft proposal to which he referred that Meghalaya has considerable potentials for development of tourism. It is for that reasons that the Department had engaged the attention of experts in developing certain places, in infrastructure as well as some improvement of some of the officials or the Minister, would know all the tourists spots and we welcome therefore, the interest taken as well as the various suggestions made by the Members of this august House. I would like to deal now with some of the specific points raised by the hon. Members. It is true Mr. Speaker, Sir, that in certain countries particularly, in Switzerland there is a tradition of accommodation through private guest houses providing persons who advertise for having tourists staying with them. This is called the pension system in Central Europe. It is a French word which means accommodating visitors. As pointed out by Mr. Jormanick Syiem, this may not be the time for this type of arrangement., There are a number of factors  that have to be examined and to be taken into consideration. The style of living of the people must be such that facilities for food, sanitary arrangement and so on which must be agreeable to the visitors. I do not know whether that standard has been reached by our people or not. But I think it is a very important suggestion. As a matter of fact, when I was incharge of Tourism, this was suggested, reconsidered at that time and it was felt that we were not quite ready. I am sure the day will come when that type of arrangement could be utilised particularly in the peak season where we may have a large number of tourists who could not be accommodated in the standing hotels. We can set up some sort of guest house privileges in Shillong particularly, and those areas where there are few hotels. This I think, is worth examining worth considering and the Department will have to be very careful in laying certain standards before we accept any such arrangement otherwise, it n\may create certain problem. I really accept the emphasis laid by the Member from Mawlai about the importance of the people. It is no doubt true that part from the natural beauty, the scenery of Meghalaya the distinctiveness of the people, the culture, dances, custom and so on, this is one of the things that attract the visitors to this part of the country and also in this part of the country, in Shillong in particular, where we find students and other visitors from all over the north eastern India used to come and study the cross-section of tribals genius, mirage or the importance of the people like their hospitality, charming attitude which had been remarked by the visitors, tourist including some of the Members of Parliament who visited here from C.P.A. We can only make use of these interests by appointing tourists Guides from amongst the tribal people who will describe to the tourists about the people, who can taken the tourists to met the people in the various festivals. We can take the tourists, we can take up special programmes of cultural songs and dances which can be arranged in the evening and thus, take care of one of the points raised by some of the Members who would like to bring more tourists here. In doing that, we need to see to their entertainment and in entertaining them we can give them the impression that the hills people have an interesting culture. I am sure the Tourism Department can do quite a lot of things if we get the co-operation from other associations of the people in preparing programmes of such nature. I also welcome the suggestion made by the hon. Member from Mawlai. As a matter of fact, this is one of the things which the Tourism Department has always been keen to see there are not enough articles of interest for the tourists top buy in Meghalaya. Certainly, we do no have many hand-made articles except bow and arrow or a few model basket works, we would like to encourage our people to take up the manufacture of various hand-made items.

        Fortunately, one or two people have started the process of making figures like dolls etc. We have considered yesterday when talking about giving gifts to important people like the Prime Minister or the President when they will come here, we can find out adequately decorated figures on dolls so that we can give them as gifts. This is a very important small scale industry which can be developed here. I am sure the tourists would be interested to buy those items. As a matter of fact, when I visited Scandinavia some time in 1971, I saw not only dolls with beautiful costumes of Norway, Sweden and Denmark but also beautiful figures made of fishermen and various types of people in these countries. I am sure we can do the same thing here but a lot will depend on the skill of the people who would make those things and we from the side of the Tourism Department, would welcome and from the Industries Department we welcome young entrepreneurs who would be prepared to take up this small scale industry in the form of making dolls and so on so that tourists would be able to buy them. In so far as the criticism of the Member from Mawlai regarding advertising on signboards, two or three suggestions and criticism had been made one that the only picture that was seen on the signboards are the dancers of the Shad Suk Mynsiem. There are certainly many other pictures also could be put up and these will be done in due course. Regarding the signboard at Jorabat, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not accept and I do not think we can accept necessarily that all sign-boards should be put up only in our State. As a matter of fact, as we put signboards at the Airport at Gauhati or Dum Dum Airport and we do that for attracting tourists. The signboard can be put at any place and not necessarily in Meghalaya only or just at the gateway at Jorabad and I see no objection whatsoever if we put up a signboard just near the border of Meghalaya. It is mainly for the tourists to see or for those going to Now-gong that the signboard is put up to welcome them to Meghalaya. This suggestion for putting up good signboards on the National Highway is very useful and we accept that it will be taken up. I remember when the Commonwealth Parliamentary Delegation came to Shillong and visited Cherrapunjee and that they saw some signboards with names of villages on the way to Cherrapunjee. This should be done on the Shillong-Gauhati Road and we will see that the Government does this in due course.

        The Hon. Member from Mawlai has raised the question of markets and the members from the Shillong Cantonment the question of the D.C. Court. But I do not think that it is the duty of the Tourism Department to beautify the markets. The Tourism Department cannot run markets. But if the market is clean, attractive, important and distinctive then only it will be put in the list of place of tourist attraction. As it is the Municipality or the Syiem or District Councils look after the markets to see that they are (a) clean, (b) not congested, and so on; and while welcoming the suggestion, I do not think this comes within the purview of the Tourism Department. To look into these things, the Government as a whole works as a team but they may have to refer tot he District Council or whoever looks after the markets. We do admit that there are many places in the State that require improvement. There are places where there is scope for improvement by the Tourism Department like the Lady Hydari Park...................

Mr. Speaker :- May I inform the House that the Minister does not know about one thing. It is through the Tourism Department that the Golf Course in Shillong, which had been neglected for so many years, has now occupied a very prominent place in the Golf Atlas of the world. Shillong is not considered amongst the four best in the country and three four are at Calcutta, Octacamund, Delhi and Shillong.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy :- Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. As a matter of fact, when I was in charge of tourism a proposal was made to give assistance for his Golf Course which is of great attraction and beauty. We had assisted it through grants to the Golf Club for improvement.

        But as far as this question of improvement of markets is concerned it is up to the Municipality or the District Councils. However, we will speak to them to take up this question because I do agree that the distinctiveness or characteristic or for trading and marketing system would be interesting to the tourists provided we make them clean and not congested.

        With regard to shifting the motor station to another site I may State that it has been considered in the past. But it is only after bifurcation takes place, when the State Transport Corporation comes to us, that this can be considered.

Mr. Speaker :- Nobody suggested that.

Shri S.D.D. Nicholas Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Mr. Khongwir has suggested on the motor station. 

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I did very softly. [Laughter]

Shri S.D.D. Nicholas Roy (Minister, Industries) :-  A good suggestion has been made wither it will be practical or not if the tourist wear badges. There is already a system in our country by which the tourists are given tourists cards. This is a vogue and we may consider it in consultation with the Government of India whether it is advisable or not to have special tourist badges. It is something worth considering and we will ask the Department to examine this and consult the Ministry of Tourism in the Government of India.

        The question of telephone connection in the Taxi Stand is really important. As a matter of fact, this had been suggested a long time back and in all other towns or cities normally the Taxi Associations or Companies themselves ask for telephones. This has been done in Delhi and many towns and cities have it. So it is worth considering not only for tourists but also for anybody who wants a taxi for which he ahs to walk a long distance before we find a taxi. The hon. Member from Mawlai has suggested to have a refreshers' course but since there is no course, the question of having a refreshers' course does not arise. Of course it is important to teach the importance of honesty and courtesy and I could not agree with him more. It is very, very important for the taxis to consider themselves as part of the service facility of the State, the town or the place concerned. I think it will be worthwhile for them to know the importance of making friends with tourists in particular and also to know the necessity of courtesy, honesty and not to overcharge them. It is a good suggestion and something new. I will put up to the Department that this should be done in consultation with the Transport Department.

        Another suggestion has been made by the hon. Member from  Mawlai. As an old District Council person he has seen the importance of the uniqueness of the District Councils.


Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I am actually not a District Council man.


Mr. Speaker :- He said that at least you have had a chance to serve or work in the District Council.

Shri S.D.D. Nicholas Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Yes, he worked in the District Council and he knows its importance. I think it is important that this unique institution be highlighted and perhaps some tourist would be interested to visit the District Councils to see their workings and if that be so, we have to tone up, perhaps the administration and the District Councils will have to be improved to make them wroth visiting by the tourists. I think this is a very interesting suggestion and we will have it looked into by discussing with the District Councils to see how best we can make use of these unique institution that are found nowhere else in the country.

        Another interesting suggestion which have been made in that the envelopes and printing stationery be made in such a way that they become part of the publicity media and part of the publicity programme. In this, I would suggest that not only the envelopes can be designed but also the letter heads. If sketches, etc. are make about Meghalaya on the bodies of these envelopes, letter heads, etc. and when anybody from here writes to a friend to another part of the country or the world, then it would attract people to come from outside to this State of ours. These things could be sold to the stationery stores. These things have been noted and we will ask the Publicity Department to take them up.

        So far as the improvement of cinema halls is concerned, I think this is worth-examining by the Government. I think there is need to improve our cinema halls as part of the entertainment programme of our State. And we would ask the Department concerned to see that these are improved for the good name and beauty of our State.

        Now, the hon. Member from Cantonment had referred to the need of first class cars to be operated by the State Transport Corporation. I do not know why the State Transport Corporation had stopped continuing the running of first class cars. If my information is correct, I think they had stopped running in just a couple of years ago, primarily due to the loss in the running of these first class cars, when they had to compete with the tourist taxis. Now, I do not necessarily accept that. It is not only the Government which run this service. As a matter of fact, there are many tourist taxis run by private parties and this is one of the ways by which we benefit our people. Government should only facilitate and see that the flow of money comes to the people who run these tourist taxis and so on and so forth. And, it should be seen whatever vehicles are available, they should be in good condition and that they do not cause harassment to the tourists. That is important. And I think it is very important that the tourist Department of Meghalaya in co-operation with the Government of Assam should put up signboards and fix the rates accordingly so that the tourists coming from Gauhati or through Gauhati will know what is the expected rate to be charged. The suggestion I think with certain modifications is accepted. This is an important information centre of the tourism trade. And whatever it is, whether it is of the State Transport or of the private tourist taxis, it is only best that this should be properly organised. It will be up to the Transport Department to see whether they would like to put in first class cars or not but I think the facilities to the tourist taxis must be improved, and in so far as the condition of the cars and the question of rates are concerned, these will be looked into.

        The question of improvement of water supply, I think, will be improved, specially, when the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme is completed and in so far as the Tourism Department is concerned, in the Tourists' Lodge and in Pine-wood Hostel, we are always making water available to meet the requirements of the tourists staying there. As a matter of fact, we have gone to assist them for a special pump and a tube well was sunk near the Pine Wood Hotel and we had hoped things would improved. The hon. Member from Mawlai, Mr. Khongwir, had made suggestions to improve certain places of historical importance and other beautiful places that could be developed. This has been noted down.

        Now, the hon. Member from Mynso also mentioned the question regarding the Yale Falls. Since I am in charge of Power, I would like to inform the hon. Member, through you Mr. Speaker, Sir, and the House as a whole that while it is unfortunate that the hot spring at Garampani is going to be submerged for all time to come and that is one of the sacrifices that we have to make, but the Yale Falls fortunately will not be totally submerged. I enquired into this at the time we considered this. It was informed to me by the Engineers concerned that for some months Yale Falls will still be visible and for some months only it will be submerged. That is during winter when the water is the reservoir is less, they will be visible and it will still be a very beautiful spot to look at, if we go by boat. So, it will be an attractive place for tourists and the Department will look into this question of having a tourists lodge near the place for that particular purpose.

        I am grateful to the Member from Nongpoh who had appreciated many schemes that the Tourism Department implemented during the past years. We have also taken up the question of improving the Swimming Pool near Crinoline falls. This will be improved. It is also one of the attractive places for tourists. But our own people here in the town also could use it. And the same efforts are also being made to improve the Thadlaskein Boat House and so on and so forth. He also appreciated the question of moving the Tourism Office to a much more central place and we will see that some improvements are made in the office of the Tourism Department here in Shillong also. It is also correct that there is the importance of Information Centres at Delhi, Calcutta and Gauhati, though perhaps Calcutta is more important than other places. But just to put the records straight, many people do not seem to realise that for Shillong in Meghalaya, foreign tourists do not require restricted area permits as before. With the efforts of the Government, the Minister of Home Affairs and relaxed the need of having permits for tourists to come to this State from any part of the world to Shillong. They could stay for 2 weeks without permits. Only when they stay for a longer period, they will require permits and the permits will be issued here in Shillong by the Home Department of the Government of Meghalaya.

Mr. Speaker :- But those who come through Gauhati may be checked?

Shri S.D.D. Nicholas Roy (Minister, Industries) :- They might be checked at the airport. But they could proceed straight to Shillong. But if they come by road or train then, they will require permits and in this regard, the issue of permits is till necessary at Calcutta, but those tourists who come to Meghalaya by air either through Gauhati Airport or Shillong Airport at Umroi there is no necessity of Restricted Area Permits. Of course those who will visit Meghalaya only for two weeks, there is no Restricted Area Permit. The hon. Member from Nongpoh had made certain statement that in Calcutta new buildings will be put up. But it is not a fact; there is no proposal for a new building but  the existing Meghalaya House which is run by the Meghalaya Government is in a rented house. Now we are arranging purchase of another plot of land just next door where there are two buildings where Meghalaya House will be situated. In future we may construct a new building but at the moment there is no such plan. So far as his suggestion for setting up tea shops at Nongpoh, the Government will consider. Because although there is no more gate system yet the people continue to take tea and light refreshment at Nongpoh and we realise its importance to tourists and perhaps this suggestion is worth the consideration. Either we may ask the existing tea chop to improve or the Government may step in the construct buildings for tea shops and rent them out. It is worth looking into. Also we agree that there may be some exhibition stall and sales depot so that the tourist at the time of leaving Shillong may like to purchase something from Meghalaya. This will be considered by the Government. The suggestion for improving the sitting room of the passport office with nice chairs and cushions will be taken up with the officers of the Department. We agree with the suggestion made by the hon. Member from Nongspung that there are certain class of tourists who generally come here for relaxation and the Department should provide them with some chances of entertainment like boating and water skiing. The Department has already a plan for boating and it will be implemented in near future. But I do not know how far it will be practicable to have boating entertainment facilities at Dawki and other places. However, we will certainly look into the matter. Regarding Pine-Wood Hotel we do have separate accounts and this anomaly will remain till we make a separate undertaking or a corporation for this Hotel. For instance, the transport accounts have not been shown in the accounts placed before the House. The Public Account Committee has rightly pointed out that the House must have a hand in such expenditure. So there is a proposal that this Pine-wood Hotel should be brought under a separate undertaking or a corporation and then only we will get a separate statement of accounts in the House according to the rules. Now a suggestion has been made that we should do something to preserve the places of historical interest and it has been suggested that those places of historical interest like our monoliths, etc. should be listed by the Department concerned.

Mr. Speaker :- I think the Department to be opened for taking care of historical places will come with the aid of the Tourism Department.

Shri S.D.D. Nicholas Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Yes, Sir, I think I have covered almost all the points raised by the hon. Members. Also I think the resolution is rather redundant in as much as the Department has already taken some steps for development of tourism and is taking more and more steps for the promotion of tourism year by year. I do not think it necessary for the House to accept this resolution in view of that fact that whatever suggestions they have put forward have been taken note of and the Government will look into them. In this connection, I would like to inform the House that the Department has improved the Shillong Peak for the tourists and now it is more suitable for the tourists to over-look the whole Shillong from there. With all these assurances, I would request the hon. Member from Mawlai to kindly withdraw his resolution.

*Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this Department is very important and that we should get a chance to discuss about the performance of this Department in this House. But I have got as many as 4 Motions in my name and so I had to bring it before the House in the form of a resolution. Mr. Speaker, Sir, while going through the list of suggestions  which I gave, I forgot to mention about one suggestion. I just skipped off. So, if the Hon'ble Minister does not mind and if you give me permission, I will request the Government not to encourage begging...... (Laughter

Shri S.D.D. Nicholas Roy (Minister, Industries) :- Rather you should say Government should discourage begging. (Laughter.)

Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the replies and assurances given by the Minister and when he has accepted, if I am not mistaken, 100 percent of my suggestions and which I think out of 14 suggestions he has accepted 100 percent and with all the support from all sections of this House to this particular resolution, I think there is no more point for me to stick to this resolution. So, I withdraw my resolution.

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

(Voices..... yes, yes)

         The resolution is with leave of the House withdrawn.


        And since there are two more Resolutions which stand in the name of the same Member and we will not be able to take up these Resolutions now so the House stands adjourned till 9.30 a.m. tomorrow, the 7th April, 1976.


Dated Shillong,


The 6th April, 1976.

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.