Proceedings of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9. a.m., on Friday, the 12th March, 1976, in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong, with the Speaker in the Chair.
( To which replies were laid on the Table )
Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the day by taking Unstarred Question No.1
Shifting of the headquarters of Mawsynram Public Works Department (Roads and Buildings) Division.
Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked :
1. Will the Minister -in- charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state -
|Whether it is a fact that the headquarters of the Mawsynram Public Works Departments (Roads and Buildings) Division is going to be shifted from Shillong to Mawsynram?|
|If, so what are the reasons thereof ?|
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah, Minister Public Works ( Roads and Buildings ) :
|The importance that the Public Works Administration should be in close touch with the people of the area for which the Division was created and is meant to serve.|
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker Sir, when it will be shifted ?
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah, Minister Public Works ( Roads and Buildings ) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, as soon as arrangements are being made for shifting.
Widening of the Nongstoin Nongshram Road.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot asked :
2. Will the Minister -in charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state :
|Whether the widening of the Nongstoin- Nongshram Road under the North Eastern Council Schemes was completed ?|
|If not, reasons of non- completion ?|
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah, (Minister in-charge Public Works Department) replied :
|Widening of the Nongstoin- Nongshram Road has not yet been sanctioned by the North Eastern Council. The estimate in under preparation.|
|Does not arise in view of (a) above.|
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker Sir, when can we expect the sanction to come ?
Mr. Speaker :- This was replied too. As soon as the North Eastern Council releases the sanction.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker Sir, how long will it take to prepare the estimate.
Mr. Speaker :- This is not in the main question.
Let us pass on to Item No.2. The Minister in charge of Industries to present the supplementary demands for grants and supplementary appropriation for 1975-76.
Shri S. D.D. Nichols Roy, Minister industries :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg to present the supplementary demands for grants and supplementary appropriation for 1975-76.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to the next item. Mr. S.P. Swer to initiate discussion on the motion of thanks .
Debate on Governor's Address.
Shri S. P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker Sir, in the first instance, while initiating the debate on the Governor's Address which was delivered to this august House on the 10th of March. I hope hon. Members will agree with me in this short Address of the Governor, the broad outlines of the policy and programmes and achievements of the Government have almost been touched. I would like to, dwell a little on the very first page, Paragraphs1to 4 of the Address. We may recall that the situation in our country in the last decade of our independence was a very very difficult one specially in the years 1965-66 and 1967 when drought and other natural calamities occurred in our country in which more than one hundred million people were affected and it was at that time that our Prime Minister, Smti. Indira Gandhi assumed the office of the Prime Minister. It is really a very very difficult situation in the country but due to her great leadership, these difficulties prevailing at that time in the country were over-come and due to constant drought and floods there were scarcity of essential commodities. Though this drought which was prevailing at that time affected the country very much and put the greatest strain on the Government of the country, yet it has its own brighter part in that India Launched a great revolution. Again Sir, we may recall that in the year 1972-73 there was also another drought in which about more than two hundred million people were affected and we know also that in this last decade there were many other problems in the country. We may recall that the many problems in the north eastern region of our country were there. But with the great leadership in the person of Smti. Indira Gandhi, these problems were sorted out one by one and solved and it is a fact that we are here today as we are because of the wisdom of our Prime Minister's leadership. We know also that there are many problems not only in the north east India but also in North and South India. We my recall that the long problem of Jammu and Kashmir remained unsolved for many many years. Now we can say that a solution is within sight and the greater part of it was solved and this is due to the great leadership in the person of Smti Indira Gandhi. We know also that since Independence upto 1969 the position of the weaker section and the down trodden masses was still not improved. And with the aim to raise the position of the down trodden masses, the Prime Minister, in her wisdom has taken a very very big step in nationalization of 14 big commercial scheduled banks in the Country. In other fields also, there is a remarkable progress. We know, as mentioned in the Governor's Address the launching of the Aryabhatta Satellite in April, 1975 and also the peaceful nuclear explosion at Pokran. These are the achievements which are a major break through in the filed of science and technology. Sir, we know, during the last year and the year before last, our country was full of agitations, demonstrations and strikes and many other anti- social and anti-democratic elements were in existence, and the country was at the time on the brink of collapse. We know that our country is the largest democracy in the worlds and democracy in the country like ours will succeed only if the people, the whole nation is disciplined and when there is progress and improvement amongst the weaker sections of our population. In order to achieve this objective to make democracy a success in our country, the Prime Minister took a bold step in proclaiming a state of Emergency in our Country. And immediately after that, the Prime Minister announced the 20 point Programme. The aim of the Programme is to improve the social and economic condition of the weaker section and down trodden masses in our country. Here in the Address we have seen that with the announcement of the 20- Point Programme. In short Mr. Speaker Sir, we can see and judge from the results in the the last 6/7 months how our Meghalaya Government implemented the 20- Point Programme. We know that all the 20- Point Programme, although some of them are not relevant in our State, but we have seen reports about the action taken by the Government in respect of inefficient Government employees that 14 employees were compulsory retired, 4 employees dismissed and 3 removed from service within a short period of time and further more Government is also examining each and every case closely. We know that immediately after the announcement of the 20- Point Programme the Government of Meghalaya started setting up of Co-ordination Committees. These committees are entirely meant for speedy implementation of the 20- Point Programme. I am glad that the Government has taken bold step in one point, that is about land. Although distribution of land to the landless does not arise in our State, because the land tenure system is such that the people themselves own the land, but in the interest of the people concerned and the land owners whether big or small, the Government have taken a bold step in trying to send out some trainees for cadastral survey of land. We hope that in course of time when this survey will be completed, we will have the records of right in which the land owners will be able to avail of the facilities provided by the Government and also by other financial institutions. Mr. Speaker Sir, another point of the 20- Point programme is the house sites for those who have no land to built their houses. As I said before, this question does not arise here at all because it is not difficult for our people to get land for building their houses. But the question is how to erect the house. Here we know the step taken by the Government in the organisation of Housing Co- operative Societies, in urban and rural areas. Through these co-operative societies, those people who do not own houses will be able to own a house with the facilities provide either by the Government or by the financial institutions. There is also another point which is worth mentioning and that is the liquidation of rural indebt ness. We all remember that Government has come forward with the Bill to suspend payment of loan for a period of one year for those farmers or agricultural labourers who have taken loan for repayment. This has helped our farmers who have taken loan to a great extent and we know that with the passing of this Act, there are Nationalized banks which have been opened in rural areas and many people in the rural areas, the poor cultivator, the poor bee- keepers and even small traders have been able to get the financial facilities from the banks at very easy terms of interest and repayment. This has contributed a lot to the welfare of our people especially the weaker section in the rural areas. Another remarkable action taken by the Government is the loan which is called the Takabi loan through the Apex Bank. Here we see that about 3234 farmers have been benefited through 20 societies all over the State. As I said before, in respect of financial institutions, the Government is trying very hard to see that all Rural Banks are operating in the State, especially in the rural areas covering the entire State. This as I said before, will afford more facilities to the farmers in the State. We know also the other steps taken by the Government in respect of minimum wages. Now- a- days ,w e can see that a Muster Roll employee works in the road with a smiling face( Bell rang ) because his minimum wage is raised by the Government. Mr. Speaker Sir, very recently we see that out Chief Minister inaugurated one Lift Irrigation Project and many more such projects will be under construction and here about 3169 families will be benefited and 2500 hectares of land will irrigated. Sir, there are also many other programmes taken up by the Government under this 20- Point Programme which I am not going to touch. Before resuming my seat, I take the opportunity to congratulate the State Government for one step taken by it with the object to bring the administration nearer to the people. To that end, the Government has decided to create 2 more districts , 4 sub divisions and 6 administrative units. In this connection I want to add the geographical and topographical condition of the State is such that even this step taken by the Government is not sufficient. We want more administrative units, more subdivision and more districts for better administration ( bell rang ). With these few words Sir, I commend my motion of thanks for the acceptance of the House.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Reidson Momin, you will have 12 minutes.
Shri Reidson Momin :- Mr. Speaker Sir, in supporting the motion of thanks moved by my friend Mr. S.P Swer, I would like to make certain observation on the address of the Governor. I actually want to thank the Governor for his kind address to this august House the day before yesterday at the beginning of our current Budget Session. I have nothing to say but to appreciate the policies laid down by the Government of Meghalaya and on that, I would like to say a few things on the Development and Planning which are contained at page 5 of the Governors address. Sir, our State is rich in mineral and power resources and today I am glad to speak a few words on this subject in this august House. The Government of Meghalaya with the kindness of the Planning Commission and the Government of India have provided Rs.20.20 crores for 1976-77 which also include Rs. 4.50 crores for the development of Kyrdemkulai Hydro Electric Project. Sir, power is an industry and today in Meghalaya we need power and industries. It is heartening to observe that today the Government of Meghalaya is not neglecting our resources which have not been tapped before. Sir, in the North Eastern zone as a whole, there is a vast hydro- electric potential. From the rough estimation, it can be said that in this North Eastern Zone, we have potentiality of the order of 12 million K.W. of electricity of power. Out of this, Meghalaya stands second in this North Eastern Zone being round about 1.66 million K.W. Then again Sir, I would like to tell the members of this august House that in Garo Hills, we have coal which is the potential requirement to generate power and the Government of Meghalaya has taken steps to improve the Nangalbibra Thermal Power Project which intends to generate 120 M. W. thermal power. The Meghalaya State Electricity Board came into being only last year on 21st January
Mr. Speaker :- Not last year, but in 1972.
Shri Reidson Momin :- I say the Meghalaya State Electricity Board and this is only the second year of the existence of the M.S.E.B and within a short span of its existence, we have been producing round about 65.2 M.W. in our State i.e., Umiam Stage I which today produces round about 36 M.W. and Umiam Stage II produces around about 18 M.W. and from Umtru, we are today getting round about 11.M.W. Mr. Speaker Sir, the M.S.E.B is doing well in this short time of its existence. Then, Sir, the M.S.E.B. intends to improve or rather restore the capacity of 60 M.W. generation in Kyrdemkulai for which as I said earlier, the Government of India has provided Rs.4.50 crores. Sir, if we can achieve our plan in power generation Meghalaya will not be lagging behind in producing agriculture produce as well.
Sir, today I am glad to say that in the field of agriculture we have power for lift irrigation for which the Government of Meghalaya has already taken steps. Recently in Khanapara the Chief Minister inaugurated by himself the lift irrigation scheme on 17th January this year. Besides that, in Khasi Hills, we have provision for lift irrigation namely by the Kynshi life irrigation scheme, the capacity of which is supposed to be 25 H.P in 7 substations out of which 3 sub- stations are already for operation. Then in Khampara, the M.S.E.B. has a scheme for provision of 65 H.P which has been as I mentioned before, inaugurated by the Chief Minister on the 17th January. Then in Jaintia Hills also, we have a scheme with the installation capacity of 150 H.P. The work is in progress and the M.S.E.B expects to commission in this current year. Then we have another lift irrigation with a capacity of 135 H.P. and this also is expected to be commissioned some time within the current year. In Garo Hills, we propose to install the capacity of 300 H.P at Simsangiri and then again 150 H.P in Rongrengiri. But Sir, unfortunately within the short span of our Statehood we have not been able to reach every corner of our State. But I do hope that within the next one or two years' time, we will be able to connect the Nangalbibra grid from Umiam Project which will be of great help to the people of Meghalaya especially to those cultivators in Garo Hills who have no irrigation facilities today. Sir, today we cannot stretch our land but with this modern and scientific method of cultivation, we have three or four crops in a year from the same land, if we can have these irrigation facilities. It is heartening to note also Sir, in the Address of the Governor that there is a scheme of sinking 100 shallow tube wells in Garo Hills District. This has been taken up to improve irrigation facilities. The target of 1,35,000 tonnes of food grains is expected to be fulfilled during 1975-76. During the next year, agricultural production is expected to increase by 5000 tonnes in food grains and 3,500 bales of jute and mesta. I would like to mention Sir, that this is the policy laid down by the Government of Meghalaya and I cannot but appreciate it. I will fail in my duty if I make no mention about the achievements of transport within the State. We have already 47 buses running on these routes and also 5 trucks . The routes covered are Shillong to Jowai, Shillong- Shella, Shillong- Tura, Shillong - Mawkyrwat, Shillong - Nongstoin, Tura- Dalu- Baghmara, Tura -Williamnagar and Nangalbibra. Some of the routes have been taken over very recently by the Government of Meghalaya, I mean by the Transport Department.
Mr. Speaker :- You should also give chance to others to participate.
Shri Reidson Momin :- Mr. Speaker Sir, with these few words I support the motion moved by the hon. member for Sohra.
Mr. Speaker :- I have seen an amendment to the motion of thanks from Shri H.E. Pohshna. Mr. Pohshna may move the amendment.
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg to move this amendment to the motion of thanks to the Governor 's Address. After the motion add the following " But the House regrets that the Governor's Address fails to mention the 12 measures on prohibition and the step taken by the Government to established medical colleges and agricultural colleges in the State. Election to the Shillong Municipality, involvement of Meghalaya in various industrial development grants and achievements so far made in this respect of implementation of the 20- Point Economic Programme.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can participate and you will have 20 minutes.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Sir, while moving the amendment, I would first express my thanks to the Governor for his Address by which he has enlightened about the present situation in the State. In moving this amendment. I would like to mention that we do not want to criticize the Government at this stage but rather to co-operate and particularly by reminding the Government to implement what have been mentioned in the Governor's address. It is a fact Sir, as has mentioned in the Governor's Address that the State has become very peaceful these days after proclamation of emergency . It is also a fact Sir, particularly in the State of Meghalaya ,we have nothing to worry , taking into consideration what is happening in other States in India. After the proclamation of the emergency prices of essential commodities and food stuffs have gone down. That we cannot deny. Moreover, I am grateful to the Chief Minister for having visited Jaintia Hills and other areas in the border. The people are very happy with his visit to Dawki and they have benefited something from what we spoke. In other places also we have seen in this year that everything is Okay. The Ministers cars are travelling , not one Minister in one place but sometimes one or two or even six Ministers in one place. I would not of course like to go to the expenditure involved for such visits. Since I have been an M.L.A I have seen that last year I got more invitation cards than the previous years and it appears that the Ministers and Government officials are having a very good time and are spending their days moving in the midst of the people . I would like to mention here that in Jaintia Hills, on more than two or three occasions, the people were very happy with the Ministers. There is an exhibition at Thadlaskein "Kissan Mela ", than the sports at Jowai and then on the 16th another exhibition and then the Shillong Industrial Exhibition. But the most interesting thing that we have heard from the people is about the enjoyment in Garo Hills during the drums festival on the 5th and 6th March 1976. I am sorry I could not get an invitation. Also there was the community fishing at Simsang river and some people told me that it looks like the Sea of Galilee. I was told about the hunting by the Minister Transport and it seems he was here of the day because he shot and killed one wild buffalo at Rongra side.
(Voices : Was it a wild buffalo or mithan )
It was a wild buffalo. I am happy that our Transport Minister is such a good shot and hunter and I hope he will go hunting to Delhi as it was mentioned in the Assam Tribune, that the bifurcation of the State Transport Corporation is in the hands of the Central Government . Sir, I would like to mention once more that yesterday in the Assam Tribune it has been mentioned about the long pending tack and that it is the bifurcation of the State Transport Corporation of Assam and Meghalaya and that it is going to be considered by the Central Government. It has been a very good sign that during this year our Minister of Transport could kill one wild buffalo and other buffalo of bifurcation is expected to be killed (laughter ) Everywhere we go in the Jaintia Hills, Khasi Hills they say 'Khublei " and in Garo "Mitela" Only one thing has not been finished by the Chief Minster is the invitation for fishing at Simsang and Byrnihat. Sir, I am not going to take much time of the House. But I would only like to give my thanks to the Governor for his Address and that it is about the administrative set up which our Government is going to open. Last year, we have seen mention in this in the Governor's Address and now also it has been mentioned that two more districts and four sub- divisions programmes will be created. Sir, while coming to this I am grateful that these districts are going to be set up. But what I would like to say is that if something can be done in respect of the area of these districts then there will be some benefit to the people. I remember the sweet song used to be sung by our friends during the Hill State Movement " Khynriam U Pnar, U Bhoi U war - U dei U paid Khasi ba iar ". If the establishment of these districts will be based on this song.
Shri E. Bareh, Minister Agriculture :- What is the meaning of that song ?
Mr. Speaker :- It is the division of the Khasi Hills District.
Shri E. Pohshna :- Because we are going to establish these Districts and if we base on the spirit of this song and then the song could be sweeter than ever. (laughter ). The District of Khynriam and u Pnar song are already there. U Bhoi- Nongpoh is already there but U War is not there. I thank the man who composed this song and it has become a very very sweet song. I used to sing this song although I am not a good singer. I would request the Government to see to this. I understand that some terms have been put for the creation of Sub- Divisions. I am glad that in the Jaintia Hills District in the Constituency of the two hon. Members from the Opposition , one Subdivision and one administrative Unit are still going to be created and I met one of the Ministers in- charge of Border Areas. He has been very kind o inform me about the places, villages that are going to be tagged in the new Subdivision in the Jaintia Hills. There it was said that the border areas will include villages of Ratasara and Umkiang and other villages. But in my opinion, when the administrative unit is going to be created in the same area , why harass those people to go a long way from Ratasara why not tag them to the same unit? Moreover Sir, as we all know, Narpuh Elaka has been divided into Subdivisions . One to the administrative unit and the other to the Subdivision in the same compact area. I would like to suggest that there is still time for the Government to consider it. I would request the Government especially the Minister in charge of Agriculture, who knows well about our localities that the villages of Umkhen and Umsyiem and other villages into Lahat and the area stretching from Mukerjira in the Khyrim Syiemship to be tagged to Jaintia Hills. Actually during the British regime, this foreign Government has tagged them to the Khyrim Syiemship just because of the national boundary.
Mr. Speaker :- May I inform the hon. Member that Mukerjira area was conquered by the Syiem of Khyrim. It was taken over from the Sutnga King. Long before the creation of the Jowai Subdivision, is used to be a part of the Sutnga kingdom. So also Nongpoh Sidarship used to be part of the Sutnga kingdom.
Shi H. E. Pohshna :- Yes Sir, that is a fact. I would suggest that these conquered areas should be tagged now to the Jaintia Hills District.
Mr. Speaker :- In that case, you mean to say all those places within the Sutnga kingdom ? I may tell the hon. member that the division of the areas what is called the Jaintia Hills today was Madur Maskut in the past. This area extended from Umkhen to Myntdu. But to which district do you think this area belongs ?
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- It was so Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Jaintia Raja used to conquer upto the borders of Kamrup and it is true that his Kingdom extended upto the 24 Parganas now in Bangladesh. I would request the Government to look into this matter and see what could be done. In order to give time to my other friends, I will come now direct to my amendment and the main thing is that there is no mention about the 12 measures of prohibition in this Address. Sir, last year, I was so glad that a Press Note has been by the Government of Meghalaya. But it is very unfortunate that this time it has not found a place in this Address. The twelve measures banning liquor shops are there. No liquor shop is allowed along the highways. Direct prohibition for the Government servants of all categories drinking in public places. Now new liquor shop should be opened in the entire part of the country, no new license for opening bars and so on and so forth. But in this Press Note Sir, our Government has made some stresses only in new things. Only the word "New" could be seen in the note and advertisement and there was no mention whatsoever about the old and existing ones. In the Press note it has been clearly stated that this is being carefully examined by the Government and the decision of the Government will be intimated in due course. The evils of drinks do not come from the new liquor shops alone but it comes from the old. (Laughter) Therefore, if we compare 12 measures and the Press note given by the Government, it appears that our Excise Department is blaming only the new liquor shops and new bars and that it is not going to blame the existing ones. These things will have to be intimated in due course. I do not know whether the Government has decided or not.
Now, I come to the second point regarding the steps to be taken up by the Government for setting up a Medical College and an Agriculture Institute in the State. The people in the general Education Department are happy to get a New State Education Minister who has had occasions to visit many many places in our district and also in other districts.
Since there is much hue and cry regarding the demands for doctors in the rural areas- in our dispensaries and hospitals- we should like to see that something is done for the establishment of a Medical College in our State. Of course, we cannot do it within a day or within a year but atleast, we should like to see that there is a start of thinking about the establishment (Bell rang ) of a Medical College.
Mr. Speaker :- Only two minutes left. You have been moving around hunting wild buffaloes.( laughter )
Shri H. E. Pohshna :- Sir, I was attracted by wild buffaloes ( loud laughter ). Now that I have very limited time at my disposal I would like to state that regarding the 20 point Programme, the following are some of the items which have a direct bearing of our State. These are the terminations of rural indebtedness, elimination of smuggling, improvement of agricultural production, opening of book banks, development of handlooms and so on and so forth. I do not want to go into details but I would request the Chief Minister to give us some details about the achievements made so far. With these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now, Mr. D. D. Lapang. You will get 15 minutes.
Shri D. D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I take this opportunity the thank the Governor for his address which has highlighted in extremely clear terms the achievements of the Government of Meghalaya during the year. I personally commend most whole - heartedly the efforts of the Government to bring about all round progress in the State. We have heard just now that the hon. Member from the other side has moved an amendment to the motion of thanks to the Address of the Government. He has also stated that there are some omissions for not mentioning the 20 Point Programme as declared by Mrs. Indira Gandhi. But Mr. Speaker Sir, while appreciating the view point of the mover that it is very much essential that mention should have been there, I would like to bring to the notice of the hon. Member that the Government of Meghalaya has already put into practice most of the points and that it has devoted to the checking of illicit liquor.
Sir, if I may be permitted to state, as far as my knowledge goes in the Office of the District Transport Officer as many as 70 vehicles were suspended with fines during the current year because they were carrying illicit liquor, and some of them because the drivers were found in a drunken State. If the hon. Member would take the trouble to go through the records of the Government he will see for himself. I am sorry I cannot get the records of his district but so far as Khasi Hills is concerned in 1974-75, the number of arrested cases were 77 and during the current year the number is 178. The total cases filed in the Court- last year's records- were 135, this year 286. The number of persons arrested last year in the Shillong area was 160 whereas this year it was 342. In the other parts of the Khasi Hills outside Shillong are the number last year was 448 whereas his year it was 769. The hon. members can very well note the increase. So, Mr. Speaker Sir, if not corrected to say that the Government of Meghalaya is gracefully avoiding to mention. Sir, action speaks louder than words. So, I have every justification of expressing my congratulations to the Government for its actual practices and performances which are very satisfactory.
In the first instance, as the time is very much limited, I would like to mention the achievements of the Government in the realm of Education and Sports and Youth Welfare. The abbreviation PID is a slogan of our Government, i.e., Poverty Literacy and Disease. The objective of our Government is to fight against and nip these three evils in the bud.
Education is one of the very important items in the 20 Point Programme declared by our Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. our Government has devoted a lot of time towards the implementation of rural education. The establishment of the Meghalaya Board of School Education is one of the achievements of the Government. By having this Board constituted and established, it has brought the entire system of public examination, recognition of school and development of curricular closer to the people. It is also the intention of the Government to bring to the Government close to the masses. As you all know, many parts of our Meghalaya State had been left backward without any development in the past. So, by bringing the Government closer to the people, the latter would now know better about our own Government. This will surely help develop our own genius. The establishment of study centres in Shillong, Jowai and Tura is a matter of fact to be appreciated and the Department concerned to be congratulated. The establishment of a book will enable the poor students to have the privilege of gaining access to good books. The Government has also been providing facilities to the students by controlling the rates of exercise books and other items. The Government also deserves congratulation for establishment of a Sports Council which will bring out some people into the limelight of sports and games.
It is for the first time that the newly- born State like ours has been included in the National Sports Map. Really, have got enough scope for improving our sports and games ; and I would like to suggest to the Government, besides congratulating for what they have done, that there is much room for improvement for what they have done, that there is much room for improvement of sports and games. As for example, there is no sports stadium in Shillong which is very very essential for improvement of sports and games. I would suggest to the Government to look into the matter and scrutinise the feasibility of constructing a stadium. Now, opening of training classes is one of the privileges that have been extended to our young students who have the intention and the ambition to move forward and add prestige to our State. Mr. Speaker Sir, it appears from a press release of the Government of India that the University Grants Commission has agreed to reserve some posts of Lectures and Professors in the University for the candidates belonging to the scheduled tribes. Therefore, I would like to impress upon the Government that they should ensure implementation of this policy of the University Grants Commission in the North Eastern Hill University also so that our people will have ample scope to get themselves admitted and employed under this University. It is, however, heartening to learn that this University of ours is going to open some new subjects, viz, journalism, accountancy, business management etc and some scholarships will be given the research students. I also heard that the Government has arranged some scholarships for the students but I would like to suggest to the Government to examine whether the rate of scholarships could be enhanced or not. In this regard the Education Commission is really doing something very good and this is an achievement of the Government. This Commission has formulated the education policy in the State and consultation with the other Education Commission in the country and has made a very concrete suggestion which will really revitalize and change the policy of education to the benefit of the students. We know education is a very important thing; education means quality. If the quality of education is improved, it will develop the mind and character of our students which will not only benefit the State but also the nation as a whole. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to suggest that the Government should consider seriously the question of setting up of a Government College at Shillong. We have got many colleges at Shillong but the standard of education in these Colleges needs much improvement. It is this Government College which can afford to employ highly qualified teachers and admission into the College is also made on selective basis. So, opening up of a Government College will really be an asset of the State as a while. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have also seen that there is much room for improvement of the standard of teaching in the colleges. It is no wonder therefore, that the trained and qualified teachers can only deliver the goods. We cannot direct anybody who has got the post graduate degree to go and teach in the college and the University. They need proper training. Therefore, I would request the Government to open one training Centre for the college teachers. It will be very much essential and it will bring more benefit to the students than what it is today.
(The Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair)
While congratulating the Government for establishing a Pre- Examination Training Centre here it is gratifying to note that the Government has opened this Centre to impart proper training to the candidate appearing in I.A.S. and other allied examinations. But the standard of teaching in this Institution is not very satisfactory for example, last year twenty five candidates appeared in the I.A.S. Examination but out of twenty five only two candidates came out successful. This reveals that the standard of teaching is not at all satisfactory. So the standard should be raised so that our students may be able to qualify in the examinations and we hope the Government would look into the matter.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would also like to point out that the teachers of the Basic Training Centre are not getting their pension till today although many of them have retired since many many years back. I do not know what is the actual reason. Why these retired teachers are not getting their pension. In spite of repeated reminders to the Department concerned they are not getting justice. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, while we are crying slogans for improving the lot of the teachers, it is a sad commentary that the teachers are not getting their pension even after many years of their retirement. it is a very important question before the House. I know there is one teacher who retired in 1968 but till today in 1976 even he has not got his pension. We would like to know what for these persons and the officers of the Department are meant ? I would therefore, urge upon the Government to look into this matter with all seriousness. Now we are having the emergency and we are talking about the 20- Point Programme. So we hope things will be improved.
Now, I would like to say something about agriculture. We are happy that the Government is going to make our State self sufficient in respect of food. Sir, if you go to any district you cannot deny that the Agriculture Department is doing its utmost to achieve this goal. I do not know whether it is by the Agriculture Department or by the Soil Conservation Department but we find that barren hills have turned into green forests and the barren land have become green paddy field. This has been achieved through lift irrigation. One colleague has also mentioned that during January, the Chief Minister had the occasion to inaugurate one lift irrigation project at Khapmara in Bhoi area and through this project water is available (Bell rang ). As a matter of fact, this irrigation project has made it possible to turn about 100 acres of land into a paddy field. This will fulfill a part of the assurance " land to the landless and food to the hungry" Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we can also see the good intentions of the Veterinary Department with regard to the proposal about having as many as 30 students who are still under training in the B. Vac and two in the B.Sc. These people will come here and really they will be able to help the people who are backward and who do not know the role played by the Veterinary Department in modern way. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I have dot many things more but as time does not permit me, so with these few words only, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. F. K. Mawlot. You will have 25 minutes.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I rise to participate in the discussion on the Governor Address. First of all, I would like to express my thanks to the mover of the amendments to the Motion of Thanks who had pointed out many points which the Government have not been able to put forward as part of their developmental programme. For example, he had stated that the Government had not thought of setting up a University for Agriculture, and also of the establishment of a Medical College in the State. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, we know for a fact that most of our students who want to get a diploma or graduation on the subjects concerned, have to go for study in other States- in other parts of India- the Government have not been able to render necessary assistance in respect of reservation of seats for them. So, many of our students could not study in time because they could not get seats. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would stress upon the Government to please take up the matter seriously and it should go forward with the proposal for setting up of this new Medical college as well as the Agricultural University. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, since time is very limited, let me come at once to the Governor's Address. Let me start from the end of the Address, i.e., at page 17 para 27 of the Address had indicated the benefits of the Government employees as a result of revision of the pay scales. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I am glad that the Government servants had also expressed their satisfaction on the Governments adoption of the pay Commission recommendation. But, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I do not know whether Government had thought and is in the know of the matter that the Lower Primary School Teachers under the management of the District Council have not enjoyed these facilities so far. Well the State Government had written to the District Council for Submission of a budget estimate also indicating the arrears of pay which the Lower Primary School teachers are to get with effect from the date giving effect to the revised pay scales. The District Council again written to the State Government giving a reply that an amount of about Rs.17 lakhs is involved as arrears with effect from the date of revision of the scales of pay. So, far the District Councils have not been able to receive any money from the State Government for payment of the dues of the teachers. Mr. Deputy Speaker, if others have enjoyed why should particularly the people of the Education Department suffer unnecessarily. As the Chief Minister had mentioned a long time back that our aims and objectives are to root out poverty, ignorance and disease. We are here today discussing mattes because it is the poor primary school teacher who have brought us the present standard. It was the Lower Primary School teachers who have taught me and everyone of us here to read and write alphabets. Now, when we have come to a certain stage, we forget the case of our Lower Primary Schoolteachers. There was so much hue and cry on the question of raising the pay of the College Teachers Professors and they had also demanded the U.G.C scales of pay. And the State Government was also helping them whereas the Lower Primary School teachers, who are the founders of education were totally neglected by the State Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, at this point I would like to impress upon this benign Government to see that if other categories of Government employees can enjoy the facilities given to them, the Lower Primary School teachers should not be deprived of the benefit that is due to them. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, let me come to page 15 of the Address- Para 23. Here is is mentioned about the settlement of the boundary which the Government of Meghalaya and the Government of Assam are thinking, I mean the settlement which they propose, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is actually a very big matter on which a long time back, Members of this House had occasion to discuss in this House, but so far, it is noted with regret that the Government of Meghalaya have not been able to convince the Government of Assam to come to an agreement on the question of demarcation of the boundaries. Sir, if you remember and if I remember alright, last year the Government had committed that Block I and II of the Mikir Hills District will be brought back to the State of Meghalaya. The Government had conceded the demand made by these people that these two blocks should be included in Meghalaya and I remember, there was a Motion or rather a Resolution of taking into consideration the inclusion of these two blocks within the State of Meghalaya, which the Government later on had thrown out. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Government is sincere in this, this should have been judiciously and carefully taken into consideration. If the matter was pursued by this benign Government in a phased manner, the matter would have been solved long ago but because of the delay by this Government, the Government of Assam is also delaying. I doubt Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the settlement which is proposed will be successful unless the initiative is taken by our Government in a phased manner. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if I narrate the whole thing i.e., the areas of Meghalaya falling in the District of Nowgong and Kamrup of Assam, it will take quite some time. So, I will not go into the details but I would request Government that when they take up the matter, if they do not feel too low to approach the Members of the Opposition, we re ready to render assistance necessary. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, as regards Blocks I and II of the Mikir Hills District, the Chief Minister had occasion, last year, to tell us of the notification of the Government of Assam in 1951 and now I stress on this that the Government should pursue the matter on the basis of that notification.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come to Para 20 of the Governors Address in page No.14. Here in this Para, the Government has stated that the Councils will continue to be assisted for discharging their functions in regard to Primary Education and also for undertaking developmental schemes of their own. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to a layman, in the street who will just read this portion will find that everything is alright, everything is O.K. So also to me who do not know anything about the administration, I may simply take it as O.K. But Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, if I remember a right, the Chief Minister had also the occasion to mention in this august House that the pay of the Lower Primary School teachers for five months i.e., from November 1969 to March 1970 was advanced to the District Councils for payment. But I am sorry to say on the floor of this House today that nothing has been done by the benign Government . the District Council has not received that amount which was to the tune of 4,71,313 rupees. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir......
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I cannot recollect that this same amount has been sanctioned, as a loan, to be adjusted, for the refugees and it was from that amount the District Councils have paid the teachers. But I cannot say exactly now and I do not remember well.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I have checked up with the District Council regarding the matter, but from the District Council records, it was found that nothing was there to show that this benign Government had instructed the District Councils to take that amount from that particular grant. But the loan which was given to them at that particular amount was for general administration and it was not specifically mentioned for payment to the teachers.
Shri W.A. Sangma, Chief Minister :- It is up to the District Council whether they would entirely utilise the amount for their day, to day administration or for payment to the teachers. But how can I reply to that now ?
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I think the matter as it stands now is this amount of Rs.4,71,313 was meant for payment to the teachers and there are 615 teachers under the free and compulsory scheme. Two hundred thirty five of them are under the scheme for entertainment of additional teachers and 14 teachers were under the Test Relief Scheme. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, as I said, it is really very unfortunate that this benign Government has neglected totally the functions of the Education Department. The lowest categories of teachers are completely neglected by the Government. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I may charge here that if this Government does not pay the amount to the teachers within this financial year, let them declare that they have totally forgotten and neglected this Department of Education and let he Government so decide once and for all. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, as the hon., Members from Nongpoh has already mentioned that there are cases of teachers who have served for 30 to 40 years and are nearing retirement but they are not confirmed yet. Therefore, I would request the Government to see that those teachers who have put in service for a sufficient number of years be confirmed and given all the facilities which other Government servants are also getting, Mr, Deputy Speaker, Sir, teachers of Basic Education and also of general education are falling under the same category.
Shri W. A. Sangma :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, as far as the Lower Primary School Teachers are concerned they are under the control of the District Councils and it is up to them to frame the rules.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I am not referring to only those teachers controlled by the District Councils, but I am referring also to those general education teachers. For, example I am giving the case of one teacher of the Government M.E. School at Nongstoin. He was the founder of that school, his qualifications was condoned, but now he is nearing retirement but was not yet confirmed by the Government and up till now he does not know whether his services have been confirmed or not ( Bell rang ) Please allow me another two minutes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- I have already given you two minutes. Your time is up and there are other members who would like to participate.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Will you be kind enough to allow me more time ?
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Alright, only one minute.
Shri F. K. Mawlot :- Then Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I come to Para, 17 at page 12, wherein mention was made on health. It is very pitiable to see that mental patients are kept in the jails together with the convicts. This is really inhuman and I think the mental patients should have their own separate place and that they should be treated well and should be taken proper care of. But if they are kept along with the convicts in the jail then how do we expect that they will recover from their illness. So I would submit that this benign Government should initiate to set up one Mental Hospital for them in any central place of the State. Another thing is about the establishment of a home for the destitute. A kind of reformatory home for the young boys and girls who remain destitute should be establishment of this Government- There a number of young boys and girls who could not get proper care because of their misfortunes that their parents were dead and there was nobody to look after them because of poverty they cannot live in a better standard. There are many children of the age 4 to 5 years who are destitute in the State and they are just kept in jails and no kind of teaching or reformatory home was given to them. Therefore, I would request this benign Government to start one reformatory school, or at least if that is not possible, to start a home for all the destitute and give them proper treatment and education as the case may be ( Bell rang ) of course I hope Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I shall have more time for general discussion on this subject afterwards.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now Mr. Samarendra Sangma, you will get 12 minutes.
Mr. Samarendra Sangma :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, at the outset, I rise to support the motion of thanks moved by the hon. Member from Sohra. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the Governor's Address acknowledgement has been made for the stewardship of our Prime Minister during this decade of strain, which is very appropriate one right and time bound and I pray to Almighty that he may grant us the benefit of her leadership for many more years to come. Sir, I also believe that the firm and bold steps taken by our Prime Minister have often been an inspiration to the people for establishing the pre- requisites for economic progress. I have also the conviction that with such action on the part of our Prime Minster, it has often been a new vista for political conciliation in the country and has helped us in a broader way to come nearer to our many political parties to work in amity and unitedly, and with dedication for the greater cause of the country and for all - round development and welfare of the State on the 20- Point Economic programme of the Prime Minister actually arrested the attention and enlisted the support of the whole nation I believe that the massive move of our people in the rural sector will get adequate attention in raising their lot economically and socially Poor and backward sections of the people now will get due attention for their upliftment. Mr. Deputy Sir, at page 14, Item No. 21. a reference has been made in connection with the development of border areas in which mention has been made that integrated programme for the development of border area will continue next year with increased outlay. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I do not want to cite any example , as we know that the Government through various schemes . are trying to develop the border area. But I would like to mention only about one item which is related to the feeder roads scheme and small bridges. And in this connection, I want to state some difficulties of my area since I know that due representation will be made to the Government. There are two feeder roads and for which representation has been made to the Government. One feeder road is from Katulihat to Zikzag Block Headquarters via- Demiligiri, Diniagpara, Amingpara, which is about 8 K.M. Another feeder road is from Dinapara to Bhoinagupi via Boldakgiri, Rongkaigiri, connecting both the Ampati- Salmanpara Porakhasia P.W.D. road, the Kalaichar - Zikzag Gobinath Villa P.W.D. road which is about seven Kilometres altogether. Sir, the main difficulty is that from the Block Level, we have tried to construct this road but much work is yet to be done on the feeder roads for the development of border people. So, I would request the Government to look into this matter. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, during the last 5 to 6 months, the condition of the border people has been very much deteriorating because of the occurrence of some disturbing factors like burglaries, dacoity and thus in my area the insecurity of life and property has assumed a great proportion. I am referring to these things which are happening within the territory of Meghalaya. I feel that I should not refer to other border areas which are not within the border area of my constituency. I therefore, suggest that more B.S.F personnel should be posted in each and every border area to assist the Village Defence Party of the area and some more fund should be provided to V.D. P. for their pocket money as the money given by the Department is very meagre for conducting their night patrol duty. They should be given extra money so that they can purchase sufficient number of batteries to meet their expenditure on it.
My fourth point is that the border gun holders should be given preference while purchasing cartridges. It is a very discouraging experience on our part that during the last 6 or 7 years cartridges were not available and if cartridges are made available to there gun- holders it will, to a great extent . help to safeguard the security of the border people.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in regard to communication, I would like to suggest that the roads between Gobinath Villa at Maheshkhola should be widened and due attention should be given so that during the monsoon these roads do not get disrupted. Because, in the past we have seen that communication always gets disrupted and it hinders the agricultural development of the area and also the the general life of the public there. Then Sir, I refer to the border road which starts from Mahendraganj by the western side Garo Hills. I know that the fund for black topping of the border roads comes from the Centre and I request the Government and the Central Government also to see that fund may be made available expeditiously so that black topping work can be started. Until and unless good communication system existence, we cannot expect any economic development in the border areas. I think the Government will be very kind enough to look into this matter by providing fund for completing this at an early date. At page 15, para 22, regarding the absorption within Meghalaya of tribal employees ( bell rang). Our Tribal employees who were working in Assam Government were being absorbed in our Meghalaya Government. Due action is being taken by the Government but in this regard, I want to refer one thing and that is, there is limited number of civil service employees who are working in the Government of Meghalaya and they are already in service. But I do not know what action has been taken by the Government for those tribal officers (bell rang ) who are in service under the Arunachal Civil Service. Just one minute more Sir, last year, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I very much appreciate the action of the Government that it contemplated to pay the revised pay scale to all the State Government employees. In this regard, I only want to say that expeditious action should be taken in regard. Though the intention (bell rang ) is very much appreciable, but if actual payment to the employees is not made at the proper time, and if it takes 2 to 3 or 5 years to make the payment, it will do more harm than good. So I would request that as expeditiously as possible payment should be made to our Government employees. With these few words Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. K. M. Roy Marbaniang. You will be given only 5 minutes.
Shri K. M. Roy. Marbaniang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, in taking part on the deliberations on the Governor's Address, first of all I would like to congratulate the Government for the enlightenment which has been given to this august House through the Governor's Address on many other important matters. Of, course, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, it is not possible also that all programmes and developmental schemes of the Government should be printed in detail in such an Address. But on the other hand, as stated by the Hon. member from Nongtalang Government has omitted some certain subjects and as I said, it is not possible that all the details should be incorporated. I am personally glad that the hon. Member has reminded the Government certain things which have been omitted but he should also realise that it is not possible that all the programmes and developmental activities of the Government should be incorporated in the Governor's Address. The hon. member from Nongstoin has definitely stated that the Government has omitted certain things and that is (1) to bring back Block I and Block II of Mikir Hills to Meghalaya Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I think it is very wrong. As far as I remember in deliberation of that particular area connecting with Assam and the other areas, the Government has never committed such things. So it is quite wrong to say that Government has committed to bring those area to Meghalaya. the Government is trying its level best to bring those areas back to Meghalaya, but I think it is quite wrong to say that it has committed to bring them back because it is not within the power of the State Government to do it is a question the boundary of other States and other parts of the country.
Regarding the payment to the Lower Primary School Teachers the hon. member has said, that the District Council teachers have not got received their pay for some months. But I think it is quite wrong to say that Government has committed that the loan has been given for that particular purpose. It is up to wisdom of the District Council when the loan has been given to it to choose which is more important to utilize first. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I do not agree with those hon. Members who said that Government has committed to do these things. I do not want to touch all the subjects which have been mentioned in the Governor's Address and since the time is very short I thought I would have to run without any semi- colon or stop. I will try to confine only to two subjects. One in the Border Areas Development. In this matter also Sir, I quite appreciate what the Government have been doing and are trying to do but to be more precise I would suggest that Government should take proper care to see that all the advantages and privileges which are meant for those people of those areas should be fully made available so that the people will get the actual benefit. I have some suggestions in this particular respect. At present, the Border Areas Development are also giving free truck for lifting and carrying the border produces from their areas to the marketing centre. But as it is at present, I think this is not fully appreciated. Therefore, I would suggest to the Government through you Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you see that implementation of this free transport for listing and carrying of the produces from their areas to the marketing centres should be properly examined and find out some ways and means to implement to the extent that the people will really get those advantages. Secondly about the appointment of Border Areas Development Officers. As it is at present it appears that those officers do not have any supervision from the Secretariat side. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would suggest ( bell rang ) That these officers should be tagged to the respective blocks being their headquarters so that the movement and supervision of those officers should be fully utilized. I will come to another point. I request you to give me another 5 minutes and I shall complete my speech. That is regarding the creation of more districts, more sub- divisions and more administrative units. In this regard Sir, I really appreciate the decision taken by the Government to create more district more subdivisions and more administrative units. It is stated in para 7 of page 57 that with a view to bring the administrative closer to the people and facilitating execution of development programmes, my Government have decided to set up two more districts, four sub- divisions and six administrative units in the State according to the phased programme, keeping in view the availability of officials and other relevant factors. Mr. Deputy Speaker, on this Subject, I would inform the Government through you, that the present administrative set up is no sufficient. Sir, I will cite some instances. In the eastern part of India, a State like a Manipur which has a population of only10,72,753 has got 5 districts and 25 subdivisions and Nagaland which has a population of only 5,16,000 has got 3 districts and 47 circles. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, would request the Government through you, that more districts, civil subdivisions of the Government as stated in para 7 of page 5 of the Governor's Address. Before I resume my seat, I would like to congratulate the Governor for his Address delivered to this House on the 13th of March and for the policies and programmes enunciated and implemented by the Government during the last few years. With these few words, Sir, before you ring the bell again I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now, Mr. S. N. Koch.
Shri S. N. Koch :- Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, before I speak on the subject, let me new my congratulations and thanks to the Leader of the House and his cabinet colleagues. I am really glad to go through the Governor's Address in which , I find the thing which so long I have been searching in my heart and the thing which the last 12 souls have been standing for and trying their best to find for the last 4 years. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, though I should confess without hesitation that first of all I am still coming out or say free from reverie when I go through the Governors Address and also the speeches made by the hon. Members of the Treasury Benches when they spoke about the achievement and the political situation of the country. Perhaps they meant about the country and for the time being I thought whether in reality I am in the Session or in a dream. Why ? Let me read Para 2- in which the Hon. Governor said " during my last address, I had referred to the serious inflation in the economy and escalation of prices. I am happy that the gloom has been lifted and we stand today at the threshold of an epoch of economic stability. On the political front, the last year witnessed the beginning of an atmosphere of violence and agitation which shook the very foundations of the democratic structure in the country. Attempts were made to disrupt production in industries and agriculture and there were calls to the Armed Forces and the Police to disobey authority". Since the Address is made by the Governor of Meghalaya and we assemble here to discuss on the subjects which are clearly connected with our State, I am naturally confused whether there were any political parties or persons who have calls to the Police in our State to disobey the authority because there is nothing clearly stated. Is it an attempt on the part of the Government to show that actually such things happened, though really there was nothing in the State ? But the action of the State Government shows that it is in the grip of these things.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :- We have such things in the whole country.
Shri S. N. Koch :- But in the Governor's Address, it is not very clear. Here again it is stated " on the political front, the last year witnessed the beginning of an atmosphere of violence and agitation which shook the very foundations of the democratic structure in the country". Democratic structure may mean in our State, the very democracy of our country or the district also. Anyway for the time being, I was endeavoring to understand what it means by this firm and bold step that has ushered in an ear of stability and discipline which are the pre- requisites for economic progress. Now the question if that who was taken this firm and bold step. Since I am Member of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly for that reason I am divorced from my outside knowledge. But since it is the Address of the Governor of the State and since the Governor has tried to give an idea to the hon. Members.
Shri W. A. Sangma , Chief Minister :- I would remind the hon. Member that we belong to a great country India and as such we have to play our role on whatever happens in the country.
Shri S. N. Koch :- I thank the spirit exhibited by the Leader of the House that bold steps taken by the Prime Minister should not have taken much space. Anyway, Sir, I am coming to my point. The hon. members from the Treasury Benches have thanked the Government, have thanked the Governor for the achievements or for the steps that have been taken. That is, of course, natural. But the question is, for example, for creating the book bank, whether the credit should go to the State Government or the Central Government because the money is provided by the Central Government. So where the credit lies and there were specific instructions to the State Government on this. Anyway, regarding Rural Banks, at one time this House has passed a law where the rural in debtors need not pay their loan for a year. But after that one year what will happen. I hope we do not teach our people that they need not reply it. I would like to know what are the follow- up- steps undertaken by the Government. Whether they are going to the villages and doing something. This is the subject which come up during the last winter session and Chief Minister and others were also there. In, fact, I know that the land belongs to the Koch, the Hajongs and the Ravas but the land is actually in the hands of the businessmen, the money lenders and the Zamindars. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, we are considering this matter but if we have to go to the District Council then we should not have touched it.
Again regarding the law and order situation in our State. In the Governor's Address it has been mentioned that during 1975-76 it continues to be peaceful. By and large, I do not think it to be so. At least one more sentence should have been added. it should be " I congratulate the people of our State who are very much polite, gentle and for having done their duties ". But there is nothing of the sort here. It seems as if the law and order situation just happens in the State without the help of the people and the credit goes to the Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, the previous member has spoken that there are hundreds of cases of crimes committed and are going on in the border of Meghalaya and Bangladesh. I think not less than 10 persons were butchered and murdered in this way. I am supporting the fact spoken by friend.
(Voices : Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, that is a point of order)
Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I am only supporting the facts and I can say that such crimes have been committed, though the Police are there with other people, but they are simply silent spectators. So, how can we say that the law and order situation in State is satisfactory. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, since the time is very limited, let me come to another point. One of the hon. Members from the Treasury bench has mentioned that we are completely in line with the policy of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is all out to help the minorities and the weaker sections of the people. But Government statistics belittle the minorities who are also tribals for all purposes. The population of the minorities may not be shown in the Government book for reasons best known to themselves. But it is a fact that they are tribals. But there is no mention of the 20% of the people in the State and it seems that Government is playing the role of Balmiki. In the Ramayana composed by Balmiki there is the name Ram and Sita and what they have done and what they did not do, and the pain and agony they suffered. Unfortunately the great sage failed to mention his brother and sister- in- law. What is their fate ? That is not written by Balmiki. So also the pain and agony of the minorities is not mentioned and I am not afraid if that is exposed to the notice of the State Government and also comes to knowledge of the people of the State, when leaders like Captain W. A. Sangma who is a man of caliber is there, then I do not know why people should suffer in this way. Whatever the case, there should have been some relief for them since Government is also following the policy laid down by the Centre. The Government should have helped the minorities and it would have been fitting occasion especially since emergency is there. The Government should have taken some steps or policies to alleviate the sufferings of the down trodden people. In this House you are sitting as Minister and there are some who are sitting as Secretary, some as D.Cs and B.D.Os but how many Hajongs are sitting, or how many Rabhas are sitting in the administration ( Voices : Is there a bar ?) There is no bar but a bar is being created from the point of view of the Government is following the Balmiki way of life or practice of discrimination. If this is the case then it should go away because everybody has got a right to develop towards a betterment of their lives. There are members, politicians, and leaders, who have already become fathers and mothers of some dozen of children. Now it should be the endeavour and duty of every man, woman and officer to preach the message of family planning to the people and the masses from radio, broadcast or in religious functions. But unfortunately in this Governor's Address I did not find what steps the Government is going to take for the propagation of family planning in the State. We have already far exceeded the target fixed and we should make some effort to practice family planning, but as things stands, they are practicing just the contrary. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, since time is very limited, I will touch the salient points only. My hon. friend who brought the amendment motion has mentioned the election to the Shillong Municipality. Though at the very beginning the Governor has come up with the slogan of democracy, but this Government itself is trying to fight against democracy by not holding the election to the Shillong Municipality for years together, or should we believe Government for what they say and what they had done and practice ? ( Bell rang)
Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, another point. About two years back, the Minister in charge of Local Self Government said, I do not remember in which session, that Government is considering the creation of a Municipal Board for Tura also. Unfortunately, in this Governor's Address there is nothing mentioned as to whether Tura is going to have a local self Government or Town Committee for the betterment of the people and for the beautification, but in the name of beautification each of the owners of the motor vehicles in Tura town has to come daily to Count Local Self Government is for the betterment of the people of the town and its beautification. There are so many difficulties. Much has been said of these things in the nature of beautification. For example, an owner of a local vehicle in Tura town has to attend daily because some powerful police officers in the Garo Hills District know nothing about the crimes and offences. When we asked what is the offence , the answer is simply "Wrong Parking" and nothing else (Bell rang). Since your honour has given time to the speakers who have spoken before me, I think few minutes may be given to me too. Only five minutes Sir, because there are many disturbances and interruption. May I request the Government through you Sir, that immediate steps should be taken to convert the Tura town in a municipality from the population point of view and taking into account all the factors, Tura Town has fulfilled the requisites conditions as laid down in the rule, Sir, lastly,
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Your time is up.
Shri S. N. Koch :- Sir, since you have given your ruling, I will now resume my seat.
Shri Jackman Marak :-Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, since you have given me only 7 minutes time, I would like to touch a few points. At the outset, I want to speak something about the economic problems in the border areas. Everyone of us knows very well what are those problems. Speaking about the economic conditions of the border people, I would like to bring home one very pertinent point for the information of this august House. Since the inception of Meghalaya as a full fledged State, our Government has been trying its level best to the people in the border areas. Sir, in this respect, I would request the Planning Commission as well as the Government of India, through the benign Government of our own to provide more funds- sufficient funds to develop economic conditions of the border areas. As we all know, the people are now crying because last years harvest is much below expectations. The main drawback for this has been the lack of good roads and bridges and for lack of the infrastructure. It has been mentioned here in the Governments Address that there are small bridges and link road to be constructed for the benefit of the border people. Another thing on which I would like to say is regarding Co-operative Societies in the border areas. I have seen many co-operative societies in the border areas functioning nicely and a few of them had turned into banks today. But it is needless to say that many of them are yet to be properly looked into by the concerned department. Why I say so, because through these co-operative societies the Government can store paddy and other commodities otherwise the suffering people of the border areas are now panicky and are thinking how to live on. There are so many difficulties. Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would suggest that right from Baghmara to Duminigura there should be one police outpost to look after the difficulties in those areas. There is one outpost to look after the difficulties in those areas. There is one outpost in Dalu covering the areas upto Deshapara but it is inconvenient for the people of other areas to go up there, up till today, Debangiri and Sibbari are tagged to this outpost. I would come now to link road from Duminigura to Sashilkona. This is a very important road and it should be constructed. As it is at present only 2 kilometres have been constructed. Another Link road from Sibbari to the Public Works Department road should also be improved upon for the security of the border people. Sir, there are many roads to be constructed during this year. I would like to bring to the notice of the Government about the condition of the road from Sibbari and it is not on the alignment route. But it is quite unfortunate that this alignment is going to develop only for 33 miles up to Baghmara.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :- This is a matter which you have to discuss in some other forum ( Bell rang )
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Marak, the scheduled time is up. You will get the opportunity to continue your speech when the House resumes its business tomorrow. The House stands adjourned till 9.a.m. tomorrow, the 13th March, 1976.
R. T. Rymbai,
|The 12th March, 1976||
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.