PROCEEDINGS OF THE BUDGET SESSION OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLE AT 9.30 A. M. ON WEDNESDAY, THE 17th MARCH, 1976 IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, SHILLONG.
Present : Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair, 8 Ministers, 3 Ministers of State, and 35 Members.
Mr. Speaker : Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Questions.
(Replies to which were laid on the Table )
Dumping of coal, etc, on Public Works Department Roadside.
Shri K. M. Roy Marbaniang asked:
12. Will the Minister in charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state -
|(a)||The reasons for allowing coal to be dumped by the Public Works Department Roadside at Upper Shillong?|
|The reasons for allowing timbers to be stacked by the road side all along the Highway in Happy Valley areas?|
|(c)||The reasons for allowing private workshops vehicles to be parked on the National Highway at Mawlai area?|
|(d)||Whether Government is aware that this poses danger to the motorists and the public?|
|(e)||If so, what steps the Government propose to take to previous such parking ?|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister Public Works Department replied :
|12(a)||Dumping of coal is not allowed by the Department.|
|Stacking of timbers is not allowed by the Department on the roadside of N. H. 44|
|(c)||Parking of vehicles on the National Highway is not allowed|
|(e)||The Government is making every effort to keep the road and roadside clear so as to avoid danger to traffic.|
Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether stacking of timbers and coal was done with the knowledge of the concerned Department or not?
Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister Public Works Department :Mr. Speaker, Sir, the answer is very clear. It is not allowed.
Shri Maham Singh : How is it then that timbers and coal were attacked ?
Mr. Speaker : Your question is very argumentative. You may ask what steps Government proposes to remove these things.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister Public Works Department :Mr. Speaker, Sir, steps are being taken. We have taken up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner, Khasi Hills to see that the road-side is clear from all obstruction.
Construction of road from Nongstoin to Maheshkhola
Shri F. K. Mawlot asked :
13. Will the Minister in charge of Public Works Departments be pleased to state :
|(a)||Whether Government propose to construct a road from Nongstoin to Maheshkhola?|
|If so, when ?|
|(c)||The amount earmarked for its construction ?|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister Public Works Department replied :
|13||(a) There is no proposal for construction of a road from Nongstoin to Maheshkhola.|
|& (c) Do not arise.|
Mr. Speaker : Let us pass on to the next item. The Chief Minister to take leave of the House to introduce the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling (Amendment ) Bill, 1976.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling (Amendment ) Bill, 1976.
Mr. Speaker :Motion moved. I put the question before the House that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling (Amendment ) Bill, 1976.
( The motion was carried )
Mr. Speaker: May I ask the Chief Minister now to introduce the Bill ?
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling (Amendment ) Bill, 1976.
Mr. Speaker :Motion moved. I put the question before the House that the Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling (Amendment ) Bill, 1976 be introduced,
( The Motion was carried )
( The Secretary, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly read out the title of the Bill )
Let us pass on to the next item. Shri Maham Singh to take the floor. You will have 45 minutes.
Shri Maham Singh :Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the outset, I would like to support the amendment to the motion of thanks on the Governor's Address moved by the hon. Member from Nongtalang . Mr. Speaker, Sir, while supporting the amendment, I am very glad that in the Governor's Address reference has been made to congratulate our great leader, Shrimati Indira Gandhi on the completion of a decade of her Prime Ministership, and also congratulate her for her able stewardship during this period of her office. Mr. Speaker, Sir, many hon. Members have also spoken words of appreciation of our Prime Minister and they have spoken highly of all the programmes that she has taken up and of what she has done for the benefit of the people and the country during all these years. They have fully supported all the programmes that have been taken up by her at present. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want also to say a few words paying tribute to this great leader of ours. I consider that our country and our people are very fortunate in having a leader like our present Prime Minister especially during the period when our country is faced with the greatest danger-the danger is only only external but it is also internal.. The danger faced by our country during this period is of the highest nature, highest magnitude, a danger which our country never faced since after our country achieved its independence . Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would submit that during this period our country passed through many difficulties which were not due to any fault in the administration of the Government . But Mr. Speaker, Sir, these difficulties faced by our country were due to the political situation prevailing all over the world, especially in some neighbouring States. Over and above, difficulties were also due to the draught that prevailed inside our country. As we know, many unscrupulous people had taken advantage of the situation by blaming the Prime Minister and the Central Government for all those difficulties faced by our people and by the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as already pointed out, a state of confusion and violence had been started throughout the country during the last three years. It is gratifying to note that under the able leadership of our great Prime Minister, we have been able to overcome all those difficulties. She had piloted the ship of the State out of the rough waters of turmoil and turbulence and has been able to bring us to the the shores of safety, peace and tranquility. Mr. Speaker, Sir, she has been able bring back peace and security and preserve the integrity of our country. After the emergency, she had been able to create a congenial climate of political situation in which all of us are again able to undertake the task of building up our country towards greater progress. She has been able to create a climate which is so conducive that we ought to take full advantage of the conditions prevailing at present . Now, Sir, she has been able to restore peace and security- we congratulate her not only because she has brought peace and tranquility but having done so has laid down special guidelines for the economic development of our country through which we can rapidly tone up whatever we have lost during all these 3 or 4 years, through which we can again work with a greater sense of confidence in anything we undertake to do, Mr. Speaker, Sir, every one has supported the 20- Point Economic Programme that has been envisaged by our Prime Minister. And in this connection, I would submit that had it not been for the able leadership of our Prime Minister, our whole democratic structure and the very integrity of our country would have collapsed, but under her able leadership we are saved. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the 20-Point Economic Programme which she had laid down should be our guidelines. We should unite together to strengthen her hands to work for peace and progress and also for the integrity of our country as a whole. Mr. Speaker, Sir, further with regard to the Prime Minister, I would say that she is not only a friend of the down trodden and dumb masses, but is also a benefactor of those people who are the poorest of the poor with greater sympathy to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes . Now I would submit that this 20- Point Economic Programme is a real programme for the rapid development of our country. It is a magnificent programme it is a sure step towards attaining a socialistic order of society. As has been said measures have also been taken to obtain the active participation of the people in the various programmes that has been envisaged by her. Now in this connection, I would say that we have been able to make much progress so far as our State is concerned. It has also been said by the hon. Member from Nongspung that actually much more could have been done in the State. In this connection, I feel, if we are to make a steady progress, then there should be improvement in the efficiency of the administrative machinery of the Government . Now whatever may be said on the efficiency of the administrative machinery of the Government it is still at a very low ebb. It has been said in the Governor's Address that with a view to toning up the administration machinery the Government has decided to weed out inefficiency and corrupt Government out of inefficient and corrupt employees is not enough. This is not a new remedy that has arisen after the Emergency. This has always been in existence from before. It is not only that corrupt Government officials were only suspended or dismissed, but legal actions were always taken against them. They were prosecuted and punished for the corruption committed by them. I fee, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we really want to improve the efficiency of the administrative machinery, we should be able to draw the best and the most capable persons in the administration of the State and the conditions of service should be created so that we may be able to get the best people in the administration. And further, it is also very necessary that the appointment or selection of all employees in the Government machinery should be by persons or body of persons who are unstirred by any outside influence. It should be done by those persons or body of persons who, in the selection or appointment of employees for any post, can take decisions without any fear or favour from any quarter.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would say that although measures have been taken by the Government to weed out the inefficient and corrupt officials and as has been said, many have also been suspended and punished, still I would say that the efficiency of the administration is still not up to the mark. We should be able to appoint people in Government service who are not only capable people but who posses high ideals, people who are practical and above all we should be able to appoint people who have a sincere love and affection for the people and the State. Without this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not possible to improve the efficiency of the administrative machinery. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, however much we may say that the efficiency has improved, still if we compare the running of the Government concern and also the Government institutions with that of the private institutions, especially those controlled by foreign missions, we find there is a great deal of difference. Let us compare the Government institutions with the private institutions, let us look at the buildings, let us look at the campus, let us look at the day of maintenance of all the institutions run by these Missions, especially the foreign missions, we will find that their buildings are of magnificent types, their structure are artistic, they are so well planned, they are so well designed so as to fit in with the landscape all round them but so far as the buildings constructed by the Government it seems as if there is no planning what so ever. Now if we look at the maintenance of these buildings and also of the campuses, what do we find, Mr. Speaker, Sir? If you go to any of the private institutions, if you go to St. Edmund College, the Loreto Convent and the St Mary's College, you will fine that the buildings of these institutions are well-maintained. When we go to their buildings and compounds we find that every part of their premises of every room and every corner of their buildings are well maintained and in a superb manner. It actually looks as if these people have a real responsibility and that they come here to serve with a spirit of dedication for doing good for the people and for the country. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I regret to note that we do not find the same thing in the Government institutions. Look at the way on how they maintain their vehicles or on how they maintain the machineries run by then . If we go to any of the offices even, what do we find Mr. Speaker Sir ? We sometimes find that in some premises of the offices of the Government even the flower gardens are wantonly destroyed. If we go to the State Transport Station of Meghalaya, here in Shillong, we find it a dirty station - the whole station is so dirt and not to speak of the waiting room, there is not even a shed fro the passengers to wait and, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we look also at the buses of the Meghalaya State Transport we find that they have never been cleaned since they were purchased. I must say that they are so covered with dust that, in order to recognise the State Transport Buses, we just have to look at the accumulation of dirt on the body of the vehicles. Now, so far ad the people are concerned with the management of this Department, I would say that they have no regard at all for the convenience of the travelling public and yet we say we want to encourage the coming tourists. How can we encourage coming of tourists to this State of ours? How can we encourage coming of tourists when the buses they have to travel are kept in such wretched condition. I must, therefore, submit Mr. Speaker, Sir, that if the efficiency of the administration is not improved we cannot make any headway in the building up of a better State for the future. We cannot, as has always been stated, convert this State of ours into a patch of beauty. I think that phrase has always (Interruptions). I would say, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that we find inefficiency in almost all the Departments of the Government and, above all, what do we find- as I have already stated - we find inefficiency with regard to not only the State Transport Station, its buses and its vehicles which are not maintained properly but as a matter of fact and further even after the declaration of the emergency these buses are often running out of time, everyday, whereas trains, aircrafts, etc. in other parts of the country and State are running in time.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister: I was detained for 3 hours last time.
Shri Maham Singh :That was due to the act of God or rough weather ( Laughter)
Shri P. R. Kyndiah, Minister P.W.D : Yesterday the Nongstoin Bus which was coming from Nongstoin to Shillong was coming on time.
Shri Maham Singh : It was running on time only because the Minister was there. It so happened that the Minister, Public Works Department went to Nongkhlaw and so the people thought that if they do not run on time then "we have had it". [Interruptions]
Mr. Speaker :No interruptions, please, and if any hon. Member want to interrupt he should please address the Chair.
Shri Maham Singh : I am glad for the interruptions Mr. Speaker, Sir. So, whether a Minister goes to a place or not, I feel that the buses should run in time. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would again like to say something about the buildings that have been constructed by the Government . Well, there are innumerable examples but I would like to cite only one. Since the Minister, who had interrupted me, had been to that portion of the road, I think he must have noticed the dispensary at Sadew which is about 7 miles away from Shillong. May be the Minister had noticed how they had selected the site.
Shri P. R. Kyndiah, Minister P.W.D : Just on a point of information, Sir. Is the hon. Member referring to the P.H.E. Centre at Sadew or that at Pomlum ?
Mr. Speaker : The hon. Member is referring to the buildings opposite the Pomlum High School.
Shri Maham Singh :Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Minister has rightly spotted the site
Mr. Speaker : I think I have helped him to spot.
Shri Maham Singh : Yes, Sir. Opposite the Pomlum High School they have constructed the buildings almost in the gutter. I think the Minister has also noted. Well, Sir, I would never entrust that person who planned these building even a cattle shed. The buildings were of such a low type that there was no sense whatsoever of beauty. So, I would submit, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we really want to build up a real State of which we can really be proud of we should be able to have good people in the administration, people of imagination and who are capable of planning, people who would say "I am going to do better in the future". Such type of people are really required in the administration. I would again submit that there is much inefficiency . Most of the Government employees do not seem to have any sense whatsoever of the value of time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this connection I would say that for private institutions, it takes only 6 months not only to select a site for their school hostels, their hospitals etc. i.e., the whole complex of the buildings- they take hardly 6 months time to complete the whole transaction of selecting the site and purchasing the land. But then, what do we find, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we find that Government has taken more than 4 years to select a site for the University. This again, Sir, I think about 4 years ago also I had mentioned about the situation of the Government High School and the Government has assured that the Government High School will be shifted to a better place. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, 4 years have passed and nothing has been done with regard to the shifting of the Government High School and Sir, I believe even the site has not been selected the Government High School still stands in the same place and I do not know how many more years it will take when our people will be able to see the school in a better site and a congenial place. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I find that in regard to the running of schools, there is a great difference between the running of the Government schools and the running of the private Schools or institutions. Well, I think the Minister-in-charge of Education, himself does not send his children to the Government High School nor do any of us, I mean members of the august House send our children to read in these Government High School (laughter) because I know Sir, that it is of a very poor standard and I cannot entrust Mr. Speaker, Sir, to send my own son to read in the Government High School. (Interruption). Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must submit that in other parts of the country, they have good school run by the Government. Why I say this, is because one hon. Member that we have also a good Government College. This is very essential, Mr. Speaker, Sir, essential for the benefit for our future generation.
Mr. Speaker : What types of Government College do you mean?
Shri Maham Singh : Yes, Sir, a Government College which will impart the best education to our students.
Mr. Speaker : May I interrupt ? You have admitted that private institutions are better than Government run institutions and when there are already better colleges in Shillong, why should the Government enter into competition. Or it is in terms of some types of professional colleges ?
Shri Maham Singh :That is actually my point, Sir. We are to do justice to the people. We should do justice not only to certain sections of the people but to the people in general also. Because the students have to pay more in the private schools, I mean fees etc. than what the students have to pay in the Government High School. In the Government High School the students have to pay only about Rs.2.50 or Rs.3.00 whereas in the private institutions we have to pay about Rs.35.00 pm or more. How can the people afford to send their children to such schools ? Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we should do justice to all the people and, that is why, a good Government School and College are very very essential and I hope that the Government will take up this matter with all seriousness. I also support what has been said by one of the hon. members, I think the hon. Member from Nongpoh who has said that we should have a very good Government College . Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we talked also of building up, i.e., of having some more Administrative Units, or of having more Districts. I consider that education is more important because it is the type of education which decides the future destiny of a country or race. The other day, Sir, the hon. Minister-in-charge of Education has mentioned that even up till today Government has not made up its mind to pay the revised pay scale to the teachers. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would submit that these teachers are getting very low paid.
Mr. Speaker : What category of teachers ? Whether they are Primary or Secondary or College teachers ?
Shri Maham Singh : The worst affected Mr. Speaker, Sir, are the Lower Primary School teachers . They do not get even the pay of a 4th Grade Government employee, and yet, Sir, they are the builders of the future generation of the country. I would say Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the pay of the teachers of the Middle English and High Schools and for that matter the pay of the Professors in colleges is not satisfactory. Specially, the pay of the Lower Primary School teachers is very unreasonably low.
Shri Jormanick Syiem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order, the Lower Primary Schools are not within the Government management but they are under the District Councils.
Mr. Speaker : I am aware of all these. But in Shillong, the Primary Schools are under the control of the Government. As far as the other lower primary Schools are concerned, they are under the control of the District Councils. But anyway, this does not mean that the Government cannot suggest good things to the District Council.
Shri Maham Singh :Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, all of these are better known to the hon. Speaker. But everyone will admit Sir, that the pay of all the teachers is very very low. Many of the teachers, Mr. Speaker, Sir, have joined this service out of love for the job on the profession and they have joined this service because they have great regard for the profession and with a spirit of sacrifice. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in these hard days how long they can sacrifice with the meagre amount which is practically not enough to keep their body and soul together. The whole educational structure I feel, should continue to be examined and re-examined and if necessary again to re-examine until the best and most suitable solution of the problem is found out. As I said earlier, education is a very very important subject . We have not yet been able to improve the condition of the teachers. How to keep close contact with the people ? It is only through education. Unless we give proper education to our people how can we expect closer contact with people and better understanding?
It has been mentioned in the Governor' s Address that "with a view to brining the administration closer to the people and facilitating execution of developmental programmes, my Government have decided to det up two more districts, four sub-divisions and six administrative units in the State according to a phased programme ". Mr. Speaker, Sir, what closer contact with the people ? Does it mean merely distribution of grants, in fructuous expenditure of cash of Rs.100 or free seeds of the value of Rs.150. Deputy Commissioners cannot give grants more than this amount or grants of free seeds of the value of more than Rs.200. However much may be the hardship of a person whose house has been totally gutted by fire; who might have lost property worth Rs.20,000 or more the Deputy Commissioner has got power to give relief to such persons, only upto the extent of Rs.100 and in most cases he can give only Rs.50. Now these rules were framed many many years ago when an amount of Rs.50 has got no value what-so-ever.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister : Just for the information of hon. Member I would like to point out that the Government cannot compensated the entire loss of a family due to the natural calamities by grant. In that case Government is giving loans.
Shri Maham Singh :Mr. Speaker, Sir, grant of house loan also takes a long time and so far as the Deputy Commissioner are concerned, I would like to say that in development matters they are primarily entrusted with the job of giving all these grants which are more or less useless. Moreover, everybody is not getting this grant in any village; some are getting and some are not getting . This create bad blood and jealousy between one person and another. Regarding creation of more districts and administrative units, I would like to say that the criterion for setting up of an administrative unit should be based on work load. That it should be considered whether there is sufficient work load to justify creation of a district; post of a Deputy Commissioner or Magistrate and to open a new district . But if it is for the purpose of bringing administrative closer to the people then in that case the functions of an administrative unit should be examined properly. It should be examined properly so that the usefulness of having an administrative unit or sub divisional headquarter in a particular area may be derived and the benefits brought to the people.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said already that we do not find much progress has been achieved in the implementation of the 20- Point Programme. We find that some mention has been made in the Governor's Address, with regard to opening of book banks for the students, development of handloom, ensuring price stability. ( bell rang )
Mr. Speaker : I think if you want to consume more time you may take from your colleague; I have given you 45 minutes for Hopingstone Lyngdoh 35 minutes and others 26 minutes.
Shri Maham Singh : I do not want to deprive my colleague. Actually I though I will discuss another subject.
Mr. Speaker : You will get opportunity while discussing the Budget in details. Here we are discussing about policy matters. And you have also touched some of the policies like education, administrative units, and so on. So far as details are concerned, you will get time during Budget Session.
Shri Maham Singh : Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would only suggest to the Government that they should see that the administrative machinery functions in future in a better manner.
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Alexander Warjri.
Prof Alexander Warjri : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to support the Motion of Thanks to the Governor's Address. The Governor has rightly started his Address by reminding the House of the decade of the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi's Rule. It is 10 years now since this great lady has taken up upon her shoulders the responsibility of guiding the destiny of our country has passed through stresses and strains. Like a good and capable captain of a ship, the Prime Minister has steered the ship of our country through storms and bad weather. Perhaps this decade has been one of the worst decades in the history of India as far as various calamities like flood, inflation, threats from all sides international troubles and so on and so forth. Yet I can say also that this decade is one of the glorious periods in the history of our country. Faced by troubles both from abroad and troubles at home, the Prime Minister has boldly met all these dangers and has earned for herself a reputation as one of the greatest rulers, administrators and statement in the history of the worlds today. Her timely action has earned the lasting gratitude of the people of Bangladesh and has put the enemies of our country in their proper place. While the country was faced by grave dangers of international troubles fermented by a trouble-makers, this great lady boldly and firmly took firm and decisive action to avert the country from bloody revolutions and to save democracy in India. The proclamation of emergency was a prompt and bold decision . We all know how the normal functioning of the elected representatives of the people was paralyzed in Gujarat. The railway strike was aimed at halting the transport of vital goods for the people and industry at the time when vast areas were under the grip of famine. The Bihar agitation was intended to be in a way to distract the people from democratic process. The functioning of Parliament was obstructed by a handful of people . There were appeals even to the police and the Armed Forces to revolt. The resultant atmosphere of violence caused the assassination of a Central Minister and an armed attack on the Chief Justice of India. The crisis loomed large and was not an isolated event . It was the combination of the reactionaries bid to halt the progress of democracy and bring about revolution in a just society. Their endeavors have been going on since Independence. It is in this context that emergency and the policy initiated which accompanied it, have a revolutionary import. The biggest gain has been the establishment of a social discipline. Rapid Development is not possible without greater social discipline which will not be available without legislations and regulations being strictly enforced. In a short period of a little over half a year we have already witnessed the results of a crack-down of corruption and economic crime on the one hand and the swift implementation of positive policies on the other. The proclamation of emergency, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is a unique decision and has saved the country from a catastrophe and chaos from which and the bold courage and determination of the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was able to avert it. It is in this courage that has endeared her to us, the people of North East India. This bold courage, accompanied by her strong determination has made her to grant the people of Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura their respective full fledged States. As people of Meghalaya we owe much to this great lady.
It was on July 1st 1975, five days after the proclamation of the emergency that the Prime Minister in her broadcast to the nation announced a package of economic measures- the 20-Point Programme, I believe we all know these 20-Points Economic Programme and a few of them have no relation with our State or our people. A few of them are direct concern of the Central Government, yet whatever are applicable, I am happy to know as appeared in the Governor's Address that they have implemented and are being implemented by our State Government at all levels. I really appreciate very much the earnestness of our Government of implement of the 20- Point Economic Programme. Our Government has gone to the extent of printing a booklet on this and has circulated to many hon. Members of this august House. I urge upon the Government to make this document a public property and also request our Government to translate this booklet in different local languages.
Mr. Speaker : It has already been published in different languages I think, the hon. Member wants that it should be widely.
Prof A. Warjri : Yes Sir, this should be published in local languages so that even in the interior villages the people may understand about this 20-Points Economic Programme, their implications and that this Government is the only machinery fro instrumentally implementing them. I have a mind to speak on this 20-Points Economic Programme. But this booklet which has been circulated to all the hon. Members is self explanatory. I have only a few observations to make with regard to this 20-Points Economic Programmes. First of all I congratulate the Government for going all the way to implement this 20- Points Economic Programme within such a short time. We have seen a lots of changes not only here in Shillong but also outside Shillong and those who have eyes, can see it and those who have ears, can hear. To begin with this Government has taken steps top bring about an improvement in the functioning of the administration . Here it says that with the proclamation of emergency most noticeable change has been made in the performance of the Government machinery with greater responsiveness and promptness in the disposal of Government business, and economy in public expenditure and greater responsiveness on the part of the officials and so forth. The State Government took action to screen the service records of all categories of its employees and corrupt and inefficient elements have been weeded out. Fourteen officials have been compulsorily retired from service and seven others have been removed or dismissed from service during the year 1975 and over fifty officials have been suspended pending further enquiries. This had a salutary effect on the Government employees. Mr. Speaker, Sir, here I would like to request the Government not only to take action against its employees but also to reward and improve the service conditions of these Government employees who are performing their duties properly. I, therefore, would like in a special way to request to the Government and consider to take immediate steps to regularise and confirm the services of those who have been serving for a number of years and yet have been regularised. On the other hand, almost in every Department there are many unfortunate Government employees belonging to this category. To quote an example Sir, quite a number of Instructors in the Industries Department, who have served for the last 18 or 16 or 15 years, some of them are going to retire next year, yet they have not been confirmed in their posts and do not know what would be their fate, not to speak of their having lost of many benefits. They could not take any house building advance and no provident fund facilities have been provided for them and so many other amenities have been denied to them. Therefore, I would like to request the Government, through you Sir, that it should take up the question of giving confirmation to those unfortunate employees . It is true that their cases are pending with the Government of Assam. But what will be the fact of these few unfortunate Government servants who are suffering a lot? Are these unfortunate few going to suffer due to the achievement of our own States. And how if they have no prospect before them ? Then with regard to the first point, i.e., the reduction in the prices of essential commodities and increased food production by irrigation, it has already been explained carefully to the Government in a booklet. My only appeal to the Government, is that although ours is a hilly country, there are patches here and there which can be made into what is called in Bible, "A land flowed with milk and honey". For example, the richest people of our District of Bhoi area can be one of the richest people provided enough efforts are being made to convert those waste land, marshy places into wet paddy fields. I believe, that all these areas combined together will be enough to feed, if not to the whole population of the State, but atleast to the people of our district. With regard to land reformation, we have already seen the report of the Land Reforms Commission that has been presented to the House. So, my only appeal to the Government, is that this being the time and now and now only the Government should take steps in order to bring out desirable reform which has been long awaited. The people will support the Government especially in matters of regularization of those records of rights. With regard to rural indebtedness, I really appreciate the Government for bringing about this measure. But at the same time, there should be enough propaganda, enough publicity not only here in Shillong town but in the villages also. Because Shillong is not concerned with rural indebtedness. Specially in the villages, the villagers should know, that such a law had already been passed regarding rural indebtedness. I know that in a number of villages in Khasi Hills, borrowing and loaning are still going on because the people have not yet been aware of this law. So I would urge upon the Government to give wide publicity so that the people who give loan, should no longer take any loan.
Shri B. B. Lyngdoh, Minister Finance : Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the information of the hon. member, may I intervene that this measure that we adopted the last session is still awaiting the Presidents Assent. So it is not yet operative.
Shri Alexander Warjri : Then, I will not touch on the other points relating to this. Mr. Speaker, Sir, but I will come to Para 19 regarding essential commodities and price control, Government have undertaken this by the establishment of new hostels and providing food stuff and essential commodities to the various hostels but I would like to say here Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the food, as you very well know and as has been explained here also, our tribal students are not so much familiar with eating atta. They have come to Shillong, Shillong being the centre of Education, not to learn to eat atta, but to get education and many of these students have found really great difficulties because they have not been used to it.
Mr. Speaker : I think that is part of education too ( laughter )
Shri Alexander Warjri : Of course, it is so, but at the same time it does not help. It tends to bring to the students a sense of dissatisfaction and opposition and many of them do not like to eat in the hostels, but prefer to eat outside to eating atta in the hostels ( bell rang )
Mr. Speaker :You have one minute.
Shri Alexander Warjri : Finally, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say something on the last point- increased employments and training facilities. I note with satisfaction that quite a number of apprentices have been taken in, but there is one problem that I would like the Government to solve. While quite a good number of apprentices have been allotted to different offices now, a time will come when there will be a vacancy in any particular office, but the District Selection Committee had already made its recommendation from its certain list of candidates. Whom will the officer appoint whether their own apprentices whom they have already given training or should that office appoint a nominee of the District Selection Board ? So I would like the Government to solve this problem because there have been problems like these coming up. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker : Now Mr. Y. Fuller Lyngdoh
Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in participating in the debate of the Governor's Address I, have a few observations to make. Sir, as it appears at para.2 of the Address the Governor says that " we stand today at the threshold of an epoch of economic stability". Sir, leaving aside India as a whole, the question is are we in Meghalaya on the threshold of an epoch of economic stability ? In my opinion Sir, I doubt if we are really so. According to my opinion the people of our State have been facing great difficulties and they will be facing greater difficulties in future. The people who depend on potato growing this year have to reduce their cultivation because they do not have enough potato seeds to grow this year. if this is the situation, I do not think that the economy of these people will be stable.
Another point Sir, is on unemployment. I appreciate the policy of the Government for setting up District Selection Committee and for seeing that those who are unemployed should be given employment. But I found when I visited Patharkhmah area last week that in a Government office a man from Borjhar was employed as Typist in the sub-divisional office of the P.W.D. This has surprised me very much, because it seems that there are no people to be appointed as typist from among the Meghalayans. This is really very strange, he may be a casual employees or a permanent employee, that does not matter. But if this is always the case it will be very difficult for our people to get employment and I do not know how such things happened.
There are also a few examples. In Nongstoin also I found that a man from Kamrup was employed as a Muharrir in P.W.D. office while there are many young mean from Nongstoin and Mairang areas who wish to serve as Muharrirs but they do not have a chance. So, if these things happen, I doubt the sincerity of the Government in the matter of giving employment to the unemployed youth of our State. As has been stated in the Address, Sir, "the problem of unemployment is being tackled through the special schemes for rural works and by arranging assistance through the banks for the educated unemployed. The implementation of plan schemes is expected to generate job opportunities directly and it will lead to the indirect generation of employment by stimulation of growth of economy in various sectors of the Plan and by connected economic activities". I have found that many young and educated persons because they do not have a chance to get employment anywhere in any office, they have been trying to register themselves as contractors in some P.W.D Divisions. But to my knowledge, in most cases, these educated youths were never given any work. So if this is the case, Sir, I find that out unemployed and educated youths will always face the problem of unemployment.
Regarding the administrative set up, I really appreciate that the Government has been able to carry out its policies. But in selecting headquarters of the administrative units, as my hon. friend from Nongspung has said the other day, I would suggest that it would have been better if the selection of these head quarters is considered carefully keeping in view the convenience of the place for the people of the area. In almost all the headquarters of different State in India, e.g., Calcutta though it is not in the central place of West Bengal, but because it is the convenient place for running the administration of the State due to availability of transport and communication, it has been selected as the headquarter of that State. So also Delhi the headquarters of India and London, Washington and also Shillong though they are not in the central place, yet because of transport and the accessibility of the places which are convenient for running the administration, they were selected as headquarters. So in this case, I would urge upon the Government to see that the main consideration should be based on the convenience of the place while selecting the headquarters of these administrative units.
Another point, Sir, is on the transport and communication. I really congratulate the Government that, especially this year, we have seen many new roads have been included in the plan. In this connection I would also suggest that the villages like Mawprem in the Bhoi area of Nongkhlaw constituency and some Villages in Nongspung Syiemship have no roads whatsoever and they are on the border of Assam. So I would suggest that a road be constructed to link Kynrut and Mawdem so that the people of Mawdem area will have some means of transport (The Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair), and they will no longer face the trouble for lack of communication.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah, Minister P.W.D. : Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, on point of information, will this road be under the Nongkhlaw Syiemship and not under Nongspung ? I mean the road from Mawdem to Kynrut.
Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh : Mawdem is under Nongkhlaw Syiemship, but there are other villages in this area under Nongspung Syiemship. So if a road is constructed to link Mawdem with Kynrut the people will be benefited.
Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, another point is regarding Assam Meghalaya Border. In the address it has been stated that the discussion took place in a friendly atmosphere and it was agreed to have meetings between the representative of the two State Government as frequently as possible to resolve all differences that might crop up. In my opinion Sir, mere discussions will not help our State or Government. Something more concrete should be done. I have seen many times during my visit to the Kamrup border that the people of Kamrup are always encroaching into Meghalaya Border. Sometimes five feet and sometimes ten feet every year and now they have come to the foothills of Meghalaya. So I would urge upon our Government that something should be done in this connection so that the people of Kamrup will not have the chance to encroach into areas of our State.
Finally Sir, I would like to say something on education. Now I would like to draw the attention of the Government to what happened last year in my constituency. There is one Government Aided High School where there is a quarrel between the villagers and the people of that area and this has affected the High School very much. I also regret to say that due to the interference from the Government, there is nobody to look after the school and it is now in a State of collapse. Last week, I learnt that the number if students in this Government Aided High School is only fifteen while the School has six teachers. Government is spending more than Rs.1,800 per month for this school. So if this State of affairs is allowed to prevail I do not know how the Government will run the administration in matters relating to education.
According to the education rules, recognition cannot be granted to schools whose enrolment is less than the prescribed number of students. The failure of this school, I may say is due to the unnecessary interference of the Government and and as a result of which the school in a State of collapse and nobody is taking interest in it. The name of the school, Sir, I forgot to mention, is the Langtor Government Aided High School. There are other schools in the State which are in the same condition, for example the Langrin Government Middle English School. The same thing happened there also. So I would urge the Government through you Sir, that such matters should immediately be looked into and redress be made accordingly. With these few words, I support the amendment motion moved by the hon. friend from Nongtalang.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Mr. Hopingstone Lyngdoh. You will have 35 minutes.
Shri H.S. Lyngdoh : Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I would not take more time than that. In participating in the debate on the Governor's Address, I support the amendment motion moved by my friend Nongtalang. Sir not only the subjects that have been mentioned in the amendment motion have been mentioned in the address have in fact no substance at all. The Governor's Address is high sounding no doubt when placed before this House, but materially it is not a already stated by the hon. Member from Mairang.
The Governor has referred to the economic position of the State and I believe he has referred to the economic conditions of the country as a whole. But we take this to be the Budget Speech for the State as it is placed before this House and therefore concerns very much the economic stability of our State ; which very much means the economic condition of our people living here. It has been declared here by the Governor; " I am happy that the gloom has been lifted and we stand today at the threshold often epoch of economic stability "
So Sir, I do not see that we have been economically stabilised at all. Practically, our economic is not stabilised and we have to work more for it. In the budget speeches for the last three years, we have seen a lot of preparations and indication to make certain development and progress. In the budget for this year, the Government......
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister : I think the budget is yet to be placed before the House. Therefore, it is too early to touch on he approach of the Government. It will be presented by the Finance Minister.
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh : Since this is the policy statement of the Governor, I am referring according to my opinion. We should have some basis on what we say that we are economically stabilised.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister : You will have the opportunity to discuss this when the budget is presented.
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh : I am arguing on the policy statement of the Governor and we will listen to the Chief Minister later on. So far the economic stability of our State is concerned, we have heard about it during the last two or three budget speeches. But I can say Sir, that on agriculture and industries if we have advanced and progressed, then we are on the way towards the economic stability of our State. But as it is now Sir, there is no indication at all that we have been progressing. Of course we have been starting to a certain extent - I admit that. We know Sir, that ours is an agricultural country wherein about 90 percent of the people are agriculturists. But in the field of agriculture, if you go to Garo Hills, you will find that the old method of cultivation is still continuing, i.e., jhumming in the forest area clearing of all the jungles which adversely affected very much on the resources of the State. Here Sir, we find that jhumming is being practiced everywhere in this State. An old method of jhumming which clears away the surface of the soil is rampant everywhere. Therefore Sir, I could say that there is no improvement at all. Government has been introducing certain methods to increase production. It is gratifying to note that before this could be done, we must teach our cultivators to understand those methods, scientific methods like use of fertilizers. Otherwise, this will spoil the soil by random and exclusive use of fertilizers. Of course in the first year, they can produce more but subsequently, the soil will be spoiled and it will remain barren- even the grass could not grow. If we compare with other parts of the country like Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu which are progressing very much towards to stability of the economy in the field of agriculture we find that they were so advanced because irrigation has been abundantly taken up and, as such, they have been progressing very much. But Sir, here we have seen that no such things are done by our Government. For example, this Government has taken up scheme to construct an irrigation project over the Kynshi river. This scheme has been envisage during the time of the composite State of Assam. This is only a small scheme of about four or five lakhs rupees. Now, for the last three years, no water has been lifted from 10 feet of the paddy field. We have started, but we have not made any progress at all. Another instance Sir, is about the Ryngngi valley in the border of Khasi Hills. This is a vast area that could be brought under reclamation and which has got scope for the future of the State. But I am sorry that there is no sign at all for the Government to take this area.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister : I think the hon. Member knows that there are a lot of representation from the people for this project and your friend Mawlot has promised that he will try to solve the problem. That is one of the reasons why it is difficult to make progress.
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh : Yes Sir, it is there but I may inform the House that we are progressing very slow. Now Sir, about Rambrai valley. We have seen Sir, that flow of irrigation can be installed along the valley but nothing has been done yet. But in the case of Kynshi where the people are willing to have the scheme of flow irrigation to irrigate the villages like Umkrem, Lawbyrtun. But here also Sir, I have seen that no reclamation has been done. Also Sir, in Mawphlang, have seen that Lyniong valley is very favourable for irrigation project where there is a vast valley for reclamation. Here also we have seen that no scheme is being taken up by the Government. That is the reason why we have not been able to boost up production. This I may say that we have not done anything to boost up production. Thus I may say that we have not done anything we have just started. We have not achieved the best we can. In the field of industries, Sir, we have seen a Cement Factory there at Mawmluh and also a Plywood Factory in the Byrnihat . But here also, I do not see that we have been progressing. Small industries have been started by our people at their own initiative like carpentry, weaving and all that. If we are to develop these, we have got enough resources in this State and we can do that with the availability of these resources and feasibility of the places. But with the abundant resources we have not been able to start all and so we cannot say that we have been economically stabilised. Our people could not get a job, they are loitering here and there. The other day a poor woman is stealing from one shop in Bara Bazar. We cannot say that we have made progress at all. Sir, one thing that I want to raise here time and again is about law and order situation in the State. it is a fact that so far as 1975 is concerned, law and order situation in the State is very good and calm. Of course, the Police Department has a right to be praised because so far as law and order is concerned, we have seen throughout the State it is very good. If we turn to the other side of this aspect we see the border areas between the States of Assam and Meghalaya. of course, the other day we have seen in the papers where the Chief Minister had wanted to settle the border boundary of these two States. But Sir, only last week we saw how the people of Pilangkata, near Khanapara itself, were issued orders to vacate within 15 days. About 36 Houses were served with notices of eviction by the Government of Assam. These people have also been harassed right and left by the local inhabitants.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister :Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the hon. Member whether this had taken place before or after we have agreed to resolve these problems.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : It was last month probable before the 19th February. Then Sir, these are not the only people who are suffering . The people of Mawdingki area are under the Nongspung Syiemship are also living unhappily because they are harassed by the people of Assam. Same is the case with the people of Kyrshai and other areas of the whole belt. There are about 20 to 30 villagers in this belt. The fact also remain that the Nepali grazers from Nepal are stationed there and they are permitted by the Government of Assam to keep their buffaloes and cattle ( Interruptions ). So far we know there are people coming down from Nepal and after collecting money ghee and 'dud' (laughter) they carry away the whole thing to Nepal. Again Sir, during the spring time they construct their huts by cutting down the bamboos and trees and also to make their cattle sheds and fencing for the cabins by destroying the forests. Over and above these, they let loose buffaloes during harvest and so there are always quarrels with the local people. Due to this quarrels the people had once approached the police battalion at Langpih but the police had told them that they could do anything whereas the Police of Assam stationed either at Boko or Gauhati or even the Magistrate could summon our people to Gauhati. So Sir, there is no security of the people in this belt of the border areas between Assam and Khasi Hills and as a result many people have left. Moreover Sir the contractors have exploited the forests. So Sir, regarding this I would draw the attention of the House to paragraph 4 of the Governor's Address:" Soon after the declaration of emergency, a few arrests were made in the State under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act and the Conservation of Foreign Exchange...."
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Whenever you refer to the Governor's Address, please mention the Paragraph and also the page number.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Page 3, Sir, "and prevention of Smuggling Activities Act with a view of maintaining stability and preventing threat to the economy by the activities of undesirable sections of the society". Who are the undesirable sections of the society ? But so far as we have seen we cannot just say or blame the local people, our own people that they are undesirable. Of course, there has been no arrest under MISA in that area regarding the stability of the economy it has not been stabilized because they are not sure. How can they be stabilized when their is a threat to their house and stay there ? If at all there is an internal in security in this State this question is the most important. I do not see any start at all fro disruption of the people's stability in Shillong. Is there any stability of the inhabitants of Mairang, Cherrapunjee, Jowai or Tura ?
Another aspect on which I want to speak is regarding the administration. The Governor has stated at page 5 : " The reorganisation of the administrative set up will fulfill a long felt need of the people of the State". Sir, I cannot understand what would be the feeling of the people when this State will be divided into districts, subdivisions, units etc.
( Voice : Sub- sub- units ) [Laughter]
This is, in fact, not the long felt need of the people to divide the State but the long felt need of the people to get our own State so that State would look after their interest.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister: We are not going to divide the State.
( Voices : The State will remain as one )
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : That is a matter of opinion, Sir. It seems that the Government will divide the State into districts, sub- divisions, units and sub- units.
So, Sir, is it so much a long felt need of the people to divide the State as it is for the administration, in fact ? it is the need to bring the administration nearer to the people.
(Voices : Yes, yes.)
But we have seen in the Governor's Address that the Government will open two more districts and four more subdivisions and then six administrative units.
Sir, in this respect, what I want to say is that, in fact there is need for these Districts because of the fact that our State is so small compared to the other States and to run a State with only 3 Districts does not look so balancing (Laughter). Jowai Sub- Division has now become a District though it is very small in area compared to that of Khasi Hills which is a big District and having a population of about 4 or 5 times that of Jowai. it is also very small compared to that of Garo Hills District.
Shri E. Bareh, Minister Agriculture, etc : It is now Jaintia Hills District.
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh : Anyway, Sir, Khasi Hills may be charged or Garo Hills may be changed as we have changed the name of the State. So, Sir, I, in fact, agree with the Government to divide the District of Khasi Hills and Garo Hills into 4 Districts because of the area and of the population. But Sir, regarding the creation of new Units and Sub- Units, I do not agree at all. This will only create mushroom capitals in different parts of the State. We have seen Sir, that Nongstoin has been made a headquarter for so long, but nothing has improved till now with the exception of the P.W.D. Sub- division which has been functioning there that, other branches of the administration of the State in Nongstoin have not made any impact. And the people may not need them in fact. rather, Sir, we have seen now that the people in Nongstoin area have been exploited. With the development of the trading centre in the State that is not being controlled by the District Council or the Elakas the exploitation of the local people has increased. I can prove this Sir. Previously the bazar area there used to be enjoyed by the local people in respect of the stalls, trading, marketing and other things. But Sir, now due to the influx of the people in respect of the stalls, trading, marketing and other things. But Sir, now due to the influx of the people from outside the local people have been exploited in this respect. You do not know Sir, whether the influx is of the people from inside or outside the country may be from Nepal but they are staying there. And last year, there was in fact a complaint that the local people of that area are against the non- tribal in that area. But the trouble was not created by the local people but by these who have infiltrated into that area because they are interested to take away the business of the local people there. So, Sir, I think the creation of more units and sub- Units will only create troubles. We have seen, Sir, in the Governor's Address the Governor has stated that regarding the security of the State, regarding the influx of the strangers from Bangladesh, the Government have checked the position. But Sir, I cannot say how far this is true. Because we have seen that the influx of strangers from the other parts of the country as well as from outside has been on the increase. It is very much her in Shillong and in other parts of the State like Balat area. In Garo Hills I cannot say because of the foothills whether the influx has been made by the people from Bangladesh or from what side, we cannot say, they are of the same faces, same appearance and same traditions etc. But we believe that there is a huge influx. So, the creation of more Units and Sub- Units judging from experience will only deteriorate matters whereby the influx of the outsiders will be more and the local people will be exploited more and more at the first stage of their development. So once again Sir, I say that I do not appreciate the policy of the Government to create more Sub- Divisions and Units and Sub- Units in the State. The creation of so many Block Development Headquarters totaling about 24 in the State has only exploited the mortality, sincerity and honesty of the local people. Sir, I would suggest to the Government to review this once more. In fact, I am not jealous of our fellow Indians to establish trade here or to carry on business or to get employment here. But we should see that the interests of the local people are safeguarded. So, there should be checking on the influx of outsiders and strangers from other parts of the country.
I will come to another point, Sir, and that is the Governor here has stated about the policy statement of the Government on education. Sir, I do not see that there is sincere attempt on the part of the Government to bring forth any immediate development in respect of education. In fact, he has stated at the 2nd page that "in the scientific field, the launching of Aryabhata, the first Indian made Satellite in April, 1975, was of great significance. The nation has entered the year 1976 with more internal strength and confidence. In fact, Sir, we are proud that India has advanced so much as to explore the outside world. This has also strengthened the confidence of our people in connection with the defence of the country and other scientific developments. The Government has also said that they will introduce scientific education right from the primary stage. But this is, a policy statement, Sir.
Shri P. G. Marbaniang, Minister of State Education : Sir, may we know in what page and para ?
Shri H. S. Lyngdoh : This is my opinion Sir. But your statement is in page 11 and there is nothing other than that Kothari Commission's report which will be implemented by the Government which is the suggestion all over India. But my opinion is that the present trend of education all over India is to impart scientific education to the students right from the primary level. But what we find here in our State ? The Government is setting up a number of schools in Shillong only and thereby a condition has been created that all the students from villages are being tempted to come over to Shillong. We have seen this Government is setting up so many schools frantically here and there. You will find so many schools as Mawkhar or Laitumkhrah and also you will find there is a tremendous rush for enrolment. There is no wonder, therefore, that the students from villages also will rush to Shillong for education. But what is the condition of the schools in the rural areas ? It is quite evident from the actual State of affairs that the Government pays scanty attention to the schools in the rural areas. Here we find two or three storied school buildings are coming up at a faster rate. But what concerns us more is that if the Government carry on with this policy, the whole system of education will be centralised in Shillong and its vicinity which may be anything but a healthy sign of educational upliftment. Because if we look at the condition of the schools in the rural areas we get a completely different picture. There are schools where only 10 or 20 students are reading. You will be shocked to learn that there is a school at Langrin where there is only one student reading. There are of course 4 or 5 teachers ( loud laughter ).
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Sir, the point which I would like to bring home is that the if the Government does not like to change this policy in not too distant future we will find a tremendous influx of rural students in Shillong. They will leave their hearths and homes to receive education at Shillong. What is worse is that these students would not like to go back to their villages after completion of their study. They will discard the idea of becoming farmers, businessman or taking any other avocation after having the taste of urban life. So I would request the Government to look into the matter with utmost seriousness.
Now regarding forest it has been stated by the Government that the forests have been entrusted to the Districts Councils. But I feel that the Government is not very much interested to so-operate with the District Councils in this regard. As a matter of fact, the Government is not at all co-operating with the Districts Councils in checking wanton burning of forests through jhumming. Still we find there is a colossal destruction of forests, burning of jungles and grass lands all over the State. As you know, the power of the District Council is very limited and quite inadequate to handle such heavy tasks.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister : Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, may I point out here that the Government cannot help the District Council unless the request comes from the District. Although there is a provision in the Sixth Schedule, uptil now the District Council has never approached the Government for help.
Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh : Sir, that is not the point at issue. It has been stated that the District Councils have been entrusted to look after the forests. At the same time under the Reorganisation Act. 1971, the State Government has been empowered to pass laws and in that case any Act passed by the District Council will be repugnant. So it is not correct to say that the Government has got nothing to do in checking then destruction of forests. Sir, we have committed to our people to bring about economic stability in the State. But I do not know how that objective can be fulfilled if we cannot tap our own resources ( bell rang)
Sir, I would like to say a few words about the condition of our border areas. Very recently I have visited Maheshkhola where I have seen how thousands of people from Bangladesh coming across the border are exploiting our limestone deposit to feed their own limestone factories in plains of Bangladesh.
So, Sir, our B.S.F. or Police and our Foresters have done nothing to protect all these and we would like to know from the Government ( Bell rang ). Please only one more word I want to say, Sir.
Then regarding this 20 Point Economic Programme I just want to mention here that the Government has adopted this policy and has been working on it. But only one point here with regard to housing for the poor because I have seen Sir, in Pologround there are a a lot of poor people staying there. Of course there are gamblers also there and you know Sir, gambling in that area has developed to a great extent. Some time last year the Deputy Commissioner issued an order that those people who occupied that area with our permission from any authority should vacate the place. I also have tried my best to look into the matter because those people have come to me and I found that the Municipality itself has given them permission some time ago and have collected taxes from them for allowing them to stay there. But Sir, now those people have been served with a notice that they have encroached into Government land without taking any permission whatsoever from any authority and that they will be kicked within 15 days. The notice said ' you have to vacate the place within 15 days'. So Sir, I am afraid that those poor people will be pushed by a bull; dozer if within this period of 15 days they do not quit the place. They may be pushed into a river....( laughter )...So Sir, if this 20- Point Economic Programme of the prime Minister means to help the poor people who are living in the slums, I hope Government should plan in a proper way how to build good building for housing the poor people of that area as well as of other areas of the State . We cannot say that place is not fit for humans dwelling of the State. We cannot say that place is not fit enough for housing purpose. If the Government considers this matter, it will be a great benefit to the people because there is the market place and I believe people can get employment opportunities in that market. So I would suggest that this being a very important situation created in a place just half a mile away from this House, the Government should look into it carefully and help those people but not to kick them out of harass them in any way. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Now Mr. Onwardleyswell Nongtdu.
Shri Onwardleyswell Nongtdu : Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, at the very outset I would like to express my gratitude to the Governor for the Address he has delivered to this House which lays down various policies of the Government and I am grateful to the Government also for the also for the actions that have been taken to implement these policies as laid down therein. In the Governor's Address, it has been mentioned in about the 20 Point Economic Programmes as announced by the Prime Minister. It has been said that no sign of improvement was seen in the State, but Sir, on my part, I may mention here that there are signs of improvement which can be seen in Jaintia Hills District. I have seen signs of improvement regarding irrigation projects and jhum control schemes taken up by the Government. Efforts have been made to bring to the people the benefits which will make their lot better. Though all efforts were made in this regard there are some lapses also. The irrigation Wing of the Agriculture Department has taken up certain projects to bring water to the farmers land so that they can utilize that water for wet cultivation purpose. This is done in connection with the new Economic Programme at page 2 of the Address. But at the same time the Government has also taken up schemes to control jhumming and the Soil Conservation Department also has taken up schemes for terracing purpose so that farmers can grow more paddy. But mention may be made here about these two Departments i.e., Agriculture and Soil Conservation Departments, it would have been still better if there is a close co- ordination between these two Departments of the Government. Why I say so, because I have seen the irrigation Wing of Agriculture Department has taken up schemes to supply water to the farmers, and the Soil Conservation Department has taken up terracing scheme to do terracing for the farmers. Yet little has been done to supply them with water. As you are aware, Sir, cultivation of paddy is very difficult in the fields where there is no water and sometimes it becomes totally impossible due to the growth of weeds in such fields. Therefore, it is very essential that these two Departments should take up schemes side by side and in the same place in order that the Soil Conservation Department can terrace the land and the Irrigation Wing of Agriculture Department can supply water to the fields. In this way the farmers can really get the benefit out of the schemes implemented by the Government.
Secondly Sir, in connection with the New Economic Programme of the Government, I am glad that the Government is taking action to supply the people with cheap cloth like long cloth through Co- operative Societies. But Sir, I am afraid this may not be very helpful to our people who are living in the cold areas. So I would urge upon the Government to take action to supply the people with cheap warm cloth, so that this will suit the climatic conditions of the place. We have also seen in the Governor's Address that mention has been made about the administrative set up which the Government has decided to set up some more Districts, Sub- divisions, Administrative Units in the State. I am really grateful to the Government for this bold decision. Actually this is a long felt need of the people of Jaintia Hills particularly of my area. Sir, I have to mention here that the people from some parts of Sutnga have to travel three to four days to reach the head quarters of the District. So, it is a long out standing demand from the people of this area to have a Sub- division or an administrative unit to bring the administration closer to the people. But Sir, on the other hand, I have seen in the newspaper, that the Government has decided to create one more sub- division in Jaintia Hills which is named as border sub- division and the other one as the Khliehriat Administrative unit. But Sir, if you look at the map of Meghalaya, you will see that more than half of the border areas fall within the Khliehriat Block and less than half of the border areas fall within the Thadlaskein Block and there are natural barriers between these two blocks. Moreover if the people of Khliehriat Block want to go to certain place in the border areas of Thadlaskein Block, then they will have to go through Khliehriat. On the other hand there is no means of communication through which the people of the two different areas can meet together and more so, they speak different dialects. The people of the border of Thadlaskein Block speak 'war' dialect whereas the people in the border areas of Khliehriat Block speak 'Pnar' dialect. The people in the border areas of Khliehriat are accustomed to live together and they have the same custom and traditions, and it would have been better if a sub- division should be created for the areas falling within the Khliehriat Block with its headquarters some where in the central place like Sutnga. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have some grounds to mention here to justify the creation of a sub- division and also the headquarter. Sutnga is the only main market place of the whole Khliehriat Block area. People from the whole area comes to this market for marketing purposes and as we are aware that the people in the interior areas are accustomed to do their works in practice has been followed since a long time and it saves a lot of time and energy of the farmers. Therefore, Sir, I would like to urge upon the Government to review its decision and to create a sub- division for the Khliehriat Block areas which covers nearly half of the area of the district and also to see that a central place should be selected as the headquarters of the sub- division. Sir, in connection with the Government Policies regarding Health and Water Supply I would like to mention here that I am very very grateful for the prompt action taken by the Government to eradicate small pox from the State. I have also seen from the newspaper that small -pox has been totally eradicated from the State. This is one of the dreadful diseases in the world. Therefore, I am very very grateful that this disease has been eradicated. On the other hand Sir, it is very essential now to bring it to the notice of the Government that another dreadful diseases has return to our State i.e., malaria. Many people suffered from this disease in the past two years and many people died. It is true that the Government tried its best to eradicate this particular disease by spraying D.D.T. But it is surprising to note that the D.T.T. wont affect mosquitoes. On the other hand it seems that the mosquitoes are enjoying the D.T.T and they are immune to this particular medicine. Therefore Sir, I would like to appeal to the Government, through you that the Government should employ medical experts to find out some alternative measures to eradicate this particular disease. In this connection the Government may provide more funds to the Medical Department so that this Department may be able to find out ways and means to invent new medicine to fight against this diseases. Otherwise Sir, people will suffer more and many more diseases may come out of this particular disease. So Sir, I appeal to the Government to find out immediately some measures to eradicate this disease.
In the field of communication, Sir, we have seen signs of improvement everywhere in the State. Though the progress is slow there are signs of progress. So, I would like to appeal to the Government to take more care to see that the areas inhabited by the people who are backward and far away from motorable roads are given preference. Sir, I may cite an instance of a backward area in Jaintia Hills i.e., Saipung and Shangpung areas. These areas are like backward pockets in Jaintia Hills and there is very limited mileage of motorable roads. So Sir, I appeal to the Government that at the time of construction of roads in Jaintia Hills, these areas should be given top priority otherwise they would be in the same condition as they were a decade ago. So, Sir, I would sincerely appeal to the Government to complete first those roads which will help the backward pockets in the State.
With regard to the education, Sir, as has been said, the teachers are the builders of the nation. The teachers need proper training. I am grateful to the Government that a Training School in Jaintia Hills has been established for the benefit of the teachers and it really gives benefit to the teachers in the district. But along with that teachers training school for L.P. teachers there was also a demand from time and again for the establishment of a B.T. College, a training college for teachers in the high schools. The Government has stated that due to shortage of funds, it may not be possible to establish such a college and it was stated also that such a college has already been established in Shillong. So if another college is established in Jaintia Hills, this particular college may be affected very badly. But this, in my opinion, is not a fact Sir, because we feel particularly, I feel that a few years back, the people in Jaintia Hills thought that only one high school would be enough for the whole district that is the Government High School in Jowai. But now within 10 years a number of high schools came up throughout the District and still more students come and sometimes it is very difficult to get admission in these schools at Jowai. This also will be the same case if a B.T. College is establish in Jaintia Hills. In fact few teachers have volunteered to start the college and to teach with out payment for atleast 2 to 3 years and so within that time limit, I feel Government can from an opinion whether those college will continue or may be discontinued. I sincerely appeal to the Government to think over the demand of the Jaintia Hills people and establish such a college in Jaintia Hills at an early date.
In connection with the border problems, Sir, in Jaintia Hills also in the south eastern side of the District, there is always a problem between Meghalaya and Assam and the people of the area particularly of a village called Ratacherra, are suffering from threats from the police of the other side i.e., of the Assam State. Efforts were made by the Government to solve the problem, but it seems more problems are coming up in that area. So in this connection, I would suggest that a police outpost may be opened in that particular area right in the border of Meghalaya with Assam (Bell rang) so that as and when we have some comfort. Therefore Sir, I appeal to the Government to look into this question and solve the problem of the people living in the border areas if the south eastern part of the Jaintia Hills District immediately.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Mr. P. N. Choudhury
Shri P. N. Choudhury : Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I am very glad that the Governor has referred to the decade of administration by our beloved Prime Minister. This is a dynamic decade, a decade of greater achievement, full events, a decade full of problems both from outside and inside. There was a threat to internal stability and external danger. I do not like to recount all the events in detail because other hon. members have already spoken of these events in detail. Sir, we are fortunate to have a dynamic leader like Mrs. Gandhi as our Prime Minister. She has provided as able leadership to the country at a very crucial juncture and the challenges from the disruptive elements. She met the challenge firmly and boldly and saved the country from de- stabilization. Sir, by her able leadership, she has provided the country political stability and economic discipline and country has steadily advanced towards socialism. The country is now economically disciplined and politically stable and secured a rightful place in the comity of nations. Sir, the country has been saved from chaos and disorder by her able leadership. So I take the opportunity to congratulate her for providing an able and bold leadership to the country at this critical juncture and wish her a long life of service to the country as its Prime Minister. The timely declaration of emergency and announcement 20- Point Programme have ushered of a new era.
The 20-Point Economic Programme, announced by our beloved Prime Minister is not an ordinary development programme. It constitutes another major step towards our just cause for just and dynamic society. It is essentially a people's programme. It needs special planning for its successful implementation. I am glad that Government has taken measures to implement some of the items of his 20 -Point Programme which are applicable to this State. Sir, for successful implementation of these programmes mass participation is a must and for that, this Government should gear up the administrative machinery to be equal to the task it has to perform for the implementation of this programme. Sir, the implementing agency should reach village level. Unless this is done, I have my doubts about getting the people's involvement, on which depends the success of the programme. This is a programme to free the down trodden from the clutches of vested interests. The people should know the implication of the programme and how they could contribute their mite to its successful implementation. So my suggestion is that Government should take steps to create a climate by proper publicity to enlist mass participation.
Sir the Government have opened up book banks for students. But so far as my information goes, only a few colleges and schools have been provided with books banks. All the poor students do not read only in those institutes which have been provided book banks. There are poor students in other institutes also. My suggestion therefore is that all the left out colleges and schools should be covered by book banks so that the poor students of those institutes also can get the benefit of this scheme.
Sir, the Governor in his address has referred to so many items; but there are a few vital omissions one such is 12 measures out prohibition as outlined by centres. This is a very important programme for the welfare of our people particularly the youths, but I am constrained to note that this very important item did not find a place in the Governor's Address.
Sir, this partial prohibition programme should have been implemented vigorously in the State. But Government has not come forward with any statement as to how they are going to implement these measures as suggested by the centre. I want to know from the Minister concerned what the Government has decided in this respect and how they are going to implement these measures. Sir, these measures are meant for reduction in the consumption of liquor. it is not a scheme for total prohibition. This should be implemented for the welfare of our people. I am surprised to find the other day in the Sivaratri Mela at Mahadeb Khola there were about 30 stalls selling liquor openly. I want to know whether these were permitted to sell liquor. If not why no action was taken to stop it. Sir, this is not a solitary instance. the sale of liquor is on the increase. For the interest of the Welfare of our youth there should be immediately some action from the Government side to restrict sale of liquor, as outlined in the 12 - measures.
Sir, there is also no reference about the Municipal Administration in the Governor's Address. The present Municipal Act is out-moded. It has been that even for dismantling or stopping a unauthorized construction, the Municipality has to go to the court and the court takes a lot of time to dispose of the case. In the meantime the construction of stature is complete. Sir. we have attained the full fledged State. The Municipal Act was enacted long ago. It should now be amended suitably to fit in with the changed situation. The Shillong Municipality is one of the premiere Municipalities in the eastern region. It should be raised to a Municipal Corporation by giving more power so that the Municipality can function effectively and provide better amenities to the citizens, civic bodies should be provided to all the headquarters of districts and sub- divisions that are being created. Unless this is done simultaneously with the selection of sites for the headquarters of the districts or sub-divisions, the civic problem may be very complicated in the long run. So my suggestion is that simultaneously with the establishment of headquarters, there should be a civic body to look after the civic matters.
Sir, I am very happy that Government has extended the benefit of revised pay scale to the Government employees. But I am sorry there is no mention about the teaching staff of aided schools. The teachers are the nation builders in the State. But these people have been deprived of their legitimate dues. As the Leader of the Opposition has pointed out that the primary teachers do not get a peon's salary with this poor pittance how can we expect better education with primary teachers dissatisfied ? Government should give a fair deal to the teaching staff. Meghalaya has got a reputation in the sphere of education. We want the reputation should not only be maintained but it should be further enhanced. The revised scales should be given not only to the aided school teachers of H.E. and M. E. schools, but also to the primary teachers. They should not be deprived of their legitimate dues. If they are deprived proper education.
Sir, I like to refer to the University Grants Commission scales to the college teachers. I fail to understand why this could not been given to the college teachers of this State, while most of States have already given why our Government cannot give it to our college teachers ? I would request the Minister through you Sir, to give the U.G.C. scales to our teaching staff without any further delay.
Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of Minister, P.W.D. about P.W.D. mazdoor. We are wedded to a socialistic State and the 20- Point programme aims at giving a fair deal to the weaker section of the people. The P.W.D. mazdoor are poor people and belong to weaker section quite a number of them have rendered services of 20 to 25 years but they are treated as temporary staff with out allowance without any leave or any scales. Their service is treated as temporary work charged workers even though many of them have rendered long years of service. I fail to understand the logic behind terming them as work charged employees. Why they cannot be brought under a permanent cadre and given all the benefits which a 4th grade employee is entitled to get ? They should be given all the amenities and facilities entitled by the 4th grade employees.
Sir, now I refer to the a very vital subjects concerning our youths and that in sports and games. Our boys and girls have made a mark in the sports arena. We are happy that our young girls are not playing cricket and I have seen quite a good member of our Tribal girls are now playing cricket. This is a very good sign. They are taking interest in sports. Government should now come forward to provide them with the requisites facilities so that their enthusiasm is not dampened. We need more play grounds and other facilities. In Shillong, play ground are few and far between. Sir, there is only one very important play ground an ideally located play ground previously known as the Laban Cricket ground now known as Garrison Ground. This should be made available to our young boys and girls to use as a play ground. But as it is now under the Defence Ministry our boys are not allowed to play there. Now that there are areas outside Shillong town like Happy Valley or Upper Shillong, where fields are available for military use this could be easily released for use by the Civil population. May I request the Government through you Sir, to take up the matter with the Defence Ministry to release this ground for the civilian's use as play ground.
Shri W. A. Sangma, Chief Minister : We have tried and we have failed.
Shri P. N. Choudhury : Let us try again. There is no harm in trying again and again. Then, Sir, we should have a stadium - not only a stadium but an indoor stadium for indoor games. There is the N.S.C.A. Club in Shillong. I think the Government is aware of its dilapidated condition. In this indoor stadium, games like badminton and table tennis were played but because of its dilapidated condition, it cannot be used now. Government should take up this building and remodel it and convert it into an indoor stadium and provide better facilities to the sports loving youths. Sir, the other day we drew the attention of the Minister about the " Ghost Villages " through call attention motion but "Ghost Villages " Sir, the reply of the Minister was not very clear and illuminating or could tell us what actually happened. So I would like to know from the Ministers since when these "Ghost Villages " came into existence. Secondly, what category of people whether officials or non- officials are involved in this affair and who were the beneficiaries. What action Government has taken to bring the persons responsible to book. This is a very serious matter and it cannot be considered lightly. The food meant fort he people in the border areas was diverted by some unscrupulous persons who managed to manipulate the whole thing and deprived the people for whom it is meant. So, Sir, I request Government to go deep into the matter and give ex3emplary punishment to the persons who indulged in such kind of racketeer.
Sir, we always hear about the beautification of Shillong. We all welcome this ; Shillong is not only the capital of the State but it is also a hill station- no doubt. Beautification should be done to attract tourists, but on the hand we find many unauthorized ramshackle structures are coming up. Sir, these structures are an eyesore. Most of these structures are cowsheds which have come up in various places. Of course the milk is essential for us and we cannot also do away with the milkman; but at the same time should not allow them to construct sheds like this in a unplanned manner. These not only make the city ugly, but are also a source of breeding flies and mosquitoes and other diseases. My suggestion is that since we cannot do away with the milkman, Government should consider a scheme for a " Milkman Colony " in the suburbs of the town so that the city can be free from fly nuisance and insanity condition created by the cow sheds.
Sir, it is strange that the Governor's Address there was only a scriptic reference to tourism, although we say that tourists will be one the major industries and we invite tourists to visit our State. We have not been told what is the Government plan and programme for development of tourism in the State. Sir, in order to attract tourists, the main thing is to have a better arrangement of transport and accommodation. Sir, the hon. Leader of Opposition has spoken about the awful condition of the State Transport bout which the less said the better. The transport facilities on Gauhati - Shillong route are not only insufficient and inadequate. There is not even a tourist taxi run by the State Transport. Meghalaya is also a partner of the Corporation. I fail to understand why the Government cannot impress upon the corporation the necessity of running more buses and tourists taxis to facilitate the movement of travelling public particularly tourists coming to our State. Sir, tourists do not come to Meghalaya only to see Shillong. How long can they stay and see Shillong ? They will certainly want to go to the interior places of tourists interest. They can do this only if adequate transport facilities and proper accommodation are provided. In the interest of tourism, Government should create an infrastructure of transport and accommodation in places of tourists interest so that more tourists will be attracted to this State.
Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, some hon. Members appreciated the transport system. I do not say that the transport system has not improved in the State. I also admit it has improved to a great extent but I would refer to the city's transport system which is a bad shape. The passengers are made to sit on the floor of the buses and it is a daily and regular feature now. Why this is so ? it is because the number of buses are far less than what is needed to cope with the rush of passengers, specially in the peak hours when the office going people and students going to schools and colleges need buses in order to be able to reach in time. This is usually in the morning and evening and they find is very difficult to find any place in the buses. Sir, now there is the emergency and we expect that our officials should attend office in time, but since the transport facilities are not properly provided, it has become difficult for them to do so, however sincere they may be. In the interest of the office going people, students and public in general the transport system should be streamlined and more buses should be provided, and areas not covered by bus service would be covered.
Now I will refer to the taxis. The condition of taxi services in Shillong is horrible. We find that always there is a meter but this is never used. Time and again in this august House we have drawn the attention of the Government on this subject but nothing so far has been done to compel the taxis owners to run the taxi on meter. Sir, we do not find any improvement at all in taxi services in spite of so many public grievances. There is also complain from the public against the rates fixed by the district authority recently. Not only the rates are in exorbitant and the rates also varies from taxi to taxi for the same distance covered. there is no proper control and no proper check over this. Sir, taxis and buses are the only means of transport in the city, and unless these services are improved the suffering of the travelling public will be more and more.
Sir, in 20-Point Programme co-operative movement has been assigned a dominant role in various sectors of 20 - Pont Economic Programme to aid the weaker section of the society. More stress has been given to co-operative to handle essential commodities and food stuff. The more we can do that, the more we do service to society. So Sir, I suggest that the middleman in food grain trade should be gradually eliminated and replaced by the co-operative. Sir, the other day the hon. Member from Cantonment Constituency has referred to the Cantonment area. Sir, this Cantonment area is within the heart of Shillong town. It is under the administration of the Defence Ministry. I would request the Government to take up with Defence Ministry to release this portion of civic administration. The Cantonment establishment in that portion should be shifted outside the town to places like Umroi or Happy Valley and this area should be brought under the administration of the State Government. In that case, Shillong Town can be extended further. Not only that, the slum area of Jhalupara and Paltan Bazar now within Cantonment could be improved by the Municipality or the Town Planning Department and this would help beautification of Shillong. The Government should take up with the Defence Ministry for releasing this portion of the Cantonment that is within the Shillong city. Sir, in page 7, of the Governor' Address a reference has been made about Land Reforms Commission recommendation and Government decisions for taking up cadastral survey in the Khasi Hills District for the preparation of land records. (Bell rang). This is interlinked with the development of Agriculture and this could not be delayed any further. The records of rights and cadastral surveys should have been prepared by now. The more the delay, the more will be the setback in the development of agriculture. Since this co-relates to the 20- Point Programme, the Government should take speedy action in the matter of cadastral survey. Sir, I am one with the leader of Opposition on what he said about the standard of education in the Government schools. Most of the Government schools are below standard. But there are exceptions too, as for instance the Pine Mount School which is a Government School has better reputation for better standard of education. But this school is also neglected to a great extent. There is a shortage of accommodation both in hostels and the school. With the result large number of applications for admission are in waiting list year after year. Even there is no proper recreation room for the teachers and the students. Sir, if the Government intends maintain the standard of education in the institutions properly, more accommodations and other facilities should be provided so that institution like Pine Mount can not only maintain the standard but improve further and show better and encouraging results. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, I stand to support the motion of thanks moved by the hon. Member from Sohra on the Governor's Address. I won't take much time, Sir. First of all, I would like to congratulate the Government for the achievement during the last few years. So far as the 20- Point programme is concerned, we must bear in mind that this 20 - Point Economic Programme announced by the Prime Minister was broadcast first on 1-7- 1975 only about seven years or eight months back. Within this very short span of time we have seen that this Government had done their level best to curb or bring down prices of essential commodities. Prior to July, 1975, it was found that the cost of rice, sugar and other essential commodities was beyond the reach of the common man. But as we are at present, we have found that the common man is happily enjoying his two square meals a day. Secondly Sir, we have found that the Government also were trying to procure cloths as stated by the previous members for supply to the poorer section of the society. So far as my knowledge goes, and I may be correct to say as has already been pointed out by some members that those cloths supplied were only dhotis, saris and these are meant for the people living in warm areas. As such we hope that in future, cloths to he supplied in the fair price shops will be suitable for the use of the people in the hills. Moreover, Sir, I would like to suggest that the Government may please take up controlling of the price of the waste and means to bring down the price of other commodities also such as those agricultural implements and tools used by the common man. In so far as our State is concerned, it is an agricultural State and that once or twice in a year, our cultivators require them. But since the price is too high it seems that they cannot afford to buy them. As such, I would suggest that the Government should look into this matter. Sir, another things I would like to point out here is about the housing scheme and it seems that this scheme was not extended to the rural areas and the people in the rural areas are very much in need of corrugated iron sheet buildings and, moreover, we have heard of so many natural calamities like burning of houses everywhere. As such I would request the Government that in the implementation of the housing scheme, the Government will please see that the Government machinery gives every opportunity to the rural people. I am grateful also to the Government for the proposal to set up the administration - as stated in the Address- closer to the people. But at the same time, I would State here, Sir, that there may be inconveniences here and there while considering these areas as well as their headquarters. As has already been stated by the hon. member from Sutnga, that if the information as given in the Khasi newspaper is correct, if the area stretching right from the eastern side of the border area in the Jaintia Hills to the southern side is in the process of being set up as a new sub- division, it may be inconvenient for the people living in those areas. As earlier stated by the hon. Member, the physical condition and the natural barriers are not suitable enough for constituting such a sub-division. Any how Sir, I hope that the Government has not as yet come to a final decision, before taking any decision, will go through the pros and cons of the matter.
The other point which I would like to raise here is about the steps taken by the Government with regard to rural electrification. We are glad to find that many of the people have been given the amenities of electrification of their houses. But may I point out here Sir, that it seems that there is a programme according to which there must be check up or whatever technical terms used almost every Sunday as a result of which the light is off. May I point out here Sir, that check cause great hardship and inconvenience to the people and also the dislocation of the Church Services during Sundays. Then there are those who are utilizing power for their amplifiers and also those who have to use domestic light in gloomy days. But if this routine check up is continued in this way it will be very inconvenient for the public and I hope the Government will look into this matter. Probably it would not be difficult for the sort of routine to be changed or altered or shifted to any other week day.
With regard to the A.M.S.R.T.C. I would like to say that though it is still a long way towards taking over of some of the roads under the authority of the A.M.S.R.T.C. yet I would say that the Government has done a lot as far as transport is concerned. We have heard many of the hon. Members making objections and criticisms with regard to the running of the Departments. But Sir, may I remind the House that within a gap of 4 years only the Government has done a lot to help the people in the interior through the State Bus Service at a very low cost of transport. I hope the Government is receiving many demands for State Buses to ply in the interior. So, Sir, this by implication means that the Government has done a lot and, as such, I do not agree with those who are opposing or criticising the action taken by the Department. So, Sir, I hope the Government will help the poor inhabitants of the State in the interior to enjoy the services of the State Buses and this will enable them to be free from the exploitation of the private owners.
Last but not the least, I would like to say about the subjects on the Assam- Meghalaya border as mentioned as pages 15 and 16 . Sir, as already stated by the hon. Members some will say " what has happened in the south ?" then on the north or east or west all over the border areas of the State. But in view of what has already been mentioned in the Address I do hope this matter will be resolved soon and finally disposed of. However if nothing is taken in the important matter, I am afraid, the present encroachment from the other side will be very serious and inconvenient for our people living there in the border areas. I hope Sir, that I will have another time to discuss this question again on the budget discussion and, so I will not take much time of the House.
And finally Sir, as regards the amendment moved by the hon. members, Mr. Pohshna, whom so many have supported - I would in a few words say that Rome was not built in a day and thereby I strongly oppose the amendment.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Any other hon. Member would like to participate ? Since there is no other Member who would like to participate and since there is no more business to be transacted today, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 a.m. tomorrow, the 18th March, 1976.
Dated Shillong :
The 17th March, 1976
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.