Proceedings of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9.30 a.m. on 30th March, 1976 with the Speaker in the Chair.
Present :- Eight Ministers and three Minister of State and 40 Members.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day with Starred Question No.5.
(To which oral replies were given)
Tir Gambling in Shillong
Shri Winston Syiemiong asked :
*5. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
(a) Whether Government are aware that Tir gambling is still going on in Shillong?
(b) If so, why?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
5. (a) and (b) - Though archery competition is going on daily at Polo Ground, Shillong, Tir gambling or betting on archery is not done openly though there may be clandestine gambling.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Whether any step has to be taken to differentiate or find out teer gambling or 'archery' that is going in Shillong? Is it a sport or a gambling?
Mr. Speaker :- Your question is argumentative.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Who was entrusted with the enforcement of the Act?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The Police.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the teer gambling an offence under the Act?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes Sir, it is an offence.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, how man persons have been arrested during the last few months?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can give the reply. In 1974, the police detected 509 cases and in 1975 the number of cases detected was 591 and till 15th March, 1976, 63 cases have been detected so far.
Shri Jormanik Syiem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding reply to Question No.5(a) and (b) what it that the police were entrusted with the checking up of this nefarious trade and what steps have been taken by the Government for lapses of those people who were entrusted with the enforcement of the Act?
Mr. Speaker :- He is asking supplementary question to supplementary, which is not allowed.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, what steps the Government have taken against those persons who were arrested?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, they have dealt with according to the Procedure of Law.
Shri Maham Singh :- How many persons were punished with imprisonment?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, that, of course, we will have to find out.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us now come to Question No.6(a) to be replied by the Minister of Industries as the Minister of Transport is absent.
Bifurcation of the AMSRTC
Shri Winstone Syiemiong asked :
*Will the Minister-in-charge of Transport be pleased to state -
(a) The present position of the bifurcation of the AMSRTC?
(b) How many times negotiations have been held on this question since April, 1975?
(c) Who represented Meghalaya Government.
Shri Darwin D. Pugh (Minister, Transport) replied :
6 (a) - In the absence of an agreement between Assam and Meghalaya the matter has been referred to Government of India.
(b) Four times.
(c) - 1. On 31st May, 1975, during discussion with Chief Secretary, Assam, at Shillong, the following persons represented Meghalaya :-
(a) Shri R. Jataranjan, I.A.S. Secretary, Transport Department.
(b) Shri V. Ramakrishnan, I.A.S. Secretary, Reorganisation Department.
(c) Shri S.N. Phukan, A.J.S. Deputy Secretary Law Department
2. At Minister level discussions on 7th July 1975, 9th October 1976 and 21st October 1975, the following persons represented Meghalaya :-
(a) - On 7th July 1975 at Dispur -
|(i)||Shri D.D. Pugh, Minister, Transport Department.|
|(ii)||Shri V. Ramakrishnan, I.A.S. Secretary, Reorganisation Department.|
|(iii)||Shri R.P. Sinha, I.A.S. Director, Transport.|
|(iv)||Shri S.N. Phukan, A.J.S. Deputy Secretary, Law Department.|
(b) - On 9th October 1975 at Shillong and 21st October 1975 at Dispur :
In addition to persons mentioned at 2(a) above -
|(i)||Shri R. Nataranjan, I.A.S., Secretary, Transport Department.|
|(ii)||Shri S.L. Khosla, I.A.S. Secretary, Finance and Planning Department.|
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the reply to Question No.6(a) was in absence of an agreement or whether it was a failure to reach an agreement.
Mr. Speaker :- Let me inform the House that the Minister, Transport has left for Delhi yesterday, as there was talk on the question of bifurcation at the Secretary's level and today there will be discussion at the Minister's level in the presence of the Union Minister of Transport. So, let us pass on to short notice question to be asked by Shri S.D. Khongwir.
SHORT NOTICE QUESTION
(To which oral replied were given)
Detection of Ghost Villages
Shri S.D. Khongwir asked :
1. Will the Minister, in-charge of Civil Supplies be pleased to State -
Whether it is a fact that very recently ghost villages and ghost population of about a lakh were detected at the areas comprising Nongstoin Development Block?
Whether it is a fact that inflation of villages and population has bearing on the supply of essential commodities?
If the replies to (a) and (b) above are in the affirmative ;
Since when the inflation had taken place;
Who were responsible for this inflation;
Whether it is a fact that inflation was intentionally designed with a view to illegally benefit from supply of essential commodities; and
How open permits to fair price shop dealers of this area is renewed?
What was the quota of essential commodities allotted for the area immediately prior to detection of ghost villages and population?
What is the present allotment?
Do Government consider it necessary to detect the offenders in this?
If so, how far it has progressed?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in-charge of Civil Supplies) replied :
1. (a) - Yes.
(c) - (i). The inflation started in the later part of 1972. The inflation of higher magnitude started from May 1973 onwards.
(ii) - Records are being strongly scrutinised to pinpoint actual persons responsible for this inflation.
(iii) - The matter is under thorough investigation to get the bottom whether the inflation was intentionally designed with a view to illegally benefit from the supply of essential commodities.
(iv) - Permits were not renewed prior 1975. The Meghalaya Foodstuffs (Distribution) Control Order, 1976 provides the renewal appointment of fair price shop dealers after 31st December each year.
(d) - The monthly allotment as on 1st October 1975 was 1,000 quintals of rice and 317.32 of sugar.
(e) - The monthly allotment as on 25th February 1976 was 640 quintals of rice and 160 quintals of sugar.
(f) - Yes.
(g) - All records are currently under close scrutiny. One case has already been registered and is under investigation. A few other cases are also being taken up under the essential commodities Act.
Shri Jormanik Syiem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the fictitious names of the villages were recorded or the fictitious names of the persons were recorded.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, only the fictitious names of the villages were recorded i.e. population.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding Question No.c (i) I would like to know whether it is a fact that this inflation started right from the time of the then Government of Assam?
Shri E. Bareh, (Minister, Supply) :- Mr Speaker, Sir, we have no information about this.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- 1 (c) (ii) and (iii) - It appears that the Government are yet to pin-point the persons who are responsible for this offence. So I think that the information given to the House is incomplete.
Mr. Speaker :- It is incomplete because the procedure must be lengthy.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- c (ii) - Whether Government had so far been able to detect one or two persons?
Shri E. Bareh, (Minister, Civil Supplies) :- That has already been replied in (g).
Shri Maham Singh :- Has any one been suspended for this act of negligence of duty?
Shri E. Bareh, (Minister, Civil Supplies) :- We have not been able to do that.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Whether any prima facie case has been established against any persons?
Shri E. Bareh, (Minister, Civil Supplies) :- The matter is still under investigation.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Has any case been registered?
Shri E. Bareh, (Minister, Civil Supplies) :- One case has been registered.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- The reply is that one case has been registered. May we know whether that case refers to a permit holder or to the Government official?
Shri E. Bareh, (Minister, Civil Supplies) :- We cannot leak out the information.
Mr. Speaker :- That will not only prejudice the issue but it is also subjudice.
Shri Maham Singh :- Was there any inquiry made before permits were issued to the dealers?
Mr. Speaker :- That is not in the main question.
Shri Maham Singh :- 1 (b) - It refers to inflation and whether before issuing the permit to the ration dealers, was any inquiry made? That is my question.
Mr. Speaker :- That is a new question. You can come with another Short Notice Question.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- On what basis the appointments of permit holder were made?
Mr. Speaker :- That is a new questions.
(Replies to which were laid on the Table)
Construction of buildings for the Police Outpost at Sibbari
Shri J. Marak asked :
79. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state the progress of construction of buildings for the Police Outpost at Sibbari.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied.
79 - It has been decided to open an Immigration Check Post at Sibbari by shifting the same from Baghmara after considering administrative and other factors. The work is yet to start and efforts are being made to expedite the same.
Shri Plansingh Marak :- Is there any necessity of having a check-post at Baghmara.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Check post has been shifted to Sibbari.
Shri Jackman Marak :- Will construction of the check post be started during this year of next year at Sibbari :
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Within this year? Tomorrow will be the end of this year. So it cannot be within this financial year.
Total length of roads in the District of Khasi Hills
Shri W. Syiemiong asked :
80. Will the Minister in-charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state -
(a) The total length of roads under the charge of each of the Public Works Development (R and B) Division in the District of Khasi Hills?
(b) The number of Sub divisional Offices under each one of them and the length of roads under their charges?
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah [Minister-in-charge of Public Works Department (R and B) replied :
80 (a) and (b) - The informations are furnished as per statement placed on the Table of the House.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Why some of the length of the road under the jurisdiction of the S.D.O. concerned was different. For example within the Shillong North Division, the Sub divisional Office of the Shillong North Divisions Jurisdiction is 21.4 K.M. whereas the other S.D.O. has to cover 157 K.M.
Mr. Speaker :- You put the question straight away. The question should be what are the reasons for difference in the mileage or kilometerage between one Sub division and another?
Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the kilometerage differs because of the anticipation of the tentative outlay and again the Five Year Plan and again the workload basis was there. We are constantly examining the kilometerage of each Sub division in order to bring uniformity in the jurisdiction of Sub divisions.
Maintenance and repair of Civil Hospital, District Jail and Police Reserve Quarter Buildings
Shri M.N. Majaw asked :
81. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state -
(a) Whether the Public Works Department is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the following Government building -
|(i)||Civil Hospital Shillong;|
|(ii)||District Jail, Shillong; and|
|(iii)||Police Reserve Quarters and Office Shillong?|
(b) If so -
|(i)||Does the Department maintain any staff for electrical repairs of these buildings?|
Are there any overtime or night duty staff for urgent repair during such hours or are the staff available only during office hours?
(c) Whether the Government is aware of the fact that there have been several electrical failures and black outs in these buildings during the last few months?
(d) Whether the Government is aware that on many occasions such electrical failures were due to faulty or damaged wiring within these buildings?
(e) Whether the Government has received any official communications in writing from the District Jail authorities in the last six months complaining of faulty wiring in the Jail, and if so, what action has the Department taken to put right such defects?
(f) Whether the Government intend appointing night duty staff, equipped with telephones, to deal with urgent electrical failures occurring at night in the buildings mentioned above in (a)?
Shri P.R. Kyndiah [Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. (R. and B.)] replied :
81 (a) - Yes.
(b) - (i) Yes.
(ii) No. Generally staff are available only during office hours, but, if any complaint is received the same is attended to even after office hours, if necessary.
(c) - No.
(d) - No.
(e) - No such complaints have been received by this Department?
(f) - There is no such proposal at present.
Shri H. Hadem :- (c)- Whether any report has been received by the Government?
Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) :- That has been replied to in 81 (c).
Shri H. Hadem :- This is a report of failure.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, P.W.D.) :- I have replied 'no'.
Amount sanctioned to the Development Blocks in the State
Shri Manindra Rava asked :
82 Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be please to state -
(a) Whether it is a fact that sufficient amount had not been sanctioned to the Development Blocks of the State for various Developmental works during the previous year?
(b) If so, the reasons thereof?
(c) The amount sanctioned to the respective blocks during the last give years?
(d) Whether it is a fact that no amount had been as sanctioned for social education through the Development Blocks?
(e) If so, the reasons thereof?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister-in-charge of Community Development) replied :
82 (a) - No. Amount had been sanctioned to the blocks on the basis of the pattern laid down by the Government of India.
(b)- Does not arise.
(c)- Rs.2,38,99,030/- (Statement enclosed).
(d) and (e) - Do not arise in view of (c) above.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us pass on to next item - Mr. Mawlot.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on many occasions we had voiced our disagreement on the Government's adoption of the family planning programme in our State. More so because of the fact that we, the hill people, still need improvement, we still need better persons, we still need better education, but we do not need to reduce population. That is the first of our objectives why we have always opposed to the policy of the Government on the Family Planning Programme. Secondly, Sir, it is noticed with regret that this benign Government had advocated sterilisation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I have said, there is no necessity at all for the hill people reducing the population. Now, if Government comes forward .........
Mr. Speaker :- Reducing or controlling?
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a matter of opinion, whether it is controlling or reducing, it comes to reduction of population. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when Government comes forward with the programme of sterilisation, it does not only mean reduction of population, but it also means deterioration in the character, in the physique of a person and also in the mind of a person. Mr. Speaker, Sir, for example if you look at the bullock which was sterilised, even the body itself changes, even the horns, they do not look like the horns of a bull but they look like the horns of a cow, not to mention .....
Mr. Speaker :- But they do not sterilise the cows, perhaps in human beings also, it may be interchanged.....
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a matter to be examined by the Government and I do not accept sterilisation, whether it is by Tubectomy or by Vasectomy or anything, it changes, as I said, even the physique, so just imagine and consider how much damage is done to the man or to the brain of the person who is sterilised.
(Voices : the pig becomes fatter)
The pig becomes fatter alright, but that pig, as you know, has changed; it has no more strength in it. I do not need to go deep into this matter, this face is enough for the Government to consider whether sterilisation will better the character of a man or it will deteriorate his character. Mr. Speaker, Sir, introduction of contraceptive had increased immortality. (1) The moral of the society had gone down so much with the introduction and with the encouragement of the Government to introduce contraceptives. Once a person who is used to using contraceptives he is liable to any kind of disease. (2) There is no fear of pregnancy and there is laxity in sex. Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether Government like it or not it is a fact that there is laxity in sex, even school going children are not afraid of sex. And this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government with all its wisdom, with all its wise men in the Treasury Bench, could well imagine what is the affect on the human race ....
Mr. Speaker :- Perhaps the Treasury Bench are inexperienced ......
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- I do not know whether they are experienced or inexperienced, but my humble opinion is that if a little girl of boy - a teenage girl or boy, is used to a premarital sex .......
Mr. Speaker :- They call it, in the modern term premarital education as the people of the West call it.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Sir, this premarital sex is deteriorating the mind of the person himself. One forgets his duties, forgets morality, forgets everything, and not only that, it also affects health, and growth in both the sexes. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have gone through some books which give very good advice, that is, if teenage girl has premarital sex, it will also create many kinds of diseases because, as you know, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when a girl is young, there is every likelihood of the female part being damaged of of the male part being damaged and is always accessible to any kind of disease. Not only that, when a person gets venereal disease, this disease is spreading from one person to another, that is, the whole society will be disease. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in many of our speeches we have been advocating or stressing on this Government to think of other ways of utilising the fund for the benefit of the society instead of Government's encouraging people to go for sterilisation, to go for contraceptives and so on. We had also occasion to appreciate the Government on child and maternity welfare. There is also a scheme under this very head 'Child and Maternity Welfare'. We are glad that Government has thought it necessary to take care of the children whose parents are not able to look after them. We have advocated for the establishment of homes for the destitute, the correctional homes and so on. So if the Government could spent more money in these subjects instead of going for contraception or compensation to those people who are ready to take up sterilisation and so on, we would be very pleased. Why we oppose this, the fact is that, it makes as I have said, the whole society a diseased society. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether the Treasury Bench or the Government themselves who have advocated for sterilisation, usage of contraceptives and so on, whether they practiced it themselves, because if you advice people to go for sterilisation the advocate himself must be able to show good example. I wonder whether the Government had demonstrated before they advocated for sterilisation or for the usage of contraceptives. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not have to elaborate on this, because as I said last year we had occasion to making a lot of noise against family planning, I think the Minister-in-charge of Family Planning still remembers and he may now change his mind, if he does not change his mind, at least to come up with proper suggestion of how to utilise the funds.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to sell liquor, you need a licence from competent authority, sometimes you have to go to the Minister-in-charge of Excise even. To sell kerosene, you also need licence, to sell petrol you also need a license, to purchase a gun for shooting the animal and for self-protection one needs a license, but to sell contraceptive, to sell pills which destroy the whole society, Government have not thought of giving licence to the persons dealing with such materials and there is no binding on any one and any man can go to the pan shop and get one nirodh and it is noted with regret that some boys not knowing what it is, used the nirdoh as a ballon because the Government does not control the use and sale of these control the use and sale of these contraceptives which are killing the human race, killing the human beings and one does not need a license, as in the case of killing a wild buffalo for self-protection. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would not have opposed this grant so vehemently if Government had issued strict instructions that no sale should be allowed to persons who have not got marriage certificates - no nirodh, no pills should be supplied to any one without producing marriage certificate. Secondly, a person who deals in all these articles should also possess a licence. If this is done with more care from the side of the Government and if, of course, there is a selective family planning, as I said I would not have opposed it vehemently. But why I oppose so much is because the Government have encouraged young kids to lose their mortality, to destroy the character of the society as a whole. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, with these few observations, I oppose this grant.
*Shri Reidson Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion tabled by the hon. Member from Nongstoin. While I participate in the discussion. I only want to refute the charges or the statement of the hon. Member against Family Planning. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am thankful to the Government of our State for following the national programme or the policy laid down by the Government of India and that provision had been made in the budget for family planning. Sir, the hon. Member had said that if human beings are sterilised for family planning purposes, he said that a person becomes or she becomes weak and useless. Well, he tried to compare the human beings with bullocks and other animals. Mr. Speaker, Sir, all of us here know very well that there is difference between sterilisation and castration. The animals are not sterilised but they are castrated and so there is a vast difference. Then I would like to say that today we do not go after quantity but we go after quality. Mr. Speaker, Sir, instead of producing 8, 10, 15 or 20 children, if we can confine our family to a small members consisting of 3 or 4 children, then we can have a real, happy and contented family life. Mr. Speaker, Sir, he has even challenged whether the Members or the Ministers from the Treasury Benches have themselves practised family planning. I for one would like to inform the hon. Member from Nongstoin that I do practice it and I am a happy man. I have 3 children, myself and my wife. We have two square meals a day by the grace of God. (laughter). My family is quite happy and my children are healthy and we have got all the necessities of life.
Then Sir, another point I would like to bring up is the free sale of contraceptives. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we know very well that only the other day we have talked while debating on the grant of Excise that there is large scale illegal sale of liquor. Sir, in spite of the fact that the Government is trying to control everything we have this illicit sale of liquor. So I do not find why any contraceptives are not freely sold because I know some of friends who may not be in this august House but elsewhere even shy to approach Family Planning Centres to get the contraceptives or other pills. But if they are sold outside, then they can easily go there or send some one to get them. They are very much keen in adopting family planning but you know this is something which has not gone deep in our life, and therefore, we are rather shy to adopt these things.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- That is mental corruption.
Shri Reidson Momin :- It is not mental corruption, but it is one's conviction. But unfortunately, as I said, he is a little shy and he does not want to approach the family planning centre.
Mr. Speaker :- But it is your duty to send him to a particular place in order that both husband and wife can get themselves acquainted.
Shri Reidson Momin :- That is another aspect of the matter. I am trying to clarify this point.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Giving his informations means mental corruption.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the hon. Member has the right to give his own information.
Shri Reidson Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while I was young I feel shy or even my parents would not allow me to wear shoes. While we were reading in the primary of H.E. school., we were not allowed to use trousers or shoes. That is the order of the day according to that particular time. But today, Sir, we know very well that a one day's infant is putting on shoe. We are giving them all comfortable and luxurious garments. But in those days when we were young, these things were not there. Now the time has come and it is the order of the day to confine to a small family to have a life of health and happiness. Big family is always a constant source of misery and disease. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said I do not want to elaborate on that point but I can say that today I am a happy man and I want other friends also to be happy like me (laughter). So with these few words, I oppose the cut motion and resume my seat.
*Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Cut Motion moved by my friend from Nongstoin. At the very outset, I would like to refute the very point expressed by my friend, the hon. Member from Dadenggiri. He stated that families or parents who have got large number of children are not happy and that he had also three children and he is the happy man. In this connection, I may say that I will double my children and I shall be equally happy as he is. I do not think his argument is sound enough. As a mater of fact, we know that, we in India as a whole, family planning is necessary due to over increasing population and naturally, if we cannot limit the growth of population, we will have to face all kinds of troubles. But in this particular State we have a peculiar type of problem which is not familiar to those of the rest of India. The very fact that we fought for a Hill State, for a small population is to safeguard our minority people o that our heritage remains for ever and that we are not eliminated from the surface of this earth. Considering the population that we have now in our State, we have only 5 lakhs Khasis, 4 lakhs Garos and about 1 lakh Jaintias, we are really very small as compared with a population of Calcutta which is more than 7 millions. We are going in the area of humanity in India Sir, if we are going to retain some heritage. I feel that in this particular State, where family planning is concerned for looking after the health of the mothers and children, we are going in line with the Central Government to restrict the growth of population which I think we should not agree at all to that. Because as the hon. Member from Nongstoin has just pointed out the very way of propagating the family planning has become very defective in the sense that contraceptive and other methods are being made available everywhere. As such, I agree with him that there is a mental corruption because our children of five years of age also know those ballons and thus I think that this mental degeneration must be stopped at all costs because if we are to retain our heritage, it is necessary that we should not look after those material aspects of life but we must also see to the spiritual aspect of life also. I do not agree with the principles of family planning for a small State of ours and to go after those material aspects adopted by the western countries but we should see to the spiritual aspect also. With these few words Sir I very wholeheartedly support the cut motion.
Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion. The hon. Mover of this Cut Motion, I think has not properly understood the meaning of Family Planning. By family planning, it does not mean to reduce the population but to control the increase of population. By family planning, it does not also mean to eliminate man-kind from the surface of the earth but to help man-kind to have planned families and that is the meaning. In this country of ours, we know for a fact that family planning has been taken on Government's level and it is thus correct that our Government, the Government of India, are very much concerned about the population explosion. It is not only concern of our country, but it is also the concern of the whole world. I hope we have read a few days ago a news item which appeared in the Assam Tribune on the 22nd March, 1976. There, you will find that the World watch Institute of the Washington D.C. gave a report about their findings of their study of population explosion. If you allow me Mr Speaker, Sir, I have the cuttings here to read, a few.
Mr. Speaker :- I think it is not so necessary because you have told us the date, the column and name of the news paper.
Shri S.P. Swer :- There in the report it was stated that the Population explosion has a shattering impact on twenty-two years other dimensions of human society. The critical issue is that which arises out of the pressure of the world population of four thousand millions which according to the present rate the growth rate would reach twelve thousand millions in about 54 years hence and what the population explosion concerns it is not only concerned with us but it concerns our children and grand-children even more. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we know also for a fact that in the developing countries in Europe, the increase of population is about 2.5 to 3.5 percent in a year. If that increase happens in India, it means another fifteen million in twenty one million months will be added to the present six hundred millions of population. As I said, Mr Speaker, Sir, it concerns our children and future generation very much in our own country and that is why our country has taken up family planning at Governmental level. We know for a fact that even a Cabinet Committee was appointed headed by the Prime Minister herself and from 1st of April, 1972 after the passing of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 vigorous steps have been taken by the Government for the implementation of family planning Programmes. This has gone to the extent of appointing a Commissioner and seven Regional Directors at different centres in the country to maintain a liaison with all State Governments. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, the family Planning programme is the National Programme. The hon. Member, the mover of the Cut motion, said it has a great impact on the health of the people who accept sterilisation or any other device. We know for a fact that there are many educational centres, training centres and research centres set up by the Government for the proper working and implementation of the family planning programme and the impact of health hazard if any on those who accept and practise family planning, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not have much to say but I would plead before the House and the hon. Members of the House to realize that this is the National Programme and to go against programme in our State means we go against the National Policy of our country.
Mr. Speaker :- Will the Ministry reply?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I want to say in reply to the mover of the cut motion has already been replied by the two hon. Members from this side and so I have not much to say. The mover has pointed out certain things which I have noted down. Regarding the need for better education and better facilities I would say that it is not for reduction of population. As has been pointed out by the hon. member, this family planning programme is a National Programme and as we all know every year there is a conference held at the highest level in the country and the Prime Minister herself used to preside over. This programme has received perhaps the greatest attention. Now, with the coming of the 20-point economic programme, the stress on family planning is more. We admit that we have a very small population in these hills. We have only about 46 persons to a square kilometer. But what we are trying to do in this State is not reduction of population but or control it. We want healthy children healthy mothers and a healthy family, as has been pointed out by the hon. Member from Dadenggiri. The hon. Member from Nongstoin has said that morality is down and the use of contraceptives, vasectomy, tubectomy, etc. has killed it. I will not admit that. There are bigger sins, for example, the use of drugs of which we hear often. Morality is not to be clamped by anybody, if you would like to be moral you can be moral. If you don't want to be moral you cannot be moral; it is up to the individual. Regarding the different other methods like castration and sterilisation, the former is perhaps done by other (laughter) what we do it only sterilisation. We have had occasions in the past to discuss this same subject and perhaps it had roused the spirit and the tempo of discussion in this House very much but, this year. I do not know the reason, not much had been said either for or against this programme. So, I would just request the hon. Member to withdraw his cut motion with the understanding that it is not meant for control or reduction of population. What we want is a family welfare programme in Meghalaya. That is why we want to improve the health of the children and the mothers, spacing, etc. and if you go to the villages in the interior you will find 2/3 children playing but it you ask the mother as to many children she has, she would say but many of them have died. So we don't see many children in the villages, especially good healthy children who would grow up into substantial citizens, who can contribute to make a better society. So what we want is a happy and healthy family, healthy children, healthy mothers.
(A voice : Health father) (laughter)
I do not want to prolong my reply and so I would request the hon. Member kindly to withdraw his cut motion.
Mr. Speaker :- Now there are two points raised, one by the hon. Member from Nongstoin and the other by the hon. Member from Nongspung. The hon. Member from Nongstoin has disapproved the policy of the Government to allow the shop to sell pills, contraceptives, etc. without licences. That was the first point. The second point is, of course, a matter of opinion on how to multiply the population. I think it is up to the Minister.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do not sell contraceptives. We give them freely. I do not know if they sell them in the markets or not. We would give them freely and if the people come for them they are welcomed.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the Minister for his sincerity. He wants that by hook or by crook the scheme should come through and he has been encouraged, morally encouraged, to ask me to withdraw the cut motion on the plea that they are not going to control the population but that the programme is for maternity and child welfare. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may point out that the total provision for the welfare of mothers and children is only Rs.25,000 out of the total grant of Rs.20,79,200. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do no see any justification of the reply given by the Minister and also the effort made by the hon. Member from Dadenggiri to make me understand or to explain that he has only three children for which he is happy. In spite of his efforts- the hon. Members from Sohra had also tried to convince me by the arguments he put forward. I doubt whether the hon. Members from the Treasury Bench do read the Bible sometimes. They say that sterilisation is not deteriorating the physical faculty or effecting the spiritual life of man. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to go deeply into that but I wish that God Almighty would forgive the members of the APHLC for, not being contented with the gift, for they have profaned the finest work of the hand of God, the Greater.
Mr. Speaker :- This is not a pulpit. Mr. Mawlot you have gone too far. You have also insinuated the party to which the speaker belongs. The Members is not speaking about abortion. Family planning does not mean the killing of a person and to say that a particular party supports the killing of persons is wrong. Family planning means only the control of the size of the family. If a persons remains single through out his life, it does not means he is denying some body but rather he is practicing the best form of family planning.
Now I will put the cut motion before the House. The question is that the total provision of Rs.20,79,200.00 under Grant No.36, Major Head - "281-Family Planning" at page 247 of the Budget be reduced to Re.1/- i.e. the amount of the whole grant of Rs.20,79,200.00 do stand reduced to Re.1/- (The motion was negatived and the cut motion was lost). Now Mr. Pohshna to move his cut motion. But since he is absent the cut motion is deemed to have been withdrawn. Now I will put the main question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.20,79,200.00 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1977, for the administration of the head "281-Family Planning."
(The Motion was carried and the demand was passed).
The Minister, Health to move Grant No.37.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg, to move that an amount of Rs.61,4,400.00 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charge which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1977, for the administration of the head "282-Public Health, Sanitation and Water Supply-A-Public Health and Sanitation".
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and since there is no cut motion, I will put the question before the House. The question is that an amount of Rs.61,44,000.00 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1977, for the administration of the head - "283-Public Health, Sanitation and Water Supply-A-Public Health and Sanitation".
(The motion was carried and demand was passed).
Now I will ask the Minister Public Health to move Grant No.38.]
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an amount of Rs.80,67,000.00 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1977, for the administration of the head '"282-Public Health, Sanitation and Water Supply-B-Sewerage and Water Supply and 283-Housing-C-Government Residential Buildings."
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I have received one cut motion which stands in the name of Shri Raisen Mawsor and Shri Rowell Lyngdoh. Mr. Mawlot to move first.
Shri Raisen Mawsor :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.80,67,000.00 under Grant No.38, Major Head - "282-Public Health, Sanitation and Water Supply-B-Sewerage and Water Supply and 283-Housing-C-Governments Residential Buildings" at page 272 of the Budget be reduced to Re.1 i.e. the amount of the whole grant of Rs.80,67,000.00 do stand reduced to Re.1.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and now you can initiate the discussion.
Shri Riasen Mawsor :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this regard I would say that this department is the most important department. Mr. Speaker, Sir, however, I will touch on the working of this department in my constituency. From my experience I can say directly that there are many villages in my area for which water supply schemes have been surveyed and these villages are quite big like Nonglang, Longia, Jaltidanga (Umsohpieng), Nongniangju Tynghor Nongdaju and Umdang a survey work has already been completed for about 4 years and uptil now nothing has been done. Some of the people of these villages have written directly to the Minister, about this who, in turn, wrote to the department concerned. The department, after one or two weeks went for surveys and after another two or three 'weeks' delay will submit their estimate. Then after two or three months the department called for tenders but we find that even now the work has not yet been started, and this has continued for the last four years as I have already mentioned. So, Sir, I would request Government to look into this matter as these areas are very much in need of water and at the same time very backward. But again, I will request Government to see that the work is done properly because as in the case of Aradonga the construction was in fact completed. But the people get water only for two or three months and for the other months, they remain without water. Sir, it seems that the officers of this department do not do their work properly and the blame could not be on any body to shortage of staff. This is a very serious matter and I request Government to look into it. With these few words, I move my cut motion.
(At this stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri H. Hadem Chairman, took the Chair).
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion moved by my hon. friend from Mawthengkut. It is a fact, Sir, as the hon. mover has pointed out that with regard to the rural water supply scheme the departmental officers have shown their faces to the villagers many a time. They are very prompt in making surveys and very prompt in making promises to the villagers that within such and such a period the village will be given water, but as far as implementation part of it is concerned, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I must say this department is very much lagging behind and is mot irresponsible. Every department when they have made surveys and estimates they also earmarked an amount for construction at lease. And if they cannot earmarked an amount for construction, at least. And if they cannot complete the work within that particular financial year, then they will take it up next year or so. But it is noted with regret that the Public Health Department is so far as construction work for water supply to rural areas is concerned, implementation is very slow. For example, Mr. Chairman, Sir, last year an amount of about Rs.10,000 was earmarked for water supply for at Aradonga. According to my knowledge there is no difficulty for land acquisition and the villages are ready to cooperate and so on. But I do not know for what reason the work has not yet been started.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, one pipe was brought down to the village near the school at Aradonga. I think the Chief Minister will bear me out that there is one pipe pipe near Aradonga H.E. School. It is noted with a smile that this year also another sum of 10,000 rupees was earmarked for water supply at the said place. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, this is not only the case. As the hon. mover mentioned, there are many cases like this. If you go to one village they will tell you that last year some officers from the PHE Department came and they had promised us. On ! we had shown them good sources of water from which water can be drawn to our people, and they had agreed. But in this way the offices were just telling people like that and they will never show their face the second time. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, in supporting this Cut Motion, I stress upon this Government to see that no promises are made unless the scheme is readily scrutinised and ready for execution. And, moreover, Sir, if the execution is done, it should be done thoroughly, and properly to the satisfaction of the people who are the beneficiaries. For example, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Water Supply Scheme at Nongstoin, was initiated a long long time back, about 7 years ago. It was initiated by the then Government of Assam and it was followed up by this Government, but Nongstoin had not been given water till now, except a few huts-temporary huts for the buildings and quarter of the Civil S.D.O. Nongstoin were water was supplied with temporary pipes. There is no permanent I mean the pipes are not permanently laid down. They were just connected for temporary connections. The pipes are lying above the surface of the ground and from time to time, these pipes are shifted if and when then office of the Civil S.D.O. is shifted to other buildings. This is the condition Sir, and this huge amount of expenditure was expended for the Nongstoin Water Scheme. If the hon'ble Minister will kindly go to Nongstoin, he will see the performance of this department in Nongstoin not to speak of other villages in the interior.
So, also in Shillong, Mr. Chairman, Sir. Last week, after the P.W.D. have repaired the road, widened and black-topped it nicely, then some one from the PHE Department will come with a Kodali, a spanner and what not and he will dig and spoil the road and then he will open the pipes as a result of which water flows in all directions.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E. etc) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, on a point of clarification, this was done by the Municipality and not by the PHE Department.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- To some extend the Minister is right there are localities where supply and its maintenance thereby is done by the Municipality, but there are localities where water supply is being done by the P.H.E. Department.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E. etc) :- And, may I inform the House that in all the places the water pipes are laid under ground.
Mr. Chairman :- Yes, Shillong is under the Municipality
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- I agree with the Minister. But in some portions water supply is being done by the P.H.E. Department and in the major part of Shillong water supply is being done by the Municipality. But you cannot say that there is no locality in Shillong where the P.H.E. Department does not have a hand. For example, Mawlai Water Supply Scheme is being done by the P.H.E. Department. I know that the pipes are laid under ground and that is why I say that the people of the P.H.E. Department damaged the road constructed by the P.W.D. when they repair the pipes. Cannot these pipes be brought on top of the road so that repair of the these pipes will not damage the road?
Mr. Chairman :- I think the Member has to clarify the question very clearly so that the Government could understand it. If the pipes are brought on the surface of the road, then how will they cross the road? Because in some portions the pipes have to cross the roads. I think this is rather difficult.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is difficult for me to remember the names of the localities in Tura or in Jowai, or in Shillong or in Mawlai and so on, because I do not have a sharp brain or I am a not a Teleprinter, (laughter), but generally, the water supply pipes are bought across the road. Anyway to avoid damage to the road, inconvenience to the people, that means to the inhabitants of that particular locality. I would say that the Minister should kindly make a note that when pipe are brought to certain locality they should be brought decently away from the road. Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is up to the Minister-in-charge to decide. The Minister had challenged it is up to the Minister-in-charge to decide. The Minister had challenged that pipes are brought under the surface of the ground. But I can assure the Minister that pipes at Nongstoin are lying on the surface because they are temporary. Till now the scheme is not yet completed. It is of a temporary nature. When the office quarters are shifted, these pipes also will be shifted. With these few words, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I support the cut motion.
*Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also like to associate myself with the discussion on the cut motion brought forward by the hon. Member. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to start speaking on this cut motion by allowing the Chief Minister to know that the people of Mawlai have been grateful to him for the meeting that we have had with him - I mean the delegation from Mawlai on the 9th of this month and the Chief Minister had made several promises or rather he was our main spokesman on that day, when we met him and the officers of the P.H.E. Department. The meeting was very satisfactory and the people of Mawlai also are very much grateful to the Hon'ble Chief Minister for the understanding that he has shown to the delegation. Mr. Chairman, Sir, so far as this Mawlai Water Supply Scheme is concerned. I am indeed very sorry to say that I have never been personally satisfied with the scheme. May be because of the defective functioning of the officers or it may be that the amount that has been granted for the particular scheme is very meagre when compare with the other schemes. For example, for Tura Water Supply Scheme I think the total amount runs to something like Rs.70 to 75 lakhs and the present Water Supply Scheme for Jowai town is of the order of about Rs.90 to 94 lakhs. Whereas the amount that has been expanded for the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme is only about Rs.20 to 22 lakhs. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to remind the House, through you, Sir, that Mawlai, as the Hon'ble Speaker has always reminded, is one of the three biggest towns in Meghalaya. So how can we expect that with Rs.22 lakhs proper distribution of water can be effected in this town. Mr. Chairman, Sir, there is a remark made by the first Estimate Commission on this particular matter. I shall read the relevant portion. It says - "there is an existing tank at Mawlai-Motsyiar of 25,000 gallons capacity and the main water reservoir was almost completed at Mawlai - Nonglum. The Committee was informed that water was fit for human consumption and was being supplied to the public. It was reported that the old distribution system capable to distributing 25,000 gallons of water is retained despite the enormous increase in the volume of water under the present scheme. The Committee feels that this arrangement will not bring the desired benefit to the public and as such it recommends that additional distribution lines be re-laid to cope with the volume of water available from the scheme." Mr. Chairman, Sir, so far as this particular scheme is concerned, I have already made mention that we have met the Chief Minister and from the Department side they have already promised to the Committee that they are in the process of drawing up plans and estimates for proper distribution for both private and public. I think the Department will live up to these promises and try their level best as early as possible to supply adequate water to the residents of Mawlai. As I have said earlier, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that right from the beginning till today I have never been personally satisfied with the implementation of this Mawlai Water Supply Scheme to the extent. Mr. Chairman, Sir, that we had to resort to procession and several meetings with the Hon'ble Minister and the Hon'ble Chief Minister and also we had written letters to the officers of the Department. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have also been informed that in so far as the functioning of this Department is concerned, there are several failures, especially with, regard to rural water supply scheme. The hon. Member from Mawsynram is not here but we have come to learn from the representatives from that area that Water Supply Scheme at Tynghor is not functioning satisfactorily and Water Supply Scheme at Mawsynram as well as other rural water supply schemes are not functioning satisfactorily. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have also heard from various quarters and I am really very sorry to make this remark that this main persons behind all these failures the officers themselves, especially the principal officer of this Department. I also know Mr. Chairman, Sir, for a fact that there are officers working in this Department are not qualified but still they are being retained in their present posts. I do not know, Mr. Chairman, Sir, how far this is true but I have also personal evidence about the remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition in the Chamber of the District Council, Khasi Hills. He has remarked certain things against the principal officer of this Department and Mr. Chairman, Sir, if my ears can penetrate that big room where most of the conversations of the representatives are going on, I shall not be astonished to hear the acrimonious tirade that is brought forward by the Members of the Ruling Party in that room. Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is not only the opinion from our side, it is not only from the people that we represent but it is also most probably the opinion of the Members, most of the Members of the Ruling Party, as I have said already, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am really very sorry that I have to make this remark but I hope I am not wrong in saying so.
Mr. Chairman :- You are wrong so far as that big room is concerned (loud laughter).
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- That is why I said if my ears can penetrate. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, all these talks and discussions and complaints from the members of the public have become most probably because of inefficient working of most of the officers of this Department. I am astonished to see that there are also people, responsible persons, who have been openly discussing the affairs of this Department and we usually hear the word "corruption" just the other day, may be 2, 3 days ago, I happen to meet one very responsible person, who has connection with this Department, informed me that and he simply remarked what quantum or amount of corruption that is going on in this Department. When I asked him how do you know of all these things, he said I know them because I am personally connected with this Department and I can assure that some officers of this Department are very really corrupt.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister in-charge of P.H.E.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, on a point of order, I think bringing second hand information amounts to a hearsay and I do not think that we should take any cognizance of it.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that is up to the Minister whether he will take cognisance or not. As a matter of fact, in the court of law, it tantamounts to a hearsay evidence but Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am not speaking here as lawyer before the Court of Law. I am here as a responsible Member of this House who has been sent by the public and I am speaking from what I can get from the people who are not here. Mr. Chairman, Sir, if you will allow me, I will bring that person to this House House, if the rules permit and let him speak by himself but I know he cannot do that.
Mr. Chairman :- Anyhow, you may advice him to bring up that case to the Minister of Department concerned.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Thank you Sir. But what amount of treatment he will be getting from that Department we don't know. He does not want to immediately stop doing work in that Department and so I would rather leave the name of this person as confidential.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas Development) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, if he is ready to come here, why he cannot do so and meet the Government otherwise by talking more here it amounts to exposing the case without facts.
Mr. Chairman :- Any-how we have already decided on that matter that he cannot come here personally but he is advised to meet the Minister concerned or the Department so that they will take necessary action.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Yes Sir, I accept that suggestion and I will also try to meet him if he has got the courage to meet the Government and let him meet the Government confidentially. Mr. Chairman, Sir, while speaking on the performance of this P.H.E. Department, I would also like to discuss about the matter pertaining to the indent or purchase of stores or pipes. I have seen Mr. Chairman, Sir, at Jowai and more so here near the Meter Factory at Shillong a huge quantity of pipes has been dumped in these areas. Of course, I have not seen at Garo Hills and I donot know whether these pipes are lying anywhere or not. But in these two places of Khasi and Jaintia Hills, I have seen these pipes have been lying for quite sometime and I do not know Mr. Chairman, Sir, what these pipes meant for. Whether these pipes have been purchased for the specific purpose of using them for a particular water supply scheme or whether these pipes have been brought even before any water source has been arranged and found out. Whatever it may be, these pipes have been purchased well ahead of time because Mr. Chairman, Sir, to a lay-man's eye, if he looks at these pipes I think he will be wide on the mark and I think the total amount here at Mawlai itself will run to several lakhs of rupees. I do not know whether these pipes have been purchased for the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme and I also do not know whether the water source has been finalised or not or whether these pipes are meant for some other purpose or for some other water supply schemes. But my intention of raising this point, Mr. Chairman, Sir, is the process that we are following in spending huger amount of money well in advance to purchase those pipes when we have not finally selected or finalise any particular or specific scheme. I think the hon. Minister will kindly enlighten the House on this particular matter, Mr. Chairman, Sir. I have been encouraged to bring certain remarks before the Government because I know that the Government will weed out inefficient and corrupt officers. That is why, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am constrained to bring forward these matters before the Government for their consideration otherwise Mr. Chairman, Sir, it will be meaningless on our part to stand here to suggest anything to the Government when the Government just turn their ears because it happened to have come from the Opposition side. I think that is a healthy attitude of the Government. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am not here to tie the Government with the rope from the neck and pull it down. But we are all here, Mr. Chairman, Sir, to help the Government in their programmes and policies and so before I sit down I would request the Government to kindly examine the probe into the workings of this particular Department so that the people of our State will really get the benefit that is meant for them so that the people will really get the benefit that is meant for them so that the people will really feel the satisfaction of getting the most essential thing in their life, and that is water. Mr. Chairman, Sir, a lot of these things have been mentioned by the hon. Member from Nongstoin. Sir, the officers used to go to the villages in the rural areas and they used to make several promises and later on these promises cannot be fulfilled by the Government because of the ignorance and straightforwardness of our people in the rural areas and they will simply remember those promises made either by the Minister or by the officer whenever they visited those areas. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, with these few words, I support the cut motion.
Shri Jackman Marak :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, opposing the Cut Motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawthengkut, I would like to point out a few points. I am very grateful to the Government of Meghalaya to learn that they have been trying to improve this particular Department. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also point out that right from Siju to my constituency there is one water supply scheme in the border areas, but I do not know whether it is completed or not at Siju itself. Mr. Chairman, Sir, whenever any scheme has been initiated by the Department, it should be completed in time. Mr. Chairman, Sir, again just on the P.W.D. road side, this water supply scheme has been done long long time ago. But last year also I have seen the officers of this Department, have taken up this water supply scheme, and this scheme is not functioning properly. So, Sir, when the officers of this department are going to check up this Scheme, they should examine it thoroughly. But I do not that they are doing till now. Moreover, Sir, jut before my coming to Shillong I saw two officers working at Chambilgiri and they were examining the defects. But Sir, after the completion of their work; the local people made again complaint to the Public Health Department that they have not got water properly. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I request the Government, through you, that the Government should implement such scheme properly. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the local people even complained to me that this water supply scheme was proposed in the year 1973 and during the years 1974 and 1975 the officers of the Public Health Department always came to Siliguri to make survey and examine the water from the main source. They used to visit this place at least six times a year. But Sir, till now the people of this area have been complaining for not getting good drinking water. Moreover Sir, the people living on the bank of the Dareng river are not getting good drinking water. Whether during the rainy season or during the winter season, the water is not fit for drinking. Therefore, I would like to request the Government, through you, Sir, that the Government should start the work immediately for the implementation of this scheme for this particular area. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I also would like to request the Government to kindly check up the water at Chokpot as the water there is not good for health and it is also not hygienic to run the dispensary there. On the other hand, as there are so many officers residing at Chokpot, they should also get good drinking water. Mr. Chairman, Sir, my last request to the Government is that they should take up this water supply scheme immediately and with these few words I resume my seat.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, while supporting the cut motion I would like to mention here with great regret to this august House about the very very serious matter which had happened in my constituency. Well, I came to learn about this matter because of the one water water supply scheme in my constituency. Twah-u-sdiah by name, Sir, when I went to the office of the Public Health Engineering to enquire about the delay in implementing this scheme, the reply was that the pipes meant for this water supply scheme were lost. Then I came to learn Sir, that those pipes meant for water supply scheme which were lying on the road on the Jowai-Muktapur Road for months together, were carried to some other places and there was nobody to look after these pipes. A police enquiry was made on the matter. But I do not know what happened to this case afterwards. So, Sir, if conditions are like this that the pipes are just thrown along the road side with nobody to look after it, then what will happen to those pipes lying on the roadside in some other places. Sir, the hon. Member from Mawlai has also stated about the huge quantity of pipes laying there near F.C.I. godown at Mawlai and also at Jowai without use. And Mr. Chairman, Sir, again some of these pipe which were lose on the road-side of Jowai to Muktapur were told to have been placed in the same place and I do not know what has happened to the rest of the pipes now. Therefore, Sir, it is not that we are not grateful to the Government for all these schemes but on the other hand we also have the same responsibility on this matter when the Government take up this scheme in our area. We are not happy to hear of the loss, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not have any grudge against any body when I bring this to the notice of the House. But I doubt whether the Government is in a position to check those huge quantities of pipes which are lying unnoticed on the roadsides and in the godown, I also do not know whether the Government will be able to check those pipes after six or seven months. With these few words I request the Government. I mean the Minister-in-charge, at least to clarify this matter and let us know about the action taken on this matter.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion raised by the hon. member from the Mawthengkut on the grant relating to this particular Department, the P.H.E. Department. We are very grateful to the hon. members who have given some important suggestions for the improvement of this Department. In my opinion, I think the hon. Member from Mawlai is the most fortunate in regard to the water supply in the whole State. According to my information, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme, is the most successful scheme which was done by the P.H.E. Department. I was informed that the tank is very big and the period of the execution of the scheme is within the last 3 years or so. I hope that each and every house must have got the facility, but I believe in the near future, the water supply scheme in Mawlai town will be much improved and it will be much better than even the Water Supply Scheme of Shillong today. I will not say tomorrow, Sir (laughter). Mr. Chairman, Sir, some of the hon. Members have put forward few suggestions and I may also add a few for the improvement of this particular department since this subject is one out of the 20-Point Economic Programme of our Prime Minister. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have seen or happened to see most of the water supply schemes within the State. As the hon. Members have already mentioned that some of the schemes have been surveyed time and again. I do not know, Sir, whether they got this money to use for survey works only so that they are able to survey and resurvey time and again. It seems the sanction has been passed by this august House is meant for survey works and not for execution of the schemer (laughter). Mr. Chairman, Sir, some schemes in my constituency such as Umsning water supply scheme as we all know it is o the road side, that village within the roadside as mentioned by the hon. member from Mawlai, it is by the side of the G.S. road. They have made a survey for the water supply scheme of this particular village, I think it is not less than 5 times the survey has been done. If we calculate the amount spent for POL T.A., and D.A. it will come to several lakhs of rupees, but up till now the scheme has not been finalised. I was told that the plans and estimates have been sent to the Finance Department and Finance Department did not give their concurrence. I do not know whether the Finance Department is very stiff or it might be because the plans and estimates are not proper Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would suggest to the Government through you, to give some more officer to this particular Department who are willing to work in the hills and sub-mountains of this State. As we know the policy of the Government is that as far as possible, we try for gravity schemes and not pumping. Therefore it needs men or officers who can travel in the hills of these areas to get sources of water. At present I understand that some of the officers cannot go to the hillock to find the source and once they go they will never go again to that place (Laughter). I also request the Government, through you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, to increase the number of high ranking officers so that they can do better works so that we can get better result in this particular Department.....
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- High ranking officers of which rank?
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I request the hon. Member to address the Chair (Laughter). Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also like to point out some cases which also were undertaken by this Department in some villages within Khasi Hills District. For example, the Umroi village Water Supply Scheme. It was taken up previously by the Block and the water has reached the village. The village Durbar, have decided to hand-over to the P.H.E. through the Bock authorities and they have done that. The officer of this Department after enquiry, said that the source is more than enough to get water from Umroi village and then after a few months, another officer came and surveyed the same source and said that the source is not sufficient to give water to the village and the 3rd officer said that the water is not good. So if 100 offices will come then we will have 100 opinions and then the scheme will never be executed. The other one which is very important is at Bhoilymbong, we have got a 10-bedded hospital there and the work has almost finished and the survey for water supply for that village has been taken up by the PHE officers from different sources, but I understand that plans and estimates have not been submission to the Government even till today. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, our hospitals and dispensaries, I will not mention more have to remain closed because of water. The Hon'ble Minister may say that the work has been allotted to the P.W.D. or to the Agriculture Department or to some other departments, but I understand, and in my opinion, water supply schemes especially in the villages where there are schools, hospitals and dispensaries should be considered seriously by the P.H.E. so that the water supply schemes for the schools, dispensary and hospitals can be taken from the pipes of the P.H.E. But Sir, I hope that all of us in this august House, might have seen or might heard about the 30 bedded hospital at Sohra which was already completed for the last 3 years but the Government are unable to commission this Hospital, because of water supply problem. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would suggest to the Government, through you, specially in these days of the 20 - Point Programme, to do something and to make a success in this particular matter for the benefit of the common man. A rich man can engage a paniwala but a poor man in the field and in the street cannot afford to pay for the paniwala.
The next point Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also mention a few words on the Tura Water Supply Scheme which has taxed a big amount of the State revenue. Mr. Chairman, Sir, we understand that the Government has spent several lakhs of rupees for the Tura Water Supply Scheme, and if I am not mistaken, Rs.79 lakhs. I understand that the population of Tura is 15,000. But I understand that water supply is not enough for 15,000 people after spending a lot of money plus the resources tapped by the Assam Government and the then British Government. Sir, most of the hon. Members and officers of the State might have experienced the difficulties when they are in the Circuit House at Tura. The moment Circuit House has been given water from the Tura water supply scheme or from the old schemes taken up by the previous Government. If it is from our new scheme, then I may say it is not done in a scientific way though we have spent a lot and the construction is so beautiful to look at from outside. But I do not know why for 15,000 population of Tura, we cannot give enough water supply after spending a sum of Rs.79 lakhs. I do not know for the town like Mawlai, how many more lakhs Government has to spent and how much hundred crores for Greater Shillong water supply scheme if we are to do i this way. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I seriously suggest to the Government, through you, to see that more capable and more willing officers who are capable to do the work in the hill areas may be appointed in the near future.
The last point I would like to mention is about the method of distribution of water in the rural areas. I understand in some of the villages, water is given to house-hold like Mawsynram, if I am not mistaken. The hon. Member from Mawsynram will agree with me that some houses within the rural water supply scheme are getting water now.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- But we are paying.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Most probably some rich houses. I do not know about the common man. But I understand that some big people get water supplied to their own houses. But in some other villages though they want to pay as other friends at Mawsynram do, they are not given because under the rural water supply scheme, they are not allowed to have private connection. I do not know whether the rules and arrangements have been changed from place to place or from scheme to scheme (laughter). Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would request the Government through you, to see that Government should have certain rules or procedures for all the rural Government should have certain rules or procedures for all the rural water supply schemes in the State in the near future so that the poor man will not be denied his right to get water supply if he is willing to pay.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to mention a word about some prosperous villages within Khasi Hills District where we all know that it is a fact that the people are in great difficulty for water supply. We have to pass through those villages when we go to the western side of this district and in a very near future to Tura of Garo Hills District and we may need water on the way-villages like Mawngap, Marbisu and Mawphlang. They are very prosperous villages. But there is no water supply scheme. So I would suggest to the Government, through you, Sir, to give some serious consideration to those villages also so that our people may not face the difficulty of drinking water. With these few words, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I oppose the cut motion.
Shri Onward Leyswell Nongtdu :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion. In this connection, I would like to make some observations. A mention has been made about the surveys carried out by the Public Health Engineering Department. It is true that surveys have been made in many villages in Jaintia Hills. I may mention one particular village and it is hoped that the work would have been started by this time. But, of course, no promise was made at the time. In this connection, I would like to say that planning is not a matter of one or two years or even 5 years. Planning is a matter for years to come. So if we plan to supply good and pure drinking water to the future generation, it is the time to plan now and it is time to survey now. There is a demand from all the big villages in my constituency - the demand for the department to supply them with good drinking water. As I said that surveys have been done but I have never experienced that officers of the Public Health Engineering Department promised to construct water supply scheme in any particular village which has not yet been sanctioned. So, Sir, I would urge upon the Government to take up surveys so that the Government can meet the requirements of good and pure drinking water in the State in future. It has been said also in this august House that the principal officer of the department has a lot to play or rather encourages corruption. But I would say, Sir, that the Head of the Department, as I know, is always not directly connected with the implementation of any particular scheme. There are officers who are in-charge of particular schemes and they are directly responsible to see to the implementation side of these schemes. But in this case, Sir, I would like to request the hon. Member to look back at what has happened 5 years ago. I do not know whether water supply was there at Mawlai. But as far as I know, water supply was made only to limited localities. But now, Sir, water supply is being made so that all the localities in Mawlai will get good and pure water and the construction is in progress so that the whole town will get drinking water. I can also mention many successful schemes in Jaintia Hills like Rymbai, Sutnga, Jarain, and many other villages. So it seems on we only look on the dark side of things and we are blind to what every good this department has done. I feel, Sir, it would be rather unfair to look only from a negative point of view. However, in this connection, I would like to draw the attention of Government to some contracts, I would also like to say that though the officers of this department are very competent and well qualified, but I am sorry to say that there are few contractors who are not competent to do the works in this particular department. These contractors though they are registered as class I or class II are very incompetent and I can cite a few examples of their workmanships which are not up to the mark and many works were left half done. I think it is for the Government to see that such incompetent contractors should not be allotted works and their registration, should be cancelled. Sir, I would like to mention that though efforts-all out efforts are being made to supply our villages with good and pure drinking water lapses are still there which is quite natural. But I would urge upon Government to take prompt action to complete those schemes which have already been taken up. With these few words I resume my seat.
*Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, while supporting this cut motion, I must say that I am solidly behind the hon. Member from Umroi. Sir, he has just made a conflicting remark regarding the hospital at Cherrapunjee. The other day I went through a paper, and with your permission, Sir, I would like to mention it here. The name of the paper is "Meghdoot" which is a Sanskrit word and means "Messenger of the Clouds". There was a remark about Cherrapunjee which says that though Cherrapunjee is the wettest place not only in our State and in India but in the whole world, there is dearth of water in that place Sir, I am very constrained to say and observe that due to the apathy and indifference of this department in so far as supply of water is concerned, the hospital in Cherrapunjee could not be completed. I say it could not be completed because there is no water even required for the mixture of sand and cement. So this hospital could not be completed and the cherished desire for a hospital there could not be fulfilled.
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- I have visited the hospital in Cherrapunjee and the building is completed, only the water supply is not completed.
Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are also other words to be completed. Sir, only one building will not do and supply of water should also be there. The Minister has confessed that there is no water and it thus presents a horrible state of affairs for that place being the wettest place in the world, with the highest rainfall.
Mr. Chairman :- You stated that it is the wettest place in the world, but there is no water. I wonder if anybody will believe it.
Shri D.N. Joshi :- Well the Minister himself has stated that there is no supply of water.
Now coming to Shillong itself and nearer to the capital, Mawlai. Just now my hon. friend from Mawlai has mentioned that he has got allocation for water supply there. He is really fortunate that he has got the allocation for the improvement of Mawlai water supply scheme. He is really fortunate in that respect that he has got the allocation. But mere allocation is not enough. I am also fortunate that I have an allocation of Rs.1,12,000.00 for the construction of a road in Lawsohtun village. Sir, the allocation is in paper only but the execution will take place after a lapse of one and half years and not properly implemented. So similarly, the hon. Member will get his allocation but his water problem will remain the same, even in the near future. The other day I had the occasion to go to Mawlai to visit one place along with the Leader of the Opposition, Sir, there I came to learn that a particular house is in great dearth of water. So in order to get water they had to spend Rs.180 for supply through the Shillong Municipality. This family has to spend Rs.180 and we cannot imagine it. Sir, therefore, I say he is fortunate to have the allocation; but with regard to implementation, as I have said it is not satisfactory. Here in Shillong, Sir, we are hearing a lot about the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme since 1972. Now it is 1976 and I say Sir, that the water which was there already during the composite State of Assam is still there and only minor changes are done here and there in the name of fair distribution. But Sir, improved supply of water is done only in the posh areas, but in other areas like Mawprem, there is no water. People are queuing up on Paltan Bazar where there is a natural spring and you will see tins and buckets.
Mr. Chairman :- You mean in cantonment area.
Shri D.N. Joshi :- In cantonment area and most of the people go to Mawprem which is part and parcel of the Shillong Municipality. So there is no fair distribution of water and the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme is yet to be completed. So I urge upon the Government to take this up in right earnest so that the population of Shillong will get sufficient water at least for drinking purpose. Even in our Assembly here you will find that there is no water especially in the toilets. The hon. members are assembled here but due to dearth of water had to hire a taxi to go home and ease themselves.
You can go after the Session of the House today is over and find out by yourself whether it is true or not. There is no water in the toilets. That is indicative enough of the state of affairs of how this Department is working. Instead of water, we can see only the empty taps hanging over in the toilets.
Now, coming to Lawsohtun village Sir, you will find that people have to come down to the stream to get their drinking water crossing the hilly terrain for a few drops of water. Therefore, I urge upon the authorities concerned to take up water supply scheme in the Lawsohtun area which forms a part of the town, the greater town of Shillong. Nothing tangible has been done to redress the grievances of these people in this locality. We know that water is the most essential thing in life. Fund is there, allocations are there but I am afraid as the hon. Member from Umroi has rightly pointed out, either the officers are inefficient or the Government is indifferent to the implementation of the schemes, because there is a little delay there. Therefore, I want that the Government should see that whatever fund of allocation are made the same should be properly utilised for the benefit of the people. With these few words, I support the cut motion.
(The Deputy Speaker in the Chair)
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion. At the beginning I think, we should not only see from the dark side, we should also see to the bright side and then we should comparatively judge the situation. There are lots of water supply schemes which have been completed in our State during the last few years. No doubt, there is some dissatisfactions among the people and some were satisfied. In general, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said we should not only see to the dark side of any department. We must also see to the bright side where drinking water has been effected by such department. My friend from Cantonment, just now has stated about Cherrapunjee when he said that it is one which has the highest rainfall in the world. I would tell you Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that three years ago, I happened to meet three tourists from Europe coming down to Mawsynram. They were asking me where Mawsynram was. I told them that this was the place which they wanted to know and they wondered how was it possible being the wettest place in the world there was no water at all. I told them that it was a dry season. Similarly, is the case with Cherrapunjee. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a real story which I may tell my friend who has spoken just now and the other friends in this august House about the position in these areas. Our areas are not plain areas. They are comprised of rocks, sand, stones, sands, etc. and during summer water falls on the surface which could not be absorbed and that is the reason why we cannot get water in the dry seasons. Our areas are peculiar areas. Hence Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since most of the members had referred to water supply - house connection which happened to be in my own village, I would suggest that the same policy should be adopted in our rural water supply scheme. So far as house connection is concerned, I may inform the House that we have to pay about Rs.400 at the initial stage in Mawsynram and a monthly amount of Rs.6 as tax. I would suggest through you, Sir, that this same pattern of administration by the P.H.E. Department should be adopted in other villages also so that this department will get revenue because I am afraid if the department is to give and supply water free and to run them without any revenue then in the long run, it has to spend all the allocations only in establishment alone. Therefore, some sort of revenue should be encouraged though this P.H.E. Department to realise from the people living in villages if they want to get water supply and house connection. Regarding improvements, I would suggest certain improvements to this concerned departments, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a fact that we used to get muddy water in the Tura Circuit House. It happens also in other places in the State. Therefore, Sir, I would suggest that this department should take proper care before, starting the supply of water connection to the local people. I would suggest that sedimentation tank and filter tank should be constructed in these water supply schemes drawing from perennial source by gravity, to avid muddy water in the summer season. I would also urge upon this august House that in my opinion I found and I am one with the hon. Member from Sutnga when we are talking about the inefficient contractors. I found Sir, at the time of construction of the scheme, not only these contractors who are inefficient but the officers also did not take pain to learn and know the work. Especially, the contractors do not know anything; they do now have any idea about water supply including house connections. I do not blame the department but I blame the hon. Members of this august House including myself also. We used to write to the department to help these contractors who actually do not know of the A, B, C, of such works. Besides, some of the officers also do not take pains to learn and know the works, and they are adding more mistakes to the work. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would suggest that all of us in the august House should restrain ourselves from interfering with the allotment of works by this Department. With these few words I resume my seat and oppose the cut motion.
Shri Edward Kurbah :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, rise in support of this cut motion and after listening to the discussion, I also would like to bring in my observations regarding the need of drinking water especially in the interior. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, about 10 to 15 years ago, there was a demand from the public of Mawngap and Mawphlang for a good and pure drinking water for that area and that representations after representations had been placed before the ears of the Government through this Department. But I am very sorry to state on the floor of this House that up till now the demand of the people of those areas has not been respected. That demand Sir, was made right from the time of the Government to the rural areas was very far away because that was not our own Government. But, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, right from 1971-72 onwards the people of that area had made representations to the Government which, at that time did not seem to take serious steps in implementing the scheme, at that time did not seem to take serious steps in implementing the scheme. I am very sorry that I have to say it now in this august House about the need, of people of that areas. When we approached the people one after another they said that about 5 years ago the survey had already been done by the Department concerned and so we are expecting that within 2/3 years we would be getting good drinking water. But, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, up till now there is no water supply at all. I am very grateful to one of the hon. Members who has mentioned about the real need of the people of Marbisu, Mawngap, Mawphlang. He is the hon. Member from Umroi who has always been coming to our Block and it so happens that the Block Development Agency falls under the Mawphlang - Mawngap villages. He knows who are the difficulties of those people living there in getting drinking water. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know what will be the Government policy during the coming 5/6 years because up till now he cannot execute any work I know that a lot of money has been involved. Besides Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the people from that area have already demanded and they have even shown their goodwill by donating a plot of land for construction of the water supply scheme. Of course, survey had already been done. But they say that three stages will have to be constructed in order to make water available in the town. I do not know what the Government will think of that because up-to-date there is no water supply and I feel very much because in the whole of my constituency this is the only water supply scheme for which I have demanded from the Government so that the people can get the necessary drinking water. It now seems that the Government does not take this matter seriously or they may think that the population is to little or they do not think of the need of the people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have already calculated from the census of 1971 that the population of the area, at that time, was around 4000 but now, as we all know from the increase in the number of houses, the population may have come to round about 8000. I think that is a good reason enough for the Government to think of welfare of supplying good drinking water to that area. While talking on water supply for that area, I would say that if a major drinking water supply scheme cannot be executed then the Government should think of an alternative, especially during the winter season when the people have not the time to go to their fields for the simple reason that they spend a lot of time for drawing water. Not only that, Sir, another scheme is at Sohiong village itself. The people from that village told me that some of the officers from the P.H.E. Department had gone for survey in that village and, far as I learned they had found the source not by pumping but by force of gravity. But up till now, there is no sign at all of improvement or construction. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have nothing more to say, but, before I resume my seat, I would request the Government to think especially about the need of getting drinking water for the villages of Marbisu, Mawngap and Mawphlang because the people of that area really are suffering a lot because not only they need drinking water but they need good and pure drinking water so that people will be free from diseases. With these few words Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support the Cut Motion.
Shri P.G. Momin :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like take this opportunity to speak in opposing the cut motion moved by the hon. Member. As all the hon. Members of this House are aware, the aims and objects of the PHE Department in providing Water Supply Schemes both for urban and rural areas are to improve the living conditions of the people, especially those who are concentrating in the rural areas, by providing them with good and pure drinking water and thereby eradicating filth borne and disease born water. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, further I would like to stress in my speech that I would like to bring to the knowledge of the House that the quality and the standard of the Rural Water Supply Schemes taken up and being implemented by the Department in our State is much higher standard and a better one than that of such schemes of some states in the country. I would like to say that if we go to the other States of our country, we shall find that under this Rural Water Scheme in some other States- here is a providing only for hand-tube wells and ring wells, whereas, in our State the Water Supply Scheme. Nobody can deny the fact Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that in the areas and the villages where, this Rural Water Supply people can get some water taps just at their doorsteps and even in some cases, we shall find inside their houses also. And therefore, at the very outset, I would like to convey my gratefulness to the Department and Government for its clear policy taken up in implementing such schemes. Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some of the hon. Members had made an allegation against the PHE Department that this Department is most lagging and incapable Department I can't agree to those allegations, Mr. Deputy Speaker. As we are all aware, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since the very inception of the Department, now we are entering only into the 5th year. I would like to mention here that since the very inception of the Department till today, 126 Rural Water Supply Schemes have been taken up and implemented and out of these, 55 schemes, I am sure, have been completed. Now, if we consider the progress of the Department, we shall find that there are certain terms and conditions by which it is governed. I would like to refer here Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this world, even if we would like to do whatever we like even myself I would like to construct my house in the open air above, but in fact to do anything, we have to fulfill in a very very important condition, and that is the fund position. I would like to mention Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that under the 5th Five Year plan, only 5 crores of rupees have been sent aside at the disposal of the Department to implement these Rural Water Supply Schemes. We shall find from statistical data, that there are 10 lakhs of rural population in our State. Then also we shall find from the statistical data that the per-capital cost comes to Rs.500. So, if we multiply 10 lakhs by 500 it will come to a total amount of 50 crores. How can we expect everything to be fulfilled, therefore, within a short span of period. If you or me or each and everybody of us wanted the Water Supply Schemes to go to every corner, to every village, or to bring to my area or your place, how can it be possible. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we should be quite aware of these facts first of all. Even if the entire amount of money is made available at the hands of the Department or the Government, I mean the amount of Rs.50 crores I would like to refer on the floor of the House that it is not only this fund position which plays a vital role in implementing the schemes. There are certain conditions also to be fulfilled. For instance, there should be a technical feasibility such as location of suitable water sources which are to be tapped as well as the availability of adequate quantity of water discharge. And also the nature of treatment to be adopted etc. Therefore, when we take up the schemes, each and every Member will also agree with me in that context that all this terms and conditions and these norms as stated should be fulfilled. Then, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some Members also accused the Department that there is a delay in implementing the schemes, that is the lack of progress. I would say, apart from the facts what I have already stated, the delay in the executing the works or implementation of the schemes is due to entrusting the work construction to our local people. It is my own practical experience Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, of course I do not want to encourage the House that these construction works should not be allotted to our local people but rather as far as practicable they should be given preference. But it appears that most of the schemes are to be implemented purely on technical terms and as such due to lack of technical experience and lack of financial capacity of our local contractors, when they are entrusted with such schemes, they cannot implement them expeditiously. Therefore, there is always delay. As a matter of fact, progress of the work retarded to a great extent due to lack of technical experience and lack of financial capacity. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some of the members have made allegations that the Department takes up any scheme for implementation in compliance with the wishes of the Ruling Party alone and the Department always abides by the decision of the Ruling Party only. But I cannot agree with this allegation Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. And I would like to take this opportunity as a great privilege to mention here in this context that according to my own conviction and knowledge this Department is discharging its duty impartiality for the benefit of the people, no matter whether they owe their affiliation to this party or that party. In this connection, I would like to cite a concrete example. As you know out of 126 Rural Water Supply Schemes that we have taken up so far, 31 schemes have been earmarked for the constituencies of the Members sitting on the opposite site of the house. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it would not be out of place to mention here that even in my constituency the Department has taken up only three schemes so far. But it is my profound happiness to mention here that as many as 13 water supply schemes have been taken up for implementation in the constituency of one of the hon. Members sitting in the other side of the House. Now it is open to all to judge whether this Department is partial or impartial in discharging its duties; I do not like to stress any further in this respect. Then, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some of the hon. Members have also made some allegations against the Department stating that wherever Rural Water Supply Schemes have been taken up, the water taps are provided only along the road itself. In this respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to look into the provisions of the schemes and to find out whether the schemes itself provides water taps to be installed inside the House of each and every individual in the rural areas. But in fact there is no such provision to provide water taps inside the house of each and every individual in the rural areas. But in fact there is no such provision to provide water taps inside the house of each and every family. But the intention of the scheme itself is to provide water taps in a common central place along the footpath or along the road within the village so that the villagers van get the benefit out of it. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before we raise an allegation of handicaps or shortcomings of the Department, I think, we should be quite aware of the terms and conditions and purpose of the scheme. Some of the Members have stated that while implementing such schemes in the rural areas the progress is very much interrupted. I would like to say Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that in the matter of implementing any scheme expeditiously the part not only to be played by the Department but also there are parts to be played by the local leaders and local people. I am sure when such schemes are likely to be taken up or under examination, the Department always consults the local leaders, like M.L.As, M.D.Cs, and other influential local leaders. Otherwise, how the Department can go ahead with a scheme without taking the local leaders into confidence. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that the part also is needed to be played by you and me in accelerating and implementing any scheme. We cannot put the entire blame on the Department alone. In this connection I am constrained to say that it is our common knowledge that our local people still do not know the utility or usefulness of such schemes. However, I do not want to say anything about others constituencies but in my own constituency what happened when those schemes were implemented, our local people started indulging all nuisance. Some of them damaged the pipe lines, some unscrewed the taps and removed them and so on and so forth. So many destructive activities perpetrated by our local people. What I mean to say, Sir, is that no such schemes can be implemented successfully unless we, the local leaders from our side educate our people so that they will realise the implication of a scheme. With these few words I oppose the cut motion.
*Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to associate with the Cut Motion. Actually I am not saying whether I oppose or support the Cut Motion. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have heard from the observations, made from both sides of the House, on the working of this particular Department in which most of the hon. Members have expressed their dissatisfaction. I do not know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, whether this Department is to be blamed or not according to the official procedure because we have found that this particular Department was trying its level best during the previous years at least to do something in nearly every part of these District of Meghalaya. Through the Governor's Address, Sir, we also found to what extend the activities of this Department were carried on and now again in this Budget speech, it was clearly stated that 17 water supply schemes were sanctioned in addition to the 53 schemes already sanctioned. So we cannot say at random, Sir, that this Department is doing nothing. But actually this Department is doing something and is making all its best efforts to bring water almost to every nook and corner of our rural population. It was expected that at least 30 percent of our rural population will be immensely benefited even by the end of tomorrow. I can say .... (laughter). This being the reason Sir, we have nothing to blame the Department now. It may be that there may be lapses here and there but that is not humanly possible, we cannot say that it is all possible. Moreover, Sir, we know that many Departments are having a part in helping this Department and they want to see that there should not be any delay and are helping to implement the schemes as soon as they can. It may be that the Planning Department or Finance Department and many other Departments which are really helping this particular Department towards implementation of these schemes and not only that they will be implemented but to have a satisfactory implementation. I think we have heard of what the hon. member from Nongtalang has spoken. He has nothing to blame, except on scheme at Twa-U-Sdiah, which he said by hook or by crook has not been completed and it is still lying undone every year. ........
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the hon. Member from Mynso has missed any point I said that the pipes are missing. I know for a fact that in spite of the fact that I support the Cut Motion I will get most schemes in my own area that the hon. Member from Mynso.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am coming to that. The Hon. Member has not raised any point of order so I am still on the floor. I am on my feet and I am coming to that. The hon. Member, Mr. Momin, who had just now spoken, said that in one particular constituency there are 13 schemes already taken up by the Department. I hope the hon. Member from Nongtalang had the privilege of enjoying so many schemes in his constituency also. But only for this Twa-U-Sdiah water supply scheme which has not been completed so far.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Sir, my point is that the pipes are missing in that area.
Shri H. Hadem :- We cannot say that all the schemes that are meant for any particular areas in any constituency are not implemented properly. I hope that with the co-operation of the local people and especially the representatives, those pipes which are lying in his constituency would not be stolen away. We know Sir, that many pipes are lying by the roads in other places also, but these pipes were not lost and stolen by anybody. But it seems in that particular constituency of the hon. Member from Nongtalang only that the pipes are stolen because it may be that they have more than sufficient that they have to be taken away to some other places.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me make a clarification again. The Police enquiry has been made and the Circle Inspector has made the enquiry in my constituency about the missing pipes and it was reported that they have made the enquiry, something has been discovered later on.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not going into the merits and demerits of the case. That is against the procedure of this House, but I am to state that in other places also for example the Water Supply Scheme at Borato, the pipes were plying along the road side, yet nobody takes them away because they are in need of water supply. By implication, it appears that only this area which no longer needs water supply schemes, that the pipes are taken away (laughter) .........
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- My point is that the pipes are missing and that is why I want the hon. Member from Mynso to help me if he can find out the reasons for the missing pipes in that particular area of my constituency.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have already given my views on that particular point, so I need not stress on it again. I hope this particular Department will be doing its best in future also to implement all the water supply schemes to the entire satisfaction of our people. But as I have already stated there may be lapses here and there because they cannot attend to almost all the schemes. But any how, this Department is trying to do something even at Ummulong which is still not completed. So I would request the Department concerned to at least look into the matter and see that something should be done. And then at Shangpung also one Water Supply Scheme has been taken up some few years back and probably due to some reasons, they cannot implement it properly. Here also I would request the Department to look into the matter. As stated by the hon. Member from Nongtalang, I would request the Government not to let me down because it was stated on the floor of this House that the hon. Member from Mynso is not getting most of the schemes. I hope I will be getting water supply schemes (laughter) . ... So I would rather say that this Department, in spite of their level best to implement these schemes. Let me cite another instance, Sir. One Officer in Jowai, in the whole of Jaintia Hills District has to perform dual functions both as Executive Engineer as well as the Sub divisional Officer. But then he is trying to see that these schemes are implemented as far as practicable. So I would suggest that recognition should be given to this officer who has done his level best to implement the schemes for the whole District. The Department concerned should give this recognition, so that he will get more more encouragement that may help the Departmental also in the near future. With these few words, Sir, after considering all the pros and cons of my points, I strongly oppose the motion.
(At this stage the hon. Speaker, occupied the Chair).
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to have a clarification from the hon. Member. The Member had said that in spite of the fact that the Department is under-staffed ..........
Mr. Speaker :- I think the hon. Member will not be in a position to reply. Now Mr. S.P. Swer.
Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to associate to myself in the discussion of this cut motion because I was provoked by the hon. Members from all sides of the House by referring to water supply at Cherrapunjee hospital. Sir, it is a fact that water supply for the Cherrapunjee hospital has been there for a considerable time past. Sir, the fact under construction. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as I was very closely associated with the scheme, I found that the last inflation that prevailed in the country resulted in the rise of price of the pipes which had done a great havoc to the Public Health Engineering Department. And Sir, for this water supply scheme at Cherrapunjee hospital, I think not less than three times they had to revise the estimate. At the last stage to materialise the scheme, the public had to rescue the Department in this particular scheme. The public of Cherrapunjee donated a certain length of pipes to make the schemes complete. Otherwise, it was very very difficult on the part of the Department to implement the scheme for the hospital. So Sir, I say that the increase in the price of pipes has done a great havoc and the increase on the price of pipes did not only affect this water supply scheme alone, but it also affected the other water supply schemes in the State as well. Therefore, Sir, according to my knowledge, I think that implementation of most of the water supply schemes in the rural areas has been stopped. But many hon. Members have spoken about the benefit of the common man in the street. I may suggest one thing to the House but I am afraid it may again give rise to (laughter) by the hon. Members of the House. I would like to suggest that we may try if it is the suggestion of the people in the town. Let there be no private connection and let everybody collect water from the public platform and let us see whether it helps or not the common man in the street. Because Mr. Speaker, Sir, we know that when we go to the bathroom for washing our face we open the tap and let the water flow. By the time which we take for washing our face and hands the water that goes waste is enough to fill a bucket of two and that is a waste, Sir. And Sir, if we do away with private connections and collect the water from public tap. I hope it will help the common man and as many of the hon. Members have spoken showing great interest for the benefit of the common man.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to touch on another point i.e., regarding delay in preparing estimates and implementation of rural water supply schemes. I have found that the Engineers of the Public Health Engineering Department had to revise the estimates again and again. And before they take up any scheme, they have to locate the source and to observe the behaviour of that particular water source in dry season, in wet season and in all seasons of the year. And then they have to calculate for how many people can be fed by this particular source. Then they have to make a census those who will be benefited by the schemes. In this way, it will take about a year to investigate and prepare the estimate. In some cases we have found that after the laying down of water pipes, the water from the source is going dry. That is why the Engineers of the Public Health Engineering Department will have to conduct survey properly and for such survey it takes about a year's time. But Sir, as water is very very essential and as we are all unhappy with the performance of the Department just because we do not get water as we expected to get it, I think realising all these technical difficulties we should not pass a blanket remark on officers of the Department. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I cannot help uttering a word of appreciation to the Department at least for their implementation of certain schemes in Cherrapunjee and the border areas. Sir, many schemes have been completed successfully in Cherra area and Shella area too, and to say that the officers in the Public Health Engineering Department are not efficient is not correct at all. But here I would like to suggest that more field officers are needed to strengthen the Department for the implementation of rural water supply scheme. So, Sir, with these few words, I oppose the cut motion.
*Shri Reidson Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to make a little observation on the Department. Although many hon. Members have already made a lot of observations, but I feel that I will be failing my duty unless I say a word of appreciating on the achievement by this P.H.E. Department. Sir, unfortunately, this particular department has been a target of attack by many hon. Members for the things that they have done and also for the things that they have not done. For example. Sir, the hon. Member just now said or made a statement on the floor of this Hose that in Cherrapunjee, this 30 bedded hospital has been provided with water supply but unfortunately my hon. friend from Umroi also said that it has not been provided with water supply. It has been there for some time now, but complete distribution of water had not been done since our officers are very busy with this Session. Then regarding the important snag of this Department is the paucity of funds and also dearth of technical know-how. They have been trying to construct many more water supply schemes in the rural areas and also as my hon. friend from Umroi stated in the big villages which are prosperous in this District as well as in Garo Hills District. I am grateful to him that he has really thought of the need of water supply along Shillong Nongstoin-Tura Road and then I would like to make a statement here that the plans and estimates have been made to construct water supply scheme in Marbisu-Mawphlang and other prosperous towns or villages, but unfortunately, due to paucity of funds, this has not been done. For Mawphlang and Marbisu villages a scheme has been made for Rs.47,000 Mr. Speaker, Sir, but again, after the construction, after implementation of the scheme 2 lakhs of rupees are required for the maintenance of this scheme per annum. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, these are our difficulties, our villages need water, they need good drinking water but, unfortunately, although our Government is in a position to provide good drinking water to them, the department cannot continue to maintain the schemes and as such, it is supposed to be handed over to the villages but our poor villagers are not in a position to produce this amount of 2 lakhs of rupees for the maintenance of the scheme. Then Sir, I am grateful to my hon. friend from Umroi for mentioning about water supply in the Circuit House at Tura. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is really a very bad thing because many big officers or even tourists from outside come and stay in our Tura circuit House and he has said correctly that when there is rain, water becomes red because it is being supplied direct from the Rongkhon stream. But Sir, here also I would like to make a statement or clarify certain points that the P.H.E. Department is in a position to supply water or give connection to the Circuit House unfortunately, this is under the administration of the Public Works Department so they are not in a position to give water to the Circuit House. So this problem should be referred to the Public Works Department as well. I would like to request the Government through you, Sir, to look into this and it is really very bad that we are getting bad water in the Tura Circuit House. Then I would also like to pay my compliment to my hon. friend from Sutnga who had said a lot about the achievement of this Department and I also agree with him that this Department has done so much within a short span of the inception this State. This is one of the youngest Departments in our State and they have done very well. According to my judgement I should rather congratulate them for their effort and for their achievement. So with these words, Sir, I would like to resume my seat.
Shri Jormanick Syiem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to participate in this discussion in respect of the cut-motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawthengkut. There is a crying need for water everywhere and I think in all parts of the State, especially in the rural areas which are expecting that the Public Health Department Engineering Department would give them at least drinking water. We realise how much Government is trying to give water to all villages, we ca also see what efforts are being made and what funds are being made available, but it is not possible that we should all get what we should all get what we want in a very short time. Much has been said about the performance of the P.H.E. Department perhaps, there is some truth in this. I think they do not know the real position of the local people or may be they have not got proper technical know how to distribute water. The other day, I understand even in Shillong when I tabled a question, though I was not her, it was said that there is no mal-distribution of water in Shillong. I think now if one goes around the town, he will realise how water is being distributed even in Shillong, though that, of course, is the responsibility of the Municipality officer perhaps, but the P.H.E. Department also has got a share in the responsibility. While appreciating the efforts being made by the Government in that Department also has got a share in that responsibility. While appreciating the efforts being made by the Government in that Department I would like to say that Government can look into the working of the Department properly. It may be desirable that overhauling would be necessary. Sometimes you find the same set of people working in the Department, hardly you find any local people being employed, or is it because they do not know or is because they are being blocked by the people from outside who do not know the exact need of the local people all over the State.
Mr. Speaker :- What level of officers, you mean engineers or work-charge of what?
Shri Jormanick Syiem :- It appears to me that almost at all levels Mr. Speaker, Sir, we find very few local people working in the Department. That may be one of the reasons why there has been mal-distribution or inefficiency in distributing water to the villages if not the town. So it may be worth-while if the Government examine the position of the department whether more local people should not be recruited to be of more help to the Government because they know exactly where the need is. Of course the need is every where but there are certain areas where the need has really become a crying need. We have heard so much about the schemes even for Greater Shillong. But it appears to me that it will take time to implement them. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you know there is a Public Health Hospital which has been built in Upper Shillong but they have not been able to open it for want of water. It appears to me that there are no complaints all over the State that water supply has not been properly looked into and that the department is getting the blame. It may not be their fault but may be due to ignorance. That is why I say it is worth-while perhaps for the Government to examine the working of this department and to see how best we can augment water supply by recruiting local people into this department. That may help solve the problem to some extent Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, (Minister, Finance) :- Local but qualified.
Mr. Speaker :- For the lower grades, there are plenty of qualified people but not for the higher grades.
Shri Jormanick Syiem :- As far as practicable, we can recruit and some may be trained up and even those from the P.W.D. can be taken up to P.H.E. Department so that we can get them trained in time. They will be of help to that department itself and that the whole State will be benefited by our local workers. So whatever you may say, these reasons are there. But I would also like to say that the Government is making all out-efforts to augment water supply everywhere. There is no real justification to blame the Government, but we may suggest that this matter may be looked into and, therefore, wit these few words, I oppose the cut motion.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in support of the cut motion moved by the hon. Member from Mawthengkut. I have but to add a few pointed only. Throughout all the schemes which the Government have listed in the Budget itself under rural water supply scheme which we find at page 285 of the Budget Volume II, there are as many as 37 schemes in the District of Khasi Hills where money has been earmarked to be spent during this year. Though, of course, many of these schemes have been completed and some of them are under construction. I find not a single one is nearby my area, that is Mawkyrwat constituency. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have had a chance to point out earlier that the principle of selection and distribution of water supply schemes in the State should have been done properly because the need for water supply is felt everywhere. This is a fact that though it is a State where we have the heaviest rainfall, but then there is shortage of water for a greater part of the year. Mawkyrwat area, as it is in any other areas, they have got scarce water supply of their own. But here when the people of that area proposed and schemes but uptil now not a single one has been taken up by the department for implementation. Therefore, Sir, this place remains as it was and the people are suffering for lack of drinking water. As I said earlier on another occasion, places in the area have been wiped out of vegetation, therefore water is becoming more scarce than before. I would request the Government that when they consider taking up more schemes, they should take them up in these areas also. I think there are number of schemes which the people of these areas had proposed. Mawkyrwat is also proposed to the department and Government is undertaking survey but till today, the scheme has not materialised. Now, there are the Phutjaud-Manad schemes which Government have promised to take up but uptil now, they have not been materialised. Then Sarin-Nongkynbah, Ngunraw, Marshilong, Nongnam-Mawkhyrwang schemes. All these can be done by gravitation except Mawkyrwat for which they are still looking for a suitable source from which we can bring water by mean of gravity. Therefore, I do not think there will be much difficulty on the part of the Department to take up schemes for such places. Then Mawphlang and Mawngap also suffer very much, and there is scarcity of water. These are the places which require special attention of the Government because of the population. Even the Welsh Mission Dispensary which is functioning at Mawphlang is finding difficulty due to water scarcity. Now, they are going to close it down because of the shortage of water supply, but till now they depend on the people volunteering to carry water from somewhere. If it is really closed down, it will effect the health of the people. Therefore, I would suggest to the Government that whenever they take up certain schemes, they should not confine those schemes to some areas only. All parts of the State should be properly examined and proper distribution of water should be made. In Bhoi area also, we have seen that there is one scheme but that is not enough. There is a lot of scope that the department should examine these areas because they experience shortage of water supply and they do not have much drinking water in that area also.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, therefore, I would request the Government to pay more attention to this matter. No doubt, they use to go everywhere for surveys, but even if surveys are done and they find that water supply schemes are feasible, but it will be no use if they do not come up to take up the schemes. One o the hon. Members has said that they promised, but unfortunately nothing comes through. So if this is the case then it will embitter the public at large and create much dissatisfaction in the minds of the people as a whole.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is another point. As one hon. Member has pointed out there is lack of co-ordination between the different departments. To this I do agree. We see that while one department is constructing and repairing them, the P.H.E. Department is digging them up making it every inconvenient for the vehicles and the public to use them. On one occasion, Sir, I reported a matter to the S.D.O. who is incharge of the water supply scheme. A road is being constructed and the water pipes are laying right in the middle of this road. So I requested him to see that these pipes are removed from the Centre of the road and at least to lay them by the side of the road and he has promised to send a man. But I did not see any man with the result that the pipes are still lying in the middle of the road while the road is now completed. So now whenever there is any leakage, they have to dig right in the centre of the road. This is really a very sad state of affairs and I feel that there should be proper co-ordination between the laying of pipes and the construction of roads. In other words there should be co-ordination between the PHE and PWD. So, I request the Government to look into this matter and with this few words, I support the cut motion.
Shri Sanford K. Marak (Minister, PHE) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, many members have taken part in the discussion of this cut motion. As we all know, Sir, there are three things which sustain our lives and they are air, water and food. in order to improve the lot and destiny of our people, we have clearly enunciated our policy in the Governor's Address as well as in the Budget Speech of the Finance Minister. Now this Rural Water Supply scheme is also one of the most important subjects in the State, and since we have taken three hours to discuss this subject, we are reassured of its importance. Now at the very outset I want to apprise the members, through you, Sir, of the staffing pattern of this Department, as many members have expressed concern and dissatisfaction on its workings. For their information we have only one Chief P.H.E. and we do not have an Additional Chief Engineer or Superintending Engineer. We have got six Executive Engineers, twenty four SDOs and approximately fifty overseers. Several times we have advertised for the posts of executive Engineers and out of the seven posts advertised, we got only three persons through the Meghalaya Public Service Commission. Out of the eleven posts which were advertised for Assistant Engineers, only five are appointed. So we have many vacancies to be filled up. Many hon. Members wanted to know why we are not recruiting our own local people. Yes, we would like to do so and we would be very happy if our local people come up with certificates saying : Look I have passed the engineering degree and I want to join in Meghalaya, and I want to be posed in the PHE Department, in the PWD or Agriculture Department. But we have no local candidates.
Mr. Speaker :- What about the lower level?
Shri Sanford K. Marak (Minister, PHE) :- I will come to that. So the position is such that we have to bring people from outside the state as far as technical posts are concerned. How many of us are sending our sons and daughters to Engineering Colleges. We have not been able and I am sorry to say, Sir, that we have not got qualified candidates and, in fact, for the last five years we have not been able to get local tribal engineers and if this position continues then we will have to bring people from outside the State.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the lower level, at Overseers level we have advertised for the posts and I had the occasion to accept the recommendations of the Public Service Commission and send them to the Cabinet for approval. Out of the 29 candidates recommended by the Public Service Commission, I regret to say that there is not even a single tribal candidate. This is the position and when we find that the work could not be allowed to remain incomplete, I had to take the recommendations to the Cabinet, and later on with the Cabinet's blessings I gave approval of their appointment. So the position in this regard is also very bad. But, of course, with regard to work-charged we see that they are properly recruited by the Department. In fact for other posts, the Department does not recruit, since there is the State Public Service Commission and in the district level we have the Selection Boards. Therefore, only the lower category of employees are being selected by the Department.
Mr. Speaker :- Is that the procedure in appointing work-charged?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, PHE) :- Of course, work-charged is done by the Department and I have given strict instructions that only local people are to be given preference. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are certain uncalled for remarks made by the mover of the cut motion that only those who approach the Minister are getting the schemes. I can categorically say that this is not so, and Government does not discriminate in selection of sites. Just now the hon. Member from Mynso has pointed out to the number of schemes in Nongtalang Constituency. For clarification I will give the number only. In Nongtalang Constituency there are 13 schemes. Then, Mr. Khongwir from Mawlai get three, Mr. Lyngdoh one, Syiemiong two, Mr. Mawlot.
Mr. Speaker :- You mean in their area?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, PHE) :- Yes, in their area, Mr. Akrommozaman gets 4, Mr. Singjan Sangma 1, Cecil Marak 1 and Raisen Mawsor, 2. So now I think I have to refer to only one scheme which Mr. Khongwir, hon. Member from Mawlai has mentioned earlier on the three schemes.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I want only to know whether those three schemes are working satisfactory or not.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) :- The hon. Member himself knows that Mawlai Water Supply Scheme is working very well.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- That is not a fact.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) :- I will just inform the hon. Member that the intention of the Government in the Cabinet while selecting the site depends much on the feasibility report. This report must reach us. Then we have to send our staff to investigate and re-investigate otherwise there is no use in spending 3 lakhs of rupees if the scheme fails. So in order to avoid such unnecessary waste, our engineers have to do the work carefully and properly to see that water is there in the dry season as well as in the summer season. The hon. Member from Nongstoin has stated that so many promises have been made but remained unfulfilled. I do not agree with him. I have not made any promise. It might be my officers who said so and it is their duty to say because they are trying their best to solve the problem.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- I have state that it is the intention of the Government and I did not charge the department.
Mr. Speaker :- The hon. Member stated that with all the good intentions of the Government, the Department has not been able to carry out the schemes till today.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) :- So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it might be a promise made by the officers, it cannot be taken as a promise of the Government. So in future, if the M.L.A. want such promise they have an access to the Minister, they can come and discuss with me whenever they come to Shillong. Perhaps, they are always welcome to discuss such things. Another point is regarding the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am tempted to repeat that nursery rhyme "We must build our house upon a rock" A wise man build his house upon a rock and when the rain comes tumbling down, it cannot shake the house. So is the case with the people in the village who have constructed their houses on the rock. But Sir I am sorry to point out that our men also have constructed their houses on a rock where water cannot flow wise without electricity. So such thing are there and now, if you look around in the Shillong town, all the streams have been tapped and nothing is left. If you go to the Crinoline Falls, I have occasion to see that it has been tapped. We are trying our level best to improve water supply position in Shillong. With a view to improve it, we are talking up this Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme. Land is being acquired and everything is now under the process of implementation. One thing I must remind the hon. Members that in this receipt, we need the cooperation of the people for every scheme we undertake. For any scheme Government undertakes, we need the cooperation of our people....
Mr. Speaker :- This is the subject which perhaps, should not have been discussed here. I may inform the Minister that the department of the Government while taking up any project, should consult the people who are the sufferers and not the people who know how to shout, who is concerned, I think it is the people who have not get water and who are suffering.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) :- As you know, Sir, I think I should not elaborate. It is a fact that with their advice, consent and goodwill, I have been able to persuade and visit those places. We will continue to do that in course of time provided as I said earlier, we have enough officers to man the various posts and then we can go ahead . The hon. Member from Nongstoin has stated that the PHE Department has destroyed the roads. Now, if you look around this Shillong town ....
Mr. Speaker :- I think that question has already been replied to by the Minister-incharge of Municipal Affairs on some previous occasion. You need not go into the details. So far as Shillong is concerned it falls within the head "Municipal Administration".
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, P.H.E.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, he has mentioned about Mawlai also. Sir, everywhere pipe lines are to be laid through the road and we cannot encroach somebody's private compound as they will raise objection. But with a view of avoiding this encroachment on the private lands, it is always desirable to have pipe-lines lie along the road. We have to cross the road also as we have to cross the bridge every where. Sometimes, we also have to cross the land as bridge is crossing water, otherwise certain parts of the area will not get water. But there are complaints and gheroas and as such we must avoid private lands. But sometimes, we cannot help do that and we have to destroy the road. This is not happening only here in our State. In those most advanced cities like Calcutta and Delhi that I have visited they have to block the road even they put barrel on the road just to close the traffic and lay those pipes down. This is the practice not only here in Meghalaya but in all parts of the country also. The same member from Mawlai was very critical about the performance of this Department and he has brought certain allegations and before that he was very grateful to the Chief Minister for having heard the grievances. He was of the opinion that Mawlai having a very large population does not get that privilege for providing distribution of water. I suppose after he had met the Chief Minister recently, he was satisfied. Anyway, that will depend upon the fund position. I know about the Mawlai Water Supply Scheme and I think everybody knows. I have occasion to discuss with him several times in my chamber, and outside and in places whenever I met him. So I hope he knows and understand the position. He said that the functioning of the officers in the department is not satisfactory. Even though this department is running with certain handicaps, it is very difficult. Indeed to satisfy every need. I may inform the hon. Member that this department is even not receiving enough attention in the administration of this department. We have got an officer only upto the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government. In the way we cannot attend to each and every application dealing with the public. We want good officer and understanding officers-those who are willing to work. In spite of the handicaps, my officers are trying their best to see to the matter. Even for Mawlai our officers have gone there and inspected, and as you know, Sir, when this scheme was prepared it was not prepared properly. No distribution system was there in the provision, that was the trouble, otherwise, this scheme would be able to serve bigger population in the town.
About the charge of corruption if there are certain officers who are very corrupt I would like tat such instances be brought to our notice. Otherwise, it is extremely difficult, sometimes it is not desirable to charge a man without any specific instance.
Mr. Speaker :- The time is up. Whether we will allow the Minister to finish his reply or we have to continue tomorrow. I think it will be better for him to continue tomorrow. I think it will be better for him to continue tomorrow. Let us leave that cooperation so that there will be more cooperation afterwards.
So the House stands adjourned till it meets again at 9.30 a.m. tomorrow, the 31st March, 1976.
|The 30th March, 1976.||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|