Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9.30 A.M. on Tuesday the 14th June, 1977 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong, with the Speaker in the Chair.
Present : Minister - 6, Minister of State - 4, Members - 39.
(Replies to which were laid on the Table)
Water Supply in Shillong Jail
Prof. M.N. MAJAW asked :
121. Will the Minister in charge of Jails be pleased to state -
|(a)||Whether there is sufficient supply of drinking water for the inmates of the District Jail, Shillong?|
|(i) What steps has Government taken so far to ensure a regular and sufficient supply of water for this purpose?|
|(ii) Has Government decided upon a permanent solution to the problem of water scarcity at the District Jail, Shillong?|
|(iii) When was the decision first taken?|
|(iv) What is the Government's reason for the delay in implementing this decision?|
Shri D.D. LAPANG (Minister of State in charge of Jails) replied :
|121.(a)||- Yes. Scarcity is, however, experienced during the dry season.|
- (i) Whenever there is shortage in the supply of drinking water of rainy reason, arrangements are made with the Municipal authorities for supply of the same by their water tanker. In order to ensure adequate supply of drinking water in the District Jail, Shillong, a scheme has been taken up for pumping of water from a permanent spring in the premises of the Jail. The scheme is under active consideration of the Government.
|(ii) - Yes.|
|(iii) - Some time last year.|
|(iv) - In order to implement the scheme the requisite funds for the same are required to be made available to the Department. Action is being taken to obtain the same.|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (b) (iv) - What is the cost of the scheme?
Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State in charge of Jails) :- Rs.63,200.
Shri H. Hadem :- (b) (i) - How many times did scarcity or shortage of water- occurred during 1976-77.
Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State in charge of Jails) :- During 1976-77 for 3 months water has been supplied from the Municipal tanker and the amount incurred for the purpose is Rs.3,800.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- (b) - What is the rate paid for each tanker?
Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State in charge of Jails) :- Rs.50 per tanker.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- (b) What head of account is used in the jail for debiting this Expenditure?
Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State in charge of Jails) :- I want notice for this appropriate head.
Vacancies in the Rongrenggiri Government High School
Shri A.C. SANGMA asked :
122. Will the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state -
|(a)||Whether the Government has filled up the following vacancies in the Rongrenggiri Government High School, Williamnagar -|
|(i) Assistant Headmaster ;|
|(ii) Drawing teacher ; and|
|(iii) Drill teacher?|
|(b)||If not, the reason there of?|
Shri P.G. MARBANIANG (Minister in charge of Education) :
122. (a) & (b) - There seniority of the Assistant Teachers is being fixed. The post of Assistant Headmaster, Rongrenggiri Government High School, Williamnagar, will be filled up as soon as seniority is fixed.
The post of Drawing and Drill Master was duly advertised by the Inspector of Schools, Tura but no applicants came forward. This will be re-advertised.
Schools brought under Deficit System
Shri P.R. KYNDIAH asked :
123. Will the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state -
|(a)||The names of High Schools/M.E. Schools that have been brought under deficit system during 1976-77?|
|(b)||What are the Criteria for Selection of School for the deficit system ?|
Shri P.G. MARBANIANG (Minister in-charge of Education) replied :
|Khasi Hills District :|
|1. St. Paul's High School, Marbisu.|
|2. Mawsynram High School.|
|3. Mawdong-Mawpen Middle School.|
|4. Savio M.E. School, Laitumkhrah.|
|Garo Hills District :|
|1. Tura Town High School.|
|2. Christian Girl's High School, Tura.|
|3. Rongsakhona M.E. School.|
|4. Rongrikimgiri M.E. School|
|5. Raja-Apal Middle School.|
|Jaintia Hills District :|
|1. Sohkha High School.|
|2. St. Dominic M.E. School, Mawkyndeng.|
|(b)||(1) Good results of School Leaving Certificate Examination for the last three years.|
|(2) Qualified staff entertained by the School with a regular Managing Committee according to the Departmental rules.|
|(3) Good School buildings, hostels, etc.|
|(4) Backwardness of the areas where the schools are locates and where local initiative is not forth coming adequately for the development of the school for maintenance of the teachers.|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (b) - Whether Government is aware that some of the Schools brought under the deficit system do not go by the criteria of 1 and 4.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- We do not go by 1 and 4. We may take only 1 or only 4. It depends on the backwardness of the area. We may look at the teacher's qualifications and the number of students and all that. The number of students may be less, but because of the backwardness of the area, we take it.
Garo Union Headquarters, at Shillong
Shri P.G. MOMIN asked :
124. Will the Minister in charge of Education be pleased to state -
Whether the Government is aware of the fact that all items of furniture of Garo Union Headquarters, Shillong, were destroyed by some miscreants some time in April, 1977 and also caused damages to the Union's rented school buildings?
|(b)||If so, what steps have been taken by the Government in the matter and what is the total value of the damaged property?|
|(c)||Whether it is a fact that the regular classes of the Garo Union School were suspended for about a months since 13th April, 1977 for want of accommodation?|
|(d)||What steps have been taken by Government on the proposed construction of School buildings at Shillong in the interest and welfare of Garo School-going Children of Shillong?|
Shri P.G. MARBANIANG (Minister incharge of Education) replied :
|124.(a)||Yes. It was reported by the Coordinator President Garo Union School, Malki.|
|(b)||- The School is a purely private one. The authority concerned has already lodged a complaint with the Police. It is for the Police to do the needful.|
|(c)||- Regular classes must have been dislocated or suspended on such an event. The authorities of the schools have, however, been given temporary accommodation in the Lady Reid Basic Training Centre.|
|(d)||- Government does not construct school building for private institutions. Grants in-aid are normally given to deserving cases according to availability of funds.|
Shri Plansing Marak :- (b) - Has the police taken any action so far?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- I do not know Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (d) - Whether Government is considering to give grant-in-aid to the Union?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- We give.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- May we know the amount?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- I want notice.
Shri H. Hadem :- (c) - May we have a definite answer.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- That is a printing mistake.
Shri H. Hadem :- No, it is not a printing mistake, I am referring to (c).
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- The answer is there.
Shri H. Hadem :- Whether it is a fact that regular classes of the Garo Union were suspended since 13th April, 1977. For want of accommodation, regular classes must have been dislocated or suspended in such an event.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- This is a private school. We cannot send the Inspector there.
Shri H. Hadem :- We want a definite reply, whether yes or no?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- Government is not aware.
Section Assistants/Muharrirs and Muster Roll Labourers in the State
Shri S.P. Swer asked :
125. Will the Minister in charge or P.W.D. be pleased to state -
The total strength of Section Assistants/Muharrirs in the State?
|(b)||The total emolument paid to them during the year 1976-77?|
|(c)||The total emoluments paid to them for the month of April, 1977?|
|(d)||The total strength of daily muster roll labourers normally engaged for road maintenance under the supervision of Section Assistant/Muharrirs in the State?|
|(e)||The total amount of wages paid to these muster roll labourers during the year 1976-77?|
|(f)||The total number paid to them during the month of April 1977?|
Shri E. BAREH (Minister, P.W.D.) replied :
- 765 Nos.
|(d)||- 3,440 Nos.|
Shri W. Syiemiong :- (a) - Is it is a fact that in certain roads there are no Section Assistants or Muharrirs?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- To my knowledge, there is no such road.
Shri S.P. Swer :- May we know whether these Section Assistants or Muharrirs are trained?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- No all of them are trained.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Whether there is any facility for training?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- The question has been replied in this very session.
Shri S.P. Swer :- How many labourers are placed under one Section Assistant?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- It depends on the mileage of which the Section Assistant is in charge.
Shri S.P. Swer :- May we know whether all the labourers are skilled labourers?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Muster roll labourers are not skilled labourers.
Bus services from Shillong to Jowai
Shri G. Mylliemngap asked :
126. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state -
The daily frequency of bus services from Shillong to Jowai?
|(b)||The timing of each bus service?|
|(c)||The number of buses placed at each service?|
|(d)||How many roadside buses are placed each timing on week days and on Shillong Barabazar and Jowai Barabazar day?|
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) replied :
|(b)||The timing of each is :-|
|7 a.m.; 11 a.m.; 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily.|
|(c)||-Two buses - One from Shillong to Jowai and one from Jowai to Shillong against each timing.|
|(d)||- Due to shortage of buses no additional service is operated on Shillong Jowai route on week days and hat days.|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (b) Whether the Government is aware that there is regular breakdown of bus services.
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- (c) - Whether Government is aware that one bus from each side is quite inadequate?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- For so long we have been considering and it is found that each bus from both ends is quite sufficient.
Shri H. Hadem :- (d) - Whether the Government is aware that every timing the buses are over-loaded both ways?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- I require notice.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Is the Government aware that the roadside passengers were never taken in the buses?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- No, Sir.
City Buses covering 20 Kilometres distance around Shillong
Shri G. Mylliemngap asked :
127. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state whether there is any difficulty in allowing city buses to ply within a radius covering a distance of 20 kilometres from Shillong on any route?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) replied :
127. There is no difficulty in allowing city buses to ply within a distance of 20 Kilometres from Shillong.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Whether there is a proposal to allow city buses to ply within a distance of 20 kms. from Shillong.
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- Yes, at present, there are buses plying at a distance of 20 Kms. For example there is a regular bus service which is plying here to Mawphlang which is at a distance of 25 Kms. away from Shillong.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Is the Government considering the application of the people from Sohryngkham for sending city buses?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- We have not received such application.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Does the Transport Department propose to ply city bus from Shillong to Umsning since there is a representation from the people of the area to the Transport Department.
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- That will be taken into consideration.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Can I take from the reply of the Minister that there has been no application from the people of Sohryngkham?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- We are not aware of that.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Can I take that there is no application?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is not to his knowledge. But since the hon. Member insists, we may have to locate it.
Retails Shop-keepers in Municipal markets at Laitumkhrah and Polo ground
Prof. Martin N. Majaw asked :
128. Will the Minister in charge of Municipal Administration be pleased to state -
The names of all retail shop keepers occupying stalls in Municipal market at Laitumkhrah, Shillong?
|(b)||The community-wise break-up of these names?|
|(c)||The names of all retail shop-keepers selected by the Chief Executive Officer Shillong Municipal Board, for the allotment of stalls in the Municipal market at the Polo ground, Shillong?|
|(d)||The community-wise break-up of these names?|
Shri Upstar Kharbuli (Minister of State, Municipal Administration) replied :
128. (a) & (b) - A statement is placed on the Table of the House.
(c) & (d) - A statement is placed on the Table of the House.
Sub-Inspector of Supply East Khasi Hills.
Prof. M.N. Majaw asked :
129. Will the Minister in charge of Supply be pleased to state -
The names of all the Sub-Inspectors of Supply working under the East Khasi Hills District in order of seniority?
|(b)||The length of services of each Sub-Inspector?|
|(c)||The number of times each Sub-Inspector had been transferred during the last 5 years?|
|(d)||Whether it is a fact that one of the Sub-Inspectors had not been transferred for the last 9 years?|
|(e)||If so -|
|(i) What is his name?|
|(ii) What are the reasons for not transferring him for some many years?|
Shri F. Bareh (Minister in charge of Supply) replied :
(1) Shri G.K. Nath,
|(2) Shri D. Saikia,|
|(3) Shri M. Dutta,|
|(4) Shri K.S. Giri,|
|(5) Shri T.B. Diengdoh,|
|(6) Shri F. Dohling,|
|(7) Shri C. War,|
|(8) Shri M. Phillip,|
|(9) Shri A. Kharkongor.|
|(b)||(1) 16 years 9 months 16 days,|
|(2) 12 years 10 months 19 days,|
|(3) 11 years 7 months 4 days,|
|(4) 5 years 4 months 1 day,|
|(5) 5 years 2 months 19 days,|
|(6) 4 years 2 months 24 days,|
|(7) 4 years 2 months 17 days,|
|(8) 1 Year and|
|(9) less than one year.|
|(c)||(1) Shri G.K. Nath was transferred to Gauhati Movement Office, Government of Meghalaya on 29th April, 1972 and retransferred to Shillong on 18th February, 1974.|
(2) Shri D. Saikia was posted to Munai by Deputy Commissioner Khasi Hills on 26th April, 1972 and subsequently attached to Block Development Officer, Mawkyrwat on being released by the Block Development Officer, Mawkyrwat rejoined Deputy Commissioner (Supply), Shillong on 10th October, 1974.
|(3) Shri K.S. Giri was attached to Sohra Administrative Unit with effect from 16th August, 1976.|
|(4) Shri T.B. Diengdoh was transferred from Simsanggiri to Khasi Hills with effect from 17th February, 1976.|
|(5) Shri F. Dohling was attached to Nongpoh Subdivision with effect from 6th January, 1977.|
|(6) Shri M. Phillip was transferred from Jowai on 23rd September 1976 when his services were regularized by M.P.S.C.|
|(e)||(i) Does not arise.|
|(ii) Does not arise.|
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- (c) - Perhaps due to oversight, the reply regarding No.(3) has not been given. How many Sub-Inspectors of Supply have been transferred during the last 5 years? And under 129 (c), we are told to the number of times each Sub-Inspector has been transferred. But when we come to No, (3) Shri M. Dutta nothing has been given about him. May we know from the Minister how many times he has been transferred during the last 5 years?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- His name was not there because he was not transferred during the last 5 years.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- When was he last transferred?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- He was not transferred since he joined Meghalaya.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- When did he join Shillong?
Mr. Speaker :- I think that question is not relevant.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- It is quite relevant because under 129(d) I have asked whether it is a fact that one of the Sub-Inspectors has not been transferred for the last 9 years and the answer is no.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- Because he joined within 7 years.
Mr. Speaker :- The length of his service is 11 years 7 months 4 days.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- Because he was transferred from Assam to Meghalaya.
Mr. Speaker :- So from the date he joined Meghalaya, he was never transferred.
Shri S.P. Swer :- (a) - May we know whether all these 9 Sub-Inspectors are stationed at the district headquarters?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- At the moment they are not stationed in the district headquarters. Some of them are.
Shri S.P. Swer :- Whether Government propose to place some of these Sub-Inspectors under the Administrative Units and Civil Subdivisions in this District?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- Yes, they are already posted.
Revenue accrued from the Meghalaya Transport Corporation
Shri P.R. Kyndiah asked :
130. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state -
The amount of revenue which accrued from the Meghalaya State Transport Undertaking for the following period:-
|(i) 1972-73 ;|
|(ii) 1973-74 ;|
|(iii) 1974-75 ;|
|(iv) 1975-76 ;|
|(b)||The amounts of revenue which accrued from the Meghalaya Transport Corporation for 1976-77?|
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) replied :
- The amounts of revenue accrued from the Meghalaya State Transport Undertaking are :-
|(v) Rs.19,32,604.00 (from1st April 1976 to 31st September 1976).|
|(b)||Rs.38,26,302 (from 1st October 1976 to 31st March 1977)|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (b) - May we know the general break-up of the revenue accrued?
Mr. Speaker :- That is a statistical question.
Shri S.P. Swer :- May we know whether this revenue accrued constitutes the revenue under the head "Taxes on Vehicles"?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- The question was the revenue accrued and does not fall under the purview of taxes accrued on it. Here it concerned only the earnings.
Shri S.P. Swer :- Whether they come under the revenue receipts?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is a State Transport Undertaking. The amount of revenue which accrued from the State Transport Undertaking is on the road tax.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Whether this is a net revenue or a gross revenue?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- It is a gross revenue.
Family Identity Cards.
Shri G. Mylliemngap asked :
131. Will the Minister in charge of Supply be pleased to state why Family Identity Cards for essential commodities cannot be introduced in the rural areas?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of Supply) replied :
131.- Introduction of this system in rural areas will be very costly and its proper operation will be administratively extremely difficult. The present system on the other hand, is considered to be adequate.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- What are the costs involved?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- I want notice, Mr. Speaker, Sir, because we have to collect the information.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- On what basis there is discrimination between urban and rural people for Family Identity Cards?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- Sir, there is discrimination because some of the families in the rural areas are cultivators and as far as urban people are concerned, there is no cultivator.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Does the Government propose to give Family Identity Card to the rural people.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- It is already replied.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Is the Government aware that there are many cultivators in the urban areas also?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) :- I am not aware of that.
Bull rearing Centre at Mawkdok.
Shri S.P. Swer asked :
132. Will the Minister in charge of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary be pleased to state -
Whether the Bull Rearing Centre at Mawkdok is functioning?
|(b)||The number of bulls in the centre?|
|(c)||Whether the centre has yielded any benefit so far?|
|(d)||If not the reason thereof?|
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Veterinary) replied :
|(b)||- 1 (one)|
|(d)||- Does not arise.|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : (c) - What benefit?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Veterinary) :- The object of the Bull Rearing Centre is to render veterinary aid and arrange natural service for improvement of cattle. 1826 cases were treated and 1207 cattle vaccinated against rinder-pest. Besides 20 cows were covered by natural service and 8 cross-bred calves were born in 1976-77.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- How can the Minister describe the results?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Veterinary) :- In my opinion, my bull has done the best (laughter).
Venture M.E. School at Phlang Wanbroi
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :
133. Will the Minister in-charge of Education be pleased to state-
|What is the amount of grant so far given to the Venture M.E. School at Phlang Wanbroi?|
|In whose house the said schools is run?|
|Who are the teachers of the said school?|
|The number of students in the said school?|
|The date when the school was started?|
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister in-charge of Education) replied:
- Rs.5,000 was sanctioned to the Schools by the Border Area Development Department through the Education Department in 1976-77. This amount has, however, not yet been disbursed as the status and other details of the Schools are being enquired into.
|(b) to (e)||- These details are under verification.|
Shri H. Hadem :- (a).- The second portion of the reply- this amount has, however, not yet been disbursed as the status and other details of the School are being enquired into. Are we to understand the Hindi word "thorough" means status-quo?
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- On what basis the amount of Rs.5,000 was sanctioned?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- This amount was given by the Border Areas Development Department.
Mr. Speaker :- The amount is given by the Government and the Minister should not shirk the responsibility to another department.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- I am just trying to explain that the Border Area Development made the fund available to the Education Department and the Education Department will have to verify whether the schools are lying in the border areas. Only when we find that the schools do not exist or are below the standard, then we do not give the grant.
Mr. Speaker :- How the amount will be utilised?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- The amount will be given back to the Government.
Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh :- (a) - Whether this Phlangwanbroi M.E. School has been given permission to proceed to M.E.?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- The matter is under verification.
Shri Dlosingh Lyngdoh :- If the school is not given permission, how the amount can be given.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- If the school has not yet been given permission, the money will not be given to it.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Who is the applicant for this grant?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- The people from Phlangwanbroi.
Mr. Speaker :- Is there no Managing Committee?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- I am just giving a general reply.
Shri H. Hadem :- On what ground this amount of Rs.5,000 was granted to the school?
Mr. Speaker :- He has already replied.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Is there no co-ordination between the Border Area Development Department and the Education Department while sanctioning the grant?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- Yes, Sir, there is co-ordination.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- This amount of Rs.5,000 has been sanctioned, in whose name?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- I want notice.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Since when the verification started?
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- I want notice.
Shri S.P. Swer :- May we know whether piecemeal sanction is the practice of the Border Area Development Department?
Mr. Speaker :- This concerns only the Phlangwanbroi M.E. School.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I think the hon. Member can expect that reply from the Minister, Education because this concerns the Education Department.
Mr. Speaker :- That is why I am always asking the Government that one Minister should not shirk the responsibility to other Ministers but Government should function like one machine with different parts.
Names of suppliers of stones to P.W.D.
Prof. M.N. Majaw asked:
134. Will the Minister in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state-
|The names of all suppliers to the Department during the years 1975-76 and 1976-77, in the following Divisions and their subordinate sub-division:-|
|(i)||Shillong North Division, including U.J. Road Sub-division;|
|(ii)||Shillong West Division;|
|(iv)||Mawsynram Division; and|
|(b)||Whether any of the supplies above have not yet been paid by the Department?|
|(c)||If so, which?|
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in-charge of P.W.D. (R. & B.) replied;
|- The list is placed on Table of the House.|
|- Does not arise in view of the above.|
High Power Committee for Corruption Cases
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked:
135. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state whether Government propose to constitute a high power committee to go into the corruption cases in the State?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied:
135. - No.
Shri S.P. Swer :-Whether the Government received any complaint cases in the State?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes, we do, Sir.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, how many cases have been received and are still under investigation?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- In 1972, the number of enquiries taken up is 24, the no. of enquiries disposed of-24 prosecuted in Court-nil, Departmental action suggested-9 and not substantiated cases-15. In two cases, officers involved have been placed under suspension and proceedings drawn up. In 1973, the number of enquiries taken up-31, the number of enquiries disposed of-31, prosecuted in Court-1, Departmental action suggested-6, Not substantiated cases-24, Pending Enquiry-nil. In 1974, the number of enquiries taken up-16 the number of enquiries disposed of-16, prosecuted in Court-nil. Departmental action suggested-4, Not substantiated cases-12, pending enquiry-nil. In 1975, the number of enquiries taken up - 33, the number of enquiries disposed of - 29, prosecuted in Court- 1, departmental action suggested-11, Not substantiated-4. In 1976, the number of enquiries taken up-19, the number of enquiries disposed of-2, prosecuted in Court-nil, departmental action suggested-8, not substantiated-4 pending enquiry-7. In 1977, the number of enquiries taken up-5, the number of enquiries disposed of-3, prosecuted in Court-nil, departmental action action suggested-nil. Not substantiated-3, pending enquiry-2, mental action suggested-nil, Not substantiated-3, pending enquiry-2.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the persons complained against include the Members of this House also?
Mr. Speaker :- In fact the Chief Minister has really volunteered to give the information, but the question is whether the Government propose to constitute a high powered Committee and the reply that the Government gives is no, So the matter ends there. Actually you should have asked whether Government contemplates to constitute such a Committee. Whatever Anti Corruption Department is doing does not come within the purview of this question.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, why I want a reply from the Chief Minister to my question is that during the last Assembly Session the Chief Minister has said that he wants to have a clean administration in the State and so purposely I put this question here because when I complained about this case, against certain officers, even the Chief Secretary did not take any action on it up till now. If you read my letter. ...... ........ .........
Mr. Speaker :- That is a place of information which you like to bring to the House in some other form.
Government Order No POL. 97/74/74/47, dated 22nd December 1974
Shri M.N. Majaw asked :
139. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to lay on the Table of the House a cop of Government Order No.POL,97/74/47, dated 22nd December, 1976?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
136. A copy of Government Circular No.POL,97/74/47, dated 22nd December, 1976 is placed on the Table of the House.
Civil Defence areas.
Shri G. Mylliemngap asked :
137. Will the Minister in charge of Supply be pleased to state the criteria for determining Civil Defence Areas or the Areas eligible for introduction of Family Identity Card?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of Food and Civil Supplies) replied :
137. The criteria on which we have included the Civil Defence areas for coverage by the Family Identity Cards are two fold :-
(i) - This covers a conglomerate of population in and around a town such as Shillong as a distinct urban and semi-urban entity; and
(ii) - This gives the Supply Department assistance in enumeration and checking up of all the house-holds and their members as the Civil Defence staff does this in this their course of duty.
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Whether the duty of the Civil Defence personnel is to help in the preparation and distribution of family identity cards?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of Food and Civil Supplies) :- We have appointed enumerators for that just to help checking and to help our staff these personnel of Civil Defence are required.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, which are the areas around Shillong which fall under Civil Defence?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of Food and Civil Supplies) :- Nongthymmai, Umpling, Pynthorumkhrah and Mawlai etc.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Is the Government aware that Laitkor also falls under Civil Defence?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of Food and Civil Supplies) :- I want notice.
Compensation for Shillong-Jowai Road
Shri G. Mylliemngap asked
138. Will the Minister in charge, of P.W.D (R & B) be pleased to state -
|When was the last compensation for Shillong-Jowai road paid?|
|(b)||When was the last widening work of the said road started and completed?|
|(c)||What was the average widening works in terms of metres done throughout the whole length of the road?|
|(d)||Whether in absence of any records regarding widening of the road, compensation can be settled on the average measurement?|
|(e)||If not, why?|
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of P.W.D., etc.) replied
|No records are available with this Government, since the work was done by the composite State of Assam.|
|(b)||- 1969-70 by composite State of Assam.|
|(c)||- No record is available|
|(e)||- In absence of any record payment cannot be made.|
Shri H. Hadem :- 138(c) - What is the width of the road at present?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of P.W.D.) :- We have no records available with us Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- But where are the records?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of P.W.D.) :- The records Mr. Speaker, Sir, were seized by the C.B.I.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Since when the records were seized by the C.B.I.?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister in charge of P.W.D.) :- By the time we took over the road, that is during Assam's time.
New Bus chassis and vehicles of the State Transport
Shri P.G. Momin asked :
139. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
|Whether it is a fact that quite a good number of new bus chassis and other vehicles are being parked at the open yard of the Director of State Transport, Meghalaya, Shillong since a pretty long time for want of proper garage?|
|(b)||If so, what steps have been taken by Government to protect probable damage to such vehicles which are being exposed to bad whether?|
|(c)||Whether the Government is aware of the necessity of plying more State Transport buses from Shillong to Tura in the interest of public service and Government revenue?|
|(d)||Whether it is a fact that the State Transport buses plying between Tura and Shillong at present are all defective?|
|(e)||Whether it is a fact that the Government has always taken a decision to introduce regular State Transport bus service from Shillong to Tura via Phulbari?|
|(f)||If so, the reason for not implementing the decision?|
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
|- Of 13 new bus chassis, 12 are being kept in the yard. Also 9 Pool Cars are normally parked in the covered garage.|
|(b)||- The new bus chassis are being sent for body building.|
|(c)||- Present arrangement is considered sufficient. Additional buses are provided when necessary.|
|(d)||- This is not a fact.|
|(e)||- Not yet.|
|(f)||- Does not arise in view of (c) above.|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- 139(d) - Whether it is a fact that there is a sizeable number of vehicles which are defective.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well there is some defect.
Mr. Speaker :- Sir, while plying on the road but it is not correct that all are defective because of some which are defective.
Prof. A. Warjri :- 139(d) - Whether those buses are cleaned regularly at the end of every trip?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are certain difficulties because of shortage of water in the garage. Instructions have been issued to the car washers to take them down to Polo ground or some other places for cleaning.
Prof. A. Warjri :- Whether the Chief Minister has put into effect the promises made that these buses will be regularly checked once a month or rather garaged down once a month?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- No, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have not been able to do unless we have got sufficient number of buses and as I said, each vehicles will have to be checked once a week. But now we have not been able to do so.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- When the buses are not cleaned properly due to shortage of water then what are these car washers doing at present?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, we are trying to encourage them to wash the vehicles by taking them down to Polo ground.
Prices of Cement
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh asked :
140. Will the Minister in charge of Industries be pleased to state -
|Whether the Government is aware of the rising prices of cement at Shillong and other places in the State?|
|(b)||The current retail price of cement in Shillong as fixed by the Government?|
|(c)||The reasons for shortage of cement in the State?|
Shri Maham Singh (Minister of Industries) replied :
|- Reports to this effect have been received.|
|(b)||- I Shillong - Rs.392.02 Per m.t. or Rs.19.61 per bag.|
|II. Jowai - Rs.413.69 per m.t. or Rs.20.69 per bag.|
|III. Tura Rs.478.69 per m.t. or Rs.23.94 per bag.|
|(c)||- Over all increase in demand of cement and the need to meet on a priority basis allotments made to Government Department/undertakings in Assam and Meghalaya.|
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Sir, whether the Government is aware that the retail price in the market in Shillong is much higher than the one known here at Rs.19.61 per bag?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Industries) :- We have not recovered any report to that effect.
Buses of the State Transport Corporation.
Shri W. Syiemiong asked :
141. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state -
|Whether it is a fact that at any given time more than 50 per cent of Corporation buses are grounded for various reasons.|
|(b)||If so, what are those reasons?|
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) replied :
|(b)||- Most of the vehicles developed engine troubles requiring major over-hauling. This naturally takes longer time.|
Shri D. Lyngdoh :- Whether the vehicles that developed engine troubles are those which are taken over from Assam or newly purchased by the Government of Meghalaya?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, those taken from Assam Meghalaya Road Transport Corporation have also developed engine troubles.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Will the Minister in charge clarify whether this will take a lager time?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- But Sir, the damage is such that most of the engines require major repairs Major repairs naturally require time.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know how many vehicles are not requiring over-hauling?
Shri F.K. Mawlot (Minister of State, Transport) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, just very recently we have sent 4 buses to the garage and these are nearing completion.
Map of the P.W.D. Inspection Bungalow Compound at Jowai
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :
142. Will the Minister in charge of P.W.D. be pleased to lay on the Table of the House a copy of the map of the compound of the P.W.D. Inspection Bungalow at Jowai with the defined boundaries and measurement which was prepared in 1950?
Shri E. Bareh [Minister of P.W.D. (R and B)] replied :
142. There was no map prepared in 1950.
Shri H. Hadem :- May we know the reason why?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D) :- We did not know. That is before our time, 1950.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Do you mean to say that there is no Inspection Bungalow in Jowai?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D) :- Why ask for this year while I reply for the year 1950.
"No Parking" sign-boards in I.B. and D.B.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :
143. Will the Minister in charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state why "No Parking" sign-boards are not hung in premises of all P.W.D. Inspection Bungalows and Dak Bungalows to prohibit parking in front of the entrance of such buildings?
Shri E. Bareh [Minister, P.W.D (R. and B)] replied :
143. Is is felt not necessary. Inspection Bungalows and Dak Bungalows are meant for the officers to stay for a short period coming in connection with official duties and the Inspection Bungalows and Dak Bungalows compounds are not allowed for public thoroughfare. As such there is no rush of vehicles which may caused any problem for parking.
Payment of land compensation for widening and improvement of Shillong-Mawphlang Road.
Shri Jormanik Syiem asked :
144. Will the Minister in charge of Public Work Department be pleased to state -
|Whether it is fact that compensation to the persons affected by the widening of the Shillong-Mawphlang-Balat Road has not been paid since 1972-73?|
|(b)||Whether the Department concerned had received a number of representations and reminder thereto from time to time?|
|(c)||The reasons for such inordinate delay in settling the compensation due to the land owners concerned?|
Shri E. Bareh [Minister, Public Works Department (R. and B)] replied :
|(c)||- The matter is under examination.|
Shri Jormanik Syiem :- 144. (b) - Whether orders have been passed on these representations?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have referred the case of the Collector for taking up land acquisition proceedings.
Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to the next item.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to furnish the information regarding the advertisement to fill up the post. The candidate has passed the H.S.L.C. in the first Division in Science and Mathematics, I.Sc., first division in Science and Mathematics B.Sc., no division awarded. M.A. First Division in Economics (including Monetary Economics, Statistics, Development Economics, Agricultural Economics, Labour Economics). As a Science and Mathematics student he is equivalent to an I.A.S. So he is qualified for this post.
Mr. Speaker :- Now Mr. G. Mylliemngap and Prof. M.N. Majaw to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to a news item appearing in U Kyrwoh ka Rilum of 2nd June, 1977, under the caption, "Jingleh Shiliang Khmat ka F.C.I."
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we make one or two observations on this?
Mr. Speaker :- Only the points, the major points.
Shri P.S. Marak :- Before we come to that, I would like to know the exact meaning of this word.
Mr. Speaker :- That is why he is trying to explain.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- The heading on this particular news item "U Kyrwoh Rilum" would mean the F.C.I. office behaves in a partial and discriminatory manner.
Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, we all know there are strict instructions from the Government of India that in this State Government the percentage for the employment of tribals of the State must at least come to 44 per cent. Further, the Government of India has also put down a particular rank where there has to appoint hill tribals of this State. But unfortunately, although this State is a tribal State yet the employment policy of the F.C.I. office here in Shillong is to employ 30 per cent to the local people instead of 44 per cent, whereas in other States of India the local State Government had been able to persuade the Central Government to appoint 60 per cent of the local people in any Central Government through persuasion and through request. Here unfortunately we are not only having a very small percentage but also we have that day to day attitude of their officer rather than of a Regional Manager towards these tribals as if they were second class citizens and considered them as mere menials. Various complaints have come to us requesting us to voice the complaint in this House. We are very fortunate and grateful to the Editor of "U Kyrwoh ka Rilum" in brining this news item so that we can move he calling attention in this House.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Strictly speaking, the matter does not come within the purview of this State Government. But since it has been admitted, I will give a statement on this.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the question of admission of any calling attention is based on one consideration and that is for the interest of the State and the propel of the State. The F.C.I. is an autonomous body formed by the Government of India and it operates in different parts of the country and those branches which fall under the State,. the State Government can do something with the Central Government to handle the situation and the State Government has a hand to see that there is improvement in its administration.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The jurisdiction of the F.C.I. North East Frontier Region, Shillong extends to the following areas, namely. Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram. Its staff appointed are transferred to serve in any of the office within the jurisdiction. But generally people within the State are posted within the State to which they belong.
According to the brochure on reservation for Schedule Caste/Tribe in service issued by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, New Delhi the percentage to be reserved for Schedule Tribe/Caste in hundred points roster where recruitment is made on local or regional basis is 1 per cent in respect of Schedule Caste and 44 per cent in respect of Schedule Tribe in the State of Meghalaya.
The position on these points as furnished by the F.C.I. is as follows : The recruitment position in respect to Meghalaya during 1976 till date indicates that (out of the staff who are in position) the percentage of Schedule Tribe in the category of Assistant Gr.III (Ministerial/Typist) is 44 per cent, Asstt. Gr. III (Depot) 44 per cent, Technical Asst. Grade. III 25 percent, Stenographer 100 per cent and Class IV 56 per cent. The employees who were appointed in the Meghalaya were daily sponsored by the Employment Exchanges, Shillong, Tura and Jowai.
In respect to higher category of posts like U.D. Asst. the vacancies are filled up by promotion. In regard to the higher posts, they are filled up by the Zonal Manager, Calcutta and is outside the purview of the Regional Manager, Shillong.
As regards the question of placing the Khasis in important position, some of the Depots-in-charge are in the hands of the Scheduled Tribe, viz, Khasis. In the matter of posting of the Staff, the local candidates hailing from Meghalaya are generally posted in areas within Meghalaya excepting in some cases where they are posted at Gauhati Complex and other sub-offices, North East Frontier Region with a view to give them training to enable them to acquire sufficient knowledge about the working of the machinery.
Out of the 18 Schedule Tribe Asst. Gr. III appointed during 1976, 15 are posted in Shillong, one in Tura and one in Dimapur Sub-Offices, and one in Gauhati Complex.
We are brining the news item to the notice of the F.C.I. for taking necessary action at their end.
Mr. Speaker :- Before taking up item No.3, may I inform the House that generally the question hour lasts upto 10:30. But since we have some more time, may I have the sense of the House that we take up item No.5 first, that in discussion on the motions?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister i/c Agriculture) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have to follow according to the rules. That is my opinion, Sir.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to rules, this matter actually lies at your discretion. I do not see any reason why any hon. Member should not agree with you.
Mr. Speaker :- But I have to take the sense of the House since this Item No.5 has already appeared in the paper.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister i/c Agriculture) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, you say that there is one motion to be taken up first. It is to be treated like this, then we from this side of the House would oppose to it.
Mr. Speaker :- In that case, this matter will be taken up at 1.30. So let us come to item No.3.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- This was discussed in motions No.4 and 6 which I have shown.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I have spoken at length in this very session on the appointment of Mr. M.N. Kar, Trade Adviser in the Meghalaya House at Calcutta. But I would request the members who are actually suffering on this to ventilate it now.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, just one point for clarification. It is mentioned in that list and that is about one M.L.A. on duty. But there may be more M.L.As who are going to Calcutta without any duty, what will be the treatment to them because there are some officers who...........
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- But Mr. Speaker, Sir, before the Chief Minister replies to that, I may submit that M.L.As are always on duty. We must come at ten hours and leave at 16.30 hours. If the M.L.A is at home, he draws his full salary. So at least, I may submit that M.L.As are always on duty until they resign or are removed or die.
Mr. Speaker :- That is your interpretation. Suppose M.L.As go to some other States purely on private business, how will you treat them? Of course I do not say that you are not M.L.A. So, M.L.As are M.L.As even when they move aboard.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Another thing in regard, Sir, is whether the Minister is on duty or not on duty when he goes around sight-seeing is that also treated as on duty.
Mr. Speaker :- That is also your interpretation. Let us hear the interpretation of other hon. Members.
Shri S.N. Kochi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, let us hear another point. Whether he is in bed, whether he is in his work he is always treated as the M.L.A. That is the status he holds until he completes five-year terms.
(Voices : Six-year term)
I think it is best to treat him so whether he is on duty or not.
Mr. Speaker :- So, the Chief Minister will reply. But there are other points which the Chief Minister had already replied on this particular matter. I think the Chief Minister will inform the House as the matter had already been discussed in this House.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we have already stated, a number of points have been raised in the House and the replies have been given. In fact there are still more questions on this to be replied. So it appears to be that there is no need for me to give any more reply. But I must make it clear that the question is regarding the complaint against that particular officer and we have also been taking action regarding the complaint that particular officer and we have been taking action regarding the complaint and I must informed the House that we will soon be replaced and he is going to proceed on leave with effect from 1st July and we have posted a person to work in his place. As regards the question that whenever M.L.As go to Calcutta, they should be treated as on official duty.........
Mr. Speaker :- I am always thinking that when the question in replied on the floor of the House against any officer of the Government, has the Government given any chance to such an officer to defend himself. If not, I think that is not correct.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Naturally we are not going to take any such arbitrarily which will affect the officer adversely. But there is a feeling that there must be change of officer in Calcutta and in response to that we have changed the officer. With regard to the M.L.As, whether they are on duty or not they are entitled to get accommodation. But the difference in this is that if an M.L.A is not on duty the charge is high. If he goes on a pleasure trip he will have to pay higher charges. So I do not think, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I shall have to reply to the points on the complaints as this matter has been raised in this House a number of times. As far as tourism is concerned we have posted tourism officers who will be responsible for the department. With regard to the Director of Movements we have given the clarification and the gentleman will move as early as possible.
Mr. Speaker :- So the discussion is closed. Mr. K.M. Roy Marbaniang to move motion No.5
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the policy of appointment of Chairman of Block Development Committees in the State.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now, you can initiate the discussion.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while moving my motion I want to remind this august House about the past and present policy of the Government in the appointment of the Block Development Committee's Chairmen in the State. In the past the Chief Minister has set up a very healthy convention in the matter of appointment of the Chairman in the Block Development Committee by appointing from all sides of the House irrespective of parties. But strangely now since he changed and defected his political stand from the regional Party, the A.P.H.L.C. to the Congress, he totally changed his democratic idea to a partisan policy of a spoil system of Government. He has appointed Chairmen of the Block Developmental Committees from his own Congress Party only except at Mawkyrwat Block, that also because they do not have any Congress representative in the area. It appears that since he defected from the regional Party to the Congress, he has lost the balance of thinking in terms of democracy which he possessed in the past. The Chief Minister in his budget speech has stressed on the co-operation of all the members of this august House. He said. . . ."We are confident that with the active co-operation of the hon. Members, we will be able to forge ahead steadily and surely towards our common goal. I would therefore, request the hon. Members to extend all help and co-operation to the Government in its noble task of eradicating poverty and building up a prosperous State and a power nation". . . . .
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, is he reading or speaking?
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- This is my speech.
Mr. Speaker :- I think this question is left to me entirely I know that many of you also used to make speeches by consulting notes and not only the hon. Member who is speaking now.
Shri S.N. Koch :- One can read a note just to refresh his memory but he cannot read out the whole speech.
Mr. Speaker :- I do not know, Mr. Koch, are you challenging my ruling? Especially the Minister unless they consult the notes, how can they reply to each and every point. So also the hon. Member is consulting his note while speaking.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- That is very correct. But Sir, may I pose a question to this august House? Is is to co-operate for satisfying the whims of somebody only? Or the co-operation should be as if was in the past. I hope the Chief Minister understands and remembers very well what he has done in the past while he was in the A.P.H.L.C. in the matter of appointment of the Chairman in the Block Development Committee. The present appointment as I have stated just now, I am afraid, may lead to a bad convention in future. When the Chief Minister spoke about the cooperation from all sides, I think he understands very well that co-operation is not a one-sided affair, it is a two-way traffic. How can we expect that with the present system of the partisan appointment of those Chairman of the Block Development Committees that he can expect the co-operation from all sides of this august House. If he really wants the co-operation of this House, he must change his present partisan policy of appointment from his own party only. Strange to note also that in the Khasi Hills, he appoints mostly the members of the District Council in many Blocks even when there are M.L.As, I hope as the Leader of the House, he understands very well that co-operation is not a one way traffic. So, I request the Chief Minister to pave the way for co-operation as it was in the past when he was in the regional party of the A.P.H.L.C. if he really means it.
(At this stage, the Speaker, left the Chamber and Shri Plansing Marak, Chairman, occupied the Chair)
So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not know that the Chief Minister means by the word "co-operation". Does he mean business? He should consider properly also before the appointment of those Chairman of the B.D.Cs. in the State. If you go through the list which has been supplied the other day and which has been laid down on the Table of the House, all the Chairmen of the Blocks have been appointed from the Congress party alone except one I said which nobody can challenge. I do not want to dwell at length on the policy of appointment of Chairman because I have got two more motions dealing with other subjects. Wonderfully also to note the working system in the Directorate of Community Development. It appears that they are the protectors of the corrupts B.D.Os. I remember when I was the Chairman of one Block that even when I complained regarding the working system in the Blocks and the corruption and misuse of money by B.D.Os. nobody takes heed. Even I wrote a personal letter to the Chief Secretary who was also the Vigilance Commission at that time about certain B.D.Os. But no action has been taken, rather they have taken action against the wrong persons who do not belong to their Department, i.e., the P.W.D. staff. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would urge upon this august House, through you Sir, that this partisan policy should not be brought into our State I would request the Chief Minister that the policy which has been adopted in the past, should be adopted now so that he can get the real co-operation from all sides. Action should be taken against the corrupt B.D.Os. in order to bring a clean administration in this C.D. Department. As I have stated, I have got two other motions which will come up before this august House later. As such, with these few words, I resume my seat.
Shri Jormanik Syiem :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, participating in the discussion on this motion, I would like to remind the house that the other day when the question came up about the appointment of the Chairmen of the Block Development Committees, the question was why this change had been made for a few months or even a year when the convention was that the local MLA, be the Chairman. I am one of the MLAs and as a member of one of the Block Development Committees, who had been appointed a Chairman. But the reply to that question was that it is a policy of the Government. The question as to whether the policy to be applied to certain section of the MLAs and not to be applied to other local MLA notwithstanding to any party he belongs. it is very surprising that the practice which ahs been adopted for the last two years has been changed now just because of the change in the party of the Government. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think this is not what we expect as the hon. Member of this august House. Unless there are some good reasons there was no point for the Government to overhaul the whole system of the Block Development Committees. It is also a wrong procedure to adopt that the MLAs are to be replaced by the MDCs when the practice has been that the MLAs are generally to be the Chairmen in the past. I would appeal to the Government that this kind of partisan policy is not a happy thing, it is not to bring the real cooperation, the real good feeling amongst the members of this august House. I would request if possible, that this partisan policy be changed and see that everyone should get his due share irrespective to which party he may belong. That is the only spirit by which we can go forward together as members of this august House. With these few words Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, during the last six months there have been three stocking changes consequent upon the change in the Government and the party in the State. The first one which we are all aware is the shocking change in the sterilisation programme which we are all very glad that the Government had withdrawn. The second change-shocking during the last six months in this - change in the policy of appointment of Chairman of the Blocks. I heard about it when I was not in town; I was somewhere in the border areas. It pained me and shocked me beyond description that the same man, the same set of men, could change within months by a mere change of party affiliation. So much has changed. The other day the Chief Minister has stated again and again that there has been no change because of change in the party. But there has been a change. In fact, it is a shocking change. With my association with him for a long that there could be such a change is not possible in a possible in a human being by a change of party. This is most shocking.
Then again, during the last few months when I visited certain area, I also received representations from certain people about this sort of spoil system, a crude partisan system in the villages, about the treatment and party attitude in every affair of schools, roads and dispensaries in the rural areas where the volunteers and supporters of the ruling party were given all the endorsements and all the blind support irrespective of all principles. It was shocking. I did not refer to this in my discussions on the Budget. I had a mind not to say about this because deep in my heart, I was very much hurt and I was even tempted that perhaps if I come back and find that they allow the same system that they follow now, would we in Meghalaya adopt the same system this party in power in adopting? Shall we then sink low to the level? I was very much tempted. I was very much pushed by my colleagues in my party that henceforth we will do the same and follow the way the present party in showing a spoil system with no more fairness, use of power to the utmost for his own party. I was very much tempted. But then Sir, I cannot what I was, I am. I cannot do this. I cannot follow their steps, their examples; even if I come back, even if we come back to power, no. God forbid. Let this not happen in Meghalaya any more. Therefore, I would asked the Chief Minister and also request him that, as he has shown his gesture by responding, he will also give the same gesture and that he will withdraw all these things, all the things that have crept into the body politics of Meghalaya. I want this assurance from the Chief Minister so that Meghalaya will not fall into this very very bad, very bad, very unpleasant and very unfair system, Sir, of all my requests and suggestion that I made on this House during the last 20 days or so, this is my most earnest appeal to the Chief Minister and to all the Ministers and members of the ruling party to foreswear immediately and let us resolve that Meghalaya shall not fall into this system. A most dangerous system that is going to ruin the character of the people at all levels not to speak of only the Government level, but also the social, moral and cultural levels. We are not very much interested about a few months or even a year. It is a question of the standard, of the norm, that we shall set for our people and for our new generations to come. We have had occasions specially during the last 5, 6 or 7 years, that we in Meghalaya shall be trying to contribute something to our country. Even if we are poor and small in many always we shall contribute something of value in moral, social and political fields. Therefore, this happening that has occurred in the last few months, let it remains just as an exception to the rule. I would not suggest that the Government should change now; let it go on, let it function till the term expires or till the 31st of March. I would not suggest that but I want only the assurance of the Chief Minister that in future there should no more be this policy. This is what I most earnestly appeal and request the Chief Minister and the other Ministers and leaders from all sides to resolve. Let us have this assurance so that whichever party comes to power to form the Government after the elections, it will stick to this norm or standard or principle of real democracy and fairness for the people of Meghalaya to be able to contribute our humble mite to our State. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Sir.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to say a few words only because I feel that this motion we are discussion effects a very fundamental style of functioning of the people of Meghalaya. Throughout the last 7 years of the functioning of the Government there had been a policy which we strictly adhered to, may be we could not do so in letter and spirit, but the motivation, the spirit of the policy was fairness. Fairness is the key word. Even if we play politics, we play it fair and there was fair play. And I was happy he other day when I faced the Chief Minister and posed a question whether he was changed because of the change of the party, and I was happy when he said 'no'. He was responsive to reply to our various questions that we posed and even he agree to initiate a round table discussion with all of us to discuss the fundamental question of protecting and developing the tribal people. Perhaps this realisation on the part of the Chief Minister came only the other day or perhaps this policy of concentrating power to one party or in implementing such policies he was not fully aware of because I don't believe Capt. W.A. Sangma would be suddenly so changed today. I don't believe. Therefore, the policy of appointing Chairman is only the tip of an iceberg floating on the sea while the actual size of the matter is bigger. So we want this policy of appointing only Congress men as Chairman to change because on this the future of the State and future style of functioning will be determined. We are not hankering for the Chairmanship; even we left the Chairs of Ministerships on the ground of ideology and conviction. There should be a basic policy of approach and a basic line of political functioning. It is a matter of fact, Sir, we are having the Congress rule for 6/7 months and that we notice a clear tendency to have an administration of personal estate in which one may do anything and whatever he likes. And look at what is happening in the matter of appointing Chairmen in the various Block . The All Party Hill Leaders Conference elements are completely wiped away; not a single M.L.A. has been taken as Chairman. Even the local M.L.A. from Cherrapunjee was not selected member of the Board of Cements Company because he is an All Party Hills Leaders Conference man. Is this the way of functioning? There are many other examples but for the present this is the only thing I would like to bring home, I am not speaking with bitterness, I am speaking with full responsibility because I believe that whatever may be the exterior form of a man the inside is much more important. Each one of you sitting in the Treasury Bench will bear with me that fairness should be played but somehow perhaps due to over enthusiasm of power you have not acted as you should have. So I am one with Shri B.B. Lyngdoh that at this stage we do not want any change of Chairmanship because we are not hankering for it. But at this stage we want to clear assurance from the Chief Minister, as he said the other day that he would seek and obtain co-operation on the basis of mutuality. Co-operation cannot be onesided, it has to be double way. It has to be mutual, as mutuality and co-operation are indivisible. I would, therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, at this stage appeal to the Chief Minister who is the leader of the Congress regime in the State that the qualities in him should not be lost and I hope instead of playing the partisan game he would play a fair role. We had always dream of certain ideology not only to develop ourselves in the State but also to contribute positively toward the betterment of the people of other States in the country. I believe that the Chief Minister will take a bold stand so that once for all from now on no more there will be a partisan attitude. We will give our co-operation from our side whether we are small or big, everybody should have a share of involvement in the administration. I would like to say that from our side there will be unfettered cooperation. So Mr. Chairman Sir, at this stage we must decide in this matter for our future course of action. So I would request the Chief Minister through you, Sir, that he should ponder on this thought that has been placed before the House and take action which will serve the best interest of the State and the country as a whole.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, taking part in the motion I am very very grateful to the Members from the other side for having made very serious talks on various point. The hon. Member who moved the motion has said that his intention was to discuss the policy. The Member who supported the motion discussed about a change in policy and the other hon. Member who has just now spoken said that there should be no more change. Sir, I do not know who is responsible and who is not responsible and who is more responsible. It is also not strange to know of the changes because he has mentioned about first change, second change and third change. So we find this year is a year of changes (laughter). I do not see in this particular subject although he mover of the motion has made a specific move about certain changes, yet certain policies in the matter of appointing Chairman. The discussion has gone to so many things and so many policies have been mentioned. But Sir, we do not find any change at all. The member who has moved the motion has been very very frank in saying that only the Members belonging to Congress party are being made Chairmen. But what is there Sir? Last time I was an M.L.A. but I was not a Chairman although I was in the only M.L.A in that Block. I never raised any objection in the House. Sir, if we are to share it for one or two months then what is the reason for grudge. I do not see any reason for the grudge. But Sir, the mover of the motion has mentioned only about the Congress men being M.L.As or M.D.Cs and also being appointed as Chairmen of the Blocks. I say that there is no change at all. It is the same policy of appointing the Chairman in the Apex Bank, in the Marketing Federation and....................
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- No, no, there is election in both the cases i.e. for the Chairman of the Apex Bank and also for the Marketing Federation.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Sir, the Chairman of these two agencies are not elected, they are appointed.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is wrong, the Chairmen of these agencies are elected. And you don't try to mislead the House?
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the change has been made against the Congress Party. That is why I say that there should be a sense of shaving each other's view-point and Sir, there should have been many Boards and many Organisations such as Red Cross Apex Bank and Marketing Federation and appointments to these are the things which cannot be satisfied by anybody.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, on a point of order please. He has also referred to the Red Cross..........
Mr. Chairman :- I am giving my ruling to the hon. Members and I think Mr. Pohshna will confine to the points only.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Yes, Sir, I will confine to my points. But the hon. Member who has moved the Motion has not confined to his policy. He has mentioned particularly about the Congress party and it is just because a Minister happens to be of the Congress Party and one Congress man happens to be a Chairman of the Committee. So Sir, he also has not confined to his own points. So, Sir, I would like to say that we want a direct suggestion from that side of the House so that all of us can go for such single suggestion. Sir, hon. Member also have said that there should be a change in future about such policies of the Government in appointing Chairmen Sir, I do not see any reason why the hon. Mover has moved the motion to charge the Government that the Chairman has been appointed from only one party. Because in the previous years these things have continued and this time also these things have been continuing and this time also these things have been continuing by this Government. On our part we never mentioned about such things when we were on that side of the House and moreover our days are very very short heads. And Sir, I have also seen one resolution which the hon. Member himself is going to move about the dissolution of this House. If it is so what is the concern about the appointment of the Chairman of the block or Apex Bank?
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is concerned with a policy matter and not with the time.
Mr. Chairman :- Now I ask Shri H.E. Pohshna to resume his seat since he cannot participate in this motion.
Now I ask Mr. Koch to participate in this motion.
Shri S.N. Koch :- Sir, I am not going to participate in this motion.
Mr. Chairman :- So, now Mr. Nongtdu to participate in the motion.
Shri O.L. Nongtdu :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to discuss something in connection with this motion that has been moved by the hon. Member from Mawsynram. I would like to cite only one very small incident in connection with this motion of what had happened in the department of taxation in 1974. There are two employees of the department of taxation in 1974 and one of them was expected to be promoted to the rank of Inspector and one person who was junior by four years happened to come from a small poor family and the other one happened to be a friend, perhaps the relative of the then Minister and the first one was overage by 10 months and the other one by two months, and I personally took up the case of the poor employee who came from a village that his case should be considered since he was overage by 10 months. But I was told that 10 months was too much and two months was alright. Let me put in the words of the hon. Member from Nongthymmai, "I was very much pained, I was shocked to hear that 10 months was too much and two months was alright." and let me put it in the words of the hon. Member from Jaiaw, as if he has treated is as his personal estate : "This is my relative and two months is nothing, but 10 months was too much:. Mr. Chairman, Sir, actually what I feel is that our Government has now adopted a far better policy than what the previous Government have done. With these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- Now I call upon Mr. Humphrey Hadem to participate in this motion.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have heard the views expressed by the ex-Chairman of Apex Bank and also by the Chairman of the Block and I also as an ex-Chairman would like to express my views. Sir, I think we have nothing to do with this experimental scheme as adopted by the Government in the matter of appointment of the Chairman of the Block and also Chairman of Apex Bank and Marketing Federation. It is only a question of the Government changing the policy every now and then on experimental basis. And I for one am feeling very much for it because by changing personal it also tantamounts to reducing the efficiency of the personnel and as such I think we have nothing to do with it. So let us forget about what has been done in the past and I also hope that since no specific rules and regulations have been framed about the policy matter regarding the appointment of the Chairmen, it is up to the Government and it is also according to the understanding of the Government at present. I don't think Sir, that I can say that this is not correct on part of the Government to do so. The Government which is in power can do anything which will suit the best interests of the people of the State and here it concerns with the appointment of the Chairman of the Block Committee. Unless a very definite policy is laid down under the rules I think the Government is free to do whatever it likes. Secondly, what the mover of the motion said is that he wants a commitment from the Government so that in future there will be no partisan spirit. Mr. Chairman Sir, I think that sort of commitment will be premature at this stage. The hon. Member from Nongtalang has said that our days are short and I think what he wants to say is that our days are numbered. As such Mr. Chairman, Sir, who knows after one year who will come to power either this side or that side. (Laughter), But that side is too lonely at present. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would advise the Government to make any such Commitment which is rather very premature at this stage and only when the rule and regulation will be brought to the House then in that case we may consider revision of the policy. So I do not agree with the remarks given that this is a personal property of this side. As it stands at present it is the property of the party in power and that we have experienced in the past and we have experienced now also. Since there is no specific regulation as I have already stated, the Government can do to the extent it considers necessary. In future I would suggest that if the House feels that a definite policy for appointment of Chairman of the Block Committee is necessary, that policy must be a specific one. In that case either this side or that side may bring a bill so that a definite policy will be followed by any Government whether this side or that side comes to power. With these few words I resume my seat.
Shri William Cecil R. Marak :- I would like to participate in this motion and I am very grateful to the mover of this motion but at the same time since they charge this Government I would like to say that our Party, i.e. the Congress Government is not partial at all. I would like to say that during the time of A.P.H.L.C Government nothing has been done to my constituency e.g., providing to a treatment plant for drinking water and they did not do anything and even in schools also they did not do anything.
Shri H. Hadem :- May I raise to point of order Mr. Chairman, Sir, the discussion is on the appointment of the Chairman of the Block Committee. I do not know how the motion concerns with drinking water and so on.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Let him quote the rules.
Shri H. Hadem :- I can quote the rules. I am not a fool.
Shri William Cecil R. Marak :- I am going to express my point in such way when they refereed to sterilisation which is not relevant. (interruption)
Mr. Chairman :- You can continue.
Shri William Cecil R. Marak :- I do not think it is a healthy practice to charge that the Congress Government is partial. I do not think that the Congress Government is partial. Why I say so because now I have seen that the Government is not partial and since it is not partial it has done something in my constituency and I have cited the example of those three or four cases. I met personally and talked to them and they have heeded to my request and now I feel that I really represent my people. So I do not think that in case of appointment of Chairman the present Government has decided that only men from the Congress Party should be appointed. This is not the decision of the Government and I do not believe it. So, I would like to differ with the mover of this motion and with these few words, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri Jackman Marak :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I also like to associate with this motion and I will not go to criticise the activities of the party. The only point is about the policy of appointment of the Chairman of the Block Committee and I am not hankering after the appointment as Chairman of the Committee. But one thing on behalf of 15,000 or 16,000 people we are representing in this Meghalaya Legislative Assembly but none of us has been appointed as Chairman of the Block Committee in consultation when Deputy Commissioner. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, my point is that at least from that side some M.L.As should be included in the Block Committees and other committees also. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, this is not the activity of the Party but I know the attitude of the Government in regard to the present system of appointment of the Committee and appointment of the Chairman of the Block Committee. I request the Government through you, Sir, to look into the matter and to kindly include the M.L.As in the Block Committee and in other Committees also. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- Any other hon. Member who would like to participate? I think the discussion is quite enough. I would request the Minister in charge to give his reply.
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister Community Development) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, as I said last time, the tree grows slowly, so I will speak slowly. According to the present Government, all the Minister, except have not experienced by sitting in the Opposition. Many of the M.L.A from both sides have experienced by sitting in the Opposition benches. I, myself in 1967 as a Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly, have experienced sitting in the opposition bench. Just now Mr. Jackman Marak, hon. Member from Chokpot, is sitting in the same seat I occupied Mr. Chairman, Sir, in a democratic system of Government, I agree that criticisms pointing the errors and mistakes committee by the Government from both sides - Opposition and Treasury Bench should be there. Mr. Chairman Sir, I would like to quote from my old political dairy what our beloved prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, said in Parliament on 25th July, 1948. "I think it would be a sad day if people stop criticising and condemning those who act in authority because people's strongly criticising and pointing out the errors and mistakes, people in authority often go wrong." They thought everything is right and everything else is wrong. That is dangerous. Even though they may be Congress men, Sir, in those old days, people in authority have been checked and kept upto the mark".
Mr. Chairman :- From which book you are quoting?
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister Community Development) :- From my old political dairy, Shri Jackman Marak How many year old). 7 years old this is a 1970 dairy, not very old. I found it out from one book. So I just noted it down. Meanwhile the discussion has taken place on the policy of the Government. In the beginning before we merged with the Congress last year I was thinking some of the important policies framed by the APHLC Government may be changed when the Congress members joined with us. Then they may like to change some of the good policies during the regime of the A.P.H.L.C. But now it seems contrary to me. Mr. Chairman, Sir, of course in the implementation of certain works and of certain specific schemes by certain officers, if specific instance of crops and mistakes is there, then this can be pointed out and the department can enquire into it and take the persons concerned to task if we find that something goes wrong. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I was listening attentively to the remarks and suggestions given from the other side. Of course the former Hon'ble Minister did not seek my answer. But they have sought the reply from our Chief Minister who is the head of the State. Now I would like to say only one things, and that is the same policy that we are following. Regarding the question asked by the hon. Member, Shri W. Syiemiong we have already answered to that question during the question hour, and so far, the appointment policy has been changed twice. The other side complained that they have not been in the list even as members. There are rules for the construction of the Block Development Committee Rule (f) says that members of the Legislative Assembly and the District Councils shall be ex-officio members of the newly constituted Block Development Committees and not only the District Councils members and M.L.As., but Sirdars, Syiems, Wahadadars, Lyngdohs in Khasi Hills, Laskars and President of Village Councils in Garo Hills and Dolois and Sirdars in Jaintia Hills.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- On a point of information. As per the list laid down on the Table of the House, all the M.L.As of the A.P.H.L.C. were not there.
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister Community Development) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the day before yesterday one hon. Member mentioned about that. I assured him that his name will be there right now. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I assure Mr. K.M. Roy Marbaniang and others whose names are not here, that they will be there from to-day evening. (Prof. A. Warjri -But none of them will be Chairmen). Of course during the good old days of the A.P.H.L.C. Government, frankly speaking, I never said that I will speak in the past 6 years...........
Shri Jackman Marak :- For the information of the Minister, not only from this side, but the hon. Member from Dambuk Aga, was excluded. That is why I was generally spoken.
Mr. Chairman :- I think you have referred to a particular person. But the Minister has referred to M.L.As and M.D.Cs Some rules are there and he will act accordingly.
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister Community Development) :- In the good old days, I am speaking frankly, only 3 A.P.H.L.C., M.L.As have been appointed as Chairman of Block Development Committees. Even now there are still one or two M.L.As who are still Chairmen of the Block Development Committees. (Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Not a single Chairman from this side). As I said, it is only for some months more and whether that would have to be changed. So far the policy of the Government is concerned, it is not the intention to nominate only party men, but only for one year we are nominating Members of the District Councils and also the M.L.As. Regarding policy matter of course, I cannot say anything because it is along with other Ministers that particular matter was discussed in the Cabinet, but what I can say as I have already said that so far the Government has not changed the policy laid down by the then A.P.H.L.C. Government. But certain elements will have to be consulted with the Chief Minister as desired by the two former Cabinet Ministers.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I must make it very very clear that after becoming Chief Minster of the Congress Government, I have never changed my duty. Hon. Member in the opposite side, now that the appointment of a Chairman is by a notification.
Shri Jackman Marak :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, if it is by notification then last year Chokpot has ...........
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the hon. Member who has just spoken was also the Chairman of the Block and there was public notification but after getting the notification the Chairman has been changed. At present, out of 24 M.L.As in Garo Hills, 23 are Congress M.L.As and so there is no scope to appointing somebody else in Garo Hills in so far as the Chairmanship in the Blocks is concerned. In Khasi Hills if I am correct, there is an M.L.A belonging to the congress. Now I have been asked to give an assurance that we should not take a partisan attitude in the appointment of Chairman to the Block Committees. Well if today, at this stage, the Member from the other side feel that they have not been given a proper share, I shall look into it..............
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Not for today. We are not interested only for today but we are interested for the long term period in the State.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I am coming to this. They do not want to change at present regarding chairmanship in the Blocks. But I can tell you Sir, I do not know whether they are interested or not, I am taking about the long-term policy which I think is the basic element of democracy. It should not be one sided. I must make a statement Mr. Chairman, Sir, because I am asked to make a statement on the long-term policy. It is in the context that to my mind it appears to be the basic element of democracy and definitely we do not want to monopolise everything. Therefore, I can give an assurance that shall always take the opportunity to meet the situation with every one having a share to participate in a good work. With these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- I think the discussion is quite enough. I would like to close it. Now Motions No.4 and 6 have been clubbed. Then we come to the next Motion which stands in the name of Shri H. Hadem. Mr. Hadem to move his Motion.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the situation prevailing in the border between the Jaintia Hills and the Mikir Hills District of Meghalaya and Assam respectively as a result of frequent encroachment.
Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, this motion has come every not and then before this House. I am not saying about disputes inside the border areas, but between the border of both Assam and Meghalaya. I am speaking about the disputes which arose in eastern side, then in the western side and also in the northern since of the borders of these two Districts of Jaintia Hills and Mikir Hills. This particular matter regarding the dispute between Jaintia Hills and Mikir Hills District has always come before the House. I think we remember aright, Mr. Chairman, Sir, it has started since 1972. I would like to remind this House that this is a long pending matter since the time of the then composite State of Assam. During that time even there was the same District Council but let me remind the House that previously that portion which now falls in the Mikir Hills District was then part and parcel of the then Jaintia Hills District that is prior to our independence and now we have a new name called the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District. That was since 1950. The problem arose with the creation of Mikir and North Cachar Hills District as was recommended by the Bordoloi Committee if I remember aright. The then representative of Jaintia Hills also happened to be a member of that Committee had made a protest against the slicing of a portion of the Jaintia Hills District to be tagged to the proposed Mikir Hills District and he even gave a note of dissent regarding the action taken and perhaps to be taken by this Committee which was recommending slicing a vast portion of the then Jaintia Hills Sub-division. This portion Sir, was part of the Raliang Doloiship, Nongtariang Doloiship Shilliang Myntang Doloiship and the whole Mynso-Syntung Sirdarship. These were the portions of the then Jaintia Hills Sub-divisions. These are sliced and tagged together to the then newly formed United Mikir and North Cachar Hills District. The areas sliced was 2,95.29 Sq. Km. Out of the then total area of the Jaintia Hills Sub division of 13,935.95 sq k.m. nearly half of the area of the Jaintia Hills District was sliced leaving the present area to be only about 3295.5 sq. k.m. Since that time the people both in the sliced areas and on our side were not satisfied and were crying for the parent subdivision now called Jaintia Hills District. That is why these people expressed dissatisfaction on being tagged to the newly formed District. They have even made a "No tax" protest.. They had also represented to the authorities during the composite State of Assam but even now the matter is in the same stage and so they are crying to come back to the original home to be together with the people of the same community, the Pnar people. On this matter resolutions after resolutions were unanimously passed by the House and communicated to the then composite State of Assam and the matter has been reopened some time back if I remember correctly in 1959, in which the then Government entrusted the task of bringing an amicable settlement to the two District Councils of United K.J. Hills District and the United Mikir and N.C. Hills District. But Sir, the result of the meetings of the two Councils was that a portion of the then sliced areas should be retransferred to the then United Khasi-Jaintia Hills District. After the recommendation of the Joint Committee of both the authorities concerned, the then United K.J. Hills District Council through the Executive Committee, had agreed to this suggestion, but the Executive Committee of the Mikir and N.C. Hills District Council voted the proposal. Since then the matter stands as it is at present. I would like you, Sir, to imagine the position in which the Pnar-speaking people are in. They have the same customs and usages as exist on this side among the Jaintia and Khasis but they have been tagged to a District where it is difficult for them to get used to the different customs and usages of that new District. It is very strange to them and uptil now our people are in a difficult position as if they are administratively within the State of Assam. Mr. Chairman, Sir, when the United Khasi Jaintia Hills District has been bifurcated and the Jaintia Hills District Council immediately came into existence this matter was again followed up. Even during the then composite of Assam after that even when our own autonomous State came and uptil now as stated, the matter is still hanging. This is not because we are hungry for extending of these people who are inhabiting in those areas.
Sir, as such the mater has been brought up every now and then on the floor of this House and I think you remember aright that right from the year 1972 in every Address made by the Governor he always mentioned about the boundary dispute between this side and that side. And Sir, I would not take much time of the House because I would like that other hon. Members also to participate. But as I have stated earlier, after discussion in the House and with many assurances given by the Government and we know fairly well that the Government has been trying their level best to get good cooperation from the other side but uptil now the matter still hangs without any fruit at all. So Sir, I would like now to bring the matter before the House that it is now going from bad to worse. According to the information given to the House by the Government that pending finalisation of the dispute, especially about permanent demarcation, the status quo should remain. But practically, as we find it at present, encroachment from that side is occurring every now and then. Let me cite some instances Sir, encroachments were made from Assam side toward Meghalaya in Khanduli location, I mean Khanduli area and forcible possessions were made form the other side. Even Khanduli bazar which falls directly within Meghalaya was now forcibly possessed by the authorities from Mikir Hills District Tolls were collected by them and so on and so forth. Even roads also were constructed well inside Meghalaya. I am glad to see in one of the P.W.D. budgets where that provision has been made for construction of road upto Mokoiram if I remember it right and I think this will be a very good start from our side, and as stated, actually, they have made a forcible possession even beyond the police checkpost of our State. Sir, as I have always pointed out to the House and even to the Police authority also because we have this common interest, we are owning our allegiance both to Assam and Meghalaya due to this joint cadre system.
Shri E. Bareh (Minter, Agriculture) :- There is no joint cadre system at present. They are borne from the I.P.S which is an all India Cadre.
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- I am speaking subject to correction Sir, and they are clever enough to deal with the situation whenever it arises. When there is trouble toward Khanduli area, they will depute the Assamese Police personnel and when there is trouble in the Cachar side they will depute the Bangalee Police personnel. So, you could very well understand, Sir, what is the actual position. The people have to face the worst consequence in all respects. Let me concentrate on this particular site of the present. These people have even started digging the foundation for dispensary buildings and they have also opened L.P. Schools and other institutions in the Khandul area. That is the information I have with me at present. Sir. That was not done only in connivance from that side. That is very clear and frank. That was done also in connivance with some interested persons from this side and the cultivable lands in possession of the local people from Meghalaya were unleashed also by the Jaintia Hills District Council which were occupied by the people from that side. When I say from that side, I mean from Assam through the District Council of Mikir Hills Sir, and it is also very strange to find that previously there were temporary boundary pillars. We are thinking, Sir, that from this they have got no right to go beyond these boundary pillars.
But they jump from one place to another through these pillars and then jump from Assam to Meghalaya side and it seems that life is this to the information of the Government which always speak of good-will while the result is always otherwise. I do not want to cast any reflection, Sir, but excuse me it is only a lop good-will and the actual action is otherwise.
Now, let me come to the Shilliang Myntang Doloiship and the village Mukroh where there are those particular boundary pillars. They have jumped right to ¾ of the portion of the village. The whole paddy lands used since time immemorial by the ten British Government, S.D.O. Jowai and the Revenue Department by the then United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District and then by the present Jaintia Hills District Council and under the continuous possession of this Mukro people and under the continuous possession of this Mukro people and even after 1950 which is after the formation of the then newly District Council of North Cachar and Mikir Hills District. But Sir, all those were under the forcible possession of the Government of Assam and even those pine trees there which were enjoyed so far and so long by those people now they are claimed to belong to the forests of the Mikir Hills District and some people were taken to the headquarters and they were treated very badly.
Mr. Chairman :- All these happened because the boundary pillar moved inside these places?
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Yes, Sir, all these encroachments are being made in spite of the agreement between this Government and that Government that the status quo should be maintain pending final decision of the boundary dispute. So, Sir, there are many instances not to say of our people who now went there to the Mikir Hills District, and for having their cultivation under their areas also they are harassed and they are not allowed to take the produce to their cultivation to this side. They are harassed in this way and that way. So, Sir, I do not like to stress very much on this point. This is just to bring this matter before this august House and I would like to inform the House that the matter is at present going from bad to worse.
So Sir, since it seems that the matters does not stand as it should have been, I bring this motion as an information to the House and especially, the Government as it is high time now for the Government to be more active in all aspects of the matter, in the law and order as already stated, as well as in the boundary matter. I would request the Government as it seems to me according to my humble observation that it is high time for the Government to move in a very strong way by requesting the Centre to interfere at this stage. Otherwise, I am afraid that while we are here in the safer side, our people will be in a very pitiable condition there. Last Sunday, I met one M.L.A. from that side and he admitted that something should be done. He is an M.L.A. from Mikir Hills District, he said something should be done either demarcation or some adjustments to settle there areas. I hope the Government will at least do all the needful. I have learnt that a one man Commission has been appointed, if I am correct. But I think that no progress has been made so far. I would request the Government to see that the earlier the matter is solved the better. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the Motion. It really amaze me that such things could be perpetrated upon the sacred soil of Meghalaya. There are three things for which a person can lay down his life and these are his religion his family and his land. It is really astonished that this question of encroachment has been going on for so many years, and we in this House have listened to so many accounts and reports of encroachment that we now wonder what actually it happening with the powers that be. Let us remember Mr. Chairman, Sir, that when once a person commits a crime with impunity and no action is taken against him, he is tempted to repeat the act. And so this attitude of indifference, even the attitude of politeness is not the solution. Mere politeness toward a sister State may not suffice in this case. It was stated by the ancient Greeks "A nod for a wise man and road for a fool's back"........... I would therefore very strongly recommend that when many polite words have been expressed through letters of protest, and polite meetings have been held, when these have proved to no value, it is certainly high time for this Government to apply a rod to a fool's back. It is not a question here, Mr. Chairman, Sir, of the demarcation of boundaries which are yet to be determined. In my Constituency of Mawhati, there are a good number of places where demarcation has to take place. But are a good number of places where demarcation has to take place. But here, in the Jaintia Hills, is a clear case of encroachment. Demarcation is here, in the Jaintia Hills is a clear case of encroachment. Demarcation is already there. We have heard the hon. Member who stated that boundaries.
Shri E. Bareh (Minter, Agriculture) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I will correct the hon. Member that the boundary settlement has not taken place. There is no boundary settlement, because there is no ground pillar, no ground survey. These boundaries which the hon. Member pointed out were illegal boundaries, illegal pillars fixed by one side. There was an agreement at that time jointly by the two states that boundaries should be fixed together. But these were illegally fixed by the Mikir people.
Mr. Chairman :- What do you mean by one side?
Shri E. Bareh (Minter, Agriculture) :- I mean Mikir Hills District of the Assam Government.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, when there were boundaries in the past, there must have been some sort of demarcation in the past. There are, to be sure, no records with the Government indicating how boundaries were recorded in the past. We had often made many request that we should have somebody in the Record Office of the then Government of Assam's Secretariat, but to our regret we have not been able to do so in time and to our dismay, many of our records have been taken away by a sister State. We do not even have copies of the records to show where there are clear cases of encroachment. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would request the Government to take strong action. It is not a small mater to shift boundary pillars. It is not the only place where it is happening; there are cases of it happening on the southern side of Meghalaya where boundary pillars of those areas seem to have acquired a surprising amount of activity and started jumping. Sir Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would very strongly recommend to the Government that we should not confine ourselves to letters of protest or polite talks but we should post sufficient police staff to guard the boundaries of Meghalaya and to protect the sacred soil of this State.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- We should be thankful to the mover of this motion for having brought this kind of motion before the House. It is indeed a mater of great importance to the State. Now I would not like to go into the details of the history of the case of disputed areas of Blocks I and 2 that the mover himself had made it explicit and had given detailed information. What I would like to focus to the House is the encroachment that has taken place in the Khanduli area. To inform this august House, I happened also to have some personal knowledge that our people there are experiencing great hardships. On more than one occasion, we have got the information that they were treated very inhumanly by the opposite side. This Khanduli area or areas we have been in our possession. Even though it is a disputed area it has been in our physical possession. The point that I would like to raise here for the serious consideration of the House is how was it possible that this area or these areas which have been in our possession are not no longer in our possession. There must be something wrong with either the administrative machinery or the police machinery. But one thing which strikes me most is that unless we try to re-oriented our attitude in dealing with this question, I am afraid, Sir, that as time goes by, we will find that more of our lands would e enjoined to the other State. I am not trying to put the blame on the Police Department or the officers. But somehow, I do feel that the attitude of the field officers or that of the negotiating officers had not been such as to deter the other side from doing things in this nature. The hon. Member, the mover of the motion, has ample justification to express his views in this manner because he is a man from that area. He has gone as far as to say that if this matter goes on in this way then it is high time that we press the Government of India to intervene. Otherwise, these problems will go on in a statusquo manner. I fully endorse the views as the hon. Member from Mawhati has stated, they may take our politeness for cowardice. You know when a man is too good it may be mistaken for weakness. Somehow, in these disputes of boundaries are encroachment, I think our polite attitude had been misunderstood. Therefore, I feel that at this stage we should take stock of the position on as it happens in the field. I am concerned with the areas under Block I and Block II. They should come to our side. That is reasonable. But I am terribly concerned with the incessant encroachment and the people who are in great hardships. From their hearths and homes they have to flee away and unless something drastic is done a day will come when we will have to answer to our prosperity. The hon. member had mentioned about possible ineffectiveness of the Police personnel. It may be so because, it we study the case of Khanduli, we now know that some areas have gone to the otherwise. What happened to the officers on the post? Why this thing had been allowed? I feel that we will have to answer to this. This matter is so grave in its implication that I feel that the whole Cabinet. The whole Government itself, should sit together with the representatives of that areas and come to a certain consensus of attitude and action. I would not like that the border disputes in this area should happen in a manner which is happening elsewhere like Assam and Nagaland. I want a peaceful; and amicable settlement. But I do not want that peace should be paid at the cost of our territory. Therefore, at this stage, I would urge upon the Government to seriously taken upon itself the task of doing something drastic immediately and, if possible, to get in touch with the authorities in the Centre so as to bring home to them and get these problems removed. This is one thing and, of course, there are other disputes like Block I and Block II and others in the Khasi Hills and Garo Hills Districts also which need immediate attention. I support the hon. Member who moved the motion.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am one with the mover of the motion. The matter has been dragging on for more than 26 years and it has not been solved. I need not say more on this but I would just request the Government to take serious steps to see that the morality of the people who inhabit the area in maintained and that something should be done to help the people and to make them feel that the Government of Meghalaya is with them. At the moment, encroachment is only from that side. From this side there is no encroachment at all. It appears that the other side is encroaching their people to encroach whereas we-because we want to maintain friendly relations - do not encroach such encroachment So something should be done to help the people and to tell them that Government is with them and that their claims is being supported by our Government.
Mr. Chairman :- You mean the Government should infuse in the people a sense of belonging?
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Yes.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also like to participate with one or two words in this important motion. I feel that we have had so many occasions to discuss the border problems and border disputes and border settlements. The people in general in our State have become disgusted now because they feel that the Government had done nothing. There is no outcome even though it has been discussed many times in this House. Now again this point has been brought by the hon. Mover of this motion about encroachment in those areas of Khanduli and Mukroh. I know this because I myself have gone to these villages. Earlier there was no question that the area is not within Meghalaya or that it does not belong to our people. In those areas, Pnars used to take up cultivation even farther beyond Mukroh and there was no question at that time that the area does not belong to us. Everybody knows that it falls within the Jaintia Hills District. I feel therefore, that now there must be a discussion on how to re- transfer the areas of Blocks I and II to the present Jaintia Hills District from the new District of Karbi Anglong we thought that the only settlement should be done by retransferring those two Blocks which were earlier arbitrarily transferred to Mikir Hills. But now we find again that even in these areas which are quite within Meghalaya there is encroachment. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I believe this State Government could not negotiate or could not persuade the Assam Government to maintain the status quo or rather to make some progress in retransferring those two Blocks. So I feel that a time has come now that our State Government should take up this case with the Central Government so that not only in the eastern border, settlement should be done but in the whole State including the border between Khasi Hills and Kamrup Districts also Unless the Government takes up this matter with the Centre, encroachment will go on and every time we will lose our territory. I do not think any State will allow such encroachment in their hearth and home. We have seen in other States even law and order situation arose due to border dispute. But here we are only just relying on the good words and goodwill and discussion. But those discussions did not yield any result. So I would request that the matter be taken up with the Central Government.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister for Revenue) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I fully appreciate the concern that has been expressed by the mover of the motion and also some of the hon. Members with regard to encroachment that has been made or that has occurred in some areas in the border between the State of ours and Assam in the portion that is bordering Mikir Hills. In this connection, Mr. Chairman, Sir, we would like to say that the Government is also fully alive of the question and the Government is also very much concerned that our territory should be maintained. It will be our endeavor, Mr. Chairman, Sir, as I have already said on other occasions, to see that not even an inch of our land is taken away by any other State. We will do our level best in order to maintain the territorial integrity of our State. As one of the hon. Members has said this land of ours is very dear to us and it is very dear to every inhabitant of Meghalaya. Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, there had been encroachment as has been mentioned by some of the Members who had just spoken now, but the Government in all these cases of encroachment have always taken steps to see that status quo is maintained. It is not a question of being merely polite to the Government of Assam so that no further encroachment will be made but we have lodged a strong protest with the Government of Assam asking them to maintain the status quo. In this connection I would submit that there has been difficulty also with regard to the actual boundary between these two States because in some parts boundaries have not been jointly demarcated. Now I will mention the few steps taken by the Government with regard to encroachment and for the steps taken by the Government it will be seen that the Government is not sleeping over the matter. My friend from Mynso has mentioned about the Khanduli Bazar. The tolls from this Bazar were previously taken by the Jaintia Hills District Council. Later on the Mikir Hills District Council leased out that Khanduli Bazar to one W. Dkhar in 1975-76. We brought this matter to the notice of the Government of Assam and then Assam Government stopped collection of tolls by the Mikir Hills District Council. Status quo was maintained.
Now, with regard to L.P. School building that has been located in Khanduli, a report was submitted to the Government and we have lodged a very strong protest. On 4th February 1977 a police officer accompanied by 6 constables from Assam came to Khanduli village with the intention of arresting the headman from that village on the plan that the latter obstructed construction of a school building out of a grant given by the Karbi Anglong District Council. This matter was also taken up with the Assam Government inviting their attention to the agreement date 20th April 1977 between the Deputy Commissioner Jaintia Hills and the Deputy Commissioner, Karbi Anglong District that both the District authorities should refrain from exercising active jurisdiction which may tend to create tension in the area. This Government also condemned the action of the police officer in arresting the headman which is in clear violation of the above agreement. We have also requested Assam Government that steps should be taken to avoid recurrence of any such incidents in the interest of cordial relations between the two States. Then the hon. Member from Mynso mentioned that there has been encroachment on these fields. Of course, with regard to these matters we have not received any report up till now. But action will be taken on all these cases, i.e., with regard to encroachment of the paddy fields of the villagers of Mawkroh. Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, there was another indicent, i.e. on the 28th and 30th November, 1976, the Chief Executive Member, Karbi Anglong District Council along with his officers visited Khanduli apparently for the purpose of giving financial aid to the people for certain development works in the area. A sum of Rs. 1,000 is reported to have been given by the Chief executive Members to one Shring Ringkhlem for improvement of an L.P. School fund by the Jaintia Hills District Council. It was further reported that about 200 bighas of forest lands near Khanduli would be registered with the Karbi Anglong District Council and its use in the future restricted. One U. Hores Nongspung was also reported to have received a sum of Rs.100 from the Chief Executive Member. This matter was taken up with the Assam Government with the request that they should issue necessary instruction to the District Council Karbi Anglong to refrain from such action in the interest of peace in the area and in the context of status quo agreed upon between the Deputy Commissioner, Jaintia Hills and the Deputy Commissioner, Karbi Anglong. No reply has however been received from Assam Government. But we appreciate that this matter has to be finally decided by both the Government, i.e., by Assam Government and the Meghalaya Government. Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, it has been mentioned by the hon. Member from Mynso-Raliang that these areas were previously part and parcel of Jaintia Hills District but unfortunately that portion of Jaintia Hills District has been carved out in order to form the District Council of Mikir Hills and it was done as far back as in the year 1950. Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, with regard to the Block I and Block II of Mikir Hills, the people there are origins of our Jaintia Hills District and they speak the language of our Jaintia Hills District and they speak the language of our Jaintia people and they are the people of Meghalaya. Sir, when this area had been included within the Mikir Hills, there was a very strong agitation. Now with regard to Block I and Block II after the agitation launched by the people there which continued upto 1957, it was considered and agreed upon to re-transfer these areas again to Jaintia Hills. But this matter has been pending up till now. At that time, Mr. Chairman, Sir, it was decided, that in order to enable the Government to decide this question of revising the eastern boundary, an approach should be made by the Government of Assam. And accordingly the Government of Assam wrote a letter dated 5th November 1957 to the C.E.M., Shillong and Mikir Hills District Council. It has also been mentioned by the hon. Member from Mynso that later on there was also a joint discussion between the two District Councils, i.e., District Council of Mikir Hills as well as Jaintia Hills District, Shillong. It has also been stated that the Government also agreed to the suggestion made therein for holding a joint survey by the District Councils to collect data and prepare sketch map for submission to the Government. The following particulars may be indicated therein -
(a) The area proposed to be re-transferred to Jowai Sub-division together with the villages therein.
(b) The population tribe-wise or sub-tribe-wise in each village within the area mentioned in (a) above.
(c) The dialect spoken by each tribe or sub tribe mentioned in (b) above.
(d) Trade routes of the villages in the area mentioned in (a) above.
(e) Other important information that may be necessary for considering the question of re-transfer of the area to Jowai Sub-division.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, of course, the Government of Assam holds the view that there was no question or re-transferring these Block I and Block II and whereas we mentioned that these areas should be re-transferred to the State of Meghalaya. At present, this question has been taken up at the officers level and correspondences between the two Governments are going on and Mr. Chairman, Sir, our Government will have to take further steps in order to come to a definite settlement with regard to these areas. Of course we know that this matter is very important and urgent and now we will take up this matter for the joint demarcation of the boundaries between Jaintia Hills and Mikir Hills. Again the hon. Members from Mynso and Mawhati have mentioned that the pillars are already there. Now in this connection, Mr. Chairman, Sir................
Shri Humphrey Hadem :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, regarding the boundary pillars, I don't think that these pillars are genuine. They are only the so-called boundary pillars fixed by themselves.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- With regard to this matter the hon. Member from Mynso already said that these areas were part and parcel of Jaintia Hills previously. There was notification in 1950 about demarcation of boundaries between Jaintia Hills and Mikir Hills. But besides that notification, no demarcation of the boundary has been relayed on the ground. It should be taken up jointly and new pillars just be placed on these boundaries and we also want that there should be joint demarcation by the two Governments. Of course, these matters will be pursued by our Government for the joint demarcation of the boundaries and over and above our Government is also pressing hard for the retransfer of Blocks I and II to Jaintia Hills. So, we are pressing for it and we are trying our level best to come to a final decision as early as possible. Of course, we will take up other measures also to protect the boundary of our State and as mentioned by the hon. Member that this matter is very urgent and we also agree, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that this matter is very urgent and we will see that no part of our territory is lost from our State. With these words, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- What are the possible measures that the Minister has in mind? If he can spell out one or two then we will be in a position to know.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- My friend also knows what are the measures that we are taking at present. We are trying to come to an amicable settlement with the State of Assam, and as I said, at present there is a meeting at the officers' level between the Government of ours and the Government of Assam. So I do not think it is advisable to divulge what are the measures to be taken because it will depend on the nature and circumstances of the case as they come up later. So it is very difficult to predict the steps that we are supposed to take in the future.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas) :- I think we will accept the suggestion made by the hon. Member from Jaiaw. The whole Government will look seriously into this matter. We are equally concerned and I am glad to hear from the Minister that there had been a time that this matter came up before the two District Councils to the extent that a joint survey be taken up.
Mr. Chairman :- That is already there. Just because the demarcation of the areas is pending therefore the status quo should be maintained between the two Governments and during the period encroachment occurred which means that the status quo is violated.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- We are pressing that also.
Shri Hadem :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, under sub-rule (3) of Rule 283 I have the right to reply to this information given by the Minister in-charge Sir, I would like once again to impress upon the Government that even till now that status quo is every time violated by the other side, even in Khanduli Bazar and other places and even in Raliang Doloiship something had happened. So I would not bring home to the Government that this information so far received by this Government is not up-to date and for that Sir, I would like to stress further that construction of roads is progressing from that side as I have already stated. I would like to repeat the suggestion given by me before, that if the Minister at this stage cannot give any commitment the Government should take the earliest opportunity to settle this seen in the Governor's Address piece-meal settlement of the boundary dispute here and there. We remain peaceful whereas the other side is active and as such I would like to suggest that the Government will please expedite this matter within a few months months failing which the matter will be placed before the Centre for a decision by the Central Government otherwise we shall be blocked every now and then by the other side.
Mr. Chairman :- We have enough discussion on this motion and the Government should take note of the seriousness of the matter. So the discussion on the motion is closed.
Now we come to the next motion No.8 Prof. M.N. Majaw to move.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the scales of pay of Government servants under the Government of Meghalaya.
Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved. You can initiate the discussion.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to speak in defence of a defenseless class of persons, the silent army of State Government workers who toil every day come sunshine or rain in dusty, crowded offices, bound down by a multitude of Conduct and Service Rules, forbidden to agitate for their rights, blames, when other made mistakes but never praised, and yet compelled to accept conditions of services meted out to them. No other more dedicated class of persons can the State Government find whose only aim in life is to obey. Mr. Chairman, Sir, they are really the unknown, unsung heroes of this Government. When we raise matters in this house although we have a Government and a Ministry which is responsible to this house, the back lash of it all falls upon these poor hapless victims of the wrath of high-ups who may not be prepared to accept their responsibilities, but will foist them upon these undefended people. Mr. Chairman Sir, a reference was made, not once but often in this House to a change of Government. It is may earnest wish, and desire, the dream, that with this change of Government, aimed at a classless society, aimed at a welfare State and socialistic pattern of administration (At this stage the Speaker occupied the Chair), we will be able to give to the working classes greater justice. We had hoped they would get greater justice, particularly the just wage. Mr. Speaker, Sir, a just wage is not merely a living wage. As denied by sociologists, it includes or covers the basic requirement of life plus moderate comforts for the family of the worker, so that he can look after his family and also earn extra emoluments to help him to raise himself in society and to seek greater and higher avocations in life.
Mr. Speaker :- Social scientist never calculate only the income of one man, but take into account the total income of the whole family.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I am quite aware of that Mr. Speaker, Sir. But the burden of my argument today will be that those calculations are not based on a real appraisal of situations today appertaining in the State. Now, the directive principles of State policy, Mr. Speaker, Sir, have been enunciated in the Constitution. Article 39 says that "the State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood". Article 43 says that "the State shall endeavour to secure by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other ways, to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions or work ensuring a decent standards of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities." I repeat Mr. Speaker, Sir, "a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities".
Again this, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I propose to examine the pay scales of the employees of the Government of Meghalaya. After the separation from Assam, for a time, we had our own pay scale. But in the year, 1975, we had this resolution of the Report of the Assam Pay Commission, 1973, together with the Meghalaya Service Rules, 1975, and the Government of Meghalaya by a resolution dated 7th August, 1975 accepted the Report of the Assam Pay Commission. In that resolution, it had said that it had paid careful consideration of those recommendations of the Pay Commission and had accepted them in Principle so that most of the employees of the Assam Government now serving in connection with the affairs of Meghalaya would received all these benefits. It had considered the fact that most of the employees, who are the employees of the Assam Government, should not be denied these benefits of the recommendations of the Pay Commission as accepted by the Meghalaya Government, which they would have enjoyed had they been in service till with the Government of Assam. The Pay Commission of the Government of Assam was set up in 1973 and they took as a base for the price index the year 1949, that means making 1949 equal to Rs.100. On that basis, after assessing the price index in the State of Assam in the year 1972, they put the price index at 261 point, taking 1949 as the base, that is, 100 points, Both the Governments of Assam and Meghalaya granted dearness allowance in addition to the pay scales which had been accepted. The Governments of Meghalaya and Assam granted dearness allowance at the rate of 3½ per cent for each 9 points of rise in price, allowing for a rise in the price index for over 9 points. 3½ per cent increase in dearness allowance was given to those sitting below Rs.300 and those getting above Rs.300, 2½ per cent dearness allowance was given. In this manner, dearness allowance was announced by both Assam and Meghalaya. From 1st July 1973 upto 30 June 1974 dearness allowance was granted because of the rise of the price index. At that time both Assam and Meghalaya granted 7 per cent, that is 18 point for those receiving a salary upto Rs.300 and 5 percent for those receiving a salary above Rs.300. Then, in the meantime, there was an adhoc sanction made by both the Governments not based upon any price index not based upon any calculation, but mere adhoc sanction from 1st April 1975. I am speaking of dearness allowance which was given to the employees of both the Government - dearness allowance of 10½ per cent to those getting salaries upto Rs.300 and 7½ per cent to those getting salaries above Rs.300. Then again from 1st September 1976 another adhoc sanction was made without any reference to the price index without reference to the continuing scheme and also not in accordance with the recommendation of the Assam Pay Commission. It was granted from 1st September 1976. Those employees getting salaries upto Rs.300 got 14 per cent dearness allowance and those getting above Rs.300 got 10 per cent. That was given by Assam. Meghalaya gave 30 per cent to those getting salary upto Rs.300 and 15 per cent for those getting above Rs.300. Now, fortunately for the Assam Government and unfortunately for us, the Assam Government on its own granted an additional dearness allowances from 1st July, 1974 as per notification of the Government of Assam, through the Finance Establishment (A) Department, issued from Dispur on 24th May, 1977. Well, it said in paragraph 2 of that notification that a part of the additional dearness allowance would be deposited in the Provident Fund account. Nonetheless it said that additional dearness allowance payable with effect from 1st March, 1977 onwards would not be deposited in the Provident Fund account but paid directly to the Government servants. Now this additional dearness allowance granted with effect from 1st July, 1974 has not been granted to our Government servants. It was granted tot he Government Servants of Assam and I make a very strong plea for the acceptance of this by this Government, as also in view of the fact that the Pay Commission Report and the pay scales of Assam have been accepted by this Government. Further Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I point out that in the matter of House Rent Allowance also, our poor Government servants suffer because of their being under this State and not under Assam. While Assam gives 10 per cent house rent allowance, our Government given only 7½ per cent house rent allowance. Here also there is a discrimination. It is very unfair Mr. Speaker, Sir, because of these two reasons, in particular, a number of our Government servants are still on deputation of this State from the Government of Assam. They have received no deputation allowance, but on the other hand, they are denied these additional facilities, additional emoluments, small though they may be, and they are denied house rent allowance which they could have received had they continued to remain under the Assam Government but because of love for this State, they have come here. Now, they are made to suffer as a result of their choice.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is unfortunate indeed that in this State we do not have a price index. I rang up a number of Government offices to find out what exactly is the price index obtaining here in the market of Shillong because the scales of pay have been made out by the Assam Pay Commission are flexible only as far as Dearness Allowance is concerned. It rises according to the price index, taking 1949 as the base. It is my humble submission. Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the price index in Shillong cannot be taken to be the All India Price index. The price index in Delhi the day before yesterday - of all commodities - was 187.3, taking 170-71 at the base. But here in Shillong in the entire State of Meghalaya, the price are much higher than that for the simple reason that most of our essential commodities are carried by roads. Because of the exorbitant cost of petrol and other lubricants and because of the exorbitant cost of the spare parts of vehicles, and also because we have no other means. Our pay scales on the other States. The allowances and gratuities are much less than those in other sister State.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out that there are even cases of the pay scale not having been fixed despite several years of correspondence. There are cases of even aged parsons who have retired from Government service who have not received their pension or whatever gratuity was due to them, Their case is till pending. Now, consider the lot of those weak, old, infirm, decrepit persons who, in the autumn of their life are compelled to seek other avocation because of the delay and red-lapism on the part of the Government to allow them their pension. Now, it may be said that in the matter of pension and pay slips, they are under the jurisdiction of the Accountant General and that the State Government has little to say in that matter. I beg to disagree Mr. Speaker, Sir. Although final pay slips will come from the Accountant General, and although final fixation of pension will come from the A.G's office, the State Government does have a grave responsibility in securing justice for the retired personnel. The Directive Principles of State Policy have also said under Article 41 of the Constitution - "The State shall within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education, and to public assistance in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement and in other cases of underserved want." Now the cases of these retired personnel also Mr. Speaker, Sir, certainly deserve the sympathetic attention of this Government. I would, in fact, propose that the State Government have a special Cell to look into the fixation of pay scale of such persons to see that pay slip are obtained in time and also to secure pension benefits to retired personnel. I would even suggest that this House should legislate on this matter to allow interest to be paid to the Government servants. It may be known to this House that in the case of land compensation, after the value of compensation has been determined and fixed, if there is delay in the payment of compensation to the grantee, interest is then allowed by law to the grantee. Likewise, I suggest, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that in order to wake up the Government to secure equal justice to all Government employees, interest should be given to them for Government's inordinate delay in securing justice for them. Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this I would suggest also that there should be a bifurcation between Audit and Accounts. This has not been done in the Accounts and Audit office, but here in this State also I strongly recommend a bifurcation between audit and accounts, so that pay slips etc can be given not from the Accountant General's office but by the State Government. It has often happened to a number of officers in the State when they have been granted extra allowances or received promotion or are to received other types of allowances, that an inordinate delay always occurs before they can receive their new pay slips. They have often to wait for more than a year before pay slips are issued to them. I therefore, make a very strong plea, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the payment of all allowances now taking the form of arrears to all categories of Government servants so that there should be no scope on their part to cry because of their sufferings.
How much does the average Government servant spend, Mr. Speaker, Sir? The father, the mother, and three children if we want to calculate their minimum daily expenditure it would amount to an average of at least Rs.20 to 25 a day. That amounts to almost Rs.750 a month. On the other hand, the average Government servant, Mr. Speaker, Sir, gets Rs.400 per months. With this he cannot support of his family and so he sends his wife to work and sometimes even his children also because he cannot live without additional allowances. The Directive Principles of State Policy, Mr. Speaker, Sir, say that the Government should protect the week; but because of the exigencies of the day, Government servants are sometimes compelled to send their wives to work, and often when both father and mother re in office, social and moral problems crop up, ruining the family, when the parents are note there to look after their their children. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would plead in particular for the many poor Government servants in the lowest rung to the hierarchy.
Mr. Speaker :- Do you maintain that only husbands should work and not the wife?
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- If someone wants to have additional allowances it is a different matter. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have a number of cases of both parents being compelled by circumstances to seek other employment.
Mr. Speaker :- But I think you must be aware that in fully developed countries both the persons, male and female are working.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in those countries a humble school teacher gets Rs.3,500 a month. I plead on behalf of the many Gr. IV employees who, day in and day out, are the faithful custodians of Government offices. What amenities, what pleasures, what leisure is allowed to them? Are they able to look after their children as laid down in the Constitution of India? Can we not remember that the poor have greater hunger? They eat more and have more children. In fact, one of the solution to the problem of over population is to raise the standard of living of the person. This has been proved by biology. If a person eats richer food like ghee, butter, cheese, milk etc. the rate of fertility drops (laughter). This is what Mahatma Gandhi propagated if you raise the standard of living, automatically the birth rate in the country will be stabilised. We know from our own experience that the poor have more children than the richer, and their sufferings are greater.
Let not this Government think that because its servants are a silent, army the backbone of the State Government, it cannot bring the entire functioning and machinery of Government to bought. There have been no agitations in the State. There have been no strikes in the State by Governments to give them justice. But let not their silence here in Meghalaya be misunderstood.
We do not want that mere words be given to them today by anyone who is to reply to this motion on this debate. You cannot feed the stomachs of the poor with words. Let us have action, let us have an immediate announcement by the Government during this session that the additional D.A. as granted by the Assam Government to Government employees will also be given here, and that the house rent allowances would be raised to the same level as in Assam, where house rent is lower than in our State. We are allowing 7½ per cent house rent allowance to our Government servants, whereas in Assam where house rent is cheaper, they have been allowed 10 per cent as house rent allowances. I would also plead Mr. Speaker, Sir, for rationalising all the pay scales. Look at the Central Government employees. They breathe the same air, live in the same hills in the same climate, but they are allowed 6 months winter allowance and our poor Government servants are allowed only 5 months. It is the same winter that wraps them around and makes them shiver in their warmless homes; but they get only 5 months winter allowance whereas the Central Government employees get 6 months. I am not pleading for justice Mr. Speaker, Sir, that when we have accepted the pay scales of Assam why can we not deal with our own staff equally?
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are particular cases to which I would like to draw the attention of the Government in the matter of delay in fixing pay scales or the granting of pension. There is an old case of a gentleman from Mynso-U Crossminald Iakaias - a retired L.P. School teacher, who since 1968 had been begging and begging the Education Department to grant him his pension. The A.C. has also written to the Under Secretary, Education Department vide letter PEN.2/K/32 of 1976-77/18 dated 18th September 1976, reminding the State Government of this matter; but I beg to submit to this House that though he retired since 1968 this gentleman has yet to received his pension. Then, also, there is the case of the pay scales of teachers of Government-aided schools. It is surprising to learn that an L.P. School teacher gets a higher salary than an M.E. School teacher-there are anomalies in the pay scales that have to be rectified. There are also examples in the Medical Department where seniority has not been finalised. There is no list of seniority in the Health Department.
Apart from these individual cases, may I make an earnest appeal for a just wage which will not only cover the basic essentials of life of the Government servant but will also provide moderate comfort and an extra amount to raise himself up in society. Thank you.
Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to associate myself with the hon. mover of the motion. But of course my tune of music may be a little different from the tune of the hon. mover of the motion. The hon. Mover of the motion has with all his strength tried to justify that the employees should be given better pay, better amenities etc. I think there will be no second persons who will deny that our L.P. School teachers would be given those benefits. There is also a saying "Cut the coat according to the cloth". Now if we consider Meghalaya as one family then the Government is definitely the head of that family which may be called a Korta or Manager and since the Government is the head it has the duties the responsibilities to discharge. So when the Government is too look after the interest of its employees, equally Government shall have to look after the interest of other members to the family such as the cultivators, artisan workers and others. The hon. mover of the motion has compared the amenities given by the Assam Government and the amenities given by our Government. There is a difference. The Assam Government is earning some crores earning. Even if our Government wants to improve the lot of our employees I think that cannot be done without hampering the interest of other members. I really appreciate the points raised by the mover of the motion that many employees are forced to allow their wives, daughters etc., to work in some other places. Perhaps the hon. Member always lives that Shillong and has not gone to the countryside. So he may not have much experience how our mothers and sisters work in the fields. With the baby on their back their mother goes to the paddy fields to plough the land. The Government is to give drinking water to the children. A duty lies with the Government to give water to the people and the cultivators to drink and irrigate their fields and also to educate their children to give them road to walk and if we take all these things the Government is left with little means to help the State and the people even if the Government has a sincere desire to do. I think many of the members should not encourage nor embark upon to give better facilities to the employees and I am very much sure the conditions of our employees which the hon. mover has mentioned is not that the Government employees cannot speak. Very recently the teachers in Garo Hills went to strike. That speaks that our laws are not stringent to stop them from vindicating there grievances. The silence of our employees is not because they are forced to be so but they needed not resort to any agitation because our employees are getting sufficient enough commensurate to their services. The hon. Member said that the wise to the officers are also serving, because his salary is not sufficient to meet both ends. There is nothing wonder in it. In our State our mothers go to the paddy fields in the baby not only on their back but a baby in the inside also. So I would like to appeal to the hon. Members to think from right perspective and not to indulge in such things which may tend to agitate the people on artificial plea that they are deprived of their due rights. I am sure our employees are educated, are very much capable of appreciating the lot of our people where poverty knows no bound. Mr. Speaker, Sir, while I am speaking and justifying my point it may sound that I am differing with the mover of the motion. But in essence it is not. I should be one of the happiest men of the land to see that better facilities and amenities are given to our employees but what I want to stress is that at this stage that further facilities should be given to the employees of our State Government when our financial position is not very satisfactory with uphill task Government is to do for the progress of our State and the people. At least in one point we are satisfied that our employees have their secured source of income. As soon as the man enters into the service, his income is more or less secured. But see the fate of the cultivators who work for eleven months in a year and just at the time of harvest animals may come and destroy, flood may come and destroy and there may be hundreds and thousands of these things. So there is no security in the case of cultivators. So there is no definiteness of their earning but in the case of Government employees, there is security. It is a matter of time factor. Thirty days passed means to get their salary though it may not be sufficient. What is sufficient in the lifer of human being, Sir?
This sufficiency has no definition, Sir, five rupees may be sufficient for the cultivator but five lakhs may not be sufficient of the multi millionaire. There are people who go on Sight seeing trip in Ashoka hotel or Oberoi hotel and we cannot think of these things ever. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is my earnest desire that at this stage there should not be any such talk which may encourage those who are having yet they may likely joint the chorus of 'no we are not having' and it may jeopardsise the development of the State and thereby we will be depriving many of our men from getting their due who do not know what is right, how to write what is their right who do not know what is the Assembly, do not know who is the M.L.A. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the entire situation may be set in great economic chaos and confusion and deter systematic process of State's development. So it is my earnest appeal to the hon. mover that from the time being, whatever is given to the Government employees to consider that it is sufficient. And one thing also I hope the hon. member will agree with me that the Government employees are not uncared soldiers. The hon. Mover of the motion himself chaos clearly mentioned about the Pay Commission's Report, showing that the Government servants have not been given those facilities. If it is so, then how this revised pay scale was given to them? This clearly shows that there are men to care for them. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to state that I generally agree with the points and views expressed by the hon. Mover of the motion and I would take only a few minutes of my time to underline an important aspect of thinking. I believe, Sir, that we should not allow a situation to develop. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the employees of the Government would feel that they are victims of discrimination. I say this with particular reference to the step taken by the Government of Assam when they have agreed to grant additional dearness allowance to the employees of the State Government of Assam with effect from 1st July 1974. Most of the employees were absorbed on or before 16th July, 1976. If they are there they would have been the recipients of the additional dearness allowance. Therefore, we want to have an assurance that our employees should be receipts of the additional dearness allowance.
Therefore, I would plead that the Government is so far as this additional D.A. which has been given to the State employees to the Government of Assam is concerned, we should also do likewise because we have in principle, adopted the Assam Pay Commission Report, 1973, I would also like to appeal to the Government through you Sir, that our employees of the State Government should be given in additional D.A. and also rationalisation of pay scales. I think it is high time now Sir, that we consider also the question of having our own Pay Commission in view of the spiraling price index since the last many month. It is very important for this Government to consider this specialty so that in that context, we will be able to rationalize the scale of pay. This Government must also consider giving adequate rental allowances to the State Government employee. This could be done even now. The proposal to constitute a Pay Commission may come up at a later stage.
Prof. Alexander Warjri :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would take only three minutes to get some clarification from the Government. While participating in the motion, enough has been stated by the mover and my friend who has just spoken. Yesterday, it was a shock to me when I learned that even the Government servants come tot hem working even in this Assembly Secretariat, who are still on deputation from the Government of Assam, are facing great difficulty even to get their house building advance for their non-confirmation. I hope the Government will look into this.
Mr. Speaker :- I think, that is a matter which you should bring to my notice. I think it is not the concern of the Assembly set up. As you know, the Assembly Secretariat is an independent Secretariat and it is only when we want additional posts, we have the Government sanction for the posts.
Prof. A. Warjri :- I just give an example-Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are even employees in the Government departments and in this regard, I have been moving many times, that quite a good number of them are coming over from Assam and unconfirmed till today. Some lf them are to go on retirement perhaps, next year or the year after the net. Uptil now, they do not get heir confirmation. I hope that the Government which has been busy corresponding with the Government of Assam for this will soon each a decision regarding those employees. The last point Sir, that I would like to mention is about certain labourers who belong to the lowest category. The mover of this motion himself has mentioned just now that those people are not classed as Government servants but had been working in the Government departments for a long time. What I mean to say here is that there are certain labourers who have been employed under the Government and who are working from 7 O'clock in the morning upto 4 O'clock in the evening. For example, I know of the case in this Fruit Garden here in Shillong. they are working for so many hours getting only five rupees per day which come to only 150 rupees a month. Whereas ever an ordinary labourer is paid higher than them. I would appeal to the Government to consider raising their wages by granting the rate that is being enjoyed by labourers who are working privately and who are getting about rupees seven per diem. I would appeal to the Government to do the same thing to those people who are working in the Government departments. With these words, I resume my seat.
Shri William Cecil R. Marak :- Mr. Speaker, I would also like to participate in the discussion of this motion. I appreciate the mover of this motion and I also take this opportunity to urge upon the Government to examine this matter as early as possible. There might be a slight difference of opinion here and there. But one thing that I would like to remind the House and the Leader of the House, the Chief Minister, when he always used to say that we have to start from the starch, our State has to start from the starch. In this matter, I would also like to say that we are also to see to our economic capacity as it is stated by the mover of this motion from the directive principles of State policy of the Government. So I would request the Government to consider this matter according to the economic capacity. With these few words I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Anybody else, we have only three minutes. I do not think the Minister concerned will be able to reply within three minutes. What I proposed is that the Minister will reply in the next Session. Now, we will take up item No.5 Mr. Kyndiah to raise a discussion under Rule 49 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to raise a discussion under Rule 49 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on matters arising out of the reply to Unstarred Question No.79 laid in the House on 10th June, 1977 on the subject, "M.S.E.B. employees taking part in politics".
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. You can raise a discussion.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in raising a discussion on the replies to this supplementary question, my main intention is that in view of the importance of the matter, I feel that the elucidation of fact is imperative in order to know the actual state of affairs. The premises of my submission, Sir, as indicated in the question is that firstly, the M.S.E.B. i.e. the Meghalaya State Electricity Board employees cannot take part in politics or attend political conferences. This is also clear in the Service Rules adopted by the A.S.E.B. formerly and later on by the M.S.E.B. which says that no Government servant, i.e., employees of the M.S.E.B. also shall be a member or be otherwise associated with any political party or any organisation which takes part or subscribes to it or assists in any other manner in political movement or activity. This is my submission Sir, that in this case the person whom I named the other day in my supplementary question is Shri Jagadindra Arjun who is the Assistant Divisional Account of the Maintenance Subdivision of the M.S.E.B. who had been associating and taking part in political activities. My second submission, Sir, is that the employees who do so or take part or associate in political activities are subject to disciplinary action. Now, I would like to state here Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this person, Jagadindra Arjun had on the 18th November, 1976 applied to the Executive Engineer, Umiam Civil Maintenance Division M.S.E.B. for casual leave for attending the Youth Congress meeting at Jawaharnagar from the 17th to 21st November, 1976. According to the letter, it say: "As I am to attend the above session from the 17th to 21st November, 1976, special causal leave may be granted for the same". Now the matter is clear.
Mr. Speaker :- You are reading from what? How did you get a copy? You have a Photostat copy. You have to place it on the Table of the House.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- I will do that, Sir. Now according to the answer both Minister of Stage for Power the other day to my supplementary question he said that the person concerned applied for causal leave to go Jawaharnagar and that he remained absent from office before a decision either to grant this leave or to refuse it is taken as his application for leave reached office very late. Explanation is being called from him asking him why we did remain absent or whether he actually attended the Congress Session. My information is that this person did attend the Session which is clear from his letter and from information I received. My second point is that in view of the facts that this person had applied and attended a political session on the Congress Party, disciplinary action should be taken against him. But , in this case, to my knowledge no disciplinary action was taken against him. But, in this case, to my knowledge, no disciplinary action was taken against him. On the hand, some time in the month of March, this person was transferred from this present position at Barapani to Nongstoin Division. But even that transfer could not be put into affect. Now this case looks to be very fishy. How could it have happened so? Then in my own way I tried to find out the fact of the case. I am to state with responsibility and regret that this person had the audacity to do so because of a certain political patronage. He happened also to be the Secretary of the Meghalaya State Electricity Supply Workers Union which according to my information and knowledge is not a recognised body because the body which should be recognised is under the Union Body of the then Assam Electricity Board known by a different name, i.e., the Meghalaya State Electricity Board Workers' Union.
Mr. Speaker :- Are the two rival unions?
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Yes and he happens to be the Secretary.
Mr. Speaker :- Of an unrecognized one?
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Yes. Therefore, it is my submission that either the M.S.E.B. or the Government is a fault. My own information is that the Board itself was keen to take different action. But there has been interferences by the Government. Therefore, Sir, this is a fit case in which drastic action is improved. So my submission to you Sir, is that if you want to maintain the standard of the administration of the M.S.E.B ................
Mr. Speaker :- For any Government servant to take part in politics goes against the rules of conduct and the Government must take necessary action according to the rules. My point is that he has taken part or attended the political party meeting.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- And yet no action has been taken up-to-date.
Mr. Speaker :- I have asked that it be placed on the Table of the House. A Photostat copy of the letter of the person concerned.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- But is is readable?
Mr. Speaker :- Yes, I can read.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Sir, I want just to add one word that in the reply to the Minister in charge of the other day, he stated, that the explanation was being called for. My point is that : What further need is there when the application itself is so self-explanatory; that he had applied for leave of the purpose of attending the Youth Congress meeting. It is so self explanatory that there is no need for any more explanation.
Mr. Speaker :- The Government is yet to find out the genuine of this letter. This letter is self-explanatory if it is true : whether this gentleman attended the meeting or not. The intention was clear that he wanted to attend the Congress Session. Of course, I do not know if this is his handwriting or not. I am not the authority to deicide.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- The original is in the file. There is no need to go into this photo-stat copy.
Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Power etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the first instance I really thank the Hon. mover of the Motion for bringing this subject for the discussion here. The hon. Member is keen to see that the functioning of the Board in particular and the Government in general should be quite capable of delivering the goods to the people without having any undesirable atmosphere at any level of the administration. Shri Jagadindra Arjun, as correctly stated by the hon. member, is any Assistant Divisional Accountant in the Office of the Executive Engineer, Umiam Civil Maintenance Division, Barapani who happens to be the General Secretary of the Meghalaya State Electricity Supply Workers' Union. On 16th November 1976 - not 18th as stated - he sent an application to the Executive Engineer concerned for a special casual leaving requesting for leave from 17th to 21st November 1976. In the wording of the application, as correctly quoted by the hon. Member, I have also been thinking of quoting the very wording here for attending the Youth Congress Session at Jawaharnagar. As per rules special casual leave for 3 to 10 days is permissible to office bearer of any Union or Association. Initially the Executive Engineer was in a bit of confusion. So on 7th December 1977 he forwarded that application to the headquarters at Shillong seeking a clarification as to whether he is in a position to sanction any leave applied for by the incumbent. The Head Office promptly in January 1977 wrote back to the Executive Engineer stating that no special leave could be granted for this purpose. The second point which they wanted was to confirm as to whether the incumbent has really attended the Session or not and in that letter they also wanted to know and verify as to whether he attended that Session as a mere casual observer. As per Government Servants' Conduct Rules, as has been quoted by the hon. member who has taken the trouble of collecting the Rule book, that no Government Servant shall be a member of or otherwise associate in any political party, any organisation which take part or subscribes to a political movement or political activities. In this regard, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Board or the Management on the basis of this had asked the Executive Engineer to clarify those points. The Executive Engineer replied back to the Head Office stating that the incumbent proceeded on leave without prior sanction and he was missing on 17th, 19th and 20th instants 18th being Sunday. The Executive Engineer also stated that the incumbent has got no casual leave at his credit and if he at all wanted leave he should apply for earned leave. The matter is still pending and after that there had been a lot of correspondence. Now in this connection I would like to inform the hon. Members that there is no evidence or proof to show that he had attended the Session. We do not have sufficient proof to say that he has actually attended the Session and in those circumstances without any evidence no action can be taken against him. But according to rules action can be taken for leaving the station without prior permission, and secondly he has proceeded on leave without leave being sanctioned. At the same time, I would like to request the hon. Member if he can to bring some poof or evidence to show that the incumbent has really attended the Congress Session. In this connection I would like to make it very clear to the hon. Members that either the MSEB or the Government is not interested in protecting or shielding anybody against acts of indiscipline or misconduct. rules shall be applied for all equally. Appropriate action will be taken against anybody who will village the rules. We do not want to shield and hush up mattes for the sake of patronizing involvement in politics of any party. Also I would like to make it clear to the hon. members who have alleged that the Governed interfered in the affairs of the Board which is absolutely wrong. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the matter of transfer I would like to say that it is normal case.
Mr. Speaker :- The hon. Members brought some allegations against some person who according to them, perhaps violated the rules which amounted to indiscipline against the Government Servant's Conduct Rules.
Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Power) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to point out here that these organisations have not got recognition from the Government side and also I do not see that these 2 or 3 Unions have got any link with the subject to be discussed in the House.
Mr. Speaker :- So the House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. tomorrow, the 15th June, 1977.
|The 14th June, 1977.||
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.