Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.30 a.m. on Friday, the 27th May, 1977 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Deputy Speaker in the Chair.
Present - Six Ministers, five Minister of State and twenty-eight Members.
REPORT OF THE BUSINESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Let is begin the business of the day by taking up Item No.1. Let me announce the report of the Business Advisory Committee. It may be recalled that this House in its meeting on 25th May, 1977, had agreed that the matter regarding allocation of time for different Assembly be referred back to the business Advisory Committee. I accordingly called a meeting of the Committee on 26th May, 1977, to resettle the business for the current session of the Assembly.
I may inform the House that, after examination of the Calendar which was already circulated and after considering all aspects of the matter, it was the consensus of the Committee that 5 (five) working days should be set part for general discussion on the Budget, and another 6 (six) working days allocated for Private Members' Business instead of 2½ days proposed earlier.
The final form of the Calendar as revised by the Committee is placed on the members' table. I hope this has the approval of the House (voices : yes, yes). Now, Item No.2. Unstarred question No.1.
(Replies to which were laid on the Table)
Complaint against the Trade Adviser and Director of Movements Calcutta
Shri S.D. Khongwir asked :
1. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
(a) Whether there has been any complaint against the Trade Adviser and Director of Movements, Calcutta?
(b) If so, what steps Government have taken to deal with the complaint?
(c) Whether it is a fact that the Trade Adviser has also to be incharge of the Meghalaya House, Calcutta?
(d) If so, whether the Government are contemplating to divest the officer of this responsibility?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
1. (a) - Yes.
(b) - The complaint are being looked into.
(c) - Yes.
(d) - Matter is under consideration of the Government.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may we know the nature of the complaint?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Well, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are many types of complaints for this misuse of power and non-attending properly to the occupants of the Meghalaya House.
Prof M.N. Majaw :- Is it not a fact that one of the complaints relates to his drawal of house rent allowance for two years while staying there at the Meghalaya House, Calcutta.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I do not have the information just now. But since it has been brought to my notice, I will ask the department to look into the matter.
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- When was the first complaint received?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It was received on June, 1975.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may we know how many complaints have been received?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- There are several complaints.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, where does the Trade Adviser now stay?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- In the Meghalaya House, Calcutta.
Prof M.N. Majaw :- Are his rooms air-conditioned?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- That is irrelevant.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- I think 'several' is a vague term. Naturally, we would like to know the specific number of complaints and if the Chief Minister does not know the specific number, he should have replied that he does not know.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- There are written and verbal complaints and I said there are number of complaints and they are now being looked into by the Government.
THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF MEGHALAYA (MEMBERS' PENSION) BILL, 1977
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now, item No.3. The Minister in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs to beg leave to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Pension) Bill, 1977.
Shri Maham Singh, (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Pension) Bill, 1977.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. Now, I put the question before the House, the question is that leave be granted to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Pension) Bill, 1977.
(The motion was carried)
Now, the Minister in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs to introduce the Bill.
Shri Maham Singh, (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Pension) Bill, 1977.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. Now, I put the question before the House, the question is that Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya (Members' Pension) Bill, 1977 be introduced (Motion was carried).
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill.)
The Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977
Now, item No.4. The Minister in-charge of Revenue to beg to leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question before the House that leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977.
(The motion was carried)
The Minister in-charge of revenue to introduce the Bill.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977.
GENERAL DISCUSSION ON THE BUDGET
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Motion moved, I put the question that the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 1977 be introduced.
(The motion was carried)
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill)
Now Item No.5, general discussion on the Budget.
Mr. Beterson Kharkongor, you will get 30 minutes.
Shri Beterson Kharkongor :- First of all, I would like to offer my congratulation to the Finance Minister for the pain he has taken in presenting this budget before the House. I would also like to express my thanks to the Chief Minister and his colleagues of the old Ministry who has been for the first time in power to develop this beautiful State of ours, within this very short, five years plan. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you know, I represent the most backward Constituency in the State and so, naturally, I would like to point out about the difficulties and problems of the people. First I do not stand here just to congratulate but to make some suggestions to make our lovely State a lovelier and more developed one.
Firstly, I am grateful to the Government for starting the work on the Smit. Mawkynrew Road. But up till now the road is not motorable up to Mawlat; it is motorable only upto Lynshing. So I would request the Government to look into this matter and .....
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- He is not audible, Sir !
Shri S.D. Khongwir :- I think he can come forward to the mike.
Shri Beterson Kharkongor :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to express that about three years back this august House had passed the grant and allotted the money for the construction of the Jongksha-Nongjrong-Ummulong Road. But up till now, there is not a single line of communication for Jongksha to Nongjrong. So I request the Government to see to this very soon because the people there are suffering very much for want Mawkynrew upto Syntung and Mawlat for those people of the areas as these people are producing only pan leave and they have to go all the way on foot to Pynursla and also upto Jowai and stay there about two or three days and this is very expensive for them as they have to spend money for their lodging and fooding. So, if there is a direct road they can bring their produce to Shillong, I think they will get a better price.
Secondly, my constituency is also backward in education. Even the policy of the Government, as enunciated before, was how to remove illiteracy and how to educate the people. But in my constituency it is very surprising to note that not even a single high school is there. So, even if the poor people want to send their children to the far away schools, they cannot do so as only the well to do people can. So I would urge upon the Government to look into this matter and establish schools in my constituency as the people cannot by themselves open schools. If the Government will look into this and make it a Government school, it will be very much helpful to the people.
Thirdly, I am very grateful to the Government for the construction of a dispensary at Mawkynrew. As I have expressed on a previous occasion, there is also a Mission hospital at Kharang which the Revenue Minister has inaugurated. But it is a very sad thing that there is no doctor at all till today. So if the people are suffering there in no doctor at all till today. So if the people are suffering but for want of a qualified doctor it is very difficult for them to get any medical help. Sir, as I have said before there is leprosy in the villages of Mawlat, Wahlyngdoh and Wahlakhiat. So, if the Government can arrange to send one qualified doctor there it will be helpful to the people to combat this highly infectious disease.
Fourthly, the people of the area are very poor and most of them are agriculturists and that majority of them are dealing in pan leaves. If the Government can give them grant for pan leaves cultivation far away places. If the Government can see to this and very kindly take up this area for rice cultivation also that would give a great relief to the people as jhum cultivation has now decreased. So for rice cultivation if the Government can investigate into the matter and give grant to the people that would be helpful to them.
Fifthly, regarding water supply scheme, as I said before, there should be schemes of water supply at Nongryngkoh and Jongksha because water is needed for the health of the people as the people in these areas are bringing water from about a mile away with the help of bamboos. But this system affects the health of the people because some germs will be contacted by them. Although the Government has sanctioned a scheme, yet they have not done anything for the health of the people there. So I would urge upon this Government to kindly see to it and help these people. I have heard that during the last few months there is some officer from the C.D. Department. He went to Mawkynrew to see the site for constructing a Block there. I do not know whether it is true or not, but as I have said before the existence of the Block there is very essential because if the people there are to go their Block Mawryngkneng-Pynursla they have to go via Shillong and have to stay in Shillong. So it takes them about three or four days and this has become very expensive for them. So I would impress upon the Government to realise the importance of helping these poor people. One point which I would like to bring to the notice of the Government is the clearing of the forests around places like Dienglieng and Kharang. Trees have been cut down by the people for domestic use and all the places have become bare. Sir, the Government during the previous session has passed an Act in order to preserve the forests and I would request the Government and the Minister in-charge to kindly ask the District Council to take over these places and plant trees in these areas, because when you happen to go from Laitkor to Smit you cannot find any trees or forest there and even for firewood people have to bring them from Jowai. So I urge upon the Government to kindly see to this. I am also very grateful to the Government to see that in 1974, the District Planning Committee had asked for a list of villages to be considered for rural electrification and putting up post offices. I had given the list of some villages and suggested to the Planning Board, but up till now there is no sign of this electrification anywhere. Even the Central Government has also encouraged electrification of the villages; this would have helped the people of the constituency a lot. Almost all the other constituents have been electrified except the Dienglieng constituency, so I urge upon the Government to consider this matter urgently.
Now I will come to the Civil Hospital in Shillong. I was suffering and was there for some time, so I can see what is really lacking myself, as there is a serious lack of essential medicines. Medicine have to be purchased from outside at a very costly rate and the poor people from the villages cannot afford to do so. So I urge upon the Government to find out ways on how to help these poor people to recover from their illness. They need the best kind of food and also the best medicines. Another thing is about the morgue. This is not a very attractive places which is placed very close to the private ward and other wards when there is a post-mortem, there is a very bad smell which fills the ward from the human decay, I think it is not decent for this morgue to be there. So it is better for the Government to see that this is shifted to another place. Now I am glad that the Ganesh Das Hospital is being extended. This hospital needs an extension badly. People just cannot get accommodation there. So I urge upon the Government to look into this and do it very soon so that the poor people, specially those from the rural areas, can get help there. With these few words, I think I have no more to say and I will take my seat.
Prof. A. Warjri :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I would like to give my general impression and observation on the Budget Speech as presented and read by the Finance Minister. I congratulate the Finance Minister for its brevity. Of all the Budget Speeches so far delivered in this august House since the inception of the new State, I think this is the shortest Budget Speech. But though short, I would say that it is not precise. It is full of omission, misconceptions and contradictions. It lacks conciseness and does not give the picture as obtained in the State. In most of the paragraphs, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are expectations, hopes and good intentions expressed by the Government in the Budget Speech. But I would like to remind the House the famous saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and expectations. In the first paragraph, the Finance Minister has praised the emergency for the impressive gains achieved in its wake. He says that the impressive gains achieved in the wake of the emergency have been stabilised. I do not know what are these gains. Whether the gains were the curtailment of the freedom of the people or whether the gains were the gains as made by the Moghul kings or the Sultans of old days of India. Are these gains the conquests of the party in all the States including this State of ours. If these are the gains, I would condemn the emergency. It has been mentioned that with the food grains buffer stock of 17 million tonnes and an estimated production of 116 million tonnes during 1976-77, the food position of the country can now be regarded as comfortable. Was this creation of the buffer stock a result of the emergency. Does emergency cover not only human beings but also the crops and has caused the increase of production. The creation of a buffer stock was the result of the goodness of production. The creation of a buffer stock was the result of the goodness of nature, it was because of the good weather we had in India during those past years. Then it goes on to say that the emergency has reserve of foreign exchange which mounted to a record level of Rs.2,500 crores; if this is on account of the emergency, I would like to know. A contradiction came by which it was said that due to the monetary expansion caused by the inflow of foreign exchange, prices of some commodities have risen while at the same time there is a reserve of foreign exchange and here it is due to this that the prices have risen. I cannot understand the Budget Speech. Was not the price rise recently made by the party in power to get contribution for the election from businessmen? This rise in prices, I believe, is on account of that. Now what are the other gains of the emergency? During the emergency how much has the common man benefited. Inspite of the buffer stock of food grain the Government did not make any effort to reach food-grains to every village in the farthest corner of this State. So far as I know, during the emergency sugar was sold at not less than Rs.5/- even here in Shillong not to speak of the villages. So far as I know, the emergency has not benefited the common man especially the villagers whether in Garo Hills or in Khasi Hills or man especially the villagers whether in Garo Hills or in Khasi Hills or appreciable increase in the production of edible oil. I would like to know from the Government what these appropriate corrective measures are and how Government propose to execute them. I would like to know what are these corrective measures. Oil seeds like mustard seeds, rape seeds and other seeds that were allotted for Meghalaya, it is very well known, never entered Meghalaya. These baggage's of oil seeds have been raped on the way. They do not reach the State. They have been sold in black market in other places they would reach Meghalaya.
Then, I would like to comment on another statement in the budget speech. It reads "the outlay of 37.250 crores has been envisaged for public sector in the draft plan. This has now been revised up-ward to Rs.39.303 crores. This upward revised plan from 37 to 39 is nothing to be proud of. It is more or less a stabilised thing. For cement, iron etc. there is 10 per cent upward rise in prices and I think this 39 rise is not adequate. Now here there is a mention in this budget speech of the new economic programme. I believe, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the budget speech was prepared before the Lok Sabha election and with the hope that the party in power in the Centre would again come to power and that this 21-point programme would still be used. At least I expect that the Finance Minister should have realised that the 21 point-programme of 25-point programme, what-ever it may be and other point-programmes are no more and that the new economic programmes are in fact old programme and belong to the old by-gone days. The people of Meghalaya are not in the least interested in this new economic programme which as I have just said, belongs to the old and past history. The present programme of talk less work more is no more. The alleged corrupt officers whose case so far cannot be proved should be reinstated so that the State may benefit by their services or that their corruption charges should be proved. Why should it take so long for the Government to go into this. Now it is one full year past and yet nothing has been done and, therefore, for the interest of the State and due to lack of technical staff, I would request Government that the cases of these officers should be immediately looked into; either they should be dismissed or they should be brought back to their offices so that the people may benefit by this. Then also here there is a mention of the Urban Ceiling Regulations. I remember that this Urban Ceiling Regulations Act, 1976 was made in order to get along with the national stream or something like that. I would demand here that this Urban Ceiling and Regulations Act should be repealed. Then it also mentioned here that at present 158 co-operative societies are engaged in the distribution of controlled cloths. I would like to know whether the controlled cloth of these 158 co-operative societies was ever available and if so, in how many places? I would like to draw the attention of the Finance Minister to page 9 of the budget speech where we find that as agent 57 Consumers' Co-operative Societies existing in 1975, 143 such co-operative societies are existing now and are functioning present. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also mentioned here that at present there are 158 Consumers' Co-operative Societies and I do not understand where from this figure springs up. Then Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to come straight to national permits that are being mentioned here. I would like to know from the Government how many tribals have been benefited by this issue of national permits. I also would like to know from the Government how many applicants are there and to how many applicants these permits have been issued. I understand that there were many applicants who do not belong to this State and they got the national permits from here. And whereas there was quite a large number of our tribal applicants who did not get the permits. I hope the Government will issue all the 30 permits to our Meghalaya tribals.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, coming to this Family Planning Programme, which is now being integrated with the Head and Child Welfare Nutrition Programme, I would like to mention here that the emphasis is being given on the voluntary acceptance of the programme. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as for myself, I think my emphasis would be to follow God's commandment, go and multiply. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I request that the Government should follow the old system just like during old days when Government even help those parents who wish to have more than three children. Comparing with the all India average of say about 300 persons per sq. km our State has only 42 persons per sq. km. We need an increase not a decrease so that our State also can come to the nation. Here again there is mention about the removal of illiteracy and there are 935 such centres functioning at present. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Government the names of each centre and where they are located.
Then coming to agriculture, I only want to know from the Government the total number of rice produced in the hill and plain areas during the year 1976-77. During the current year, I would also like to know how many hectares of land for wet paddy cultivation are in existence and how many hectares were reclaimed and brought under wet paddy cultivation during 1976-77 in the hill areas.
Then another thing which I would like to urge upon the Government is about horticulture. I raised this question when I was on the other side of the House and I again raise this question when I am on this side of the House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a fact that the Government is doing something to develop horticulture in our State. But still there is doing something to develop horticulture in our State. But still there is something lacking in horticulture. So I would like to suggest to the Government that the horticulture wing in Agriculture Department should be strengthened with a view to making it an independent Department by itself so that horticulture will also improve in our State just like in other States like Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and other places where horticulture is very very important and in a separate Department.
Then coming to irrigation, I want only to know from the Government how long this lift irrigation will be of a constant burden to the State or to the Department for the maintenance of pumps etc. Then I would like to know the rules governing the maintenance of such pumps and how these lift pumps are to be maintained. I know that some of these lift pumps have been made for the benefit and they have to take up the Maintenance of these pumps for the years to come.
Now regarding soil conservation there is mention here that during 1977-78, 750 families are expected to benefit from the scheme. May I ask the Government, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, whether among these 750 families are also included the families in Khasi Hills as well as in Jaintia Hills? Then there was a rumour, I do not know how far it is true, but I would like to be confirmed by the Government, that the Piggery Department or the Piggery Wing as it is now at Upper Shillong is going to be closed down and that a new one be started under the Indo-Danish Project. If it is so, I would like to know the facts because this Piggery Department, as it is at present, had really done good thing in supplying breeds to the whole State.
Then I come to fisheries. This Department, I would say, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is really fishy. Paragraph 13 of the Budget Speech is nothing but a repetition. I have consulted other Budget Speeches from the beginning and I find that it is simply a repetition from year to year of the same thing. I would like to ask the Government whether any statistics have been taken during the last 5 years on the amount of fish that has been produced as a crop from so many schemes that have been undertaken by the Fishery Department. We talk so much about fishery, but what about the question that the members have raised every now and then especially the members from Shillong about the condition obtained in the Barapani Lake. I think by now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, most of the fish have grown beard, moustache and have grey hair also. There is no systematic catching of fish. When we asked the Government the Government blamed the District Council and the District Council blamed the M.S.E.B. They could do nothing. I believe the Barapani Lake can supply not only the demand of Shillong but also supply even some of the demands from other parts of the State. Therefore, I should say that settlement in this regard is a must and it should be done as speedily as possible.
Now I come to forests. In a State like Meghalaya with one-third of its total area under forests, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to know whether this one-third still remained constant right from the beginning of this august Assembly since 1972. But alas, passing along the road from Shillong to Nongstoin not to speak of other places, you will find that cubic feet of timber are being transported down to Gauhati. Trees have been felled of timber are being transported down to Gauhati. Trees have been felled and charcoal has been consumed in offices and private houses. I do not know whether this one-third includes only forest with trees or denuded forests. Therefore, I would like to know the areas still with standing trees in the State with real forests as we understand the real meaning of forests. When we pass from here to Nongstoin or Jowai, we see so many places which were originally forests, are no longer forests. But there are places either covered with grass during summer or with rocks and these places have been eroded because there are no more forests. I would like to know the area covered by afforestation since 1972. Then what about the rate of felling of trees and export of timber. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we go on with this rate of felling of trees (bell rang)......Can you give me little more time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- You will get 5 minutes more because there are other members who will participate.
Prof. A. Warjri :- With the present rate of felling of trees and export of timber, our forces will soon cease to be forests and if the Government do not take strong action in this, there will be complete deforestation and there will be no catching up to afforest these places where there had been the felling of trees. It is a very good thing that last year we have passed an Act by which felling of trees in the municipal areas and Cantonment areas has been restricted. But more important than this which I would like the Government to take up immediately is the protection of forests in the catchment areas. They are below the Shillong Peak and all these areas form the catchment areas. They are below the Shillong Peak and all these areas form the catchment areas. They are below the Shillong Peal and all these areas form the catchment areas for the water supply of Shillong. Otherwise very soon we will not have any drinking water in Shillong.
Then as time is very short, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to education. I would like to know from the Government as has been stated here about the State Council of Educational research and Training, what impact has the State Council of Educational Research and Training on teachers' training. How many teachers are being trained. Teaching is haphazard and there is no impetus to studies as we see especially here in Shillong. It seems that there is a conspiracy to keep the students away from cases with sports, games, tournaments, rallies and so many things. Every now and then, there are sports and athletic meets if not of the students, of the University. Schools are closed at odd times. Where is the time for study for the students as many of the teachers are being used for running of various games because they know about the rules of athletics, basket ball and other sports. The children have to be let out earlier than the scheduled time and institutions are closed without any regard to teaching. Government offices are closed because of the matches or meets, something that does not occur in other States with such regularity (bell rang) ........ Let me finish at least education. There is no list of holidays for the institutions and there is no check on the number of holidays. The heads of the institutions were directed by the D.P.I. to close the schools. But there is no directive from the Government side to strengthen the administration. As far as education is concerned especially in the private Colleges, grants are practically nil and this is not being looked into properly by the authority. There are only two Government colleges, so far I remember and they get 15 to 10 times more than the non-Government and yet it is these non-Government Colleges that use to deliver the goods, inspite of many handicaps. Laboratories are ill equipped as the grants are so meagre. Liquor shops are so near these private colleges. Students used to attend these bars and tend to become drunkards and irresponsible citizens.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Now Mr. Nongtdu.
Shri Onwarleyswell Nongtdu :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to congratulate the Chief Minister for his short and concise budget speech. While taking part in the general discussion on the budget, I would like to make very brief observations. Sir, we have seen this year also that the Finance Department deserves praise for presenting a big and voluminous budget papers in this august House. But though the papers are voluminous and big in size, it may be time-consuming as already stated, I have seen almost all the papers are only a repetition of what was indicated in the previous years. It is also not very attractive to look at these papers which we have already seen in the previous years and in the same style. Actually, I expect to see that the Budget papers are prepared objectively and in a very clear way so that it will help us to understand for what purpose the money will be utilised. It would have been better if the performance of the departments is given in the budget presented in this august House. This year I have seen only PWD is preparing a detailed budget estimate of revenue and expenditure but not the other Departments. In this Department at least we can see for what purpose the money is to be voted in this august House and for what purpose it is to be utilised. I don't know Sir, what prevents other Departments to prepare such detailed estimates of revenue collected or to be collected by each and every Department and what expenditure is to be incurred by each and every Department. I believe, Sir, it is high time for each and every Department to prepare detailed estimates of revenue and expenditure. Last year, I have seen in the Budget, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some schemes which are almost of the same kind and almost the same amount of grants and the same kind of work in progress is indicated. In fact, this year, one scheme which was in the list of last year i.e. the proposed Sutnga Khaddum road is out of the list. I do not know what happened actually, Khaddum area is a backward area and this is road is supposed to connect at least 10 villages of that area, but this year it is out of the list of schemes. Besides this road, there are other roads also in Jaintia Hills such as Sutnga-Saipung and Sutnga-Sumer road whose construction remains stagnant. These areas are the most backward areas and the people use to live mostly on shifting cultivation or on jhuming. So unless there is a road where they can market their produces, it is useless to talk of the economic upliftment of the people. Saipung area alone consists of 18 villages and Sumer consists of 17 villages. But both these areas are not connected with PWD roads. This year I have seen from the list of schemes here Sir, that there is repetition of the same thing which was there last year for this Sutnga-Saipung road. That is, provision provided for the construction of this road from Zero to 16 kilometers only which was there also last year and it is still the same this year. It is meant for the same portion of the road and nothing new. So I would request the Minister in-charge to be kind enough to personally look into this mater so that this road which was already in the old scheme would be completed now as quickly as possible. Sir. if you look at pages 206 to 210 up to 211 of this detailed estimate on revenue and expenditure of the P.W.D., it will be evident from this paper that there is a long list of schemes for construction of staff quarters, Inspection Bungalows and a few office buildings in the State.
(At this stage the Deputy Speaker left the chamber and Shri S.P. Swer, Chairman, occupied the Chair).
I was trying to find out in the list the names of Jowai Government College and Sutnga M.E. School. Actually there was a demand and still there is a standing demand for construction of separate buildings for the Jowai Government College. But uptil now, Sir, it has not materialised. The Government is aware that the building of the Sutnga M.E. School collapsed two years ago. And it is very sad to see that there is no provision for construction of such a school building even this year. Not only these two buildings I mentioned here. The buildings of almost all the schools in Jaintia Hills are in a rotten condition and I do not know if there is a provision or fund for construction of staff quarters and inspection bungalows only; and if there is no provision for construction of schools buildings or State dispensaries or buildings for colleges and if the students - our children - cannot go to school due to lack of school and college buildings, in future, who will occupy those staff quarters or inspection bungalows? Probably, these are meant for the people from the towns and cities only. If so, Sir, I think the people from the rural areas will have to demand for constitution of a new rural Government which will look after the affairs of the rural people alone. So I would urge upon the Government not to neglect and not to end up only in speeches and discussions on the economic upliftment of the rural people but to put what we discuss and talk into practice. I would like also to mention a few words about soil conservation.
This Department plays a very important part in the economic upliftment of the rural people and it has tried its best to help the people especially the people who are living in the jhuming areas. But it is unfortunate if this Department is left by itself and if there is no co-ordination from other Departments, I am afraid that it will never be successful. There must be co-ordination especially of the P.H.E., Education, Fisheries Departments with the Department. Then only we can expect that the schemes of this Department will be successful and prove beneficial to the people of the interior areas of the State. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman :- Now Mr. Dlosing Lyngdoh. He is absent. Since there are no other hon. members who would participate in the discussion today, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 a.m. on Saturday the 28th May, 1977.
|the 27th May, 1977.||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|