Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.30 A.M. on Monday, the 28th November, 1977 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.
(To which replies were laid on the Table)
Mr. Speaker : Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Questions.
Repair and maintenance of the G.S. Road from Shillong to Khanapara
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :
8. Will the Minister incharge of P.W.D. be pleased to state -
Whether the maintenance of the G.S. Road from Shillong to Khanapara is directly under the Government of Meghalaya?
If so, which P.W.D. Division is directly responsible for the repair and maintenance of the road?
The total amount spent for the repair and maintenance for the G.S. Road during the last two years (year-wise)?
Whether it is a fact that constant motor accidents in the G.S. Road are caused by pot-holes and collection of boulders along the road?
Shri E. Bareh ( Minister-in-charge of P.W.D.) replied :
The maintenance of G.S. Road from Jorabad to Shillong is under the Government of Meghalaya.
N.H. Division, Shillong.
For the year 1975-76 total amount spent was Rs. 7,31,671.14 and for the year 1976-77 Rs. 7,48,856.47.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- (a) What is the total length of the road from Shillong to Jorabad?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- This road is known as N.H. No. 40 and it starts from Jorabad connecting the N.H. No.37 and ends at Tamabil. The total length is 166 kms, out of which 126.47 kms is single lane and the rest is double lane.
Mr. Speaker :- But the member wants to know the distance from Shillong to Jorabad. I think you have to calculate that.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (d). Whether the Government is aware that motor accidents occur in greater frequency on this road in comparison with other roads?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) :- The Government is aware of that.
Shri H. Hadem :- (a). What about Jorabad to Khanapara?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) :- That comes under 37 N.H.
Rumble strips on PWD Road at Laitumkhrah
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :
9. Will the Minister-in-charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state -
The reason for providing rumble strips on the P.W.D. Road at Laitumkhrah near the Roman Catholic Cathedral?
The reason why there is no such rumble strip elsewhere in the whole of Shillong town and its suburbs?
Whether the Government has received a number of complaints from the public as also criticism in the local press in this matter?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister-in-charge of PWD) replied :
The rumble strips have been constructed to slow down the speed of vehicles.
The effect of the rumble strips on the vehicles and the inconveniences caused to the passengers are being assessed by the Department before such rumble strips are introduced in other parts of Shillong and its suburbs.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (a). Whether the Government is aware that the rumble strips are not speed breakers but car breakers?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) :- Government is not aware.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- (a). When were these rumble strips provided?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) :- I cannot remember the exact date but it is during the current year.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- Why such rumble strips are necessary for that particular area and not for other parts of Shillong?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) :- It has already been replied in 9 (b).
Prof. A. Warjri :- Whether the Department has received any grumble from the rumble strips?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) :- I have no information Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- In view of the reply of the Minister that he is not aware of that, what about the answer to 9 (c) where he has replied 'yes'?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) :- Complaints are there. But regarding grumble, I have no information, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Shri H. Hadem :- (c). What action has been taken so far?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) :- We are examining the whole matter.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (b). Since how long the department of the Government has assessed the effect of the rumble strips on the vehicles?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) :- Since the construction of the rumble strips.
Shri W. Syiemiong : How long will it take to complete it?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) : At least a year.
Shri S.P. Swer : (a) & (b) - Whether construction of rumble strips to slow down the speed of the vehicles is provided in the Motor Vehicle Act?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) : These are the instructions issued by the Central Government, Ministry of Transport & shipping. Speed breakers are not allowed and suggested that rumble strips should be constructed in place of speed breakers.
Prof. A. Warjri : What is the assessment Government has made so far?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, PWD) : I want notice for that.
Assam Government House No. 1
Shri P.R. Kyndiah asked :
10. Will the Minister-in-charge, of Revenue be pleased to state -
Whether it is a fact that the land on which the Assam Government House No.1 is situated is within the Boundary of Meghalaya?
If so, what steps Government has taken to assert its claim?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister-in-charge of Revenue) replied :
The land on which the Assam Government House No.1 stands is an area of difference between Assam and Meghalaya. This being an area of difference, ground clarification according to Notification No.1430, dated 14th September, 1976 should be taken.
Government have from time to time held meetings and discussions with the Government of Assam both in the Ministerial level and Officials levels for resolving the differences.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : (a). What is the area of difference or of agony, as the reply is area of difference?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Sir, this land where the Assam Government Guest House No.1 stands is situated in the area of difference. That area is a disputed area. There is a difference between the Assam Government and the Meghalaya Government with regard to the boundary in that part of the land.
Shri W. Syiemiong : Is it not a disputed area?
Prof. M.N. Majaw : When he stated the disputed area, the Minister is not able to define it although area of difference sounds as a technical term.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Mr. Speaker, the area of difference is that, there is a difference of opinion between the Meghalaya Government and the Assam Government with regard to the exact boundary along this place. That the meaning.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : But he is using the word 'area' as a noun and the word 'difference of opinion' as a qualifying clause. But he actually means to say that there is a dispute over the extent of the area.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, at present there is no dispute yet. These are only technical terms.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : The Minister has just said that this is a disputed area.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : The Government will have to refer for arbitration with regard to the differences between the two Governments. When it comes to that stage, in that case the dispute has arisen between the two Governments with regard to the boundaries and until then, there is a difference. But we are trying to resolve it between us amicably.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : What is the extent of the difference of opinion, which means that there are two view points. What are the actual measurements or any other way of assessing the difference?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will not be possible at this stage to categorically state the extent of the area. But it is a fact that the area or the piece of land on which the Assam Government Guest House No. 1 is located is under dispute. Both the Governments claim that part of land, we claim that it is within Meghalaya and the Government of Assam claim that it is within Assam. The House will recall that before the Autonomous State of Meghalaya came into being, there was a dispute or a doubt about the exact location of the area whether it is within Meghalaya in Khasi Hills District or within Assam in Kamrup District. The matter was referred to the Commission known as the Das Commission. The Das Commission has submitted the report but the Government of Meghalaya could not accept it. Therefore, that particular area remains under dispute. There is claim and counter-claim but to what extent it falls within Meghalaya or to what extent it falls within Meghalaya or to what extent it may fall within Assam could only be done under the joint survey under the auspices of the Survey of India.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : From the explanation of the Chief Minister, it is not clear of the stand of the Government on this particular piece of land. We want him to declare unequivocally whether this land is within the boundary of Meghalaya or not. This is very important.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : It is very clear that both the Governments of Assam and Meghalaya agreed that this particular area or the piece of land where the Guest House No.1 is located is under dispute and it has got to be resolved. My colleague in the opposite who was then the Revenue Minister was with me when the matter was discussed with the Chief Minister of Assam. Construction of the Guest House was allowed on condition that there was a dispute and that dispute has got to be resolved by going into the ground demarcation, notification and so on and so forth and the materials are to be collected, and both the Governments have agreed to this.
Mr. Speaker : Before I call upon other members, I would like to say that there is no harm for any Government to have a House constructed in some other States. It may so happen that Meghalaya Government may have their Houses at Gauhati, West Bengal and other States. But the question that the members want to know is whether the Government of Meghalaya claims that area?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Sir, we claim that area.
Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the Chief Minister's reply, does Government admit that this is a disputed land?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Yes, Sir.
Shri W. Syiemiong : (b), Sir, how many times?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : There was a meeting between the two Governments at the Ministers' level on the 20th February, 1976 and then again the two Deputy Commissioners of Kamrup District, Mikir Hills and Khasi Hills met on the 8th of March, 1976 and again there was a meeting at the officers' level on the 12th March, 1976. After that, there were also some meetings at the officers' level, but how often these meetings were held, I want notice.
Shri Jormanik Syiem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to know whether the words 'difference' and 'dispute' convey the same meaning and whether it is a disputed land or some difference in the area?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Mr. Speaker, sir, I have been using the term more or less in a technical sense. The term difference of opinion is more appropriate at the present stage, that means, difference of opinion between Assam and Meghalaya. A dispute will arise later. Of course, as I said, I am using this term in a technical manner but in common sense, it is a disputed area.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : Mr. Speaker, I would like to know whether any meeting has taken place either at the official level or ministerial level after November, 1976?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Not at the ministerial level, but at the officers' level there might have been some meetings. (Voices - We want a positive reply ). But after November, 1976. I want notice.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : May we know the outcome of the meeting at the officers' level or at the Ministers' level?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : Well the meeting at the Ministers' level which was held in February, 1976 agreed that it is necessary for meetings of officers at different levels between the two Government as frequently as possible to resolve all differences that might crop up. Then again, it was also decided that while the notifications are there, ground demarcations are necessary to remove the doubts. In order to achieve such understanding, it has been decided that the officers of the two Governments should meet and pin-point matters which need clarification so that it can be taken up at the officers' level. Then at the Ministers' level, it was agreed that the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of the concerned districts should meet at least once a month to discuss matters which affect the lives of the people in the borders of the two districts. Then again, at the officers' level, it was agreed that the areas of differences will be pin-pointed and further that a phased programme of action will be evolved. These were the decisions.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Who issued the Notification No.1430 dated 14th November, 1976. Whose Notification was this?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : I want notice for that.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : But the Minister has referred to this Notification. I want to know whether this Government issued this Notification or the Government of Assam.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : I do not have the Notification here, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : How can the Minister refer to it and yet not have the relevant Notification?
Mr. Speaker : Now this question has assumed more or less the form of a discussion. I do not know whether any other member would like to have a full discussion on this. If they want, they can have it.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : It is a very simple question, Sir. Who has issued this notification because of the fact that they have stated that this being an area of difference which means that this notification must have been accepted by the Government. So we would like to know who issued the notification?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : I am sorry, it should have been 1876 not 1976. This is a printing mistake, Sir.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, sir, then it is a big mistake - it is a mistake of 100 years ! Sir, the Minister has replied to Unstarred Question No.10 (b) stating that the Government have from time to time held meetings and discussions both at the ministerial and official levels for resolving differences. A simple question was put by me whether there had been any meetings from November 1976 to 1977 uptil today and I do not understand how the Minister can say that he wants notice when in his own reply he has stated that there was such meeting held in the month of November, 1976.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, unfortunately the necessary documents could not be collected uptil now. But my colleague in the Opposition would recall that during our meeting with the Chief Minister of Assam along with the Governor, it was agreed that the necessary documents would be collected and will be made available to the Governor for objective study of this matter. But it is difficult to get all documents collected at a time. Therefore, it is no use to take any action on this matter unless we obtain such documents and so far as this particular case is concerned, unless all the documents are made available to us, we won't be able to take any further action on it. Therefore, Sir, there was no meeting between the Government of Assam and the Government of Meghalaya during this time.
Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we cannot understand why there was no meeting.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes I have already replied to it.
Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the reply given by the Chief Minister we knew that it is a disputed land but according to the reply given by the Revenue Minister, it is difficult to understand which one is correct.
Mr. Speaker : For the purpose of the House I would like to inform the hon. Members that they should try to understand that the Chief Minister is also the Leader of the House.
Separate District Council for East Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills Districts
Shri Brojendra Sangma asked :
11. Will the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs be pleased to state -
Whether Government proposes to create a separate District Council for the two newly created Districts, i.e., East Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills District?
If not, the reason thereof?
Shri G.A. Marak ( Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs ) replied :
The two new Districts have only recently been created. At this stage it is felt that there is no need for those Districts to have their own District Councils.
Shri W. Syiemiong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether there has been any demand of separate District Council from the people for these two districts?
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, sir, we have received one resolution from the Garo Graduates' Union.
Mr. Speaker : Now let us pass on to Unstarred Question No.12.
Development Schemes Undertaken by District Councils
Shri H.E. Pohshna asked :
12. Will the Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs be pleased to state -
The names of various development schemes undertaken by District Councils in the year 1976-77?
Whether utilisation certificates have been issued by each District Council?
Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs) replied :
12. (a) - The development schemes implemented during 19796-77 by the District Council are :
(i) Khasi Hills District Council
Rural Water Supply.
Other development schemes.
Repair of Lumswer Road.
Phod Jaud Sunapani foot path.
(ii) Garo Hills District Council
Rural Water Supply.
Village Court cum Court buildings.
Tura Town beautification.
Baghmara Town beautification.
Construction of timber bridge at Chidarit stream.
Construction of timber bridge over Doracha stream at Dapa.
Construction of timber bridge over Dajong stream at Jamdamgiri.
Construction of timber bridge over Masumata stream.
Construction of timber bridge over Rongkuah stream at Daramgiri.
Improvement of timber bridge over Rongbu stream at Chibongga.
(iii) Jaintia Hills District Council
Improvement of bridge near Talang.
Improvement of approach road at M.D.C's Hostel.
(b) - No utilisation certificate has since been received from the District Councils.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the Government have asked the District Councils to submit the utilisation certificates?
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want notice.
Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of non-receipt of such utilisation certificates what action has been taken by the Government?
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have sent reminders to them.
Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in which Doloiship does Talang fall?
Shri G.A. Marak (Minister, District Council Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want notice.
Mr. Speaker : Before we pass on to Item No.2. I am to inform the House that one valid nomination has been received for Shri Rowell Lyngdoh to fill in the vacancy of the Committee on Public Accounts and since the number of candidates is equal to the number of seats to be filled in, Shri Rowell Lyngdoh has been declared elected to be a member of the Public Accounts Committee.
Discussions on Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1977-78
Now let us pass on to Item No.2 - Discussions on Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1976-77. Here I have received a request from Prof. M.N. Majaw who wants to have a discussion on this matter.
*Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will not touch upon matters which appertain to the cut motions before us. But here I would only like to bring it to the notice of the House that in this book of Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1976-77, at page 30 we are being asked to approve of some of the charges. Here there is an amount of Rs.78,296 to be given to the Forest Department but there is no reference to the recommendation of the Governor. Now under Article 203 of the Constitution, Clause (3), it is categorically stated that no demand for such grant shall be made except with the recommendation of the Governor. Now, it has always happened, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that printing mistakes have entered in such books circulated in this House originating from the Treasury Bench. But whether these mistakes are due to the printers devil or due to some other devils and in what manner the demand is proposed to the House without the recommendation of the Governor. Sir, I would, therefore, like to have some explanation from the Minister concerned as to how this has taken place. The explanatory notes say that they have taken it as an advance from the Contingency Fund. Now Sir, we will have to regularise this. But, Sir, here in this case we cannot do so because there is no recommendation of the Governor. May we have a clarification on this matter?
Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister-in-charge of District Council Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I received the Supplementary Demands for Grants, I found there is a mistake. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your permission, I will bring the resolution on this demand.
Mr. Speaker : In matters dealing with the demands for grants, I think, in future, the Government should be particular and I was also surprised when I found that under Grant No.1 in page 30, the demand has been incorporated without the recommendation of the Governor and this amount has also been incorporated in the Statement at "A" here. So, I think the best course in this respect is to rectify the mistake and the Minister-in-charge will also come forward with the resolution so that this house may be able to pass this demand otherwise it may not be taken up. Now, let us pass on to item No.3. Chief Minister to move Demand No.1.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.25,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "211 - Parliament/State/Union Territory Legislatures-B-State Legislature".
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.25,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "211 - Parliament/State/Union Territory Legislatures-B-State Legislature".
(The motion was carried and the demand was passed.)
Now let us pass on to Demand No.2. Chief minister to move.
Shri W.A. Sangma ( Chief Minister ) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.13,57,570 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "215 - Elections".
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. I have received one cut motion which stands in the name of Shri D. Lyngdoh. So, Mr. D. Lyngdoh to move his cut motion.
Shri D. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.13,57,570 under Supplementary Demand No.2, Major head "215 - Elections", at page 2 of the list of Supplementary Demands be reduced by Rs.100, i.e., the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.13,57,570 do stand reduced by Rs.100.
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.
Shri D. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to point out here that the Government is asking for an additional amount time and again for election which is very good reason for the benefit of the people. But Sir, particularly on this particular head, we understand that T.A. and D.A. and compensation for requisition of the vehicles by the Government during the last election is not paid in time, specially for the compensation of the vehicles hired by the Government during the election times. Sir, I understand that the bills of some vehicles which I have requisitioned by the Government during the last election have not been cleared even today.
Mr. Speaker : You mean in the last parliamentary election?
Shri D. Lyngdoh : Yes, Sir, and I also understand that T.A. and D.A. of the polling parties have not been regularised and moreover for the III and IV grade employees I understand that there have been some difficulties to get their T.A. and D.A. since some of their bills have to go for pre-audit. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to request the Government to see that all these pending bills - both for requisition of vehicles as well as T.A. and D.A. of the polling parties be regularised in time, specially when the next Assembly election is coming and I don't know whether these arrears will be able to be cleared before the next election.
Mr. Speaker : Anybody to support?
*Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to support the cut motion and in addition I would like to point out Sir, that even the personnel from the Village Defence Organisation and different parties were also utilized for the maintenance of law and order during the election days and it has been found that uptil now the allowances as promised by the Police Department have not yet been paid and I do not know whether the Government have, by bringing this demand, meant for the ensuing election or is it meant for the previous election. But Sir, it has been brought to our notice that uptil now these persons have not yet been paid even a single paisa as their daily allowance.
*Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in support of the cut motion I would like also to add that in the explanatory notes it is clearly stated that the enumeration has taken place in the year 1975-76 in the State where the revision of electoral rolls was done at that time and it is surprising to see that the T.A. and D.A. for enumerators were not paid during the year 1976-77.
Mr. Speaker : No, here the cut motion relates only to the delay in the payment of T.A. and D.A. of polling personnel and compensation for requisition of vehicles and it does not refer to any other matter.
Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, any way this is also a relevant matter which the Government should see that the T.A. and D.A. of those connected with the conduct of elections should be paid in future in time.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also rise to support the cut motion particularly with reference to the requisition of vehicles and I am just to add a few words here that there have been long standing grievances of the people who own vehicles in the State. The neglect and the callousness of this particular department in paying compensation for vehicles used during elections has been well known and during the time of Assam and several times we have heard the Election Department has been careless in paying low rates and also in paying the compensation very very much later than when they should have been paid. I just want to urge upon the Government that if vehicles are to be requisitioned in future proper care should be taken and that justice be given to the people who give their vehicles for use during elections and at other times.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the House is aware the General Election, either parliamentary or Assembly, is directly under the control of the Election Commission of India. Now the Supplementary Demand relates to the last Lok Sabha Election. The Mover of the Cut Motion referred to the particular election and also the fresh and the earlier one. While Mr. Speaker, Sir, some fund was kept for conducting election in the last year's budget, the expenditure like T.A. and D.A. of polling personnel, supplying materials and compensation for requisition of vehicles should not be paid in the last financial year itself, as election was completed only on the 3rd week of March, 1977. The bulk of the expenditure has, therefore, to be made from the budget of the current financial year which requires examination and which should be met by a Supplementary Demand. We know that the T.A. and D.A. of the polling personnel and requisitioning of vehicles, should have been paid. A proposal was sent to the Finance Department that the payment would be made by taking advance from the contingency fund. But the Finance Department directed that the fund should be provided by the Supplementary Demand and that is why this Supplementary Demand has come today, and if the hon. members are eager that this pending bill should be cleared as quickly as possible, they will co-operate with the Government in granting this Demand. Now with regard to the earlier one, mention should be made that some pending bills now lying relate to 1971-72. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you may recall that at that time we were in the Autonomous State and the election took place in 1971 for the Lok Sabha. A question arose concerning all those election functions remaining with the Government of Assam when we were in the Autonomous State. Therefore, we were to make a reference whether all poll expenditures incurred during that election in 1971 to the Lok Sabha should be paid by the Government of Assam or by the Government of India. It was suggested that it should be paid by the Government of Meghalaya, but should be reimbursed by the Election Commission.
Now since the other members are eager that the expenditure should be paid without further delay, the House sanctioned this amount, and we have issued instructions to the D.C. that the fund is available and payment should be made. Now, the question that has been raised by Shri Hadem about Police personnel, this has been paid.
Mr. Speaker : He refers to the Village Defence Party.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, expenditure for Police personnel, should be paid by the concerned Department. With these few words, I would request the hon. member to withdraw the cut motion.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : Mr. Speaker, in certain grants the Government made certain payment from the Contingency Fund and has come to the House for Supplementary Demand of the amount utilised, such as Grant No.3 Why this is not done in this particular case.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have referred to the points and allowed the Department to draw the amount from the Contingency Fund since it is a big amount. This would be regularised through a Supplementary Demand.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh : In view of the assurance given by the Hon'ble Chief Minister to clear all pending bills especially for compensation for the vehicles requisitioned by the Government, I withdraw the cut motion.
Mr. Speaker : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw the cut motion?
(Voices : yes, yes). The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.
Now I put the question that an additional amount of Rs.13,57,570 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "215 - Elections".
(The motion was carried and the demand was passed.)
Now will the Chief Minister move Demand No.3.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.1,21,860 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "255 - Police and 260 - Fire Protection and Control".
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. There are as many as three cut motions. Shri W. Syiemiong or Shri Rowell Lyngdoh to move.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh : I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.1,21,860 under Supplementary Demand No.3, Major Head 255 - Police and 260 - Fire Protection and Control", Minor head E - District Police, Sub-head (b) Village Defence Organisation, Detailed head 3 - Office Expenses (Non-Plan,) at page 4 of the List of Supplementary Demands be reduced to Re.1, i.e., the amount of the whole Supplementary Demand of Rs.1,21,860 do stand reduced to Re.1.
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. You can now initiate the discussion.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh : At the very outset, I would make it clear that we are not so much against the giving of vehicles to the Honorary Advisers, specially when those advisers are from the public representatives. But we are very much against the function of the organisation today. That is why we put the policy cut. Mr. Speaker, Sir, most of the villages as we have seen, wanted that this organisation should give some guidance for establishing their own village defence parties in many villages in the State because they know the aims and intention of the organisation especially to protect their own village from bad elements. Sir, what we have seen now is that big amount every year was being spent for those organisations and also all facilities of jeeps and other benefits are being given to this organisation. But the activities of the organisation Sir, seem to be unsatisfactory. Sir, many areas wanted to start such village defence organisation and they expect that the Government in that organisation should help equip them with uniform, torch light, etc. I would like to refer only to Village Defence Party and only in that respect we are opposing this demand. Moreover, Sir, we would urge the upon the Government to appoint more public representatives as Honorary Advisers of this organisation so that they can take much interest in all public affairs. We have come to know that there are also some Honorary Advisers who are not public representatives. However, this is the policy of the Government. I cannot say anything on that. But what I can say is that the Government appoint more efficient public representatives as Honorary Advisers to the organisations who would go to every place and not to concentrate only in those constituencies of those members who are Honorary Advisers to the organisation.
*Shri Winstone Syiemiong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion moved by my friend from Mawkyrwat. My only intention in supporting this cut motion is on a particular word here in the explanatory note which I have found that the expenditure is very urgent. So they have to spend one lakh and eleven thousand rupees for the purpose. I do not know what the Government means by the word "urgent". To my mind, I can come to the conclusion that the word urgent here is because the election is nearing and that is why it is urgent. It is urgent because it is aimed at giving all facilities and political benefits just for the political interest of a particular party by providing free vehicles, free POLs etc. I feel Sir, this is too much of the abuse of power of the Government. In fact, we all welcome this Village Defence Organisation because we know, it will help us as the hon. Member for Mawkyrwat has rightly pointed out. It will help people in the villages to organise the defence party and to help the police personnel in various activities. According to my information, nowhere else expect in the constituencies of those Honorary Advisers who happen to be the Members of this Legislature, something has been done and that also for the purpose of political interest. As a matter of fact, nothing has been done in my constituency, in the constituencies of my friends. Only in their own constituencies they have done that. They say that they have to go on tour for the purpose of organising Village Defence Parties but what do they talk there is for political interest. Therefore, Sir, I vehemently oppose this abuse of power by the Government and that the amount of one lakh and eleven thousand rupees should not be passed at all. Hence, I whole-heartedly support the cut motion moved by my friend from Mawkyrwat.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, while supporting this cut motion, I would like only to pass certain remarks. I do not want to minimise the importance of a Village Defence Organisation. Sir, as we know, some of the village defence personnel have in the past done excellent services. But I believe the whole set-up has to be received in the light of the experiences that we have acquired during the last few years. It is true to a certain extent that some Honorary Advisers are prone to be partisan in their activities. But at the same time, I have had a personnel experience of the working of the Village Defence Party not only in the encounter of criminal activities in the village, but in some other works. What I would emphasise here, in the course of a review of the working of this organisation, is the need to concentrate the activities of this organisation in certain areas of the State. As it is now, this organisation is diversified to the extent that it has allots its impact. I know of certain Village Defence Parties which had been able to detect infiltration of foreigners in the border areas. In the course of discharging their duties, they have been able to inform the police of this infiltration and the foreigners have been apprehended. I believe that apart from the fact that they act as a counterforce to people of gangsters type in the village and to encounter against the antisocial elements, it is time to concentrate the activities of the Village Defence Parties in the border areas where they will be specifically directed to help the police to detect the infiltrators and to take necessary action. This is a very important factor that I would like to bring here.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Kyndiah, it is better that we should concentrate on the point raised in this cut motion. Here is the only question of opposing the granting of free jeep, free fuel and fringed benefits to the Honorary Advisory.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- It is true. But in the course of discussion, it is also relevant, I think, and it will help the Government. I am just trying to bring home this point. I do believe that there is the need to review the whole set up. The question of granting free jeep fuel and fringed benefits to the Honorary Advisers must be reviewed. I resume my seat.
*Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with the permission of the House, I propose not to move my cut motion No.3. But to discuss that matter here which is also covered by the granting of free jeep and other fringed benefits to the Honorary Advisers. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is certainly the need for the Village Defence Organisation. But time and again, when we visited the police authorities for the equipments necessary for arming those people, we have seen that they are without uniforms whatever the basic materials being given to them like lathis and blankets. You will be surprised to know that they are not able to do so because they do not have the equipments. They have not been able to build up the organisation in the villages because they have not been able to work at the grass-roots. We expect the increasing number of Advisers so that they become top-head as the hon. Members from Nongspung and Mawkyrwat have stated that it suddenly smacks of political motivation. It is like distributing loaves and fishes among those who can perhaps satisfy the Minister that they can be given a jeep to become a Honorary Adviser of Village Defence Organisation. Even a particular gentleman in Garo Hills who has been removed by the Supreme Court from this House, time and again, he was made and Honorary Advisor with the exclusion of others. There is no denying the fact that they have been given free telephone, free vehicles, not as the humble MLAs who get only reimbursement of their telephone bills. But they get free telephone where everything is paid by the Government, free car, a driver, a peon, a typist and that is why we have distinctly asked this question in the last Session whether there is a limit of the POLs. But the reply given by the Chief Minister was that there is no limit at all. So now with that unlimited amount of POL mobile oil etc. to roam about with a free driver and a car at his disposal and telephone too supplied by the Government and all bills paid by the Government and at such condition we would expect tremendous activity of real work from dawn till night from sunrise to sunset. But alas; these vehicles are always found in Shillong. I do not know if many Village Defence Organisations were set up in Shillong, but one can judge their great activity by the movement of the car from certain place to another in Shillong, from outside cinema hall to picnic spots where no Village Defence Organisation was set up. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I very strongly support this cut motion by the hon. Member from Mawkyrwat and unless the Government can justify their appointment, we will oppose this demand.
Mr. Speaker : Now the Chief Minister to reply.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am just wondering whether this is an opportunity moment for the hon. Member to bring this particular matter before the House when he has stated to oppose the supply of vehicles to the honorary Advisers of Village Defence Organisations. It is not a new policy. This policy was there already and in the past no hon. Member had the occasion to oppose the supply of vehicles for the honorary Advisers. I can understand if there is a cut motion to discuss the misuse of it. It is a policy of the Government and right from the inception of this State of ours, we have decided to have these Village Defence Organisations and to appoint honorary Advisers and to provide them with vehicles for facilitating the movement of such officers in their own jurisdiction. Therefore, I do not see much scope for discussion as far as the policy of supplying vehicles to these honorary Advisers is concerned. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, mention has been made on free supply of vehicle and fuel, but I do not know in what sense it can be taken as free supply of vehicle since, for the Government officials and non-Government officials on duty we allot a vehicle known as allotted car. This vehicle is to be utilised by the Government official and non-Government officials for certain assignments only during their term of office. Therefore, it would not be correct to say free supply of vehicle. It is an allotted vehicle. Now it is being charged that it is a political appointment. I must categorically refute Mr. Speaker, Sir, that it is not a political appointment. Initially when Meghalaya came into being, there were three Districts, i.e. Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills Districts and Garo Hills District and we had three honorary Advisers and all were provided with vehicles. But the Government, as a matter of policy, to bring the administration nearer to the people, have created two more Districts known as West Khasi Hills and East Garo Hills Districts. Therefore, in pursuance of the previous policy of the Government, these two Honorary Advisers must also be provided with vehicles. It is a continuation of the policy already adopted by the Government and there is no new policy about it. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is also stated that some Honorary Advisers confined their activities only in their respective constituencies. I must make it very clear and inform the House through you that there is a check on their movement by the Chief Controller of the Organisation and that no T.A. Bill is passed unless he is satisfied that he has in the course of his tour done his job. There is also a limit. The hon. Member from Mawhati has made a mention that there is a limit on tour. I have got here a note with me, we did not allow and we have refused recently and no Honorary Advisers can be allowed to travel at random and their T.A. and D.A. should be limited to Rs.100/-. There was occasion in the part, I must tell you that there was a limitation and these officers used to draw something like one thousand rupees in the earlier stages. But now it has been restricted. No honorary Adviser can draw his T.A. and D.A. more than Rs.400/- a month and that also is subject to proper scrutiny by the Chief Controller of the Village Defence Organisation and their T.A. Bills are scrutinised and they must submit a report in the course of their tour as to what they have done, what type of work they do and all details should be given along with their T.A. Bill. Therefore, it will not be correct to say that the honorary Advisers are allowed to move at random and then draw their T.A. and D.A. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, though it is not relevant, a discussion was made about Village Defence personnel, when they should be utilised to help the Police along the border. We have got already 103 Village Defence Organisations along the border to assist the Police in the discharge of their duties. They wanted that we must go in bigger way in setting up Village Defence Organisations along the border to assist the Police as correctly pointed out by Mr. Kyndiah to check infiltration from outside and also crimes committed along the border, cattle lifting, etc. I even have suggested to some honorary Village Defence Organisations that we must organise some sort of a bachelor's house where all village defence party members can gather together and by turn can do patrolling the whole night. This is my suggestion, it is yet to be implemented.
Now, the hon. Member from Mawhati has suggested that the equipments provided to these personnel are very inadequate. I realise that Mr. Speaker, Sir. In fact, we have a meeting and there the matter of equipment and also of giving more remuneration is taken up and therefore, it will not be correct to say that the Honorary Advisers spent at their own sweet will. Even the P.O.L. is to be met by the Honorary Advisers himself. So the T.A. and D.A. claimed by them in excess of Rs.400/- cannot be given. An amount of Rs.400/- p.m. is limited. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, the amount proposed in this cut motion is to oppose the policy of other types of Honorary Advisers and I think this is not a stage because that has been there and there was no occasion earlier to oppose the principle or policy of allotting vehicles to the Honorary Advisers of the organisation. So I hope the mover will kindly withdraw the cut motion.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, our contention is that we do not really oppose the policy but what we say is that the function of the organisation is not satisfactory and that is why we thought of opposing the demand. But since the assurance of the Chief Minister is such that they will establish more Village Defence Parties and also to see to the efficient functioning of these organisations. I withdraw the cut motion.
Mr. Speaker : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw the cut motion?
(Voices : Yes)
The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.
Cut Motion No.2 to be moved by Shri Hadem.
Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.1,21,862 under Supplementary Demand No. 3, Major Head " 255 - Police and 260 - Fire Protection and Control " at page 4 of the list of Supplementary Demands be reduced by Rs.1,11,114. i.e., the amount of the whole Supplementary Demand of Rs.1,21,860 do stand reduced by Rs.1,11,114.
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved.
Shri H. Hadem : What I want here is to question the necessity of appointing Advisers.
Mr. Speaker : Now you can initiate the discussion.
*Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, as already stated in the previous cut motion, it seems that some discussion had come under the purview of my cut motion also but Sir, what I want to say here is that the policy is already there. I do not mean to say that the policy will continue forever. Sir, my point is that we do not have to go back to the old history of the village defence organisation. Previously it has been started right from the British regime and at that time Government, have appointed some organisers known as Village Defence Organisers and those officers went on tour to different villages and organised Village Defence Parties. But at present we find that the organisation was already there and this post is meant purely for the Advisers. That means they will only advise and it is a fact that we have got one officer at Jowai and also in each District one Adviser. We have never found that the Advisers went to contact the Village Defence Organisations and it seems that the Village Defence Organisations went themselves and contacted the Advisers. In one Organisation in my own village, I have not seen that the Adviser had gone there and for that very reason I think the Adviser seems to take it literally that if anybody wants to get his advice he will have to go to him. The question of granting jeeps and facilities does not arise at all if he is sitting in his office. Even the Adviser to the Governor is only one and that one is for the whole State. But now five Advisers for five districts and probably these new subdivisions will be raised to the status of a district and then again Adviser after Adviser will be appointed. It so happens that the so-called Adviser has been there from any other party or he has defected from the ruling party then the post also will be banished and another person will be taken for that particular post. Excuse me Sir, if I am correct, there was one honorary Adviser probably the hon. member, Mr. A. Warjri, but I do not know why another Adviser has been appointed in his place. Therefore, Sir, I do not see that there is any ground for having the post and it does not mean that because the post is in existence we will have to follow the same procedure or if we say that policy was there, that policy had to be examined properly whether it works out or not. As such my point is that a sum of Rs.1,11,114 is not necessary because as it is at present, the advisers need not go anywhere except to remain in their particular offices. I do not know that some hon. members during the discussion said that the Advisers go on tour to their own constituencies. I do not know whether that is correct or not but as far as my own constituency is concerned I do not find any of the Advisers either from Garo Hills or Jaintia Hills or Khasi Hills, East or West, have gone there to form the organisation. For that Sir, I would like to point out that it seems the advice given by these Advisers is irrelevant. Previously during the British time these Village Defence Parties were advised how to detect the criminals in view of the fact that the villages were far away from the police station or to help the Police. They were trained in such a way to protect the village from bad elements. But at present, Sir, all the advice given by the Advisers was to create more and more disturbances in the villages themselves. I have brought one instance before this House and I was challenged by the Government to take the matter to the Court. That was the advice given by the adviser. So I do not see the necessity for this post to be created. Rather it must be abolished and probably if it is necessary, I think a real man who is fit to be an adviser must be appointed and that also only one for a small State, not 5,6,7, or 8. Moreover Sir, if that personnel is to be appointed, the right type of person should be some sort of ex-police officer either from the S.I.B. or from the other ranking officers but not from ordinary persons who are untrained. Excuse me, Sir, since I am a lay man I will not be able to advise the trained personnel. Now the Village Defence Parties have been trained some time by the Police. If I am not correct, I have never heard such a training given by the Advisers. As such Sir, I think this question is to be reconsidered by the Government and at the present stage I am very much against the granting of the amount of Rs.1,11,114.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion and would like to remark that for a small State like ours, with limited resources, it would be wise for us to consider the necessity of appointing such Honorary Advisers. I am not against appointing some of the Honorary Advisers but I am certainly against appointment of five of them in such a small State. As mentioned by the mover of the cut motion, if the policy is to put one Adviser for each district and if there are more districts then one or two more will have to be appointed - just because we have more districts we cannot go on appointing them without seeing to the real need for such Advisers. So I would certainly oppose such appointments whether I am in the ruling party or not. During the last number of years before the State was created, there was a post of Adviser. Perhaps it was quite justified, if misuse was not there at all, to have 3 Advisers for the Hill Districts of Garo Hills, Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills. But I do not see any justification of increasing the posts of Advisers just because other districts are being created. We talk of shortage of funds when other very important needs arise; for instance, the other day, on the motion on the Press, the Minister stated about the shortage of funds because we cannot provide adequate ventilation to the workers in the Press. So I do not see the justification of spending more money when there are already three Advisers and three vehicles which could have been used for this particular organisation. I do not agree with the remarks made by the previous speakers in the previous cut motion that the Advisers spend all their time in their own constituencies. I know for a fact that the previous Adviser, who happens to be a member from Mawkhar, visited the border constituencies. I happen to represent one of the border constituencies and I know when this particular Adviser, who at that time represented the Mawkhar constituency, had visited the Shella Constituency, the Nongshken Constituency and all along the border, also other constituencies in Khasi Hills. But there may have been misuse. This I do not know, I cannot testify to that. What I do say is that, in view of the shortage of funds for very important works of the State, the two posts are not necessary - not all five of them but these additional two posts. Therefore, I support the cut motion moved by the hon. member, Mr. H. Hadem.
Shri Jackman Marak : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am also very glad to get this opportunity to remark in support of this cut motion. In one respect, this organisation is very good because with the creation of this organisation and the posts, the officers have been appointed for Garo Hills, Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills. In Garo Hills there are two Advisers of such an organisation. But Sir, I have seen that they are not visiting the organisation in the border areas. In 1964, the volunteers of the Village Defence Party had sent a report to the Adviser but he did not accept their report. I do not know why. So far as my knowledge goes, there are 5 such organisations right from Dalu to Baghmara but not a single time such Advisers have gone there. I do not know why. But the Adviser should go there to give his advice to the Village Defence Party do not say that he is not fit - whether trained or untrained. He should be trained before he is given the post. So, in future, the Government should organise strongly and that it should see to it that Advisers go round to all these organisations to give advice to the volunteers of the Village Defence Parties. I am very sorry that 6 or 7 years have passed since one officer had been appointed for this particular part of Meghalaya to advise such organisations. But I have seen that he visited only one time while going to Baghmara and came back to Tura in one day. So, Sir, how many days he had been sitting there in his office, I do not know? Such officers should go to the organisation and met the volunteers and the village leaders and try to find out what is going on in the villages and also to know their difficulties and the law and order situation. They should check up these and give their advice to the people. So, I would request the Government, through you, Sir, that it should see to it that the Advisers visit the different areas and give their advice.
Shri D.N. Joshi : Mr. Speaker, Sir, while opposing the cut motion brought forward by my friend in the opposite side, I have some remarks to make. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I heard the Mover of the cut motion with rapt attention. He was of the opinion that any personnel appointed for advising the organisation must necessarily be a trained person and I feel Mr. Speaker, Sir, if that analogy is to be followed then even the Ministers in-charge of different portfolios and incharge of different Departments ought to be appointed on consideration of training they have already got, but that is not the actual practice neither in our State nor in other States of our country and elsewhere in the world. Fortunately, of course, here, we have got a person in the shape of the Chief Minister who is a trained person in respect of Defence and Defence organisation to put forth the contention that the person must necessarily be trained to advise does not hold any water. Such practice is not strictly followed in any part of our country or abroad. So to say that the person or an adviser should necessarily be a trained one to advise trained personnel who are in the organisation does not hold any ground. So I oppose the very contention, the very spirit of the mover of the cut motion in demanding from the Government that the person be appointed on consideration of the training he has got to advise the trained personnel in this connection.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion. Why I oppose the cut motion because the Mover himself during the discussion on his own cut motion, has mentioned the necessity of having good Advisers. He has mentioned about some facts that instead of going to the areas where there are more crimes, the advisers are going to the place where there is no crime. The other hon. Member also has mentioned the idea that most of the Advisers went to their own constituencies came to know of the visit when he does not belong to that constituency. Anyway, Sir, the fact remains that they have noted with grave concern how the Advisers used to go only to their constituencies.
Mr. Speaker : I am ignorant about this, because most of these Advisers are members of the House when we are referring to constituencies.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : The Honorary Advisers happen to be the M.L.As from this House. Why I was saying this because as had been mentioned by the hon. member from Shella constituency that some members while blaming some Advisers, have blamed even the Adviser of the previous year i.e. Shri Alexander Warjri when I found that he did very well. Although I belong to the village, whenever I come to Shillong, I feel very secure to find that the Honorary Adviser is always in Shillong. Moreover, the very fact that the Mover has mentioned that the Advisers are very particular in their own constituency it appears that there is more necessity for more Adviser s to look after other constituencies. Therefore, Sir, I think it is not right for me to oppose the cut motion, but I am to oppose the wording of the cut motion because in moving the cut motion, the hon. mover has given very very valuable advice to this House on the subject, as such it appears that more Honorary Advisers are necessary. On the other hand Mr. Speaker, Sir, our State is a very peaceful State and we don't want to see that policemen frequent the villages to maintain law and order and we want that the village volunteers who are our own men appointed for the purpose will visit the rural areas. We should increase the number of Village Defence Parties and increase of volunteers and organisations in every village will result in the increase of Honorary Advisers. Sir, I wonder why instead of suggesting for more Advisers, the hon. Mover has stated in a different way. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I regret that I have to oppose the Mover and his motion.
Shri O.L. Nongtdu : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to oppose the motion only on one point and that is the point raised by the hon. Mover of the motion when he said that he has not seen or known that the Honorary Adviser of Jaintia Hills visited different parts of the District. I happened to be the Honorary Adviser in Jaintia Hills Mr. Speaker, Sir, and I would like the House to know that I visited different villages in the border areas and even while the hon. member of Nongtalang constituency was in the Opposition we went together to many villages, and had it been possible for the hon. mover to consult or find out he would find many visits were made to man villages within the Raliang constituency itself and he would not make this in responsible statement in the House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said I would only like to clarify on this point and I strongly oppose the cut motion moved by the hon. member.
Shri M. Reidson Momin : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also rise to oppose the cut motion moved by my friend from the Opposition. Sir, it seems the very idea of raising this cut motion is only to criticise the policy of the Government for appointing a number of Advisers of the Village Defence Party. Mr. Speaker, Sir, previously no doubt we had only three Districts and afterwards we had 5 Districts. Now Mr. Speaker, I do believe and hope that each district has to follow certain norms and the Advisers would suggest to each district to avoid misdeeds.
Mr. Speaker : Whether the Adviser is to advise the Government or the organisation?
Shri M. Reidson Momin : Advise the organisation, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker : Is there any other Adviser to Advisers?
*Shri M. Reidson Momin : Sir, I am saying that we had three Advisers before and now we have five Advisers and the contention of the mover of the cut motion is that he wants to criticise the policy of the Government in appointing more Advisers of the Village Defence organisation. Instead of criticising the policy of the Government, all I want to say is that we should see to the achievements of this organisation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have seen that the Village Defence Party personnel have gone deep into the villages and have been defending the villagers at night where Police personnel and any other security measures cannot be provided to them. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I say that such security measures through this organisation should be tightened or more facilities given to them. As somebody also spoke, they are supposed to be provided with lathis, torch-lights, etc. But many of them have not been provided for want of funds. If somebody tries to say that the fund provided for this purpose is in fructuous and it is not even enough. So I would say that the Government is bringing rather a small amount to run the organisation. Now I want to say regarding allotment of vehicles to these Advisers. I would say that they will not be able to move efficiently unless and until they are provided with cars and vehicles. Summing up my point, Sir, I would say that this amount is essential and I give my full support to the Government for bringing this demand and I vehemently oppose this cut motion.
*Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am grateful to the mover of the cut motion. But in the course of the discussion, unfortunately he has not been able to confine to the points he wants to raise in this House. Through this cut motion, he wants to question the necessity of the posts of Honorary Advisers. I was expecting that he will come forward with concrete suggestions while he advocated the need for the Village Defence Party Organisation. I would very much like to state how the organisation should be organised and run to meet the objective of this set up. Without somebody to be in-charge of the organisation we cannot expect it to achieve the objective. But the very purpose of the cut motion, it appears, has not been served to question the necessity of the posts of Honorary Advisers. I would have expected, Sir, and I repeat that while he is advocating the need of appointing Honorary Advisers, with the alternative suggestion, he would come forward that such organisation should be organised and run in this way or that way. By way of suggestion it was stated that if at all there is a need for such post it should be filled up by the ex-Police personnel. Here also there is a contradiction. In the first instance, the mover wanted to question the necessity of having such posts, in the second place, he somehow realised that there is need of some Advisers to run this organisation. By way of an indirect suggestion that if at all such Advisers are to be appointed, they should be drawn from the retired officers. Sir, in this connection, I would like to inform the hon. Mover of the cut motion of the type of job which is to be discharged by the Honorary Advisers. As you know, Sir, the Village Defence Party Organisation is a voluntary set-up subsided by Government with the objective of creating condition of tranquility and peace in the rural areas. This organisation also helps the Police in the maintenance of law and order, suppression of crime and combating subversive elements. The duties and functions of Honorary Advisers of Village Defence Party Organisation are to endeavour to enlist active co-operation of the mass people towards fulfillment of this objective. Therefore, Sir, Government thought, in order to enlist the mass support, it would be more appropriate to have some public representatives in the organisation and in that context, right from the beginning, since Assam's time, the public leaders have been selected for appointment as Honorary Village Defence Advisers. Just before the Autonomous State came into being, in Garo Hills, one Mr. Emerson Momin, M.L.A. was the Honorary Adviser of the Village Defence Party organisation. The previous Government, when it realised the need of expanding this organisation, also thought that it will be good to have public representatives appointed as Honorary Advisers. So, in pursuance of the policy, we are doing it. Therefore, I want to make it very clear to you, Sir, that it is not a political appointment. This is the principle by which the Government is guided in the matter of appointment of Advisers, but if there is any specific instance of an Adviser being not in a position to discharge his duties, Government would not hesitate to change the person. Not only in the interest of the Government but the people of the State would like that a particular Adviser discharges his particular duties to the satisfaction of the people. Therefore, I was wondering whether the hon. Mover of the cut motion mentioned that the Honorary Adviser of Jaintia Hills did not move about the entire districts but kept himself confined to a particular area. Only today this was brought to my notice. Why was not this complaint brought earlier? Some of the hon. Members have referred to the activities of the Honorary Adviser alleging that they confine their activities within their respective constituencies. Why such complaint was not sent to the concerned authorities? Why only this floor is being utilised, why such complaints were not sent to the concerned authorities? And why only this floor is being utilised now to express their complaints? But I should say here that this is not a constructive approach, it is rather a destructive approach in the sense that one should use this floor only.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I object to the word "destructive".
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are Members of the Legislative Assembly and we have got every right to ........
Mr. Speaker : The main thing here is that each and everything that happens in the State must be brought before the House and each and every Member has the right to speak out his mind and here I don't think that anybody will use the words like 'destructive' and the hon. Member from Mynso had stated that instead of Honorary Adviser we should have some retired officers.
Shri W.A. Sangma : Mr. Speaker, Sir, here I am concerned with the constructive measures only. However, mistakes are there and for that we should take some concrete measures to correct them. Yes, sometimes views come out of our heads and I am going to refute the rights of the hon. Members by depriving them of their rights to express their views on the floor of this House. Whatever mistakes are there, they should be dealt with timely and corrective measures should be taken earlier, i.e., before we bring it on the floor of this House.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I object to the word "destructive" - it is un-parliamentary.
Mr. Speaker : The word "destructive" is not un-parliamentary - it is a matter of interpretation.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are not the Members of his office, we are the Members of this House and time and again we have said that we have got the equal right in this House and that we will not be abused by the use of such words.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : We all belong to this House and I think that our activities should not be confined to this House alone. We should also act outside as responsible representatives about what has happened in the State. We should not wait till the Assembly is summoned and sit here to discuss such matters. As responsible representatives of the State we should immediately bring it to the notice of the Government.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Yes, you are the Government in this House.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : But the Government does not function only in this House - it very much functions outside this House also.
Mr. Speaker : At least there is one thing that we should remember that this House cannot go to every Member and each and every Member has the right to speak here. But as the Chief Minister has said that there are certain things which can be solved outside this House also but definitely there is nothing wrong to express your opinion here.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know why the hon. Members should be worried about this suggestion because I am one with them and we should try to see that all the defects and anomalies in the organisation are timely correct. Through this forum every hon. member has the right to ventilate the defects of the administration and also come forward with suggestions. I also say that we should use some other forums too so that timely correction can be brought about. Whatever it may be, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the suggestion that should be brought forward during this session in this cut motion will be taken up by the Government and since we have realised that there is need for constituting Village Defence Organisations in the State as stated by the hon. Member, Shri Pohshna from Nongtalang, it will be good if we can have strong and well organised village Defence Organisations. Because the Village Defence Organisations are also supported by the police force, we may in that way, also minimise the expenditure of the police outposts, and there may be no necessity to create new posts in the police outposts. The hon. Mover has also said that even at this time we have village organisation and parties. In fact, in those days only few police outposts were sanctioned and the Government then did not want to have those police outposts in the interior. Even today, according to the Act, in the interior areas police cannot go without the previous permission of the Deputy Commissioner. Therefore, it will be good to strengthen this organisation and to see that it becomes a very effective instrument in preventing crimes and also dealing with the anomalies in the interior. Now the Government is not static and it does not stick to one policy and there is need to change the policy and attitude and the Government should be prepared for that and I can assure the House that we are prepared for that. Therefore, it does not stand to reason that this organisation can function without somebody to look after it.
Today we have Honorary Advisers and all these Advisers are manned by public representatives. But I can assure the House that if we can have some alternative arrangement the Government will surely consider it. But I won't agree that there is no need for such Adviser or somebody to look after these organisations. I, therefore, oppose this cut motion and request the hon. Member kindly to withdraw it.
*Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry to say that I am not satisfied with the reply given by the Chief Minister because whatever suggestions we have brought from the Opposition side are not constructive, but destructive. Moreover, he has stated that this is not a political appointment. But from the speech of the hon. Member, Mr. D.N. Joshi, it seems that these Ministers are to be trained and since the Ministers are also not trained, I do not agree that it is possible on our part to have such organisation and I also donot agree with what Mr. Pohshna has said. I do not mean that there should be as many as 60 Honorary Advisers.
Mr. Speaker : Minus the Speaker.
Shri Humphrey Hadem : Yes, Sir, according to Shri H.E. Pohshna, there must be 60 Advisers. But Sir, if it is at all necessary then there must be only one and that must be a trained one. Another thing, Sir, the hon. Member who happens to be an Adviser, has also stated that he used to visit the border areas. So, I think it is better to have Border Advisers instead of having Honorary Advisers and this should be an appropriate title for such posts. So, I do not see any reason that in view of the responsibility as narrated by the Chief Minister of what this organisation should do and what advice is to be given by it but he has said that we have the responsibility outside the House also. So with these few words I regret to say that I cannot withdraw my cut motion.
Mr. Speaker : Now I put the cut motion before the House. The question is that the total provision of Rs.1,21,860 under supplementary Demand No.3 major head "255 - Police and 260 - Fire Protection and Control", at page 4 of the List of Supplementary Demands be reduced by Rs.1,11,114, i.e. the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.1,21,860 do stand reduced by Rs.1,11,114.
(The cut motion was lost by voice votes).
Now, I put the demand before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.1,21,860 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "255 - Police and 260 - Fire Protection and Control".
(The motion was carried and the demand was passed).
Now let us come to Demand No.4. But before I pass on to Demand No.4 I have got a correction to be made. Prof. Majaw pointed out the Demand at Page 30. Here I made a mistake that though it is a regular demand but here is the case of charged expenditure and regarding Demand No.1, it should not be 19 and so far as charged expenditure is concerned. Article 203 of the Constitution very clearly says that the demands for grants are not generally moved in the House by the Minister concerned. The demands are assumed to have been moved and are proposed from the Chair to save the time of the House. But if the Minister concerned so desires, he can initiate a discussion on the demands for grants relating to his Ministry. This has been clearly stated at Page 604 (Paragraph 2) of the Practice and Procedure of Parliament by M.N. Kaul and S.L. Shakdher. So, now before I ask the Minister incharge of Jails to move, may I get the information from the Chief Minister whether the Minister concerned has the independent charge of this Department.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Yes, he has independent charge.
Mr. Speaker : So the Minister incharge of Jails to move Demand No.4.
Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails, etc.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.4,73,200 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "256-Jails".
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. I have received one cut motion which stands in the name of Shri P. R. Kyndiah.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs. 4,73,200 under Supplementary Demand No.4 Major head "256-Jails", Minor head-B-Jails (a) District Jail, Shillong-10-Minor works (Non-Plan) subhead (b) - District Jail, Jowai-1-Acquisition of land (Non-Plan), at page 5 of the List of Supplementary Demands be reduced by Rs.100 i.e. the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.4,73,200 do stand reduced by Rs.100.
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, sir, as clearly indicated in my ground for having this cut motion which is a token cut, this is meant primarily to ventilate the grievances in respect of the rate of compensation in general. I do not object to the amount of Rs.4,10,000 required for the payment of the cost of land for jail complex at Jowai. But the land at Jowai, which is proposed to be acquired comes to about 10 acres and the amount is Rs.4 lakhs. Now if we work out the amount, the rate of compensation, it will be found that it is 94 paise per square foot. Now on this, I would like to draw the attention of the House to a striking discrepancy. Now in some other areas the rate of compensation is very much low, for instance, the land at Mawlai acquired by the Government for the purpose of the North Easter Hill University ranges between five to forty-five paise per square foot and this has included not only hilly lands and rocky lands but also cultivable lands, paddy lands and paddy fields. Normally, market rates for these paddy fields will be Rs.1.25 to Rs.3/- per square foot. Now Sir, this discrepancy which I am concerned to bring here as a point of illustration, is the matter that has to be considered very carefully. Now the type of land at Jowai and Mawlai is the same. Now Jowai is one of the few towns so also Mawlai and the cost of land should have been fixed on the similar market rate. There should not have been much difference because more or less they are of the same type of land. Now, this kind of discrepancy in the rate of compensation has been detected in many other cases also. I know the limitation of the Government in having to go through the Land Acquisition Act in which the District Magistrate has quasi judicial power. But I think, Sir, we have a duty to see that fairness is meted out to the citizens, to the people from whom the lands have been acquired. Now I feel that a device has to be found out so that the level of rates should be of such a quantum that would not have such a discrepancy. As I have pointed out earlier it would not be easy for the Government to frame suitable measures, but the matter warrants close examination and solution evolved. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the Government give assurance that they will take this matter in hand and consider immediately in the manner perhaps in which there will be directive to the administrators to see that the land or similar land should be acquired on certain basis of balance. Otherwise Sir, the people who have to dispose of their land at 0.5 paise or 0.25 paise when they could easily get at the market rate of 100 or 200 paise, as I have said earlier will be very much affected. I feel that these things should be looked into by the Government. My intention in focusing these grievances is that Government should apply it sincerely so that this kind of feeling of injustice can be avoided. So that is my contention, Sir.
(At this stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri Plansing Marak, Chairman occupied the Chair).
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Mr. Chairman, sir, I rise to support the cut motion put forward on the discussion and principle for fixing the rate of compensation of Government lands. This has been a very serious and chronic problem and the grievances of public Government acquisition of land under which the Collectors in their application of principle fixing the rate have not always been made realistic. For example, if we take this question, the illustration by the mover of the cut motion, nearly a thousand acres of the acquired lands were applied by the principle.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) : May I request the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Speaker, Sir, not to refer to the land acquisition of NEHU because this matter is pending in the court.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : I have not mentioned about the rate.
Mr. Chairman : Please confine to the point.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : The mistake of the Collectors is that when they have taken a chunk of land, they will apply the principle according to the size of the land. They forget that it is a large area of land, there are many owners. It does not belong to one man only. My opinion is that the principle applied was wrongly applied. In that, when they take a large piece of land they do not consider that it belongs not only to one man. If it belongs to one individual the rate is small. But when A, B & C had a plot of land in a certain area, they should not have applied the size principle; they should consider each plot separately. This is the reason for the grievances about the NEHU land and this is what we discuss.
Shri S. N. Koch : You see no principle is laid down under the Supplementary Demand. It is clearly prohibited to anticipate the matter. There is nothing before the House. So the statement I submit is purely anticipatory.
The amount is Rs.4,10,000 for 10 acres. We need not anticipate the move of the D.C. or Collector. The rate comes to about Rs.1.492 per sq. ft. There is no question of anticipating the point of order.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : The rule to which he had referred is not on anticipatory matter.
Mr. Chairman : I request Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh to continue.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : The Collectors had applied the principle to the size of the land without seeing whether the land belongs to one man or to different owners. That is why it has caused so much grievance in the case referred to by the Mover.
Shri H. Hadem : I rise to support the cut motion. As far as I have seen the rate of compensation was different. As stated by the speaker a higher rate of compensation was fixed in certain areas. Therefore, I would like to point out before the Government, through you Sir, that this discrimination should not occur in future.
Shri S. N. Koch : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to oppose this cut motion. Here the hon. mover of this cut motion as well as the hon. Members who have participated in it have only spoken about the discriminatory rate of compensation. Mr. Chairman, Sir, generally, the rate of compensation in the case of land acquisitioned by the Government, is fixed by the Collector or the D.C. They are the Government agencies and there is a law on that. The contention of the hon. Member who has spoken before me, Mr. Hadem, is that whereas the plot of land which stands on the same land or the same place and under the same circumstances, there is discrimination in fixing the rate of compensation for such land. That may be so because in one particular plot of land there might be coconut trees, there might be banana trees and there might be some other trees or buildings and the price of that plot of land will rise. It may so happen that in the other plot of land there may not be such valuable things and in that case, the price of the land will come down. I should say that there are certain laws, certain principles as to how the rate of compensation of the land acquired by the Government is to be fixed. Since we are yet to know as to how the rate of compensation is fixed, we cannot know it until the Minister concerned makes a statement. But I can categorically state that the rates are fixed after a correct assessment according to the law as laid down in the Land Acquisition Act, 1884. I oppose this cut motion on another ground that this cut motion is of political motivation and nothing else.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Chairman, Sir, we from this side of the House have given responsible and valuable suggestions right from the start when I moved this cut motion. I say that it is a token cut.
Shri S. N. Koch : One need not say political. But the hon. Members who have heard having the sense of understanding can understand in which way the wind is blowing.
Shri Jackman Marak : He has stated already in this House.
Shri S. N. Koch : Lastly, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have the right to say that on this demand the hon. mover of this cut motion who is sitting in the Opposition had spoken about economy cut.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : But this is a token cut.
Shri S. N. Koch : Well, this demand might come on any stand but the hon. mover has asked the Government to come for more expenditure. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, for this reason I vehemently oppose this cut motion.
Mr. Chairman : May I now request the Minister incharge to reply?
Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State, Jails) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I fully appreciate the views and suggestions expressed by the hon. Members while bringing this cut motion. The mover has very categorically stated that he did not object to the allotment of Rs.4,10,000 for the purpose of acquiring land in Jowai, for the Jail complex of that area. And the only contention expressed by the hon. Member is that the rate of compensation according to his calculation at 94 paise is too high compared to other instances. This amount is being proposed just for budgetary provision and what exact amount would be paid will be known only when the Collector gives his award under Section II of the land Acquisition Act, 1884. So this suggestion will be clear to conclude that this rate of 94 paise will be there or not because the Collector will fix the rate of land according to the prevailing market rate. And also, it is quite premature to say now because we have not preliminarily publicised or published in the Meghalaya gazette on which the people can raise their objections or can point out if any revision can be made. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I fully appreciate those suggestions of the hon. Member and the Government, though this is connected with other departments like the Revenue Department, will look into this matter and it will be safe guarded.
Now, the point raised by the hon. Member from Raliang stating that within 5 yards of the same plot of land, the rate is quite different. It is very unfortunate that the hon. Member could not come out with specific instances. So no comment can be made. We are here as responsible members and I fully appreciate the constructive suggestions given by the hon. Members. I believe the Government will be able to see that satisfactory action is taken in this regard. We fully appreciate the necessity of having a jail in Jowai where we have got only a small lock-up at present. So I would request the hon. mover to withdraw his cut motion to enable the Government to make the land available immediately for the construction of a jail in Jowai.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Chairman, Sir, after listening to the Minister who has appreciated my constructive suggestions, I withdraw my cut motion.
Mr. Chairman : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw the cut motion?
(Voices : yes, yes).
The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.
Let me put the question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.4,73,200 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "256-Jails".
(The motion was carried and the demand was passed)
Now, Minister, P.W.D. to move Demand No.5.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.65,693 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "259-Public Works".
Mr. Chairman : Motion moved. I have received one cut motion which stands in the name of Prof. M.N. Majaw. You can move your Cut Motion now.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.65, 693 under Supplementary Demand No.5, Major Head "259-Public Works" Minor head-B-Construction, Sub-head (a) Functional non-residential buildings under General Services, Detailed head-9-Treasury and Accounts (Non-Plan), at page 6 of the List of Supplementary Demands be reduced by Rs.100, i.e., the amount of the whole Supplementary Demand of Rs.65,693 do stand reduced by Rs.100.
Mr. Chairman : Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.
*Prof. M. N. Majaw : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would state at the outset that I am not at all opposing the granting of this particular Demand, but because of the peculiar nature of our rules, we can only ventilate our objection through the cut motion which means that we do not want to reduce the amount. But what I object to Mr. Chairman, sir, is the explanation in the explanatory note, in lines 4 and 5, which states that as the proposal crops up after the finalisation of the current years budget, and the execution of the schemes was urgently in need, the amount was urgent and was met by taking advances from the Contingency Fund. We have often found Mr. Chairman, Sir, that this Government take advances from the Contingency Fund which would not have taken place had they brought these matters to the House during the Budget Session. We would have reduced the quantum of demand being asked for had little forethought been exercised in preparing the annual Budget. But here it is deliberately stated that the proposal came up very late after the preparation of the current year's Budget. I beg to point out, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that in the beginning, during the Budget Session of 1975 the hon. Member from Nongstoin who is now a Member of the Treasury Bench had fought bitterly for this, for a Treasury at Nongstoin. He had fought for the construction of a strong room and there was quite a debate over this matter and the reply given was that perhaps we will have to have two Treasury Officers in Shillong. I do not see how after a lapse of two years the Government can now say that the construction of a strong room came up only recently after finalisation of the current year's Budget. Had they not mentioned this sentence here to mislead the House or to excuse their own laziness or their own intention, then we would not have had the occasion to take the time of this House to bring this cut Motion here now.
Mr. Chairman : Anybody to support? Then the Minister incharge to reply.
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister incharge of Public Works Department) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am very grateful indeed to the hon. Member who has moved this cut motion. He is trying to remind us about what has been discussed here in this House. I agree cent per cent with him in this matter. Even a Supplementary Demand has been brought for this particular matter at that time when it was only a Sub-divisional Head-quarter and then the amount asked for at that time was only Rs.22,160 but since that idea was given up and a Treasury room had to be constructed the Public Works Department were asked to prepare the estimates and estimates came up only in last August. So you can imagine that we cannot provide the provision in the Budget as the Budget had been passed in the last Session. Therefore, we should appreciate more the need for the Nongstoin Treasury which is very great and most urgent. At that time the amount asked for was only Rs.22,100 but this time it is Rs.65,693. It was on the understanding with the State Bank of India that we would build only a strong room and the State Bank of India would construct other staff quarters. But at this time, we have to construct a Treasury and a strong room. Therefore, the amount has gone up now as we have mentioned it here, and this matter really came before us only in the month of August. A detailed estimate and preliminary works had been done and finalised. Therefore, we have to come up by way of a Supplementary Demand. So I would request the hon. Mover, considering the need therein to withdraw his cut motion.
Mr. Chairman : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw the Cut Motion.
(Voices - yes - yes).
The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.
Now let me put the question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.65,693 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "259-Public Works".
(The motion was carried and the demand was passed).
Now the Chief Minister to move Demand No.6.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : On the recommendation of the Governor, I beg Sir, to move that an additional amount of Rs.6,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "265 - Other Administrative Services-V-Miscellaneous Administrative Services".
Mr. Chairman : Motion moved and since there is no cut motion, I put the question before the House. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.6,000 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "265 - Other Administrative Services - V - Miscellaneous Administrative Services".
(The motion was carried and the demand was passed).
Now Mr. S.K. Marak to move Demand No.7.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister-in-charge of Health) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.5,11,700 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "280 - Medical".
Mr. Chairman : Motion moved. There are four cut motions on this demand. The first cut motion stands in the name of Mr. J.C. Marak. Will the hon. Member move his cut Motion?
Shri Jackman C. Marak : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.5,11,700 under Supplementary Demand No.7, Major Head "280 - Medical", at page 8 of the List of Supplementary Demands be reduced by Rs.100. i.e., the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.5,11,700 do stand reduced by Rs.100.
Mr. Chairman : Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.
Shri Jackman C. Marak : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have moved this cut motion because here in the explanatory notes it is stated that the amount is required to clear up the past liabilities in connection with the construction and maintenance of dispensary buildings. We can see here that a sum of Rs.5,11,700 is asked for by the Minister-in-charge and why I have brought in this cut motion is that although an amount of Rs.3 lakhs 60 thousands was already provided in the Budget for the administration of the head "280 - Medical" but it appears from the explanatory notes that the past liabilities in connection with maintenance and construction of buildings are already provided in the Budget of 1977.
The Minister-in-charge of Health already came to know about these liabilities. So it is not correct to say that it is unforeseen it is a foreseeable amount. It means that the Minister-in-charge already knew about the past liabilities. So why so much amount is required? So Sir it is not justified for the House to agree to the demand because this amount of Rs.5,11,700 is meant for the five districts in our State where the buildings of hospitals and dispensaries are not in good condition in each district. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the hospital and dispensary buildings are too old and they remain as they were since the Assam Government time. So I would suggest that proper maintenance and repair of these hospital and dispensary buildings should be done properly. My last point Mr. Chairman, Sir, is that those past liabilities inherited from the then Assam Government were not unforeseen and it is quite wrong on the part of the Government to overlook this fact. In view of what I have stated I oppose this demand.
Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the cut motion. It has not been possible for us to know for which buildings this amount is to be spent because there are no details about the hospital and dispensary buildings which will be covered by this amount of Rs.5,11,700. So we would like to know from the Minister concerned for which buildings this amount is proposed to be spent.
Mr. Chairman : Minister to reply.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : One word to add to what has been spoken by the previous speaker, a representative from Sohra. The explanatory notes state that the amount is required to clear up the past liabilities in connection with construction and maintenance of medical buildings, whereas in the body of the supplementary demand, the amount is listed on minor works under maintenance only. So unless these two are separated to show how much amount for construction and how much for maintenance of the particular buildings we are not informed of what amount has been spent on construction and how much on maintenance. We would like to get a clarification.
Mr. Chairman : I think the Hon'ble Minister will give a clarification.
*Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am grateful to the hon. member from Chokpot who had brought this cut motion to be discussed today. Now in the cut motion he wanted to raise a discussion for not indicated the extent of liabilities involved in each of the medical buildings. I have a long list and for his satisfaction and the satisfaction of the House I can give the details showing the names of medical buildings for repair with an amount involved.
NAMES OF BUILDINGS
Khasi Hills -
|1. Nichols Roy Hospital ( Cherra )||....||Rs. 23,100.00|
|2. Mawsynram .... ....||....||Rs. 22,000.00|
|3. Pongtung ..... ..... .... ....||....||Rs. 27,700.00|
|4. Umpling ..... ..... ..... ......||....||Rs. 25,900.00|
|Rs. 0.99 lakhs|
Jaintia Hills -
|1. Mawryngkneng||...||...||...||Rs. 35,800|
|2. Jarain||...||...||...||Rs. 12,048.75|
|3. Sutnga||...||...||...||Rs. 12,900.00|
|4. Padu||...||...||...||Rs. 11,281.25|
|5. Umkiang||...||...||...||Rs. 5,460.00|
|6. Pdengsahkap||...||...||...||Rs. 9,400.00|
|7. Borato||...||...||...||Rs. 11,550.00|
|8. Dawki||...||...||...||Rs. 13,727.50|
|Say||Rs. 1.20 lakhs|
East Garo Hills Rs. 4,03,000.00
( Detailed breakup is not available )
West Garo Hills -
|13. Kalangar ( Phubari )||...||...||Rs.||23,712.00|
|16. Ramsanggiri (Raksamgiri)||...||...||Rs.||11,582.00|
|Garo Hills||- (a)||Rs.2.50|
|Garo Hills||- (b)||Rs.4.03|
These are the works that have been done mostly this year. Now as you all know most of the dispensaries have been left for many years un-repaired and we have been trying to find funds and to maintain almost all dispensaries so that the public in the interior would get the benefit of the health services. But unfortunately due to difficulties in the past not much repair work and maintenance were done. Only this year we made an attempt to provide money and many of such buildings which were left un-repaired in the past have been repaired and then some amount of money had to be incurred. Now the hon. Member from Chokpot, I think, would be satisfied with what I have given in the long list and I would simply just inform the House in this connection that there are still many more health centres and many more hospitals and dispensaries which are to be maintained and it will be difficult to repair or to reconstruct all those which were existing in the rural areas. Some health centres are under construction but much will depend on the fund position and if the fund position is improved we will have to go in a bigger way for construction also.
Now, the hon. Member from Sohra I think, is satisfied with the reply given by me about the number of these dispensaries that have been undertaken for repair this year. The hon. Member from Shella had wanted to know whether new constructions have been done. The additional amount is for past liabilities in connection with the maintenance of medical buildings. Now, there are hospitals and primary health centres where, in some of them, some bath rooms or some works have to be done and this does not come under repair. If new rooms or wards are attached to the hospitals, we can safely use the term "construction". But I am definite that repair works were taken up. I do not know whether this explanation is satisfactory enough to enable the hon. member to withdraw his cut motion. With this explanation I would request the hon. Member to kindly withdraw his cut motion and if he wants to have further information on this I will .......
Shri Jackman C. Marak : Mr. Chairman, Sir, whether I am satisfied or not, I want to know more on this amount which is stated by the Health Minister.
(A voice - He has already given the list)
Now that he has given us the list of hospitals and dispensaries I am to some extent satisfied. So I withdraw my cut motion.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : Mr. Chairman, Sir, the rule generally states that the statement read out by the Minister may be placed on the Table of the House.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : I am placing the paper on the Table.
Mr. Chairman : Has the hon. member leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion? (Voices - Yes, Yes).
The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.
Now cut motion No.2 to be moved by Mr. H. Hadem.
Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.5,11,700 under Supplementary Demand No.7, Major Head "280 - Medical", at page 8 of the List of Supplementary Demands be reduced by Rs.100, i.e., the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.5,11,700 do stand reduced by Rs.100.
What I want here is to ventilate the grievances on the unsatisfactory repairs of the hospitals and dispensaries.
Mr. Chairman : Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.
Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to cite only one or two instances where you can see, find or check that the repairs are not satisfactory or, in other words, as given in the explanatory note on the maintenance of these buildings. Sir, on 15th August 1977 I happened to be in Private Ward (Male) Room No.12 in the Civil Hospital, Shillong, and the sweeper was busy looking for a container because drops of water were falling as there was heavy rain. It was very embarrassing that the drops fell on Bed 'B' and if this is the type of repair and if this can happen under the very nose of the Government itself, you can imagine, Sir, what will happen in the interior. I would like to point out another public health centre which has been listed just now at Mawsynram. I do not know how it is at this time of the year but had the Minister-in-charge visited it during the summer season or during the monsoon, I think he will find that fish will be there swimming inside the public health centre. Not only here. He has also mentioned about the public health centres at Mawryngkneng and Barato but nothing of Laskein. At Laskein the building is such that I do not know how the bills have been passed and for this reason I would like to say that I strongly oppose the demand as requested by the Minister-in-charge because it also comes within repair or maintenance. Here it seems, even 25% of necessary repair had not been done. With these few words, I move my cut motion.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I want to support the cut motion and to ventilate the grievances on the satisfactory repairs of certain dispensaries. One of the very old dispensaries in my Constituency at the important village of Shella, has been in need of repairs and re-construction from many years. The Minister incharge of Health himself had visited the place a couple of years ago, and, at that time, I happened to be taking the responsibility along with him, in the previous ruling party. It has been brought to the attention of the Department and of the Minister concerned the extreme need of re-building the dispensary and the quarter of the doctor and the house of the compounder. When I visited the place a couple of times I found that the doctor could not stay there and there had been complaints that the dispensary is more or less useless because the doctor hardly attends because his quarter is not fit for habitation. The compounder was the only one present. When I visited the place some time back, I found that he was occupying the quarter where medicines were stored. I was also disappointed to see from the list read out by the Minister that there has been not a single dispensary in the border areas of the Khasi Hills which has been repaired or re-constructed. So I support this cut motion and bring to the notice of the Minister incharge of Health the very important need of re-constructing and repairing the dispensaries in the border areas of the Khasi Hills District. As I have already mentioned about the dispensary in Shella, unless this dispensary is properly repaired and also the residences of the doctor and compounder which have been constructed many years back, people will face a lot of difficulties.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Mr. Chairman, Sir, while supporting the cut motion moved by the hon. Member from Raliang, I want also to ventilate the grievances regarding maintenance and repairs of hospitals. It is a fact Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the Primary Health Centre at Mawsynram was opened two years back, but I think it is fit for keeping and rearing of fish there and not for the patients. During the summer seasons you will find water not less than six inches deep in all the in-door patients' wards and out-door quarters and office rooms. When I asked the doctor and nurses working there, in the quarters, they said that they have brought the matter to the notice of the Department concerned and even to the Minister-in-charge about these things but nothing has been done uptil now, nearly two years. Mr. Chairman, Sir, though the hospital was opened but no indoor patient was admitted there because they are very much afraid of what I have said that during the summer season the water is about six inches deep. I had the occasion to visit them personally and I met the medical officers and the staff there and when I asked them why there is no indoor patient, I was told that there is no electric light at night and the matter has been brought up to the notice of the Civil Surgeon, but no action has yet been taken uptil now. So, I request the Minister-in-charge of Health to see to all these grievances and also to place C.I. sheets in place of the A.C. sheets for roofing to protect specially the leakages during the monsoon. With these few words, I support the cut motion moved by Mr. Hadem from Mynso Raliang.
Shri S. N. Koch : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to oppose the cut motion moved by the hon. Member who spoke before me and while listening to the submission of grievances made by the hon. Member that this House should support the demand brought by the Minister-in-charge of Health, otherwise those grievances would not be removed. Mr. Chairman, Sir, before I resume my seat I want to add to the list given by the hon. Member who spoke before me the repair and re-construction of the Mendipathar dispensary including the quarters of doctor and nurses. With these few words, I oppose this cut motion.
*Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, once again I am very grateful to the hon. Member who has brought certain difficulties regarding dispensary buildings. He has just referred to unsatisfactory maintenance of the buildings. According to my opinion Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is very difficult to say that the house constructed is satisfactory or not. It is a matter of opinion only. To me I am satisfied with these buildings. There will be some other buildings which are not satisfactory. As has been raised by the hon. Member also that there is some leakage in the Civil Hospital in Room No.12 of the Male Private ward, the matter will be looked into and I am glad that the matter has been brought to the notice of the House here.
Regarding Mawsynram dispensary also Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is another headache for the Health Department. On this matter Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have been trying to get the Engineering Wing attached to Health Department since 1973 or 1974. But unfortunately, it has not been possible to attach the Engineering Wing to the Health Department. I had the occasion to point out in this House that the doctors, nurses and compounder will be provided better accommodation for the smooth running of the hospitals/dispensaries. Moreover, Mr. Chairman, Sir, sometimes for want of funds and also because Government ahs to construct roads, irrigation projects etc. there is some delay. And unless and until a separate cell is attached to each station and an Engineering Wing be attached to the Health Department, the work would not progress rapidly because all the health buildings were recently transferred to the P.H.E. Department. Because of these difficulties, Mr. Chairman, Sir, works could not be properly completed and I take the responsibility to do everything I can for the smooth running of the hospitals and dispensaries. Two of my friends met me in my office and complained that there is a leakage of water in the quarters as well as in the dispensary. And when I asked him whether the contractor is from Mawsynram because Mawsynram is famous for constructing works as in Mawsynram there are many contractors. But the building seems to be constructed by the local people from that area and the man was also there in my office room and he replied that we have constructed this building but my construction has less leakages.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Who is that man Mr. Chairman, Sir?
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : There was one man who came to me and complained about the leakage. Mawsynram being the home of contractors many contractors must have undertaken the construction work of that dispensary. He himself said that his construction had less leakage.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : May we know the name Mr. Chairman, Sir?
Mr. Chairman : Names are not to be disclosed.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : I do not know the name. I am stating here what he has told me. So I simply appeal to him that he being a local man ought to know the danger of leakage in the dispensary building and that he was one of the contractors who claimed that his construction had less leakage. So the man felt very unhappy about it. Now this Primary Health Centre has been taken over by us and perhaps in the near future, we will be able to replace those sheets with C.I. sheets. I do not know, I am not a technical man, whether C.I., sheets or asbestos sheets are better. Contractors like my colleague can advise and in fact he had advised me several times to replace those A.C. sheets with C.I. sheets.
Shri H. Hadem : If he is still a contractor, he is disqualified as a member of this House.
Mr. Chairman : Ex-contractor.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : I do not know about Mawsynram. But I am told that this Primary Health Centre needs repair. As of today of course, we have some patches of repair work here and there, but the major works have not yet been undertaken. In this way there are so many dispensaries in the rural areas which shows that all the dispensaries, to be frank, will have to be dismantled totally and new construction will have to be made. This of course will take time and will involve a huge amount of money also.
Now the hon. Member from Shella referred to the Shella dispensary. I had been to the Shella dispensary perhaps three years ago along with officers of my department and officers of other departments also. That dispensary perhaps must have been constructed a long time ago. (Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy - During the British time). Yes, the building looks British buildings with all sorts of paraphernalia. Now that building has completely gone. When we asked the department to repair that building, both doctor's quarters and dispensary, they told us it is not worth repairing. So that matter ended there, and ultimately no repair work was done. But we have plans and estimates ready now. The other day some friends from that side came and met me and told me that the dispensary should be immediately repaired so that the people should be relieved of the health hazard and all that in that area. I can assure the hon. Member that provided little fund is given to us, we can definitely go in for that. Actually we need about Rs.29 lakhs this year. If we get that amount, we may not be able to spend the whole amount, we can do a lot of work - whether repair or reconstruction - of the dispensary. So I would request the hon. Member from Shella to be a little bit patient. The estimate for the repair is there in the office and if fund position permits, we can go ahead. I have asked the engineers to start the work.
The hon. members from Mendipathar while opposing the cut motion, indicated his desire that the Mendipathar dispensary should also be repaired. But I am sure the dispensary has already been repaired. When I passed through Mendipathar last time, I found that white washing has been done. So I would request the hon. Member to look after his own constituency also so that he will be able to guide the department in a better way.
There are so many incomplete or half done dispensaries in the interior and the Government has been trying for the last seven years to see that these incomplete works are completed first and only then new dispensaries and health centres should be constructed. My colleagues in the Opposition know that in 1971 when we got the State, we decided in the Cabinet that no new construction should be undertaken unless and until the existing dispensaries and health centres in the rural areas could be properly staffed. So a decision was taken. We tried in the past to appoint more and more doctors and more and more pharmacists and nurses and in fact, by now we have been able at least in these districts to man all the dispensaries. In the rural areas like Garo Hills, there are certain dispensaries where the doctors refused to go. I had the occasion, Mr. Chairman, Sir, to have as many as five times appointed five doctors for one dispensary, but they did not go or they did not join. These are the difficulties which the department is facing, (Voices - Because there is no incentive). We have got the incentive. (Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy - May be that incentive has been withdrawn). The incentive is there. Only the non-practicing allowance which is not admissible perhaps is withdrawn and that incentive varies from place to place according to the inaccessibility of the places. If the dispensary is near the town or near the roadside, we reduce the amount of incentive. So with this information Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would request the hon. Member to kindly and sincerely withdraw his cut motion.
Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Chairman, Sir, though at the very outset of the reply, the Minister has stated that the condition of the dispensaries is unsatisfactory, yet he has agreed with me that he himself is not fully satisfied with the repairs. But in view of the reply given by the Minister to the unnecessary claim of the hon. Member from Mendipathar, I withdraw my cut motion.
Mr. Chairman : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion? (Voices - Yes, yes). The cut motion is, with the leave of the House, withdrawn.
Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.5,11,700 under Supplementary Demand No.7, Major head "280-Medical", at page 8 of the list of Supplementary Demands be reduced by Rs.100, i.e., the amount of the whole supplementary demand of Rs.5,11,700 do stand reduced by Rs.100. I want to ventilate a grievance in respect of maintenance of the Hospital building (N.R.M. Hospital) at Cherrapunjee.
Mr. Chairman : Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.
Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not want to oppose the demand but I only want to ventilate the grievances about the Nichols Roy Memorial Hospital at Cherrapunjee as it stands today. Sir, it is a well known fact that this Hospital is the upgraded State dispensary at Cherrapunjee and it was upgraded to a 20 bedded Hospital. As far as my memory goes it was started in 1967. It was finalised, designed, planned and estimated since 1967 and foundation work also started some time in 1968-69 and it continued since then. When the buildings were completed it is a clear exhibition of the Assam type houses or Assam type building. As they stand today the buildings do not suit the local weather conditions of Cherrapunjee. Sir, you will find in the main Hospital building the design was such that you cannot take in the patient unless and until you first expose the patient to the rain. At Cherrapunjee for eight months of the year we are getting rain and unless and until a patient is first exposed to rain he cannot be taken in. We can see in the Civil Hospital and Ganesh Das Hospital in Shillong that there are porches where patients coming by vehicles can easily get into the Hospitals without exposing to the sun and rain, but in Cherrapunjee, in no ease you can take in the patient without exposing him to the rain. That is No.1. And No.2 as you know, Cherrapunjee receives the heaviest rainfall in the world, rain drops fall almost parallel to the ground. As there are no glazed windows along the verandah the rain drops conveniently enter into the wards of the Hospital, even through the windows of the wards and if you are present there and watch how the raindrops enter through the skylight windows how horrible it will be to the patients because the house or the type or design of the house constructed is quite different from the adjacent Circuit House at Cherrapunjee. Sir, we know that the N.R.M. Hospital is a twenty bedded Hospital and the two wards are there but these cannot accommodate twenty beds. They can accommodate only 16 beds. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that is the hospital building. Sir, you will not find a place fit to be called a kitchen to cook the patients' diet. There is no chimney and there is no heating arrangement in the Hospital and if you watch and look at the quarters of the nurses and doctors you will see windows without glass and rain drops conveniently get into these quarters. The nurses who were there have to use umbrellas inside their quarters. Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, the maintenance of the building of this hospital, when I say the building I mean all buildings within the premises of the Hospital of the original designs should be improved from today onwards. Sir, the Hospital is just like a no man's land in which the Hospital building stands today; the building only gives shelter to stray animals because there is no fencing around the Hospital premises. Sir, the Hospital was inaugurated on 14th of this month and the Health Minister conveniently avoided the inauguration of the Hospital. Mr. Chairman, Sir, such grievances could have been ventilated there had he inaugurated the Hospital.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, other colleagues were there.
Shri S.P. Swer : Yes, it is very difficult for the Minister of Industries to know the inside and outside of the matter and once the Minister of Industries also passed his remarks that Cherrapunjee is full of houses with big windows and if such big windows could be fitted outside, it could house at least more than 100 beds, without altering the hospital building as it is today. And Mr. Chairman, Sir, since the inauguration of the hospital, it has become an eyesore to the public because no patients can be taken in. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I move this cut motion and I request the Health Minister to try to improve the hospital buildings and compound of the hospital so that it will be of service to the people at Cherrapunjee. So with these few words, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I move this cut motion.
Mr. Chairman : Any body to support this cut motion? Since there is none to support the cut motion, I request the Minister-in-charge to reply.
*Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health etc.) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, once again I am grateful to the mover for bringing this motion here and the grievances which he had in his mind. As we all know, and as pointed out by the hon. Mover, this hospital was started in the year 1967 and that was three or four years before the birth of Meghalaya. So actually it was a baby of the then Assam Government and we inherited it now and from his talk I can understand that he wanted that the whole thing should be changed in Cherrapunjee hospital. But there are two technical aspects of this matter and he has mentioned about windows, doors, rooms and all. Unfortunately, it is too late to renovate all these defects and we are trying to rectify and if we have fund, we will be able to do a little of improvement here and there to make it more comfortable for the patients and the staff. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to remind the hon. Member that by providing more beautiful and strong buildings and strong rooms and beautiful beds, I don't think that the patients will be cured. What is needed is that there should be good staff, good medicine, kind care, kind attention that is paid to the patients by doctors and nurses I think if the disease can be removed from the patients that is the most important thing for us. The people always talk about the Willingdon Nursing Home because it gives better service to the people. But the building itself is not so attractive, even then it has specialists who can diagnose patients' disease and thus this hospital has become popular and it is not for its beauty and all that. Of course I don't dispute that we should have beautiful building and for this we should provide such means and it depends on resources. this Cherrapunjee hospital has been named after the very very important and renowned person of this State i.e. late J.J.M. Nichols Roy and while considering whether to give that name we had to take it into consideration whether it would be worthwhile to give that name to this hospital which in our view, is not very satisfactory. But however we decided to do so just to commemorate the good things that our leader had done to this area. So, finally we agreed that it should be named after him. Now I had the occasion to visit this hospital several times and if the hon. Member would kindly recall, he will remember it perhaps that some of the discussions raised were also discussed on the same floor of that hospital and some of them were my own remarks also. Now, I think that it is no use wasting the time of the House to criticize the building. We have taken up and accepted it and we will see that this hospital will provide minimum service to both the patients as well as the staff. Now, regarding Public Health Centre we have prepared an estimate to improve it and the estimate is for Rs.1.12 lakhs and if that can be met from some savings, definitely the suggestions made by the hon. Member will be taken up. I think, even though not much can be done in future with this amount if it could be met from the savings, I think a little can be done to avoid the patients from rain while entering into the hospital. But I found his remark a little bit unpalatable that I conveniently avoided to inaugurate that hospital. You know in the Cabinet form of Government, the Ministers jointly and separately are responsible and whatever one Minister does, it so done on behalf of the Government. So there is perhaps no difference at all that the Health Minister did not inaugurate and instead the Minister of Industries had to inaugurate it. Yes, I do not find any difference here because we are jointly responsible.
We have many hospitals and dispensaries and we have got Bhoilymbong and Mawkyrwat and some other dispensaries also to be opened and one in Jowai. Though I would like to be present in all the inaugural functions but it is impossible on my part to do so. I told last time that it would be nice to ask my colleagues to inaugurate that hospital because he knows the area very well and only on that consideration I requested Shri Maham Singh to go and inaugurate both Pynursla Dispensary and Cherrapunjee Hospital. My intention is not to avoid. In fact, I would love to inaugurate both the Health Centres I thought it would not be wrong on the part of my colleague to inaugurate them. Sir, as pointed out by my friend, this difficulty will be looked into provided we get fund in the near future. I hope since it is a very very important place this is the only hospital that has been upgraded. Now the patients have been admitted. So far, it will be just a beginning and I definitely hope that the cooperation from the M.L.As concerned and the general public, many great things will be achieved. This objective can be achieved not only through the efforts of the Government but through public donations. We should always contribute morally and materially also. With these few words, I would request the hon. Member to kindly withdraw his cut motion.
Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Chairman, Sir, at the first instance I was informed by the Minister that nothing can be done with the hospital and I do not agree that nothing that was done wrongly cannot be corrected. Secondly the Minister has assured that a sum of Rs.1 lakh will be provided to rectify the mistakes, to improve the buildings and the compounds of the hospital. So with this assurance, I withdraw the cut motion.
Mr. Chairman : Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion?
(Voices - yes, yes). The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn. Now I put the question. The question is that an additional amount of Rs.5,11,700 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1978 for the administration of the head "280 - Medical".
(The motion was carried and the demand was passed).
Let us come to Demand No.8. The Minister-in-charge of Health to move.
*Prof. M.N. Majaw : On a point of order, Sir, Demand No. 8 is a demand which is being made in violation of the rules of this House. Rule 146 sub-rule (XI) clearly states that it should not anticipate a matter which has been previously appointed for consideration in the same session Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am also quoting from Practice and Procedure in parliament at page 399. That a motion must not anticipate a matter already appointed for consideration by the House. Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have noticed from the Secretary of the Assembly letter dated 12th November, 1977 that on the 30th November the Act clearly states the Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1974 shall be moved in the form of a resolution, on the 30th of November which is aimed at extending this Act to the State of Meghalaya. Mr. Chairman, Sir, this Act is not applicable to the State. May I quote Chapter 1, Section 1 of the Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act under Sub-section (2) which says that this Act shall apply to such other States which adopt this Act by a resolution passed by the House.
We have already been informed that this Resolution will be moved by the Chief Minister on the 30th November. I do not know why the Government presumes that this House will pass a resolution on the 30th November.
(At this stage, Mr. Speaker occupied the Chair).
Mr. Speaker : Sir, it is a question of privilege when any of these rights or immunities of the members (Page 43 of Procedure and Practice in Parliament) individually and of the Assembly in its collective capacity, each known by the general name of privileges are disregarded or attacked by any individual or authority, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under the law of Parliament. Further, Mr. Speaker, Sir, Rule III states that disobedience to the orders of either House, whether such orders are of general application or require a particular individual to do or abstain from doing a particular act, or contravention of any rules of either House is a contempt of the House. I submit Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, this grant is coming in the form of a motion and the rules is very specific that no amount can be anticipated on a matter that has been already arranged to be discussed by this House. On this consideration, I submit that this demand is out of order. We have been given formal notice that on the 30th November this act will be discussed in this House. As of today Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government does not have to move this demand for money under that particular Act which has not yet been extended to the State and so, I submit that this demand is out of order.
Shri S. N. Koch : I think the hon. Member has misunderstood Rule 146. A cut motion on demand No.8 is not governed by Rule 146 but by Rule 144. Rules qualifying cut motions start from Rule 145 to Rule 146, and a point of order is under Rule 146, sub-rule (xi), which does not affect the Ministry or the Government to move a demand. It is a cut motion.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : When the demand is passed, it is passed. The motion is carried and the demand is granted. Therefore, it is a motion at page 393 May's Parliamentary Practice. The term "motion" which in its wide sense means any proposal made for the purpose of eliciting a decision of the House, covers several distinct forms of proceedings. Now, the Hon'ble Minister intends to elicit a decision in the House with particular regard to Demand No.8. As such, this is a motion at page 393 of May's Parliamentary Practice which is out of order. They should not have moved this Demand on a matter already appointed for consideration by the House. Now, it is the oversight on the part of the Government not to have brought this particular resolution much earlier when the Water Prevention of Pollution and Control Act was passed in 1974. How did the Government take three years to extend this particular Act to this State and that is the reason why we have to suffer from this polluted water in the absence of a Board for three years and by violation of the rules by this House. So, Sir, I submit that they cannot move this demand. Of course, it is a matter to be decided on the 30th November, the most cardinal point to be considered by this House on the grant of permission or to pass this resolution on that date the 30th November, 1977. The House may not pass or presuming that the House will do so, it will be a violation of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of this House. So I submit that this demand is out of order.
*Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to Rule 115, para 4 of the Rule of Procedure and Conduct of Business which states notwithstanding any thing herein before contained seven day's notice shall be sufficient in respect of resolution of which notice is given by a Minister or the Advocate General. Now, we have sent this resolution to the Assembly Secretariat on 17th and it has been circulated and it is up to the Business Advisors Committee which had fixed it to be discussed on 30th. That was what we have done from our side.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : I am afraid the Hon'ble Minister has missed my point. I have nothing to say on the Secretariat. The Assembly Secretariat had done its duty to forward a coat of the resolution which has been fixed to de discussed on 30th November. The point at issue is whether the whole House would give its consent to the Act which has not been extended to the State under the provision of the law. But this Government is going to move a demand for a sum of money when the Act has not been extended to the State. Further, there is a motion which is to be moved for demanding the grant and that motion cannot be moved on the same matter which has been appointed to be discussed two days later.
Mr. Speaker : Now, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs?
*Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. member from Mawhati has referred to Rule 146 but Rule 146 Mr. Speaker, Sir, relates to a cut motion in respect of a demand for grant. In this connection, our demand is for grant under Article 203 of the Constitution of India, procedure in Legislature with respect to estimates. So much of the estimates as related to expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund of the State shall not be submitted to the vote of the Legislative Assembly, but nothing in this clause shall be construed as preventing discussion in the Legislature of any of those estimates. So much of the said estimates as relate to other expenditure shall be submitted in the form of demands for grants to the Legislative Assembly, and the Legislative Assembly shall have power to grant, to refuse to assent, to any demand or to assent to any demand subject to a reduction of the amount specified therein. Our demand is for grant. Rule 146 of the Rule of Procedure speaks of the cut motion. Now, in this connection Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would submit that our demand for grant therefore is for the estimated expenditure that we have estimated and that is likely to be expended and which is coming up to be involved in respect of that particular item where the demand is made. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it may be that the amount can be spent or cannot be spent but then, if it could not be spent, then in that case whatever amount remaining unspent, that amount lapses. Now, in certain case, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we can always anticipate also certain matters which are likely to incur certain expenditure. This is under Article 206 of the Constitution of India which States that notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this chapter, the Legislative Assembly of a State shall have power to make any grant in advance in respect of the estimated expenditure for a part of any financial year pending the completion of the procedure prescribed in Article 203 for voting of such grant and the passing of the law in accordance with the provisions of Article 204 in relation to that expenditure. Mr. Speaker, Sir, therefore, we anticipate that the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Act will be adapted by this House. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it may be passed or it may not. But if it is going to be passed, we anticipate that certain expenditure is likely to be required to meet the above requirement for the implementation of this Act. Therefore, under Article 206 we are entitled to make plan and estimates in advance of the estimated expenditure. Well, if the Act is not adapted by this House, then in that case, the whole demand will lapse. So, I think, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this is in conformity with the rules and procedure that certain anticipated expenditure can always be made and passed by this House.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, by way of replying, I may point out that under Rule 231, page 72. Clause (vii) it is stated that it shall not anticipate discussion of a matter which is likely to be discussed in the same session. So, as I have stated earlier that the demand is in the form of a motion. The House in passing it says the motion is carried and the demand is granted. Therefore, you cannot anticipate whether the expenditure could be spent or not.
Mr. Speaker : Is it the sense of the House that the sitting be extended by a few minutes till we dispose of this matter?
(Voices : yes, yes).
Prof. M.N. Majaw : You can anticipate with the anticipatory permission of the House, but here this expenditure has not yet been provided under the provisions of the law and so they propose to set up new dispensary to incur the expenditure under the head of account which is already there and then we can anticipate here. Here there is something specific and relevant to this Department which has to come in the form of a resolution on the 30th November. From May's Parliamentary Practice again I quote at page 719 ..... "The requirement of legislative sanction for expenditure for novel purpose initiated by financial resolution ............. admits of no exception". No exceptions Mr. Speaker, Sir, and they are going to come with a resolution on the 30th November. They are anticipating that the House will give its permission to this resolution. We do not know why the Hon'ble Minister for Parliamentary Affairs stated that the House may not oppose it. This resolution should have been brought much earlier especially when the Act was passed in 1974. But now after having committed mistakes they should not have brought it for violating the rules of the House. The rules are very clear here. Here is a motion and the words are 'the motion is passed and the demand is granted'. Therefore, no motion can anticipate a matter which is fixed for another day.
Shri S. N. Koch : On a point of clarification ....................
Mr. Speaker : No, the time is up now. The point of order raised by Mr. M.N. Majaw relates rather more to procedural matters than to the proprietary right on the part of the Government to come for a demand. Here is a question that the demand has come forward before the adaptation of the Central Government Act. The adaptation should have come first and then the demand afterwards. That is the question of procedure and therefore, if the House agrees we can take up this resolution tomorrow after the Private Members' business is finished at 1.30 p.m. or at any time perhaps in the afternoon. If I have the sense of the House that we may take up this resolution tomorrow at 1.30 p.m.
(Voices : yes, yes.)
So the House stands adjourned till 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday, the 29th November, 1977.
|the 28th November, 1977.||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|