The Assembly met at 9.30 A.M. on Thursday, the 31st March, in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong, 1977 with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair.

-----------------

Mr. Speaker :- Let us start with item No. 1 by taking up Unstarred Questions. 

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UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

( Replies to which were placed on the Table )

Co-operative Societies in the State

Shri Jor Manick Syiem asked :

5. Will the Minister-in-charge of Co-operation be pleased to state -

(a) The number of Co-operative Societies operating in the State (Category-wise) ?

Shri D.D. Lapang (Minister of State in-charge of Co-operation) replied :

5. (a) - Category-wise numbers are mentioned below -

1.

The Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd.

....

...

1

2.

The Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing and Consumers Society Ltd.

...

...

1

3. 

The Meghalaya State Housing Financing Co-operative Society Ltd.

...

...

1

4. 

Primary Agricultural Credit Co-operative Societies.

...

...

420

5.

Co-operative Urban Bank

...

...

3

6. 

Primary Marketing Co-operatives (including Sub-Area Marketing Societies).

...

...

80

7.

Farming Co-operatives

...

...

20

8.

Wholesale Co-operative Consumers Stores

...

...

1

9.

Primary Co-operative Consumers Stores

...

...

56

10.

Primary Housing Co-operative Societies

...

...

18

11.

Dairy Co-operatives

...

      ...

11

12. 

Industrial Co-operatives

...

...

92

13.

Processing Co-operatives

...

...

1

14. 

Multipurpose Co-operatives

...

...

16

15.

Thrift Co-operatives

...

...

28

16.

Primary Fisheries Co-operatives

...

...

37

17. 

Primary Poultry Co-operatives

...

...

1

18.

Forest labour Co-operatives

...

...

2

19.

Labour Contract Co-operatives

...

...

8

20.

Co-operatives Canteens

...

...

2

21. 

Weaving Co-operatives

...

...

78

22.

Transport Co-operatives Societies

...

...

1

23.

Trading Co-operatives

...

...

16

24.

Other types

...

...

4

TOTAL

...

...

908

(b) The Share Capital invested in all those Societies ?

(c) The name and addresses of the Societies which declared dividends from 1970-71 to date, each year ?

(d) The amount or amounts derived by the State Government from those Societies in the form of dividends (year-wise) ?

(e) The amount of loan advanced by the Meghalaya Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd., to the various Co-operative Societies in the State from 1970-71 to date ?

(f) Whether the loans sanctioned to them were fully disbursed ?

(g) Whether matured loans of previous years have since been recovered ?

(b) - Rupees 86.66 lakhs by the State Government.

(c) -

Name of Society and Address                                                                          

Year

The North East Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd,
Mawkhar Main Road, Shillong - 1.                                                                

1974-75    

do

1975-76    

(d) - Nil.                            

(c) - Rupees 2,40,80,105    

(f) - No.

(g) - Not fully.

Irrigation Projects in the Border Areas

Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang asked :

6. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state whether Government proposes to take up irrigation projects in the Border Areas at (i) Phud Bhowal near Dangarolop for irrigation facilities at Khorabri, Terajaura, Dobakhor, Dangardop, Dangardombah, Lalpani, and Pyndenborsela villages; and

(ii) Umngi River for Mailan, Umpung, Balat, Photkylla, Jamaduar and Rakorkora villages ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

6 -(i) These areas are not yet proposed.

    (ii) Yes.

Supply of bonemeal to cultivators

Shri Jor Manick Syiem asked :

7. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state -

    (a) Whether the bonemeal will be supplied at subsided rate as heretofore ?

    (b) In what manner bonemeal will be supplied to the cultivators of different areas in the State ?

    (c) Who were the appointed dealers to supply bonemeal to the cultivators in 1976 and who are being appointed for 1977?

    (d) The quantities proposed to be allotted to each ?

    (e) Whether owners of bonemeal crushers are getting preference for such appointment ?

    (f) How many persons have got bonemeal crushing machine of the State and what are their names ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied ;

7. (a) - Yes.

    (b)- As in past years, bonemeal will be sold by approved dealers at approved rates at Shillong, Jowai and Mairang.

    (c) & (d)- Approved dealers in 1976-

    1. M/s. Mylliem Hydro Industries.

    2. M/s. Meghalaya State Co-operative Marketing Federation

    3. Shri Noli Tariang, Jowai.

    4. M/s. Amlarem - Dawki Marketing Society.

    For 1977, the list of approved dealers and quantities allotted to each of them is under consideration.

    (e) - Not necessarily unless their rate is reasonable.

    (f) - So far as our information goes, there are two :

(1) Mylliem Hydro - located at Mylliem and

(2) Assam Monemeal - located at Byrnihat.

Quota of fertilizers

Shri Jor Manick Syiem asked :

8. Will the Minisrer-in-charge of Agriculture be pleased to state -

    (a) Whether adequate quota of fertilizers will be made available to the cultivators of Meghalaya particularly those of Khasi Hills district during the coming Agricultural season ?

    (b) What steps have been taken for procuring fertilizers in time ?

    (c) Whether the Department has got proper statistics as regards the requirement of different kinds of fertilizers ?

    (d) Whether potato cultivators have been notified about the places where fertilizers will be made available to them ?

Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

8 (a) - Yes.

    (b) - We have already obtained quota for six months for February 1977 to July 1977, and for August 1977 to January, 1978. Quota will be obtained from Government of India by July-August next. The registered whole-salers are given quota out of the stock allotted on month wise basis and dealers lift the quota based on demand.

    (c) - We are aware of the area under various crops in the State and the pattern of fertilizer consumption. Based on above, we make a rough estimate of fertilizer requirement in the State.

    (d) - There are a number of retailers throughout the States and a few wholesalers in Shillong/Tura which are known to farmers including potato growers and no separate notification is considered necessary.

Mr. Speaker : Now we come to the next item Mr. P.G. Momin to move.

Election to Legislature Committee

Shri P.G. Momin (Member, Public Accounts Committee) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this Assembly do elect one member in accordance with Rule 242 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to the Committee on Public Accounts for the term ending 6th July, 1977, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh from the membership of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that this Assembly do elect one member in accordance with Rule 242 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to the Committee on Public Accounts for the term ending 6th July, 1977 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Shri Hopingstone, Lyngdoh from the membership of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

        (The motion was carried)

        Now the Secretary will notify the date, time and place for holding the election.

        Now I have another announcement to make. Only one nomination paper was received in favour of Shri Winstone Syiemiong to fill the vacancy in the Committee on Estimates caused by the induction of Shri Upstar Kharbuli into the Ministry. Shri Winstone Syiemiong is now declared elected.

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DEBATE ON GOVERNOR'S ADDRESS

        Now let us pass on to Item No.3. Debate on Governor's Address, Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : The Governor's Address does not contain much of any interest. However, I would like to participate in this debate on the Address of the Governor by way of making suggestion and seeking clarification. First of all, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to para 3, page 2 of the Address wherein the Governor had referred to the elections to the Lok Sabha. This election had turned out to be the most significant event in the history of the country since Independence. Many of us remember that at the time of framing our Constitution in the context of the teeming millions of our country with over 70 per cent illiteracy, there were serious doubts whether democracy would be practical for our country. Whether democracy would succeed in the face of the vastness of the country. The size of population in the country with over 70 per cent of illiteracy. Now Sir, every Indian would be happy and proud that these elections to the Lok Sabha had cleared the doubts and fears. The elections to the Lok Sabha had cleared the doubts and fears. The 600 million people had gone to the polls and in the most democratic and peaceful manner, they had changed the Government of about 30 years standing and smoothly elected a new Government. This is the triumph of democracy in the country. It has demonstrated the high standard of political consciousness among the masses of our country. It had shown that democracy had struck deep roots in our Country. We have every reason to be proud, every reason to be happy that democracy will forever stay and flourish in our country. So far as the North Eastern Hill States of the country, the last election had shown clearly one very definite opinion, one very definite trend that the hills people in these Hill states in the east have shown a definite preference for the State or regional parties by rejecting the All India Congress in three out of four Parliamentary Constituencies. I would wish, I would suggest that the Leader of the House and all the leaders of the State would taken note of this preference. In this context, I would appeal to all the members of this House and leaders of the State that we should strive for self-reliance, for self-respect and that we accept the fact that it is not always safe to depend on others, it is not always safe to depend on others, it is not right and it is not good also for the people to be depending on others. Once again I would say that we should strive for self-respect and self-reliance under the Constitution which has assured us freedom, liberty and autonomy. In this respect, I am happy to note that the leaders of the country of all sides have indicated clearly in the last elections through their statements that they would stand for decentralisation of powers that all citizens of India will share powers and functions equally either in the village or in the Raj or in the district or in the State as a whole. That the people will share the responsibility and powers as envisaged in the Constitution. Therefore, we have reason to be happy with the results of the elections with the statement of programmes and policies through which we a small community can have an equal opportunity to stand on our own affairs in our own way through this decentralisation of powers. Whatever may be our stand, whatever may be our objectives, whatever may be our ideas in the past, I hope that every one here in this House would be sincerely reviewing and reconsidering our stand for the best interest of our own people in this State, which means the best interest of our country as a whole.

        Sir, I would like to seek clarification from the Chief Minister on one point, that is in para 6, page 3 regarding the Government proposal to confer full ownership rights on homestead dwellers and homestead tenants in some parts of the plain areas of the State where records of rights are available. My intention in referring to this paragraph is simply to have some clarification as to the significance of this and whether the Government would also propose of the extend these programmes to other parts and other areas of the State.

        Now Sir, I come to the much discussed subject in the country as a whole Para 7, page 3 mentioned about the family Planning. Well the Government had referred in this paragraph to the need for limiting the size of families. This obviously would mean two things one, that there is need to limit the population in the country for economic reasons and two, for health reasons, Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe that so far as the general population in the country as a whole is concerned, there can be no two opinions that the country has been facing and is facing and would be facing the serious problem of over population. Therefore, I believe that in this House and outside this House and the country any sincere, honest citizen would not have any reservation as to the need to regulate and control the growth of the population in the country. We are 620 millions as up-to-update with an average of 200 persons per square kilometer, which is a very very congested situation. However Sir, I would like to point out one very important fact about the nature and situation of our vast country, about its diverse situation, that whereas as I have said earlier, that in general there is the problem of over population, there are areas, communities and sections in which we face the problem of under population. I would like very much to emphasise this fact about our country. Sir, if we take our State for example, we are a State with a little over one million in an area of twenty thousand and a half sq. kilometers. While in India on the average we have 200 persons per sq. kilometer, in our State we have only 45 persons per sq, kilometer. Last year we might remember, it was brought to the notice of this House regarding the Experts' Report about the dwindling population of the Hill Tribes in the North East. I would like therefore, that we examine this subject, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in a realistic manner, the realism in our State and the realism in the North East of India that we are in fact facing the problem of under population. Even we may go to the extent of saying the problem of danger of extinction. The leader of the House had called the meeting of the APHLC Parliamentary Party last year, if I am correct, during the Autumn Session, in which this subject was discussed and in which there was unanimous concern about this problem in our State. Following this concern in the Parliamentary Party meeting I had taken an opportunity of discussing with the Officers-in-charge of family Planning in the State, in Shillong as well as in Tura. When I accompanied the Chief Minister to Delhi to the National Development Council in September, I had the occasion to call the Central officers-in-charge to the Meghalaya House and I discussed with them twice on this, particular problem facing our State and the general Hill Tribes of the North East India. In fact, the Chief Minister may remember that in the Council he had the occasion to refer to this problem and he had requested that the 8 per cent formula shall not apply to our State. I am happy that we are all concerned with this problem and also happy that the Central Officer incharge have fully appreciated this problem. I hope the Chief Minister will take up this problem more seriously and the Health Minister also to have a fuller understanding with the Government of India in so, far as this respect is concerned in our State. Next point that I would like to refer Mr. Speaker, Sir, is at para 11 page 6 of the Governor's Address and that is about Plan allocations for our State. On the face of it, it seems that we should be happy about the increased allocation. But if we study in the context of the whole country and in comparison with other States, we have every reason to be unhappy with the plan allocations for our State for the year 1977-78. Elsewhere in this Address, I am happy to note that Government have realised it and they have stated ............." We will take up again with the Planning Commission ........." Because from the funds side the figures are increased from 1976-77 only to the extent of 20 per cent while the increase in the neighbouring States like Assam went up to the extent of 60 per cent. We have ample justification which has already been referred to in the Address. For example, the Kyrdem Kulai Project, which should have been treated separately. I would therefore, suggest that the Chief Minister may take up this question again with the Planning Commission in Delhi and we hope that our State would receive due consideration from the Planning Commission. Sir, the last point on which I would like to seek clarification is about the matter referred to in para 25, page 40 of the Address where is was stated....... in the light of the recommendation of the Land Reforms Commission, the scheme for taking up cadastral survey in the east and west Garo Hills District have been prepared" ........... I would like to know what is this Land Reforms Commission I thought that it was Mr. Rymbai's commission which is only for Khasi Hills. But now what is being done apparently here, is for Garo Hills. As such, clarification may be necessary. Of course. I know for a fact that during my time we had decided that so far as cadastral survey is concerned, it will be implemented in all the Districts of Meghalaya.

Mr. Speaker : May I ask you a question ? What was the reason that the Land Reforms Commission was created for one District and not for the whole State ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Now, we come back to 1972 where in Khasi Hills we have got a peculiar problem of having no records at all where as in Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills there have been some records, some survey, some works, in this line. Therefore, for Khasi Hills it was considered that it has got a priority. It was up to the Chief Minister to reply, but I would simply say that again I have another aspect which looks more peculiar that though first of all the Commission is for Khasi Hills the work was started in Garo Hills. And again, the work in Garo Hills was started in areas where cadastres surveys have already been done at least in the greatest part of the plain areas they have been done. Well, I though that survey should have been done in areas where it has not been done. So this clarification I would like to seek today from the Chief Minister and I suggest that this survey should start in all areas, that is a must. I had suggested to start with the northern part of Khasi Hills, the southern part of Jaintia Hills, and northern part of Garo Hills. My only suggestion is to give priority to the areas where survey has not been done. This is so far as para 25, page 40 is concerned about Land Reforms Commission.

                Now, coming back in conclusion to elections, one or two aspect that I would like to bring to the notice of the Government and the Leaders of the House, is regarding the preparation of Electoral Rolls. I would suggest that we would take more pain, more pain, more care, in the preparation of the Electoral Rolls so that our people will not feel they were left out. At the time of voting, they were very enthusiastic to support the party they favour but they were so much frustrated when they were turned out from the polling booths. So I would suggest that we will take more care and pain in preparing the Electoral Rolls so that all citizens with the right to vote can exercise the Electoral Rolls so that all citizens with the right to vote can exercise their voter when the time comes. Another aspect is about the light heartedness that our people have taken towards cheating. Well it has been found that there has been a proxy voting everywhere perhaps by all parties. But I do not know it has come about and I think it is due to the light-heartedness of our people. Therefore, I would suggest that the Government and the Leaders of all the parties to take up with the Election Commission and the Leaders of all the parties to take up with the Election Commission and see that we will be more strict, more serious, in preventing this malpractice which everyone can play the same game. But then it is normally wrong, legally wrong and politically wrong. Therefore, in this connection, I would like to make a suggestion that the Chief Minister may, on the eve of Election, call all parties to an agreement that no parties shall indulge in these practices. Of course, we may not completely root them out but, at the same time, we should try to strengthen the officers and staff in the polling booths so that there will be less malpractice in the Elections. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri B.B. Shallam, (Minister of State Border, Areas, etc) - Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek a clarification on the Statement by the hon. member in the opposition. He had stated that we should live in our own and that we should not be dependent on others, I do not understand this, what does he mean ? if we strictly accept this motion ................

Mr. Speaker :- The sentence is very complete in itself and it can be interpreted in a way you understand. ( Laughter ).

Shri B.B. Shallam, (Minister of State Border, Areas, etc) - When certain members made Statements naturally you seek clarification when one member is not clear. Actually, the hon'member is supposed to seek a clarification when another member is not clear. I would like to understand it more clearly before we accept it.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- May I clarify ?

Mr. Speaker : If the Minister of State wants clarification I cannot debar the non-members to substantiate.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Yes, I would like very much to clarify.

Shri B.B. Shallam, (Minister of State Border, Areas, etc) :- I personally feel that it is just difficult for us not to be dependent on others in-as-much as there are others who have to be dependent on us. We have to live together by having to be dependent on one another.

Mr. Speaker :- In this House, I consider academic debates are not really necessary. I think every other member understands very well what the hon. member has said. But if you want to enter into controversy of the inner meaning of each and very sentence then the whole House will have to devote itself for academic debates. Actually, it is the right of the Chief Minister to reply. Now any other non-member would like to participate ?

* Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while participating in the debate on the Governor's Address I wish to say something on the following. Sir, the holding of the election for the members of the Lok Sabha is highly appreciated  by the people as their democratic have not been deprived of. But I would like to know from the Government whether it is prepared to hold the election for the members of this House ..........

( Voices : We cannot hear you )

as the term of the members has already expired.

Mr. Speaker :- The term of the members of this Legislature ? According to the 42nd Amendment this Legislature will have to continue until the election in March, 1978.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- But according to the election of 1972 the term of the M.L.A.s will be for 5 years. So I think it is time ............

Mr. Speaker :- I think the Chief Minister will not take the trouble to reply if you study the 42nd Amendment. It is there.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- And also, Sir, the election for the members of the District Councils of the Khasi Hills and the Garo Hills Districts. The terms will expire by next May.

Mr. Speaker :- Unless extended.

( A Voice : It has already been extended )

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- Although the term has been extended till next year's it is the wish of the people that the election for the members of the District Councils, especially Khasi Hills, must be held this year. So this is my contention.

        Regarding agricultural development, it has been stated in the Governor's Address that popularisation of the use of fertilisers and pesticides and adoption of improved agricultural practices have been emphasised. But, Sir, we have been experiencing here in our State that fertilisers are not available in due time.

Mr. Speaker :- In proper time.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- The cultivators have been finding great difficulty in obtaining fertilisers every year. This year also there is scarcity of fertilisers and the price is also very high because the cultivators have to buy fertilisers in black markets. All this is due to the fact that the Government, it seems, has not made proper statistics in respect of the required of fertilisers and also that the Government did not indent fertilisers in proper time. So the cultivators are finding great difficulties. In this connection I would request the Government that in future fertilisers must be indented, in proper time so that distribution of fertilisers can be done as per requirement.

        Another thing, Sir, on communication, I want to say that though the Government have assured the Members of this august House that construction of roads should be done according to priority, yet it is seen that construction of most of the roads was not done on priority basis. Then another thing is the delay in payment of compensation to the land owners'. This is one of the reason for the delay in constructing the roads in our State. For example, in my constituency there is one road from Mairang to Laitdom where spot verification was done two years ago and I understood, Sir, that the Public Works Department had already sanctioned and allotted funds for payment of compensation to the land owners. But up till now compensation has not yet been paid to them. So on enquiry I found that the present S.D.C. who is incharge of land acquisition did not want to pay compensation to the land owners for the simple reason that the road was verified by the previous S.D.C. and not by him. Moreover, Sir, I understood that an amount of Rs. 2,17,000 had been allotted for payment of compensation. But up till now compensation has not yet been paid to the land owners along the road. Therefore, the road could not be used for public purpose and so I would urge upon the Government to kindly look into this matter and see that compensation is paid as early as possible.

        Then another thing, Sir, on land reforms, I have seen in the Governor's Address, para 25, at page 14, it was written - "In the light of the recommendation of the Land Reforms Commission the scheme for taking up cadastral survey in the East and West Garo Hills has been prepared". Sir as far as we remember the Land Reforms Commission was set up for Khasi Hills District only. So we do not know whether this Commission can give its recommendation for Garo Hills District also. I would like to have a clarification from the Government on this score also. 

        Then I come to the re-organisation of the administrative set up. Here I would like to say something about the selection of Nongstoin as the Head Quarters of West Khasi Hills District. As I said the other day while participating in the Motion for the shifting of the headquarters of West Khasi Hills District, Nongstoin is not at all convenient for the people to be the headquarters of West Khasi Hills District.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Lyngdoh, do you want to bring some more points or do you want to repeat the same points which you have spoken in the discuss on the motion the other day ?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh :- I will not repeat the same points. Sir, it seen that when Nongstoin was made the head quarters of the West Khasi Hills Districts, it was not the interest of the people of that District. In this connection, Sir, I may say that the policy of the Government in selecting Nongstoin as the Headquarters of West Hills District is more or less a head quarters from Nongstoin as demanded by the people is a must and I hope that the Government will reopen the question and re-consider the case. With these few words I resume my seat.

* Shri Edward Kurbah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion of thanks to the Governor's Address moved by the hon. Member from this side of the House. Sir, when I go through this Governor's Address I just want to bring some points which, I think, would remind the Government to see whether any action has been taken on election matters. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was stated here at page 2, paragraph 3 that it is a matter of satisfaction that elections were conducted peacefully in our State. But on the other hand, we have seen in the newspaper, that in many places, as some hon. Members have pointed out in this august House a few days back, many votes were cast by proxy. As a matter of fact, Sir, it is published in the newspaper of "Ka Pyrta U Riewlum" dated 23rd March 1977. It was stated that the polling of votes went on up to eleven at night, and it is very strange Sir, and if we allow those voters to carry on polling their vote upto 11 p.m. then Sir many will follow the same thing. We have received the information from the officer concerned of that area that he was forced to allow them, and that the people from the H.S.P.D.P. side forced the Presiding Officer.

Mr. Speaker : To whom the Presiding Officer reported ? If such thing happened it should be reported to the Election Commission.

Shri Edward Kurbah :- Whether any enquiry has been brought to the notice of the Government regarding this point, I am not aware. In page 5 of the Governor's Address regarding re-organisation of administration set up, many members have spoken about the creation of District and Subdivisions and administrative units. The main purpose for creation of this re-organisation is to bring the administration nearer to the people. But Sir, in the creation of West Khasi Hills District I found that it is difficult even from the Government side to judge which are the places which fall under the West Khasi Hills District. The people of those areas which fall under the West Khasi Hills District. The people of those areas which fall under the West Khasi Hills District find it very difficult to go and meet their requirements. The people of places like Sohiong, Nongspung and Mairang which are near to Shillong yet have to go to Nongstoin, a distance of about 85 to 90 K.m. away from their places. I think this is not real intention of the Government to bring the administration closer to the people Sir, also we find that in some areas it is very difficult even constituency-wise. Some areas fall in the West Khasi Hills District and some under the East Khasi Hills District which belongs to the same constituency. Sir, it is also difficult for the organisation of Blocks because some Blocks fall under the East Khasi Hills District and some fall under the West Khasi Hills District. So Sir, I would request the Government in this matter to revise inclusion of these areas, so that the people of those areas may find it easy to meet their requirements.

Mr. Speaker :- I do not understand inclusion of what !

Shri Edward Kurbah :- Inclusion of areas which we have demanded earlier. They should be brought to the East Khasi Hills District. I did not disagree with the creation of West Khasi Hills District but I just want to taken those areas which are closer to East Khasi Hills District. Coming to page No. 3, para 7, I would like to say something on the scheme for planning of trees. I can say last year that in many of the roads I have seen that quite a large was very late and many of the trees died because they were not planted at the right time. Some of them died on the road and some of them were broken. I think there is nobody to look after them. So I would like to bring this fact to the notice of the Government so that steps should be taken to see that these trees are planted at the right time.

        Now Sir, I come to transport. Sir, I find that most of the State Transport vehicles are in a very bad condition, and when the driver or the conductor were asked about this they replied that there was no money for maintenance or repairs. So, Sir, in this connection I would like to bring to the notice of the Government that if these vehicles need repairs they should be repaired immediately so that the passengers are not put in any difficulty. With these few words I resume my seat.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker Sir, while associating myself with the mover of the Motion of Thanks to the Governor's Address I would like to make certain suggestions and observations. Sir, coming to the election, it is a matter of great satisfaction as the Governor has rightly stated that the election was performed peacefully throughout the State. But Sir, here I want to say only about the electoral rolls in Shillong. I found that in different constituencies the preparation of electoral rolls for the last parliamentary elections was made in a haphazard manner. Here in Shillong only more than ten thousand eligible votes were left out. The reason for this was not made known to us. In each and every locality we visited, we found that some people were not included in the electoral rolls. So I urge upon the Government to see that a fresh preparation of electoral rolls is made immediately so that in the coming elections nobody would have any ground to say that their legitimate rights, their citizenships rights, their fundamental rights have been taken away. In the West Khasi Hills District, Sir, I have found to my utter dismay that those voters belonging to a particular community, that in Nepalis who had cast their votes in the last General Election, their names were not found in the electoral rolls. I do not understand under what orders they were left out. So, I urge upon the Government, through you Sir, that a fresh preparation of the electoral rolls should be taken up and house to house enumeration should be done and if for this noble cause our Government has to take the necessary permission from the Election Commission, it should be done forthwith.

        Sir, coming to education side I have found that the Government is doing a lot to eradicate illiteracy from the people of our State. They are trying to see that everybody is made literate. But Sir, I have found and many representations have come to me that the teachers of the aided schools, deficit system of schools and high schools, M.E. schools and the primary schools are not very much satisfied. Because, through the gazette notification it was given to understand to the teachers that the teachers would be paid new scales of pay as it is paid in Assam. Since we have adopted the pay scales as recommended by the Pay Committee of Assam, the effect would be given from the 1st January, 1973. But Sir, to the dismay of the teachers it was announced subsequently that the effect would be given from the 1st November, 1976. Therefore, the minds of the teachers are very agitated and they have given several representations to the Government, and in my opinion, it is just and proper that our benign Government should consider improvement of the educational facilities to the school teachers and for the betterment of the living standard of the school teachers. So I again would like to urge upon the Government to kindly take the necessary steps so that the teachers will get the benefit of the new  pay scales not from the 1st November, 1976, but from still further back date so that the teachers' legitimate claim as proposed in the gazette notification is materialised. Sir, besides the deficit schools and primary schools, there are other schools which fall under the adhoc-grant schemes. So, Sir, in order to facilitate for getting higher scale of pay in their respective schools, the quantum of adhoc grant to these aided schools should be increased considerably so that in these hard days of rising prices they should get at least two square meals a day thereby do justice to the noble profession they are sticking to. Sir, in the deficit system of schools no pay scale is fixed by the Government for the post of chowkidar although there is a provision for giving a Dearness Allowance of Rs. 9 to the chowkidars of the deficit system of schools, both M.E. and High schools from the Government. Sir, I do not understand why this practice is there in the schools. The chowkidars pay scale is fixed by the School Management Committee and the Dearness Allowance is fixed whimsically by the Government. Sir, it is really very unfair, and to give proper justice to this our Government should fix the pay scale of the chowkidar of deficit system of High schools and also of the M.E. schools and also award Dearness Allowance as fixed by the Government. It is a must and the Government should look into this matter. Sir, further I have found that specially in the deficit system of M.E. schools there is no provision of any clerk or office assistant. But with the increase in the volume of work in schools, the Head-master practically remains out of school as he has always to attend to office duties and to look into the accounts and so on and so forth and in this way the academic side of the school suffers. In high schools there is of course provision of clerk-cum-accountant but in M.E. schools there is no such provision. So, for the interest of the better education, and for making the Head-master a little free from the office work, I urge upon the Government that provision for the appointment of a clerk should be made forthwith. 

        Sir, our Government is doing well by taking up various schemes for the improvement of cattle stock in our State. The implementation of the Indo-Danish Project is also a very noble work. But at the same time I want that incentives should be given to the people who are already in the trade. For instance, in Bhoi area there was people, both cultivators and graziers. They very often to come to clash as the cattle destroy the cultivations.    

        Agriculture is improving quite satisfactorily. But up till now, the graziers are left to their own, the Government had not come forward to give them incentives to improve the living standards of the people, nor facility were created in the matter of grazing the cattle and bringing them to a modem scientific level Facilities should be created and grazing colonies should be carved out in certain places so that the graziers do not come into conflict with the cultivators in our State. As most of the cattle are reared in the jungles and fields is but natural than when there is green vegetation cultivated the cattle are tempted to go there is green vegetation the cattle are tempted to go there and destroy the green vegetation cultivated by the people. So clashes are bound to take place and in order to avoid these clashes. I urge upon the Government to create grazing reserves on scientific basis with modern amenities and to educate the people to have scientific basis with modern amenities and to educate the people to have stall breeding of cattle instead of letting them loose and rear in the fields and jungle. So in this way we can improve the milky yield and at the same time improve the living standard of the graziers.

        Sir, in the matter of communication in our State, our Government is doing a lot and we are very happy that within a short span of time many interior villages and places have been made accessible to the people and so it is a matter of great satisfaction. But there are certain more works to be done. For instance on some cases though the Government wanted to improve the mode of communication here to better roads in places where there are no roads, sometimes the people also do not co-operate. For instance, for Lawsohtun are which is quite near to Shillong and which is a part and parcel of Shillong city about two and a half of rupees had been earmarked for construction the road in that village covering nearly 3 kilometers and the previous Public Work Department Minister had occasion to go there and inaugurate the road where I was also present. Subsequently the project was abandoned because the people there did not co-operate as they wanted compensation even for the inch of land from their respective places. So this matter is still lying pending and nothing has been done and that part of Shillong is still without a roads. Though the money is there and the will to construct the road by the Government is there, but for lock of co-ordination between the people and the Government and for lack of people's participation, that road is still not seeing the light of the day. So, I want the Government to see that the road for which the money had been earmarked and for which a proposal had already been taken and when the road had already been started but had since been abandoned should be taken up again. There is another road in which money has been earmarked, that is at Lumparing area near Laban.

Mr. Speaker :- These are by way of illustration, they can be raised during the general discussion on the Budget.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Yes Sir, but as money is already there Government should see that the works should be taken up in the right earnest.

        Sir, coming to industries. We find that it is a matter of satisfaction that the Government have done a lot to bring about various industries in the State in order to solve the unemployment problem and to make out State industrially advanced. Many medium sized industries, small sized industries have been set up, but due to certain reasons not known to us, there were in some industries certain assurances which were given by the Government and which were not fulfilled. I will cite an instance. Sir, the Meghalaya Plywoods which was set up in Byrnihat is a good industry and has immense potentialities for employment to our people, but for lack of proper supply of wood to feed the machine there the industry has not made that amount of progress which is desired. So, I want our Government to see that constant flow of supply of wood is facilitated so that the industry may grow and provide more employment opportunities to our people in this State where unemployment is a very vital problem. So this just to cite an example that the industries should get more attention and then they can function well and prosper well and more employment opportunities are provided to our unemployed youths. With these few observations, Sir, I again thank the hon. Mover of the motion of thanks to the Governors Address. 

Mr. Speaker :- I will ask some of the Minister who would like to intervene.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very thankful to the hon. Members who have participated in the Governor's Address and for their suggestions on how to raise the standard of education in the State. The Department as you have seen in the Governor's Address has spelt out the policy on the development of education. I would like to reply to the queries of the Hon. Deputy Speaker on the reasons for the delay of payment of scholarships. Sir, the reasons is that, as you are aware, the Government of India has changed certain rules for the grant of tribal scholarships. That is (1) raising the income limit to Rs. 750; (2) barring of employed students to get scholarship and (3) the third child from enjoying the scholarship of which we have informed all the colleges in the State. The delay is also due to non-receipt of scholarship applications in time by the department. We have intimated all the colleges that they should try to submit all the application forms in times so that we can take necessary action from our end. Also this year, the delay was caused due to the revision of the earlier Government orders debarring the M.L.As and M.Ps. from issuing income/caste certificates during the current year. Subsequently, the last date for submission of applications had to be extended by almost one and a half months. Then, I am also thankful to Shri Pohshna, the hon. Member from War-Jaintia.

Mr. Speaker :- The non. Member from Nongtalang.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister, Education) :- He raised a point on the construction of the Jowai Government College. Sir, in this connection, I would like to inform the hon. Member that tentative plans and estimates of Rs. 25 lakhs for construction of the Jowai Government College including staff quarters were submitted by the Public Works Department only on January this year and we will give administrative approval and take work will continue from this year and these are the two points which the hon. Member has raised on my Department. I am thankful to all the members for realising that we have taken up from this Department of all the subjects and we have agreed on what the Government have done and if there is anything, I would ask them to come and meet me personally together through discussion and do the needful.

Prof. Alexander Warjri :- I have a number of points on education.

Mr. Speaker :- Actually, the right to reply belongs to the Chief Minister. of course, the Minister-in-charge of certain Department have certain points to intervene.

Shri D.D. Lapang, (Minister of State, Co-operation, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make some clarification on the points raised and observed by some hon. members. The point raised by the hon. member from Mawkhar was regarding the working of the Co-operative Societies, who stated that certain Co-operatives Societies have not performed their programmes properly and failure occurs. I would like to formed their programmes properly and failure occurs. I would like to enlighten the hon. members that the Government has taken up the programme of winding up of some nonviable Societies. This is being done through a master plan. so that only healthy and viable Societies would be retained the whole exercise would be to retain, strengthen and revitalise the Co-operative Credit Structure. The Government have realised that a number of non-viable Societies have sprung up in the past and it is necessary to eliminate them and only functioning societies which are in operation will be retained. This matter plan has been evolved by the Reserve Bank of India. The hon. member raised a point on the working of the Corporative Housing Societies. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this regard I would like to tell the hon. friend that so far we have 14 Housing Co-operative Societies in the State out of which 10 are the rural areas and 4 in the urban areas.  

        In order to provide finances to the individual member of the Societies the State level Housing Financing Society is processing the loan application received. Some problems had been visualised regarding the security of land and the matter is under discussion with the concerned departments of the Government for evolving a suitable method for solving the problems of security for loan arising out of the different land tenure system in the State. Meanwhile, three centres namely Mendipathar, Nongpoh and Nongtalang have been selected for starting trade centres where the houses can be partly used for shops also. In other cases the applications are being invited and examined for further processing.

        There is also another point raised by the hon. member from Mawkyrwat regarding appointment of Home Guards. In this respect priority should be given to the tribals and relaxation of physical fitness. Prior to the sanction to the Border Wing Home Guards Battalion, absorption of Home Guards had been made on a purely temporary basis and without any discrimination as to communities is purely a voluntary service.

        Since the sanction for raising of a more or less regular Border Wing Battalion, recruitment has been made according to the specifications land down for the M.L.P. Battalion of which the Government of India has approved in respect of pay, allowances, etc.

        As regards physical fitness, the prescription laid down for the Police Battalion has been strictly adhered to in accordance with the Government of Meghalaya Home (Police Departments). The percentage of non-tribals has also been maintained and priority given to Meghalaya tribals with a provision for condoning the required minimum standard height. 

        I fully express my thanks and gratitude to the hon. members, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving their observations and constructive suggestions in this regard.

* Shri Sanford K. Marak, (Minister. Health etc.) :- I am grateful to the hon. members who have made certain observations on the Department of which I am directly incharge for having made valuable suggestions for improvement in all respects.

        Coming to water supply and public health engineering, the hon. member from Nongtalang pointed out that water in the Assembly Hostel is not available and the members could not have breakfast in the morning and so they have come here without breakfast. I am sorry such thing has happened in the hostel.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make certain observations. Now the Public Health Engineering Department supply the bulk of water and the distribution system is carried out by the Shillong Municipality. In addition to that, on that very day, unfortunately all over the town there was muddy water and that muddy water came because of some defect in the filter plant. Therefore, afterwards some people went to the Umkhen Block  I Scheme at Upper Shillong and tried to rectify it. I do not know how far the filter system has been made now. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you will known the Shillong Water Scheme is still the same. So, that is meant for only 30,000 people. But Shillong has become very big and we all know the citizens are facing scarcity of water. Now unless and until we can complete the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme, I think we cannot do much on those sources which are available at the moment. But in spite of that I would rather say that much improvement has been made and then there were certain areas which in the past had promised to give sources of water although at present we are getting something, for example, Laitumkhrah, Barabazar and Jaiaw side also. Until such time comes when the Great Shillong Water Supply Scheme is fully completed, you will have to live in hardship. Let us be very frank about it. We are trying to have some underground water and we do not know how far it will be successful. In the past we have tried to find out some sources of water. For example there was one at Pine Mount where water was found to be running for some time and suddenly it stopped as there was no more water. But then some sources will have to be found out.

        But underground sources will have to be found out to supplement an augment water supply  in Shillong. The department will try its best, I can assure the members, to find out sources in and outside Shillong.

        The hon. member from Mendipathar, Mr. Koch, also mentioned about scarcity of water in Tura. On every occasion and in every session, we had discussed about this. The same thing is happening in Tura. I tried to contact the authority of the Tura water supply scheme, the Executive Engineer, about rainfall. Unfortunately, rain has not started in Garo Hills and I am told that the supply has come down very much and that the volume of water has also come down very much to round about 12 lakh gallons per day. Normally during the monsoon, we use to get about 50 or 55 thousand gallons per hour. So this has been reduced very much. Every time I went down to Tura. I have been observing that the people should also help the Government in using the water properly all the taps on the road-side are kept open and in the compounds of those who have got private connections, the taps are kept open. This water is wasted and it could have been stored. But, unfortunately, we are also to blame ourselves because we have not been able to know the value of water in the town. But I would only say that as far as Tura is concerned, there is not much scarcity. Actually speaking, if the people know how to store and if they know how to use it properly, definitely each individual will get not less than 5 gallons per day. I think that will be sufficient. Of course, the normal requirements should be around 15 gallons or so. I am not sure about it but at least 5 gallons of water are available to every citizen right from the new born child to an almost dying father. Therefore, we have to educate the people on how to live under such circumstances.

        Another member, Mr. Jormanick Syiem, also mentioned about scarcity of water in Shillong and its suburbs. Our department a taken up the Shillong Water Supply Scheme and I think this scheme after completion, will definitely relieve the people of this great hardship. So as far as water supply is concerned, I am very grateful to the hon. members who have pointed out the difficulties.

        Now coming to this most talked subject, family planning, Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to remind the hon. members of this very august House that we had discussed it several times, sometimes against and sometimes for and certain members have expressed against and for and that depends on the seat he takes.

Mr. Speaker :- It will continue.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Now the family planning, as we all know, is not a policy laid down by a single State Government. It is a national policy and the Government of Meghalaya has agreed to fall in line with this particular policy right from the inception of the State. We have agreed that whatever policy is enunciated by the Government of India would be accepted and followed by this Government. That is very clear to all of us. This family planning, as we all know is not intended only to cut down the size of the family. But in family planning, there are so many things like family welfare, child welfare child care, spacing, etc. I would remind the House that family planning does not mean to have one or two children, but concerns more with the welfare of the children and now the Government of India has renamed it as Family Welfare Planning. As pointed out by the hon. members, this particular policy which was applied throughout the country has caused large scale sensation and there have been different criticisms and different interpretations in different States. I do not know how far it is true. Some claimed that forces has been applied to some people and societies which are still below the standard such as the low caste and labourers groups. But as far as this State is concerned, I must make it very clear that we have never used force. We have never engaged the Police and we have never instructed the doctors to sterilize forcibly. We have always tried to persuade and educate the couples. There had been some allegations in the past and there had been discussions in this House also that force had been applied. But I am sure that all our doctors, staff and A.N.Ms are sensible people. I do not think that the doctor with all his qualifications which he has got from the Medical College in course of 6 years will use it unnecessarily. He will persuade and convince the persons or the couples and if they agree, he will perform the job. I must make it again very clear that members should not think that in Meghalaya we are using force. Another thing is that even if we do not apply or we do not go for family planning from our area will go. In fact, I had the occasion to point out here in the past that more than 1000 people had gone to Assam only for that. The other day, when we are just in the election campaigns in the border areas of Garo Hills, in a meeting one old man stood up and asked about family planning. Then I asked him whether the doctors and nurses were trying to motivate. The reply was "no we have not come across any such persons". But in Mankachar which is very near, those people went there voluntarily. They came back and educated some of their friends to go for that. I do not know whether it is because of money. Here also hon. Members have pointed out that money power has been used. Unfortunately, this money comes from the Government of India which is known as incentive. I do not know, I am not so much an expert in English language but certainly is not force. I think with my little knowledge, I can say that incentive is not force.

Mr. Speaker :- It may be an allurement.

Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) :- Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, incentive is given to those who are accepting this sterilisation programme voluntarily. But then as all of us known and I must admit that the people want to get money if they come to know that Government has given money for certain things. I may cite an example of the election, how money can attract people. So money has got its own influence. But definitely force has not been used. When I mention about election, some Members may be thinking that I mean of this side alone but what I mean is from all sides. We are all experienced in this.

        Another point is about fixing the targets for each doctor. Our target for sterilisation was 3500. Actually during the last Health Minister' Conference in Delhi, the Union Minister demanded that we should go for about 9000 but I objected to that and it was then reduced to 3500. So nothing much has rally been done here. But I must remind the House again that those people living in the border areas will definitely go for that. Suppose we are to abandon the Family Planning Programme. Our people may go even from Shillong to Gauhati for sterilisation, I mean those who want to have a small family. So we cannot stop this programme. So I would request hon. Members to realise that this programme will have to be carried out in a small way. I am conscious that our population is small, that fact we are keeping in view. The Government however; respect the desire of every individual to bring about the welfare of their own children. So, I would appeal to the hon. Members not to have mistaken notion or idea about this family planning programme.

        Now, I may inform the House that Government have also sanctioned the raising of bed strength of the Ganesh Das Hospital and Shillong Civil Hospital. The strengthen of bed in the Shillong Civil Hospital and Shillong has been raised from 150 to 200 in 1975 and in Ganesh Das Hospital from 150 to 230. That means an increase of 80 beds. We are trying to improve these hospitals and if funds permit we will extend this help to other parts of the State also. We have been trying to achieve the targets fixed for us to have each Primary Health Centre for each Block. But the difficulty  is that though we may construct  beautiful buildings and if there is nobody to look after them, that would be meaningless. That aspect also must be borne in mind by all of us that mere construction of dispensary and hospitals buildings will not help us unless and until we can produce adequate number of doctors, nurses and compounders. I am glad to inform the hon. Members that very soon we shall have our own doctors whom we have sent for study in 1970. So from next year onwards we can draw doctors from our own Meghalaya State.

        Mention was made about electricity by Mr. Pohshna, the hon. Member from Nongtalang that all important places connected with road head should be provided with electricity both for commercial and domestic purposes. The Meghalaya State Electricity Board is engaged in the task of rural electrification on the basis of availability of funds. Electrification has been taken up on the basis of cluster of villages for the purpose of ensuring technically and administratively sound schemes. Drawing lines along the roads would not always be the right way to do this. Every effort is being made to cover as large a number of villages as possible under rural electrification within the over-all constraints of financial resources. About the point raised on employment of local people, it was stated that the children of the soil are not getting opportunity of employment in the M.S.E.B. I would like to reply direct. A large number of technical posts have been filled up by the Kopili Project for which adequate number of candidates are not available from Meghalaya. In respect of other posts, preference is sought to the local people to the extent possible. The hon. Member from Mendipathar has also mentioned about rural electrification in Garo Hills and he wants that Mahendraganj also be electrified. Sir, we all know that Mahendraganj is a very big village with a population exceeding 8000, so it will take time. But Government will definitely not neglect such villages, when the lines are ready for electrification of these areas. Sir, I think I have replied to all the points raised about this Department and I am grateful to the hon. Members and at the same time assure that that their suggestions are always welcomed. I hope with this short reply the hon. Members will be satisfied.

Shri Maham Singh, (Minister - Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, a point has been raised by the hon. Member from Dadenggiri Constituency when he said that the amount given as help to the victims of depredation by wild animals be increased. Mr. Speaker, Sir, under the executive instructions, for the help to be given to the victims of natural calamities, the Deputy Commissioner has been empowered to spend upto Rs. 5,000 and the Deputy Commissioner can re-allocate part of this amount to the S.D.O. upto the limit of Rs. 100 per family who were the victims of national calamities like fire, cyclone and other calamities. Again, there is a total amount of Rs. 50 that can be granted as relief to those persons by the authority concerned. When the amount proposed for relief exceeds Rs. 5,000 the administrative approval of the Revenue Department is sought for. All cases are considered in order of merit. It may be mentioned that besides this grant, other reliefs are given to the victims in the form of Agricultural loan, seeds, medicines according to the recommendation of the D.C. where a large number of families are affected.

Mr. Speaker :- May I request the Minister to reply rather than to read because you have repeatedly said "as stated above" and because we cannot understand what you have stated earlier and because we cannot see what you read and for the sake of recording, it will become difficult if you read.

Shri Maham Singh, (Minister, Revenue) :- In all cases Mr. Speaker, Sir, generally, the D.C. may make an on the-spot enquiry  and then make recommendation to the Government and then come to the aid of the victim, that is, whether the victims have suffered due fire, cyclone or any disaster. Then sanction will be made according to the merit of the case. Now, the hon. Member from Mendipathar, had mentioned in his speech that no mention was made regarding the policy of the Government for separation of the Judiciary from the Executive. Now, Sir, this question of separation of the Judiciary from the Executive is being considered seriously by the Government. Of course, it is not possible to make a complete separation of the judiciary from the executive unless we have sufficient judicial officers. In this connection it is very unfortunate that we have not been able to finalise the framing of the judicial rules. But steps have already been taken to frame the Judicial Services, Judicial officers will be recruited and then, at that time, compete separation of the Judiciary from the Executive could be done. Then the hon. Member from Mylliem had mentioned that there has been a delay in the appointment of the District and Sessions Judge in Shillong. Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, there has been a delay but this is unfortunate. Now, recruitment of a District and Sessions Judge from the Bar could be done only on the recommendation of the High Court. Of course, if we have judicial officers appointed according to the Judicial Service Rules then only in that case, the person already in the judicial service, may be appointed only in consultation with the High Court. But then, as I have stated, the Judicial Service Rules are being framed and at present, of course, this matter is being taken up with the High Court and I hope that appointment can be made in the near future. Further, the hon. Member from Mawprem has stated about the appointment of a Judicial Magistrate from Shillong.

Mr. Speaker :- The hon. Member from Mylliem but you have referred to the hon. Member from Mawprem.

Shri Maham Singh, (Minister, Revenue) :- I mean the hon. Member from Mylliem. This will also be taken up after the finalisation of the Judicial Services Rules. Recruitment to this post of Judicial Magistrate will be done after the finalisation of the above rules. Then again, the same hon. Member has referred to the representation from the people of Nongwah regarding transfer their areas to Meghalaya. He as well as the hon. Member from Mynso Constituency, have also referred to Blocks 1 and 2 of the Mikir Hills District known as the Karbi Along District which forms part of Assam. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this matter has been under discussion with the Government of Assam for very long time and we are very anxious to come to a satisfactory solution. This matter was discussed also between the two Chief Ministers in the meeting held on 10.9.1971. In that meeting, it was decided that with a view to decide the issue, comparative population of the Mikir and non-Mikir tribe-wise should be accepted as a guiding criterion and the population figures of the 1971 Census as well as the 1961 Census of the Mikir and non-Mikir Tribe-wise of this Block should be collected. This matter was again discussed in the meeting between the two Chief Ministers on 20.2.76 and it was decided that the data called for if the previous meeting should be collected and furnished expeditiously for discussion between the two Chief Ministers. There was also an official level meeting on 12.3.76 but there was no agreement. Again Sir, the Chief Minister of our State had written again to the Chief Minister of Assam for an early disposal of this matter. Mr. Speaker, Sir, every effort is being made to settle this matter once and for all. Then the hon. Member from Mylliem had stated that some of the top posts in the Mawmluh-Cherra Cement Factory are not being held by the local people but by the people from outside the State. Further he wants that technical posts should be given to the local people to take up the responsibility and that such people must be sent for training also. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I must submit that  in filling up the vacancy for any post preference is always given to the local people. The hon. Member will be glad to know that all the top responsible posts in the Company were not only manned by local people, local inhabitants of the State, but also by the people belonging to the scheduled tribe. Then again, there were cases in which the local employees have been sent for training in the factories established in other State in order that they may acquire better skill and knowledge of the system of working in these factories and we are going to have more outside training in future. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was always the endeavour of the Government that is in giving preference to the local inhabitants of the State in giving employment in this factory as well as in other factories which may be established in the State in future and for this purpose, the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation and the Government have been actively pursuing training of local youths where man-power requirements for the industries to be established are likely to be filled in future. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member from Nongtalang also has stated that in the field of industries, both big and small, employment should be for the children of the soil. But, as I have already stated, we have always given preference - that is, the employment of persons in all companies to the local people.    

        There is another point raised by the hon. Member from Mylliem regarding, the Meghalaya Plywoods and also by the hon. Member from the Shillong cantonment. He has raised the question that the Meghalaya Plywood is not getting sufficient raw materials for the factory. Now they want that the Government should consider the problems faced by the Company in this regard. In this connection I would say that the Government has always been considering this problem. The Government is, at present doing its level best to find out a lasting solution and also the ways and means to ensure regular supply of raw materials to this company, i.e., as far as it is available in the State.

        Now, with regard to the other point that has been raised by the hon. Members from Mawkhar who has stated, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Government should go slow with the setting up of industries in the State. Now, on this, unfortunately, we cannot do so; rather if we want to improve the condition of the people of the State and give better prospects also for the improvement of the educated youths of the State, then, in that case industrialization is very very necessary in our State. We have to set up more industries and the Government appeals to all the educated youths and other persons who have got the means and resources to put up schemes and plans for setting up industries in the State and the Government, in cases especially where the local youths are themselves coming forward with schemes and plans, will make every effort to encourage as well as assist these local entrepreneurs.

        Another point that has been raised by the hon. Member from Mawkhar is that with regard to A.T.C., i.e., the Air Transport Corporation. According to him, the monopoly has been given to this Company for the transport of cement from Cherrapunjee to Gauhati. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would say that this Company has not been given the monopoly of transport; no other party has also been given the monopoly of transport of cement from Cherrapunjee to Gauhati. Now the Air Transport Corporation as well as the other contractors, including, the local contractors, are carrying cement from Cherrapunjee to other consumers. Further, we can assure that we will always look to the interest of the local people in regard to the transport of cement from the factory to other places.

        Now the hon. Member from the Sohra Constituency has referred to the agency of making proper arrangement for marketing to the cashew nuts grown in Mawlong and Ichamati. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that the marketing of the cashew nuts is linked up with the processing. This matter will be examined.

        And again the other question raised by the hon. Member relates to a proper cropping pattern for cash crops as also programme for extension of rubber plantation in the border areas. This proposal also will be examined. Again the suggestion that has been made by him that there should be proper follow-up arrangements in all the schemes that have been taken up by the Government in the border areas, this suggestion also will be taken up

        Now, the hon. Member from Chockpot Constituency has referred to the construction of hostels and improvement and expansion of existing hostels and buildings in the educational institutions in the border areas. He has mentioned that not a single school has been given aid in that respect. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would say that this is a new scheme that has been taken up. But during the current year also grants-in-aid have been given to the following institutions for construction of hostels and improvement of the existing hostel buildings -

1.

Khadarblang M.E. School for hostel building

...

Rs. 22,000

2.

Cherra Presbyterian High Scholl for school and hostel buildings

...

Rs. 25.000

3. 

Sohkha High School for hostel building

...

Rs. 10,000

4.

Nongbareh M.E. School for school building

...

Rs. 8,000

5.

Mukertilla M.E. School for school building

...

Rs. 10,000

6. 

Nongtalang High School for school building

...

Rs   13,000

7.

Khasi Pnar M.E. School Dawki for school building

...

Rs. 8,000

8.

Rangu Memorial Girls' M.E. School, Baghmara, for school building

...

Rs. 20,000

9.

Baghmara High School for school building

...

Rs. 17,000

10.

Nohwet, for completion of remaining extension works of M.E. school

...

Rs. 5,000

11.

Nongtyngur, construction of retaining wall of the school compound

...

Rs. 4,000

        And also some amount has been given to the Mawsynram High School for expansion/extension of their Hostel building. This scheme will be continued in the next financial year and, in this connection it may be mentioned that we have taken up the scheme for having more hostels in the border areas in order to help the border students in their own areas. I think these are the only points raised by the hon. Members so far as the subjects under my Department are concerned. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the hon. Members for having made the proposals and suggestions. These will be taken up and if the hon. Members could come up with might be taken up for the greater benefit of our people, all these would be most welcomed.

Mr. Speaker :- May I know from the Chief Minister whether all the other Minister will intervene now? 

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of State in-charge of Excise) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to clarify certain points raised by few hon. Member with regard to the Excise Department. Mr. Pohshna, the hon. Member from Nongtalang has suggested that the first Sunday of the month may be treated as dry day. But in fact, Sir, every first day of the month has been already declared as dry day and certainly we will examine this matter.

Mr. Speaker :- But those who drunk no days are dry for them. They may manage to get it from somewhere. ( laughter...)

Shri Salseng C. Marak (Minister of State in-charge of Excise) :- Another point Mr. Speaker, Sir, is about the suggestion given by Mr. Humphrey Hadem about the shifting of outstills to some other places. The Government had decided that all liquor shops and distillers should be removed from public places and also from near High Schools, Colleges and religious institutions.

        Then another suggestion has been made by Prof. A. Warjri, the hon. Member from Mawkhar about shifting of bars from Laitumkhrah and other places near educational institutions. Sir, I would like to inform the hon. Member that the Government is examining the possibility of shifting this bar also and in this connection, the Government have already appointed a State Temperance Committee to advise the Government regarding the reduction on consumption of liquor particularly among the young people and also to suggest ways and means for educating the people, for organising public opinion and this Committee would also help the Government in adopting some measures for reduction of the sale of liquor for the affective enforcement of laws relating to the reduction on consumption of liquor. I am really grateful to the hon. Members who have given their valuable suggestions on this problem. I will certainly look into this matter in the light of these suggestions.

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak (Minister, Forests) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to reply to just a few points regarding trees which have been planted along the roads as raised by some hon. Members Sir, the hon. members from Dadenggiri and from Mairang have suggested that trees planted along the road should be properly looked into. I am glad that the hon. Members are also concerned about this matter. But with a few staff that we have in our Forest Department, we cannot look after all those trees planted along the roads. For this we have schemes for educating the people by holding public meetings and arranging cinema shows and by requesting the people not to destroy those trees planted along the roads. The hon. Member from Nongtalang, Mr. Pohshna, wanted to know the delay in sanctioning the schemes at the Block Development level. I would like to inform him, through you Sir, that sometimes the Government received these schemes late as they were prepared by inexperienced overseers and yet to be scrutinised by technical hands. Sometimes when these schemes have been prepared, they have to get the final approval of the Block Development Committee. But sometimes in some cases, I found that when these schemes have been fixed for final approval of the Block Development Committee yet in the absence of the Chairman and due to some other difficulties they could not be given approval and hence the delay. Therefore, there was delay in sanctioning the schemes. But I would like to inform you, Sir, that the schemes which have been sanctioned this year are much earlier than the previous year. I would further like to inform the hon. Members that the amount which has been sanctioned during last year i.e. 1976 was Rs. 12.00 lakhs for Special Nutrition Programme (Plan and Non-plan). By January, 1977 we had sanctioned another amount of Rs. 19,57,300 and by February, 1977 Rs. 7,82,920 for the Specially Backward and most Backward Areas. For special schemes, self help schemes and part of Special Nutrition Programme Rs. 1,89,000.00 was sanctioned before 25th March, 1977.

        I am glad that the hon. Member wanted to know about this and so I hope that in future we will be looking into it and see that these schemes are sanctioned as early as possible.

Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, looking into all the points raised by the hon. Members during the debate on the Governor's Address, I feel that nothing touches the policy matter of the Government, but all the suggestions are merely requests to the Government for taking some action on certain matters. It would be more profitable if we can further discuss them during the Cut Motion when we discuss the budgetary provisions. Therefore, I have nothing to say or to reply at this time now.

Mr. Speaker :- I think the Chief Minister would like to have a few minutes for consultation before he replies. Do I have the sense of the House that we will adjourn for a few minutes and assemble at 12.30 ?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I think 12.15 will be alright.

( Voices yes, yes ... )

Mr. Speaker :- The House stands adjourned till 12.15 p.m. today.

( After break )

Mr. Speaker :- Now the Chief Minister will reply.

Shri W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- I must thank the hon. Members who have participated in the debates on the Governor's Address. As was pointed out by my colleague, the Minister of Agriculture, I do not think I have much to reply because none of the participants raised any policy matter in the debate. In the first instance I would like to deal with the question raised by the hon. Member regarding election. My colleague now sitting in the opposite side referred to the election results in the country as a whole and particularly, mentioned about the election results in the North Eastern States. He has come to the conclusion that by the election results the people preferred to maintain their regional identity and citing that of 4 parliamentary seats of Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya 3 having rejected the Congress candidate proved thereby the  desire of the people to maintain their regional and state political parties. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to differ. It was not an issue before the electoral whether we should decide to maintain our regional and State political parties or not. That was not the issue before the electorates. As such to come to the conclusion that through these election results the people have decided to prefer to maintain their regional and State political parties cannot be maintained. There was of course an issue in the State on the other side it was mentioned very clearly whether by my friend on the other side it was mentioned very clearly whether to approve or disapprove the meager of the All Party Hills Leaders Conference with the Congress. Even my name appeared in the manifesto in which it was stated clearly to disapprove the action of Capt. Sangma and his followers relating to merger with the Congress. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is known to you that out of 2 seats in Meghalaya, the Congress won and the other one went to Independent belonging to the Hill State People Democratic Party. But as far as this challenge is concerned, I think we have proved beyond doubt that the merger of the All Party Hill Leaders Conference with the Congress has been approved by the people as the Congress candidate has defeated the so-called All Party Hill Leaders Conference candidate. Therefore, I cannot accept the views expressed by my ex-colleague. I do not find in the manifesto even of the winning candidate, Shri Hopingstone Lyngdoh, whether the people will agree to maintain their regional identity or fall in line with the Congress party. That was the issue which was raised only by my friend on the other side through their election manifesto and to which we have given a benefiting reply. Even in Shillong constituency I think by a thumping majority we have proved that the merger has been approved by the people. I cannot also agree with the point raised by my ex-colleague that we must depend on ourselves alone and nobody else. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very unfortunate for my ex-colleague to say that we must depend on ourselves alone.

( Voices : yes, yes )

        It has been advocated in the past that we should be in the main stream of the country. I have occasion to tell our colleagues in the House that we cannot think even for a moment to live in isolation. Our friend from Nongthymmai is correct in his approach when he said that we belong to a very big country. Even our state-hood has been achieved with the good-will of all the leaders. Without their good-will, without their appreciation of our aspiration we could not have achieved our statehood.

        The very fact that we demanded creation of a Hill State indicated that we were not in a position at all to achieve that goal by our efforts alone.

        It was clear that it was for somebody else (some authority) either to concede to our demand or to deny it. Under such, circumstances, is it possible for anyone to say that we must depend on ourselves alone ? Knowing fully well that in a big country like India of which this state of ours forms a part and knowing fully well that we must get the goodwill and support from the people of the country for our cause, I cannot think even for a moment to indulge in taking that we should depend on ourselves alone.

        I can give a number of examples in this regard. I cannot think even as an individual that I can remain even for a moment in isolation from my co-villagers, from the people of the district and of the State as a whole. We cannot remain separate. Then let us talk about the countries in the world. No country in the world can think of remaining in isolation whether it is a bog power or a small powers. It is not possible for anybody or an community to think to live in isolation. Mr. Speaker Sir, the hon. Member from Nongthymmai also referred to the plant allocation. While referring to the plan allocation for the next financial year, we will appreciate the bigger allocation of Rs. 24.46 crores has been made to our State. But the Hon. Member from Nongthymmai expressed his dissatisfaction and stated that we should have got bigger amount as compared to other States like Assam. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member from Nongthymmai knows well that unless and until we are in a positive to fill up the resource gap, it is not possible to go for a bigger amount. But I must say, Mr. Speaker, that we have done very well. And if we are to make comparisons we should compare with the other States like Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, if at all there is a need for comparison, and not with a bigger State like Assam. We have seen only the other day from the news paper that Assam has a surplus budget, whereas we have got a deficit budget. So under these circumstances it is not possible on our part to go for a bigger amount. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, inspite of our best desire along with the hon. Member from Nongthymmai when he was a Minister for Planning we failed to get bigger allocation in the past. For this amount the resource gap is Rs. 4.12 crores. Now we have to find out ways and means to fill up this gap either from the central assistance or by borrowing from other sources. Mr. Speaker Sir, he also made a mention about the family planning. My colleague, the Minister of Health has replied to the point. But Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to say that whatever programme was taken up in this regard, our efforts in the past were sincere. It is a fact that this matter has been discussed and we will think it over again in what way this programme can be revised. I also had the occasion to raise this question in the Chief Ministers' Conference at New Delhi. Because of the small size of the population of our State we cannot force this programme in our State and I can assure the entire House that this matter will be brought for discussion in the Cabinet Meeting and we will see how we can proceed with this programme. Even then our endeavour is that we will never go for compulsion. But as pointed out by the Minister-in-charge of Health, we cannot stop this kind of programme by means of law. We must give importance to the individual family. If they would like to go for smaller family then why should we prevent them by force of law. It will be a voluntary programme. So, this question will be discussed in the Cabinet and we will come to a decision soon.   

        Mr. Speaker  Sir, regarding cadastral survey, the hon. Member from Nongthymmai wanted a clarification from me. He wanted to know why it is not done in other parts of the State but only in portions of Garo hills, and it was also mentioned that the Land Reforms Commission was not meant for Garo Hills, it was first meant for the Khasi Hills, and as such a programme for the cadastral survey should have been taken up in Khasi Hills only. I hope that the hon. Members from Nongthymmai will remember that the question of making necessary rules and regulations for the cadastral survey were initiated by himself.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Yes, along with other Cabinet colleagues.

Shri W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker Sir, why we have started the cadastral survey in portions of Garo Hills first is because we have got the necessary infrastructure for those areas. It is not correct to say that all the areas of Garo hills are under this cadastral survey. Only limited areas of Garo hills are under this cadastral survey; other areas are under the block survey. Since there are records of rights, it is easier to go for cadastral survey in Garo hills.

        A question had also been raised regarding the clarification about the paragraph 6 of the Governor's Address. It is mentioned that "the Government propose to confer full ownership rights to homestead dwellers and homestead tenants in some parts of the plain areas of the State where records-of-rights are available". Well Mr. Speaker Sir, we have mentioned the plain areas of Garo Hills because there they have got the records-of-rights. Even now in Garo hills, either for agricultural land or homestead land, they have got the records-of-rights in some areas; and it may be possible for the Khasi and Jaintia hills to go for cadastral survey on the basis of certain records or certain documents. Now, if under this housing cooperative programme individuals will be given a loan to have their houses to be constructed, they must naturally have records-of-rights. But it does not mean that we will do something against the will of the people. But as far as plain areas of Garo hills is concerned, there is no problem because they have got the records-of-rights. In some parts of the Jaintia hills also they have got the records-of-rights. And I think it will be possible to start the cadastral survey in such areas. I think, these are the few points raised by the hon. Member from Nongthymmai. Of course, he did say about the mal-practices during the last election. A mention was made with regard to a particular polling station at a place called Mawkyllei .....

Mr. Speaker :- That was raised by the hon. Member from Sohiong.

Shri W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- Regarding the proxy a complaint in this regard was received from the hon. Member from Jaiaw on the 20th March while the polling took place on the16th. The matter should have been reported on the 16th itself but the complaint was received by the Returning Officer on the 20th which is 4 days after the polling. It is a fact, unfortunately, that there were no polling agents of the member from Jaiaw for this polling station. There were polling agents from both the H.S.P.D.P. and the Congress and they have not also reported any irregularities. However, after receiving the complaints, reports have been asked from the Returning Officer and he admitted that because of the heavy polling, the people started to come in a big number on the afternoon and all those people who had arrived were within the time limits and slips were issued and as such the polling continued till late at night. The matter should have been reported much earlier, at least on the 16th or 17th. Because of the late receipt of the complaint, the order to stay counting could not be issued. It could not be done after 4 days of polling.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- But the poll took place till late at night.

Shri W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- Yes. According to law, once the people have come inside the enclosure, they should be given the right to exercise their franchise. I am not going to go into every point raised by the hon. Members because they do not relate to the policy matter. Therefore, I would like to reply to only certain points raised by the hon. Members. Shri Koch, hon. Member from Mendipathar, raised an objection the headquarters of the administrative units should not be located at Resubelpara. Also the hon. Member from Mairang and from Sohiong also complained about the location of the new West Khasi Hills District headquarters at Nongstoin. This matter has been discussed previously and earlier I had occasion to reply regarding this particular question. Since the policy is to bring the administration nearer to the people, if adjustment is necessary, a particular area tagged to one district might be tagged to another; this question can be reexamined. In fact, I have asked to concerned Department to go into this question, but with the creation of a new subdivision with headquarters at Mairang, I do not think there should be undue hardship because there areas which are far from Nongstoin will not be so far from Mairang and expect for a few things, the people of this area would have to go to Nongstoin headquarters. All the development matters can be dealt with at subdivisional level. As I have already replied in the past, we shall have to examine what adjustment will be necessary but the question of shifting the headquarters from Nongstoin will not be possible. I must make it very clear because it is known to the hon. Members who have raised this motion that when Nongstoin was a Subdivision, Nongstoin was the Headquarters and when Nongstoin was the Headquarters and when it was raised to a district, the headquarters should be there also. The question of shifting to a district, the headquarters should be there also. The question of shifting the headquarter from Nongstoin to elsewhere does not arise. Mr. Swer has mentioned about crime or criminal cases along the Bangladesh-Meghalaya border. I shall give the figures. In 1975, in Garo Hills dacoity cases were 4, in 1976, 8. Theft and cattle lifting cases in 1975 were 8 and 1976, 20. In Khasi Hills, dacoity cases in 1975 were 5, and in 1976, nil. Theft and cattle lifting cases in 1975, nil, and in 1976, I. In Jaintia Hills dacoity cases in 1975, nil. 1976 nil Theft and cattle lifting cases in 1975 were 2, and in 1976 2. Regarding this matter we have taken up with the Government of India to strengthen the border security force and recently we have got sanction from the Government of India to raise the Border Homeguard Wing. We are going to have one battalion. A suggestion was made, I cannot remember by whom, but by some hon. Members, that requirement to this Force should be given preference to the local people. Well we are always giving preference to our local people but I will request the hon. Members to encourage the local people to come and join the Force. The hon. Member from Mylliem mentioned about the dealing of civil cases and the police cases. The number of cases pending for investigation for more than 3 months till February 1977 are 115 of which 104 are in the Khasi Hills District, 2 in Garo Hills and 9 in Jaintia Hills. A critical watch on the pendency of cases  is kept by both the Inspector General of Police and Deputy Inspector General of Police the CID and the Superintendents of Police are required to submit figures of such cases. The delay in existing cases is mostly in respect of cases under section 409 IPC and cases of murder/injury, the reasons being mainly due to complicated nature of offences under section 409 IPC and delay in receipt of Post Mortem/Injury report and Expert opinion ......

Shri Jormanik Syiem :- May I seek clarification from Mr. Speaker, Sir. He has given the figures pending for 3 months, but in my speech there are cases pending for years.

Shri W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- No, the figures relate to cases pending for more than three months.

        Mr. Hadem and Prof. Warjri regretted than in the Governor's Address we have not made reference on the death of our colleague. Mr. Lewis Bareh I think Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. members will recollect that an obituary reference was made to the departed soul. But, according to the usual practice, a reference to any person in the Governor's Address or Presidential Address can be made only if the person is a very, very important person. That is why the death of our President, Shri Fakruddin Ali Ahmed, was mentioned in the Governor's Address. My colleague, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs also joined in the obituary reference to late Lewis Bareh.

        The hon. Member from Nongthymmai and others have mentioned about the defective Electoral Rolls, particularly with regard to the number of eligible voters. I entirely agree with them. During my recent visit to Delhi I met the Election Commissioner and spoke about it. I think, on this, a joint effort, should be made by the leaders of different political parties and I was told that according to the usual practice, before the elections the revision of the rolls is done generally. I think it will be good if the leaders of the different political parties move the authorities concerned in this matter. It was also suggested about the malpractices in the elections i.e., proxy. This proxy business, I may not be correct, is not known in the Garo Hills. But we hear about proxy in some other districts of the State and it was suggested that in order to prevent this kind of malpractice, the Chief Minister may call the leaders of all the political parties to put in suggestions. Well that is a good suggestion. But to what extent can we undo this undesirable practice.

( A Voice : To a great extent ).

        I think it will be good if the political leaders dissuade the people from this. Of course, I do not know but it is for the leaders to see in what way this malpractice can be prevented. It has also been stated that the selection of polling station was not done properly. In this also it will be good if the leaders of political parties take interest. You know, meetings are called by the Returning Officers to see that arrangements of polling stations are properly made. But until and unless the political leaders take interest and also point out the defects in the arrangements, I think, it will not be our advantage.

        Prof. Alexander Warjri, the hon. Member from Mawkhar mentioned about the release of detenus. Even when the interim emergency was in force, the Government of Meghalaya had been taking action under MISA and COFE POSA only in deserving cases and the number of detenus was not at all large. With the lifting of emergency, most of detenus had been released and only a person detained before proclamation of internal emergency in June, 1975 continues to be under detention for the purpose of repatriation to foreign countries. There are also two cases of detention where persons have been detained on the request of the Government Nagaland. We have made a reference to the Government of Nagaland in this regard and the Government of Nagaland have taken up the matter with the Government of India.

        The same hon. Member also mentioned about the inadequacy of housing facilities for the members of the Police force. Since Meghalaya Police came into existence, the Government have taken seriously the case of providing suitable residential accommodation for married constables and other police personnel and to ensure that there is no avoidable delay in execution of the projects by the Police Works Department.

        With this end in view meetings on Police housing are being held from time to time. There has been marked improvement in the execution of the project. There are 4473 members of police personnel (non-gazetted) as on 31st December 1975 including Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Assistant Sub-Inspectors, Havildars Head Constable, Leading Fireman and Constables. Out of these, 949 numbers have been given accommodation and 3524 remain to be given accommodation as on 31st, December 1975 i.e. Inspector - 56, Sub-Inspector - 209. Assistant Sub-Inspectors - 254, Havilder/Head Constables/Leading Firemen - 315, married Constables - 1344 and un-married Constables - 1346. 

        Physical achievement for 1974-75 was Rs. 4,96,200.00. Achievements for 1975-76 was Rs. 9,25,000.00. Targets proposed to achieve for 1976-77 is Rs. 30,00,000 lakhs.

        According to the latest meeting held on 20th October 1976 on Police Housing the following five new schemes was decided to be taken up :-

        1. Construction of one Inspector's quarter, one S.I.'s quarters and two A.S.'s quarters under Tura Police Station.

        2. Construction of Rongjeng P.S. with accomodation of 6 bachelors constables, one S.I.'s quarter, one A.S.I.'s quarter, 2 married constable quarter and W.T. Office with accommodation of 3(three) operators.

        3. Construction of houses for about 40 families for the Battalion at Mawiong.

        4. Construction of staff quarters at Shillong Police Reserve in Khasi Hills.

        5. Construction of staff quarters for police personnel at Jowai.

        Administrative approval has already been issued for Rs.2,39,000 for construction of Constable barracks at Mawiong during the current financial year.

        The hon. Member from Salmanpara made reference to representation received from the people living in the Indo-Bangladesh Border.

        Representations have been received from the people of border villages a viz., Arapara, Dabram, Netri, Bedolboi, Dasanggoro, Addingiri, Nilwagiri, Rasnagiri etc., praying for immediate aid and relief to them on account of the loss suffered by them who had been compelled to leave their hearths and homes due to frequent firings between the Mukti-Fouz and the BDR on the Bangladesh border very close to our border. In order to enable the Government to consider the extent of loss suffered by these people, the Border Areas Development Officers under the Border Areas Development have been asked through their respective Deputy Commissioners to make on the spot assessment of the loss suffered by these people and to submit their reports to Government. Their reports are still awaited.

        The hon. members from Mawkhar has complained about delay in the disposal on departmental proceedings against Government officials. Regarding speedy disposal of departmental proceeding cases, the instructions contained in the Office memorandum No. ABM. 18/64/41 dated 13th May 1964 was issued, and the Government is anxious that such cases should be disposed of as speedily as possible.

        General complaint has been made regarding the inefficient functions of the Meghalaya State Transport Corporation. Mr. Speaker Sir, I admit there is lot of scope for improvement. But in this connection, I would request the hon. member not to come forward with demand for new routes knowing well that the fleed position is very inadequate to go in for new areas. We must be able to confine to few important routes so that there can be proper maintenance of vehicles and also efficient services. But inspite of t he fact that we do not have sufficient number of vehicles, the hon. members have the occasion to criticise the functioning of this Corporation but at the same time they have come forward with a demand for new routes. We are trying our best to improve the functioning of this. Corporation and we are yet to get the top officers, the Chief Accounts Officer and also the Automobile Engineer. We have a programme of strengthening not only our Automobile Wing but also the Mechanical Wing for the regular repair of the vehicles. I would, therefore, request the hon. members to have little patience for some time and allow this Corporation to bring about all-round improvement so that it can render efficient and satisfactory service.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, I have not heard anybody speaking against the Plan programmes of the Government as embodied in the Governor's Address. Most of our friends in the Opposition were party to this Programme. There was no new programme and as such, I can understand there is no criticism about the programme. But it is natural to point out some lapses in the functioning of the departments. Everything has been noted down and we will see to what extent all these difficulties in the Government machinery can be removed and also improvement can be achieved.

        Suggestions have been made regarding the pay scales of Government deficit colleges. Certain observations have been made by the hon. member from Mawkhar, but we have to examine their terms and conditions as laid down by the U.G.C. We will try to what extent, subject to these conditions, incentives can be given to this category teachers. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am indeed grateful to the hon. members for taking interest in the welfare of the State.

Prof. A. Warjri :- What about grade III employees of the deficit colleges ?

Mr. Speaker :- What clarification do you want to seek ?   

Shri W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- He said that grade IV people are getting more than grade III.

Prof. A. Warjri :- I am saying the scales of grade III have not been revised while the scales of Professors and peons have already been revised, and grade III are still where they were 10 years ago.

Shri W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- That is why I say, Mr. Speaker, Sir, these are the anomalies and we shall see to what extent these anomalies can be removed and whenever such anomalies are  brought to the notice of the Government, we will try to see that such discrimination does not exist.

        Regarding supply matters, it is a fact that there is rise in prices of edible oils and other commodities which are not the controlled commodities. I would request the hon. members to realise that we do not produce these commodities in our State. We have to bring them from other States. Therefore, the price index will depend upon the price index elsewhere from which we bring these commodities and  it is beyond control to maintain the price of these commodities.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Before the Chief Minister concludes, I would like to seek one clarification to a very very fundamental and basic question that affects the whole country. When replying to the matter of preference for a regional party or national party and also about the elections showing whether there was approval or not of the merger with the National Congress, the Chief Minister had occasion to refer to the main stream. I would like to have a categorical statement from the Chief Minister in this House that whether by being in a regional party in the country, either the Congress or Janata, would mean being the national stream. We have heard lots of talks about this main stream, but I do not expect to hear it right inside this House. I would like to have a categorical statement from the Chief Minister whether he meant that by being in the national party, ruling or not ruling, means the national stream.

Mr. Speaker :- I think before the Chief Minister would reply, I must remind the hon. Members that it would be advisable to confine their observations within the policies and programmes of the Government and not on the firm belief or faith. I think particular issue will have to be discussed in some other forum and not in this forum. But I do not know if the Chief Minister as the leader of the political party wants to reply. But I think it is not advisable to make a statement on the floor of the House. 

Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- You are correct Sir, It was not my choice. The choice was that of my colleague that the forum was utilised for this purpose. Today also I am compelled to deal with this particular issue. I have said the main stream in the country because the hon. Member said that we must depend on ourselves alone and it is in that context I said the main stream. We cannot think of going out of a national party. I cannot even for a moment think of living in isolation depending upon my own legs alone and it is in that context. I have made my observations. I am indeed very grateful to the hon. Member who has appreciated the policies and programmed as embodied in the Governor's Address and at the same time for taking the opportunity to point out the various lapses in the administration and come forward with concrete suggestions for improvement of the administrative machinery and also for all round development of the State and welfare of the people.

Prof. A. Warjri :- Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to have clarification. The Chief Minister said something about Transport. What about the A.T.C., the Air Transport Corporation ?

Shri W.A. Sangma, (Chief Minister) :- That I have replied.

Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Parliamentary Affairs) :- There was no monopoly.

Mr. Speaker :- Before I put the motion before the House I think it is my duty to say that the political controversies outside the House should as far as possible be avoided. So far as the question of controversy, there is no point of controversy at all and we are part and parcel of the main stream irrespective of whether we belong to the regional party or national  party and it is not for this House to decide. So I would request the hon. Member to avoid bringing this kind of controversial issues before the House in future.

        I, now, put the question before the House. The question is that; the Members of the Meghalaya State Assembly assembled in this session are deeply grateful to the Governor for the Address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House on the 21st March, 1977.

( The motion was adopted ).

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Adjournment

        The House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. on Friday, the 1st April, 1977.

Shillong, the

31st March, 1977

D.S. KHONGDUP

Secretary, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly

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