PROCEEDINGS OF THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY HELD AT 9.30 A.M. ON MONDAY, 3RD JULY, 1978 IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, SHILLONG WITH THE HON. SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.

*****

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

 Mr. Speaker :-  Now let us start the business of the day by taking up unstarred Question No. 61.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Construction of Culvert on Nongstoin-Sonapahar road

H.L. Nongsiang asked :

61. Will the Minister in charge of  P.W.D. be pleased to state-

        (a) When was the culvert at Mawthangblang between 14 and 15 Kms on Nongstoin-Sonapahar road constructed and last repaired?

        (b) The amount involved?

        (c) The names of the contractors?

        (d) Amount estimated for construction and repairs?

        (e) Whether the Government is aware that on 30th May, 1978 one Bazar Bus turned turtle on this culvert consequent upon which 2 persons died on the spot?

        (f) Whether the Government is aware that the reason for the above accident was due to the poor workmanship of the culvert?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister in charge, P.W.D.) replied :

61. (a)- The culvert was constructed in 1969 and repaired from time to time as and when necessary.

      (b)-Rupees 431.11.

      (c)-Shri Hollywell of Nongstoin.

      (d)-Same as (b) above.

      (e)-Yes.

      (f)-No.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Minister whether the reply given is a correct one? That is 61 (b).

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- Yes, the amount is correct.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, is this amount of Rs.431.11p correct?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :-yes.

Shri H.L. Nongsiang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 61 (a), from 1969, I would like to know how many times repairs were made?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- Repairs were made occasionally and that was done through muster roll.

Shri H.L. Nongsiang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 61 (b), whether this amount of Rs.431.11 was meant only for one repair?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- This is actually spent at the time of construction.

Shri H.L. Nongsiang :- Only for one road construction?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- For the construction of the culvert.

Mr. Speaker :- 62.

Nongstoin-Sonapahar road

Shri H.L. Nongsiang  asked :

62. Will the Minister in charge of Public Works Department be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether the Government is aware of the fact that the condition of the road from Nongstoin to Sunapahar is very bad?

        (b) If so, the reasons thereof?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister in charge of Public Works Department) :- replied :

62. (a)-No.

      (b)-Does not arise.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Minister what is the distance from Nongstoin to Sonapahar?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- I beg your pardon?

Shri Manik Das :- What is the distance between these two places?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is the new question.

Shri H.L. Nongsiang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 62 (a), since the road condition is very bad, may I know the last visit of the Executive Engineer to that particular road?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- I want notice Sir.

Shri H.L. Nongsiang :- Whether the Government is aware that the road condition from Nongstoin to Sonapahar is very bad?

Mr. Speaker :- That is already in your question. The reply is already given in the main question. You are coming back to the main question which is already there.

Construction of Mawbeh-Mawlam-Mawkliaw-Suktia Road

Shri S.P. Swer  asked :

63. Will the Minister in charge of the Public Works Department (R & B) be pleased to state -

        (a) The total length of the Mawbeh-Mawlam-Mawkliaw-Suktia Road proposed to be constructed?

        (b) The total length of the road so far surveyed and estimated?

        (c) Whether Mawkliaw and Suktia villages will be accessible by road communication during the current financial year?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister P.W.D.) :-  replied :

63. (a)-The villages of Mawbeh, Mawlam, Mawkliaw, Suktia fall on the Phlangtyngor-Nongjri Road the length of which is 35 Km.

       (b)- Ten Km. of the road has already been surveyed and the work is taken up. Another 5 Km. is under survey.

        (c)-no.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Minister what was the decision taken by the Department to construct this road?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- I want notice, Sir.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 63 (b), I would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister what is the total estimated for this work?

Mr. Speaker :- What is the total amount of the estimates?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- It is still under survey.

Mr. Speaker :- No, as a matter of fact, the very question is to get the answer as to what is the estimated amount. In your answer given here it mentions no amount at all. Any way let us pass on to another supplementary question if you wish.

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister  P.W.D.) :- The estimated amount for these 5 kilometres of road is 5 lakhs ..... (after a pause).....

Mr. Speaker :- The amount is Rs.5 lakhs or how much?

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- He requires notice, Sir. 

Mr. Speaker :- Now 64.

Medical terminations of Pregnancy Cases

Shri G. Mylliemngap asked :

64. Will the Minister in charge of Health be pleased to state the number of medical termination of pregnancy cases conducted in the Ganesh Das Hospital Shillong during the period from 1st June, 1977 to 31st may, 1978 month-wise?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (minister in charge of Health, etc)  replied :

64. As per records available, the number of M.T.P. cases in Ganesh Das Hospital during the period from June, 1977 to May 1978 are-

June

...

1977

...

83

July

...

,,

...

65

August

...

,,

...

67

September

...

,,

...

63

October

...

,,

...

42

November

...

,,

...

63

December

...

,,.

...

66

January

...

1978

...

78

February

...

,,

...

54

March

...

,,

...

86

April

...

,,

...

77

May

...

,,

...

99

Total

...

...

843

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would ;like to know from the Hon'ble Minister whether these M.T.P. cases were dealt with by surgeons who are not gynecologists?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister, Health) :- Please repeat the question.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister, are these M.T.P. cases dealt with the surgeons who are not gynecologist?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, no.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, how many of these cases have been hospitalised after M.T.P. operations?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister, Health) :- I want notice, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri Manik Das :- 64, whether any case of death after M.T.P. operations?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, no.

Mr. Speaker :- 65?

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act

Shri G. Mylliemngap  asked :

65. Will the Minister in charge of Health be pleased to state-

        (a) The nature of cases where the medical Termination of  Pregnancy Act is applicable?

        (b) Whether all the medical termination of pregnancy cases in Ganesh Das Hospital, Shillong were conducted according to the spirit of the Act?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister in charge, Health) :- replied :

65. (a) (i) Danger to the life of the pregnant women.

            (ii) Grave injury to the physical health of the pregnant woman.

            (iii) Grave injury to the mental health to the pregnant woman.

            (iv) Pregnancy caused by rape.

            (v) Substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

            (vi) Failure of any device or method used by the married woman or her husband for the purpose of limiting the number of children

            (vii) Risk to the health of the pregnant woman by reason of her actual reasonable foreable environment.

        (b)-Yes.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, 65 (a), when did the medical Termination of Pregnancy Act come into force?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister, Health) :- It came into force some time in 1971.

Shri Manik Das :- 65 (b) is this Act applicable to minors also?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, no.

Mr. Speaker :- That is a very intelligent question, no doubt. Then 66?

Inheritance and succession of landed property

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

66. Will the Minister in charge of revenue be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether inheritance and succession of landed property by non-tribals within Meghalaya fall within the purview of the Meghalaya Transfer of land (regulation) Act, 1971?

        (b) The definition of "OTHER MODES OF TRANSFER" of land as per the said Act?

Shri M. N. Majaw (Minister, Revenue) replied :

66. (a) - No.

       (b) - The definition "OTHER MODES OF TRANSFER" includes any transaction by which any transfer of land takes place by one living person to another.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister whether it falls within the purview of the latest amendment in 1977?

Mr. Speaker :- Please repeat the question.

Shri Manik Das :- 66 (a), whether inheritance and succession of landed property fall within the purview after the latest amendment of the Act in 1977?

Shri M. N. Majaw (Minister, Revenue) :- No, no.

Mr. Speaker :- 67?

Casual Labourers employed by the M.S.E.B. 

Shri S.P. Swer  asked :

67. Will the Minister in charge of Power be pleased to state-

        (a) Whether it is a fact that all tribal casual labourers/Jugali having been employed more than six months at a stretch by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board have now been replaced by the non-tribal labourers-Jugali in Electrical Sub division including the Cherrapunjee Sub division?

        (b) If so, the reasons thereof?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) replied :

67. (a) - No Sir.

       (b) - Does not arise in view of reply to (a) above.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister on what basis are the casual labourers and jugalis employed by the Sub division?

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- On the basis of need. But actually the recruitment policy of the Government is also observed.

M.S.E.B. at Cherrapunjee

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

68. Will the Minister in charge of Power be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether it is a fact that adequate clerical staff has not been provided for the office of the S.D.O. at Cherrapunjee Subdivision till date? 

        (b) Whether the Meghalaya State Electricity Board has provided store of electrical equipment to meet the committed requirements of the consumers at Cherrapunjee?

        (c) If so, when and to whom?

        (d) Who is the controlling Authority at Cherrapunjee Subdivision?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) replied :

68.   (a)- No Sir. it is not a fact.

        (b)- Yes Sir. Site Store is maintained at Cherrapunjee. 

        (c)- The site store was established since the inception of Subdivisional office in the year 1973. Materials for the site store as and when required are issued to Subdivisional Officer, Electrical, Cherrapunjee on his requisition.

        (d)- Subdivisional Officer, Cherrapunjee.

Rural Electrification Programme

Shri S.P. Swer  asked :

69. Will the Minister in charge of Power be pleased to state the total number of villages actually electrified under the programme for rural electrification till date?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- replied :

69. Four hundred twenty-five.

Shri Maham Singh :- What is the number of villages to be electrified this year?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :-  I want notice.

Shri Manik Das :- What is the break up of these villages district wise?

Mr. Speaker :- A lot of whispering and prompting from his friends I think this will frustrated the answer (Voices-but it is a collective responsibility).

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- Sir, I think I will give the break-up as follows -

East Khasi Hills-170. West Khasi Hills-45 East Garo Hills-40. West Garo Hills-35 and Jaintia Hills-106.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, is this target of 425 villages till date or is it below the target?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- Actually Sir, it is a bit below, but we are expecting to reach the target for this year.

Shri Manik Das :- When was the rural electrification programme started in the State?

Mr. Speaker :- That is a new question.

Government Land allotted to private parties and companies

Shri S. Kalwing  asked :

70. Will the Minister in charge of Industries be pleased to state-

        (a) The number of private parties and companies who were given land by the Government near the Meter Factory at Mawlai for setting up industries?

        (b) How many of the private parties are tribals or companies belong to tribals?

        (c) Whether due permissions were obtained in case of non-tribals?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries replied :

70. (a)-Two.

        (b)-One is a tribal concern. The other is a private company comprising tribal and non-tribals.

        (c)-Yes.

Shri Manik Das :- When was the land given to these authorities?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- There are two parties. On e is the Meghalaya Roller Floor Mills on 29th June 1978 and the other is the Meghalaya Steel and Minerals Limited on 18th February 1968.

Shri Maham Singh :- 70 (c). Permission was obtained from the competent authority or from whom?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- Permission was given by the Government.

Shri Maham Singh :- According to the Land Transfer Act, permission must be obtained fr4om District Council, so I want to know whether permission was obtained from the District Council.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- That is argumentative. It is the Government.

Shri Maham Singh :-  My only question is whether it was obtained from the competent authority, that is the District Council.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- My reply is that the permission is given by the Government.

Mr. Speaker :- If you area not satisfied with the reply of the Minister, then you can take recourse to some other provisions of the rule for raising half - an hour discussion. 

Shri Maham Singh :- Is the Government a competent authority?

Mr. Speaker :- When the Minister had said that the Government is a competent authority, I think that will suffice.

Supply of explosive materials to P.W.D. contractors

Shri S.P. Swer  asked :

71. Will the Minister in charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state-

        (a) Whether it is a fact that sufficient quantity of explosive materials are not being regularly supplied to P.W.D. contractors for construction of new roads?

        (b) If so, what are the reasons or the factors responsible for such irregular supply?

        (c) Whether Government is aware of the losses sustained by the  P.W.D. contractors due to irregular supply of explosives?

Shri Y.F. Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.)  replied :

71. (a)-Yes.

        (b)-Due to the fact that M/S/ Indian Explosive Ltd, which is the sole supplier is not capable of supplying the required explosive materials.

        (c)-No.

Shri Manik Das - 71 (b). What steps the Department has taken to eradicate this problem?

Shri Y.F. Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.)  :- The Department keeps on asking the firms to make early discharge of the explosive materials, but the suppliers expressed regret that it will not be possible to discharge within a short time.

Shri Manik Das :- I would like to know from the Minister whether there is any quota allotted to the State?

Shri Y.F. Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.)  :- I require notice Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Black-topping of Purakhasia-Mahendraganj Road

Shri Mukul Das asked :

72. Will the Minister in charge of P.W.D. (R&B) be pleased to state-

        (a) Whether there is any scheme to black-top the road from Purakhasia-Mahendraganj?

        (b) If so, when can the work be expected to be started?

Shri Y.F. Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- replied :

72.      (a)-No.

            (b)-Does not arise.

Shri Manik Das :- 72 (a), I would like to know the distance between Purakhasia and Mahendraganj.

Mr. Speaker :- That will be quite a new question, between when Mr. Nongsiang wanted to know the distance between two places, I did not allow.

Employees in the Mawsynram and Shillong West P.W.D. Division

Shri B. Wanniang asked :

73. Will the Minister in charge of P.W.D. be pleased to state, number of tribals and non-tribals appointed in the office of Mawsynram P.W.D. Division and Shillong West Division in all categories of post since 1971 ?

Shri Y.F. Lyngdoh (Minister, in charge of  P.W.D. (R & B))

73 - A statement is placed on the table of the House.

Pay scale of Doctors

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

74. Will the Minister in charge of Health and F.W. be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether it is a fact that Government propose to raise the pay scales of all qualified doctors in the State?

        (b) If so, when?

        (c) If not, the reason thereof?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister in charge of health and F.W.) replied :

74. (a)-No.

        (b)-Does not arise.

        (c)-The Meghalaya scales of pay were revised only in 1973. The revision of pay cannot be taken into consideration of all the Government employees by a Pay Commission

Illicit liquor in Shillong

Shri E.K. Mawlong  asked :

75. Will the Minister in charge be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether it is a fact that there are many illicit liquor shops in Shillong all along the G.S. Road, Shillong-Cherra Roads Shillong-Mawphlang to Mawsynram-Balat Road, Shillong-Nongstoin Road, etc, and in outlying villages?

        (b) If so, the action proposed to be taken in this direction?

        (c) Whether Government have taken of propose to take the village authorities into confidence for getting their Co-operation in this regard?

        (c) If so, the nature of action proposed to be taken?

        (d) If not, the reasons thereof?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister in charge of Excise) replied :

75. (a)- Government is aware of the existence of illicit liquor shops along the roads in question and the outlying villages.

        (b)-Steps have been taken to conduct raids as frequently as possible to detect excise offences.

        (c) & (d) -Yes. On 17th June 1978 a meeting was held with the representatives of Ka Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shnong to discuss the matter. the suggestions of the headmen are under active consideration of the Government.

        (e)-Does not arise.

Shri Manik Das :- 75 (a), since when the Government came to know the existence of liquor shops in the areas?

Shri H. Hadem (minister, Excise) :- Since the beginning of the State, Sir.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether no raids have been conducted so far?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- That has been replied at 75 (b), Sir.

Shri Manik Das :- 75 (b), are these raids jointly conducted by the police and the Excise Department?

Shri H. Hadem (minister, Excise) :- Sir, in some cases, yes, but in some cases it was done by the Excise Department alone.

Shri Manik Das :- 75 (b), Will the Minister let this House know what was the suggestions of the headmen in broad outline?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- In a sense they want that some powers be delegated to them.

Foreign liquor shops in the State

Shri E.K. Mawlong asked :

76. Will the Minister in charge be pleased to state-

        (a) The number of foreign liquor shops in the State with their location and name of licenses?

        (b) The total amount of revenue derived by the State annually from these licensed shops?

        (c) Whether Government intend to do away with all these liquor shops?

        (d) If not, the reasons thereof?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister in charge of Excise) replied :

76. (a) - The number of foreign liquor shops in the State is 17 (seventeen). The statement showing the names of the licenses and the locations of the shops is as follows -

        Name of licenses                                                                    Location

East Khasi Hills District :

1.

Shri R.L. Singhania

-

M/S Economic Medical Hall, Police Bazar, Shillong.

2.

Shri K.T. Melwani

-

M/S Chandrus, G.S. Road, Shillong.

3.

M/S D. Khongwir

-

M/S Eastern Wine, Police bazar, Shillong.

4.

Smti. B. Nongkynrih

-

M/S Meghalaya Wine Store, Thana Road, Police Bazar Shillong.

5.

Shri B.N. Banerjee and Mrs B.N. and Banerjee

-

M/s B.N. Day, Police Bazar, Shillong.

6.

Shri. J. Choudhury

-

M/S Assam Wine Store, G.S. Road, Shillong.

7.

Shri S. C. Choudhury and Smti. P. Pandit

-

M/S Shillong Wine Store, Motphran, Shillong.

8.

Shri Phedro Warjri

-

M/S Regetta Store, Laitumkhrah, Shillong.

9.

Shri D.K. Choudhury

-

M/S Provision and Necessities, Laban, Shillong.

10.

Shri S.M. Roy.

-

M/S Mahari and Sons, Mawkhar, Shillong.

11.

Shri Phisibon Diengdoh

-

Cherra.

12.

Smti Rita Massar.

-

Nongpoh (license granted but shop not yet opened.)

13.

Air Force/Army, Rifles, B.S.F.

-

15 Military Canteen Tenant licenses in the name of respective Commanding Officers.

West Garo Hills District

1.

Shri Nishi Kanta Deb

-

M/S K.N. Deb and Sons, Tura.

2.

Smti Sylvia G. Momin

-

Tura.

3.

Smti Joylance G. Momin

-

Mendipathar.

East Garo Hills District 

1.

Shri Samir Kr. Das

...

Williamnagar.

Jaintia Hills District

1.

Shri Gowell Laloo

-

Meghalaya Wine Store, Jowai with branch shops at Garampani and Dawki.

        (b)- The total amount of revenue derived from these licensed shops during 1977-78 is Rs.41,25,451.92 P.

        (c) and (d)- No Sir, as the State Government so far has not taken a decision to introduce total prohibition in the State.

Shri Manik Das :- May I know how many licenses were issued after the creation of the State?

Mr. Speaker :- The hon. member wants to know the number from April, 1970.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- There are in the list Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- He wants to know the number of licenses which have been issued to them earlier, and how many licenses were issued after the creation of the State.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- I want notice Sir.

Shri Manik Das 76 (c) : Will the State Government introduce prohibition in the State in the near future?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- that has been answered in 76 (c) and (d).

Shri Manik Das :- May we understand that there is nothing contemplated in the near future?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- That is hypothetical, Sir.


MOTIONS

Mr. Speaker :- Now let us come to item No.2, i.e. Motions. In this connection, we have got one more motion left over the other day and it was in the name of Shri G. Mylliemngap but he is absent. So let us take up another motion which is to moved by Shri Albin Lamare.

Shri Albin Lamare :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the urgent necessity of upgrading the Ummulong State Dispensary in Jaintia Hills into a Primary Health Centre.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you may initiate a discussion.

Shri Albin Lamare :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very happy to bring this motion on the floor of the House to acquaint the Government with the urgent necessity of upgrading the Health Centre at Ummulong. I am not going to do elaboration but I am going only to state the bare facts to acquaint the House and to notify the Government for implementation of this motion. This Ummulong State Dispensary had been started by the Community Development Block at the instance of the Project officer some 15 years back by Shri G.W. Chyne. When the Block was normalised, the Dispensary had been handed over to the Health Department and when it was taken over by the Health Department some years back, it is known as the State Dispensary. This State Dispensary is the only Dispensary in my constituency having a population of about 20,000 people and moreover there are also people coming from outside the constituency who receive medical aid from this dispensary. There are some villages falling within Nartiang Elaka for which this dispensary is not easily accessible. Now the purpose of bringing this motion before this House today is to acquaint the Government to see to the medical need of the people in that area. I have collected some informations regarding the medical need of the people of the area. I have come in contact with the medical Officer of this Dispensary and I have come to know from him at present it has become difficult on this part to cope with the work of giving medical to the people, he being the lone doctor with two nurses. According to the medical Officer who is posted there, the daily number of cases received by him ranges or varies from 70 persons to 90 persons every day and during the market days the attendance varies from 130 to 200. So it has become really difficult on his part to cope with the work to meet the medical need of the people. More over according to the medical Officer there at Ummulong State Dispensary, he has to attend 50 to 60 delivery cases every Tuesday and he has to strain himself and the staff by working extra hours ....

Mr. Speaker :- Delivery cases, why only on Tuesday? (laughter)

Shri Albin Lamare :- So it has become a difficult job for him to cope with the work. Sir, according to my observations this being the position of the Dispensary, if it is converted into Primary Health Centre, it would be more beneficial, it would be more helpful to the people of that area. I have seen with my own eyes that there are market days when there is heavy rush in that dispensary and there are also complaints from the people that in some cases especially for those who need to be taken in the hospital at Jowai, many of those cases have been refused. I have got some first hand knowledge that cases from time to time have been refused in the Civil Hospital at Jowai on account of congestion. It is of course not very far from Ummulong to Jowai; hardy it would be 10 miles but on account of congestion the Jowai Civil Hospital cannot accommodate the patients. So, if the dispensary at Ummulong can be upgraded into a Primary health Centre, the medical problem of the people there would be solved. Therefore I suggest to the Government, through this House, that this State Dispensary at Ummulong in Jaintia Hills be upgraded as early as possible to a Primary Health Centre and moreover the Medical Officer told me that in many cases he had to go to the interior places to attend to the medical need of the people on food and if it is converted into a PHC, he would be given a jeep and it would be easy for him to move from village to village in cases of emergency. With these few words I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- Minister in charge to reply.

Shri Johndeng Pohrmen (Minister, Health) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no difference of opinion that there should be a Primary health Centre at Ummulong but then as I have been saying time and again in the last few motions which had been brought forward in this House and I would not repeat them again. Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to the norm as obtained now, there should be one Primary Health Centre for one Development Block. So, since Ummulong happens to fall within the Thadlaskein Development Block and on this score Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not possible to upgrade the Ummulong State Dispensary to the Primary Health Centre. But again, I would remind the House Mr. Speaker, Sir, that there had been also recommendations of the Working Group in which it was stated that there should be one Primary Health Centre for every twenty thousand of the population and I know very well that Ummulong is the nerve centre of a very big population having one of the biggest markets in the Jaintia Hills District, having good road communications and surrounded by very thickly populated villages. Ummulong really deserve a Primary Health Centre. But as I said earlier it is not possible to have it upgraded from the block point of view. But under a population basis of twenty thousand, certainly, Ummulong deserves to be upgraded. It is a very ideal place for a hospital and for all health facilities for the people of not only Ummulong but also by other villages surrounding it, since we have got very good road communications connecting Ummulong with other villages. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with these few words. I can assure the hon. member Mr. Albin Lamare, that the case of Ummulong to be upgraded to a Primary health Centre, will certainly be considered in right earnest.

Mr. Speaker :- Now, let us come to Motion No.2 to be moved by Shri G. Mylliemngap. But since he is absent, let us pass on to Motion No.3 to be moved by Shri H. L. Nongsiang. Will you please move?

Shri H.L. Nongsiang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this house discuss the immediate need for a stadium in Shillong.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now, you can initiate the discussion.

Shri H. L. Nongsiang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I come to the main topic, I feel that I must confess to you, Sir, what are the compelling reasons that prompt me to move this motion. You will recall Sir, that the other day when I was moving another motion to upgrade the health unit at Riangdo, I have referred to the pathetic condition of my people, who, for reasons. I have stated, are being inferior in many respects to other people in the State specially in health and physique. So, Sir, for me to move this motion for a stadium would be ill fitting as you would think that I desire to have a stadium for my people at Riangdo. But fat from that because my motion for construction of a stadium is mean not for my Lyngngam people but for the State as a whole and to be located at Shillong, the capital of the State. In fact, this motion would have been moved by other members representing the urban areas of Shillong by any other advanced areas within the State. But it appear that being physically fit, they do not require a stadium and so it left to a member like me reprenting the weak and invalid persons move this motion. Sir, I know that for a long time, there has been a demand from all sports loving persons to have a stadium in Shillong. I know also in the last Assembly, there has been a lot of discussions in this very august House by various members on this issue. I will recall, if I am not mistaken, that the then Education Minister did assure this house that the Government which was equally interested in the matter would take up the matter with the Central authorities is Delhi as the proposed site for the stadium in Garrison Ground in Shillong is located in the Cantonment area. But it is strange to note, Sir, that more than three or four years  have elapsed, nothing fruitful seem to have come out from the assurance of the Minister. Mr. Speaker, Sir, why I say that we should have a stadium in Shillong because a stadium is not only a place to exert physical skill or display of gamic thrills but an area where the exquisite talents could be combined to boost up a spirit of co-operation and participation. Sir, if we consider that we are still during  those days of Assam Government, Polo Ground is an ideal place for various games and sports, but today, it does not suit our games and sports any more. We may make a reference to the Calcutta, maidan where clubs have their own grounds for various sports and games. Sir, now this  is not a plea to flatten the hills for an area of sports games. Actually, Sir, I do not see anything coming out of the negotiation in Delhi to have a stadium of our own and when was the matter taken up with the Defence authorities in Delhi also is not known. The reason for me to say this is because we are not aware or we do not know whether the Defence authorities have conceded to our demand or they have totally rejected. I feel ashamed that this dream has not been meterialised since the formation of the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we believe in a dream, I would only like to say that dream is nothing, it is only a picture without life. Government may say that no land is available to construct a stadium. Why ten thousands acres of land have been made available to the N.E.H.U. , I.C.A.R., etc. Cannot this benning Government find a place for a stadium. I do not mean a stadium where world matches would be held but just enough for national sports and games, nay, just  enough to have some tournaments and thereby our youths would be given the opportunity to witness and inspired. I do not want to limit my suggestions only to the idea that the indoor stadium of N.S.C.A. which we are proud of, be taken over and that we be only the inheritors. At least, let us find a decent area. [At this stage, the Speaker, left the Chamber and Shri P.G. Momin took the Chair].

        Perhaps, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the then Government and the present Government might not have given thought deep enough of its importance and necessity. Let me remind the House, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the Government has established a Sports Department with a Sports officer which, I believe, will grow into a Directorate of Sports. Mr. Chairman, Sir, we hope our local youths would compare favourable with others of all-India standard. But due to the lack of facilities we are degrading if not retrograding to the point of elimination from the area of active participation. Yet we have been able to fare properly in archery, basket ball, football and hockey and this shows that we are not substandard. Sir, though I am not a Plutonic idealist, I still believe in the Greek philosophy of " A sound mind in a sound body". Perhaps Plato was right when he said that gymnastic and sports should be made compulsory up to the age of 18. Looking at the wasted talents of our youths I wish that such a need be again imposed to build a sound mind in a sound body. I do not want to dwell at length on the urgency of having a stadium in Shillong ; sports being what it is which excites the interest of all the people' the less said about it the better or else I shall be wasting the time of this august house. Thus, I strongly urge upon the Government to venture forth in right earnest to build a stadium by taking up the matter with the Defence Authorities of India or to find out any other alternative so that more sports and games can be conducted for the benefit and welfare of our youths and I am sure, if this Government is really sincere and determined in the negotiations with the Government of India, the Government of India will not say no and that within two years we would be able to build a stadium. Sir, other hon. members may also like to take part on this motion and so I leave it to them to further expatiate on this subject. let me plead only thus far. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Sir.

Mr. Chairman :- Any other hon. member would like to participate on this motion ? (After a pause) 

        Then the Minister in charge will reply.

* Shri D. D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, as has been very correctly stated by the mover of this particular motion, and as we all know it to be true, the question relating to the need of a stadium in Shillong has been agitated the minds of all and it has also been receiving the attention of all sports lovers in the State. We have been receiving the attention of the Shillong Sports Association, also the attention of the State Sports Council. And, last but not the least, it has been receiving the attention of the Government as well for quite some time. And that, Mr. Chairman, Sir, for a good reason, i.e., we would like to construct a stadium for the over-all development of sports and games.

        However, because of the non-availability of suitable land no head way was made. As has been stated by the mover of the motion, the State Government has over the years negotiated with the Defence Ministry Authorities for the garrison Ground but, for reasons best known to the Ministry of Defence, we have not succeeded in getting the garrison Ground. However, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the State Sports Council has, at long last succeeded in getting the Shillong Recreation Ground trust to give a plot of land at the Polo Ground and that on a 99-year lease. The plot of land measures  approximately 29 acres. A memorandum to this effect has already been signed between the representatives of the State Sports Council and the Shillong Recreation Ground trust. However,  the formality of signing the lease agreement is yet to be gone through. There has been some delay in signing the leise agreement because of the fact that one of the trustees or members of the Shillong Recreation Ground Trust is out of the station. During my recent visit to Bombay, I had taken up this question with the gentleman concerned and he had expressed his willingness to visit Shillong for this purpose and had given the indication that perhaps around the 3rd or 4th week of June he would be in Shillong in connection with some other  work connected with the N.E.H.U. He had offered to come to Shillong at the expense of the N.E.H.U. and thus save the Sports Council the Expenditure that would be involved of necessity for asking him to come to Shillong. However, we are  getting the information that N.E.H.U.'s work has not been finalised and perhaps it would fall through. As the Chief Minister and the Chairman of the State Sports Council I have sent a telegram requesting him, Mr. Rustamji, to visit Shillong for this purpose as early as possible. In connection with the stadium, I would like to inform the House in general and the mover of this motion in particular that the plans and the estimates for the proposed stadium are ready. We are planning a stadium with a seating capacity of fifty thousand. The estimated cost is Rs.2 crores. I am emphasizing the fact that it will cost Rs.2 crores to construct the stadium for the simple reason that it had been suggested and hinted by the hon. Mover that perhaps once the land is available the stadium would be ready in two years. From my little experience I have had the past, I cannot foresee how two crores of rupees will be spent in two years, because the question of the availability of building materials will also play a very important part in determining  how long exactly it will take to complete the job. Nevertheless, Mr. Chairman, Sir, when the plans and estimates are ready and the Government intends to take up the construction work in a phase manner, and in the first phase of the work which we hope to take up as soon as this agreement is signed, the amount of Rs.15,40,000 has already been sanctioned and the construction work will be undertaken through the Public Works Department which is the executing agency. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity of stating very categorically that it is not correct as has been contended by the mover of the motion that nothing has been done. The fact, that we have not succeeded in getting the garrison Ground does not mean that nothing has been done. In fact, over and above the fact that we have taken up the question of getting the Garrison Ground, we have pursued the matter very vigorously by way of giving temporary relief or, should I say, the intention to make a stop-gap arrangement for the sports lovers of Shillong particularly, and the State in general. the Government has, from year to year, sanctioned grants in aid to the Shillong Sports Association for the maintenance and repairs of the galleries which one can see had already been constructed around Ground No. 1 on the Polo ground. So, with these words, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I wish to assure every one concerned that the Government is fully alive to the need for a stadium and that steps are being taken and that we shall also do everything on our part to see that the construction work is expedited.

Mr. Chairman :- Now let us come to motion No.4 to be moved by Shri Manik Das.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that his house do now discuss the functioning of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation.

Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, after the creation of the  State of Meghalaya, the Assam Meghalaya State Transport Corporation was mainly looking after the monopoly road, that is, the G.S. Road. In 1972  the Meghalaya State Transport Undertaking was created and 200 employees of Assam-Meghalaya State road Transport Corporation were given to the MSTU. The Meghalaya State Transport Undertaking was mainly looking after those interior areas of the State which were not looked after by the Assam-Meghalaya State road Transport Corporation. In 1976, according to the Central Government allocation,  the MSTU was supposed to be handed over with 39 buses, 82 trucks and 26 cars but the total number received by the MSTU was 37 buses, 45 lorries and 17 cars. On  1st September, 1976, the Meghalaya Transport Corporation as created as an autonomous body. Another 644 employees were give to the MSTU by the Assam-Meghalaya State Road Transport Corporation. These employees were from all the categories, technical as well as non-technical. Today, the Meghalaya transport Corporation has a fleet of 112 buses, 50 trucks and 19 cars. The functioning of Meghalaya Transport Corporation has become a matter of grave concern. The employees who were taken 1972,  were given promotion to the post of Assistant Superintendents, L.D.A.s, U.D.A.s without following the rules and regulations as laid down. 644 employees who were given to the MTC due to the bifurcation were illegally superseded. Some of them were even victimised. They were brought from Gauhati like herds of cattle to be butchered here. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I can give you an instance of an employee working as Grade III, who was promoted to Grade II by the order of the General Manager, Assam State transport Corporation order No.600 dated 30th November 1976, now serving in Meghalaya transport Corporation, but has not been given his promotion. Three senior foremen having an experience 5 to 10 years were not given promotion. In November, 1976, one Diploma Holder without any experience was recruited and was an Automobile Engineer. This Diploma Holder did not have any experience in automobiles whatsoever . He was just fresh from the college and he superseded 3 senior foremen who had similar qualifications and better experience. Even there was no advertisement made by the Meghalaya Transport Corporation for the post of Automobile Engineer. Recently, the senior most fore-man in the Meghalaya Transport Corporation was suspended by the Corporation was suspended by the Corporation because he made the representation to the Corporation regarding his legitimate claim for the post of Automobile Engineer. Not a single senior employee given to the Meghalaya Transport Corporation has been given his promotion and few of them have been suspended instead. One U.D. Assistant was appointed as Assistant Superintendent depriving the qualified staff. The same person had appeared before the Meghalaya Public Service Commission and he was rejected by the Public Service Commission. Subsequently, in 1976 when the M.S.T.U. was converted into the Meghalaya Transport Corporation,  an autonomous body, the same rejected person was appointed as Assistant Superintendent in charge of enforcement. In the appointment to the post of Chief Automobile Engineer, as has been appointed by the Corporation between 1974 and 1976, an officer came on deputation from Nagaland and since 1976 he is on leave and his case is still pending. Mr. Chairman, Sir, many drivers and conductors appointed by the Government of Assam whose services were deputed to the Assam-Meghalaya road transport Corporation and subsequently given to Meghalaya transport Corporation were discharged on flimsy grounds. Some of them have service between 10 and 12 years. the Meghalaya transport Corporation has no power to do so. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as per the Government of India's policy w.e.f. 1st January, 1977, employees could get extension of service upto the age of 58 years. Unfortunately many employees in the Meghalaya Transport Corporation were terminated at the age of 55 itself without valid reasons. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the Meghalaya Transport Corporation in purchasing huge amount of spare parts. But these spare parts are being purchased without approval of technical adviser. Though there is a Purchase Board but the opinions of the technical expert are not taken. If you will recollect, Mr. Chairman, Sir, a few years ago a General Manager, Chief manager, Chief Accounts Officers, Chief Automobile Engineer, Chief Controller of Stores of Assam-Meghalaya Road transport Corporation were suspended because the spare parts were not upto the mark and those were not approved by the technical experts. Contracts for the bus bodies are being given without the approval of the Bus Body Construction Committee. Bus bodies constructed at the rate of Rs.38,000 per body are below specification and these are being delivered beyond the time limit by the firm concerned. the last body was delivered in March/April, 1978 by M/S Goenka Engineering, Gauhati. The order for the construction of the said body was not approved by the Bus Body Construction Committee. It was directly done by the Meghalaya Transport Corporation without the approval of the Bus Body construction Committee which has been constituted by the Government. Again two mini bus bodies were supplied by M/S Kamrup Construction, Gauhati in January, 1978. Immediately after the delivery, by the firm these mini buses had to be repaired in the Meghalaya Transport Corporation. Maintenance Centre at Shillong. There is a Condemnation Committee which has been set up for auctioning, taking inventory for each vehicle earmarked for auctioning and to ascertain the actual cost of the vehicle. The vehicles are being sold at throw-away prices at present thereby bringing huge financial loss to the State. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I urge upon the Government that it must intervene immediately in the functioning of the Meghalaya transport Corporation. I suggest that a Central Workshop be set up at Shillong with branches at the District headquarters. The Corporation must appoint a Chief Automobile Engineer and the Controller of Stores. The Selection Committee should be set up for appointment of officers and staffs of the Corporation. The Government should immediately look into the grievances of 644 employees who have not been given their due share in matters of promotion. Many of them have been superseded without reasons. There is a need for complete over-hauling of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation. Government should also set up an Enquiry Committee to find out the improper functioning of the Corporation relating to mis-management, mis-appropriation of Government funds vicimisation of employees and also present recruitment policy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Sir.

*Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, while the hon. mover has already dwelt at length and elaborate on the subject, I have also certain observations to make regarding the transport Corporation. Sir, in the matter of granting pension to the people who have retired from this Corporation or from the State transport undertaking while bifurcation of the Assam-Meghalaya State road Transport Corporation took place in the month of August, 1976. Since the last two years, the Corporation, I mean the Undertaking was in existence in the State and in the meantime  some people have died. I had the occasion to take up the matter of family pension and other retirement benefits to employees of the Government in this House in this Session. The Minister told the House that case of the Corporation would be dealt by the Corporation since it is an autonomous body. But for the cases which are directly under the Government, he assured that they were never delayed and prompt actions were taken and that before the Transport Department was created, the Corporation which was a State Undertaking under the Department had taken up in right earnest the pension cases of those who are already dead in order to extent pension benefits to their family members and the people are yet to get pension. I do not know how in such a small State of ours where there are 2 or 3 cases that it will take a long time for more than 2 or 3 years to finalise the cases. Sir, it is a fact that the people after the death of their husbands/fathers/brothers or any body in the family working in Government services suffer a lot, and it should be the duty of the Government and the authorities concerned to see that as soon as one retires or dies, the pension benefit should go to the respective people in time otherwise  their very existence remains at stake. As a Government, it is their duty to act as the guardian of each family. They have to act with a spirit of of paternal gesture which, I am afraid, is absent. As regard the functioning of the department in other spheres, I have learnt that there are 24 trucks in the Meghalaya road Transport Corporation out of which 6 are in the garage for quite along time uncared for and unattended to. Out of 18 most of the trucks are immobile on the pretext that they do not get ample load and thing to be carried. It is a fact that nowadays private owners who obtained the national permit are plying their own trucks on the Gauhati Shillong road, and are carrying things to and from Shillong. But even then since now the Gauhati Shillong Road is not denotionalised, we have to see that our State transport trucks do not remain immobile and get as much  profit as they can because that is one of the earners of revenue for the State. For example, for the last one week, most of the trucks were not plying. Only yesterday I learnt that some arrangement has been made with  the Food Corporation of India at Gauhati and from today I believe the trucks ply with full load. Many a time I had asked and urged upon the Government to introduce pool cars, that is, light cars for first class passengers coming from outside the State issue tickets or some people buy tickets right upto the out-agency at Shillong and upto the railhead at Gauhati. Then they want to come by first class from Gauhati to Shillong. But they have to come by super express which is no better than the ordinary bus, no better I say. Rather seats are such that they are dumped like commodities inside the cushion. The passengers cannot see outside and most of the people feel very much suffocated and it cannot be called first class. There are some arrangements made now. Some mini buses are plying, but these mini buses cannot be termed as first class. I had suggested that small cars at least should be provided from Shillong to Gauhati so that the people who have already bought tickets should not be subjected to undergo difficulties during the journey to Shillong or back. Previously when it was a private undertaking and when the Shillong-Gauhati was operated by one commercial carrying company, small cars were there as first class. After the Assam Government took it over, there were first class cars. Even after it was made a joint Corporation of Meghalaya and Assam, there were also first class cars. But at the fag end of the erstwhile Assam-Meghalaya Corporation, it was discontinued and it is still discontinued. When we got our own Corporation and undertaking, suggestions were made in the House but they were not heeded to. Meghalaya has got immense potentialities in tourism and transport plays an important role for attracting tourists. Tourists want all sorts of comfort including transport. But here I am afraid the people who want to come and buy tickets from Shillong may go back to Gauhati by hiring tourist taxis and when they go back, they return with some sort of bad feeling. therefore, introduction of small cars as first class is imperative and it should be taken up as soon as possible. With these few words, Sir, I support those points which my friend has already raised. That does not mean that I support the motion, but I support those points and also like to emphasise those points which my friend has already brought and I urge upon the Government that these points are looked into.

Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to participate in the motion since it is a very important subject and  I would like to make some observations on certain points which have not been touched by the previous speakers. We have a transport station in Tura, the headquarters of Garo Hills District, and yet we do not have any facilities rather for the passengers, waiting room nor for the drivers or staff to take rest while they are on duty or while they come after performing their duties to the station. Then the workshop is not there at all and the mechanics particularly in this monsoon have to suffer a lot for lack of workshop to repair the vehicles. They have to work under the sun and rain and as such, their suffering is so much that one cannot understand unless one goes down to Tura and one performs the duties under such difficulties circumstances. Now Mr. Chairman, Sir, we have the District Council transport which is almost closed down excepting one bus running between Tura and Goalpara. There was a proposal from the District Council to hand over the District Council transport to the Government I would like to request the Government to look into this matter and expedite the taking over of this District Council transport.

Shri J. D. Pohrmen (minister, Health) :- Is it with the vehicles also or just the transport?

Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Vehicles, lands, assets and liabilities. I would rather insist on this that the Garo Hills District Council has got a very good workshop, enough land where they can also construct sheds for garaging and also to give facilities to the mechanics so that they can repair our vehicles without facing rain or sun. As I said before, since we do not have our own office and we are now functioning from one building which belongs to one welfare association and even the electric bills have not been cleared and for which light connection has been cut off and our staff in Tura have to work in darkness even in the day time when there is heavy rain or when the weather is cloudy. Then, Sir, another difficulty in our Shillong-Tura line is that there are no substations or no communication facilities between Gauhati and Tura  to help the corporation in case of a break-down. So, I would request the Government, through you Sir, that some sort of a substation may be created between Krishnai and Bajengdoba with a small number of spare parts and also with telephone connection in case of a break-down between Krishnai and Bajengdoba. this telephone connection will be of great help. Why I said that because in Bajengdoba we have got a wireless Station and we can always take the help of the police personnel to help us and we could inform Tura through their wireless. Then another thing  I have been observing is that even tarpaulins are not provided as a result the luggages get wet during the rains. If at all they are provided they are very old and as a result the rain water sucked into the luggages. Then another thing, I feel that one mini bus or super express bus may be provided to facilitate the people traveling between Tura and Shillong.  The only Tura-Shillong Bus service is not sufficient. Then regarding enforcement also, I would like to make an  observation that there is an enforcement operating in the Shillong-Tura Road and as such, I think there is a huge leakage from this Meghalaya Transport Corporation. The other day I happened to trav4el in one of the buses, I found the driver was driving at such a terrified speed. Although I was occupying the front  seat, I was feeling pain and you can imagine. Sir, what will be the condition of those who were in the back seats. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not have much to say. I am rather grateful to the Corporation that they have been able to send the buses to many interior places and I hope in future this Corporation will improve. Also, Sir, in the Gauhati Bus Station there is no waiting room for the passengers. I find there is one room which was previously used as a waiting room but that room was converted into a running room of the Corporation. So I would like to request the Corporation to provide at least one waiting room for the passengers immediately at Gauhati. With these few words, I resume my seat. Thank you, Sir.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to participate in the discussion on this important motion brought forward by the hon. Member Shri Manik Das. Since, the inception of this Meghalaya Transport Corporation is constituting the Corporation and that this Corporation will operate on which routes in the State. We know that this transport business in which many of our tribals businessmen are engaged and in many roads of the State we find our private transport operators are doing well in the transport business. I do not know whether the Corporation has so far selected certain routes so selected for operation by the Corporation's buses and trucks. In this regard I would like to say that with the fleet that the Corporation is now having I do not think it is advisable for the Corporation to take up transport services in every route whenever there is a demand from the public. The Corporation should select certain routes after proper study of the routes and these routes should be more or less on the State Highways if these State highways have been already declared so far. But in an opportune moment such State highways should be identified in the State. Mr. Chairman, Sir, what happen when the Corporation buses and the private buses are plying on the same route, it has been found that there is cut-throat competition. This should be avoided as far as  practicable for the interest of the industry and those who are in the business. Secondly, Mr. Chairman, Sir, we found that it is a very very difficult for the trucks of the Corporation to compete with the private trucks operators who have been granted with zonal permits and other permits like inter State permits. Here also it is a matter for the Government to consider and examine thoroughly otherwise the success of transport of the  Corporation especially in the case of goods transport is very discouraging. So either one way or the other it should be decided for the interest of the Corporation and also for the interest of the private transport operators so that a cut-throat competition should not exceed. As we see today transport services were extended every where by the State transport Corporation and it is very sad to say that sufficient number of buses are not placed at every timing in certain routes. It is found that sometimes because of non-availability of buses even one bus a day also is not placed. It is also found that out of three timings only one timing a bus is placed and that also without any prescribed regular timing either on the first or second or third. Another point that the corporation authorities should adhere strictly is the timing for departure from the station. It is found for example, let us take the Shillong Cherra Shella route, the bus sometimes leaves the Shillong station at 5.30, sometimes 6 0'clock and sometimes 5.50. So this has placed the passengers in great difficulty because they do not know at what time the bus will leave the station. They have to go and wait sometimes an hour and more than an hour in the motor station. Another point which I would like to bring forward is this that about two years ago the Assam Meghalaya Transport Corporation was bifurcated. We know that quite a good number of employees to that point Corporation have come over to the Meghalaya transport Corporation. But we do not know so far whether the due share the Meghalaya transport Corporation or the Government is to get from all that bifurcation has since been received and whether the terms of agreement during the time of bifurcation have been fully implemented or not. The last point Mr. Chairman, Sir, is that this Corporation is a Government undertaking. We have seen many Government undertakings like the Mawmluh Cherra Cements limited and other concerns, annual reports were laid on more than one occasion in this house. Only when we can see the function and judge the performance of such a Government undertaking but I think we have not seen a single report of this Meghalaya Transport Corporation. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like that such a report should also be placed before the House  so that we could know the actual position of this Corporation. Thank you.

Shri Bronson W. Momin (Minister, Transport) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am very much thankful to the Hon. Member of the Motion and to other hon. members who have participated in the discussion. I will try to deal with the points raised by the members as far as practicable. The hon. Mover has raised the point of promotion for the employees, well, I would point out that there have been anomalies no doubt but this matter has been  examined. This has been going on for a quite a long time and  so we are examining it. Regarding the appointment of an Automobile Engineer to the Meghalaya Transport Corporation, I wish to inform that the appointment was made on ad-hoc basis and regularisation of the post is being examined and steps have been taken on this subject and regarding appointment of the Chief Automobile Engineer also, steps have been taken to appoint the Chief Automobile Engineer.

        Mr. Chairman, Sir, with regard to the establishment of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation, the date as announced by the mover of the Motion was not on September, but according to our record, it was in October, 1976. Then regarding the appointment of the Upper Division Assistant as Assistant Superintendent, I beg to point out Mr. Chairman, Sir, that the appointment is made in 1972 by the Meghalaya Public Service Commission.

(At this stage the Hon. Speaker, occupied the Chair)

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Mover has said that spare parts of the vehicles have been purchased without the approval of the Purchase Committee and without taking the expert opinion. It is probably not correct because we have got the Purchase Committee and expert opinion was being taken whenever spare parts were purchased. Not only that, tenders have been called for the purchase of these spare parts after they had been finalised by the Purchase Committee.

        Then regarding auction of unserviceable vehicles, we have got the Condemnation Committee with expert personnel and this Committee examines all the vehicles and after getting the proper opinion from the expert personnel these vehicles will be disposed of. At the moment, no vehicles has been disposed of as yet. Then regarding the body construction Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to inform the hon. Members that we have got a Committee consisting of expert personnel and the body constructions are examined stage by stage. There are three stages and the materials are properly examined before the construction is started. There are Supervising Engineers who have got to supervise in all the stages of the construction and as such, there cannot be any doubt regarding the construction of the body that there will be some anomalies or defect.

        Regarding the point raised by the hon. Member from Mawprem, about family pension to the families of the dead employee, well, since the employee was formerly in Assam, it is being dealt with by the Assam Government and this question is being examined and necessary steps are being taken.

        Then regarding the points raised by the hon. Member that there are no facilities for passengers at Tura Sub-station. Since we have acquired a plot of land at Tura bazar near parade ground we shall construct a building of our own.

        Regarding the taking over of the District Council Transport, I want to inform that no doubt the proposal is there from the Garo Hills District Council to hand over the transport undertaking to the Meghalaya Transport Corporation. A decision will be taken after due examination.

Mr. Speaker :- Will you please speed up a little.

Shri Bronson W. Momin (Minister, Transport) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding the point raised by the hon. Member from Sohra I would like to inform him that due to shortage of vehicles the Meghalaya Transport Corporation has decided not to take up any other routes at present except the Gauhati Shillong Road. Other routes will be taken up as soon as the position permits. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think I have tried my utmost to clarify most of the points raised by the hon. Members. All their suggestions and advices for the betterment of Meghalaya road transport Corporation will be looked into an we will try to rectify all the defects. With these few words I resume my seat.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to get a clarification from the Hon'ble Minister as to why those incumbents having diploma with 5 to10 years' standing have been superseded by a fresh diploma holder and appointed as Automobile Engineer at Shillong.

Shri Bronson W. Momin (Minister, Transport) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, since this is a new question, it will not be possible for me to reply at the moment.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is not a new question, I have mentioned this matter in my speech.

Shri D.N.  Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in course of my submission I have referred to the introduction of light cars but I have got no answer from the Minister.

Shri Bronson W. Momin (Minister, Transport) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, as pointed out by the hon. Member from Mawprem, we will examine this point and do the needful.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- As regards construction of a go down at Gauhati and a passengers' lodge the Hon'ble Minister did not reply anything.

Shri Bronson W. Momin (Minister, Transport) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are having correspondences with the Assam Government regarding the go down at Gauhati.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy that the Hon'ble Minister has admitted that there are anomalies in the matter of appointment under Meghalaya Transport Corporation. So. we would like to know to how long it will take to set things right.

Shri Bronson W. Momin (Minister, Transport) :- Since these anomalies are there for a pretty long time, it will take some time to clear the debris.

Mr, Speaker :- The discussion on Motion No.4 is closed. But I would like to point out that the Ministers concerned should come well equipped so that they can answer the questions to the satisfaction of the mover of the motion. And also on the floor of the House they cannot take recourse to saying 'we shall look into this' or 'we shall reply later on' all these things.

Now let us pass on to Motion No. 5.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the necessity for classification of tezpatta, pepper, brooms stick and honey as agricultural produces instead of forest products.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you may initiate a discussion. 

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that the time has come in which these products or produces should have a fresh look through classification. In this State of ours these products are produced from those areas which we call border areas and also from specially backward and most backward areas. We all know that these products have been classified as forest products since the British days and still exist in this State of ours. If we try to refresh our memories, we find that once Cherrapunjee was the capital of the erstwhile Assam Province and from Cherrapunjee it was shifted to Shillong and Shillong was once the capital, of the composite State of Assam and now that the capital of Assam has been shifted to Dispur and Shillong has become the capital of Meghalaya. Sir, tezpatta is not a thing which grows in  the forest. It has been brought up through proper cultivation and proper care. If you go to the border areas you will really find tezpatta is grown not in the forest lands or Raj lands but it is grown only on private lands with proper care and nursing. So also pepper. I do not know whether we should call it wild pepper. I feel this pepper which I do not know what Indian word should be used, some say, it is called pipul. But this pepper also was for a long time brought under cultivation in private lands. The people grew, they nursed pepper plantations. And during the last thirteen years even broom stick which we call Synsar or jharu has also been brought under cultivation by the farmers in the border areas and in those areas which we call specially backward and most backward areas. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we take into consideration of much of the entire population of the State do these products support them, then you will find that about one-third of the Population of the State depend on the income of these produces. Take the entire population of border areas and also areas that are called specially backward and most backward areas. I thin it is time that the Government should look afresh into these produces with regard to the classification. I have also included honey in this because you know , Sir, bees are the agents for more production of agro-horticultural crops. Although it is a fact that honey comes from the flora in the forest. But honey also comes very much from agro horticultural crops. Therefore, if I am not mistaken in other States bee-keeping and its product, honey, comes under the Agriculture Department. But here in our State this industry, bee-keeping, is rightly or wrongly affiliated to the Cottage Industries Department. I think, by this time crores of rupees have been spent on grant for bee-keeping to the bee-keepers. But its produces is classified as forest product. Many colonies have been domesticated and there are quite a good number of people in the border areas, in the specially and most backward areas they  have kept what we call Apiaries, that is forty to fifty to hundred colonies in a compact place but its produce is still treated as forest product. The amount of royal charged for this honey is Rs.93.75 Paise per quintal or Rs.9.37 Paise per kilogram. I think this is too much, if this is allowed to be a benefit to the poor bee-keepers, it will be a great help to them. So also in the case of wild pepper, which is no longer wild as it is today. But the royalty is Rs.56.25 Paise per quintal in the case of tezpatta it was Rs.7.81 Paise per quintal. Tezpatta leaf is a bulky thing which is not easy to pack and not easy to be transported. For broom stick, the royalty is Rs.14.44 Paise per quintal. These high charges of royalty are because they are classified as forest products. This is too much on the part of the poor farmers in the border areas and those specially in most backward areas. So I feel today it is time for the Government to review and re-examine the matter by giving a new classification to those products which are no longer forest products but are agricultural products.

Mr. Speaker :- The Minister to reply.

Shri Rowell  Lyngdoh (Minister, Forests) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to appreciate the hon. Mover of this motion and I am glad to listen to the points which he has raised with a contention that these produces should be classified as agricultural produces instead of forest produces. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government also are very interested in encouraging our people to grow, to improve and to increase the production of these produces like tezpata, broom stick, honey, pepper and others for their benefit whether they are classified as forest produces on agricultural produces. But still, the Government do encourage them for more production of these items. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would first tell the House that classification of these items in any form would not change the basic condition, nature of that item because for example, if an animal is trained as human, to perform the activities of human, we cannot classify it as a human beings. But it remains still an animal. In this case. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would inform the House that in the definition of the Forest-Regulation which we have adopted i.e., Assam Forest Regulation 1891, under Section 3, sub-section (4)  (b), it is define as follows :- (i) Following items found or brought from forest, that is to say, trees, leaves, fruits and either parts or produces herein-before mentioned of trees and (ii) plants not being trees including grass, creepers moss and all parts or produces of such plants. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this definition does not specially specify what is 'forest' or 'forest areas' mentioned in the Act. Assuming that this term 'forest' includes all the forests either in the jurisdiction or control of the District Councils or which belong to private parties or under the control of the State Government. But these items, of course, have been treated as forest produce since a very long time not only in our State but also in almost all the States in India. Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the sake of classification,  I said that it does not matter much weather it is a forest produce or an agricultural produce. But though it is a forest produce yet we encourage the people to cultivate it and increase its production through agricultural processes. The contention of the hon. Mover of the motion, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is mainly because of the fees or royalties. As I said earlier, since these items are always considered as forest produce in other States, if we, from our Side, declare them as agricultural produces and not charge royalty and when they go to other States, then the State receiving those items will charge royalties when they sell them and so would get royalties on items not produced by them ; whereas our State, which produces the items, would lose the royalties. Of course, so far these items which are being produce and brought from the reserve forests, they are forest items and there is no question of exemption of royalties. We have to charge royalties and, of course, we may even fetch more than the royalties prescribed by the District Councils because the Government auction these items from the Government reserve forests annually. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the case of areas under these two District Councils, specially the Khasi Hills and the Jaintia Hills District Councils, where the forest produces are mainly brought from private forests of course, we agree that we grow in them according to the agricultural processes these District Councils charge royalty on such items. Therefore, if we are to consider exemption of royalties on these items, perhaps the opinion of the District Councils would have to be taken. It is they who are to consider this point, and establish the fact that the items are brought from forests or private lands. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the jurisdiction of all private forest and private lands is with the District Councils. So it would be best if the District Councils' representatives discuss it in their meetings and they can give us their opinion whether they would like to exempt these items from royalty. But in respect of the forest produces which are under the control of the Government, or Reserve forest there is no question of exemption as they are till fetching more than the prescribed royalty. So it would serve no useful purpose if we declare these items as agricultural produce. But if you ask that these are to be exempted from paying royalty, the Government, as I said earlier, cannot consider at this stage specially for the produces obtainable from the reserve forests. Perhaps it would be best to discuss this matter in cases of produces from private lands-in the District Councils as it affects mostly the revenue of the District Councils. Moreover, the District Councils have got the power as provided under the Constitution itself : that the forests, under this jurisdiction, is their look out. I think, Sir, that this clarification would suffice for today. Thank you.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want a clarification from the Minister in regard to his definition that some of these items like pepper and tezpatta leaves are classified as forest products when they come from forest. Would he agree with me that there is need to examine the cases where these do not come from forests but from plantations of private individuals, the farmers who have planted those crops and are harvesting them. Plantation crops, thus, are agricultural produces because some of  them are not being used as timber and so on. But if they do not come from forests but from private gardens, along with oranges and other fruits like tezpatta and pepper, would be consider to review all the definition?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Forests, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already stated that in cases where these items are coming forth from the Government Reserve Forests, there is no question of considering at this stage. But in so far as these items are coming from private areas which are under the jurisdiction of the District Council, it would be best perhaps to discuss it in the District Council.

Mr. Speaker :- No. The query, I think is different. the question is on definition between the forests produce that come from forests and the ones that come from plantations or gardens. In so far as honey is concerned, it always comes from gardens, if I may say so. For honey royalty is taken. So is pepper and broomsticks.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Forests, etc.) :- We realise, Sir, that these items are mostly coming from the people themselves. The people themselves are tending ; they produce and take care of their agricultural producers. That of course, we realise. But as I said, in so far as these items which were taken out from the Government Reserve Forests are concerned, the definition is still there, but even in other cases the definition is still there, we may not change at present the definition, but since these items are coming forth from the private owned land and since it effects the royalty that is being levied by the District Councils and if the District Councils agree to exempt the royalty, then of course, the Government will consider.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the clarification sought by the hon. Member from Shella is quite different. Whether private plantation of black pepper or tezpatta, whether these will come under the definition of the forest, and as such whether it will be subjected to royalty? The reply from the Hon.ble Minister in charge that this has been examined in consultation with the District Council, may I also know whether the District Council has any jurisdiction over these private plantations?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister, Forests) :- To that point Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether anybody has got jurisdiction over the private lands, that is a different question. But what we are concerned is about the classification of these items. As per the Act these are classified as forest products. So where they come from, it does not matter, but if these items are coming forth from the Government Reserve Forests, there is no question of considering whether it will be free of royalty, but if these items are being grown by the people and they are under the jurisdiction of the District Councils, then the District Councils levy this royalty. Therefore, it affects them. If they exempt this royalty it is well and good, and the government may consider only with the consent of the District Councils. The definition is still there that they are forest products.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Sir, under the 6th Schedule, the control and management of any forest are under the jurisdiction of the District Councils also. I would like to know from the Minister in charge whether these plantations will apply to any forest other than the reserved forests.

Mr. Speaker :- I think we have gone a little further. Let us close the discussion on motion No.5. Let us come to Motion No.6. Mr. Kharlukhi, will you please move?

Shri L. Kharlukhi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this house do now discuss the necessity for the implementation of the prohibition policy in the interest and for the welfare of the State.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now you can start a discussion.

Shri L. Kharlukhi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in framing the arguments in favour of this motion, I would like to say that I do not claim myself to be a man above inebriation.

Mr. Speaker :- What was the word?

Shri L. Kharlukhi :- Inebriation Sir, which means to be in the State of intoxication. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not a man of morality, but actually I know that in spite of everything, giving some sort of prohibition in our State would be a good thing and in that respect  I would be benefited also. Mr. Speaker, Sir, actually this move as it is today, is a very popular move especially in this part of the State. It is not only a move which has been initiated by our Prime Minister, Shri Morarji Desai, whom we know that he is a very great exponent of this kind of a movement, but actually it has been ever since we know of the existence of this present Government. We know of the existence of one organisation, a very popular organisation especially here in the Khasi Hills, which is called Ka Seng Pynduh Kiad which has already started its work for 5 or 6 hears now and it has been able to achieve many things in this respect. But nothing has been done by the State government in this respect up till now. We see that intoxication has rather been a great social evil in our State. Taking into consideration the clear examples which I have seen here in our district. I would say that the introduction of this kind of policy in our State would greatly help our own people, especially the poor people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can bring you an example of one place which has rather been classified as a notorious place that is Mairang. Before, when intoxication was so much in that place it was very unfortunate as many sorts of things, such as crimes, etc., used to happen in that place, but with the work of the Seng Pynduh Kaid, a sort of prohibition has come in that area with the voluntary work of the organisation and the people of that place itself. There has been a great change from that notoriety which has ever been given to that place. It has now been changed' and (The Chairman occupied the Chair, Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy) many sorts of social goods have taken place in that place, with the coming (At this stage, the Hon.ble Speaker left the chamber and Shri S.D. Nichols Roy), Chairman took the Chair) of prohibition in that locality.

     Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to see that prohibition as a rule is imposed in our State, for, as I can see this inebriation has rather, been the cause of so many exploitations of our poor people in our State. Inebriation as a matter of fact is a twin sister of exploitation. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to say that it effects us and exploits us economically, socially and morally. Now I would like to elaborate something on how inebriation exploits us economically. First of all, I would like to say that the financial exploitation of the habit of drinking of man is to be seen, actually on the poor and low income group who are in our State. We know that at present, the market price of a bottle of liquor would be Rs.5 or Rs.6 and not to speak of foreign wine which is so expensive. The actual cost I do not know exactly. Taking into consideration also the associated items which would need to add to the flavor of a drink intoxication is a thing which could tax the person very much and that also by following only habitual habit. The consumption of this sort of thing would go on increasing from time to time that even a bottle will not be enough but it use to increase and we have seen it in our experiences. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to say that this very much effects the financial capacity of a person or a people. Most of our people actually earn Rs10 or Rs.12 a day. If only 6 is taken away from this sort of pleasure, then we see it is a heavy burden on the part of that particular person because his tendency is to get the maximum pleasure. Besides it effects also other people who happen to be the members of the family. If he is a father of the family, if he is the head of the family, I cannot image the plight of the dependants who have to depend on him. This very much would affect the financial position of the family and that kind of effect would also result badly in the life of the State. So this is rather a very great financial waste on the part of those who are habituated to this kind of food or drink. Now another point I would say that the danger takes too much on the part of the person concerned. Time you know is precious, time is worthy. He loses it forever, once a man become intoxicated. I see that there are cases whereby a person lying helplessly by the road side or in bed. Actually if out of 10 lakhs of our people 5 lakhs spend their 10 or 11 hours daily lying like that, how much economy would be affected. So I see that this habit of taking too much to drinking would cause great strain on the economy of a man. It is a time consuming thing. Therefore, we can see that instead of spending time in such a way those people would have occupied their time at their disposal for some other useful thing which could contribute to the income and the wealth of the State. So I see this is also another man point which we have to take into consideration in taking this Prohibition policy.

        Now the other point is that as far as the health of the person is concerned I think it is clearly seen how the health of the drunkards has been affected. Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is rather a sympathetic rate to him. I have seen with my own eyes that the drunkard deteriorated day by day. Mr. Chairman, Sir, in my locality and elsewhere however I could see, many of my friends who happen to be drunkards could not survive. So I see that a life of a person is cut short due to negligence about the evil of this particular thing. So this is rather very important to remember, but we are the victims of this thing. At our own sweet will we could avoid and drive it away from us, when it comes, sometime we have to embrace it. Some sort of imposition, a policy by the State, an external sort of a help, is required and this is the prohibition policy because nobody seems be able to stand before this mighty giant. Mr. Chairman, Sir, this habit of drinking affects the life of the society in the social form also. Man you know is a Social animal. He lives with the society. But the first thing that intoxication affects the social life of the of the society is that once a man gets drunk he would be isolated from the society. He could no longer live in the society. In this way, that is the first and the immediate thing which could affect the ;life of a man from the social point. Now in the society we know once he becomes a drunkard he becomes a fault finder. In this way, the life of the society would be very affected. So many sorts of things would come out from this. This is really a very pitiful thing and I would like to express that I have every sympathy with the victims of this enemy in this regard. I presume that 80% of the accidents takes place only because of intoxication. I would also say that even crimes are encouraged to be done when a man happens to be intoxicated. This has been a wretched plight on the part of the families especially tribal families in the State, I have said earlier, because when the head of the family happens to be a habitual drunkard, there will be great disturbances inside the family. There is misunderstanding between the mother and the father and between the father and the children and he loses his respect which is supposed to get from his children and the worst of it that he has already set an example for his children to follow the same way through he will speak otherwise, but his action will speak. In this way, there is a saying which says that children should be trained in the right way right from early childhood. But if this is the way that our children are already trained and taught, then it is very deplorable to think about the coming days of our generation. We have see that this habit has drained the brains and qualities of our talented boys and girls. We have also seen how many football players who very good and prospective in their career but because of this nothing did come out of them inspite of their bright prospective and they had shown. Not only that our students who many of them are genii, have spoiled themselves, because of that evil. Actually Meghalaya would have occupied a better place and better position in many spheres had it not been for that very reason that this very enemy has drained away the saps of our tarented boys and girls. Mr. Chairman, Sir, this has rather been the cause of the destructive part that this very thing has played in the lives of the people of our State and in the life of our nation. I think it is the duty of the State to see and help each and every one in this respect because it seems very difficult for the people to help themselves. Inspite of  all these things, in spite of the demerits and dangers that we see in this particular way or habit yet it has the attraction and its magnet is so great that nobody seems to have the strength and power to be able to stand out of it. Mr. Chairman, Sir, we see that the influence of this is very great and once it starts in any person, it increases. Nowadays especially when the society has become so mixed up, there is frequent contact among people. There are party makings and many sorts of things which have made the society in such a way this friendship making are many actually we do not have enemies in our society. But paradoxically, I can say that it is in such state of things that in the name of friends, this enemy has been able to enter in the lives of our people. In this way, contamination is rather quick and we see nowadays most of our youths-boys and girls have become victims of this practice and the use of it has become very very much popular in our State. At this time I would say that there is one very dangerous thong which I have noticed and that is the existence of the retailer shops for this kind of drink and they are very popular throughout the State. Actually these retailer shops as we see are very very irresponsible in doing these things. Adulteration takes place in these shops, only for the reason of maximum profit they expect to get, they  would adulterate many sorts of things. Some people say that even acid is also mixed together in order to make it more strong and more appealing so to say and in this way, adulteration directly helps to get the man intoxicated. I have seen the practice of certain people like this. They would start giving a very good quality, the second time they would continue giving like this. But with the passing of time they would see the condition of the person. When drunkards have reached that stage when their senses have been made dull, then the inferior quality would be served that even a dog would not like to take. So this is a very sad thing to know. But you cannot deny the fact that the Government gets a big revenue out of the Excise Department. the revenue which the excise Department used to get is rather great and attractive. But in spite of that compared with the loss which this practice works upon the life of a person, I would .like to say that my argument is still in favour of prohibition. There has been an excuse that liquor plays an important part in the social life of our Khasi and Jaintia people. it has been argued that it sis a very good item it is an item which is to be attached with the religious ceremonies and rites and each and every religious performance should be used with this ;liquor. But on this point, I would like to say that under the the cloak of religion, this has been defended. Actually the thing is not so. Khasi religious rites and ceremonies use what we call 'ka Jadum'. but it is not in sense, Ka Kiad. It is quite different from liquor. Liquor is a product of distillation whereas 'Iadum is not so. It is only a sort of water and in this way we call it 'Kiad am'. Actually this distillery was first introduced by the British. So in this way there is a great difference. There cannot be place on religion that it is to be entertained. Now for the manufacture of a bottle of liquor, it would require, I do not know, how many kg of rice or maize. I very much used to think about how much grain would be used in making even a bottle of liquor. Only those people who are interested with it would get the benefit of it not only for this pleasure but also for their future and Mr. Chairman, Sir, I used to think about this and how far this kind of a thought affects the conscience of our people. Other wise it would have very much helped for the supply of food stuff especially in the State of ours where there is shortage of food stuff and lastly, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would say that this habit does not go without affecting the moral side. Drinking tends to enhance the sensual side of the pleasure and in this way, it tends to count on the material side of our being. But we know when material side is more weighty, the spiritual side or moralism would be rather affected. There should always be a balance. Actually, we have to find out a way to strike a balance between these two points. Actually, what I want to say is how much it effects the moral side of the society, the source of strength and the source of our State is moralism, it is not materialism, it is because of spiritualism that we have been pulling through in ages of history. This way of dragging from the moralism to this kind of materialism would very much affect our society and I am afraid our struggle for survival would be very much affected if our play is only towards materialism. I have seen that many of the strongest countries in the world because of  their inclination only to the material side, they become weak and - unless and until they come to realise about this, there is a danger for their extinction. So it is our duty and through you, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would urge the Government to see that this prohibition bill is sooner introduced in our State to help the helpless. So, with these few words, I resume my seat.

Mr. Chairman :- Any other hon. member who would like to speak?

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, at the outset, I would like to congratulate the hon. mover who has initiated this motion on this very serious subject in the State, in the country and in  the world and also to express my appreciation of his speech that has come from his heart on the economic, social and moral effect of alcohol on the society. Man is a moral and spiritual being not a mere animal which is locally concerned with physical existence. So we cannot ignore the evil effect of drinking on the moral and spiritual side of human society. From this subject that we are discussing I was very much touched when the mover in his youth had the experience that many of his friends who have taken to drink had died. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the subject has been discussed and talked about for a long time. It is not a new thing, but nevertheless it continues to be a serious thing and first of all I would take up the economic aspect of the matter in our State. I had the experienced in two places in the interior in Cherrapunjee and Laitlyngkot where I spent my boyhood days and also for some years after I completed my studies. Soon after I completed my studies in Calcutta I stayed in Laitryngew and just then there was a new opening for Cherrapunjee coal for export to the tea gardens and steamer companies. The wages in that area were so much raised that at that time if a miner works for an hour or two he would get 5 to 10 rupees. But I am very surprised that still the economic condition was so bad that the women had to work very hard at home and in the mines for so many hours a day to maintain their children because most of the male folks would go and work for only a few hours earning five or ten rupees and spend the major portion in drinks. I was so much affected by the experience that in a booklet which I wrote in June 1952 I mentioned about this aspect of the matter affecting our Khasi society. I had also experienced in my boyhood days in Laitlyngkot where I saw our women-folk carrying their babies in front and the thapas behind and also with the jainkyrshah they would carry something on the side. The hard work that most of our women had to do is because the earning of the male folk was taken away by drinking. Therefore I fully agree with this sentiment that the mover Mr. kharlukhi, had expressed in this House not only in the rural areas but if we move in the mass society in Shillong we have seen many of the women here work very hard, selling fish or vegetables, etc, till 9 o'clock at night carrying the children also. They have to work hard because the male folk, the fathers and the grown up children spend much of their time in drinking. Socially as he has expressed there is no gain saying that it  has been a very great evil affecting the family relationship and social relationship. Therefore there is no need to elaborate and argue on the economic as well as the moral effects of this habit of drinking in our district and in our State. Morally and spiritually I fully agree with the mover that man is not an animal that would be satisfied with his food he is eating.

        The subject that we are discussing is the question of removing this evil, how we can reduce or control it. The mover has quoted the experience he had got in Mairang. It is said that the working of the organisation of Seng Pynduh Kiad had produced a good result. I would like to stress that the success to control drunkenness in the village is not so much because of the voluntary organisation of the people because of certain discipline and force adopted by the administration. Students have to be disciplined and forced for their own good so also discipline is necessary for the good of the family and society as a whole. We have in many ways to be forced and discipline. Therefore here sitting together as leaders, as administrators of the State dealing with the lives and health of the people I think we should take the responsibility on this matter that affects our society so much in the State. Therefore now I come to the aspect of enforcement and perhaps a large majority of us agree that  for any prohibition, control and discipline is necessary either to remove or reduce the evil effects of liquor.

        I have just mentioned the example of Mairang. I had the experiences of a relative of mine whose life and career was being ruined through drink. He was telling me that the existence of these night shops, the retail shops, to which the hon. Member had referred in all the nooks and corners of Shillong, was the cause for his ruination. He has his drinks at 5 to 6 o'clock in the evening and then returned home and then he was again tempted and so he went back and could get easily more drinks at night. If you could close the sale of liquor at a certain time and stop all these illicit shops, he would not have ruined his life and the lives of many other young people in the town. I took up this matter seriously when I was in charge of Excise and called the headmen of Shillong and discussed with them how we should root out these illicit retail shops which remain open the whole night with  all the associated evils that the hon. Mover had mentioned. We discussed the question of how we should open central shops with licenses, disciplined shops with regulated hours of sale, regulated for the ages of all persons, for all customers and so on. As was mentioned by the Minister of State Excise, last year, that 18 M.L.As sat together to discuss. We had started first with foreign liquor shops how to remove the illicit shops by opening bars. That was the step taken. I do not know how far it succeeded. Any way, these methods of control have to be really considered seriously because it is a very very difficult problem indeed. One thing I had to emphasize by education, literature and persuasions, yes we may adopt all these methods. But human beings as we are all such education, influences, and persuasions, we should know, should go hand in hand with certain element of force and discipline. That alone may be the effective way to deal with the evil.

        At the national scale, the statement of the Prime Minister did create a new thinking all over the country on the determination to bring prohibition in the country within four years. I do not know how far he will succeed. In any case, I have one suggestion to give either for the Central Government or the State Government that in order to make prohibition successful we have to raise an enforcement organisation consisting of persons who believe in it. It is of no use entrusting to the general police or excise men who do not believe in it. I hear some whispering that it should consist of missionaries. It is not necessary so. But men who believe in it can be recruited and those who really believe in it will surely be able to enforce prohibition. There are plenty of people in the country who believe and who themselves practice it. We have experienced and read about what happened here and other places that in matters that the police did not believe, they could never enforce it. Take this teemgame in Shillong where the police do not believe in prohibiting it. But in murder, in theft and dacoity cases the police feels strongly and so they enforce the law very seriously. I am glad that this motion has come and we have discussed seriously. One word that the hon. Mover has expressed has very much moved me when he said Meghalaya with all its beauty, could have been more beautiful if this evil could be removed or reduced to a large extent. So as leaders and representatives of the society let us examine this matter with a realistic mind. Let us make Meghalaya more beautiful as it should have been by tackling this problem in a realistic way. Thank you.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also like to add a few words to what has been said by the two speakers. I also welcome this opportunity given to us by the mover of this motion. One of the important aspects that we are to consider in our State is that we should be able to really understand the problem. I for one do not think that most of the people in our State are not aware of this problem.  There are varying degrees of understanding but the society by and large in our State does not consider this drinking of liquor as a very serious evil. Some people think it is very bad and some people do not and in this context, therefore, the Government since 1978 and even this Government has replied in unstarred question No.76 that the Government have not taken any decision on total prohibition in the State. In that context I am sure the Minister in charge of Excise will also give a general reply. He will say that no prohibition has been enforced or no decision has been taken. Then what is the purpose of this discussion on this motion moved by the hon. Member who belongs to the same party of the Minister in charge of Excise? Perhaps it would be better to discuss this matter in the meeting of the Parliamentary party first. Hhowever, I welcome this opportunity to start the process of discussion on this matter and I think it is timely to do so. Are we to wait till the things get so bad and more and more people get killed by traffic accidents caused by alcoholic influence ?Are we to wait till our sportsmen are destroyed by alcoholic influence? the mover of the motion has given some very tragic examples of some members among his own friends who are no longer in this life due to the reason of this evil. As I said earlier, many people who do not realise the seriousness of this problem and they do drink and again many think this is a serious problem. As I said, this is a State of mind with which one has to consider the seriousness of the problem. In a society it is the wives, the ladies in the family who suffer when in a poor family which needs the money, the hard-earned money for food, clothing, shelter and for education of their children and that money is spent by the husband for his drunk. This is a serious problem especially in the rural areas. I for one have been puzzling over this matter for many years. While I was also a member of the Government, we used to occasionally discuss about this and we come to the conclusion that we should not introduce prohibition and what first we could do is to try to stop the illicit distilleries and illicit consumption of liquor. My colleague at that time, the hon. Member from Lyngkyrdem, once tried to do away with the illicit distillation apart from catching those illicit distillers who were making liquor available. He asked a question whether he had succeeded or not? So I understand these are various aspects, although I did not do any research on this, but I understand it has not succeeded. As a matter of fact liquor is made available at a more respectable level. The student community patronises the brass legally set up or allowed by the Government and also other places which sell illicit drink continue to exist. So it is a question whether prohibition will succeed or not. A very pertinent example of what is needed to make things successful was shown in the case of Mairang, as has been mentioned by Shri B.B. Lyngdoh who told about what happened in Mairang. What we heard and what we gathered from that incident is that the majority of the people in a village at Mairang seeing the extent of the evil of drunkenness which resulted in murders, decided in the Durbar to stop drinking. It is not by the Government nor by the Police, but by the majority of the people who came to the conclusion most democratically to stop drinking. In this way I think most of the excess out of drunkenness can be done away if the majority of the people realise its evil effects. Now in the pattern of administration in our State the reach of the police not go very far from the towns. We do not find any police or excise personnel in the rural areas we find them only in towns. So it would be absolutely essential to get the services of the police, to get the approval of the village Durbars, administrators and so on. Now for one thing we are to agree upon that the society should be made conscious through educating process about the influence of alcoholic beverage and therefore this motion I think is a continuation of the efforts to educate ourselves as leaders and to educate our constituents and the public as a whole. I would strongly advise the Government not to take a quick decision to say yes or no but to really make a study what is necessary to make prohibition a success as Mr. B. B. Lyngdoh has stated. I think most people will admit that the drinking of distilled alcoholic beverages, I take the point made by the hon. mover quite different between what is called 'Kiadum' and distilled beverages. I am sure most people will admit that the drinking of distilled alcoholic beverages is not something which will increase good health to say the least. As a Food Scientist, I did a little bit of study though not much on the effect, preparation of wine from fruits, the effect of alcoholic beverage and so on. I am sure, I know there is much more study since I was in the University and College, that has been made subsequently on the effect of alcoholic drinks on every part part of the body, brain, stomach, heart, lungs, nerves and liver. All these are affected especially when people take distilled alcoholic beverages on empty stomach and this happens to be quite a problem. Drinking taken before food without Vitamin B to counteract alcoholic has a bad effect on different parts of the body and this takes place much much more rapidly if we have no food in our system. There was a temperance lecturer who was talking on the effect of alcohol and he had a glass of whisky and he put in earth worms and then very soon the worms died. Of course, one of the persons at the back of the class said  "I have worms", let me have the drink. But scientifically, we know that alcoholic beverages especially, taking daily or in a good quantity is harmful  to the body. But it is strange to know about human beings that there is always a feeling that it may harm somebody else and it may not harm me. For example, on a packet of cigarettes by law, all over the world, it is warned that it is injurious to health but people will smoke. The same thing about alcohol. These several practices which have been in use throughout the world require a lot of more attention from the said of social organisations, leaders who are sincere about it to bring about consciousness that we are deciding to do away with and such a motion as this, I think, is one of the things that we should educate ourselves. Now, I do not think that if we introduce prohibition in July 1978, it would succeed. Much more has to be done to educate our people to start the process and so on. But at least, something should be done, I remember when I was the President of the Shillong Sports Association, we had a number of outstanding talented footballers at a certain time when we were winning the Inter District Football Tournament. After a couple of years, I asked the Secretary what happened to so and so, he was such a good footballer. Well, he said that he does not play any more and he has been ruined by excess of drinking. This happened, why ? It is because the society went beyond the reach to certain levels of excellency in sports and when you become a politician or a minister, you will be invited to certain functions or parties where you will be offered a drink and unfortunately, unless one understands the control that his body requires and will take more, he will go down a slide. There are a lot of people who take  alcoholic beverages for the kick. It gives them that kind of kick that they feel inspired like somebody has said is like a kick of a mule. Yet you are getting impelled ; but the bad effect will last sometime after the kick and you will not understand how bad it is (Laughter). Talking of the society as a whole, there was a number of parties to which I was invited especially, when there were defence personnel, high-ups and there were very few who did not participate in taking alcoholic beverages and a number of my friends would come to me and say "Are ! why don't you drink"? As if there is something wrong with me when I say I don't drink. Such is our society at certain levels. Can you therefore, question any young man who is coming up and becoming a good footballer then getting invited to such parties. They fall into the same trap. therefore, at our level, let us say, minister, MLAs, political leaders, it is incumbent on us to really study and find out whether it is our role to start a new thinking in our society and in our country taking the advantage of the leadership of our new Prime Minister who is trying his level best to bring about this thing in our country, the new impetus let us say, to think about prohibition. I was always convinced that it was not going to work, that it would be to the disadvantage of one exchequer. These are always the arguments. Yes, but one day, I had a talked with the present Minister of Industries on this question and he gave me a lot of information on the total amount of money spent and the total amount of money gained and if you look at it from the total benefit point of view, you will find that more money is wasted on alcoholic industries in the way of destruction, in the way of evil ; accidents, etc. If you reckon properly, you will find that a number of people who have been killed by accident because of the excessive drinking and so on it will balance and more then counter-balance the loss that may be suffered temporarily by the Government in excise revenue. Not only that, once you turn the total amount of money spent on buying alcoholic beverages into a productive system of spending, the whole economy will be improved. I have made a study and I was convinced for the first time from the economic point of view and from the revenue point of the State and the State will be the gainer. Of course, the whole world in talking about prohibition gives the example of the United States of America and how prohibition failed in its implementation. They say such a country-educated, advanced, progressive-decided to go in for prohibition and eventually they had to repeal it because the prohibition period was the worse. Everyone is convinced that it will never work anywhere in the world. I was convinced myself. But the other day, I think it was about a year ago, I read a very important article. I think it was in "SPAN" or such magazine where this prohibition was analysed : Why did it fail ? I remember two or three important things. There has been a campaign, an anti-liquor campaign, going on throughout the Untied States arranged by large organisations and then as soon as it was decided-as soon as a decision was taken to implement prohibition, the campaign stopped. They thought the work had come to an end and this was the greatest mistake they made. the campaign should have been continued throughout.

        The second mistake made was that from the time it was announced that they would implement prohibition till the time it was implemented, a large gap of time was given. That meant that those who were making money out of this distilling of liquor were able to, overnight and day and night, produce more and more liquor and stocking them up the whole country with alcoholic beverages so that as soon as prohibition was introduced, all the shops which were stocked with liquor went underground and this liquor was sold at high rates giving more money to that industry.

        The third mistake, according to this article, was that the administration which took this decision was halfhearted about it, they did not give enough money to pursue the policy and did nothing about explaining the whole policy. The officials of the campaign stopped campaigning, they though they had won. They did not realise that they had a role to play in the form of education and the whole thing was bound to fail before it was started.

        The article opened my eyes to the things that went wrong and what needs to be implemented if we are to introduce this policy in our country. Certainly, the way it is now the country is not ready for prohibition. The people are not enough aware of the danger of destruction of life and so on it would not take only the Government. Certainly, it would require the combined efforts of many unofficial and social organisations to educate and continue to educate the people on this matter. So I welcome this opportunity to participate on this motion and I commend my colleagues and my friend representing Mylliem-let us not stop here, let us take it up in our respective political parties, let us discuss it in our districts and in our durbars. Let us find out more facts. But what needs to be done is to educate our people because I think if we are  going to serve our country, it will be only with a sincere effort on every one's part. It cannot be done by Mr. H. Hadem who happens to be the Minister here and his Department. Impossible ! It will be done if at least a major portion of the society feels that it needs to be done and can be done. If they can implement it in our tribal set up it will have to be done at the village and durbar level and right up to the Government. Not just the Government at the top. I am convinced that if a decision is taken to impose it, it will make it worse, everything will be driven underground-illicit-and it will not be a success. But if big 'IF'-the sixty members of this Assembly are convinced that something can be done, then let us start the discussion. I welcome this motion because it gives us the opportunity to think about it.

        Now, some of my personnel friends in different parts of the world are involved in this problem-cirrhosis of the liver and other effect of  alcoholism. I know it is a serious problem in our areas and I have seen the effects of broken homes, where the wives and the children are made so suffer because of this. And once a man is gripped with alcoholism, it is very difficult to free himself from that grip. There are many in our society who look up to us. Some of these we drink do not want the MLAs and the Ministers to drink. It is a strange. They want us to raise them up, to help them and this is the reason why our party discussed this matter and took some pledge to prevent drunkenness. It is a serious problem in our society and it is incumbent on us as leaders, if we call ourselves leaders, not to just forget it after this motion is discussed but to think seriously about it collect articles, study it, do some research work on it and find out what we may have to do to make Meghalaya a place of joy and beauty in our country.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, time is very short.

Mr. Speaker :- Carry on. We will continue.

Shri S.P. Swer :- I would like to say that the motion before the House is no doubt very very important-a subject to be discussed and as the hon. mover and the hon. members who have participated in the discussion also have stressed the importance of discussion such a motion in our State as it is already discussed all over the country today. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have one more point to add which I hope will give a clear idea about what liquor means  to our society, especially to the people who still practice the Khasi tribal faith or religion. In our Khasi religion of tribal faith, we used to say that liquor is one of the items in which we use during the performance of all our religious rites. Right when a baby is born, just three days after in certain villages or one day after in some other villages or one month after its birth in certain other villages in the rural areas, we have the naming ceremony to put a name for the new born baby- So since that very time, this is used as one of the items during the performance of the religious rites when giving a name to the baby. But it is not a liquor, Sir, in the sense that it is a distilled liquor but it is what we call a sapoh, a brew from the fermented rice that we actually need. This is one of the items while performing the religious rites. Now a days, because I myself belong to that original religion, it is very difficult to get this fermented rice, the sapoh, so what we do, we have to purchase liquor and then we just mixed with cooked rice to make a sapoh or fermented rice to use in our religious rites. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in that line of thinking we say that 'ka kiad' is born along with the man, because right from the time of naming ceremony, this liquor or 'ka kiad' is used. So I think in this regard, to have a clear understanding whether it is actually a liquor or it is something else like fermented rice or 'ka kiad', that is used in our performance of religious rites. Again, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was very much moved when the hon. Member from Shella said that our people in our society may not know the real evil or the real danger of alcoholism and this is very true because I will try to give an instance of my experiences that happened sometime in 1957 in a particular village when I attended one public meeting. After the meeting was over, one of the leaders of one of the village said these words-the women folk will laugh at me if I return home without being intoxicated after attending such an important meeting. So with that statement of that elder, I believe that our women folk also from time  immemorial, may have that belief that intoxication is a good thing. Therefore, if the elder, the matador or the sirdar, after returning from a public meeting or a durbar, without being intoxicated, then they can say what kind of a meeting or a durbar he had attended where liquor is not served. That also was there very much. In certain villages, when a man reaches the stage of being an adult, and for an adult it is always mandatory, that he should be a member of the village durbar, so once a year, the youths are taken in as member of the village durbar, when they reach the age of 17 or 18 like that. On that particular day, when the durbar was held, and it must be the annual durbar, they register their names and one of the things which they give to these new entrants is 'ka kiad' say shi suka or 25 paise or you can call it a small peg, they give to these new entrants in the durbar. So, this is very much connecied and the Mover of the motion, I hope, does not mean total prohibition. If he means total prohibition, then there will be a controversy. But there should be, as suggested by the hon. Members who had spoken before me, a consideration on the part of the Government how to discipline or ......

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Swer, you can continue tomorrow.


Adjournment

        Now the House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. tomorrow, the 4th of July, 1978.

D.S. KHONGDUP,

Dated Shillong,

Secretary,

The 3rd July 1978

Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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