Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday the 4th April 1978 with the Speaker in the Chair.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up unstarred question No.3.


UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(Replies to which were placed on the Table)

Election to the District Councils

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

3. Will the Minister in charge of District Council Affairs be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether Government is aware of the fact that elections to the District council in the State are long over-due?

(b)

Whether Government propose to hold these elections some time in the month of May, 1978?

(c)

Whether requisite steps have already been taken to enable holding of elections as such?

Shri J.C. Marak (Minister in-charge District Council Affairs) replied :

3.(a)

- Yes.

(b)

- The matter is under active consideration of the Government.

(c)

- Yes, Preliminary steps are being taken by Government in this regard.

Any supplementary question?

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak :- May we know from the Hon. Minister in-charge whether the Government arranged to conduct the elections to the three Districts Councils in the coming moth of May?

Shri J.C. Marak (Minister in-charge District Council Affairs) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the matter is under consideration of the Government?

Shri Grohonsing A. Marak :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know from the Minister which District Council election will take place first?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in respect to election to the Garo Hills District Council, a date has been fixed in the month of May. Because the hon. Member wanted to know whether elections to the three District councils would be held in May. So in respect of Garo Hills District Council, a date has been fixed and in the respect to the two District Councils as stated here in (b), the matter is under active consideration of the Government.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is fair that the Chief Minister should intervened without allowing the Minister to answer the questions?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- We have a joint responsibility.

Mr. Speaker :- Unstarred question No.4.

Proposed scheme of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

4. Will the Minister in charge of Tourism be pleased to state -

(a)

The name/names of the Scheme proposed to b taken up by the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation Ltd?

(b)

The total estimated amount for those schemes ?

(c)

The total estimated amount in the shape of Revenue Income from those schemes when completed?

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister-in-charge of Tourism) replied :

        4. (a), (b) & (c) - Since the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. was constituted with effect from 25th January, 1977, the Corporation in its infants stage could not take up any Development Schemes so far.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Question No.4(a). Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the Barapani Tourist Complex is one of the schemes of Corporation ?

Mr. Speaker :- It is unfortunate that the Minister in charge is absent.    

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- I would like to say whether the Deputy Chief Minister's reply is a joint responsibility?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri Snomick Kalwing :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the question No.4 I want to ask a supplementary question. According to the reply to (a) (b) & (c), it has been stated that since the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. was constituted with effect from 25th January, 1977, the Corporation in its infant state could not take up any development schemes so far. Now I would like to know if there was no such development schemes so far right from 1977, I would also like to know from the Minister in-charge whether this Department has got no expenditure since its inception.

Mr. Speaker :- That is a different question altogether and it does not relate to the question and the answer given here. It does not mean that there is no expenditure since the Corporation is there.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- 4(a) May I know what are the schemes that are under contemplation?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- I want notice, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Unstarred Question No.5.

District Agricultural Officer, Jowai

Shri H.B. Dan : asked :

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

(a)

What post was hold by Mr. G.H. Willys, District Agricultural Officer, Jowai, in the year 1976?

(b)

Whether Mr. Willys superseded any of his seniors in the Agriculture Department when he was promoted to the rank of D.A.O?

(c)

If so, who were these officers who were superseded and what was the reason of their super session?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

5.(a)

- Assistant Agronomist (under Land Use Scheme) a post in Class II.

(b)

- No, in fact he is not yet given regular promotion but he had been allowed to take charge of the post of District Agricultural Officer since 12th January 1979 (A.N.)

(c)

Does not arise.

Laitryngew-Laitmawsiang-Sohkynduh Road

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

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

(a)

The present position with regard to the construction of the Laitryngew-Laitmawsiang-Sohkynduh road?

(b)

The steps which the Government proposed to take for construction of the said road?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister, P.W.D.) replied :

6.(a)

- Work started and is in good progress.

(b)

- Does not arise.

Blacktopping of the Border Roads in Garo Hills.

Shri Manik Das asked :

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

(a)

Whether Government proposes to take up the work of blacktopping the border roads covering Ampati, Kalaichar, Baldamgiri Mahendraganj and Purakhasia and Ampati, Zigzak, Nogorpara and Mahendraganj?

(b)

If so, when?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister, P.W.D.) replied :

7.(a)

- There is no proposal for blacktopping :-

(i)

Ampati-Boldangiri-Kalaichar Road.

(ii)

Mahendraganj Purakhasia Road.

(iii)

Ampati-Zigzak- Mahendraganj Road.

(iv)

Mahendraganj -Nogorpara Road.

(v)

The only portion of the road proposed to be blacktopped is from P.W.D Rest House at Mahendraganj to Mahendraganj Bazar for a length of 3.12 Km.

(b)

- Work as mentioned at (v) above will completed by March, 1979.

Shri Manik Das :- I would only like to draw the attention of the Minister.

Mr. Speaker :- You can only as as a supplementary question.

Shri Manik Das :- In reply to Question No.7 (ii) Mahendraganj-Purakhasia Road, on 27th March while the Deputy Chief Minister replied to the debate on the Governor's Address he has mentioned that the State Government has already taken up with the Government of India regarding this particular road. But the reply of the Minister in this question is quite contradictory. So I want a clarification on this particular ad.

Mr. Speaker :- Did the Deputy Chief Minister State about black-topping while replying to the debate on the Governor's address? The question is here is black-topping, so any supplementary question should relate to black-topping of the border roads.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- I still maintain that the matter is still receiving the attention of the State Government and we are pursuing the matter with the Central Government.

Mr. Speaker :- Unstarred question No.8.

Mawkdok-Khadarshnong Road

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

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

(a)

The reasons for the delay in starting the construction works of the Mawdok-Khadarshnong Road - "Section II"?

(b)

Whether Government propose to start construction works of the whole length of the remaining portion of the Mawkdok-Khadarshong Road?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) replied :

8.(a)

- Due to non-completion of Section I of this road and paucity of fund.

(b)

- Remaining length from 21st to 37th K.M. will be taken up only after completion of Section II.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a fact that the work order for Section 2 of the road has been given only for four Kilometers.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- We have started the work of Section two of the road for the first four kilometers only.

Shri S.P. Swer :- May we know the reason why?

Mr. Speaker :- The reply is already there, paucity of funds, I believe.

Summer Resort at Barapani Complex

Shri H.L. Nongsiang asked :

9. Will the Minister in-charge of Revenue be pleased to start -

(a)

Whether it is a fact that there was a request for acquisition/ taking possession of an island in the Barapani Complex for construction of a Summer Resort for an Army General ?

(b)

If so, what decision has been taken on it?

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister-in-charge, of Revenue) replied :

9.(a)

- No.

(b)

- Does not arise.

Meghalaya Transport Corporation

Shri Manik Das asked :

10. Will the Minister in charge of Transport be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the Government proposes to ply Meghalaya State Transport buses in new areas of East and West Garo Hills Districts other than the existing routes already taken up?

(b)

If so, when ?

 Shri B. Momin (Minister, Transport) replied :

10. (a) & (b) - The matter is under examination by the Meghalaya Transport Corporation.

Shri Manik Das :- How long will it take for the Meghalaya Transport Corporation to finalise the matter for increasing the routes in East and West Garo Hills Districts?

Shri Bronson W. Momin (Minister, Transport) :- The reply is there that the matter is under consideration of the Government.

Mr. Speaker :- How much time will it take?

Shri Bronson W. Momin (Minister, Transport) :- It will take sometime till the matter is finalised.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir. What is the approximate time limit?

Shri Bronson W. Momin (Minister, Transport) :- After some time.

Supply of Fertilizers.

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

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

(a)

The reasons for the acute scarcity fo fertilizers in the State ?

(b)

The total quantity of fertilizer procured and distributed to the farmers during the year 1977-78 ?

(c)

The shortfall in supply of fertilizer during the current year ?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Agriculture) replied :

11.(a)

The main reasons for shortage of the two fertilizer, via Ammonium Sulphate and Super phosphate which are in high demand in the potato season are :-

(i)

Delay in receiving allotment of Ammonium Sulphate in place of Urea as Nitrogenous fertilizer.

(ii)

Problems in the factories producing Super phosphate in the Eastern Region as a result shortfall in production and consequently less supply.

(b)

Total quantity of fertilizers procured and distributed during the year 1977078 are estimated approximately as follows (up to 15th March) :-

Procured (Approx.

Suphala and mixed fertilizer

Distributed (Approx.)
A/S Urea  SP MOP A/S Urea SP MOP Mix.
Procured during the year. 4,150 136 2,120 93 144 4,064 258 2,344 98 105

N.B - Distribution figure is higher than receipt during the year as there was some carry over stock.

(c)

Shortfall in supply as compared to previous year is approximately as follows :-
Ammonium Sulphate - 500 M.T.
Super phosphate - 900 M T.

The Meghalaya Transport Corporation Ltd. Automobile Workshops

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

12. Will the Minister incharge of Transport be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the Meghalaya Transport Corporation Ltd. has a workshop (Automobile) of its own?

(b)

If the reply be in the Affirmative, the number of automobile engineers and mechanics appointed to man the workshops?

(c)

If not, whether the Corporation propose to set up an automobile workshop of its own?

Shri B.W. Momin (Minister, Transport) replied :

12.(a)

- The Meghalaya  Transport Corporation Ltd. has a maintenance centre at Shillong and not a central workshop.

(b)

- The maintenance centre has the following complement to staff -

Engineers

-

2 (two)

Foremen

-

4 (four)

Mechanics

-

117 (one hundred seventeen).

(c)

- The matter is under active consideration of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation for establishing a central workshop.

The Laru Project

Shri H.B. Dan asked :

13. Will the Minister incharge of Soil Conservation be pleased to state -

(a)

The amount spent so far on the Laru Project, in the Nartiang Daloiship of Jaintia Hills?

(b)

Whether the money spent has been properly utilised?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) replied :

13.(a)

- The amount spent up to February, 1978 is Rs.5,57,981.69.

(b)

- Yes.

Shri H.B. Dan :- 13(b) Sir,. Is the progress of the work at present satisfactory?

Mr. Speaker :- That is altogether a new question.

Forest Coupes operated by the Meghalaya Plywood Ltd.

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

14. Will the Minister in charge of Forest be pleased to state -

(a)

The total number of forest coupes given so far to the Meghalaya Plywood Ltd. for operation?

(b)

The total quantity extracted so far from the coupes?

(c)

The location of the coupes given for operation?

Shri Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, Forests) replied :

14.(a)

- 43 Nos.

(b)

- 7166.467 cu.m.

(c)

- Khasi Hills - Umling and Lailad (areas under Nongkhyllem Reserve Forest_

Garo Hills - Songsak and Rongrengiri Forest Reserve.

Jaintia Hills - Narpuh Reserve Block II

Tribal candidates for the post of D.S.P.

Shri H.L. Nongsiang asked :

15. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

The number of tribal candidates who qualified for the post of D.S.P. in the last P.S.C. Examination?

(b)

The number of appointments so far made?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) replied :

16.(a)

- The number of tribal candidates who qualified for the post of D.S.P. in the last P.S.C. Examination is 14.

(b)

- Only 3 appointments have so far been made.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Question No.15(b), Sir, against how many vacancies ?

Shri D.D. Pugh ( Chief Minister ) :- Four.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Sir, in that case what has happened to the rest of the candidates who have been declared qualified as the answer to Question No.15(a) is that the number of candidates qualified is fourteen and appointments have been made made?

Shri D.D. Pugh ( Chief Minister ) :- The four vacancies will be filled up in due course.


ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SPEAKER

Mr. Speaker :- The question is about the rest out of the four vacancies.

Shri D.D. Pugh ( Chief Minister ) :- They will be kept on the waiting list Mr. Speaker Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- This being the last day of the session I would like to inform the House that my Secretariat has prepare a statement of questions received so far. So far as the starred questions are concerned we have received none, and unstarred question 37 and short notice questions one. The replies to unstarred question are 15, to short notice question, the reply is nil and the percentage of replies to unstarred question is 40.5. In this connection, I would like to make an observation that the replies so far given though very low, i.e., only 40.5% but considering the shortness fo time the position is perhaps better. But then there is a point there it has become a habit on the part of the Government to rush all the questions only on the last day. I would request the Chief Minister to see to this and also to see that all Ministers concerned are present in the House during the question hour.


ZERO HOUR

        Before we pass to item No.2 I may inform the House that I have received a notice from Mr. Medras Mylliem who wants to raise a discussion under Rule 49 A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on the water scarcity in Shillong, which is a matter of great importance. But Mr. Medras Mylliem is absent. I do not know whether the Minister concerned will lay the statement on the Table of the House.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Mun9icipal Administration) :- I will make a statement Mr. Speaker, Sir.

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a concern on the scarcity of water supply of Shillong. This is a matter which is agitating the minds of the people and also the members of this august House as indicated by the attention being drawn under the relevant rule. On this matter I would like to make a mention that the scarcity of water at Shillong during this particular period of the year is not unusual. In fact, during this particular period which is know as a lean season between the month of March extending up the the month of May, it has been the experience of the rare payers of Shillong to face the acute water scarcity. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the sources of water supply from which the Shillong Municipality obtains its water are mainly from the natural springs and streams located in the forest groves of Laitkor range, and Riat Laban. 

        Now there are 5 sources from which water is drawn. These sources are Wahrisa, Wah Jalynnoh, Umjasai Crinoline and Umkhen. The need of water normally should be about 30 lakhs gallons a day and in fact, during the summer season we do not have this problem. The problem arises mostly during this particular period and during the extreme drought as it happens today in Shillong. We find that water accumulation has become very limited and it has gone down to 10 or 12 lakhs gallons per day. Now in view of this situation we have tried to find out there causes that lead to this chronic problem of Shillong and we found that apart from the low accumulation of water from the sources and at the streams, we have also a problem of increased population in Shillong. As you know very well, Sir, the population of Shillong has increased by leaps and bounds and it has increased according to the projected reports more than a lakh in the Shillong Municipal area. Then again, we have the problem of deforestation in the catchment area. This also has hampered the accumulation power of water in the sources. Then I would also like to add that we have the distribution of water supply which was laid in 1930. Since that time, the main water distributing system has not been drastically changed in order to enable the water supply to operate in full seeing. In view of these difficulties realising the need to tackle this problem in a realistic and fortnight manner, the Government has drawn up a few schemes and we are dividing the programme in 3 phases. Now in view of the problem which is so acute today, we have taken immediate steps. As a first programme that is by way of augmenting the water supply in the water tanks which are located in the various parts of the city. Where water supply is mostly affected we supply water by water Taner. Apart from the two tanker which the Municipality have we have also requisitioned a water tanker from the Police Department to loan us in order to supplement water supply in various parts fo the city particularly in those areas which are badly affected. Yesterday, I had taken a trip throughout the town with the officers of the Municipality and public leaders, and we could locate the House into confidence that there are areas where water scarcity is so acute that the situation might create law and order problem. But thanks to the headmen and leaders of the localities the situation is well under control.

        Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, in order to augment water supply immediately according to the present arrangement we will be able to manage about 15 trips of Tunkers a day. At the rate of 600 gallons per tanker it means we can supply on additional quantity of 3,000 gallons to the various parts of the city where the problem is keenly felt. The second programme we are calling it a short term programme which may continue for a period of a few months or one year, we are trying to evolve a proposal which is under constant review and I may make  a statement that it is going to be implemented very soon. We will draw out water from a forest grove near the Sericulture farm in order to bring out 20,000 gallons a day. This will cost us Rs.2 lakhs and I believe that this could be managed. We are also keen to have a filling point in order that our tankers could draw water. We have identified the point behind the Circuit House of Shillong in the Kenches Trace where the filling point could be constructed and which will perhaps bring us about 20,000 gallons per day. Then we have a scheme for a direct line from Umkhen stream which will bring us 35,000 gallons of water per day. We are also negotiating to draw water from an area near the Shillong Peak, rather, at the bottom of it called Sangmein area, and perhaps with the co-operation of the Syiem of Mylliem we would be able to implement it and this will bring us 1 lakh gallons per day. if this materials, it will help us tremendously where the problem is very keen. So, this is the second programme. Now the third programme which is the most vital is a long term and as you know....


CALLING ATTENTION

Mr. Speaker :- And I hope it will not be a long term speech.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- No. In so far as the long term speech (Laughter) I mean, measure, I would only like to say that this is known as the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme and we have not been able to take it up because of difficulties in getting the land. The other day, the hon. member from Nongkrem forcefully made a plea not to proceed with the scheme. In any way, the scheme will certainly be reviewed and reconsidered in view of the strong feeling of the people there and after taking this into consideration we will come to a final conclusion. With this statement I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to Item No.2, Mr. Snomick Kalwing to call the attention of the Minister-in-charge of Revenue under Rule 54. 

Shri Snowmick Kalwing :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it will be proper for me to give some gist about the incident before I move this motion for the attention of the Minister. 

Mr. Speaker :- As short as possible please.

Shri S. Kalwing :- Yes, Sir. On the 21st of March a big fire occurred at Killing village which is about 2 mile from Byrnihat under the Jirang Constituency. How this model village of Killing has got 10 houses which were under the jhum Control Scheme controlled by the Government in 1975-76. There the Government constructed about 100 houses with the estimated amount of Rs.2000 per house. So it amounts to about Rs.2 lakhs. Now 34 houses, out of these 100 houses, were gutted by fire on the 21st March, 1978. The victims are now staying in the open air without any shelter right from the 21st till date. All their belongings, including paddy, were gutted. It is, therefore, my duty as the representative of that area, to give notice to the Minister-in-charge of Revenue,  to take steps because on the 1st April when I visited that area I saw that no steps have been taken so far from the Government side. I, therefore, call the attention of the Minister-in-charge of Revenue to this incident so that he will take immediate steps. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move.....

Mr. Speaker :- No, you call the attention.

Shri Snowmick Kalwing :- I call the attention of the Minister-in-charge of Revenue under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly to the fire incident which took place at Killing Village (Model Village) under Nongpoh Civil Sub-division on the 21st March, 1978. It is a matter of urgent public importance in which about 170 persons were affected and have and have completely lost their belongings and how are in dire distress. The matter is of recent occurrence.  

Mr. Speaker :- Now, Minister-in-charge of Revenue to reply.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it really is a killing subject. The fire took place on the 21st of March, 1978, at about 4 p.m. and 34 dwelling huts were completely gutted. It is very sad indeed that this should have happened. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. But according to the Police Report, there was a person named Sabin Lao who was burning/his jhum cultivation of dried up crops close to his hut and the fire went out of control and spread to these huts and completely burnt down 34 dwelling huts. Now a case has been registered against this person for negligent conduct, under Section 285 and the Case Number is GR 23/98. We cannot give more details as this is now in the coup of law, but as far as the incident is concerned we know that it took place on the 21st and I heard of it on the 24th. On the 27th itself a magisterial enquiry was bold and the damage assessed to the tune of Rs.1,02,000 i.e.,  the total damage caused to these 34 families. This was the assessment made by the Magistrate who was sent immediately to the spot. The maximum relief that can be allowed immediately without even considering any report is Rs.100 per family and we have already sanctioned Rs.3,4000 i.e., Rs.100 per family. This money is supposed to have been distributed yesterday and we sent the message telephonically down to Nongpoh. Actually Mr. Speaker, Sir, these huts were constructed by the Soil Conservation Department and so we have asked this Department to see whether they can render the maximum amount of assistance to these unfortunate families. The Director of Soil Conservation has confirmed that there may be the possibility of making paddy seeds and maize seed available to them on subsidised basis. The villagers have been asked also to apply to the Government for rehabilitation loan to a maximum of Rs.500 each. But, of course, we fully realise, that a sum of five hundred rupees is not enough to compensate each family for the damage caused. I shall personally look into this matter and see that the maximum that the Government can do is done to those poor people. I shall also visit the places and satisfy myself over whatever aide the Government gives and see that this goes entirely to these affected families. And then there are many other ways also by which the Government can aid them though test relief and rehabilitation loans. Now I am waiting for applications from the families and I can assure the hon. Member from Jirang that action will be taken to help them.

Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want more clarification from the Minister, Revenue, when I have had the privilege of going along with the M.L.A. representing that area, to the affection District I have seen that unless immediate help or free ration is given to them they will suffer a lot. Some social help should be arranged for them they will suffer a lot. Some social help should be arranged for them because something is knocking at the door and if nothing is done to help them they will be in great difficulty. Then another thing the Government in the past have arranged for free-rat on even for a period of one week or one months for the people of Jirang to save the situation. Being clarified by the Minister. I hope that as usual the Government would give test relief schemes for those people so that they will be able to survive.

Shri M.N. Majaw ( Minister, Revenue) :- As far as test relief is concerned, I have already mentioned that we will examine it. But as regards other social works and rations, we will try to fund out as to what can be done to ameliorate their conditions.


MOTIONS

Mr. Speaker :- Let us now come to item No.3. i.e. motions. We all these Motions. In any case, I hope each Motions would not take much time. Now I would call upon Shri G. Mylliemngap to move his Motion first.

Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the reasons for altering the Block Schemes in the State during 1977-78, which were finalised by the Block Development Committees".

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

Shri Grosswell Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the outset I would like to place my submission that the Blocks in our part of the country have started since more than 25 years. But the older they become, the worse they are Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may so because there are so many many things which are happening and have happed in different Blocks. You know Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this Department though it is as old as myself, or I may be a little older but still the Department is not yet confirmed and there are some people who have rendered 25 or 26 years of service yet they do not know where they are even today. You know Mr. Speaker, Sir, last year certain category of people who are working in the Blocks were not given pay and allowances for almost one year. That is for 10 complete months, they did not get pay and allowances. No pay and allowances were given to these poor paid people who are muharirs of the Blocks. I wonder how these people have survived in those 10 months without getting any pay.... (At this stage the Hon'ble Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair ).......

        Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to the main quest on for which schemes in the Blocks have been altered. Basically, you know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the main idea of the Blocks is on extension service, to extend services to the rural areas in tackling different social problems said also to bring the administration closer to the door of the villagers. But it is unfortunate Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that thi8s idea which was inculcated in the Community Development has turned out from extension services to election services. Why I say so Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will substantiate it in course of my discussion on this Motion. Extension service has become election service.

        Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, during the third quarter of 1977-78 the Deputy Commissioners of all the Districts have asked the Blocks to submit schemes under rural works programme for a sum of Rs.20,833. This amount of money was given to all the Blocks and it was equally divided among them. The Deputy Commissioners have asked for submission of schemes on rural works programme for all the Blocks. But you know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Block from which I am representing me on its Sub-Committee meeting on 21st September 1977 and we have accordingly chalked out programmes and made out scheme and submitted them with their estimates and all the paraphernalia immediately after one week from the date of the meeting of the Sub-Committee. But alas! you know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, all our efforts and the efforts of the field staff and the concerned hands connected in preparing those schemes of rural works programme ended in thin air. No amount was allotted whatsoever to the Mawryngkneng Development Block out of this provision. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there have been talks, expectations and high hopes from the members of the Block Development Committee and the Sub-Committee that some amount against these projects which we have sent to the Deputy Commissioner were coming forward and we had high hopes too that at least some Rs.20,000 and old will be given to the Block for rural works programme. But it was not given at all without rhyme or reason and so query was made whatsoever as to why our scheme was rejected and why the money which has earmarked for different was rejected and why the money which has been earmarked for different blocks was not given to the Mawryngkneng Block. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the resolution and the decisions of the Block Development Committee and the Sub-Committee were all bull-dozed and stream rolled by the then Government so that they can meet the needs in other blocks where they are having important candidates in the elections. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question before this House is whether the Directorate or the Department has any power to change the decision or the resolution of the Block Development Committee which is the autonomous body and if the Department or the Directorate has the power to do so, what is the necessity of having the Block Development or the Sub-Committee and speed public money unnecessarily for their Travelling Allowances and sitting allowances. Therefore Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Department has maligned the powers of the Block Development Committee and the Sub Committee. You may ask me what has happened to the funds earmarked to my Mawryngkneng Development Block. Whether that money just vanished in the air or that money has been diverted to some other blocks which I have  already mentioned where there are important candidates in the election. I will reply to that Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, by stating the naked facts before you and before this House. (Bell rang). Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, then it appears that I have to cut short what I have prepared. You know how that money was distributed or given to other blocks. If our examine the drawals made during this weekend of March, that is, up to 31st March 1978, you will see that all the schemes in different blocks have been changed and altered according to the wishes of the then Government in power. I can cite an example that there are rural works programmes where no money was given whatsoever to Mawryngkneng Block whereas Rs.65,000 and odd was given to the Mylliem Development Blocks, Rs.35,000 for Mawphlang. Rs. 35,000 for Bhoi Area Rs.60,000 for Mairang and Rs.1 lakh or a little more for Nongstoin. You can easily understand Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other blocks that were denied this legitimate right of the people which was given to the other blocks out of their right just because there are some important candidates of the Government. Is this the type of justice given to our people? Therefore, I demand on clear terms that the schemes altered by the then Government should be changed and restored according to the decisions of the Block Development Committee. I demand that Rs.20,000 and odd which has been earmarked for the Development Block should be given to the Mawryngkneng Development Block. Why should this legitimate right of my people be given to others. Can I tolerate all these things? I need not prolong on that subject. 

        Now I come to another important point, the allotment of funds. You know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, how the the selection of schemes at Mylliem Block was done. Then then Government or the Department have stamped made their fact the resolution and decisions of the Block Development Committee or the Sub-Committee. They have thrown away almost all the schemes selected by the Block Development Committee or the Sub. Committee and they have select new ones according to their own choice. Out of then selected by the Mylliem Block Development Committee only two have been maintained and eight were thrown away and selected new scheme according to the wishes of the people who were in power. You know Mr. Deputy Speaker for Lumiablot Laitumkhrah, they have given two provisions. One for the construction of Lumiablot footpath and another for the improvement of Lumiablot foothpath. Moreover, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will give more details for Nongthymmai they have given Rs.2,000 for water supply. Where-from does this water supply come? Is it the duty of the block to take up water supply of Nongthymmai village? They should have given to the Public Works Department authorities who are competent to take up this work or to the Public Health Engineer which has got a scheme for water supply. Another scheme is the Pohkseh Water Supply Scheme. Improvement of the Pohkseh Water Supply Scheme village road. Another one is the Nongrim Hills footpath and surfacing of the Lumiablot road. What are all these? They have taken all these schemes out of the right of the blocks. And if you come to the other side of the road, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, which falls under another side of the road, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, which falls under another constituency, you will find that they have taken up the Lawjynriew. Laitkor footpath. Then improvement of the Nongthymmai-Laitkor road, Rumjingkieng water supply, construction of Nongthymmai sports Club's building which cost Rs.6,000.From where does this fund come? Another scheme is the improvement of Madanrting football field at a cot fo Rs.9,743. What are all these Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Under whose authority the then Government has changed or taken away the legitimate right of other people just to help their candidate win the election. Is there any justification in doing all these things? Can I tolerate that my people should be punished for the sake of winning an election by a candidate of their party? I demand with strong words that the legitimate rights of my people should be restored.

        Then Sir, coming to another point, I will leave that point there, because I know other hon. Members will also like to take part on this. It is said that this is a rural works programme. Whether all these places which I have just mentioned are more rural than other villages Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir? Now, I will come to another factor that is the allotment of money according to the provision under linked road. There is a provision that each block will get a sum of Rs.1,00,000 for the construction of link roads and you understand Mr. Deputy Speaker Sir, that link roads mean to link up any village with the Public Work Department road or the road which will taking agricultural produces and also take the people from other villages to the main road. But here, you know Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there has been a resolution and the selection of the schemes by all the blocks. In my block at Mawryngkneng we have selected some schemes on priority basis and we have given the priority according to the need of the arrear. But what has happened Sir? All the decision of the Block Development Committee were not at all honoured or given any recognition by the then Government. Instead they have given those schemes which are below in order of priority where they have their own candidate who is having a chance of winning the election. The first priority selected by the Block Development Committee was for the road connecting Mawkhanu with the main Public Works Departments road at Mawtyngkun. Since this area falls under the Sohryngkham Constituency in which the then Government did not have any winning candidate, they have transferred this provision to another scheme where they have a better candidate who had a better chance of winning the election and for that they changed to Dienglieng Nongjrong where there is no Public Works Department at all. So what is this nonsense, Sir? Can I tolerate that the resolution or the decision of the Block Development Committee adopted according to the needs of the people should be changed, should be done according to the wish of the authorities in power? Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, here once again, I place my demand to the Government through you, that this money and those schemes also should be taken up according to the order of priority taken or decided by the Block Development Committee. Why should this new Government follow the decision of the then Government which has not acted according to the rights of the people. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I place my demand to the Government through you, Sir, that those schemes also should be taken up according to the decision taken by the Block Development Committee. Why should we alter this without any scheme or reason and without any ground. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this respect, I will just give you a little idea how money has been distributed amount the blocks. You know, for the Mylliem Development Block how much money they have given. Instead of Rs.1,00,000 they have given Rs.6,00,000 or little more then 6,00,00 at the cost of other blocks. Whether it is done according to the need fo the programme or according to the need of the election that they have given this Rs.6,00,000 for the Mylliem Development Block Rs.4,00,000 for Umsning, Rs.5,00,000 for Nongstoin? What is all this Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir,? It is too much. You know for Mairang Development Block, they have given Rs.2,00,000 over and above what has been estimated. The estimated cost of the project was for Rs.1,00,000 according to the wish of the Department. But instead of Rs.1,00,000 they have raised upto Rs.6,00,000, Rs.5,00,000 more. For example, you know. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the case of a link road for Pynthorumkhrah. What is this Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir? Does Pynthorumkhrah need a link road? I do not like to elaborate on this  point, I will just make my submission, that there has been partial treatment in allotting funds. These are some of the instances only which I have cited before this House. There are many other examples and I have not touched even a single of them because I know that you will not allow me any more time. Therefore, I have given only those instances which have taken place only in Khasi Hills where many of the hon. Members could see all the facts with their naked eyes. Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I resume my seat, I again urge upon the Government through you that all the resolutions and decisions of the Block Development Committee should be restored because I know that in most of the blocks money has been drawn mostly on the 31st of March and it is not yet late to change it. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I request the new Government that all the resolutions and the decisions of the Block Development Committees of different Blocks should be restored and if any project has been executed according to the wishes of the then Government, then appropriate action should be taken so that the legitimate rights of the people can be restored. With these few words Sir, I hope the other hon. Members will give ( At this stage the speaker occupied the Chair) more facts on this, and if I am given more time, I could have given more informations on this matter.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to take part in this motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Here I would like to request the hon. Members to speak atleast for ten minutes only because there are other motions also.

* Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Sir, we know that it is a fact that the Government have constituted the Block Development Committees and there we will find all the Public Representatives - M.L.As, M.D.Cs, who are the Members of the various Block Development Committees and generally the Government used to honour the resolutions and decisions of the B.D.C. But any way, since the B.D.Cs, are in the form of an Advisory Committee, it lies at the discretion of the Government to accept or not to accept the recommendation fo the B.D.C. but Sir, since the recommendation have been accepted for the last so many years and also implemented by the Government accordingly, I request that this new Government should look into this matter very carefully. Sir, we also know that certain amount of money was also ear-marked for each Block and it is a fact, as stated by the hon. Mover of the motion, that a sum of Rs.20,833 was ear-marked for each Block under the Rural Works Programme. It is also a fact that many of the Blocks were totally denied of their legitimate status and the same were added to certain other Blocks. In this respect, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I really appreciate the present Government, specially the present Minister-in-charge who has been very kind to listen to the complaints of the various members of the B.D.Cs as well as the Block Development Officers. Sir, in respect of our Block, the Mawkyrwat Block, we came to know that the then Government did not take a single scheme recommended by the then B.D.C. Instead they rather invented other new schemes of their own and it is very unfortunate that they wanted to give money for the construction fo a bridge at a place where there are already two bridges. In this connection some B.D.Os might have complained to the Minister-in-charge and it seems that the present Government is going to change that policy. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest that the present Government should not follow the foot-steps of the then Government. As far as practicable and as far as possible, the recommendation, resolutions and decisions of the B.D.Cs should be respected otherwise it is useless to constitute such B.D.Cs in different Blocks. With these few words, I again request the Government to honour the wishes of the B.D.C. Of course, it will be difficult for the Department concerned to change it at this stage as suggested by the hon. Mover because the financial year has already been closed and that may be possible only in the next financial year. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Member. Since nobody is willing to participate, the Minister-in-charge may now reply.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have listened very carefully to what the hon. Member from Sohryngkham has said on the floor of this House about different Block schemes in our State and the anomalies done by the then Government which affected almost all the people of the State. Sir, we have 24 Blocks in our State and under each fo these Blocks there are a large number of villages falling under the jurisdiction of that Block who should be affected by the development schemes taken up for that particular Block. Since then this is the subject which affects more than 90 per cent of the people of our State, I am grateful to the hon. Member from Sohryngkham who has very vehemently and strongly adduced his arguments. The very first thing, I must say, is that it is precisely because of these anomalies and it is because the public could not tolerate such anomalies that we are today sitting here in these benches and they are sitting on the other side, and a new Government has come into being because the people in utter frustration could not tolerate the regime which has been graphically described by the hon. Member from Sohryngkham. It was precisely for this purpose that the change was carried out. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have also heard from the hon. Member from Bajengdoba that we now welcome a change in our administration. And here in this connection I must say that in this new Government or Department should see that every single paise which is allotted for development will actually benefit the people. We are of course serving all the people and we are grateful to those Members who have represented their cases before us, for which we have taken immediate steps. The hon. Member from Mawkyrwat had pointed out some anomalies in the construction of bridges. He pointed out that the then Government wanted to construct a bridge where there were already two bridges in the same area. Likewise, the hon. members from Songsah and Mawkyrwat also pointed out certain anomalies in the development programme in their Blocks, and I called a meeting immediately, of those Members and the Secretary of the Department to rectify such anomalies which were brought to our notice. I am extremely sorry that this is the first time I am hearing such anomalies in the Mawryngkneng Block. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, we must also say that the desire of the people is always for the development of their area. Even if an area is better developed, they will always come forward with schemes for still further development and sometimes a department like ours may be subjected to tremendous pressures because every year many areas are demanding further development. So a certain amount of residual power should lie with the Government to determine in an objective manner which really is the most backward area and which is the better developed area, because such demands will always come from every section of the State wherever funds are available for further improvement. Even in highly civilised countries like U.S.A. and United Kingdom, development continues. So also here, there will be demands even from areas which are better developed and areas which are totally very very backward. So a certain amount  of discretion should be left with the Government to determine which really are the most backward and which are better developed areas. I must also say Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the recommendations of the B.D.Cs are not absolutely binding. They are recommendations which are accepted by and large. But here again some discretion may have to be exercised by the Department in trying to see that justice is done to all and that most of the recommendations of the B.D.Cs have been accepted. Now we are tying our best in as many cases which were brought to us, as has been indicated earlier. We have Normal Schemes and also Channelisation of Funds Schemes. There was a rural link roads programme of Rs.28 lakhs and the rural works programme of Rs.8.8 lakhs. Then there was the specially backward areas scheme and under this scheme, seven Blocks were selected Mylliem, Mawsynram, Laskein, Betasing, Dambuk Aga, Resubelpara and Mawrynkneng. Among the twenty -four Blocks in the State, seven Blocks were selected for specially backward areas schemes and one of the seven privileged Blocks is the Mawryngkneng Block. Of course it is yet to be seen what is exactly happening at Mawryngkneng and why all the schemes, as contended by the hon. member from Sohryngkham, proposed by the Block Development Committee of Mawryngkneng were rejected to-to. Of course we must also remember that dates are given for submission of such schemes by the B.D.Os who will again consult with the B.D.Cs. I am not closing the chapter. In fact, I am reopening it. I can assure the hon. Member from Sohryngkham that justice will be done and that full justice will be done in this matter. It is not necessary for us to go into the details. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may say that there were Government orders issued before we were inducted into our particular portfolios. If I am not mistaken, it was on the 14th of March and according to financial rules, by the 15th of March, we have to finalise all the schemes and if there is money left over, we have to surrender the same. There may be B.D.Os who have drawn the money in advance i.e. on the 31st March, but have not yet issued the money for the construction of roads of or bridges, but how are we to submit the A.C. bill for the drawal of money through an advance contingency bill? We have also specific schemes for which the particular money is drawn. So I must humbly beg the hon. member from Sohryngkham not to make me do something quite irregular in financial matters because we cannot, after the money has been drawn change now. We have to go back again when the financial year is over. I, therefore, assure him that in this financial year which has come already on the 1st of April,, we will see that justice is done and I will have further discussion with the hon. member from Sohryngkham in the office together with the officers of my department. I will take up this matter immediately with him. But I must say that as far as we are concerned, the moment we heard of any particular case, we took action. I am sorry I was not able to hear all these things because God has given us one body and it is humanly impossible to know all the files in the department within a week as I am not omnipresent. But we will try to see that as many anomalies as can be rectified will be looked into. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will assure the House that in future, such things will not occur. We will see that justice is done to all particularly the poorest and the most backward, priority will be given to them.  Government will not merely assure any one that any demand from any area will be satisfied, but one has to examine the priorities of the Matter where the area is so backward and needs help. I may also inform the House Mr. Speaker, Sir, that we are now examining the possibility of channelising all our schemes through the village durbars. We know the life of our tribal people is centered always in the village and we pay highest respect to the village durbar and the village councils. we know that w may be expelled from the village if we violate the laws and orders of the village durbar. We intend to register all the village durbars under the C.D. and we intend to include the names of headmen' Sirdar, nokmas, secretaries of the village councils or village durbars etc. All these should be present so that we will know that aid has been received in the block and if so of what nature. Henceforth, the applications of given by individuals will be recommended by the village durbar and there will be no more private consultation between the individual and some particular person in the block for withdrawal of funds or for allotment of grants for development. We assure the House that the administration is based or founded upon the village durbars, so that rural works programme will really be a rural programme and not an urban programme. So with these assurances, I hope the hon. member from Sohryngkham is somewhat mollified I assure him that I shall take up the matter in my office. 

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, for further clarification I respect the ruling of the House. That is why I cut short many of the points which I wanted to bring up. One thing which the Hon'ble Minister has made mention was about selection of Mawryngkneng Block as one of the backward Blocks. Here also I am not happy at all about the selection made for the villages. The classification of which one is backward, more backward and which is forward and so on has no reality. They have laid down some criteria as to decide about such villages.

Mr. Speaker :- You are making a speech. Try to make out a point.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to inform the Hon'ble Minister that as regards Financial Rules I have also some humble experiences in this connection, and I hope that the money that has been drawn as he said that it cannot be diverted at this juncture. I do not quite agree, if it is re-appropriation within the same head of account, there would be no financial complications for such schemes which have been selected and then fall within the same head of account. There would be no difficulties. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would suggest to the hon'ble Minister to examine these things, as he has assured.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your approval.

Mr. Speaker :- That will satisfy.

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development ) : According to the Muhari. This also was not none by the past Government immediately after assuming power. 

        We have taken care as a regards irrigation. I would remind the hon. Member that there are irrigation and drinking water schemes in the Blocks also. 

Mr. Speaker : Thank you. Let us come to Item No.2. 

Shri Mozibar Rahman : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the necessity of rendering relief and rehabilitation to the displaced now residing in Jigabari, Kaikuri and Balchanda"

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. You can initiate the discussion. 

Shri Mozibar Rahman : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the displaced persons residing in the villages of Jigabari Kaikuri and Balchanda are persons belonging to the Garo community who came to India in 1964 just at the eve of the Indo- Pak War. The Government of India was kind enough to allow them to settle in Garo Hills and certain schemes were drawn up for their relief and rehabilitation. Among the different schemes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there was a Khas Land Scheme. According to that Scheme, the agriculturists group was supposed to get 6 bighas of Khas Land or Rs.3,000 in the absence of land. The scheme was prepared to accommodate 1,500 families who were registered as agriculturists. Money was duly sanctioned and the sanctioned amount was handed  over to the Garo Hills District Council. Under the terms of agreement, the Garo Hills District Council was under the obligation to allot or give the Khas land to every agriculturists, normally to the 1,500 families. Mr. Speaker, Sir, till today some 253 families did neither get the lands were neither given para nor the their lands mutated. Mr. Speaker, Sir, at present those displaced persons are in a precarious condition and they mainly live the villages of Jigabari, Khaikuri and Balachanda and other neighbouring villages. They have got no employment and no source to give security to take loan from any agency because the land they got were not mutated neither patta was issued to them so who will believe them. They are practically facing starvation. Most of them died in mal-nutrition or without food, so to say. So, my humble request to the Government, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that this group of 253 families should be provided with either land or money very soon and further this present Government will devise certain measures to provide them employ so that they can flourish with the indigenous people of Meghalaya to contribute to the general development of economy of the State and the nation. With these words Sir I resume my seat. 

Shri Jackman Marak (Minister -in-charge of Relief and Rehabilitation ): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am glad that the hon. member from Rajabala has brought this motion. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, these places I have not seen but after this Session, I assure the august House that I will visit these places where these 1500 families were rehabilitated. Mr. Speaker, Sir as the hon. Member said during 1964 the Government of India sanctioned that Khas land for the purpose of rehabilitating these 1500 agriculturist families. These schemes were implemented by the Garo Hill District Council as per agreement signed by the then Assam Government, Under this scheme 129 families were sent to different rehabilitation sites. So I am not going to speak more but all matters will be looked into and I assure this august House that when I will visit Garo Hills I will visit those places also. So. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am thinking this time not only those places but I will visit other places also where other families were rehabilitated in Garo Hills. These places will be visited by me very soon.      

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Minister for Revenue) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may add something from revenue side. Regarding land acquisition, unfortunately the papers have not yet come from the Executive Engineer, Tura North Division. The District Council of Garo Hill and the Executive Engineer, Tura North Division, have been reminded several times for sending the papers as quickly as possible so that payment of compensation for land acquisition will be faster.

Mr. Speaker : So, discussion on motion No.2 is closed. Now we come to motion No.3. Shri Alfrien Marak to move. 

*Shri Alfrien R. Marak : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the failure of the Soil Conservation Department, Meghalaya in successfully implementing the terrace cultivation schemes at Simsanggiri. Kherrapara, Kharijoragiri, Rimrangpara, etc in West Garo Hills.

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Now you may initiate the discussion.

Shri Alfrien R. Marak : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the terrace cultivation schemes have been implemented by the Soil Conservation Department in Garo Hills in so many places, vi2 Kherapara, Sangsanggiri, Rharijoragiri Rimrangpara, etc by spending lakhs of rupees. In this connection. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very sorry to say that the terrace cultivation so stared by the Department, has totally failed and the reason I would like to say are - firstly, the demonstration of the schemes which the people of the concerned area have experienced is very laborious and the production to that extent is very low, even production sometimes comes to less than than  the quantity of seeds which they sow. Secondly, the Department did not arrange for water supply nor did they supply any fertilizers and thirdly,  the people of those areas are quite ignorant  and illiterate and as such they do not know how to  undertake terrace cultivation. These are some of the reasons why the terrace cultivation has totally failed which the soil Conservation Department tried to implemented. Now those terraced areas have grown into jungle all over and those are useful for jhuming only since there is no other alternative. So if these are to be reclaimed again for terrace cultivation; the Government will have to spend lot of money and also for supply of fertilizers the amount of expenditure will be huge. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I asked the Government through you, why they did not examine the fertilizer of the the scheme spending lakhs of rupees only on terrace. It is the duty of the Government to examine the scheme the scheme whether it will be feasible or not before spending money. Now I would like to class this Department as a Soil Erosion Department instead of calling it as Soil Conservation Department. Besides money, many, areas lands have been acquires for this terrace cultivation. But I am very much doubtful whether even half of the area as recorded has been brought under actual terrace cultivation. So I would like to have some clarification or I would request the Government through you Sir, to examine it and make proper enquiry and to get the real picture of the Department. Therefore, I would request the Government once again that at the time of implementing the schemes it should see that only the scheme which are best suited to the areas should be implemented otherwise, public money will be spent for nothing for which the public will suffer a lot. So with these few words, I conclude my speech.

Mr. Speaker :- Any other Member? Now the Minister-in-charge.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset, I would like to say that we are indeed very grateful to Shri Alfrein Marak, Mover of this motion who has moved a motion on this very important subject pertaining to the implementation of the various jhumming control measures in the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the ill effects of the shifting cultivation in the State, especially in the district of Garo Hills which is well known to all of us and we are facing a lot of problems in this connection and the Government are trying their level best to wean away the cultivators from this practice of jhumming. Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the information of the hon. Member and the House, through you, I would like to say that jhum control consists of a package programme which also includes many other things, the development of land for permanent cultivation and also for providing the irrigation facilities as far as possible. According to this Package Programme. Mr. Speaker Sir, a minimum of 50 families are covered at one location. In the first year, these families are provided with seeds, manure and also fertilizers, and also from the Department, a sum of Rs.200 is also provided to each family during the cultivation season so that they could live on this amount while working on the cultivation. And for those families who had been shifted from a distance to jhum controlled centre, an amount of Rs.2000 is provided to each family so that they could construct now houses for themselves. In the second year, the families are provided with seeds at 50 per cent subsidised rates because these are some of the main aspects of the programme pertaining to the jhum control cultivation. The hon. Member has also raised a point about the demonstration and he said that the cultivators have so laboriously engaged themselves whereas the production is much less than what they have put into their various fields. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have got a centre of Kerapara which is a centre for demonstration, and for the information of the hon. Member, this is not a jhum controlled centre but it has been taken up as an experiment-cum-demonstration centre by the Department in the year 1972-73 and the department has been trying to request the villagers to utilise the facilities that are provided there, in this demonstration centre at Kherapara, and the villagers cultivated this area under the supervision of the Department and they continued this practice for about 2 or 3 years and had a very good yield. But due to some reasons, Mr. Speaker, Sir, they have not discontinued on this demonstration. In so far as people, especially in Garo Hills are concerned, they have been practioing this shifting cultivation since a long time and it has almost become a way of life for our friends there in Garo hills and it will be a problem for the Government to try to bring an abrupt change to wean away the cultivators from practising jhumming and to request them to come to these various different centres and have a permanent place of cultivation. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, there may be some difficulties and problems as mentioned by the hon. Member and definitely Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Department, as termed by the hon. Member, as a Soil Erosion Department, is certainly not so. It is not a Soil Erosion Department, but the Department is trying to conserve soil and also helping people to wean then away from the old age practice of jhumming. From the Government side, we shall always examine these various centres and see as to how best these centres could be improved from time to time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the motion of the hon. Member seeks to discuss about the failure of the Soil Conservation Department in successfully implementing the terrace cultivation schemes at various centres in Garo Hills. I must say, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that from the Department side, we have been trying our level best to implement all the various schemes in those various centres and we have tried to provide the people with permanent cultivation. Well, Sir, these are the few facts that the hon. Member sought to the clarification in the form of a motion and I have tried to supply the information to the hon. Member and from the Department we can only say that we shall always try.

Mr. Speaker :- The Department or the Government?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- The Government, and we shall try our level best to improve the schemes connected with the Soil Conservation Department; especially in the various areas in Garo Hills. With these few words Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri Alfrein R. Marak :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I withdraw the name given to the Soil Conservation as I have been assured by the Minister-in-charge that in the future the Government will be implementing the schemes successfully. So I hope some sort of development will be brought about by the Department.

Mr. Speaker :- Discussion on Motion No. 3 is closed. May I ask Mr. S.P. Swer to move Motion No. 4?

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the performance of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board while implementing the programme for rural electrification.

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

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the vary out set I would like to make it very very clear to the Government and also to the Electricity Board that I have no intention at all to oppose the rural electrification programme. I very much welcome this programme and it is my sincere wish to see that this programme is implemented successfully for the benefit of the poor villagers in the State. The Board, while implementing the programme, selected certain villages and, in the first instance, the Board made survey of the main line, and it was found that while carrying out the survey of the main line, no consultation was ever held with the heads of the villages as a result of which we found that the line laid after the survey does not serve the village concerned. Secondly, we found that the officers who carried out survey works and also when they laid the main line, they were very quick to promise to pay compensation to the affected land owners or the affected growers especially in the border areas where the people are growers of oranges, Aricanut, etc, They are very quick to promise payment of compensation but compensation to the affected growers never came till date. A few days ago, the people from Bholaganjand even Syiem of Cherra had complained that some aricanut trees were cut down but on compensation or even measurement was made till date. Then again, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we found when the main line is laid at different points when there is wind than we witness sparks and it so happens that when the line is close to some private houses and when the sparks fly the occupants of the house have to spend sleepless night when there is wind. I have tried to see this in Shillong but I have not come across sparks anywhere when there is wind.

Mr. Speaker :- There are some times.

Shri S.P. Swer :- But I have not witnessed this because I am not residing in Shillong. Here I would like to suggest to Government to devise some sort of protection because if this sparking continues it may so happen that the wire may fall down and there is danger in that. Again, I have also observed in some villages where electrification was already completed. There are villages in which the main line passes through the village partially; the greater part of the village is on the other side. The main line passes partially and no plans and estimates were prepared to serve the village so as to enable the private house-owners to have private connection. When the question of getting private connection comes then the Board asks the house owners to pay for the pole and also bear the cost of taking the line nearest to the private house. There are villages like these at Sohrarim, Mawmihthied and other villages in which the house owners have to spend thousands of rupees in order private house connection. So I am wondering whether this should be the plans and estimates in the electrification Programme to benefit the people. How do we come to the conclusion that the people of these concerned villages get the benefit of this programme? We all know that the Board is considered to be the Revenue earning concern, yet I have found that the plans, and estimates are prepared in such a way that instead of serving the people of those areas better or helping them get private house connection easily and earn revenue but the electrification which was done a few years ago, is so bad. It is so sad to see that the administration of the Board is so weak and it appears that the Board has completely failed to administer properly. Sometimes I have found that the consumers have to pay bill after bill with the previous balance. The consumers never know when these previous balances will be cleared. The reason is that we are now in April, 1978 whereas the bills presented to the consumers were as far back as of August or September of last year. Again in certain localities of Cherrapunjee the street lighting was done only for quite some time whereas the agreement was such that the Committee or Committees will have to pay the rate per point per month.

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Swer will you please speed up ?

Shri S.P. Swer : Yes Sir. Suppose a bulb is fused then it is the duty of the Board to replace it. But it is very sad to see that whenever such thing occurs or if any bulb gets fused and if we approach the S.D.O. or Overseer-in-charge, they said there is no stock and they could not supply. It goes like this for months together while bills were made for all the number of lighting points. But no consideration for rebate is made or the fused bulbs or points. They used to charge the bill in full. That is the practice which is going on now. During the last two or three months we met the engineers concerned of the Board and we asked them for extension of more poles and we were assured that extension is not difficult to be given and this depends on this number of units or points that the consumer would like to take for that particular area and that it would be done in no time. That was the assurance given to us. But up to this date there is nothing done in that area. And Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is also found that the words and deeds are quite different because they are very quick to make promises but they will never live up to their promises. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to mention out instance.

Mr. Speaker :- And I hope that will be the last.

Shri S.P. Swer :- More points are there of course. I will take only tow minutes more.

Mr. Speaker :- That is alright.

Shri S.P. Swer :- One instance is that when we took up the matter for electrification of one village at Nongrim, we were told that it is a census village and so it is very difficult because it was not included in the plans and if it is to be electrified, it will take another three years. But if the village is brought under Cherrapunjee or if it is included under the Extension Programme, then only it can be electrified. It appears that it is easier to do the extension work than to take up new electrification work in that particular village. But in practice we found that the work for that particular village could be completed only last week but the extension work in the whole of Cherrapunjee area has not been started. That is why I said that the Board authorities made only beautiful promises and yet never lived up to their promises or far from fulfilling their promises. Lastly I would like to mention.

Mr. Speaker :- Your two minutes are over.

Shri S.P. Swer :- I want another two minutes (laughter). Lastly I would like to mention that during these days the experience of the consumers at Cherrapunjee is very very sad. When the consumers made any complaint to the S.D.O. or Overseer in-charge of the Cherra Subdivision, the reply given to them was that the consumers know the Ministers. 'they should go to them, and after that reply, about 10 days now there was black-out partially and low voltage. It became useless to the people and put them into great inconvenience because they have to use candles, lanterns and so on and so forth. Therefore Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to move the Government through you, Sir, to se that the administration in rural areas be toned up and let the consumers be not put into unnecessary trouble. Thank you Sir.

Shri Maham Singh :- May I speak a word.

Mr. Speaker :- Yes. You can.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say a word on this. I want to bring to the notice of the Minister, through you, that the Board in carrying out certain items of its work in the rural areas must take into confidence the headmen and other local authorities. They will be able to do their job in a more smooth manner if they take into confidence these local authorities. They are the people actually who look into the welfare of the village. Especially in clearing the lines for the new extension it is very essential that these local authorities should be consulted. it is only a few days ago when I received a complaint from the villagers near Dawki when the Board was laying a new line between Umsyiem and Umkrem. They had cut the line through a sacred grove. Also we often find that the employees of the Board in clearing the lines, entered the land of the people without informing the owners of the land. They cut the lines without giving notice to the local headmen or the local authorities. Now it is very essential for the employees of the Board to consult the local authorities first in order that they may not create any misunderstanding or offend the feelings of the villagers. It is tragic, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when we find them cutting the trees being in the sacred grove without the knowledge of the local authorities and of the villagers. Of course with regard to this particular case there was a representation to the Government but it will be much better if this could have been avoided by giving advanced notice to these local authorities. So I would like to bring to the notice of the Minister, through you, that in future we should try to avoid as far as practicable such unhappy incident. Therefore it is very essential that the Board should always take into confidence and consult the local headmen and local authorities in carrying out their duties in certain matters affecting the rights of the villages. Thank you, Sir.

Shri Mukul Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion moved by the hon. member, Shri S.P. Swer, The hon. member has already said in his motion that he is interested to see that this rural electrification programme is implemented successfully. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am also fo the same opinion that this scheme should be implemented very nicely and very effectively. Sometimes we consider that simply installing the machines and doing arrangements in connection with the rural electrification, the department concerned is very much free of the burden. We can treat that this programme have been implemented successfully provided the people of the areas are being benefited out of it. So any programme of any department is very much connected with the benefit of the people. In some places I have seen that some sort of taxes are being realised from the local people in the rural areas in connection with this electrification. I actually do not know whether there is any hard and fast rule that the taxes should be realised from the poor people of the villages in connection with electrification. If at all there is any provision like that, then I am of the opinion that these taxes be realised from the people by the B.D.Os. fo their respective Blocks. I say these things because I have experienced that the committees formed for realisation of taxes are headed by X, Y and Z. But I am sorry to say, there might be some difficulties for them sometimes after the realisation of the taxes that the amount is not being deposited to the Department concerned. A few days back I was talking to the S.D.O., Electricity Board Tura, and he told me that there is an outstanding due of 18,000 to 19,000 rupees for Electrification of Dalu. It may be pointed out that immediately before the last general election, there was an extension of electrification at Dalu proper. The people there became very much happy expecting that electrification is being extended in the area. They started congratulating and expressing gratefulness to the area. They started congratulating and expressing  gratefulness to then Government for extension of the same. But unfortunately, after the election till the date when I have left for Shillong from my constituency, I have seen that the people are not benefited out of this extended portion of electrification. Moreover, the people lost the benefit of electricity earlier but I do not know what are the reasons behind that now they have been deprived of the facility even what they were enjoying before. If it is a question of realising the tax to be deposited to the department concerned, then of-course, it is a different thing. But as I have already said if the people are not being benefited out of this programme, we cannot consider that this programme is a very successful one. Now, we have to see that the people are really benefited out of it and if we want to see that they are benefited, then some ways and means or some new processes should be taken into consideration so that we can help our people. That is why I am putting forward this proposal that some sort of co-ordination may be made between this Power Department and the Community Development Department in connection with realisation of taxes and the taxes may be realised through the B.D.O. so that he will be directly responsible as a Government officer to pay these taxes to another department of the Government. As we know, this electrification of rural areas very much concerns the Block Development and the B.D.Os. are very much responsible for the Blocks in order to get those developed. So what I want to say is that if at all we consider this electrification as a very important factor for development, I believe there would not be any problem or trouble or difficulty to entrust the B.D.Os. with this responsibility and also I believe that this present Government will definitely look into this important programme as early as possible so that the people can be benefited successfully out of it. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

        ( At that stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri S.D.D. Nichols-Roy Chairman occupied the Chair ).

Mr. Chairman :- Now, Mr. Tylli Kyndiah ?

* Shri Tylli Kyndiah :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I want to say something in connection with the programme for rural electrification. Mr. Chairman, Sir, in some villages, the main line of this electrification has been drawn for only 10 or 15 per cent out of the total area of the village. So the main problem is for a new house connection, the people have to apply for extension which takes a long time, about one or two years. I have seen that personally even after getting the sanction from the department, the time for implementing the extension programme also takes one or two years more. SO this policy of delaying things gives much trouble tot he people because some of them after having completed wiring of their house, yet have to wait for one or two years for getting the connection. This is one of the problem that I have seen in the rural areas in respect of electrification.

        Then another thing is about surveying the main line. Some of the surveyors or officers of the M.S.E.B. did not consult or negotiate with the headman of the villages concerned. In one village, I have experienced during the last few days that the workers of the M.S.E.B. destroyed one religious place in one village, that is Iongnoh village, because they have not consulted the headman of the village. When they first constructed one pole, they destroyed a religious place of the village and infuriated the people of that village because according to the old custom of the non-Christians, they have to spend some money for sacrifice, etc., according to their religion. So I do not know what this department will do now as this matter has been reported to them. For this, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to suggest that whenever any programme is to be taken up in any village for electrification, most of the portion of that village should be surveyed for making poles and laying the line in order to avoid this difficulty and to enable the people to get their residential connection earlier. But for surveying, I would suggest that on every line that passes through a neighbouring village, the headman or the leading person of that village should be consulted in order to avoid any confusion or trouble for the people. With these words, Sir, I support the motion.

Shri Manik Ch. Das :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to take part in this discussion on Rural Electrification Programme and here I would like to draw the attention of the Government to the rural electrification project at Mahendraganj. Sir, this project was completed several months ago and when I went to the department concerned to ask about the delay in work, they told me that due to non-availability of the generating sets and plot of land the department has not been able to give power in that area. Here I would like to inform the Minister-in-charge of Power that one 24 K.V. generating set has been lying at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills District for the last several months and no efforts have been made to take this generating set to Mahendraganj. Sir, regarding the plot of land, officers from Shillong have been going there trying to negotiate with the people of that area but so far they have not succeeded. Three persons have voluntarily come out to give the plot of land as required by the department and I am surprised why the Government is still reluctant to take the plot of land and construct the power house there. If the Government is incapable fo taking the plot of land, I can assure the Minister that we will leave no stone unturned to provide you with suitable plot of land so that this important project is not neglected any further.

        Secondly, I have seen that in the border areas electrification is mainly done in the market areas. The lines are not drawn to the villages. I would like to suggest to the Government that specially in the border areas, the power lines must be drawn up to the international boundary because this will also help to clock the sporadic cases of cattle lifting and thefts which are common along out international border. I hope that the Government will take strong action in this matter.

Mr. Chairman :- Capt. Das, how can you check these cases of cattle lifting by drawing the power lines up to the international boundary? 

Shri Manik Ch. Das :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, it has been found that thefts and cases of cattle lifting have been taking place during the darkness of the night. So, if the power lines are provided near the international border, miscreants from across the border will not dare to enter our areas, because of the lightings thus provided.

Mr. Chairman :- Who will pay for the light?

Shri Manik Ch. Das :- Sir, the Government will pay for the light and it is the responsibility of the Government to protect the people of the border areas.

Mr. Chairman :- Can you guarantee that the bulbs will not be taken a way by the miscreants?

Shri Manik Ch. Das :- Sir, they will be electrocuted.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, while associating myself in this motion I would like to bring out some facts for the information of the new Government regarding rural electrification. As we all know our electricity has been taken as far as the borders of the State. But surprisingly enough to say that the villages and the suburb of Shillong are still in complete darkness. To bring some facts on this, you know, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that Lawsohtun is a village where 3/4th of the village has been electrified and the rest of the village consisting of a new houses has been left without any electrification programme and if you go to the east of Shillong town, which is near the B.S.F. Headquarters that is village Mawpat, you will find the area all along the road up to B.S.F. colony is electrified but if you go just across the road, you will find that Mawpat village is completely in darkness and you will not be able to find the track in the back road of the village. Not only that. If you proceed from Mawpat to Nongkhlaw and the other places just across the road, you will find that the whole area is electrified and a few steps beyond that you will find that all those villages are not yet electrified. We have tried to sort out this problem when you were the then Minister-in-charge of Power. Mr. Chairman, Sir, another information which I would like to bring to the notice of the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge of Power of this Government is that at a village of Lawsohtun 3/4th of the village has been electrified; there is also a village Sohryngkham where the people of one locality have been denied electrification. Sir, I have brought these points to the notice of the new Government so that the new Minister may be able to over come these difficulties very shortly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Sir.

Mr. Chairman :- Now the Minister-in-charge of Power may reply.

* Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power, etc.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I of course thank the mover of the motion for bringing many new points for the consideration of the department concerned. As you all know that this Meghalaya State Electricity Board is an autonomous body and I hope that all points raised by the hon. Members would help expediting implementation of the schemes in future. Sir, in most of the speeches made by the hon. Members it was pointed out that no consultation was ever made when the survey was made or the power line drawn for any particular scheme. So far, the policy of the Power (Electricity) Department, is to see that before any survey is made or power line drawn, prior notices should be served on the local authorities or local headman and in case of Syiemships, to the concerned authorities. But, Sir, there may be lapses here and there and such lapses may create some difficulties. And in this connection I would like to assure the House that in future this sort of lapses will be taken note of and I hope nothing of the sort will occur in future and whenever any new scheme is to be implemented, all the formalities should be observed before such schemes are started. Few cases have been pointed out by the mover of the motion regarding non payment of compensation and he has also cited some instances in Bholaganj and other places. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to say that as a matter of fact, it has been the policy of the Department to pay compensation as immediately as possible as was done in most of the cases. At present, I think there should not be any more delay in payment of compensation because the rate of compensation has already been fixed by the Collectors concerned and payment is made by the S.D.Os. concerned. If there are instances where compensation has not been paid, I would request the hon. Member to bring to the notice of the Government and these will be looked into, and I hope, it will be done in no time. Regarding the danger in some places, as pointed out by the mover of the motion, where the lines collided and and produced sparks, this will be looked into and I hope that specific instances may be brought by the villagers concerned so that it will never occur again.

        Regarding the policy of extension, I would like to bring to the notices of this House that whenever a scheme has been drawn up for electrification of a particular village, specific amount has been earmarked for the purpose. When the construction stage has been completed and if extension is to be done, then extra payment has to be paid by the consumers concerned. The mover of the motion has also pointed out that in some cases the new applicants had to pay the additional cost either for some post or for the connection. It has been the duty of the department, being a business concerned, that during construction, they always invite as many consumers as possible to come in so that there will be no difficulty future. In case any consumer wants extension, it is the duty of that consumer to pay the additional amount. 

        The hon. mover has also mentioned about the black-out in Cherrapunjee during the last few days. I assure the hon. member that this will be looked into with serious attention if the allegation is found to be correct.

        Regarding the suggestion made by Mr. Mukul Das for handing over the responsibility of collection to the B.D.Os, the feasibility of the proposal will be looked into. According to the present policy, collection has been entrusted to the local committees. Instances have also been brought regarding destruction of some sacred groves and that representation has been submitted to the Government. This will also be looked into and due consideration will be given.

        Regarding the case of Mahendraganj, this has been replied to in the question raised by the same hon. member and I would like to inform the House that the generating set which is now lying in Williamnagar is under repair and as soon as it is ready, it will be taken back to Mahendraganj. As stated in the reply, we hope that very soon, electrification will be given in that area. Regarding the difficulty in getting the land as pointed out by him and as already replied to in the supplementary questions, I would like to inform that there is no such difficulty in getting the land and if such thing happens, Government will be pleased to take the help of the hon. member.

Mr. Chairman :- Mr. Hadem, are you aware of what the hon. member had stated that some land had already been offered by the people but refused by the Government. Do you know about it?

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- So far, Mr. Chairman, Sir, there is no such refusal and that is probably the assumption of the hon. member.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are instances where the land has been offered by the villagers, but the department was reluctant to take it.

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- If that be the case, the matter will be looked into and there will be no difficulty for installation of the generating set if land is already available.

Mr. Chairman :- Mr. Hadem, you have not said anything about Dalu electrification as stated earlier by the hon. member from Dalu that electrification had been taken away. Can you enlighten the House why electrification had been taken away?

Shri Mukul Das :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, actually electrification has not been taken away. But the electricity that was enjoyed earlier before the election while the extension up to that particular area has been made was no longer there after the election. There is no electrification now and Dalu is in darkness.

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am not aware of that. But if there is break-down anywhere, probably that also will be looked into as far as Dalu is concerned.

        Regarding the points raised by Shri Mylliemngap, these are old cases and as already been stated by him that it was a long pending case. So I hope within a few days' time we will be able to see what best can be done in dealing with the suburbs of Shillong. May I mention, Sir, that the Board was found it difficult when none of the villagers come forward as consumers, and in such cases the Board finds it difficult in supplying electricity to the villages. This has been noted down and will be taken into consideration and we will see, Mr. Chairman. Sir, that the valuable suggestions, if found feasible will be carried out. With these few words I hope that I have clarified the points raised by the hon. members.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is very unfortunate to hear from the Hon'ble Minister when he gave a statement that there are no consumers who come forward from the suburbs of Shillong. I will just inform  the House that about half a dozen houses at Lawsohtun have already done wiring and I do not know how the people will take up wiring works unless the submit applications and besides that there are about 20 to 30 applications from Mawpat. There are about 15 to 20 consumers from Mawlynrei. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to request the Hon'ble Minister, through you, to kindly examine the position correctly.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- I have specially come to know that there were no applications from the villagers. I just like to inform the House that in some cases they just put in applications without observing the informalities inherent in such applications. if that be the case, the matter will be examined. I would like to add that if it be a case of extension, as the policy stands at present, extra charges have to be made.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, it will be an extension in the case of Lawsohtun.

Shri H.Hadem (Minister, Power) :- If these are new cases, it is to be seen whether they have been included in the plan schemes. I think the hon. member will be satisfied and I hope Mr. Chairman, Sir, he will be very glad for having them included in then scheme and care will be taken to implement then at the shortest time possible.

Shr Mukul Das :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have seen in some areas that electrification is done in the main street. I beleave preference should be given to the villages of the rural areas. Rural areas definitely consist of the villages. There are important villages in my Constituency in proper Dalu and there are very important villages in my Constituencies where there is no electricity, but in the main street, I can assure the Hon'ble Minister of Power that these important villages are electrified, a good number of applications from the people will come for house connection. In my constituency there is no electricity at all now and the people are not enjoying the electricity now what they enjoyed earlier.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am not clear  from the reply about the new villages to be electrified. the Minister said it depends on the consumers provided they use connection. Otherwise a line could not be there. The difficulty experienced by the people in those villages was that the new electrification schemes are to taken up. Information was given to the villagers that the village will be electrified. The people are waiting and waiting that the line will come close to their houses for providing connection. From the reply of the Minister, it is understood that the people should  come forward with advanced applications ten the Board can come with the final estimates for providing private house connections at the very primary stage. So in this regard, I could not make out to understand properly.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Power) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have already stated that this Power department is a business concern and that point has to be kept in mind in connection with electrification either in the rural areas to be kept in mind in connection with electrification either in the rural areas or anywhere. Now let me state the position as it is at present. The pattern of rural electrification schemes taken up by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board of the State is entirely financed by Rural Electrification Corporation in the form of loan and the schemes falls into categories. viz. the Rural Electrification Corporation Schemes and the Minimum Needs Programme. The Meghalaya Electricity Board at the moment has 13 schemes sanctioned by the Rural Electrification Corporation area-wise which are at various stages of implementation. the pattern of schemes that falls under rural electrification depends on the proximity of the area to the existing transmission generation net-works and only the need to meet the requirement of that village but the need to meet the industrial loans and agricultural loans as well as the need electrify the model villages being set up under the regrouping schemes of the Soil Conservation Department in Garo Hills. In this connection the Government has constituted a State-level Co-ordination Committee consisting of the Secretary and the heads of Departments of the Development Departments to co-ordinate all matters relating to identification of R.E.C programme. Now regarding this point I think I have made it clear.

        But regarding slow progress of electrification, it depends upon various stages. By 21st January, 1975 under Assam State Electricity Board 8 villages were electrified by the composite State of Assam. Thereafter, by 31st March, 1975-76, 4 villages were electrified by the Meghalaya State Electricity Board and during the year 1975-76, 85 villages were the target out of which 76 villages were electrified and the reasons thereof for the shortfall was due to bifurcation of the composite Assam State Electricity Board and the failure of the Central store to supply necessary materials immediately. During 1976-77 the target was 99 villages out of 75 villages were electrified and the reasons for this shortfall wads due to the fact that the Central Organisation for procurement of stores materials could not fully supply those stores in time. During 1977-78, the target was 100 villages but only 60 villages are likely to be completed due to financials constraints and difficulties under the R.E.C. schemes. So, the Meghalaya State Electricity Board is facing material as well as financial constraints which were responsible for the slow progress of the rural electrification. About compensation for damages due to cutting of trees for transmission lines I have already mentioned and I hope this will satisfy the non. Mover.

Mr. Chairman :- One simple point which the hon. mover raised is that whether the Department of Power is to wait for the application from the villagers for electrification.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister for Power) :- Of course, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the villagers the intimated when such schemes are taken up and when actual plans are drawn up, applications comes later on.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, one particular point regarding toning up of the administration of Cherrapunjee Sub-divisions, the Minister-in-charge has not replied.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister for Power) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have already assured the hon. Member that this will be examined and looked into and whatever possible will be done.

Mr. Chairman :- Motion No.5. But the hon. mover has already informed the hon'ble Speaker that he would not move. So, motion No.6. to be moved by Shri S.P. Swer.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, all eyes from all directions are staring on me. I have exercised my mind since yesterday evening and this morning also and I have decided not to move. ( loud laughter).

Mr. Chairman :- Motion No.7. Shri Mozibar Rahman to move.

Shri Mozihar Rahman :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that this House do not discuss the problem arising out of deforestation in Garo Hills as a result of jhum cultivation.

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

(At this stage the Hon'ble Speaker took the Chair).

Shri Mozibar Rahman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in moving this motion my whole intention is to focus the attention on the importance of preservation of forest resources of our State which is linked up with the economy and well-being of the people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a great danger to the future of our State due to indiscriminate felling of trees and destroying the forests by means of jhumming and by burning of forests not only destroying the trees, big and small, but even the tiny plants are being destroyed in the process in other countries burning of forests is considered to be a crime and involves a capital punishment and persons responsible for burning the forests are punished severely. In our State, particularly in Garo Hills, where I have my personal knowledge the forests wealth that comes out will more than compensate our needs. We have very good climate and resources for the growth of all varieties of trees and shrubs if properly economic boot for our people. I would, therefore, humbly warn this Government that if nothing is done, our future generation will curse us. So I suggest to the Government to immediately form a committee consisting of experts and peoples, representatives to examine the jhumming and its effect and what can best be done by the Government to replace this traditional habit of cultivation and bring some good to the people of the State. In addition to that, Sir, I would like to suggest to this Government that some forests zones should be opened in which nobody without permission will be allow to destroy any plant and allow the forest zones to develop under the care certain definite authority. With these few words Sir, I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker :- Any other Member? Now I call upon the Minister-in-charge to reply.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in replying to the points raised by the hon. Mover of this motion in so far as jhumming is concerned, I would like to say that jhumming is an age old agricultural practice especially in Garo Hills and as a result the lands are being deforested, subsequently the streams and rivers following in Garo Hills, are getting silted up and stream flow has gone down. Lands are losing their fertility and yields in jhumming lands have gone done. Sir, for the information of the Mover, I would like to state that in the State of Meghalaya which has a total geographical area of about 22,500 sq. kilometers with an average population according to 1971 census of 44 per sq. kilometer, out of this total area, the total forest area in the State is about 8,513 sq. kilometers and these lands under forest are subjected to jhumming or shifting cultivation. About approximately 42 per cent of the State's tribal population are resorting or practising this jhum cultivation and roughly the total population comes to 3.5 lakhs. So the Government are aware of this problem and, therefore, they have been trying to wean away the tribal, cultivators from this practice. Mr. Speaker, Sir, since shifting cultivation is one of the chief contributing factors to cossal deforestation and also erosion of valuable top soil of the State and at the same time having a large number of villages, Government are trying to have a special scheme, and this special scheme is called a jhum Control Scheme cultivation land and subsidy in construction of dwelling houses for those jhumming families who have to be settled in a unit with a minimum of 50 families per unit.

        The hon. members of the House would like to know that there is a Package Programme which consists of the following at the Government cost :-

        Provision of 2 hectares of permanent cultivation land per family at one centre;

        Provision of irrigation to develop lands wherever irrigation sources exist as far as practicable;

        Provision of free distribution of essentials such as manure, fertilizer and seeds including the cost of cultivation in the first year of settlement; in the second year the supply of inputs is reduced and also subsidy at Rs.2,000 per family for house construction where the families have to be shifted from the former site to the site where the land is developed in the re-grouped village; and also the construction of a link road from the nearest P.W.D. road to the other existing road or motorable road; and also the provision of a simple drinking water system either by a well dug or from the flow from nearby streams.

        So these are the programmes conducted by the Government to wean away the tribal cultivators from this practice so that our forests are not duraded. So I hope we have satisfied the hon. member who has moved this motion and I have given adequate information in so far as this problem which exists in the Garo Hills is concerned. 

        Another point Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Mover had said that burning of forests in other countries, be it in the States or in Great Britain, is treated as a crime. But here burning of forests during jhum cultivation cannot be treated purely as a crime till, of course, arrangements are made and accepted by the people as alternative methods of cultivation. There is a proposal from the mover to form a committee of experts to go into these various problems. Well I can assure the hon. Mover that we are ready to examine this from the Government side.                

Mr. Speaker :- The proposal?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- The proposal.

Shri Mozibar Rahman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I offer my thanks to the Minister-in-charge for the information on the programme which has already been taken into consideration. I think that it will be implemented gradually and so far as the question of crime in other countries for deforestation or burning of plants is concerned, of course, I also do not want to be treated as a crime.

Mr. Speaker :- Thank you, Mr. Rahman.

        So, the discussion on Motion No. 7 is closed. May I now ask Mr. S.P. Swer to move Motion No.8?

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the need to have Border Area Development Committee Border Area development schemes.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion Moved. You can initiate the discussion.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the border areas, the people and their problems have been discussed right from the Autonomous State Assembly and the first full-fledged State Assembly of our State and again in this August House. The problems posed to the border people after the partition of the country and we know that various schemes have been tried in the border areas by various Departments and, as a result of the discussions in the previous Assemblies, the Border Area Development Department came out. We thought that this Department will be an independent Department and also an important Department to help solve the problems that the people are facing in the border areas. It is so in respect of certain schemes which the Department is trying to implement in the border areas. But in certain schemes which I have observed for a few years I find that the people in the border areas are not fully aware or involved in those schemes. By way of an example, I would like to inform the Government that in the implementation of, say, piggery schemes or poultry schemes, we find that the applicants are those people who are always carrying on their poultry keeping in Government offices  (Laughter). The result is that certain villages have the chance to apply for such grants under the schemes and in some cases that I have seen in villages like Mawlong and Wahlong, the husband, the wife and sons and daughters also are the beneficiaries from this scheme. In most of the villages in the border areas the people do not get the information at all that there are such schemes. Therefore, I would like to have all the border people involved in the border area schemes of the Border Area Development Department and so a Block Committee is necessary to have at every Border Block and I may suggest to the Government that the same Block Development Committee in the border can also function as Border Area Development Committee and so by having such Committees it will help the people to avail of the benefits offered by the Border Area Development Department.

Mr. Speaker :- Now the Minister-in-charge to reply.

*Shri Johndeng Pohrmen (Minister, Border Areas Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful to the hon. Member who has brought forward this Motion right from the outset. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the House that the Government is very much seized of the problems of the border areas. In fact, we are actively considering the various ways and means with a view to improve matters and with a view to see that the schemes already taken up are implemented properly. In fact, this Department with your permission, I may state was in a sense contemplated as rightly pointed out by the Mover, just after receiving Meghalaya State right from 1970. Various discussions in various Committees, Planning Boards, etc., have taken place on this particular Department for the development of the border people because every leader felt that the border people deserve to be taken care of properly. In fact, special attention is being given to the problems of the border people. It is unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that in the past as per the information given by the hon. Member, certain schemes were not known to the people in the border areas. I would cite examples like piggery and poultry. Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it might be true partially, but I can inform the House that in my own District at Jaintia Hills our border people were very much involved in all the schemes taken up including piggery and poultry. Regarding this proposal of having Border Development Committee at the Block level, it is really a proposal that deserves to be examined. Mr. Speaker, Sir, off hand, I feel that we from the Government side, perhaps require further examination. In short, what we require in this connection, is the proper implementation of the schemes and the proper functioning of various Committees constituted by the Government. It is not that when we can do better than before. Sometimes, when we have too many Committees, too many agencies there can be certain loopholes with the result that in many cases we found that the goods were not delivered to the deserving people in the border areas. I would like to inform the House that as things stand today, funds from the Border Area Development Department are not allotted to the Block Development Officers and therefore, if this particular agency or committee at the Block level, is set up, I am afraid that because of certain lacuna, certain missing link, the schemes contemplated and formulated may not be implemented properly as no one will be answerable because at the Block level we do not have any cell of Border Area Development Department. In fact, funds from the Border Area Development Department are allotted to the various Development Departments like Agriculture, Soil Conservation, Education, Industries, etc., etc. Therefore, if these schemes, are to be properly implemented for the real benefit of the border people, they must be channelised through those concerned heads of District Offices so that there will be proper supervision and proper follow-up. In any case, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can assure the House that we from the Government side, shall consider as to how much this particular proposal is desirable and how much it will be more effective because we went, as far as I can understand from the hon. Member who has moved this Motion, that he would like to improve things, he would like that the schemes in the rural areas are effectively implemented in the larger interest of the people in the border areas which we are trying to do. Sir, I myself too come from the rural area and therefore, I can assure the House that as many of my hon. friends have come from the rural areas, we have to put our heads together to see that we really ameliorate the suffering of our border people. And with this new Government we can really start with a clean slate to achieve the cherished goal of improving the lot of our border people. Thank you.

Mr. Speaker :- So the discussion on Motion No.8 is closed. Now Mr. S.P. Swer to move Motion No.9.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the manner in which relief was granted to the affected families due to natural calamities during the year 1977-78 in the State.

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

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was tempted to bring this Motion before the House.

Mr. Speaker :- Were all the four motions tempted or only this one?

Shri S.P. Swer :- Including this one. Sir, the year 1977-78 was a year in which there were many many natural calamities visiting the State. In fact the most affected areas are those in the border and in Ri Bhoi area. Now I have seen how relief was granted and how these affected families were identified. I feel that the Government at that time did not take serious note fo the cases. We have a number of cases affected by natural calamities in Sohra and Shella region. Hundreds of applications from those families who were very badly affected due to erosion or landslide and also due to damage of crops by wind, heavy rain and hailstorm have been submitted but not a single case was identified or either received the attention of the Government or relief given to those affected families. So Sir, I find that in place where there are not much calamities as compared to other places, they were given help in terms of lakhs and lakhs of rupees. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I deplore the manner in which there cases were identified and the improper method of granting relief to these families by the Government at that time. Another thing which I would like to raise is the kind of relief granted to the affected families. I do not know in other cases but I have seen in cases where relief was granted to the affected families in my area. It was given in the form of works to be performed by these affected persons and relief grant was given for taking up certain schemes like construction of road or foot-path. In this way when the persons affected cannot do any hard manual labour then these affected persons are implementing the relief schemes for the affected families. I would like to urge upon the present Government to devise ways and means as to how relief grants be given to the actual affected persons and families and not to those who are not actually affected.

* Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to participate in this motion. Sir, the fact of the matter is that last year, the Government has considered to grant relief in the form of test relief to so many areas, of course with a view to ameliorate the difficulties of those people who suffered out of natural calamities. But then the mover of the motion has stated that those areas which have been affected by natural calamities have not been receiving the attention of the Government whereas certain areas which have not been afflicted by the calamities were given relief. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would refer to the much debted hailstorm last year which took place in the Bhoi area as well as in certain areas in West Khasi Hills District, that is, Kynshi Valley, Lawbyrtun, Mawkyrwat and also certain areas in Saitsnad, Lyngkhoi, and Nongspung. But these areas did not receive the attention of the Government and no relief was granted to them. Whereas large amount was granted to some other areas within Mawkyrwat Block itself. But implementation of these test relief schemes was horrible because they did not pay money uptil now. I was told by the previous B.D.O. of the Mawkyrwat Block that the Government did not allow cash payment to be paid it has to be paid in kind. It should be paid in kind. We came to know that the Government has allowed to pay in cash but that also this never took place. There were more than 10 schemes in Mawkyrwat which did not receive the amount promised by the Government. Of course the matter was pending right from those days after the parliamentary Election till now and that the amount was not paid. I have seen these things in the local papers. We have not lodged a formal complaint to the Government but I have brought it to the notice of the Minister-in-charge of Revenue and I hope that he will make certain enquiries into these things. Otherwise if no action is taken those people who used to indulge in such bad practices will escape scot-free.

Mr. Speaker :- Who are those people?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Whoever they may be, whether the Government officers or employees appointed by the Government.

Shri Tylli Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to join in the discussion of the motion with particular reference to the manner in which relief was granted to the affected families as a result of natural calamities. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to point out especially in our district of Jaintia Hills that every year natural calamities occurred through the hailstorms and floods and in some other ways also. When these natural calamities took place our cultivators wrote to the B.D.O. or to the D.C. praying for grant-in-aid. And the B.D.O. and officers rushed to the field to see the affected areas and make assessment of the extent of damage caused. Our poor farmers have been waiting for the result of getting the grant but the reply ever year was that no sanction was made from the Government. Then the B.D.O. could not pay the money to them. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to state that these natural calamities, especially in Jaintia Hills occur every year. So in order to meet the challenge fo natural calamities and to help our poor farmers get the relief in time, I would request that funds be provided, if at all the Government is willing to help these poor people. During the recent past, from my experience, I have seen that no fund provided especially for Jaintia Hills for natural calamities. So it is only a wastage of time to rush, to the officer of the D.C. and to wait for the money. it is only a harassment to our poor cultivators because they cannot get any help from the Government. I would suggest to this new Government that provision should be made for these natural calamities for Jaintia Hills.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will also associate myself with this motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Two minutes.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Not even two minutes. Mr. Speaker, Sir,. Natural calamities in our hill areas rather in a hill state like ours differ from the natural calamities in other States. In most of the States in our country, normally we do have flood calamity where as in our State though we have flood have but that too not in a big scale as it used to be in other States.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- We have natural calamity in the Bhoi are like Bhoilymbong etc.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- I am mentioning about flood. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the fund that we are making for payment to the calamity-affected people is too meagre if we compare with the relief given to other people in other States for different types of natural calamities. At present, we are paying about 100 rupees as immediate relief to the affected people. But at the present day, what can be done with this amount of money. Naturally, this amount of hundred rupees is too meagre to render relief or to pay as relief to the affected people because, for getting hundred rupees they have to come and t, and they have to attend many times the different offices. Therefore it would request the Government revise the rate of relief to the affected people who have been affected by different types of natural calamities in our State. it has been reported that many cases of different types of natural calamities occurred during the past years. But it is unfortunate to mention Mr. Speaker, Sir, that most of those applications for relief were not given the consideration they deserved. Therefore, I plead before this House to examine all the pending cases so that relief can really reach the needy people.  

Mr. Speaker :- Before I ask the Minister-in-charge to reply, may I inform the hon. Members that the House is supposed to be prorogued at 1.30 p.m. today. Is it the sense of the House that the sitting continues till all the business listed for the day is disposed of? 

( Voices :- Yes, yes, ).

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not propose to take more time as it would overburden on my friends. But I must state that the Government has been following the standard executive instructions which were issued in 1959 by the then Government of Assam, for different types of natural calamities. There are different types of natural calamities : fire, epidemics, earthquakes, major fires and the like. It has been impressed upon this Government, with the advice of the House, that we should add more criteria to the list of natural calamities. As for the quantum of aid to be given immediately, we will examine it. It is a matter of finance and one cannot drain our already over drained resources. The point under consideration now is whether we may increase the quantum of aid or assistance. In the past few years, a number of natural calamities beginning with a hailstorm on March April, 1977, heavy landslide in Tyrna area in the East Khasi Hills District, hailstorm in October, 1977 in some parts of the East Khasi Hills district, hailstorm in Jaintia Hills. There was also a serious fire incident at Williamnagar in the East Garo Hills district during February, 1978, and a fire incident at Phulbari bazar in the West Garo Hills district. During March, 1978, there are four major fire incidents in the villages of Umtyrwa in Khliehriat Block and Demthring under the Thadlaskein Block. From January to March 1978, on the 21st, as we heard today in a Calling Attention Motion moved by the hon. Member from Jirang that a model village of Killing was burnt down. We have also heard from the hon. Member from Langrin fo the hailstorm which destroyed all the standing crops in the villages of Umpung and Pyndemsohsaw. In all these cases, we have asked the authorities concerned to submit an immediate report on the sums of money paid out during the year. The budget had provided only Rs.4,00,000 which comes under natural calamities and which falls short of our requirements. So naturally, we have taken a big and sudden move to present a Supplementary Demand in the current Session, and which the House has granted, to the tune of Rs.18,00,000 and with this we are meeting our requirement for test reliefs and other requisites for the people. There is a break up of all this, if you want it on test relief works for the East and West Khasi Hills, east and West Garo Hills, the Ri bhoi Sub-Division, Nongpoh Rs.9,00,000 is to be spent on test relief works. Supply of seeds and cash doles amount to Rs.2,42,639. So Sir, the Government has not been wanting in coming to the assistance of those who are in difficulty. I can say that this Government will be faster in giving immediate aid and in helping the unfortunate victims of natural calamities.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- I want only one clarification from the Minister. It is reported that a cyclone has occurred in Mawryngkneng area in 1977 and whether that has come to the notice of the Minister?

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Revenue) :- No, it has not come to my notice and if it comes, I will certainly look into the matter.

Mr. Speaker :- So, now before we come to Item No.4, let me announce the names of the hon. Members nominated by me to constitute the different of this legislature.


CONSTITUTION OF LEGISLATURE COMMITTEES

        Under rule 246, I nominate the following hon. members to constitute the Committee on Privilege -

1.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh

2.

Shri S.P. Swer

3.

Shri Bakstarwell Wanniang

4.

Shri Mukul Das

5.

Smti Miriam D. Shira

        Shri B.B. Lyngdoh will be the Chairman of the Committee.

        Under Rule 251 nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the committee on Subordinate Legislation -

1.

Shri Maham SIngh

2.

Shri D.N. Joshi

3.

Shri Reidson Momin

4.

Shri Meckenson K. Sangma

5.

Shri Manik Ch. Das

        Under Rule 257 I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Committee on Government Assurances 

1.

Shri Akramozzaman

2.

Shri Armison Marak

3.

Shri Upstar Kharbuli 

4.

Shri Tubarlin Lyngdoh

5.

Shri D. Roblin Nongkynrih

        Shri Upstar Kharbuli will be the Chairman of the Committee.

        Under Rule 312 (1) I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the House Committee -

1.

 Shri Singjan Sangma

2.

Shri Pleander G. Momin

3.

Shri Medras Mylliem

4.

Shri Crunden S. Marak

5.

Shri Jungai Khongjoh

        Shri Singjan Sangma will be the Chairman of the Committee.

        Under Rule 313, I appoint the following hon. Members to constitute the Library Committee -

1.

Shri Lambourne Kharlukhi

2.

Shri B.K. Roy

3.

Shri Pritington Sangma 

4.

Shri Mozibar Rahman

5.

Shri D. Albinstone M. Sangma

        Shri Lambourne Kharlukhi will be the Chairman of the Committee.

        Under Rule 259 I nominate the following hon. Members to constitute the Rules Committee -

1.

Shri W.A. Sangma

2.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh

3.

Shri Maham Singh 

4.

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury

        The Committee will function under my Chairmanship.

        Now I would like to inform the House that I have received 2 letters from Shri U. Kharbuli, Secretary, Meghalaya United Legislature Front (MULF) dated March 21 and 27, 1978, intimating me that 21 members belong to the Congress party and other groups and decided to form a parliamentary party by the name of Meghalaya United Legislature Front to function both inside and outside the House. On closer scrutiny of the list of Members of the group it is revealed that 20 out of the 21signatories were returned on Congress tickets in the last General elections, I may just inform the House for the benefit of the Members of the Opposition that I am not in a position to decide this case just now but very soon I shall give my announcement on this matter. So, may I ask the Chief Minister to initiate the obituary reference.


OBITUARY REFERENCE

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Shri Parasvanath Choudhury, a former member of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, passed away on the 30th March, 1978 at Vellore, at the age of 66. 

        Born on September 30, 1912, Shri Parasvanath Choudhury was a member of the Indian National Congress. He felt college in 1936 and participated in the freedom struggle movement. he was a member, Executive Committee, Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee, and Secretary, Meghalaya Congress Legislature Party during the previous term having been elected to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly in 1972.

        Shri Choudhury was also the President of the Shillong District Cricket Association and the Shillong District Volleyball Association. As a journalist, he edited the "Shillong Times" the English Weekly, and was associated with the co-operative movement.

        In his death, this State in particular and the country as a whole had lost a patriot. 

Shri Bashir Ahmed :- Shri Bashir Ahmed,  Janata Party member of the Lok Sabha, passed away at the end March, of 1978.

        Born on June 15, 1926 in Varanasi, Shir Bashir Ahmad was educated at Allahabad University, and obtained First Class First in Law. He became an Advocate in the High Court and also in the Supreme Court. He was previously associated with the Congress Party and the Bharitya Lok Dal. He was Manager, Arabic Madrassa Alia, Allahabad, Member, Executive Committee and Secretary, Vigilance, An India Muslim Personal Law Board : Executive Committee, Hamidia Girls' Degree College, Allahabad: General Secretary, Indo-Arab Society: President All India Minorities Civil Rights Association and Member, Dargah Committee, Ajmer. In his death, the country lost an eminent and able parliamentarian and a social worker.

        Shri H.R. Gokhale, former union Law Minister, passed away on the 15th February, 1978 at the age of 63. Born on October 5, 1915, at Baroda, Shri Gokhale was educated at Baroda College, Baroda and law College at Bombay, and became an Advocate. He previously associate with Baroda Praja Mandal, P.S.P. : and was arrested and imprisoned for taking part in the Quit India movement : took a leading role in Trade Union activities:  member and later Vice-President of Baroda Municipality : he became Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay from July 1962 to July 1962: appointed Minister of Law and Justice, Government of India in March, 1971. In his death, the country had lost an eminent jurist and parliamentarian.

        Shri Anahkavoor Doraiswamy Mani, former member of the Rajya Sabha and a former Chief Editor of the "Hitavada" passed away on the 25th December, 1977 at the age of 67.

        Born on April 8, 1910, Shri A,D. Mani obtained the M.A degree from Madras. He joined the Servant of India Society in the early thirties and continued his association with it till the end. He took over the editorship of the 'Hitavada, Nagpur, in 1936 and remained in the post for 35 years. Shri A.D. Mani, was elected twice as President of the All India Newspaper Editor's Conference. He was a member of the India Delegation to the United Nations twice in 1952 and 1955. Shri Mani was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh for two consecutive terms and made a mark as an able Parliamentarian and a very good and forceful Speaker. In his death the country as a whole had lost an able Parliamentarian.

        Shri Shriman Narayan, a former Governor of Gujarat and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, passed away on the 3rd  January, 1972 at the age of 66. Born on June 15, 1912 at Etawah, U.P, Shri Narayan took his M.A degree in English and later in Economic from Allahabad University. Shri Narayan was detained for 18 months during the Quit India Movement. He served as Principal, Saksaria College, Wardka from 1910 to 1951 and from 1951 to 1955 as Dean of the faculty of Commerce, Nagpur University. He went on a world tour in 1949 to propagate Gandhian thought and the Sarvodaya philosophy of life. From 1952 to 1953, he was General Secretary of the Indian National Congress. Shri Narayan was elected to the Parliament in 1952. In 1954-55 he was appointed Chairman of the Planning Commission's prohibition Inquiry Committee and in 1956, presided at the All India Education Conference. He became member of the Planning Commission in 1958. Shri Narayan was Ambassador to Nepal from 1964 to 1967 when he was appointed Governor of Gujarat. He retired in 1973. In his death, the country has lost an unassuming and dedicated worker and a true patriot who spent his whole life in the service of the nation.

        Shri Sankara G. Kurup, Kerala's poet laureate and a former member of the Rajya Sabha passed away on the 2nd February, 1978 at the age of 76.

        Born on June 3, 1901 Shri Sankara Kurup passed the Vidwan amination of Madras University, He served as a Secondary School teacher in Malayalam and retired as a Professor of Malayalam of Maharaja's College, Ernakulam. In 1963, he was nominated a member of Rajya Sabha and in the same year, he was awarded 'Padma Bhusan'.

        Shri Sankara Kurup was also a recipient of the prestigious Janapath Literary Award 1965 and Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1967.

        In his death, the country has become poorer in the field of literary works.

        Smti. Lilavati Munshi, a former member of the Rajya Sabha and a dedicated social worker passed away on the 6th January, 1978 at the age of 79. Born in 1899, Smti. Lilvati Munshi spent some time at a Sanskrit Pathsala (Grammar School) An accomplished singer, she helped to establish the Bharatiya Sanggeet Sikshapeeth (Academy of Indian Classical music) and was its President since its inception. She was also President of the Bharatiya Kala Kendra (Academy of Indian Fine Arts) ever since it was set up.

        Smti. Lilavati Mushi was on Bombay University's Board of Gujarati studies from 1939 to 1944. From 1937 to 1945, she was also a member of the University Senate. A member of the Maharashtra P.C.C. in 1933-34 and of the A.I.C.C. 1931-34. She was imprisoned on several occasion during the freedom movement. From 1935 to 1946 she was a member of the Bombay Municipal Corporation and from 1936 to 1946, a member of Bombay Assembly, and from 1952 to 1958 of the Rajya Sabha. Smti L. Munshi was also an Honorary Presidency Magistrate in Bombay in 1949 to 1953: President of the Bombay Branch of the Harijan Sevak Sangh in 1943-52: Bombay Agri-Horticultural Society 1943-53, All India Women's Conference, Bombay Brach 1947-48, Bombay Presidency Women's Council 1950-51 and Ex-Service Women's Welfare Committee 1950-53. She was Vice President, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan since its inception and later its President; Vice President National Council of Women in India 1953-58.

        Shri M.A. Iyyangar, a former Governor of Bihar and a former Lok Sabha Speaker, passed away on the 19th March, 1978 at the age of 87.

        Shri Iyyangar served with distinction for 7 years as the second Speaker of the Lok Sabha in Independent India before his appointment as Governor of Bihar in 1967.  He began his career as a legislator with his election to the Central legislative Assembly in 1934 and had remained its member and later of the Indian Parliament without interruption for 28 years. He was also a member of the Constituent Assembly.

        Starting his career as a teacher in mathematics in 1912, Shri Iyyangar entered the legal profession but suspended practice in 1921 during the non-cooperation movement. He courted arrest in 1940 and suffered imprisonment. He led the Indian Parliamentary Delegation to China in 1956. He made a distinct contribution as a Presiding Officer of the House and it was during his time that the first Commonwealth parliamentary Conference was held in India in 1967.

        In his death, the country had lost a great patriot and a parliamentarian.

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to associate my self with the Leader of the House in the sentiment expressed by him in paying homage to the great leaders who have passed away. Bashir Ahmad, H.R. Gokhale, A.D Mani, Shriman Narayan, Sonkara G. Kurup, Lilavati Munshi and Ananthasayanam Iyyangar Mr. Speaker, Sir, I consider their passing away, has been great loss to the country. Particularly on this occasion Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to say that for our State, we have lost one of the freedom fighters and an able social worker- Mr. Parsvanath Choudhury. He was so noble minded but yet so humble and for me especially, I have lost great friend in whom I had the highest regard and confidence. Whether in the political field or in other social activities, we had been working together very closely. In almost every matter, I always consulted him. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, he was a man who was never tired of doing something which would ameliorate the different condition of the people. His real friends were the workers: labourers 'downtrodden and people in distress. It was on account of this spirit of dedication which he had that he was able to form so many unions and could serve also as an able and active member of institutions which were started for the benefit of the people of this State of ours. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, he was also a freedom fighter. but in this regard also, he never took any relief whatsoever which he was entitled to and was taken by many freedom fighters. Mr. Speaker, Sir, he a selfless worker and ungrudgingly, he would take up voluntary service. He was never tired of doing something which he felt would improve the condition of the poorer section of the people. He would work also for all sections of the people without any discrimination whatsoever. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not not only in the town alone, but we find that he was loved by many even in the interior places. He extended his social service to the rural population also. He organised and was able to start a school at Nongthliew. he was able to organise a committee of the villagers of Nongumlong and opened a school. In this respect Mr. Speaker, Sir, he worked for the development of the people with out any discrimination. If there was something he he could do to the poor people in distress, that was his great pleasure. It was long ago sometime in 1958 when there was such reckless and indiscriminant firing from across the border of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh that the people from Dawki had to fly away for their lives from the Bazar without any food and clothing and many of them came to my house immediately to narrate the occurrence. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I remember at that time I appealed and called all parties for rendering help to those  people P.N. Choudhury came along with Benoy Lahari. they organised volunteers to collect whatever is available, rice, vegetables medicines and other commodities and at might we proceeded to Dawki. Mr. Speaker, he was so active that he was able to find time, to take an active part in other social and cultural organisation. he participated in many social activities and in many trade unions. He was also in the Municipality, started and association of the employees and served as General Secretary for many years. We find him also organising many club, for the encourage of sport and was also connected with many educational Institutions. Mr. Speaker, Sir, his passing away is a great loss to this State. With these few words Mr. Speaker, Sir, I join with the leader of the House to pay my homage to those people who passed away. Their passing away has been a great loss to the country as a whole.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister Industries, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I join with the Leather of the House and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in paying homage to the departed souls and in whose passing away it is difficult to fill the void so created. In particular I stand to pay my respect, to Parswanath Choudhuri who is lovingly called Parso Babu, whom I have know about three decades. Although we were politically on different platform; yet I have been always persuaded by his personality which is amiable and a person of multisided disciplines and inclinations. I have know him as a Municipal Commissioner and Union leader. I was very impressed by his tact and diplomatic handling of the labour troubles that we at that time. Again I had close contact with him as a person who was a great lover of sports and it was primarily due to Parso Babu that to day volley ball has become a popular game in our district. More than that, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I find in Parso Babu a certain quality which is difficult to explain. But I can say without hesitation that it is he quality of love, the quality of sharing in human suffering. On many occasions I remember he had conducted me as the Chairman of the Red Cross to help the people who are in hardship and never once in his life would he turn away a person in need. He was indeed one of the most distinguished citizen of Shillong that I can say without any hesitation. In fact, even in his attitude to life particularly during the turbulent period when we struggled for the Hill State, I remember when we talked about tribal and non-Tribal relation that he said that "I am a Bengali speaking Khasi" I am very touched when I remember it today. The other day when I got the news about his passing away I was really shocked because I knew that his service are very much needed today; particularly a person of vision like him. I stand today to pay my respect to this man whom I consider great and also who has rendered so much, not only to the Shillong city but to the whose State. May his soul rest in peace. 

* Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also like to associate myself with the Leather of the House and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in paying homage to the departed soul, who had rendered valuable service tot he country and his people. Today I feel that it is very difficult particularly in our State by passing away of Parvanath Choudhuri whom the Hon'ble Minister, Industries called him Parso Babu, out of love. Sir, as a freedom fighter, he joined the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 under the leadership of late Mahatma Gandhi and ever since he joined this Movement, he remained a loyal Congressman throughout till his death. He was a social worker and in Shillong he took active part in forming Trade Union Movements in our State. He formed as many as Trade Unions in our State, including the Municipal Worker Union, the Pinewood Hotel Union, the Harijans' Union and several other Unions. He was a lover of education and having known that our State is very backward in education he took up the cause of spending education both in urban and rural areas. As a founder President of Rilbong High School he was always attached to that Institution. Besides he was a President of many Khasi High Schools of Shillong. He was connected with different parts of the rural areas which the Deputy Leader of the opposition has rightly said. He was connected with different other social organisations. He was a patron of Manju Smriti Majlis the aim of which was to develop the faculties of the young stars to grow in the sphere of music, dancing and education. He was a lover of sports. He was the founder of Rilbong Club and he was also the founder President of district Volley-ball Sports Association and it wad due to his efforts in our district volley-ball has become very popular. Born as a Bengalee, as rightly claimed by himself that he was a Khasi Bengalee. He had no bias towards any community. He was a social worker and a helper of the poor and down-trodden people irrespective of their caste and creed or community. Sir, I had the occasion to be very close to him personally, politically and socially and I have found in him a very lofty personality, amiable and gentle and always ready to help the needy and down-trodden people. As a legislator in this august House his performance was very commendable and he was a successful parliamentarian and a good legislator. He went to Vellore as a M.L.A. of the State but never to return. So in him we miss not only a good legislator but a very good friend of the people of the State and Sir, through you, I pay my respectful homage to the great departed soul that passed way.

Shri Mozibar Rehman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to associate myself with the Leader of the House in paying homage to the departed souls. Let their souls rest in peace. I heard the name of late Parwanath Choudhury but I was little acquainted with him. But hearing from the hon. members and especially from Shri P.R. Kyndiah that he was a Bengalee speaking Khasi, I think he has left a lesson to the Bengalee speaking Khasi, I think he has left a lesson to the Bengalee speaking people of Shillong. I think it is solution to our inter community movement towards progress. I do not like to speak more. I simply wish that their souls rest in peace and let our people follow their example in their own course of life. Thank you Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- I would also like to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by the Leader of the House and other hon. Members on the passing away of the 8 outstanding Indian personalities namely Shri Parswanath Choudhury, former Member of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri Bashir Ahmed, a sitting Member of Lok Sabha, Shri H.R. Gokhale, former Union Law minister, Shri A.D. Mani, former Member of the Rajya Sabha and Chief Editor of the "Hitavada" Shri Shriman Narayan, Ex-Government of Gujarat and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, Shri Sankara G. Kurup, Kerala's poet - laureate and a former Member of the Rajya and dedicated social worker and Shri M. Ananthasayanam Iyyangar, former Speaker of Lok Sabha and Ex-Governor of Bihar.

        Indeed, the contributions made by each of these great personalities in their respective field are unique and the country today is certainly poorer by their death.

        Further, with the passing away of Shri Parswanath Choudhury,  former Member of this Assembly, we have lost a great friend of ours who was always dedicated to uphold the dignity and prestige of this Legislature.

        We are all grateful and highly indebted for what they had done in the service of the country and today we bow down our heads in deep obeisance to those great souls and pay homage to their memories. 

        May God grant strength and fortitude to members of the bereaved families to bear the loss.

        Now I request the hon. Members to be on their feet and observe two minutes' silence as a mark of respect to the deceased.

(The House observed two minutes' silence)


PROROGATION

        Now, we come to a close. Let me read the prorogation order from the Governor of Meghalaya.

RAJ BHAVAN

SHILLONG

April 4th, 1978.

ORDER

        In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) (a) of Article 174 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya , hereby prorogue the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly at the conclusion of its sitting on the 4th April, 1978.

Lallan Prasad Singh,

Governor of Meghalaya.

 

D.S. Khongdup,
Dated Shillong. Secretary,
The 4th April, 1978. Meghalaya Legislative Assembly

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