Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday 4th July, in the Assembly Chamber Shillong with the Hon. Speaker in the Chair.

PRESENT :

Mr. Speaker :- Let us take up the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Question No. 77. The number has been corrected as 77 instead of 76 due to printing mistake.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(Replies to which were placed on the Table)

Cash Counter in East Khasi Hills District Transport Office

Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh asked :

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

        (a) Whether Government is aware that the present Cash Counter in East Khasi Hills District Office cannot function smoothly with the increasing day to day receipt?

        (b) If so, whether the Government propose to open a second counter in the same office for the interest of the general public?

Shri B. W. Momin (Minister in charge of Transport)  replied :

77. (a)-Yes.

      (b)-The proposal is under active consideration of Government.

Shri Manik Das :- 77 (a). Since when the Government is aware of this?

Shri B. W. Momin (Minister Transport) :- The Government is aware since 1969-70.

Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh :- How long will it take?

Shri B. W. Momin (Minister Transport) :-With regard to (b), the Government is aware that the office of the District transport Officer is under staffed and the additional post is going to be created but it is under process and we will take up with the Finance Department.

Shri S.P. Swer :- 77 (a). May we know from the Minister the daily amount of receipts or the number of receipts per day?

Shri B. W. Momin (Minister Transport) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I require notice.

Supply of Cement

Shri Manik Das  asked :

78. Will the Minister in charge of Supply be pleased to state-

(a)

Whether the Government is aware of the fact that there is acute scarcity of cement in the market?

(b)

If so, what are the reasons thereof?

(c)

What is the total monthly allotment of cement district-wise?

(d)

How distribution has been carried out during the last four months?

(e)

What is the total percentage of the allotment earmarked for the use of the general public?

(f)

What are the criteria for distribution to the public?

(g)

Whether Government is aware of the fact that correct weight is not being maintained in the cement bags at the factory itself?

(h)

If so, what remedial measures Government propose to take in this matter?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister in charge of Food and Civil Supplies) replied :

78. (a)-Yes.

       (b) - The reasons of scarcity is due to frequent break-down in the Cement Factory for which despatches of cement from the factory remained suspended from time to time during May and June, 1978 as reported by M.C.C. Ltd.

        (c) - The allotment of cement is made on  quarterly basis. the district-wise allotment of cement during the period 1/78 (January-march,1978) and period 11/78 (April-June) is shown below :-

District. Pd.I/78 

Pd.II/78

(January-March 1978) 

(April-June).

I.(a)-656 MT

1000 MT. for other Government Development Departments, institutions, etc., other than RC and ORC parties.

Shillong (b)

1624 Mt

1740 MT

2. Jowai

200 MT

240MT

3. Tura

360 MT

360 MT

4. Nongstoin

80 MT

80 MT

5. Williamnagar

80 MT

80 MT

        The allotment at (c) 1. (a) above is made by the Director of Supply direct to the parties.

(d)

Distribution of cement during the last four months was made to the public through the Government cement dealers as usual under the control of the Deputy Commissioner (Supply)/ Subdivisional Officer (Supply concerned. This procedure will continue till the production and supply of cement will become satisfactory. The distribution of cement to the Government Departments which are not R.C. and O.R.C. parties to development works and various institutions, etc. is made by the Director of supply from the stock reserved for the purpose.

(e)

The total percentage reserved for the public is 30 per cent during the period 1/78 and 35 per cent during the period 11/78.

(f)

Distribution of cement to the public is made by the Deputy Commissioners/Subdivisional Officers after verification of the requirement depending on availability.

(g)

No report has been received so far regarding the correct weight not being maintained in the cement bags at the factory itself.

(h)

Does not arise.

Shri Manik Das :- 78 (b). Whether the Minister in charge knows how to break-down in the Cement Factory has secured in May and June 1978?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- It is not within the purview of Food and Civil Supplies Department.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- (c). What is the usual production of the factory?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :-Same reply, not within the purview of Food and Civil Supplies Department.

Shri Manik Das :- 78 (c). On what basis the quarterly quota is decided?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- On the requirement basis.

Shri Manik Das :- 78 (e). Whether the total percentage of 35 per cent reserved for the public has been fully utilised?

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

Shri P.G. Momin :- 78 (e). In the light of the replies given to 78 (b) whether Government is taking any other steps to solve the crisis?

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

Mr. Speaker :- You have crossed three supplementaries. We are giving a good time to the supplementaries.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- What is meant by 1/78 and II/78?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- That means the first report in the first quarter in which we have January, February and March, 1978. April, May and June in the second period, i.e. II/78.

Mr. Speaker :- Any more?

Shri Maham Singh :- 78 (f). What is the procedure for verification?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Through the supply staff.


Direction by the Speaker

Mr. Speaker :- Before we pass on to the next item, I have some observations to make. I have received a number of complaints from various members regarding small percentage of replies to the questions given by them to the Government. I have directed my Secretariat to find out whether this is actually true. According to the statistics given by my Secretariat, it has been found that the questions given by the members are really very few and as it is, have come to find out that out of 203 Unstarred  Questions received and sent to Government only 70 Questions till date have been replied to and out of 17 Starred Questions only 9 Questions have been replied to. There is a fact 4 or 5 days more and the remaining 125 Unstarred Questions and 8 Starred Questions are yet to be replied to. I would request the Leader of the House along with his colleagues here to see that all questions are replied in time because the questions are very important and the members do want to know the actual work of the Government through these questions. We cannot just be careless about those questions but on the other hand we should try as far as possible to give the replies to all questions as put by the hon. members concerned.

        Now, Mr. Grosswell Mylliemngap to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54.


CALLING ATTENTION

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister to a news item appearing in the Statesman of June 28, 1978 under the caption "Meghalaya wants shifting of Central offices".

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to begin the statement by reading the opening first paragraph of the news item under reference  which reads as follows :

        "There is a strong move to put pressure on the Centre for early shifting of all Central Government offices from Shillong to maintain a distinct tribal identity of population structure of Meghalaya". This paragraph, Mr. Speaker, Sir, which I have just read out may in fact, be the entire write up including the caption itself which gives an impression that Government had decided that Central Government offices and institutions are no longer required in Meghalaya and hence they should be shifted. This is not a fact. In fact, I consider it to be only right and proper for me to take up this opportunity of recalling the situation obtaining when the Capital of Assam was shifted from Shillong to Gauhati or Dispur, as they call it now. At that time, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we were fully aware of the apprehension of our own people especially the small traders who earn their livelihood of renting out their small stalls and shops and therefore invited by the State Government with the objective to meet the economic and educational needs of our people. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to read an extract taken from the Address by Shri L.P. Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on the 20th of March, 1974. "The State Government are keeping a close watch over the economic consequences of the transfer of Assam's capitals from Shillong. A quick survey has been completed to identify the sections of population affected by the shifting and all possible efforts will be made to meet the situation. Hon. Members will be glad to know that various Central Government agencies have already decided to open their offices in Shillong and my Government are offering all necessary assistance and facilities to them. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Geological Survey of India and some other Central Government agencies are expanding their offices in Shillong. Apart from this, efforts have been made to increase the tourist attractions of our capital. It is hoped that these measures will go a long way to meet  the needs of the situation.

        It will thus be seen Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the news-item or the write up is not correct, in fact, it is misleading. It is my humble submission that we have not, been stingy in giving lands. In fact we have been more generously lands to the Air Force even in the green belt which is in fact the source of water for the town of Shillong. Moreover, over the years, the Accountant General's staff quarters have been given 6.64 acres plus 3.825 acres of land. The Central P.W.D. has been given 5.21 acres, for the Microwave Station at Laitkor-0.54 acres, for the North Eastern Hill University-1040 acres, Assam Rifles-300 acres, B.S.F.-90 acres. I also wish to emphasise the fact Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Defence Ministry alone that is the Army and the Air Force have already been given plots of land measuring over 5,000 acres in places like the Shillong Cantonment, Kench's Trace Firing Range, Happy Valley and other places. Then to gain, we have pending cases that is in respect of lands for which the acquisition proceedings are in progress. Acquisition of land for construction of A.I.R. staff quarters at Shillong-4 acres, acquisition of building known as Bijni House at Bhagyakul for NEHU 5 acres, acquisition of land for setting up of a Regional Hydrological Research Centre by N.E.C. in the north-eastern region-3 to 5 acres  and 8 to 10 acres. Acquisition of land for construction of B.H.F. tower for B.S.F. at Lad Nongrah-. 9 acres, acquisition of land for Tropo Communication Centre at Laitkor Peak, 7 acres, acquisition of land for Kendruja Vidalaya 3.25 acres and so on and so forth. I have a very long list which only goes to show that it is not a fact that we have taken any decision to pressurise the Government of India to remove or shift the Central Government offices or institutions out of Meghalaya. It may also be mentioned that he F.C.I. or the State bank of India and other similar Central Government institutions have not sent in any proposal for acquisition of land. The Geological Survey of India has taken over a plot of land at Umpling from the Arunachal Pradesh Administration. I am prepared to admit that there has been or there may be some delay in complying with the requests from some quarters. But I would like to emphasise the fact that the delay was not always caused by the long drawn out acquisition proceedings as required by law only. But delays have been caused because of the fact that the parties themselves have changed their minds. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to read out a letter addressed by the Project Director of the I.C.A.R. to the Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya " I have the honour to inform you that the scientists meant for Shillong  centre of the above complex have already started joining and we are in the process of drawing up a technical programme for implementation at Shillong" and so on. Then I will come to the subsequent paragraph at the bottom of the page. It says with the above observations in mind, I would like to suggest that it would be useful if we can get an area of about 150 acres at an attitude of 3500 ft to 4500 ft. I wish to draw the pointed attention of this House to the fact that as per this letter, they had requested for 150 acres of land. Subsequently, we received another letter three months later and it reads as follows "As referred to the above correspondence, I would like to inform you that I visited Barapani area along with the Potato Development Officer Meghalaya and the Surveyor of the local area on the 6th August, 1975. After going through the various sites in the area, I would like to suggest the following for favour of necessary action from your end. The area shown by the Settlement Office, Meghalaya, it should have read Settlement Officer, which was surrendered by the Army was not found to be suitable for locating the Research Complex". The last paragraph reads- "the area is advantageous as the Botanical Survey of India is located nearby, the State Fishery Research Station is also located within the area, water and electricity facilities are also nearby and further, it is connected by a good road. Medical and other basic facilities are already existing in the Barapani area. Under the above circumstances I would request you to write to the concerned authorities to immediately take up the survey and arrange for acquisition of about 400 acres of land in the area. I want Mr. Speaker, Sir, to draw the pointed attention to the facts. No reference is made to a plot of land that was proposed to be taken up by the Army and then they surrendered it. Secondly, in the first instance, they asked for 150 acres vide this letter. They had asked for 400 acres of land. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will be seen that it has not always been the delay only because of the procedural delay involved, but because sometimes the parties concerned have changed their minds not  only in regard to size and are but also in regard to the location. In this connection I would finally like to state-(a) that because of congestion in and around Shillong, it may not always be possible for the Government to comply with the requests or proposals made by any Central Government office or institution, because we have found in the past that every single party submitting their requests for land have always wanted land to be in and around Shillong. Therefore, I would like to emphasise the fact that it will not always be possible to comply with their requests because Shillong and the area around Shillong is far too congested. (b) I would like to state that each proposal has been considered in the past and will continue to be considered on merit. (c) I would like to state Mr. Speaker, Sir, that every proposal or demand for any plot of land,  Government will take a decision on the request guided by the question whether the decision taken will be in the best interest of the local people or not. If Government is convinced that complying with a particular request for a particular plot of land will jeopardise and affect the interest of the local people, it will not be just possible for the Government to comply with such requests. These then Mr. Speaker, Sir, are the facts of the case.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while appreciating the elaborate information given by the Chief Minister, I want to get one clarification. In view of the stand of the I.C.A.R. abandoning the site which they have first selected, whether the I.C.A.R. has again located an alternative site.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is very obvious, and I think it does not even call for a clarification. But what I said was that it is not only the I.C.A.R. but any Central Government offices have changed their mind from time to time in respect of acreage that means the size and also in respect of the actual location. Now, in the case of the I.C.A.R. they have at one time requested land at certain places and now they are requesting land at another place. So the second proposal stands, they have not yet deviated or made any change from that stand.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Only one more clarification, whether the Government, in this connection, is contemplating to issue a corrigendum to the news item?

Mr. Speaker :- You mean a press note. I think this very statement made to the House will suffice.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Provided it is correctly reported, Mr. Speaker, Sir, (laughter).

Mr. Speaker :- Before we come to the next item of the agenda I have received a notice from the Finance Minister that he would, like to make a statement on the Supplementary Demands which have been presented to the House on 13th June 1978.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Minister Finance):- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Supplementary Demands for 1978-79 and Supplementary Appropriation, 1978-79 were presented before the House on 13th June, 1978. These are due to be considered on 7th July 1978. On reconsideration, the  Government have decided not to moved demands for grants and not to bring forward the Appropriation Bill for these demands during this session.


MOTIONS

Mr. Speaker :- I think the motion of Mr. Lambourne Kharlukhi is yet to continue. Now I call upon Mr. Swer.

Shri S.P. Swer :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday I have made it clear that liquor or ka kiad in the original sense is one of the items used while performing our religious rites. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have nearly come to the conclusion that this question is so important that Government should give serious thought about it and implementation of prohibition policy is, I think, welcomed by all. But it should be confined only to that particular item, namely, distilled liquor. If it is a total prohibition for items covered by the term 'alcohol' then it will affect and bring a repercussion amongst the people and it may infringe on the rights and privileges of the people who use this item in their religious rites. Mr. Speaker, Sir, about the evil and the danger of liquor on the human body and mind, nobody can deny that it has really a very very few bad effect on the body and mind of the people who are addicted to liquor. I hope you are also aware and the hon. members of this august house are also aware that here in Shillong we have a mental hospital at the Special Jail in Mawlai. If you take the statistics of those who are mentally ill, you will find from the doctors in charge of the hospital that the main reason for those who are mentally ill is due to the effect of liquor and specially those who are taking our country liquor, distilled liquor. About 80 per cent of those who are mentally ill are mainly the victims of this bad effect of our distilled country liquor. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the Government and this House, through you, that the people in general do not appreciate the day to day uncontrolled sale of distilled liquor in the State. The illicit liquor is mixed with all kinds of materials to make it strong as is rampant everywhere especially in this town of Shillong and also in small towns in the State. In most of the villages especially in my constituency the people have realised the evil of liquor and in certain villages like Mawbeh Elaka a few years ago the elaka Durbar took a decision that no distillery should be set up anywhere within the elaka and  that decision was executed and now you can really see the remarkable difference of the State of health of the people in that area some years ago and today and it is also remarkable by the absence drunkenness in any public gathering in that elaka. Very recently also in Laitryngew and Khlieh-sai-uLam-kutmodan the Durbar recently passed a resolution to do away with the distilleries respectively, but I do not know why and how these decisions could not be implemented in those village. As far as I know, the elaka administration took  a stand  that these decisions of the village durbars were taken in an improper time because the licenses have already paid the distillery fees. Therefore, the question of refund of these fees arises. The 50 per cent share of it has already been used or spent by the elaka administration and the other half of the share remains with the Government. So the question of refund of these fees is a matter for decision.

        As far as I know, the matter is still pending with the Government and I think, in my humble opinions, such voluntary decisions should be welcomed even if it is amounts to the refund of such distillery fees to the licenses. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said that the total prohibition I think, may not be welcomed by all the citizens in Meghalaya but partial or prohibition of distilled liquor should be total. But for 'Ka Kiadum' or the rice beer, I should say, this should not be prohibited. But then again, if it is not prohibited, this industry may go to every house, everybody will start rice fermenting as home industries. Therefore, I would like to suggest that in such a case, the Government should take the responsibility upon itself to have its own brewery just for this 'Kiadum' or rice beer and it should be regulated through various agencies in a controlled manner so that this should be made available to those who are in need for the performance of their religious rites. So I fully agree with the suggestion made by the hon. Members from Shella and also from Langkyrdem that this is a matter which the Government should give a serious thought and hasty action may not achieve the desired results. But again I would like to stress that this prohibition, as I said, if implemented in our State, will be a successful attempt only when the people willingly and out of their hearts accept prohibition. So with these few words Mr. Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri B.K. Roy :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the issue of total prohibition I would like to join in the discussion initiated by the ho. Members, Mr. Swer. The question of total prohibition is a very controversial problem and we are not going to discuss it. In the context of Meghalaya the issue is a bit different. I am of the opinion that here in our State there is an impression that the people here whether they are local or from outside, are generally in the habit of drinking. Having been here for decades, I can say that the percentage of drinking people in Hills is not very high and we cannot just give a general impression to people outside that drinking is a tribal custom. There is a difference between drinking and drunkenness. What actually happens here, we find more drunk people in the open in our State than in other places. I from my medical experience have a firm conviction that Hills people are not habitual drunkards. When I put that question to various patients. 'Are you in the habit of drinking' and we find from the answers  that the percentage of teeteetollars, percentage of casual drinkers and habitual drinkers are almost the same as prevalent in other parts of India. Yet I am of opinion that there should be some restriction on drinking and particularly getting drunk in the street. I consider that prohibition should be there for drunkenness in public because that has got a reflection on the social aspect. What I mean to say Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that the Government should take appropriate measures in restricting the easy availability of alcoholic drinks by people of different areas.  Because of hundreds of ka Kiad sellers are there all over the state I have found that even school boys and girls are getting drunks and so on and forth. That is more common in our our place because of the unrestrained availability of alcohol. I feel that there should be an age bar for drinking and Government should be very strict on this. That I think will be helping in bringing our generation to a better shape. Sir, it is a common scene that a very high percentage of bus and taxi drivers found drunk and sometimes it is very difficult for the women-folk to get into the taxi in the evening because they find that the driver is drunk. If there would  be  a regular and strict enforcement of law in matters of driving in a drunken state and if there would be a restriction on drink below a particular age and if one found drunk in the street is strictly apprehended under provisions of law, the Government would be doing immense service to the society. If there is a strict policy in restricting all these things drinking by itself will not be a problem as to hamper the economic and social condition of the State. The people from outside often say that Shillong roads are full of drunkards in the evening. This is partially true because the people do not know how to drink in a civilised manner. To sum up, my first point is breweries must be permitted under strict supervision and they should not be within the easy reach of young children and youths. My point No.2 is that there should be an age  bar and below that age if any one is found drinking be should be punishable under the law. No.3, the opening of bars in and around Shillong particularly near the institutional should be restricted with a strong hand. No.4, the poor standard of ka Kiad, the badly distilled rice beer is definitely detrimental to stomach and liver. it is a common case to find that most of our people who are otherwise very healthy, thanks to racial or other climatic influence, they easily contract diseases because of damage to vital organs caused by alcohol. They have shorter expectancy because of ka Kiad backed by poor diets because our people cannot afford to have better quality of food, that they are prone to suffer from liver trouble. Ka Kiad has been telling upon this system of our people as a whole. So if we can just try to improve the quality of the drinks and impose all possible measures \preventing drunkenness in our State, I think pour people will be able to live a better life even without ant total prohibition also. That much only I can say, thank you.

Mr. Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to participate in this motion moved by the hon. Member from Mylliem. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to participate because I want to clarify particularly certain points of wrong impressions and misconceptions which some of my friends have with regard to the tribal way of life. Sometimes, it has been said Mr. Speaker, Sir, without knowing the real life of the tribal people, that drinking is part of tribal custom. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would emphatically like to say that this is totally wrong. Liquor, especially distilled liquor Mr. Speaker, Sir, is a commodity which was totally unknown previously to the Khasi people. It is a commodity introduced into this land of ours by the British people. It was introduced purposely to ruin the character of our people. It fact it ruined the mental and physical strength and courage of our people and thus it served the purpose for which it was introduced. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not agree with the hon. Member from Cherrapunjee in which he said that we should not think of total prohibition because according to him he has mentioned "total prohibition will undoubtedly , affect the religious ceremonies of our people". Many religious ceremonies he said cannot be performed without undistilled liquor or "iadhiar" as our people use to call it. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this connection also I did not agreed with him. I feel that although many of our friends have mentioned that total prohibition may not be possible at present yet our aim should be towards this goal. Our aim and our objective should be toward achieving this coal at one time or another, we should have total prohibition in our society. I will not deal again with the evil effects of drinking which has been so ably described and explain by the other Members especially the hon. Member from Shella, Mr. Stanley D.D. Nichols-Roy. He has fully explained the evil effects of drinking. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, drinking has really affected our society very badly. It has very badly affected the life of our young men especially at present. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that we have not been able to achieve the rate of progress which all of us desire for the economic development of our people only because our men folk have become prey to this evil habit of drinking. Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, Sir, my hon. friend from Cherrapunjee was saying that he belongs to the original religion. According to him, Mr. Speaker, Sir, uninstalled liquor is not a social evil because it is used in the performance of all religious ceremonies. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to the Khasis, what is the most sacred thing it is the pure and the crystal clear water. This is according to the believe of the Khasis, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is sacred, it is holy, it is one which gives strength and life to us ; the pure water from the springs, the pure water that we have in the Hills Mr. Speaker, Sir. But liquor has never been regarded as something sacred. It is not an essential element in the performance of our religious ceremonies. Yesterday also my friends made  a reference that undistilled liquor is no longer available. Nowadays therefore to perform the religious ceremonies because undistilled liquors is no longer available, he said, distilled liquor mixed with rice and then  fermented is used. I do not understand how and why distilled liquor mixed with rice should be used because undistilled liquor is not available. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, In many of the books written regarding the religion of the Khasis it has specially been mentioned that distilled liquor or 'Iad Pudka, which is the correct pronunciation of the Russian word Vod ka, should never be used in any religious ceremony. "Pudka" it has been mentioned in these books to use it in the religion ceremonies Mr. Speaker, Sir, is a sang or a taboo. If something which is generally used is not available, why should we go in for something which is considered to be a 'sang' or taboo. The Khasi word "Sang" means taboo. Then again, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has been mentioned that there are certain village durbars where men generally have to take some drinks after the Durbar, and on returning home otherwise the womenfolk would laugh at them, if they find them returning home without taking some drink after the Durbar. Another example has been cited by my friend. Sometime it has been said, according to, persons who do not drink are elected as member of the village Durbars, but after becoming a member of the Durbar, drink is served to him as a new extrant. they say that it is the custom by  which the first thing one should on the first sitting in the Durbar is to take some drinks, which may be offered before or after the Durbar is over. Now, these sayings Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say, are misleading. It is these types of sayings accepted by some of us to be true and genuine Mr. Speaker, Sir, we find the research scholars writing their thesis on the tribal ways of life basing on something which is absolutely wrong. They sometimes base on these wrong sayings when they were rearding tribal custom the tribals, their mode of living or their social life. Such writings have found plan even in the books of many eminent writers and scholars, although Mr. Speaker, Sir, they are absolutely wrong. Sayings which have been said jokingly by humorous have been accepted and taken by some people as true. They take them as something genuine and true. The greatest tragedy at present, in our Society, is that we are following the perverted, the corrupt custom and practices and not the pure and genuine customs which are fore-fathers handed over to us. This is one of the greatest tragedies in our society and so there has been a degeneration and this is also the reason for the decay of the original and wholesome customs of our society. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is high time that we should educate our people to live a good and social life in order that our State may progress in a much better manner. Now with regard to our Khasi Durbar, I will read out certain extracts from this book entitled "David Scott in North East India" by Nirode K. Barooah. I will first read out the extract describing the character of the Khasis in those ancient times- which is as follows- the relations between the Bengali inhabitant of the British territory and the Khasis were this far from friendly, and it was not easy for the British to learn about the interior. The earliest British account of the Khasis was perhaps, that of Robert Lindsay who had been the Resident and Collector of Sylhet about 1778, and has made a large fortune by working the Khasi lime quarries. He described the Khasi as 'a fair man in his dealings, and provide you' treat him honorably, he will  act with perfect reciprocity towards you'. He however, cautioned the foreigner : 'but beware of showing him the smallest appearance of indignity, for he is jealous in the extreme, cruel and vindictive in his resentments'. In the second decade of the nine tenth century the missionaries of the Serampore Mission began to take an interest in the Khasis. Their account agrees with that given by Lindsay some thirty years previously. In May 1813, a missionary from the Sylhet station wrote to Garey thus "The real Khasis possess two great characteristic virtues viz, truth and honesty. They spurn the little meanness practiced by   the Bengalese, whom they despise. They are however very revengeful and seldom forget injuries". However, there was no significant progress in the missionary activities in the Khasi Hills until Scott opened up the Hills". Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding the Khasi Durbar it has been mentioned in this book that- "Scott had achieved his object, but he had also the chance to observe the toughness of the hill tribes and the distinctive character of their social organisation. They had shown themselves very touchy about their independence, and the raja's assembly, customarily  " a more genuine power' then the raja himself, as Scott observed, had been extremely reluctantly to grant such favours to the English. Scott found that the meeting which he attended was conducted throughout "with a degree independence coolness and propriety which could not have been exceeded under similar circumstances by the inhabitants of the most civilized countries". So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this was the character of our people in those ancient days. In those days Khasi Durbars were held in the most dignified manner ;they were not meetings of the drunkards. At that time people had not known what was liquor nor how to make liquor. But now it is a tragedy Mr. Speaker, Sir, to see drunkards in the streets. In certain localities we find after 7 O'clock drunkards roaming about and they are not ashamed of moving around in a drunken State even openly in the public streets. And then again, as one of the hon. Members has stated that when sometimes you board a taxi you will find the driver of the taxi is half-drunk. Mr. Speaker, Sir, again in  a most important public place illicit distillation of  liquor and drunkenness are going on rampant. It is Barabazar. the Government should root out completely the sale of the illicit liquor and distillation in Barabazar where our men and women go for their daily purchases and if they can do so it would be a really commendable work. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I remember in our young days our Khasi women used to go to the Barabazar for their purchases in their best dress wearing gold and silver ornaments and yet there was on sense of in security or fear. But at present in Barabazar.....

Mr. Speaker :- Better you say Iewduh.

Shri Maham Singh :- yes, Sir, Iewduh. But now-a-days you will find there drunkards, picpocketeers, gamblers robbers and what not and nobody would dare go there now with the ornaments and good dress for fear of these bad elements. Why have we been reduced to this State? Drunken-ness is one of the reasons demoralising the character of our people. Drunken-ness is a great evil which lowers the moral standard and physical fitness of the people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, coming to another point, it has been mentioned by the hon. Members from Cherrapunjee that there are certain villages quite conscious of the evils of drunkenness. Mr. Speaker, Sir, recently in Laitryngew a resolution was passed for the removal of all liquor shops in  the village. Now what is the duty of the Government? Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel  its duty is to see and  help those people in order to enable them to effectively implement the decision taken by them. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the case of Laitryngew, it is a very simple matter. their decision came just a few months after the distillers have paid their licenses fee which is a small amount of four hundred rupees only. They had written to the Syiem and the Syiem in found that for this year it is not possible because  he had already taken the license fee. So they represented to the Government because half of the license is received by the Government and the remaining half by the Syiem to be utilised for his administrative purpose. They have come to the Government but the Government till today has not decided what is to be done with regard to their license fee. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very simple matter, is just a refund of the license fee of a small amount to the license. Further, Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the Syiemship is to be compensated for  any loss in revenue that would have accrued to them but for the closure of the; liquor shops, Government should not hesitate to compensate the Syiemship with the small amount of four hundred rupees only. Now although it is our wish Mr. Speaker, may be difficult to introduce prohibition and for the Government to implement it without the backing or the people. It becomes very much easier when the backing of the people is obtained. In certain areas, decision has been taken by the people, to eliminate the liquor shops. Advantage must be taken by the Government and it should help those people. If any compensation is to be paid also. I feel that the Government should not hesitate to compensate the persons affected due to the closure of their distilleries. With these few words Sir, I support this motion with our aim and intention that ultimately there should be a complete prohibition. Once we see that our young people and men-folk are free from this evil habit, there will be a great change, there will be real progress and great change in the social life of our people that is good not only for us, but will be good for the future generation. With these words I resume my seat.

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

*Shri H. Hadem (Minister in charge Excise) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the very outset, I would like to thank the hon. Member who has brought this motion and thereby, has given a chance for the whole House to take part in the discussion on this very important subject, while according to the motion is on the total prohibition and how to implement it. But it appears Mr. Speaker, Sir, that most of the Speakers have dealt fully and elaborately on the evils of the liquor which most probably, may be a sweet, flavoring and powerful drink to some of us. The evil according to the discussion which we have had now and according to the statement made by the hon. member himself that it is a real danger because it will spoil the society as a whole. the mover and other hon. Members who have taken part in the motion have very minutely narrated the evil of liquor or alcohol or ka kiad as we call it in Khasi.  The mover had even termed it as "A mighty giant" in course of his speech which we may probably term it a subjective sermon. He had stressed the injurious evil caused by liqueurs and he had categorised it in three ways, viz., economically, socially and morally. On these points as I have already stated, he had dealt minutely with every detailed aspect of the matter. After we have heard from the  hon. mover and also from other hon. members who have taken part in the motion, I hope the whole House is well convinced of the evils of drunkenness. I do not know how to make a difference between drunkenness and drink because according to one hon. member who said that drunkenness is bad and drink is not bad. I do not know whether I can differentiate the two because drinking will lead to drunkenness. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is just like you steal a pin and if you steal one thousand rupees, it means the same thing and it comes under the same section of law probably, under section 379, I.P.C. According to me, it is the same thing. So I hope the whole House is well convinced that this habit of drinking though not being drunk is a very bad habit and it is an evil for our society. The hon. Members have also pointed out in their discussion, especially the mover himself that he is agreeable propagating total prohibition. Sir, in this connection, I would like to enlighten the House with some directives given by the Central Government to the States. The Central Prohibition Committee in its 9th meeting on the 30th July last year resolved for the introduction that he Government should take up a time-bound programme for the introduction of complete prohibition in not more than 4 years. To implement this programme, the Government of India in the Ministry of education and Social Welfare, have suggested that immediate action be taken on the lines indicated as follows :-

        "(i) the State Government may take a firm decision in respect of total prohibition".

        A firm decision, Sir. Of course, in our discussion now on this motion, Sir, it seems that, with the exception of one hon. Member, all are not probably very sure whether a firm decision should be taken according to the prohibition policy. But the directive given by the Central Government says that the State Government "may take a firm decision" in respect of total prohibition an draw up a programme for introducing complete prohibition with in the next four years.

        "(ii) the Stat Government may simultaneously  make a realistic assessment of the likely loss of excise revenue consequent on the introduction of prohibition and formulate concrete alternative measures for making good the losses. the Government may also place before the Seventh Finance Commission its case for additional Central assistance to the extent necessary."

        Sir, Meghalaya is a wet State and liquor is considered essential for the performance of the social and religious rites of a section of the people. Of course, that has been contradicted by the hon. member who had just spoken. Of course, some guidelines have been given from the Centre also that, regarding these tribal areas, strict prohibition must not be taken up in view of the fact that alcohol is a part and parcel of the social and religious rites. I agree with the hon. member from Nongshken that this is a misleading  statement and I would like the House to note that, as stated by the hon. Member from Nongshken, the original liquor, as it ought to be, was unfermented which according to the Khasi custom is connected with religious rites and ceremonies. But it so happened I think from historical records, specially of Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, that we could find here and there that it was written that some time in 1879 there was a serious plague throughout the hills of Khasi and Jaintia. In moist of the areas the plague was so serious that most of the inhabitants had to go away and find shelter in  the jungles to get rid of that plague. Probably, to help the people at that time, one Britisher. Rev. Jarman, I think, not in the way as stated by the hon. Member that his liquor was given by the foreigners with a view to demoralise us, to make us unhealthy or to make us lose our strength but in a a way to combat the disease in a view of the scarcity of medicines at that time (Laughter). You see, whenever any bad habit has its origin, then automatically it spreads and it is now, it is because of that very origin from the very start that it comes as it is now. So, in this case, I would like to .......

        [At this state, the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy Chairman, occupied the Chair.]

Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, they had also introduced opium in the certain areas not only liquor, in order to destroy the people they had introduced this in certain areas where, unfortunately, the people are addicted to taking opium today.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise, etc.) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, that is a matter of opinion and I do not want to exchange views with the hon. member. He may frame his own opinion. But so far as the matter is concerned we have learned about it from very old history that we could find here and there. Mr. Chairman, Sir, in the directive it was stated for this particular case in our area in case we have to decide to introduce prohibition. We have to do it according to the time bound programme chalked out. the loss of the revenue and the expenditure necessary for the implementation of the measures worked out by the Department is as follows :-

LOSS FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS

In 1978-79, the loss will be Rs.40.85 lakhs;

On sale Tax on liquor

...

about

Rs. 13.90 lakhs

State Excise ...  ...

...

...

Rs.40.85  lakhs

         Total  ...  ...

...

...

Rs.54.75 lakhs

In 1979-80, the loss to the State Excise will be about Rs. 45.31 lakhs.

On Sale Tax

...

...

..

.Rs. 14.73 lakhs

      Total

...

...

...

Rs. 60.04 lakhs

In 1980-81, the loss to the State Excise will be Rs. 48.26 lakhs.

On Sale Tax

...

...

..

.Rs.15.51 lakhs

      Total

...

...

...

Rs. 63.77 lakhs

In 1981-82, the loss to the State Excise will be Rs. 50.02 lakhs.

On Sale Tax

...

...

..

.Rs.16.55 lakhs

      Total

...

...

...

Rs. 66.57 lakhs

        So, this is the lost in 4 years.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I could not follow the Hon'ble Minister on these figures. Whether they are in terms of thousands or lakhs?

Mr. Chairman :-  He said 'lakhs'. Carry on.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister. Excise, etc.) :- He might have been sleeping. Mr. Chairman, Sir, [Laughter].

        So the total loss in  4 years from State Excise will be 184.44 lakhs. Sir, the above sales tax 60.79 lakhs and the total will be 245.23 lakhs. Sir, the above estimates on receipts have been made on the assumption fro intensifying raids against the illicit distillation of liquor and thereby increasing the revenue. (b) The expenditure for implementing of enforcement measures in 1978-79 is Rs.12.99 lakhs. This expenditure is in addition to the existing level and will continue indefinitely with usual growth in expenditure from year to year. Expenditure on rehabilitation of 640 families engaged in out stills  Rs.5,000 per family, and that comes to Rs.32,00,000. This will be a non-recurring expenditure for one year only which, according to what the hon. Member from Nongshken had said, that he State must compensate the out still dealers. So the  prohibition programme and policy was discussed in the cabinet also and along with the guidelines given by the Cabinet Committee constituted by the Government of India to work out the modalities for implementation of prohibition. It was decided that  a strict restriction on sale and consumption of liquor should be imposed in the State. Also the number of dry days should be increased according to a phased programme. Mr. Chairman, Sir, you have seen in the notification that the last Sunday of every month has been declared as dry day over and above the 25th other days declared as dry days during the year 1978-79. Sir, we have to consider all aspects in connection with the tribal people living in the area and also fore the development of facilities for tourists in the State, and that also has to be kept in view. It was was felt that by and large, it should be possible to take most of the steps contained in the guidelines worked out by the Cabinet Committee of the Government of India. The State Government have also taken other steps to reduce consumption of liquor in the State, namely, serving of liquor in public receptions has been stopped. Secondly, in licensed hotels, restaurants and clubs, serving of liquor is restricted to a separate room. Thirdly, advertisements promotion sale of liquor has been stopped by an Act in 1976. Fourthly, steps has been taken to shift liquor shops etc. to a minimum distance of 500 meters, wherever possible from residential areas, national highways, educational institutions and religious places. Sir, as regard the making good of the loss of revenue, the suggestion of the Cabinet Committee that the Centre should compensate the State to the extent of 50 per cent of the established loss of excise revenue in each year commencing from 1978-79 treating the annual excise revenue of 1977-78 as base, it was felt that the proposal would be inadequate and unworkable from the State's point of view. Meghalaya having no alternative resources, the compensation should be for the entire loss as also fro the enforcement measures including publicity, running of the de-addiction centres and other necessary measures. The State government have already been placed before the Estimate Committee their estimated loss of revenue in the event of the implementation of the prohibition programme. It may also be mentioned that as para 12 (1) (a) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution the Assam Legislature which at present means the Meghalaya Legislature, can make laws prohibiting or restricting the consumption of any non-distilled alcoholic liquor in an autonomous district of that State, only if the concerned District Council so directs. So, Sir, this is to ensure that he Legislature does not seek to enforce total prohibition throughout the State ignoring the customs of the tribal minorities in the autonomous districts. Such a restriction, however does not apply to our State as the scheduled tribes constitute the overwhelming majority of the population of Meghalaya. After this statement Sir, it does not mean that the government has stopped thinking or considering the possibilities of imposing prohibition in the State. But Sir, in this connection, I would like also to draw the attention of the House that the Government is very anxious in trying its best to see that this evil is rooted out from the State and one of the steps taken by the Government is that grants-in-aid were given to the organisations who propagate against the evil of drink. In 1977, the Government had given grants-in-aids to the Seng Pynduh Kiad at of Rs.1,500 and also to the Secretary People's Prohibition Mass Rally Committee Rs.1000 and in future also Mr. Chairman, Sir, according to availability of funds, the Government will try to extend this help to these types of organisations. And we have heard also from the hon. Member from Pynthorumkhrah who had stressed on the varying age that would help probably towards strict supervision or control of drinking. I mean accessibility. But I would like to bring to the notice of the House Mr. Chairman, Sir, that sale of liquor is prohibited to those below the age of 18 years as provided in the Excise Act itself. Regarding brewery, i would like to tell, Sir, that there is no licensed brewery in the House. Regarding control of bars I would like to tell that he three bars at Laitumkhrah were closed during October last year. The Delux Bar is also closed down since May, 1978 and these four bars have been asked to find out some other places. At present, Mr. Chairman, Sir, only two bars, viz., Oriental and Ecee bars at Police Bazar and one bar at Laban are functioning. If total prohibition Mr. Chairman, Sir, is being implemented we have also to strengthen the enforcement branch which will mean extra cost and will tax the exchequer of the State. but with the present staff it is very difficult, Mr. Chairman, Sir, if at this stage the House or the Government is ready to adopt prohibition policy. The present Excise staff, therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, are only as follows. We are having one Commissioner, one Assistant Commissioner, 2 Superintendents, one at Shillong and one at Tura and then one 1 Superintendent at Jowai, Inspectors 8, Asst Inspectors 12, Constables 60 and vehicle only 4. So you can easily understand from the figures,  Mr. Chairman, Sir, that it is impossible for implementation of the prohibition is carried out. It will be ultimately impossible to tackle the heavy or excessive duty. Of course, with a view to go slowly towards prohibition as already suggested by the hon. Member from Nongshken, Government is now anticipating increasing of the number of staff for the Shillong centre for total prohibition, at least for proper control of illicit distilleries and the other unlicensed elements. Sir, as I have already stated, most of the hon. members during the course of discussion have pointed out the evil caused by alcohol or 'Ka Kiad' and as somebody said that some of them have dealt very elaborately as to how prohibition would be implemented or in which way we can supplement the income in order to make good the loss of revenue. the hon. Member from Lyngkyrdem had suggested one very basic qualification for the personnel or for the staff in which he has stated that the enforcement personnel must be those who really believe in prohibition, of course, this is very correct and unless we believe in what we are thinking, probably we cannot proceed further, and I hope, in the case of prohibition, I think Government will take this as one of the qualifications in future. Not only that. Even from the point of belief this is one of the greatest evils of mankind. the hon. Member from Shella had also pointed out the difficulties or failures of the prohibition policy in Meghalaya and most probably he will also contribute. Something at the time when the Government will consider or decide on total prohibition as stated in the motion. But as I have stated already, Sir, that it will involve a huge financial loss to the State exchequer if total prohibition will be implemented as our State is very poor. You know Mr. Chairman, Sir, excise revenue is one of the main resources of the State. But even then, liquor is an international, national and local evil. It is an evil fro the whole human society. Though some may take it as a recreation where we used to have some of the remarks when they are having a get together they used to call a high society drinking or something like that. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, as stated by the Member from Lyngkyrdem, most of the members connected with the prohibition drive are mainly women, who have bitterly suffered in their homes from the evil of his drunkenness.  But we may also recall that probably it is the women folk who are having greater part in the preparation of this evil and it is given to the extent that at present most of the speakers said that his evil has spread even the women folk. I have personally seen one day a women at Mot Phran near Barabazar who has become drunk and was calling everybody 'my darling, my darling' (Laughter) and it seems that this evil is spreading in a gigantic way, as already stated.

Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I think it is not drunkenness, but it is crackness.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, this woman was taken by the Police to the Civil Hospital and it was proved that she was drunk. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not mean to say that this type of drink is doing harm only to some section of the people, but nearly to all sections of the people who use it. I think at he beginning they use it little but subsequently the quantity will increase and the same affect will cause to each and every one. As I have already stated, I do not mean that by narrating the incident at Barabazar, I want to cast my reflection on anybody, but what I mean to say is to impress upon all that this evil is increasing day by day. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, Government will be very much pleased if during the discussion, the hon. Member would fully stress or deal with the ways and means how Government can implement prohibition and in what way the loss of revenue can be substituted or can be made good.  But any how, Sir, be that as it may, alcohol remains to be an evil and dangerous thing to the society. One who is succumbed  it, we can say, cannot stand on his own feet. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, in view of the evils stated by the hon. Members and the Mover who are the prominent witnesses Government will endeavor to find away with this evil. With these few words, I have to some extent dealt with the anxiety and concern shows by the hon. member who moved the Motion as well as other members who have taken part in the discussion. Thank you.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- On a point of clarification Mr. Chairman, Sir, may we know from the Minister incharge whether Government as a matter of policy have decided to go in for prohibition.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, of course I have already stated during my reply and from the reply to the questions also that at present the Government have not taken such a decision.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Why I put the question Mr. Chairman, Sir, is because I heard the Minister say that with the co-operation of the members, he will devise ways and means to implement prohibition. On that context I want a clarification.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, in that context, the motion itself says about the steps to implement prohibition. But the discussion does not com under the purview of prohibition but under purview how this alcohol is an evil to the society.

Shri Maham Singh :- may we know from the Minister what steps have been taken by the Government with regard to the representation of the people of Laitryngew who wanted to close down their liquor shops.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Excise) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, the representation has been received only recently, say about three weeks back, and it is still under consideration of the Government.

Mr. Chairman :- The discussion on the motion No.6 has come to an end. Now we come to motion no.7 Shri Alfrien Marak to move.

Shri Alfrien Marak :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that his House do now discuss the rules regarding payment of House Rent Allowance to the employees of the State Government of Meghalaya.

Mr. Chairman :- Motion moved. You may initiate the discussion.

*Shri Alfrien Marak :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, it seems that I am going to speak something against the rule which is framed by the Government of Meghalaya regarding payment of allowance. But in fact, I am not going to speak against the rule. But what I mean to say is that the course followed by the Government of Meghalaya regarding payment of House Rent Allowance to the Government employees is not in a proper way. The motion is indeed and in fact a complicated subject for us to solve. I, therefore, appeal to the August House to pay special attention to the subject matter of the discussion. I hope every one of us will subscribe to it soundly to overcome certain practical difficulties which are now prevailing in many offices of the Government of Meghalaya. With regard to the payment of house rent allowance and other allowances, certain conditions are prescribed about the eligibility or non-eligibility in regard to payment of house rent allowance. the office memorandum No. Fin. 1/57/70/30, dated 13th November, 1970 is self-explanatory in regard to grant of house rent allowance. The rate of house rent allowance prescribed in that order is 7 per cent of the pay of the employees and this rate of house rent allowance had  also been extended to all categories of services like the I.A.S., the I.P.S. etc, serving in connection with the State of Meghalaya particularly to the employees who are serving in and around Shillong and also to those employees of the Government of Meghalaya posted at Gauhati in connection with the affairs of the Government of Meghalaya. Whatever the case might have been in the past, on production of certificate that both husband and wife are Government employees one of them is entitled to house rent allowance in accordance with the spirit of this memorandum with effect from 1st July 1970 to 31st March, 1973 vide Finance Department Memorandum No. Fin. 1/71/73/3, dated 7th September, 1973 wherein it has been stated that in the case of husband an wife serving in the same office or same station or different office in the same station, the house rent allowance will not be admissible to anyone to them with effect from 1st April, 1973. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I feel that this matter is not properly thought over. There is no specific reason shown in the memorandum stated above and under what circumstances the grant of house rent allowance to the employees had been stopped with effect from 1st April, 1973. That expert decision  was made by the previous Government without first obtaining the opinion of the public or the Government employees. So, I would request the new Ministry to rectify this otherwise some Government employees will be suffering whereas the the other side will be benefiting. If the rule was then required to be amended, it should be amended properly so that in the case of the Government servant, only one is entitled to house rent allowance provided that no house rent is entitled to such Government employees. Mr. Chairman, Sir, many drawing and disbursing officers not maintain register to record who is who. There is no census taken by the Government to find out the relationship among the Government employees, the Directorate of Statistics should help the Government to collect the information. In this particular issue, the drawing and disbursing officer records the relationship among the staff of his office on the strength of certificates produced by them without making any verification, without knowing fully whether the certificate produced by them is right or wrong. It is natural that we cannot expect all Government servants to be honest persons. There may be so many dishonest persons. Such persons, for the purpose of getting the benefit of house rent allowance, many husbands pretend to have forgotten that there is a wife and on the other hand, the wife also forget their husbands in doing so, both husband and wife are drawing house rent allowance although the rules do not allow them to do so with effect from 1st July, 1973. I appeal to the New Ministry to immediately rectify this position. Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are some Government employees who are still drawing house rent allowance although the Government had provided quarters for them. If the Government quarter is provided  for a husband, the wife is still drawing the house rent allowance. The next irregularity is that if the couples stay separately from each other, both husband and wife are drawing house rent allowance although they are not legally separated, by way of collusion between the drawing and disbursing officer and the office still grants this house rent allowance to both husband and wife. What should we do now? How do regular such irregularities? There are many Government servants who do not observe the rules strictly particularly those who have not occupied the Government quarters although both husband and wife render full term of service to the Government. The Government is always shouting for justice, advocating for justice. But in fact, Government is doing justice. We do not see that the Government is doing justice. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, I leave to the hon. members of this august House to submit their views before the Government. However I have suggested to the bening Government to maintain the status quo of 1st July 1970 because it has not been possible to check new irregularities now. So Mr. Chairman, Sir, the decision of the House is supreme. Therefore I appeal to the hon. members of this august House to decide by voting if it is necessary for these who are in favour of giving house rent allowance to all employees except those who have been provided with Government quarters maintaining the status quo of 1st July, 1970 and secondly those who want recovery of the amount drawn on account of house rent with effect from 1st march, 1973 in the case of the employees provided with Government quarters with effect from 1st march 1973 in the case of the employees provided with Government quarters with effect from 1st July, 1970. So I hope our new Ministry will surely rectify the defect and other hon. members of this august House will surely contribute their views in this respect. So with these few words I conclude my speech.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I very appreciate the concern of the hon. mover of the motion on the plight of the Government servants serving under our State in respect of house rent allowance admissible under the rules. Sir, most of the offices here in our State are concentrated in Shillong, some at Tura and other places where the availability of rented house is a very difficult problem and the Government servants having no house of their own have to depend on this rented houses where the charge of rent in the cities and other towns and in our State is very high in view of the number of houses that are in a adequate to cope with the ever increasing number of people coming out for getting rented houses. The quantum of money given to our workers under the rules of the Government is much below the required amount to be paid by unfortunate Government servants having no house of their own to the landlords or the house owners. Sir, from the information that I have got regarding the quantum of house rent allowance to be given to our Government servants, to grade III, grade IV, grade II and grade I, believe is not a t par with the quantum given under the Central Government rules to Central Government workers. It is 7 per cent on the basic pay. The person whose basic pay is Rs.200 for example, will get Rs.15 as house rent allowance. In these hard days, can any one expect to get a house rent where he can stay with his family members, say 4 or 5 people in the house which can be available at Rs.15 in Shillong or in Tura. That is impossible. Now in Shillong the housing problem has assumed such a dimension that an area of the room 10' X 10' costs more than Rs.50 as rent. So in these hard days to give only 7 per cent as house rent allowance to our employees is very unsatisfactory. It should be increased at least to the level which is admissible to the Central Government employees and it should be even more in our State because here in Shillong or in Tura, as I have already stated, the rent charged by the house owners is much more than is covered by the money which is given by the Central Government. Sir, in some organisations or institutions of the Government there are quarters to house the low paid employees but the pattern of houses that have been made available to this unfortunate workers is such that it cannot be paid to fit for human habitation. They are provided with one room with a small attached kitchen without proper sanitary fittings fro latrines and bathroom. They are not very hygienic and not spacious enough to contain the remaining family members of the  workers. I have seen in the Ganesh Das Hospital and Reid Chest hospital that house workers' quarters are not fit for human dwelling. They should be extended and where there is no provision for Government quarters, the quantum of the house rent allowance should be raised above the Central Government scale to help the poor workers to be able to get at least such houses which they could afford to pay as rent to house their family members without difficulty. They have got children and so they need a study room, they need a small store room and since they are also members of our society, they need at lest a drawing room besides bed room and kitchens. One cannot get easily four rooms in a house on monthly rental rate of 80 rupees or so. Therefore, I urge upon the Government that they should examine the matter thoroughly in the light of the acute shortage of houses here and to embark upon schemes to provide Government quarters to its employees who do not own any house in the State and to give a reasonable house rent allowance to those who have got houses to maintain houses in a beautiful manner. The cost of all materials has gone high, houses do remains they are. Always they are subjected to various hazards of wear and tear of nature. therefore, they also need money to maintain them. As I have already suggested, the quantum of house rent allowance should be raised to a level even higher then that of the Central Government employees as admissible under their own rules. With these few words, Sir, I appreciate the concern expressed by the hon. Mover of the Motion. thank you.

Mr. Chairman, Now the Minister will reply.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, at the very outset I would like to say that I am grateful to the hon. Mover of this Motion for affording this opportunity to discuss this very important matter concerning the rules of payment of house rent allowances to the Government employees. Mr. Chairman, Sir, there are certain  considerations which have to be taken in the matter of giving house rent allowance to the State Government employees. One of these reasons is that here are in certain places acute difficulties in finding house accommodation. And also because of high cost of living, for example, here in Shillong or at Jowai or Tura is very difficult for all Government employees in the State to maintain their life. That is the reason for all Government employees in the State to maintain their life. That is the reason why the State Government have decided to give house rent allowance to all State Government employees serving in the State Government offices located in this particular District. it is also because of the fact that the Government cannot afford to provide to it employees with building belonging to the State Government. So because of this considerations and reasons the State government have decided, according to the provisions of the rules, to give house rent allowance to all its employees. Mr. Chairman, Sir, as already pointed out or rather informed by the hon. member who is the Mover of this Motion, it is a fact that the existing rates of house rent allowance admissible to all State Government employees are-for those drawing pay up to Rs.700 per month 7 per cent of their pay, and for those drawing above Rs.700 per month they are to pay 10 peer cent of their pay as rent and then the balance will be borne by the Government to a ceiling of 7 per cent. These are the provisions of these rules have been given effect to since 1st July, 1971. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the hon. Mover of this Motion has also pointed out certain irregularities in so far as payment of house rent allowance is concerned. he has pointed out specially to the payment of house rent allowance of both husband and wife. According to the rules of payment of house rent allowance, if the husband and wife are both Government servants, house rent allowance should be admissible only to one of them. But the hon. Mover has pointed out some irregularities. he has brought the information in the House that there are certain irregularities-I am using the words of the hon. Mover-that through collution and convince between a particular Government employee with the Bill Assistant in any office of the State Government that house rent allowance is given to both husband and wife. Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, in so far as this matter is concerned, it has not come to the notice of the Government. But definitely, Mr. Chairman, Sir, since the hon. Mover has brought this information to the House, the Government would go into all this and examine it. It would help the Department of the Government very much also if the hon. Mover would kindly cite certain very specific instances so that the government will be able to deal with this particular irregularity. 

        Mr. Chairman, Sir, house rent allowance is also admissible to those Government employees who are even staying in their own houses. They are entitled to house rent allowance. But in the case of those who are drawing pay not above Rs.700 per month, house rent allowance is calculated at the rate of 7 per cent irrespective of the actual rent paid by the particular Government employees. the hon. member from Mawprem, Shri D.N. Joshi had suggested that the present house rent allowance admissible to the Government employees, is not at all adequate or does not commensurate with the actual rent that the Government employees are supposed to pay the house owners or to the landlords. Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, as we have already announced earlier in the House that the Pay Commission has already been constituted and one of the terms of reference of this Pay Commission is to examine the existing amenities and facilities admissible to the State Government employees and the hon. members are welcome at that time to come forward and give suggestions and representations to the Pay Commission set up by the Government. Well. Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the benefit of the members of this House I would like to inform that the benefits of house rent allowance to the respective Government servants who are drawing up to Rs.700 per month, house rent is available to them even if they share Government accommodation allotted to other Government servants subject to the condition that they pay some rent towards house rent in that particular building.  But a Government servant will not be entitled to or admissible to house rent allowance if he occupies a Government accommodation. In so far as the accommodation provided by the Government is concerned the hon. Member from Mawprem has raised a point to improve the amenities or facilities in the Government quarters. Well, Mr. Speaker, this exactly does not come under the purview of this particular motion but definitely this point will be examined by the concerned Department. So with these few words I think I have covered most of the points raised by the hon. Mover of the motion and for that matter all of us are welcome to give our suggestions before the Pay Commission. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Discussion on motion No.7 is closed. Now let us come to the motion No.8 to be  moved by Shri D.N. Joshi.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that his House do now discuss the shortage of language teachers in the deficit college in Meghalaya.

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

* Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, here in this part of the country since 1960 our people fought hard and very methodically to have a State of our own so that the aspirations of the local people would have served and the leaders and the people, due to their untiring efforts got a State of their own. Meghalaya. We are proud that after achieving our own State the problem relating to our people in various fields would be squarely met  our own Government; the lot of the people would be improved especially when the Government is committed to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and illness from our State. Sir, in the field of education I have found pretty little has been done. So far my information goes we have got only two Government Colleges in Meghalaya ; one is situated in Shillong and the other at Tura.

Mr. Speaker :- There is another Government College at Jowai also.

Shri D.N. Joshi :-  I think it has come up very recently. Any way I stand for correction. There are only three Government Colleges. there are some other colleges privately managed numbering 15 or 14,  some of them are enjoying deficit system of grants from the Government, some are getting ad hoc and some of them without grants also. In some cases I have found that the grant that was being given has since been withdrawn and the colleges are on the verge of closing.

        Now, Sir, coming to language I have found that from Pre-University level upto the graduation level there are different languages taught in our colleges normally English, Hindi, Bengali,  Assamese, Nepali, Urdu, Garo, Sanskrit ands so on and so forth. But I have found, as if to give patronage to English only, in our State  our Government have given some sanctioned posts in some colleges to as many as five English teachers ; whereas in case of other languages it is not more than two and in some cases, one and in the case of Garo here in Shillong not a single. Sir, in the Pre-University course in the Department of English, there are compulsory papers, in the alternative subject there is one paper and in the B.A. Course, besides these papers that is Honours, there are six more papers and in the B.A. Course, the alternative subject bears two papers. So, from the Pre-University stage to the graduation stage, there are thirteen papers in one language and the number of teachers required should be nit less than six and in some colleges they are having five teachers also in the department. But in the case of Khasi, where the number of papers have to be taught covering thirteen hundred marks, in thirteen papers, from the Pre-University stage to the B.A. stage, the number of the Khasi teachers in the colleges is not more then two. Sir, our Government has committed and has proclaimed a number of times to promote the interest of the tribals in various spheres including education. But can we expect Sir, to do justice to our students with two teachers in the colleges to cover thirteen hundred marks in Khasi language ? Very recently, St. Mary's College, St. Anthony's College, Sankerdev College and Synod College had introduced Honours course in Khasi with the permission of the University. But in the absence of required number of teachers to cover the language subject and compulsory subject, proper justice cannot be done to our students and they cannot be expected to come up to the required standard leaving aside the coming with flying colours. Sir, Khasi is a very rich and one of the very developed modern Indian languages and it is in the fitness of things that our students offer Khasi as one of the alternative subjects and they have offered Khasi as Honours subject. But the attitude of the Government in this respect is not very favourable. Recently, some teachers of the colleges and students together with some leaders, have tried to impress upon the Education Department on the need of increasing the number of Khasi language teachers in the colleges. But the response that they have received so far from the side of the Government is not very encouraging to meet the need of the teachers and to promote our language and to popularise it amongst students and to build a strong foundation of the language in the youngsters brain. We must provide facilities from them in the colleges to study the language in all it three aspects that is as a compulsory subject, as an alternative subject and as an Honours subject in the colleges because we are thinking of requesting and urging upon the University authority to open up a Khasi language Class in the Pre-University stage and also because in the absence of a qualified teacher, and M.A. in Khasi the benefit that accrues to any Professor, does not come to the language teacher belonging to this subject. So through you, Sir, and though the Government, I would like to urge upon the University to look into the matter, to open up a class in their University in Khasi also to get our students qualified in the subject to be come language professor in our colleges. Pending that, I urge upon the Government to employ more language teachers on the existing pay and allowances in the colleges of Meghalaya where this language is taught, to come up with the required task of imparting education to our students in all the three aspects of the languages that is compulsory, alternative and Honours and the earlier it is done the better for our State and it will be helpful to students who have offered this subject as an alternative subject and as an Honours subject in the colleges. Sir, there are Garo Students in almost all colleges of Shillong. Their number may not be as big as it is required under the rules to provide a teacher for them, But nevertheless, they are studying Garo. Since the number is is not big, under the rules we have not been able provide teacher for them. But is not going against natural justice? the number may not be as big but they have a right when this language has been recognised as one of the Modern Indian Languages. They have a right to study it. But in the absence of teachers they cannot do so, Sir, and they are compelled under the circumstances, to take up alternative languages either English or some other languages, much against their likes or such be made against their aspirations. In case of the Garos, special provisions should be made till they come to such a standard to create posts of Garo Language teachers, in all colleges where there are Garo students even if their number does not justify under the rules to get a teacher. Garo teachers should be there. I know in some colleges the number is five and in some other colleges  the number is four and the Department says : The  number does not justify appointment of a teacher. But , in view of the backwardness of  the community in the pursuit of learning till now, we have to encourage them to take up the pursuit of learning and, in order to encourage them, we have to create facilities where they can easily carry on their pursuit of learning unhampered and without any impediments. So, Sir, I urge upon the Government to create posts and employ teachers in colleges wherever there are Garo Students and wherever they like to offer Garo as their compulsory  subject in the matter of language besides English, because one has to take English as a compulsory subject together with one Modern Indian Language. It is  the fitness of things that a student belonging to a particular community would like to offer his mother tongue as Modern Indian language; and , Garo should not be made an exception.

        Sir, in the matter of Nepali language there is a professor in St. Anthony's College and there are two more professors one in the Lady Keane College and another in Shillong College and the rest are having only part time jobs as professors. Previously, while taking part in the discussions on the cut motions during the previous Sessions of the Assembly, I had touched upon this and I had  urge upon the Government to away with the practice of appointing part time professors and teachers in the colleges thereby blocking the way for and aspirants to get a full time job in the College if he  or she is qualified. But this practice of providing part time professors and teachers in  the colleges has gone again the spirit that is to be pursued in the matter of giving employment to qualified people in respective claces where they can be fitted in. I know in this subject also alternative papers can be offered by students and provisions for offering honours also can be made. But in the absence of teachers the students cannot be expected to cover these papers and they would be left to their own luck to prepare for the subject, sit in the examination and finally get plucked because they do not get proper training and coaching in the absence of teachers and professors.

        Similar is the case in the matter of the number of teachers to meet the requirement of other languages, e.g. Hindi, which is the lingua franca of India and which language has to get all sorts of patronage in propagating in and getting it accepted by the people, especially in the eastern regions, particularly in the hill areas. I find the number of teachers for this particular subject in colleges is only one. it is a very rich subject, a very rich language as an alternative subject or as an beside the modern Indian languages as an alternative subject or as an honours subject. But in the absence of the teachers and professors in colleges, the students cannot offer it. And Hindi is such a subject that it can be taken up and read, studied and it can be offered as an honours subject or as an alternative subject for people not belonging to the Hindi speaking population only. There are students who are desirous and eager to study it in its entirely and thoroughly, but alas the number of teachers provided so far in our colleges is only one each. So, Sir, I urge upon the Government to go deep into these anomalies. especially in the matter of the Khasi and Garo and do justice to the students and also for promoting the tribal interest in our State where the tribal brethren are eager to develop their language to study their language and to bring it at par with the most advanced languages of the country, nay, of the noble world. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Will the Minister reply?

*Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to assure the mover of this motion of the fact that the Government is very fully aware of the inadequancy or the shortage of language teachers in the deficit colleges. In fact, a group of teachers concerned had reportedly brought this matter to the notice of the Government some time last year. I would also like to assure the mover of the motion that the matter is receiving the attention of the Government and Government is trying to evolve a just, fair and a rational solution of the problem The Government will always bear in mind the welfare of the students and I would like to remind the hon. Mover and the entire House of the fact that we do not have qualified teachers for any of the modern Indian Languages, in the sense that they do not hold a Masters Degree. In the Khasi Language, therefore, some 3 years or so ago, I recall that the Government took a decision to give the Khasi language tutors, the benefit according to the lecture in college and two conditions have been prescribed. One, service experience or teaching experience of 7 years, and the other, a person should have published works to his credit. I am just reminding the House of this fact with the intention to prove that he Government is concerned about the welfare of the language teachers. I would also like to take this opportunity of reminding the hon. Mover in particular of the fact that he University does not permit students to offer one of the modern Indian languages even though there may be no teachers to teach in that particular language provided of course that the modern Indian language selected is the mother tongue of the  student. This, to me, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is proof of the fact that the University authorities realise very full that it will not always be possible to provide 'A' teachers or an optimum number of teachers or an opium number of teachers to teach a particular language. In recent years, it has come to our notice that there are institutions or colleges of which a student is offered a particular subject to study and generally the criterion for offering any particular modern Indian language for study is based on the sufficiency of the number of students of subjects. Government in the other hand, sanction posts which the concurrence of Finance, provided justification exists for the sanctioning of such pass. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to mention just one point on which I disagree with the Mover, that is in relation to the statement made by him to the effect that appointment of sufficient number or teachers to teach Hindi in the various deficit colleges will help to propagate Hindi which he called the lingua-franca of India. But I wish to differ with him on that point. The fact remains that we, as a Government are as eager to propagate Hindi in our State and it is not only the Government, but the parents of the students or the students themselves are very eager to learn Hindi. But this problem cannot be solved just by sanctioning sufficient number of posts in any particular deficit college for teachers of Hindi. But Government is taking steps in this regard. We have to start teaching Hindi right from the L.P. stage. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would not only like to repeat once again the fact that the Government is fully aware of the problem and difficulties faced by the students but I would like to assure the Mover that the Government is fully seized of the problem and is fully aware of the difficulties of the students caused by the inadequacy of the number of the  language teachers posted or appointed in various colleges. I can assure the House that every thing possible will be done as a means to solve this problem. Thank you.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Hon'ble Chief Minister in charge of Education as to what policy the Government intends to adopt respect in of providing Garo teachers in our college where the number of Garo students does not justify according to the existing rules. I had asked that from the Government also to provide teachers in view of the backwardness of the people.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the hon' member would go back a little in his thoughts, he will recall that I have said that the Government will try to evolve a just, fair and rational solution and will always bear in mind the welfare of the students and by students it means all the students, that does not exclude the Garo students, but the Garo students also have been included.

Mr. Speaker :- Discussion on motion No.8 is closed. Let us come to motion No.9 to be moved by Shri Ledishon Nongsiang.

Shri H. Ledishon Nongsiang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the urgent necessity of removing the sweepers' lane at Mawlonghat, Barabazar.

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

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister Municipal Administration) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, contrary to my wish, I am compelled to raise a point of order. The motion read that his House do now discussion the necessity of removing the Sweepers' lane of Shillong and discussion on the removal of the lane or the street I do not think is the spirit of the motion, and of course I will listen to add with your permission, that if it is the Sweepers' lane of Mawlonghat .....

Mr. Speaker :- I think that was the actual motion, the sweepers, line. Any way for the purpose of the discussion, let it remain.

Shri H. Ledishon Nongsiang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I heard the seniors delivered by my seniors here like the hon. Member from Langkyrdem, the hon. Member from Nongshken, the hon. Member from Shella in supporting the motion moved by our hon. Friend from Mylliem about the degradation of the moral standard of the society because of illicit drinking of liquor, it indicates and it seems to mew that tomorrow's future and tomorrow's morning is very dark and uncertain. Any how I do not like to go far Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to my motion which we would be discussing now. In a democratic set up like our country and the society in the hills to which we belong the very word 'Sweeper' in my opinion is obnoxious and has no place in our society. The British are proud of themselves to be very democratic, yet in so far as my subject is concerned they left the legacy which is most undemocratic and it is a tragedy that after 30 years of Independence we will retain that obnoxious distinction which is very evident by the existence of the sweepers' colony in Shillong. Sir, Shillong has been known a long time back as the famous hill station of India which was also regarded as 'the Scotland of the East' and recently after attaining the State-hood it was planned to make Shillong, the flower city of India. Well, nature is very kind to us no doubt, Mr. Speaker, Sir, but the inhabitants of Shillong, specially these in authorities seem to be very unmindful of the gift of the nature. What have we done to Shillong,  our capital, the beautiful and beloved city, the home of so many people a real cosmopolitan city, the sweet smelling breezes of the hills, the clear water of the streams which attracts the pleasure of all eyes have now become the element which every one wants to avoid. I do not know where is this beauty is confined only in some parts of Shillong like Secretariat or in some big bungalows here in Shillong or in other places, I do not know anyhow, Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me come to my subject Sweepers colony at Mawlonghat Barabazar. There has been a move by the previous administration to shift this colony to some other parts of Shillong. But regretfully nothing come out of it. I know also Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the Minister in charge at the time who is the self-same person is also in charge now. But I am not pessimistic because I know the present Minister is a very  matured, more experienced more determined to succeed where he had failed before. The Sweepers' Colony at Mawlonghat in Barabazar is really an eye-sore, but the sore does not affect the eyes. On the other hand it affects more the nose and indeed perceptible senses. I do not know any person in authority who has frequently passed through this road, if he did, he will experience what I need not explain. The stench that comes out of the drains the small that emanates from the quarters as the drains are never fleshed out except when there is rain. The congestion of the narrow road compelled with heavy traffic makes those places a patch of ugliness. No doubt the structures of the houses of those sweepers outside are very nice. But it is inconvenient inside. Mr. Speaker, Sir, 10 to 12 members are living together in a small house. They are just like animals kept in a shed. Excuse me Mr. Speaker, Sir, for using the word animals. I do not mean the sweepers, it is only by way of example. In my opinion this reflects class distinction. There is no room for social integration. Actually the main target is to abolish untouchability and to bring about socialism. Classless society should be set up as envisaged in our Constitution but by putting them together in separate places we identify them as lower class we are opening the way for disintegration and unsocialistic ideals Sir,  are we now class conscious? If so, we should nib it in the bud in order to have a dignified society, a classless society. Since we are treating them as lower class and sub-standard human beings we are not appreciating and recognising their labour also. They feel that they are neglected and we are not instilling a sense of human dignity on these people. According to the great saying that 'Service to man is service to God. But I do not mean that I make this august House a church. But only to impress a sense of equality, a sense of justice, liberty and dignity of labour. Thus I urge upon the Government to accept and trends the sweepers equal citizens and not as untouchables and provide them with better facilities. Mr. Speaker, Sir, from the hygienic point of view not only the place falling under this area creates a breeding place for different diseases, but there are many slums in the town itself, like Barabazar, Palton bazar, Polo ground also the area near Dreamland cinema. If you happen to pass through this area where there is a water source caters to the supply of water during scarcity period. But we have seen that water is over flowing the road. Not only that. Take the case of Mawlai Gate also where there is a dumping ground. if the tourists happen to come to Shillong they expect to see the beauty of Shillong. But as soon as they enter the area they get nothing but bad smell. I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, Sir, to the Government, through you, to reform the administration of the Municipality and direct that all houses within the jurisdiction of the Municipal Board, should be given and fitted with septic tanks to prevent contamination of disease and make the town decent. I would like to recall that in 1976 our local news-paper Ka Kyrwoh U Riewlum advocated strongly for the provision of septic tank to all houses under the Municipal area which you were the editor at that time, Mr. Speaker, Sir let me come to the concentration of the sweepers. Concentration leads to evils. If we have to cross that lane after eight o'clock at night, we will find nothing except noises, drinking, gambling and what not.

Mr. Speaker :- Also merry making.

Shri H.L. Nongsiang :- This is not because they are habituated to these bad things but they are bound to do as they have no other works no place to play the refresh their brains in  spite of the congestion and bad acts. Mr. Speaker, Sir. I may refer to the Industrial Revolution which happened in England during the 18th  century. Why, because due to the concentration and suppression of the labourers by the capitalist class where there were no places for them even to spend their leisure time and justice was denied completely, more. Now Sir, my motion is to urge upon the Government to shift the sweepers' colony from Mawlonghat of Shillong and provide them with better facilities in order that they will be able to give better service to the people of Shillong. Shifting of the sweepers' colony will bring not only to the sweepers but will also provide a better space for parking of cars, ease the vehicular traffic and the market will be more ideal and the people of Shillong as well as the whole district will flow it into it daily. Sir, this area happened to be the area of the Chief Minister and I am sure he knows better than anybody the difficulties and inconvenience of this people and I hope Mr. Speaker, Sir, that our Government will be real anvil where different societies would be forged in a proper way. With these few words, I conclude my speech.

Mr. Speaker :- Any one else to participate?

*Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I very much appreciate the sentiments expressed by the member in respect of the condition in which the harijans in our premier city are made to live. Sir, he has touched all the points regarding their plight and has suggested ways and means to improve their lot in respect of housing and other facilities to be provided to them. I believe some years ago, a plan was drawn up to shift the colony from that site which is very congested and which has become a health hazard to the outskirts of the city and efforts made to ask some of them to go to the Lower Mawprem also. But there Sir, I feel the site and the area which can be made available will not be sufficient. So I urge upon the Government to examine the matter and find out suitable alternative site somewhere in the city where a planned colony can be built up with modern techniques in order to make them feel that they are also treated in the same way and at par with other members of the society. They were not looked down upon as something untouchable which our Government and the Government of India has committed to eliminate this word untouchable. It is the policy of the Government of India and also the policy of our Government to see that all sections of the people irrespective if their linguistic or religious affinity get equal scope to develop themselves according to their genius and more so in the case of these people who are very backward  and are looked down upon as untouchable and down castes. With these few words, Sir, I share the sentiments and views expressed by my friend, the mover of the motion. Thank you.

Mr. Speaker :- Will the Minister reply?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Municipal Administration) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am deeply touched by the conviction and spirit  with which the mover of the motion has discussed the subject matter under discussion. In a very brief speech he has discussed the various aspects of this problem concerning the sweepers who are inhabiting this area known as sweepers' line. He has touched also, in the course of his discussion, the important aspect of human attitude which I fully share. He has spoken about the lot of the sweepers. In fact, I would have liked it that the world should not be used, I remember back in early seventies when I was the Chairman of the Shillong Municipality I had indicated in note that the word 'sweeper' should not be used because, as I said, it is obnoxious to the sensibilities and susceptibilities to the human mind. God created man after his own image according to the Holy Book and that we the children of God and the father of the nation, whose picture is here, Gandhiji, had describe the Schedule Caste as Harijans, the children of God. In fact, in my life I remember, in my memory does not fail me, I had made a point of view that this colony should be known as Harijans Colony. Now, on this matter, I would like that this House, should share with my thoughts that we consider the work performed by the Harijans as not only useful, but a very noble profession, This is my submission, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The mover of the Motion had raised a very important point for the discussion as to the need of integrations of the Harijans into the society. Now, if I had that due, it would mean that there should not be Harijans colonies because they are to be integrated in the society. If the society is to  be classless, devoid of  any class distinction, then  it means that the Harijans or any other class should be integrated into the society, live as an ordinary citizens of the society. In fact this is the ideal State. I would urge a point of view that if we really mean business that the Harijans or the Scheduled Castes should be treated as equal labourers, then it is important that we should encourage the Harijans to live in the society and mix freely in that case on the promise that this job is an honourable job. But that was not to be and it is not to be. It takes time in the society of India with its ancient culture of caste system. Perhaps it is very difficult for them to do it. But here in our society in Shillong where we do not have a caste distinction perhaps this idea may work. I do not know whether it will work but it has the chance of working. Nevertheless, the practicability of the problem is that we have to do something about it. I fully share with the views expressed by the mover of the Motion and the hon. Member from Mawprem, who had spoken of the need to shift the Harijans from the present place. In fact, in 1972-73 the Government and the Municipality had chalked out the plan of shifting, rather decentralising the Harijans' colony into different areas with a view not only to integrating them with the society but also from the practical point of view that their work will be more stream-lined. They will be nearer the place of their work and also from the administrative point of view, it could be handled with more efficiency in 1972-73 the plan was that to have 4 more Harijan colonies at Mawprem, Malki, Madan Laban and Kenches' Trace. But I must confess, the plan could not be implemented because of the opposition of the people of the localities where the mini colonies were to be set up for obvious reason, call it prejudice or such motion call it anything. There were strong resentments and ultimately, the plan could not be implemented. But so far as the present Government is concerned we are really exercising our minds on this subject that because we believe that in order to gain more efficiency in the Municipal administration and also to improve the places where there are the Harijan colonies it is worth pursuing this idea of decentralising the Harijan Colonies. The idea was that in such an event, we could have a beautiful market complex with a parking area and that way, will help decongestion and also it would help in having an improved market place and to lesses the impact of congestion and difficulty. We are still pursuing the idea not only from the human angle and administrative angle but also from the maximum utilisaton of the land in question. In any case, we are pursuing the idea still and in so far as the living condition of the Harijans is concerned, we are very much aware of their problems and we are taking steps through various ways and means to improve their living condition. Recently we had entered into some negotiations with their representatives and we have come to certain talks and perhaps, we would be able to do something better for their living condition. The hon. Mover has mentioned about in sanitary condition of the Harijans Colony. Well, I would admit that to a certain extent the colony is not beautiful, as clean as it should be. But if compare the present condition with the previous years, you will admit that it has improved. Perhaps the rooms are being used by many members of the family. But that is outside the point. But in so far  as the general surrounding are concerned, the drains, the water supply and all that it has improve considerably. This is so far as we are concerned, Sir, and I say so because I happened to look after this matter for long years. So I can say this was confidence. Now, the Mover of the Motion has also, by way of reference made certain remarks to the beauty of Shillong, the cleanliness of the town and has mentioned certain places where there are certain slums which are eye-sores. I agree entirely that there are spots here and there. But generally speaking, Shillong today is a beautiful city although it is yet to be a garden city which I would like it to be. But it is a beautiful city. "Rome was not built in day", perhaps, it takes time. Let us be patient and let us make it beautiful. I agree with the idea of the mover of the motion that we do away with this manual removal of night soil by having septic tanks as the hon. Member from Mawprem has stated that this is linked with adequate water because without water they will not be used. I believe in due course when the water problem is solved we would be able to have septic tanks in Shillong. Well Sir, I think I have covered all the points which are placed before the House in so far as the motion is concerned and I would only like to add that the Government is considering as a result, now to constitute a committee of a few experienced officers with a view to see and spot places where we could have the colonies and also to improve the living conditions of the Harijans. I think after some time the machine will move. 

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am glad to hear about the plans to constitute a committee of officers only and I should like to urge upon the Government to include public leaders of Shillong like M.L.As and M.D.Cs in order to make it more effective and workable.

Mr. Speaker :- So the discussion on motion number 9 is closed. Let us come to Motion number 10 to be moved by Shri G. Mylliemngap 

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Rule 131 I beg to make that this House do now discuss  the need of constructing a by-pass to the National Highways 40 and 44 to avoid heavy traffic in Shillong town.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this motion from the very word 'by-pass' itself is clear. It means to design and relieve the congestion by providing alternative route for the traffic. You know Sir, this National Highway No.40 starts from Jorabad and it comes up to Bangladesh via Dawki and Tamabil and the other one No. 44 is bifurcated somewhere near the old petrol pump on Cherra road taking to Jowai and all those places beyond Meghalaya. So this road No.40 is a very important  road. Taking all the traffics coming from outside Meghalaya or going outside Meghalaya this is the only life line to bring all the necessities of our daily needs coming to Shillong and also the surplus marketable products which we have to take away from Shillong. This is the only high way which we are using. You know Mr. Speaker, Sir, Shillong is being expanded day by day and the number of houses is unceasing. The demand for land is more  and more and the price of land is also increasing thereby the  encroachment is very common specially on the Government lands. Therefore, I feel that with the advancement of science and technology they are putting on heavier and heavier vehicles on the roads. The size of the road from time to time needs to be expanded and Shillong is such a congested place and the road is already small which is almost impossible for expansion, so there is an immediate need to construct a by pass on Highway No.40 Besides that you know Mr. Speaker, Sir, the life of man and the span of our life now a days is so short and traveling from Gauhati to Shillong takes quite a long time and by this time which we spend in our journey we could have done so many other works which may be productive. Therefore, to lose more time to pass through congestions of the traffic in Shillong means that people will be losing more and more valuable time and  besides that the heavy lorries when they are coming right from Barapani and right to Shillong, they move the snail speed and  when there is a congestion specially from Mawlai up to Barabazar they use to obstruct small vehicles. When these big being used unnecessarily by the drivers of the smellers vehicles and these are the inconveniences caused to the motorists. Besides that Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is true that the traffic vehicles do not have time to lose because they have to cover long distance do not have time to lose because they have to cover long distances and if  they come through Shillong they may be losing one hour or one and half hours or sometime even to get out of Shillong. But if we have a by pass it will help this long distance traffic to make use of the time instead of spending it in causing congestion in Shillong. Besides that Mr. Speaker, Sir, you know it also causes disturbance specially at night. Most of the people in Shillong are office goers and they need a good sleep at night so that they can do good work in their office, in the day time. And when you are having a deep slumber at night, you may hear a deep sound coming right from Mawlai.

Mr. Speaker :- Rumbling sound.

Shri G. Mylliemngap :-  Rumbling sound, like 'wung, wung-wung, wung. If you are in a deep slumber that sound will cause inconvenience and not only that it increases pollution.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) :- It increases population. (laughter).

Shri G. Mylliemngap :- It increases pollution also. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I feel that by-pass of National High Way Nos.40 and 44 is very essential and if we take this National High Way No.40 somewhere from Barapani Dam or just at the place where there is a temporary camp of the Geological  Survey of India at present and it goes that side and then it comes again to Madanriting Bus stand or somewhere that side that it connects again with No.40 somewhere in Mylliem either at 7th Mile or 8th Mile, and if we take only one by-pass it will serve both these high Ways No.40 and 44. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, through you, I take this opportunity to bring to the notice of the Government that a by pass of this National High Way No.40 is immediately necessary. It is not a unique thing that we are proposing here in Meghalaya only, but in other towns and other cities throughout the country also there are by-passes. With these few words, I move this motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Will the Minister reply?

*Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir I am indeed very happy that this motion was brought for discussion in this august House today and I feel that I should express my appreciation to the hon. Member from Sohryngkham who has brought this motion. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the National High Way No.40 as has already said by the mover, starts from Jorabat and passes through many important villages, then passes through Shillong town to Umtyngngar and terminates at Tamabil where it meets the international border. The National High Way No.44 starts from Shillong and terminates at Agartala. But of this National Highway No.44 only 64 kilometres of the road are under the charge of this Government. Sir, for the information of the House, the national Highways are the responsibility of the Central Government and according to Section 6 of the National High Way Act, 1956, the Central Government is authorised to make an agreement of National Highways. So, as I have said, the National High Way No.40 which starts from Jorabat upto Tamabil is under the charge of this Government. But the national High Way No.44 which starts from Shillong upto Agartala, only 64 kilometres of the road are under the charge of our Government. Only that portion from Shillong to Jowai.

Mr. Speaker :- Up to Garampani.

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Upto Jowai only. The remaining portion is being looked into by the border Areas Development Board. So Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think we appreciate the idea of having a by-pass of  the National Highways Nos.40 and 44 through the city of Shillong. But we must also consider the technical difficulties that we are facing as the hon. Mover of the motion has said that the road especially No.44 is passing through a very congested area where there are buildings and what not. We must also consider the difficulties when we have a by-pass that it will cause a lot of expenditure in matters of compensation and what not. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as per rules of the Government of India, if we want development and maintenance of the urban road links by providing a parallel service road to the central road, we can do that provided we have a land of not less than 30.5 hectares.


ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Speaker :- From your reply I can understand that you may take some time. You may continue the next day. Now as the time is up, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. on Wednesday, the 5th, 1978.

D.S. KHONGDUP,
Dated Shillong : Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
The 4th July, 1978. Secretary,

*****