PROCEEDINGS FO THE MEGHALAYA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY HELD AT 9-30 A.M. ON MONDAY, THE 10TH JULY, 1978 IN THE ASSEMBLY CHAMBER, SHILLONG WITH THE SPEAKER IN THE CHAIR.

*****

Mr. Speaker : Now, let us start the business of the day by taking up Starred Question No.13 Shri Kharlukhi is absent. (Not put Member being absent) Let us not come to Starred Question No.14 of Shri Manik Das.


STARRED QUESTIONS

(To which oral replies were given)

Barengapara P.W.D. Division in West Garo Hills

Shri Manik Das asked :

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

(a)

Whether the Government is aware of the fact that Barengapara Division in West Garo Hills District have been allotted with the smallest amount for the current year in spite of the fact that the said Division mainly caters for the development of Border Areas?

(b)

If so, the reason thereof?

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

14. (a) - No it is not a fact. The tentative work-load for the Division for the current final year is Rs.44.41 lakhs.

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

Shri Manik Das : When was the allotment made to the Division?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) : This current financial year.

Mr. Speaker : Starred Question No.15. Shri B. Wanniang. He is absent. (Not put Member being absent)

Cattle lifting in the border areas

Shri Manik Das asked :

*16.    Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -

(a)

Whether the Government is aware of the sporadic cases of cattle lifting and theft along the border with Bangladesh in Apati, Katuli, Boldamgiri, Kalaichar, Mahendraganj and Porakhasia areas of West Garo Hills District?

(b)

If so, how many such cases have been resisted so far in the Police Station at Mahendraganj and police outposts at Ampati, Kalaichar and Porakhasia during the last four months?

(c)

The number of stolen cattle handed over to the Border Security Force by the Bangladesh Rifles during the last four months?

(d) Whether these stolen cattle have been handed over to their owners?

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

16.    (a) - Yes.

        (b) - Twelve cases pf cattle theft were reported during the period from February, 1978 to May 1978 at Mahendraganj Police Station. The village-wise break up is as follows :-

(1) Mahendraganj Village ... ... 5 (Five)
(2) Ampati Village ... ... 1 (One)
(3) Kalaichar Village ... ... 5 (Five)
(4) Baldamgiri ... ... 1 (One)
(5) Katuli Village ... ... Nil
(6) Purakhasia Village ... ... Nil

        (c) - Four.

        (d) - Yes.

Shri Manik Das : Mr. Speaker, Sir, 16 (d) I like to know from the Hon'ble Chief Minister who handed over the stolen cattle to their owners, the B.S.F. or the local Police?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) : Four heads were returned to the Border Security Force by Bangladesh Rifles and handed over to their owners.

Shri Manik Das : 16 (d). Under what Government authority the B.S.F. handed over direct to the civilian owners?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) : I require notice.

Shri Manik Das : 16 (d). In case a dispute between several persons over a stolen cattle, under whose custody it is kept and how is it disposed of?

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) : I require notice.

Mr. Speaker : It is quite alright. It is the civilian administration which will take care of it.

        Let us come to Starred Question No.17.

Border area development schemes

Shri Manik Das asked :

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

(a)

The number of schemes under Border Area Development (B.A.D.) sanctioned for the current year under Barengapara Division?

(b)

Whether the then Government proposes to take up the 7 (seven) Km. Kherapara Josipara Section III under the B.A.D. Schemes?

(c)

If so, when?

(d)

If not, the reason thereof.

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

17.    (a) - Nil.

        (b) - Matter is under consideration of the Government.

        (c) - When fund position permits.

        (d) - Does not arise.

Mr. Speaker : Let us come to Unstarred Question No.104.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(Replies to which were placed on the Table)

Wholesellers of Controlled Commodities in the State

Shri S. Kalwing asked :

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

        (a) Total number of wholesale traders in rice in the State, district-wise?

        (b) How many of them belong to the Scheduled Tribes?

        (c) When were the wholesale licences last selected?

        (d) The number of tribal who applied for wholesale licences?

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

104. (a)

1. East Khasi Hills ... ... 10 (ten)
2. West Garo Hills ... ... 27 (twenty-seven)
3. Jaintia Hills ... ... 3 (three)
4. West Khasi Hills ... ... 6 (six)
5. East Khasi Hills ... ... 5 (five)
6. Ri-Bhoi Sub-Division ... ... 7 (seven)
7. Baghmara Sub-Division ... ... 2 (two)
8. Mairang Sub-Division ... ... 1 (one)

(b)

1. East Khasi Hills ... ... 7 (seven)
2. West Garo Hills ... ... 2 (two)
3. Jaintia Hills ... ... 1 (one)
4. West Khasi Hills ... ... 3 (three)
5. East Garo Hills ... ... 3 (three)
6. Ri-Bhoi Sub-Division ... ... 4 (four)
7. Baghmara Sub-Division ... ... Nil
8. Mairang Sub-Division ... ... 1 (one)

(c)

1. East and West Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills District November, 1977.
2. East and West Garo Hills Districts and Baghmara Sub-Division January, 1978.
3. Ri Bhoi Sub-Division 10th November, 1977
4. Mairang Sub-Division 15th December, 1977.

(d)

1. East Khasi Hills ... ... 15 (fifteen)
2. West Garo Hills ... ... 2 (two)
3. Jaintia Hills ... ... 2 (two)
4. West Khasi Hills ... ... 11 (eleven)
5. East Garo Hills ... ... 4 (four)
6. Ri-Bhoi Sub-Division ... ... 6 (six)
7. Baghmara Sub-Division ... ... Nil
8. Mairang Sub-Division ... ... 2 (two)

Shri Manik Das : I would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister on what basis wholesale licences is given?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) : On merit.

Civil Hospital, Shillong

Shri B. Wanniang asked :

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

(a)

The total number of beds in the general wards and the number in private wards in the Civil Hospital, Shillong?

(b)

Whether it is a fact that there is shortage of doctors and nurses in the said hospital?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister-in-charge of Health and F.W. Department) replies :

105. (a) - (i) General Wards ... ... ... 178 beds
(ii) Private Wards ... ... ... 22 beds

        (b) no.

Shri B.K. Roy : Under 105 (b) Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Minister-in-charge how may Specialists are there?

Mr. Speaker : That is a separate question.

Shri Maham Singh : 105 (b). How many patients each nurse has to attend?

Mr. Speaker : It is a new Question.

Dispensary at Balat

Shri B. Wanniang asked :

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

        (a) Whether Government propose to establish a dispensary at Balat?

        (b) If so, when?

        (c) If not, the reason thereof?

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

106. (a), (b) and (c) - Government has already decided to establish Subsidiary Health Centre at Balat.

Shri Manik Das : 106 (a) When did the Government decide to establish a dispensary at Balat?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister, Health) : Some time last year.

Forest Development Corporation Ltd.

Shri Manik Das asked :

107. Will the Minister-in-charge, Forest be pleased to state -

        (a) When was the Forest Development Corporation Ltd. constituted?

        (b) What are the functions of this Corporation?

        (c) How much money has been spent so far during the last two years (year-wise) to run the said Corporation?

        (d) What is the total number of employees serving under the said Corporation, category-wise?

        (e) What has been its achievements so far?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister, Forest) replied :

107. (a) - The Forest Development Corporation of Meghalaya Ltd. was incorporated on 30th January, 1975.

        (b) The functions of the Corporation have been detailed under the main objects of the Corporation as stated in the Memorandum of Association and accordingly the under-mentioned activities have been undertaken presently :-

(i)

Afforestation of all barren lands in the State, by creation of pine plantations in the Districts of Khasi  Hills and Jaintia Hills and teak plantations in the Garo Hills Districts.

(ii)

To create other forests plantations like citronella and lemon grass in the State and extract the oil there from by setting up distillation plants.

(iii)

To tap the resin from the pine trees of the Government forests and other non-Government pine forests.

(iv)

To exploit timber from forests (Government and non-Government forest)

        (c) - The total expenditure during the year :-

Rs.

1976-77 ... ... ... ... ...    7,94,012
1977-78 ... ... ... ... ... 14,48,432

        (d) - The total number of employees in the Corporation as on 1st July, 1978 is as under :-

Categories

Number

1. Managing Director ... ... ... ... ... 1
2. General Manager ... ... ... ... ... 1
3. Divisional Manager ... ... ... ... ... 2
4. Project Manager ... ... ... ... ... 1
5.  Asstt. Divisional Manager ... ... ... ... ... 3
6. Foresters-I ... ... ... ... ... 11
7. Foresters-II ... ... ... ... ... 1
8. Forest Guards ... ... ... ... ... 30
9. Plantation Mali/Watcher/Boiler-man ... ... ... ... ... 13
10. Superintendent ... ... ... ... ... 1
11. Accountant ... ... ... ... ... 1
12. Upper Division Asstt. ... ... ... ... ... 2
13. Lower Division Asstt. ... ... ... ... ... 4
14. Stenographer ... ... ... ... ... 1
15. Drivers ... ... ... ... ... 6
16. IV Grade ... ... ... ... ... 7

85

        (e) - The achievement of the Corporation has been very significant in the matter of procurement of land for plantation activities, raising of plantation of pine, teak and oil-bearing plants, resin-tapping of pine trees, supply of timber to industries and regular employment of as many as 85 persons besides employment of rural people on daily wages.

Shri Manik Das : 107 (c). Why the expenditure during 1977-78 went up by two folds as compared to the previous years?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister, Forest) : It is according to the volume of work.

Shri Manik Das : 107 (d), What is the authorisation of employees as per rules laid down?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister, Forests) : I require notice.

Shri Manik Das : What is the daily wage paid by the Corporation to the rural people?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister, Forest) : It is a new question.

Mr. Speaker : It is a new Question.

Contractors in Mawsynram P.W.D. Division

Shri B. Wanniang asked :

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

        (a) The names of the registered Contractors in Mawsynram Division during the year 1977-78, class-wise?

        (b) The names of the Contractors to whom works were allotted during the year 1977-78 and total value of each contractor?

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

108. (a) The list of Class III and IV Contractors is placed on the table of the House.

        (b) The list is placed on the table of the House.

Block Development Committee

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

109. Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be pleased to state -

        (a) The agencies within the Blocks to channelise the Applied Nutrition Programme?

        (b) The agencies within the Blocks to channelise the Special Nutrition Programme?

        (c) Whether Government propose to increase the number of sittings of Block Development Committees from two to four in a year?

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Minister-in-charge of Community Development, etc.) replied :

109. (a) - The Applied Nutrition Programme is channelised within the Blocks through the agencies of youth clubs and the women's organisation under the overall supervision of the Block Development Officers concerned.

        (b) - The Special Nutrition Programme is channelised within the Blocks through the agencies of the women's organisations under overall supervision of the Block Development Officers concerned.

        (c) - No.

Shri Manik Das : 109 (b) Are all Blocks covered by Special Nutrition Programme?

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development) : Yes.

Shri Manik Das : Are these women's organisations registered with the Government?

Shri M.N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development) : Most of them are registered women organisations.

Exchange of Land

Shri Albin Lamare asked :

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

        (a) The area of reserve forests released in exchange for community-owned land at Garo Hills and Khasi Hills District?

        (b) Whether such area has been handed over to the respective community land owners?

        (c) Whether the Forest Department has taken possession of the exchanged lands?

        (d) If not, the reason thereof?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister of Forest) replied :

110. - (a) 407,112 hectares proposed to be exchanged in Garo Hills Divisions 3,278 hectares in Khasi Hills Division.

        (b) - Handing over the areas in Garo Hills Division has not taken place but handing over in Khasi Hills Division has been completed.

        (c) - In Garo Hills Division the Government has not taken possession of the exchanged land yet but in Khasi Hills Division the exchanged land has been taken over.

        (d) - In Garo Hills division due to non-completion of handing over the reserve forest land, the exchanged land could not be taken over.

Shri Manik Das : Will the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge let this House know whether 407.112 hectares of land fall under the category of Akhing land?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister of Forest) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have classified the lands. There are lands which fall under the Akhing land and others which belong to the private parties.

Shri Manik Das : 110(a), Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know where these lands are located?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister of Forest) : These lands are located at Shibanang, Bhaitbari, Halidaganj and Narangiri.

Shri Manik Das : 110(b), What are the reasons for the delay in taking over the land in Garo Hills?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister of Forest) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the process of negotiation, it has not been possible to finalise.

Unstarred Question No.111.

Chief Conservator of Forest

Shri Albin Lamare asked :

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

        (a) When was the post of Chief conservator of Forests created in Meghalaya?

        (b) Whether the selection of Chief Conservator of Forest was made through the Joint Cadre Authority?

        (c) If not, the reason thereof:?

        (d) The number of cadred Conservators in the State of Meghalaya?

Shri R. Lyngdoh (Minister of Forest) replied :

111. (a) - 6th January, 1978.

        (b) - No.

        (c) - The State Government is competent.

        (d) - One.

Expansion plant of the Mawmluh-Cherra Ltd.

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

112. Will the Minister-in-charge of Industries be pleased to state the scheduled date fixed for commissioning the expansion plant of the Mawmluh-Cherra Cements Ltd.?

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

112. - 1st Kiln and Raw Mill ... Last week of July, 1978.
Cement Mill ... Middle of August, 1971.
Crushing plant ... Middle of August, 1978.
2nd Kiln ... Middle of August, 1979.

Shri Manik Das : I would like to know from the Minister when did the work start on the first kiln and the raw mill?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : Some time in the month of May.

Capacity of the M.C.C.L. Plant

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

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

        (a) The rated capacity of the existing plant of the M.C.C.L.?

        (b) The total tonnage of production of cement per year from the date of commissioning or the plan year-wise and the percentage of production in terms of rated capacity year-wise?

        (c) Whether the production is according to target?

        (d) If not, the reason for not achieving the full target?

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

113. (a) Eighty-four thousand tonnes per annum.

Tonnes Per cent
(b) - 1966-67 ... ... ... 23,265 44.31
1967-68 ... ... ... 36,502 43.45
1968-69 ... ... ... 73,343 87.31
1969-70 ... ... ... 64,300 76.55
1970-71 ... ... ... 57,700 68.69
1971-72 ... ... ... 66,700 79.40
1972-73 ... ... ... 62,000 73.81
1973-74 ... ... ... 53,650 63.87
1974-75 ... ... ... 73,100 87.02
1975-76 ... ... ... 62,720 74.67
1976-77 ... ... ... 58,400 69.52
1977-78 (upto date) ... ... ... 46,000 54.08

        (c) - No.

        (d) Initial production difficulties, inadequate supply of coal, poor quality of coal, transport difficulties, power interruption, breakdown of raw mill motor and cement mill, power interruption, etc.

Shri Manik Das : 113 (b). How many times did the break-down of the raw mill take place since December, 1977?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : I think this question was answered elsewhere. Anyway, I require notice.

Shri Manik Das : 113(d). Which grade of coal is required by the factory?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : The grade of coal which is technically approved.

Shri Manik Das : By which power station the company is being fed?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : By the M.S.E.B. from the Cherrapunjee Sub-station.

M.C.C.L. Expansion Plant

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

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

        (a) The estimated amount for setting up the expansion plant of the M.C.C.L. and the total investment on that account till date?

        (b) Whether the plant will be completed within the estimated amount?

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

114. (a) and (b) - The original estimate is Rs.980 lakhs. However, due to escalation in prices and other reasons the estimate has been revised and total estimate cost has gone up to Rs.1,018.99 lakhs, and this is under examination. The total investment up to 31st March, 1978, is Rs.712.87 lakhs. Accordingly, based on the latest revised estimates prepared by the D.C.P.L. the plant cannot be completed within the amount of Rs.980 lakhs originally estimated.

Shri Manik Das : 114 (b). When was the estimate revised?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : I require notice, Sir.

Shri Manik Das : 214 (b). Since how long the Development Consultants Private Limited has been working at the site?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : Since a few years ago.

Shri Manik Das : 114 (a) .......

Mr. Speaker : Is the Minister replying to the previous supplementary question or is he waiting for another supplementary?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : I require notice.

Manik Das : 114 (a). When was it decided to set up the Expansion Plant?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : I require notice.

Expansion of Colony, Factory Building, boundary walls, etc., of the M.C.C.L.

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

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

        (a) The basis on which the contract for construction towards expansion of colony, factory, building, boundary wall, etc., of the Mawmluh-Cherra Cements Ltd., was awarded?

        (b) Whether it is a fact that contract was awarded at a rate much higher than the P.W.D. schedule rate?

        (c) If so, the reason thereof?

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

115. (a) - The tenders for the main civil works for construction of factory buildings, boundary wall expansion colony were jointly evaluated by M/s Development Consultants (P) Ltd., the Consultants and M.C.C.L. and their views, recommending to award the work to the lowest tenders were placed before the Tender Committee which in turn recommended it to the Board of Directors. The Board accepted the recommendations of the evaluation team and Tender Committee.

        (b) - No. The contract for the main civil works not based on the P.W.D. scheduled of rates as the P.W.D. scheduled of rates does not cover all the items required for the execution of the work of the cement factory.

        (c) - Does not arise.

Shri Manik Das : 115 (a). When did the Board accept the recommendation of the evaluation team and tender committee?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : I will oblige the hon. Member with more information connected with this. Now in response to the tender notice which was floated in February, 1975, this notice was notified and we got the tenders and these again went to the tender committee and in the meeting of the tender committee held on 5th July, 1975, the Committee committed that the tender for the main work be split up. After that, fresh tenders were invited in December 1975. Then ultimately, just in the early part of 1976, the Board made a decision.

Shri Manik Das : 115 (a). What was the total estimate of the work?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : The estimate is Seventy Lakhs.

Shri Manik Das : I would also like to know ......

Mr. Speaker : You have crossed three.

Consultants of the MCCL

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

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

        (a) - The consultant appointed by the MCCL for the expansion plant.

        (b) - When were they appointed?

        (c) - How many cement plants were built under their supervision before they were appointed as Consultants of the M.C.C.L.?

        (d) - Whether it is a fact that the 1st Cement Consultant Engineer appointed by them was an ex-employee of the M.C.C.L.?

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

116. (a) - M/S Development Consultants (P) Ltd., Calcutta.

        (b) - 1st April 1974.

        (c) - The list is placed on Table of the House.

        (d) - No.

Shri Manik Das : 116 (b). Since 1st April, 1974, how much amount has been paid to the Firm for Consultancy services?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : I require notice, Sir.

Shri Manik Das : On what basis the firm was appointed?

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : On the basis of its technical competence and its experience in the work.

Manik Das : 116 (b). What were the terms and conditions for appointment of the firm?

Mr. Speaker : In a question you cannot go too much into the details.

Shri Manik Das : What was the maximum time limit given and for how many years they were appointed?

Mr. Speaker : I think this is the fourth question.

Company Secretary of the MCCL

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

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

        (a) - The date when the present Company Secretary of MCCL was appointed and by whom?

        (b) - The qualification of the Secretary and his pay scale?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, Industries)  replied :

117. (a) - The present Company Secretary was appointed with effect from 9th August, 1976 by the Management.

        (b) - B.A., B.L. and Associate Member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (A.C.S.) which is a compulsory qualification for a Company Secretary under Companies Act, 1956. Pay scale Rs.1,150-55-I, 315-EB-60-675.

Shri Manik Das : 117(b). Has the Company Secretary been appointed on permanent basis?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : No Sir.

Pay and Allowances of the Company Secretary of Mawmluh Cherra Cements Ltd.

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

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

        (a) Whether the Company Secretary of the Mawmluh Cherra Cements Ltd., gets any other benefit other than pay?

        (b) If so, whether that benefit is allowed to other employees of the Company?

        (c) If not, the reason thereof?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) replied :

118. (a) - The Company Secretary is entitled to provident fund, medical facilities, leave travel concession once in two years and reimbursement of actual house rent paid subject to a maximum of Rs.300 p.m. instead of house rent allowance.

        (b) - Except leave travel concession and reimbursement of actual house rent paid, other benefits are allowed to all employees.

        (c) - Special benefits of leave concession and reimbursement of actual house rent paid are given as negotiated before his appointment as he was entitled to leave travel concession and rent free accommodation in his former employer, which is a Government Company, Special benefits are offered to only candidates possessing specialised profession qualification/experience whose services cannot be obtained without offering such benefits due to shortage of qualified people all over India.

Chief Accountant of the Mawmluh Cherra Cement Ltd.

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

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

        (a) The date when the present Chief Accountant of the Mawmluh Cherra Cements Ltd. was appointed and by whom?

        (b) The qualification and experience of the Chief Accountant at the time of the appointment?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) replied :

119. (a) - The present Chief Accountant was appointed with effect from 22nd April, 1977 by the Management.

        (b) - B. Com., Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (A.C.A.).

Shri Manik Das : 119 (b) Whether the Chief Accountant has been appointed on permanent basis?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : No, Sir.

Income Tax Consultant of the Mawmluh Cherra Cements Ltd.

Shri Bhaskar Choudhury asked :

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

        (a) Whether it is a fact that the Mawmluh Cherra Cements Ltd. has appointed an Income Tax Consultant?

        (b) If so, what is his qualification?

        (c) The fee paid to the Consultant?

        (d) Whether it is a part of the duty of the Chief Accountant to attend to all income-tax matters?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) replied :

120. (a) - Yes.

        (b) - B.Sc., B.L.

        (c) - Professional fee for consultation, drafting objections, etc. - Rs.450.00.

        Appearance before the Inspecting Assistant Commissioner - Rs.550.00.

        (d) - Chief Accountant attends to routine income-tax matters only.

Joint Director of Health Services, Meghalaya

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

121. Will the Minister-in-charge of Health, etc., be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether it is a fact that the present Joint Director of Health Services, Meghalaya, was some years ago transferred and posted as the Civil Surgeon, Jaintia Hills District, Jowai, but was most reluctant to comply with the orders?

        (b) Whether it is a fact that the Government of Assam drew proceedings against the above mentioned officer and/or censured him for negligence of duty?

        (c) Whether the Government of Meghalaya was aware of the above when the said officer's case for confirmation was considered?

        (d) On what date was the decision to confirm the officer concerned taken by the Government of Meghalaya and with effect from which date has the confirmation been made?

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

121. (a) - No.

        (b) - Yes.

        (c) - Yes.

        (d) - On 1st March, 1977 with effect from 21st January, 1972.

Shri S.P. Swer : 121 (b) Whether negligence of duty was recorded in the service book of the incumbent?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister-in-charge, Health & F.W.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes.

Supply of Drinking Water

Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh asked :

122. Will the Minister-in-charge of Public Health Engineering be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether Government is aware that the people of the villages comprising the Pariong Constituency are suffering for want of proper supply of drinking water?

        (b) If so, whether Government proposes to take up a scheme for supply of drinking water for those village?

        (c) If so, when?

        (d) If not, the reason thereof?

Shri J.D. Pohrmen (Minister-in-charge of P.H.E. Department) replied :

122. (a) - Yes.

        (b) - Yes, subject to technical feasibility and availability of funds.

        (c) - During the Plan Period.

        (d) - Does Not arise.

Bull-dozers under the Agriculture Department

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

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

        (a) The total number of serviceable bull-dozers under the Agriculture Department?

        (b) The total number of such bull-dozers earmarked for hire to interested farmers for land reclamation?

        (c) The subsidised rates charged from the farmers for land reclamation?

        (d) Whether the demand of the interested farmers for such bull-dozers' services in the State are fully met at all times?

        (e) The total number of farmers who availed the services of such bull-dozers during the year 1977-78?

Dr. B. Pakem (Minister of Agriculture) replied :

123. (a) - 10 Nos.

        (b) - 10 Nos.

        (c) - Rupees 38.00 per hour for heavy bull-dozing.

        Rupees 24.00 per hour for light bull-dozing.

        (d) - No, in some seasons we feel shortage.

        (e) - 148 Nos.

Shri Manik Das : 123 (a) What is the break-up of bull-dozers district-wise?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Agriculture) : The break-up for Khasi Hills 7, Garo Hills 2 and Jaintia Hills one.

Shri Manik Das : 123 (c). What is the actual cost incurred by the Government per hour for running heavy bull-dozers?

Mr. Speaker : That is a new question, The main question is about that rate charged on the farmers.

Shri Manik Das : I would like to know Sir..........

Mr. Speaker : Will you please accept my ruling?

Shri Manik Das : 123 (c). What is the break-up of farmers district-wise?

Shri B. Pakem ( Minister, Agriculture) : The break-up of farmers for Khasi Hills for 1977-78 - 56, Jaintia Hills - 7 and Garo Hills - 85.

Saitsama Sheep Farm

Shri Albin Lamare asked :

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

        (a) The date of establishment of the Saitsama Sheep Farm?

        (b) The area of the Saitsama Sheep Farm?

        (c) The number of sheep reared year-wise?

        (d) The number of sheep which died (year-wise)?

        (e) The expenditure incurred for purchase of sheep's (year-wise)?

        (f) The expenditure incurred for maintaining the farm (year-wise)?

        (g) The quality of wool so far collected?

        (h) The sale-proceeds from the sale of wool?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister-in-charge, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary) replied :

124. (a) 27th March, 1973.

        (b) - 38.83 acres.

        (c) - 1972-73 - 37; 1973-74 - 37; 1974-75 - 52; 1975-76 - 144; 1976-77 - 377; 1977-78 - 335.

        (d) - 1972-73 -Nil; 1973-74 - Nil; 1974-75 - 10; 1975-76 - 7; 1976-77 - 125; 1977-78 - 107.

        (e) - 1972-73 -Rs.4,200; 1973-74 - Rs.2,000; 1974-75 - Rs.60,000; 1975-76 - Rs.20,000; 1976-77 - 39,000; 1977-78 - 3,000.

        (f) - 1972-73 - Rs.20,000; 1973-74 - Rs.18,000; 1974-75 - Rs.45,000; 1975-76 - Rs.54,000; 1976-77 - 68,000; 1977-78 - 1,01,000.

        (g) - 1972-73 -Nil; 1973-74 - Nil; 1974-75 - Nil; 1975-76 - Nil; 1976-77 - 100 Kgs.; 1977-78 - 100 Kgs.

        (h) - 1972-73 -Nil; 1973-74 - Nil; 1974-75 - Nil; 1975-76 - Nil; 1976-77 - Nil; 1977-78 - Nil.

Shri Manik Das : 124 (d). Why there were large cases of death during 1976-77, 1977-78?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Animal Husbandry) : There were natural causes and also diseases.

Shri Manik Das : 124 (d). What was the total financial loss to the State on account of the death of these animals since 1972-78?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Animal Husbandry) : I require notice, Sir.

Shri Manik Das : 124 (g). How was the wool utilised?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Animal Husbandry) : It is proposed that the wool be sold to the Industries Department, but till today, we have not been able to dispose of this wool.

Rejuvenation of Orange Groves in the border areas

Shri S.P. Swer asked :

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

        (a) Whether concrete steps have been taken or proposed to be taken for rejuvenation of orange groves in the sloppy areas of the State bordering Bangladesh?

        (b) If not, what are the alternative schemes taken up or proposed to be taken up in those areas to alleviate the economic difficulties of the orange growers?

Dr. B. Pakem (Minister of Agriculture) replied :

125. (a) - Yes.

        (b) - Does not arise.

Shri Manik Das : 125 (a). I would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister what is the approximate areas covered by the orange groves in the areas of the State bordering Bangladesh?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Agriculture) : This time we propose to have 40 plots for rejuvenation of orange groves.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : 125 (a) - The reply is that concrete steps have been taken. Whether the concrete steps taken include work in the farmers' groves themselves or only in the experimental departmental plot.

Shri B. Pakem (Minister of Agriculture) : The reply is 'both'.

Shri Manik Das : 125 (b) - What is the approximate annual production of oranges in the area?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister of Agriculture) : I require notice.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : 125 (a) - May we know from the Minister whether the steps taken indicate that this problem of die-back disease can be controlled?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister of Agriculture) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are considering the proposal of curing the die-back disease.

Veterinary Doctors and Veterinary Field Assistants in the State

Shri Mukul Das asked :

126. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture and Veterinary be pleased to state -

        (a) The number of Veterinary doctors in the State?

        (b) The number of such doctors in Garo Hills District?

        (c) How many posts of doctors are still vacant?

        (d) The steps taken by the Government to fill up these posts?

        (e) The number of Veterinary Field Assistants in the State?

        (f) The number of Veterinary Field Assistants posted in East and West Garo Hills?

        (g) How many posts are still vacant?

        (h) The steps taken by the Government to man these vacant posts?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister of Agriculture and Veterinary) replied : 

126. (a) - 51 (fifty-one).

        (b) - 12 (twelve).

        (c) - 32 (thirty-two).

        (d) - Advertisement through M.P.S.C.

        (e) - 131 (one hundred and thirty-one).

        (f) - 37 (thirty-seven).

        (g) - 119 (one hundred and nineteen).

        (h) - For the training of Veterinary Field Assistant candidates are sent every year and the vacant posts are filled up gradually.

Shri Manik Das : 126 (a) - I would like to know from the Minister how many Veterinary Doctors are employed in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills Districts.

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Agriculture) : I require notice for that question, Sir.

Shri Manik Das : How many field assistants are undergoing training from the State till date?

 Mr. Speaker : Every year you are sending some of them. So the total of all these you will have to get for all the years.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) : That question ought to have been incorporated as (i).

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Animal Husbandry) : That is a new question.

Mr. Speaker : You should have said that you require notice. It is for me to say whether it is a new question or not.

Shri D.N. Joshi : 126 (c) - The reply is a number of posts are still vacant. May I know why the vacancies have not been filled up.

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Animal Husbandry) : We are filling up vacancies every year and we are sending the trainees to the training institutes.

Soil Conservation Schemes

Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh asked :

127. Will the Minister-in-charge of Soil Conservation be pleased to state -

        (a) The names of the Soil Conservation Schemes implemented in the State during the last three years with total areas involved?

        (b) The amount sanctioned and utilised against each scheme?

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister-in-charge, Soil Conservation) replied :

127. (a) & (b) - Statement placed on the table of the House.

Shillong Milk Supply Scheme

Shri Manik Das asked :

128. Will the Minister-in-charge of Agriculture and Veterinary be pleased to state -

        (a) The annual expenditure incurred during the past three years by the Government for the Shillong Milk Supply Scheme (year-wise) and the total number of employees serving in the said establishment category wise?

        (b) The revenue received by the Government from the said establishment during the last three years (year-wise)?

        (c) Whether any product of the said establishment is marketed outside the State?

        (d) If so, where?

Dr. B. Pakem (Minister-in-charge, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department) replied :

128. (a) - The expenditure incurred during 1975-76=Rs.12,05,815.00, during 1976-77=Rs.15,77,672.00 and during 1977-78=Rs.15,42,560.00.

        The total number of employees category-wise is as follows -

Class II Officers :

No. of posts
1. Assistant Dairy Officer ... ... ... 1 No.

Grade II Staff :

1 No.
2. Technical Assistant ... ... ... 1 No.
3. U.D.A.-cum-Accountant ... ... ... 1 No.
4. U.D.A.-cum-Cashier ... ... ... 1 No.
5. U.D.A.-cum-Store Keeper ... ... ... 1 No.
6. L.D.A.-cum-Typist ... ... ... 1 No.
7. Drivers ... ... ... 2 Nos.

Grade IV Staff :

8. Handyman ... ... ... 2 Nos.
9. Peon ... ... ... 1 No.
10. Chowkidar ... ... ... 1 No.
11. Chilling Plant Attendants ... ... ... 6 Nos.
12. Salesman (fixed pay of Rs.60 p.m.) ... ... ... 10 Nos.

        (b) - During the year 1975-76 = Rs.10,33,130.00, during 1976-77 = Rs.14,15,427.00 and during 1977-78 = Rs.13,65,947.00.

        (c) - 'Yes' only milk.

        (d) - Central Dairy, Khanapara (Government of Assam).

Shri Manik Das : 128 (c) - Whether the surplus milk is marketed out side the State?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Animal Husbandry) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, occasionally we do have surplus milk and we send it to Khanapara.

Shri Manik Das : 128 (c) - At what rate milk is sold outside the State?

Shri B. Pakem (Minister, Animal Husbandry) : I require notice for that.

Departmental Publications

Shri Manik Das asked :

129. Will the Minister-in-charge of Information and Public Relations be pleased to state -

        (a) The number of departmental publications issued from time to time?

        (b) The amount spent on Government advertisements last year?

        (c) The name of those newspapers to which Government advertisements are being given?

        (d) Whether it is a fact that the firm which had to pay a penalty of Rs.8,000.00 for mistakes in publication of Meghalaya Calendars in 1976 has been given the work of publication of Meghalaya Calendars this year?

        (e) If so, the reason thereof?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister of Information and Public Relations) replied :

129. (a) - 1971-72 ... ... ... 3 (three) Nos.
1972-73 ... ... ... 9 (nine) Nos.
1973-74 ... ... ...  15 (fifteen) Nos.
1974-75 ... ... ... 10 (ten) Nos.
1975-76 ... ... ...  13 (thirteen) Nos.
1976-77 ... ... ... 13 (thirteen) Nos.
1977-78 ... ... ... 9 (nine) Nos.

        (b) - Rupees fifty-seven thousand one hundred ninety-four and two paise.

        (c) - Government advertisements are given to all local newspapers in the State including 'Assam Tribune', a list of which is placed on the table of the House.

        (d) - No.

        (e) - Does not arise.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Information and Public Relations ) : Sir, I would request you to allow me to make a little correction to the Unstarred Question No.129 (a), that against 1974-75, the number should be 8 instead of 10 and in 1975-76 it should be 15 instead of 13.

Shri Manik Das : 129 (a), I would like to know how many departmental publications are in the Garo language?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Information and Public Relations ) : We have got one publication.

Directorate of Information and Public Relations

Shri Manik Das asked :

130. Will the Minister-in-charge of Information and Public Relations be pleased to state -

        (a) Whether it is a fact that there is no permanent Director of Information and Public Relations?

        (b) The reason for not creating the post of Joint Director in Garo Hills District?

        (c) Whether there is a Joint Director in East Khasi Hills District?

        (d) The reason why no District Information and Public Relations Officer has been appointed in the East Garo Hills District?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Information and Public Relations) replied :

130. (a) - Yes. The present Joint Director is however allowed to hold charge of the post.

        (b) - There is one post of Joint Director at present in the head-quarters. The volume of work in the Directorate and the field work does not justify to have another post of Joint Director in Garo Hills District.

        (c) - No.

        (d) - There is at present an Information Officer (Junior) in the District. Steps are being taken to upgrade the post to the post of Information Officer (Senior) and a suitable Officer will be posted.

Shri Manik Das : 130 (a), since when the post of Director has been lying vacant?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Information and Public Relations ) : Since 1976.

Shri Manik Das : 130 (a), when will the post of Director be filled up?

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Information and Public Relations ) : Sir, as has been already stated in (a), the present Joint Director is allowed to hold charge of the post of Director.

Thadlaskein Development Block

Shri Albin Lamare asked :

131. Will the Minister-in-charge of Community Development be pleased to state -

        (a) The names of the most backward and specially backward villages in the Thadlaskein Development Block?

        (b) The names of the schemes and amount sanctioned against each during the financial year 1976-77 and 1977-78?

Prof. Martin Narayan Majaw (Minister-in-charge of Community Development) replied :

131. (a) - A list is laid on the table of the House.

        (b) - No new schemes were sanctioned during the financial years 1976-77 and 1977-78. The amounts of Rs.9,073.00 and Rs.26,195.00 were sanctioned during the financial years 1976-77 and 1977-78 respectively only for maintenance of the completed schemes under Health and Education.


Announcement by Speaker

Mr. Speaker : Before we come the next item, I would like to make a few observations in so far as questions and replied are concerned. We have received so far questions from the hon. Members Starred Questions are 20 Nos. and Unstarred Questions, 207 and Short Notice Questions only 2 Nos. The numbers of questions admitted and sent to the Departments are Starred Questions 17 and Unstarred Questions are 203 and Short Notice Questions, nil. The number of replies received from the Departments are : Starred Questions 17, which makes about hundred per cent. Unstarred Questions are 131 out of a total of 203, giving 64.53 per cent. I would like to say from the statistics that we have prepared so far as Starred Questions are concerned, the Government have done very well having replied all questions, i.e., 100 per cent. But so far as Unstarred Questions are concerned the picture is not very encouraging only 64.53 per cent were replied to. In this connection, I would like to give a further detail that actually some Departments have done very well and they have replied almost all the questions but certain other Departments have not bothered so much to reply at all even a single question, like the Education Department where nine questions were sent but hey have not replied even a single one. The District Council Affairs Department, three questions but hey have not replied even a single one. Then four questions were sent to the Political Departments but they have replied only one question. There are other Departments also like the General Administration Department and Personnel which do not bother to send the questions. My point in giving this detail is that I would request and I have requested often on this floor of the House to see that questions are replied in time because questions form a very important part of the business of the Assembly and the Members concerned could get authentic information from the Government only through questions. I would request each and every Departments of the Government to see that in future all questions as far as practicable should be replied.

        Now, let us come to the next item. I have received a notice from Shri Manik Das to raise a question in Zero hour under Rule 49 (a) of the Conduct of Business and procedure in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly considering Meghalaya State Electricity Worker's Union's grievances.

Shri Manik Das : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of the House regarding call for strike given by the Meghalaya State Electricity Workers Union on the Charger of demand. The Charter of demands is relating to the working hours, pay revision, house rent allowance, promotion of all cadres, provident funds, and regulations of running the Organisation, problem arising out of deputation, commercialization, appointments, suspension of employees, re-orientation of personnel, certain individual cases of certain employees, abolition of cadre and recognition of the Union of the Board etc., etc.

Mr. Speaker : You should not make a speech, kindly state the facts?

Shri Manik Das : In 1977, the representatives of the State Government, the Administrator of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board and the Workers' Union had certain agreement in which a decision was arrived at and the matter regarding problems of employees was amicably solved. After the ninth of December decision, the Board made certain modifications to this agreement as a result of which, the Meghalaya State Electricity Workers Union called for a strike from the mid-night of 11th/12th July, 1978 i.e., about forty hours from now. This is a matter of grave concern and it will hamper the life of the general public not only in Meghalaya but in many other parts of the North Eastern India. So, I would like to know from the Government what definite steps the Government has taken so far to avert this strike.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister of Power) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Meghalaya State Electricity Workers Union is one of the unions of the employees of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board. On 28th May, 1978 they submitted a Charger of fifteen demands with a threat to go on an indefinite strike if the demands are not conceded to before the ninth of July, 1978. It may be recalled that this same union had earlier also on three occasions viz., in the month of May, July and August, 1977 and December, 1977 submitted a number of demands alleging the non-fulfillment of their earlier demands and grievances on the threat that they will go on an indefinite strike if these demands are not conceded to within a specific date. This is the fourth in the series of strike notices issued by this union. All the three earlier strike notice of this unions were withdrawn after discussion and negotiation between the union representatives and the management. Altogether the union has made sixty two demands and in their latest charter of demands they have only listed fifteen demands. Separately, the Labour Commissioner, Meghalaya on receipt of their charter of demands with a strike notice had intimated to them with copy to the management that the present strike notice is illegal in as much as it does not conform to the relevant provision of the Industrial Deputes Act. He has also asked the union to offer comments parawise to the management on the charter of demands. The management had requested the union representatives to sit round the table for discussion and negotiation on the 6th instant at 7 p.m. This was said to be inconvenient to them. The were again requested to attend the meeting on the 7th instant at 11 a.m. but his too, was not convenient so them. Accordingly, another date as convenient to them had to be fixed and the meeting was held on the 8th instant from 10 a.m. to about 7 p.m. The meeting stated in a cordial atmosphere. At the outset, the management proposes to discuss the charter of demands viz-a-viz the parawise comments made by the management serially one by one in respect of the fifteen points. The union representatives desire that only the most important items according to them, be discussed and accordingly, the submitted a list of 5 items for discussion, namely, pay revision, rent, promotion cadre, G.P.F. and regulation of basic appointment. In respect of demands at Sl.3 to Sl.5, i.e., promotion cadre, G.P.F. and regularisation of basic appointment, these were ironed out during the discussions to the satisfaction of both sides. In this connection, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the House that this Union of course, there are two unions in name and both unions were not yet recognised as they have not been able to furnish the necessary information for the purpose of recognition. Now, Sir, on the question of revision of pay to the employees and grant of further house rent allowance, negotiation is going on between the management and the union. The management had informed had informed the representatives of the union that it had since been decided that these two important issues, i.e., pay revision and house rent, should be referred to the Pay Commission that is being set up by the Government of Meghalaya or a Pay committee to be set up separately and that the employees of the Board would be given ample opportunity to represent their case of the Commission or to the Committee. On this the representatives of the union have not given their final verdict and they have expressed reservation. As I said earlier, the door for negotiation is still open and I hope it will be possible for the union and the Board to come to an amicable settlement in a spirit of give and take. In conclusion, Sir, may I, through you, Sir, appeal to the hon. members of this august House to help thwart the crisis by averting the threat............

Shri Manik Das : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have got one clarification. Why there  are violations of the agreement of December 9th by the management without prior consultation with the employees or the union?

Shri H. Hadem (Minister of Power) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a matter of opinion, perhaps. This I think, depends on the interpretation of that agreement and, as such, it may be a misunderstanding. After all, it is not a diversion or even a deviation. It is only on that spirit.


Mr. Speaker : Let us come to the next item. Mr. E. Kek Mawlong to call attention under Rule 54.

Dr. B.K. Roy : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to raise a point of order. Under Rule 132 of the Rules of procedure and Conduct of Business this matter is subjudice and no discussion is allowed on this because it will likely prejudice the court of enquiry on its judgement. The case No.24/77 under Sec. 133 Cr.PC and CR No.175(a) 77. The judgement of the case is still pending and any discussion on this matter will prejudice the judgement. So that is my point of order Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : I think we have also noted the fact that the matter is under adjudication of the court. But in so far as the point that is being referred to is concerned, the reply of the Minister concerned, I believe, will not touch upon the controversial points but only as a statement of facts that will not affect the proceedings of the court and on that the attention is called.

Shri Maham Singh : That means, in other words, the subject-matter which is pending before the court will not be touched upon in the discussion here.

Mr. Speaker : Only the statement of facts.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : I will just make a submission on the points raised. A matter pending before the court cannot be discussed here. In so far as the discussions are concerned, I agree that the matter is sub-judice and so we cannot take up the matter. But this giving of facts which will ultimately come up in the court, to that extent my submission, Sir, is that it is not.

Mr. Speaker : That is also my contention. That is why we have allowed. Mr. Kek Mawlong to move the call attention.

Shri E.K. Mawlong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Rule 54 of the Rules of procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister and the Minister-in-charge to a column appearing in the local newspaper "Ka Lyngwiar Dpei" of 1st July, 1978, under the caption "O.P. Singhania versus Government order". Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to.....

Mr. Speaker : What are you going to say? I think that will be enough.

        The Minister-in-charge will be reply.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will just give the bare facts which, I believe, will be eloquent enough for the call attention.

Shri W.A. Sangma : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the rule is very clear. This is under adjudication and now the Minister is giving the facts.

Mr. Speaker : The lay facts. This is not going to influence the court.

Shri Maham Singh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, referring to any matter which is pending before the court is not allowed but if actually he refers to certain facts which are outside the consideration of the court then, in that case, it may be allowed but any facts pending before the court cannot be referred to.

Shri S.D.D. Nichol Roy : In reply to that, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I refer to Rule 279 (1) (i). Our contention is on making an observation on the facts. (Interruption).

        But placing of facts is not referring to the facts. The placing of facts and any reference to the facts have a clear difference.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the fact that we are faced with a very delicate situation, I would submit that the matter be left un-replied.

Mr. Speaker : In view of the very delicate situation and the controversy that is there, I reserve my ruling and so let us come to Item No.3. Mr. S.P. Swer to move for extension of time for submission of the report on the complaint of breach of privilege against Shri S.N. Koch, Ex-M.L.A.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this Assembly agrees to the extension of time for submission of the report of the Committee of privileges moved by Shri M.N. Majaw MLA on the 29th November, 1977 against Shri S.N. Koch, Ex-M.L.A. be granted till the 29th November, 1978.

(The motion was carried by voice vote)

        Then item No.4. Before we come to item No.4, I received a notice from the Chief Minister that he would like to lay a report on the Education Commission of Meghalaya, 1977.

Shri D.D. Pugh (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the report of the Education Commission, Meghalaya 1977 on the Table of the House for the information of the hon. Members of this august House.

Mr. Speaker : Now, let us come to Private Members Motion No.13 of Shri S.P. Swer.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the plight of the school children and the teachers due to dispensation of Lower Primary Schools under the most Backward and Specially Backward Scheme in the State.

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

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to be very brief in moving this motion for discussion. We know that our State is a backward State and it is backward in general. But though it is backward in general yet there are still areas and regions which form as pockets in the State which are very very backward (At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the chair) and we now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that there are many such areas scattered all over the State. They are backward because there are no road communications, there are no schools, there are no public health centres, there is no good drinking water and these areas or regions do form the pockets where at a certain time, the Government had identified them as most backward and specially backward areas. Any Government is committed to remove regional imbalances, prevalent in the State and these areas do present regional imbalances and that is why some years ago the then Government have have identified certain areas with a view to remove such regional imbalances. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, many areas in the different Block of the State were identified and there was a scheme which is knows as most backward and specially backward scheme which has undertaken a programme of different projects. But recently, in the year 1976-77, 1977-78 the scheme was implemented in some of the Blocks in the State and the first and foremost programme which has been implemented is the setting up of a few primary schools in those areas. By way of explanation, in the Shella Bholaganj Development Block they have set up 5 lower primary schools. The have constructed school buildings and each building costing about Rs.10,000 and teachers also were appointed on a consolidated pay of Rs.200 per month. It was explained or it was given to understand that this scheme, these primary schools on the expiry of the term of the scheme under the most backward and specially backward scheme, will be taken over by the District Council and in that connection, the State Government is to provident fund to the District Council for maintenance of these schools. But it has been noticed from the dispensation order of B.D.O. of the Shella-Bholaganj Development Block that these schools were dispensed with and the teachers were asked to approach the District Council in this connection. The teachers did approach the District Council authorities but eh reply was that there was no fund because the Government has not provided any fund. Therefore, the District Council cannot take over the schools and we know that these schools were set up in those villages where there are no schools and some of the well-to-do families, or those who can afford to send their children to school in centres like Cherrapunjee and other towns in the rural areas because these schools were set up in their respective villages, have withdrawn their children and sent them to these new primary schools in their respective villages. But surprisingly in the month of March this year, these schools were dispensed with and you know when the schools sessions  were started some time on 14th February, 1978 and dispensed with in March, 1978 it is very difficult for the parents of these children to send them back to the schools somewhere outside their villages and the result is that these children lose their schools career by one year and it may happen also that they will not be able to send the children to school at all. Therefore, the policy of the Government to eradicate illiteracy will be defeated. (At this stage, the Deputy Speaker left the Chamber and Shri B. Wanniang Chairman occupied the Chair). Again Mr. Chairman, Sir, how can it be that such a scheme was to be abandoned half way. Is the Government aware of the damage done to the school children by losing one year of the school career and also the pay of these teachers who have joined these schools. Some of them happened to be teachers of some private schools and left their parent schools where they served. But unfortunately after one year or so they were out of employment. Some of them do carry on with teaching in the schools, but some of them have to leave the schools because they could not support themselves. Now the question is what will happen or what Government will do for these teachers who carry on till date. Another question I would like to pose is whether Government is to continue the scheme, that is to revive the scheme and utilise the schools buildings for which they have spent quite a few lakhs of rupees for their construction and whether Government propose to take over these schools through the respective District Councils. With these few words, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker : Now I call upon the Minister-in-charge of C.D. to reply.

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Minister, Community Development) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, the new Government of Meghalaya, has had to face a number of problem which was borne of an earlier Government. As a matter of fact, one is the old adage to act in haste and repent at leisure. The earlier Government in its interest to show, at least to present a haphazard way of great love for the public, decided to go ahead right from Delhi down, it was the Congress Government, and they suddenly decided to open schools everywhere without drawing out a detailed plan on what will happen latter on, how these schools be run, who would actually maintain them. You can print this in the Press. But when it was actually came down to brass tags, we have to do and bear the problem. There are areas that are backward, some of them are most backward and some specially backward and since Meghalaya, is a State where we have 85 per cent of the people belonging to Scheduled tribes, the whole of Meghalaya was considered as backward economically and therefore, with in the State itself, there were other areas through relative comparison that were specially backward and most backward. In the draft proposal made by the Government of Meghalaya for the Fifth-Five Year Plan, the tentative list was made out of specially backward and most backward areas. For example, in Khasi Hills, we have the most backward areas - the Northern portion of Nongstoin Development Block adjoining the Assam Plains, the areas of Bhoi Area Development Block excluding a belt along the G.S. Road (National High Way-40). The northern portion of Mawryngkneng Development Block adjoining Bhoi Thalangso Subdivision of the Karbi Anglong District of Assam. Then in Jaintia Hills, we have the most backward areas the eastern and southern area f Saipung Darrang Block adjoining North Cachar Hills district of Assam State. The areas covered by Mynso-Raliang Block and the northern tips of the Jowai Development Block adjoining Bhoi Thalangso Subdivision of Assam. Then in Garo Hills the most backward areas are Songsak, Dadengiri and Dambuk Aga Block. Then the backward areas in Khasi Hills we have the eastern portion of Pynursla Development Block adjoining Jaintia Hills comprising the watershed of the Umngot (Pyian) river and the northern portions of Mairang Development Block. Then in Garo Hills, the backward areas are the eastern portion of Dambu-Rongjeng Block and portion, of Rongram Betasing and Selsella Blocks. What happened Mr. Chairman Sir, was that with the scheme arriving from New Delhi and with great enthusiasm to open some schools to show the world that something was being done, they went ahead and very gladly invested in the construction of schools, appointment of teachers, etc. Thus in Khasi Hills, in the Pynursla, Nongstoin and Mawkyrwat Blocks, 9 L.P.  Schools were opened in Pynursla Block, 34 L.P. Schools in the Nongstoin Block and 27 L.P. Schools in Mawkyrwat Block. In Garo Hills in Chokpot area 14 L.P. Schools, Songsak area 10 L.P. Schools and Rongram - 12 L.P. Schools were opened. In Jaintia Hills in the Thadlaskein Block, 7 L.P. Schools were opened. Outlays also were made for Rs.50 lakhs for each of the following Blocks. In Khasi Hills Nongstoin, Bhoi, Mawryngkneng, Pynursla and Mairang. In Jaintia Hills Saipung-Darrang, Mynso-Raliang and Jowai and in Garo Hills, Songsak, Dadengiri, Dambu, Aga, Dambu Rongjong, Rongram, Zigzak, Batasing and Selsella for which the outlay was Rs.50 lakhs. So, for 1974-75, it is 10 lakhs, for 1975-76 - 10 lakhs, for 1976-77 - 10 lakhs, for 1977-78 - 10 lakhs and for 1978-79 - 10 lakhs out of the total outlay of Rs.50 lakhs per Block.

        Unfortunately, it is due to the time consuming process and first of all the selection of the area where we can have one of these Block L.P. Schools. Then tenders were called for an buildings were set-up and then the teachers to be selected were called for interview. It is a very very time consuming process and then right from the Planning Department at Delhi up to here also where the Planning Department was under the Congress Government, there was a great delay in sanctioning the funds for the payment of teachers salary and for the construction of buildings. Therefore, what happened was that the matter came to such a pass that we set up 151 L.P. Schools in this great process and we have also appointed 151 teachers when the Government took over and was faced with this problem. So on the 16th June, 1978, in the Conference Room of the Secretariat, a meeting was held and it was decided that the C.D. Department will continue to look after these schools up to the 28th February, 1979. Subsequently, the respective Departments would take over not only the Schools but also those P.H.C. buildings with all enthusiasm but with little foresight. So, all these are being carefully sorted out. But the Government is very sorry for these problems created by the Congress Government. But we have to face this problem since it concerns our own people and therefore, a meeting was held on the 16th June, 1978 under this new Government and it was decided to do justice to our own people. Then orders have been issued now after passing of this Budget to pay the salaries of all these teachers in all these L.P. Schools. The C.D. Department will continue to look after these Schools only up to February, 1979. In the meantime, we are very grateful to the hon. Member from Sohra for bringing this Motion but some of the points raised by him had not yet been brought to the attention of the Department about the plight of those students taken away from a recognised Schools and who are to be admitted into these L.P. Schools of the Block. But I can assure the House that the Department will see to all these matters and we will try to strengthen the functioning of these L.P. Schools in all the Blocks until they are handed over to the respective Departments.

Chairman (Shri Bakstar Wanniang) : Now we come to Motion No.14 be moved by Mr. H.L. Nongsiang. Mr. Nongsiang please.

Shri Jenden Ch. Marak (Minister, Labour) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I may be allowed to reply to the questions that were put forward by Mr. Manik Das.

Mr. Chairman : Yes you have assured on that day.

Shri Jenden Ch. Marak (Minister, Labour) : The reply to Unstarred Question No.98 (b) is that the actual figure is 192 and not 200. The figure of 200 was wrong. Then No.99 (c) the reasons are that this is purely a temporary post and the people resigned as they linked. If they did not get leave they resigned when they got sick. At that time also they resigned because they were sick and if a person is passing by 10 days or more then he is automatically struck out, because of these reasons the figures are not correct. People are going and coming as they like. regarding 90 (c) one platoon consists of 68 persons and there is one one platoon commander with one havildar. There are 66 Units including 5 sections under a commander.

Mr. Chairman : Now Mr. Nongsiang.

Shri H.L. Nongsiang : Mr. Chairman Sir, I beg to move that this House to now discuss the need to restrict export of timber outside the State.

Mr. Chairman : Motion moved. Will you initiate a discussion?

Shri H.L. Nongsiang : Mr. Chairman, Sir, of all the Motions that I have tabled before this House in the current Session, the Motion that I am moving now is the most important one. It is important because it concerns and effects the very life and future of our well-being. Sir, we in this State live in a hill area with a topography which is singular in its own, small in size, yet within the boundaries of this State of our we come across all sort of climatic conditions, vegetations and so on and so forth. Nature is really bountiful and kind to us. Our hills are among the loveliest in the world. Our grasses and vegetations are among the greenest in the world. Our forests are among the thickest in the world. But Sir, the thick green forests that we have well protected many decades ago have now simply disappeared. Our forest wealth that we have been talking about has just vanished away. Why all this things happens? I need not go into the details, Sir, the reasons about 'why' and 'where' in this issue are the things that we all know and are very well aware of. There has been and there is wanton felling of trees and deforestation everywhere. These are the main causes. The questions now is what we should do about it. In the science of ecology, forests or for that matter trees are the dominant factor in determining the climatic condition of all places. In our area we have the heaviest rainfall with abundant growth of trees and forests and these trees and forests help to preserve moisture and water.

        This is turn helps to retain the top soil with its attendant natural fertility. Further more, it checks erosion and denudation of the soil but that Sir, have we done to preserve our forests. Every day, every year hundreds and thousands of trees are being felled by unmindful persons just for the sake of getting a little bit more money. These people for their self-interest would do anything without the least compunction of the adverse effect of their action on the society. There are owners of private forests which comprise the major portion of forests and timbers. If the businessmen have only cut or felled the trees to meet the requirements of our State, I have no objection. But Sir, far from meeting the need of the State these people would go to the extents to cut down the trees to make money. You know, Sir, when I say this, I say with conviction and knowledge that every year 80 per cent of the trees that had been felled are exported out-side the State, when our actual requirement is only 20 to 25 per cent. I would also like to inform the House that many trucks are coming from Assam to our State without permit especially in my area carrying timbers. Sir, if these people only make money to enrich themselves without causing any harm to the society I have no objection, but by their actions they will affect the economy of the State. Barren lands rocky hills and sandy stretch of lands are a consequence of deforestation. The next stage is that when the land cannot conceived the moisture and water, and the process of erosion and denudation take place and when it comes to this stage which is but a natural consequence deserts are born. Sir, our people are agriculturists and when there is deforestation, the top soil is denuded, water could not be conceived and nothing can be grown in these hilly areas of ours. What awaits the people there fore is poor harvest or no harvest at all or starvation. Where do we go from there. Therefore I urge the Government to restrict felling of trees and export of timbers outside the State. Since most of the forests fall within the jurisdiction of the District Council I urge the Government  to consult and negotiate with the District Council in expediting the matter. Sir, if restriction on felling of trees could not be imposed, as lands and forests being private forests, I would like to suggest that the timbers could be exports through the forest Corporation and it is the duty of the Corporation to see the needs of timber in the State. In that way I am sure that even royalty will come to the District Council as well as to the State in a regular way and we have to check all the ways and means that are being practiced now. Sir, if I go further more confusion might be created because we have different customs and I do not mean to do anything against these customs but to preserve the forest wealthy for the well-being of the people and the State in future. So, Sir, I also suggest to the Government to increase planting of trees in different places and I have it to the wisdom of the Government to do and examine the pros and cons of the forest resources in the State.

        With these few words I resume my seat.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to associate myself with the hon. member in the discussion of this motion and to fall in line with the expressed concern over the effects of deforestation for exporting timber in which the after effect will be of a very high degree in wiping on the fertility of the soil which means the only criterion on which a farmer or a cultivator would depend for this crop production to maintained his living and his family. Sir, on the export of timber outside the State, whenever you come across any truck carrying log timbers then you would feel the urge that something is to be done how to check the export of timber. In this connection I think it is high time that the Government should come forward and held the private owners with road communication and other frastructure to enable them to operate their forests scientifically or in a planned manner and also I think it is high time for the Government to help the people set up saw mills instead of sending whole logs outside the State and if they could be sawn and after that they can be exported as swan timber. Why I am giving this suggestion is on two counts. The consideration number one is that this wealth in our State should be exploited in the best way possible for the greatest benefit of the propel of the State and number two is that, it will create employment potentials if industries like saw mills can be set up at different locations in rural area then at least some people will be employed in these Saw Mills an export of swan timber will fetch much higher price than that we get by exporting timber logs. So, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I join hands with the mover of this motion that, it is high time to do something to take up some preventive measures in this regards. With these few words I resume my seat.

Shri Mozibar Rohman : Mr. Chairman, Sir, while participant in the discussion on the motion moved by Mr. H.L. Nongsiang and supported by the hon. Member, Shri S.P. Swer, I would like to state that, forest produce is the main source of income of Meghalaya, specially in Garo Hills timber is the richest source which has been misused for certain reasons. The question of exporting and placing restriction on movement of timber is a necessity and I don't suggest that there should be altogether embargo. But there should be some restriction and the mode of exporting as it exists today should be replaced because the timber resources nearby Mendipathar and Songsak in Garo Hills have been so long enjoyed by some particular timber businessmen who are exporting them in abundance and the timber resources in the forest have almost been exhausted. So far we guess royalty received by the Government is too meagre in comparison with the forest sources we lost and for that matter the mover of the motion has suggested that timber export business should be taken up by the Forest Development Corporation. I also fully agree with them. I should only like to add some suggestion that apart from the Forest Development co-operation, it may be taken up by the Co-operative also. If we can run ginning mill in Garo Hills through Co-operative, why not they run Saw Mills at Mendipathar an why not allow that benefit to remain with the people instead of making a particular timber business monopoly of certain persons, so I would suggest that this Government should take immediate steps to start a Saw business and export it through Public Sector or Co-operative sector. In the matter of checking I also support Mr. S.P. Swer because it is very clear that if the checking is thoroughly and entirely entrusted with the Forest Department, there will be no proper checking because as you known the businessmen cannot export more than the quantity to which they have been entitled without taking the people from the Department in their lands. So, for export if we want to check properly I think the Government should entrust some other agencies, so that, at least the royalty which is due to the Government would not be lost. Secondly, Sir, this forest resources has been damaged to the maximum by our local people also, it may be due to their ignorance or it may be due to their ill motive. But in any case forest resources must be safeguarded. With these few words I resume my seat.

Md. Akramozzaman : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I wish to give my opinion on this motion. The hon. Members have already expressed their view in order to exploit the forest produces for the benefit of our people. Now greater benefit implies two things, i.e., utilisation and income. So the question of proper planning as to how much timber we can export from the economic point of view, not just to make the things available to the person who are involved in this business. Here, Sir, one factor is very important. We were talking on many occasions on this House about the deteriorating condition of our forest resources. But one thing we cannot ignore is that the management of forest in Meghalaya does not rest with only one hand; there are so many agencies who are controlling forest. As for example, reserve forests are under the control of the State Government, the dereserved forests are under the control of the District Council and also there are private forest under the ownership of private person. But, most unfortunately while we were talking about exploitation of forest but we never suggested as to what policies should be adopted for the over-all improvement of forests. For example, these be adopted for the over-all improvement of forests. For example, these three organisations, viz, the State Government, District Council and the private owners never planned jointly as to how much timber is be exploited in a particular year or within five years or so. So  naturally there is unplanned exploitation of forest resources as we have seen in recent years. We all remember that whatever the State Government wants to release the money to the District councils for payment of salaries of the L.P. Schools teachers, the District Council has no other alternative but to get the money for which there are so many procedure to be followed in order to collect the money and pay to the teachers. Similarly, the interest of the private persons is also there as they are owners of forests who are also doing something. Of course, so far as State exploitation of forests is concerned there is Sivilculture Officer working there. But there is no Co-ordination in respect of exploitation among the different agencies. I had felt strongly that this Government may have discussion with the District Councils and private owners in order to make the whole thing clear. They must have some norms to exploit these forest products of our State and there also we can come to the conclusion as to the need for domestic requirements and operation. So that we can explore the possibilities of forests resources and until and unless these agencies come to a definite programme whatever might be the programme of the State will not materialise for the State as a whole. With these words I take my seat. Thank you Sir.

Shri Mukul Das : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I also want to participate in the motion moved by the hon.-Member in order to bring some point here. I have seen that the authorities issued permits to the individual as well as to the parties and it has been observed that those parties, the businessmen used to fell trees in larger numbers than the actual number in a permit issued for. There are instances in our State, particularly in Garo Hills, I remember there were some sorts of demonstration by the people in protest against such felling of trees. These forest are at the same time very important for the water supply schemes of our State also. It has been experienced here at Shillong, at Tura and also in other parts of the State that there is a crisis of drinking water. It is known to us that unless he can check the export of these timbers to other States or deforestation, our people will never be happy with the supply of drinking water. In connection with this point, a few years back at Tura a catchment areas was notified by the Government. that step of course, from various corners was appreciated. Because it concerns the forest wealth also. But it was really sad that till today this deforestation as well as export of timbers could not be checked. So far as my experience is concerned, in the case of Garo people, they use to collect fire-wood from these forest and this is one of their main means of livelihood. The tragedy is this, while these business-men are taking away the timbers from our forest, our poor people, those who have their source of income taken to fire-wood collection as their progression are deprived of. As the hon. member from Phulbari has already pointed out that there are two kinds of forests i.e. plain forests under the Garo Hills District Council and Reserve forests under the State Government. We have a comparative picture of these categories of forests, namely the forest under the Garo Hills District council is very much mismanaged. The business-men, coming from other states resorted to indiscriminate felling of trees in a big number which happen to be in the points according to me is that the Nokmas having Akhing land under their control play a very important role in connection with the forest resources of our State. When the timber merchant is to obtain permit from the authorities he has to go to the Nokma. Because the trees are there within the Nokmas Akhing areas. There are Nokmas who are rich, but there are Nokmas who are really poor also an while taking little amount of money from the party they give their consent in writing to the District Council in favour of the merchants, requirement. Its helps the District Council authority to feel the reasonableness of the recommendation made by the Nokmas to issue permit to the merchants. These Nokmas have got a very important role at the same time with the District Council having control over these forests within their Akhing land. So, my suggestion would be, if at all we are interested to check the export of timber as well as deforestation, some suitable arrangement should be made between the Nokmas and the District council. I think the District Council should be fully authorised to deal with the forest resources under them or the Nokmas are to be given certain incentive to persuade them nor to apply the parallel power like the District Council. They should not come into clash with the powers of the District Council. Mr. Chairman, Sir, these are the points that I had to raise. Thank you Sir.

Shri G. Mylliemngap : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to associate with the observations made by many hon. Members on this motion. Forests are very very important to the life of man and the community because of the factors contributing towards the welfare of human being. In the Khasi Society, our fore-fathers used to attach so much importance to the forest wealth and they used to teach their children and their nephews that forests are sanctified. They attached to it a belief that un-wanton felling of trees or illegal touching of trees in the forest should not be allowed. They even believed that if there is anybody who is doing damage to the forests without any good intention, the gods will punish such people. This was the belief of our fore-fathers. But with the change of time, with the coming of civilisation, they do not believe in all these superstitions. But, never-the-less, they cannot deny the fact that forests are important in many respects to the welfare of humanity. But, you know, Mr. Chairman, Sir, there have been sufficient legal provisions passed by this august House, we have passed one Act if I remember correct by on illegal felling of trees. This Act provides that no tree should be felled without prior sanction. But now-a-days, you find that felling of trees, even at their tender age is commonly seen specially during this year. On your way from Shillong to Tynring, you will find that small pine trees and logs hardly half an inch or one inch diameter are being felled and skinned and sent outside the State. It is really pathetic and I do not know how this sort of felling of trees is allowed. As the hon. Member has Pointed out, the people who are lifting these timbers and these logs do not bother because it does not affect them, it does not do any harm to them or to their society. But it does a great harm or great injustice to the posterity of ours because the forests are not meant for this generation or for myself only it is mostly meant for posterity. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I agree with the vies expressed by many hon. Members that illegal felling of trees and illegal operation of forests should be dealt with firmly and those who are at fault should be brought to book and given exemplary punishment so that others will take note of it. Thank you Sir.

Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would just like to add a few words to the remarks made by the previous Speakers on this very important subject of timber resources in our State, Mr. Chairman, Sir, the continual export of timber primarily from Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills Districts in the last 20 years has brought very little profit or remuneration to this State and all the benefits of utilisation of our timber is enjoyed by people in Assam, Bengal, Bombay and other places of the Country. Now, as such, if our resources are unlimited, there would not be much harm in some people getting benefit from the forests by the forest owners and royalty accrued to the District Council and so on. But now that we have our won State and the opportunity for utilising these forest resources, it is essential that the Government take up with the District Council how best to control the forest in our State and prevent the unscientific exploitation and plan out how we should use these forest resources for industrial development in our State. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am particularly constrained to say that pine resource is one of our best opportunities for forest industries in our State. We know for a fact (At this stage, the Speaker occupied the Chair) that in most parts of our Country, there are a few places which have the some opportunity for fast growing timber species like the pinus-insularis or pinus-khasia which is found to be suitable and grows well in this part of the country without much effort and we should be wise enough to utilise these resources. There are a number of timber industries that can be established in our State, so that we not only use timber in its raw form as some of is being used today but use it in the form of producing further employment in industrial development. For instance, the manufacture of match-splints is a very good small scale industry which we can take up and it was under study by the Industries Department more than two years ago but nothing has been done so far. Then of course, thee has been a study for the manufacture of paper., Paper can be made out of bamboo, out of pines and our State having a very good natural resources of pines, it is ideally suited for the manufacture of special type of paper which cannot be manufactures in most parts of the country. If we can put up a sack-kraft paper mill in our State, it will utilise the pine resources which are now going outside the State and we can utilise them within our State and it will also provide the economy of Forest Corporation for growing further pine resources and it will help finance the scheme. Therefore, re-afforestation is so important today in many of our hills which are barren. If you travel between here and Gauhati, you will find all hill areas are barren. Therefore, we need to grow trees on the top of those hills and in the course of fifteen years or so, we can utilise that growth plus a huge amount of revenue which will secure to our State in the form of taxes on various kinds of industries and this is essential that our Government take up this matter through the Forest Corporation, and the Industries Department and once we have the industry here, we can use these timber resources here within our State and the question of sending them outside does not arise. Now, all our timber resources are going outside because there is nothing to use them here and it is not wise preventing them from going outside unless we can utilise them in a proper way and it will not help the State. I would suggest to the Forest Department through the Minister and the Industries Department to take a serious note of this very good and important aspect. It is not they themselves alone but they will have naturally to take into confidence the District Councils to sit together and see how best to prevent this wastage of our forest resources or less and utilise it in out State in the best way.

Mr. Speaker : Now, the Minister to reply.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Forests) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, on this motion that has been moved by the hon. Member from Mawthengkut, I really appreciate not only him, but all the hon. Members who have given their valuable suggestions. Actually, I have nothing to say but to appreciate all their ideas and suggestions because they are very much concerned ass the Government is equally concerned about the deforestation or the wanton felling of trees as has been expressed by many hon. Members. Mr. Speaker, Sir, of course, all the hon. Members have expressed also about the management of forests here in our State an I may inform the House that it is not entirely under the State Government. Therefore, there is of course, undue exploitation and export of these timber resources outside the Sate. I agree with them. I may inform the house that in accordance with the Indian Forest policy, these hill areas like our State should have a least sixty per cent of forest in the geographical areas of the hill areas. But as it stands now, our State has go only about thirty-seven per cent of the forest areas including private forest, forests under the control of the District Councils and also the reserve forests under the Sate Government. But out of this thirty-seven per cent or so, it is only about ten per cent under the control of he State Government that means, the State reserve forests and this ten per cent also includes the actual forest and other areas. Therefore, it is really not satisfactory as many of the hon. Members have expressed that there is a real danger of over exploitation especially of the private forests and forests under the control of the District Councils. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the respective District Councils have got their own forest laws and Acts of the control and management of private forests or un-classed forests in their jurisdiction. But of course, inspite of the provision of the law, which these District Councils are having, they still cannot check deforestation properly. Therefore, it requires the reconsideration of everything that means, of the provisions of the law or as the members have expressed that it is necessary to consult the District Councils for planning or development of forests and also for the control of this wanton felling of trees. I agree to that. But at present, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we know, these two District Councils have just started functioning and the other one is still under the control of the administrator. Mr. Speaker, Sir, of course, in the past, there had been discussions between the Government and the representatives of the District Councils but still there is a scope for further discussion on this issue that is, protection, maintenance or restriction on export of forests outside Mr. Speaker, Sir, in respect of reserve forests Sir, the whole forests are covered under the working plan on the State Government and these are properly planned either for afforestation or for exploitation. This working plan prescribes how many trees to be felled annually and how many areas where plantation should be done in each year so that the forest wealth is made both for exploitation and Stocking.

Mr. Speaker : Mr. Minister, I think the motion here is actually on the subject matter to restrict the export of timber. We re not on the felling of trees, although that is subsequent to it and I think you should speak more on the need to restrict the export of timber outside the State.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Forest) : That is because most of the hon. members have pointed out mostly on the........

Mr. Speaker : You need not bother so much. You come to the subject.

Shri Rowell Lyngdoh (Minister, Forest) : Right, Sir. As I said, the Government is examining the issue on how to check the export of timber. But, as I said, forest is not entirely under the control of the State Forest Department. Therefore, the export of timber also is being done by the individuals or privates persons by paying royalties to the District Councils, Sir. Therefore, the Government have not so far been able to control the export of timbers. But, of course, seeing the destruction of forests in the State, naturally the State Government are quite concerned and, in a limited way, steps have already been taken to check this exploitation. In regard to the export of forests products outside, we have not had any legislation or any sort of thing because so far we consider that the existing provisions of law will suffice, But if it is required to re-examine this case, the Government will look into it and, as many hon. members have stated, it will be done in consultation with the three District Councils where we may examine what type for legislation can be brought into force. We may also still examine the existing provisions as to what are the loopholes because, as it is now, we are already having Forest Act in the respective District Councils, as also in the Forest Department, the Indian Forests Manual, the Forests Act and the Assam Forest Regulation which we have adopted. So, we can still examine these provisions and see if we can check the export of timber outside. But, as expressed by the hon. member from Shella, the export of timber may not be there if we have established various Industries in the State so that these timbers are consumed in these industries. Of course, this question is to be examined by the Industries Department as contended by the hon. member from Shella. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I may inform the House that the Government of India is proposing to revise the provision of the Forest Act and perhaps they may include restriction on exports of timber in the new provision of the Indian Forests Act. So in course of our examination, we may also wait for the new provisions which are being brought into force by the Central Government. With these few words, I hope and I expect that the hon. members of this House will not only be concerned with it only in this House but also outside the House - by giving education to our people, to be of some help in checking the export of forest wealth outside the State. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : The discussion on Motion No.14 is closed. Now, we come to No.15.

        Mr. S.P. Swer to move the motion.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir ......................

Mr. Speaker : With due respect to you, may I in advance say that there are so many motions. I do not say that we have to finish all of them. But I believe it would be good if we could finish as many as possible and since there are only two hours left, I would request you to speak only within 10 or 15 minutes and the hon. members will speak after you will get only 5 minutes each.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this house do now discuss the manner in which Rural Water Supply Schemes are being implemented in the State.

Mr. Speaker : Motion moved and now you can initiate the discussion.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would be very brief in discussing this motion although I consider it is to be very very important. Sir, we are all aware that the Rural Water Supply Schemes are meant for providing good drinking water in the Rural areas for the rural people. But Sir, in the implementation of these Rural Water Supply schemes, we have seen that the manner in which they are being implemented is deplorable. To be brief, I will cite only instances on how the schemes have been implemented in certain areas of the State. Firstly, I have seen with my own eyes the Water Supply Schemes at Kongthong in the Khadar Shnong Areas of Cherra Syiemship where they have installed 4 tanks each with a capacity of more than 400 gallons. But the water flows only in one tank and there is no connection to the rest of the remaining 3 tanks. The tanks remained like that for years together and the villagers complained about shortage of drinking water very often.

        Again, Mr. Speaker, Sir, at Shella they have selected a source which becomes dry in winter months and the most surprising thing is that of the Water Supply Schemes implemented at Mawlong in which the smaller pipe is fitted at the tank at source and when it proceeds forwards the village the smaller diameter pipes are fitted. I do not know how the gratify water supply scheme can be taken up in that way. When we were told by the engineers of the P.H.E. that the longer the length of the pipeline in taking the water to the reservoir, then it is expected that the wastage will be more. So instead of fitting the smaller diameter pipes, they fit the bigger diameter pipes. Another instance, Mr. Speaker, Sir, at Lower Cherra or Saitsohpen, we know since the British days, there was a Water Supply Scheme maintained by the Public Works Department and a few years ago the Public Health Department started taking up the gravity water supply scheme in that very source where the P.W.D. also tapped and when I enquired about this, the reply from the P.H.E. was that, this water supply scheme of the P.W.D. will be taken over by the P.H.E. later on and the result was that the P.W.D. did not allow the P.H.E. to take over and there was a reply to one of my questions in this House where the name of the contractor also was given by the P.H.E. Department and he stated the work. But later on it was stopped and the contractor was not paid for the work he has done. What a miserable sight? If you go there, you will find only pipes lying scattered here and there. Then again in Cherrapunjee Water Supply Scheme which is connected with the hospital at Cherrapunjee. They have taken the second source and supplemented the existing Water Supply Scheme of the villagers. The second source will be injected into the existing Water Supply scheme of the villagers and a pumping machine was also installed and a pumping house was also constructed. But surprisingly enough, we find that there is no provision for appointing a Chowkidar or an Operator and that the scheme was so far not commissioned. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the Department, while preparing the scheme, have not made studies on the spot regarding the feasibility and other requisites to enable them to make a complete estimation of the total cost of the scheme and also to enable the Department to anticipate the cost of maintenance when the scheme is prepared, Therefore, I would suggest to the Department to take proper steps in the preparation of schemes for water supply in the rural areas and also to see that, every scheme taken up will be commissioned and all schemes should be a success. Thank you, Sir.

Shri Mojibur Rahman : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the availability of drinking water in the rural areas is a problem. Most of the people, so far I can guess, more then 75 per cent are to live on the polluted water of rivers and streams, natural and artificial tanks. Still today Government could not meet even a certain percentage of the need of the people specially in the plain areas of Garo Hills who need wells in the villages which are not connected by roads, etc. They towns should get a consolidated Water Supply Scheme immediately. Most of the ring-wells which have been supplied by the District Council are not giving water now. But their estimated cost is also very low and the contractors also took some advantage and the work done so far is totally a failure. So, I would urge the Government to take immediate steps to give every villages at least some number of ring-wells, so that, they can meet their needs. So far as Rajabala which is having some 75 villages is concerned there has been an estimate of 46 ring-wells lying with the Government. The are still pending and without sanctioning. So, I would urge the Government to immediately sanction those ring-wells, each village will not get one ring-well and one or two ring-wells have not given water because there is total failure, and in public places the Government should have Water Supply Scheme. So the Government should give priority to this matter.

Shri S.D. Nichols Roy : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to participate in this very important motion on the manner in which the Water Supply Scheme is being implemented in the rural areas in our State. In the State where there is anywhere between 80-to-500 inch of rain per year with plenty of streams and springs, it is really tragic that so many of our people do not have adequate or good quality of drinking water. It almost goes with the saying of Coleridge "water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink". I would like to point out that one of the very important things is to get trained plumber and people who know the job and do it properly. I seems our P.H.E. Department have inadequate staff or inadequately trained staff. Many of the schemes, which some of them have been quoted by the mover, are defective. I know for a fact that the Shella water supply scheme is not only defective from the point of view of the sources which was pointed out to the people who are implementing it right from the very start, but they ignored the advice of the local people and went ahead with implementing the scheme where the source is known to be defective. No water came most of the year and there are broken pipes and it is a very tragic situation in which the people had been looking forwarded to get the water supply and no water has come. I would urge upon the Minister in-charge to really have it taken care of. When Government spends money in putting up this water supply scheme and then the people do not get the water supply, it is a very frustrating experience for the people and the representatives. For all the schemes that have been implemented so far, I would suggest to the Minister concerned that a proper survey be made get them checked up and defects remedied, so that, the people get their water supply.

        Another Water Supply Scheme which is not far from Shillong, is in my village at Pohkseh. The scheme was undertaken sometime back a couple of years ago, but uptil now it has not been handed over to the village authorities by the P.H.E. It is defective, Money is spent and time is consumed, but water has not come to the people because of improper designing of the Water Supply Scheme. Again, we would prefer some water, but on water. On the other hand, we are committed to give good water to the people when we fail to supply them But very little has been done as no filtration plant has been provide for the Rural Water Supply. I am sure of the high incidence of water borne diseases in our State and there are plenty people who suffer from stomach trouble of various kinds due to water borne diseases. This is due to the poor quality of water which the people are using today and it is incumbent, therefore, on the Department to look into this aspect of quality water in addition to adequate water for the rural areas. Thank you.

Shri Obil Kyndait : Mr. Speaker, Sir, rural water supply is the top-most priority necessity of our villagers. But I am sorry to note that almost in every village, the people are suffering because of water supply. I would like to bring one instance. There is no water supply at Khliehriat in Jaintia Hills where the dispensary and some other offices are already established, though many times the people have prayed for it. In Ratacherra also, the scheme has not been taken up uptil now and it is actually very difficult for the people to draw water particularly during the dry season. This scheme has not been taken up till now. I will bring another instance to the notice of this House that there is one gravity water supply scheme at Mukhaialong. Actually, the initiative was taken by the Development Block since 1962 and the Development Block handed over the scheme to the P.H.E. Survey was done since 1975, but uptil now, this scheme has not yet been implemented. some time when I went to the Executive Engineer, P.H.E. of Jowai, he said that he had already sent the report. But when I went to the Chief Public Health Engineer's office, he said that he did not get contacted the Executive Engineer, Jowai, he replied that the scheme is quite feasible. So I strongly urge upon the Minister in-charge to take necessary steps for this particular scheme. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I feel that the time is very limited, I resume my seat.

Mr. Speaker : You have two minutes more.

Shri Obil Kydait : Let other members take my time. 

Shri B.K. Roy : Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you will allow me, I will take only one or two minutes.

Mr. Speaker : You have five minute.

Shri B.K. Roy : Much has been said rural water supply. I do not like to repeat what had been said. But I would like to mention only two instances, one is about the Nongmynsong village which is in my constituency. In this village, there is a population of more than four thousand, but there is no water supply. This village Mr. Speaker, Sir, is so near just adjacent to the Laitumkhrah Ward of Municipality and yet so far from the benefits of civilisation. So far as this bare necessity is concerned, they take water from the ordinary streams and they are living in a very miserable state. But why should it be so? Just beyond that, the B.S.F. area is having plenty of water and in fact, they have got more than what is required. So I urge upon the Minister concerned to look into the matter and draw up a scheme for the supply of water in Nongmynsong area. My second point is while the hon. Member from Shella mentioned about processing of water, the water we take even in the urban areas is not drinkable. So in the rural areas the situation is beyond comprehension. In my constituency in the Umpling area, a new project has been completed for supply of water. But the water that flows through the pipes is not drinkable. All the year round, there are cases of typhoid and dysentery. I, as a doctor, visited the sources myself and I found that all along the source there is regular pollution, regular washing of clothes, regular washing of utensils and what not. In fact, there is no protection whatsoever of the stream from contamination. In the absence of filtration and chlorination or any modern chemical device at least the sources should have been protected. So on this count also, I urge upon the Minister concerned to take such measures as to protect the sources of supply and ensure that nothing in the nature of pollution takes place which renders water undrinkable. that is what I mean to say Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : Will the Minister-in-charge reply?

Shri John Deng Pohrmen (Minister, P.H.E.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, I thank the hon. Member from Sohra, Mr. S.P. Swer, who has brought forward this motion regarding the implementation of Water Supply Schemes. I want to be frank Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the implementation of the schemes leaves much to be desired and I agree with most of the hon. Members in this regard. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to remind the House that this Government has just come about 4 months. Therefore, I would like to request the House that this Department be given time to look into all the lapses of the previous Government. I can assure the House that this Department, at present, is trying its level best to see that the lapses committed in the past are rectified as far as practicable. The Government is also aware Mr. Speaker, Sir, that supply of drinking water is not meant only mere water but that it should be a good drinking water free from all diseases and germs. Therefore, the Government is much concerned about this. I would like to request the hon. Members to bear patience with me as to what had happened in the past in the case of certain schemes as already pointed out by Mr. S.P. Swer from Sohra Constituency and also in the case of Shella where there had been unsatisfactory supply of water. There Department is now looking in this matter. In the case of the Kongthong Water Supply Scheme, repairs are being undertaken to see that the remaining three water tanks are filled with water to supply the whole area. In the case of Shella, well it is an interesting information to the House that we come to know that the source that Government is going to take up is still to be investigated. I cannot say whether this second source will be able to satisfactory supply water or not because this has been done in the past too. But what happened, the contractor to whom the work was allotted had not at all done the work in a proper manner. Not only that he had even sold out the pipes and cement that had been supplied to him and the matter has been reported to the police and now the law will take its own course.

        In the case of the Mawlong Water Supply Scheme, well it is also interesting to note that it was pointed out that from the intake smaller pipes should have been connected while the pipes towards distribution are bigger. Of course my Department denied that there had been such a case. But I can assure the house that an enquiry will be made into this and if any defects were found or if there is any unsatisfactory connection, these will have to be removed and rectified.

        Then as regards the P.H.E. at Cherrapunjee, the scheme has been completed, but only pumps are being repaired because there has been some defect. Then regarding the Lower Cherra Scheme or what is knows as Saitsohpen, here also the P.H.E. has taken up the scheme. But unfortunately, as rightly pointed out by the Mover himself, the P.W.D. did not give the permission to the P.H.E. to have this connection from the point used by the P.W.D. In any case, this will also be looked into and perhaps in the near future we shall be able to throw more definite light on this matter.

        As for the schemes pointed out by Mr. Mojibar Rahman, taken up by the District Council and the Blocks, well in this connection, the only thing that we fan do is to request the Blocks or District Council to see that all these schemes that have already been taken up are properly done. Perhaps there are 46 numbers of ring well schemes and these are under process of sanctioning.

        Then regarding the point raised by Mr. S.D.D. Nichols Roy, that this Department had got no adequate staff or the staff are inadequately trained. The first point is true that the Department does not have adequate staff. As present we are thinking to strengthen the staffing pattern of this Department. But whether they are adequately trained, that I can just inform the House that there are some who have returned from abroad from their training and I believe they are well trained and they could do better. But the only thing was that the implementation was not done properly because of reasons not well known to us, because not everything because of reasons no well known to us, because not everything can be found in records. Any way this is to be examined.

        As far as the schemes pointed out by Mr. Obil Kyndait hon. Member from Rymbai, preparation of the scheme for Khliehriat is in progress. It is true as was stated by him that while some private agencies could succeed in bringing water to Khliehriat, the Public Health Department has totally failed. It is a challenge to the P.H.E. Department whereas the Catholic Mission had succeeded to bring water by gravity but the P.H.E. failed. Therefore, it really a challenge to the Public Health Department when they have failed while the private agencies have succeeded. We accept the challenge and I hope within a few years Khliehriat will have water supply. Then preparation of the Mukhaialang scheme is also in progress. I believe this scheme will be sanctioned soon. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the same is the case with Ratacherra also. This will be sanctioned soon. And one thing Mr. Speaker, Sir, Dr. B.K. Roy has also pointed out about Nongmynsong. This was close to Shillong. Mr. Speaker, Sir.

        Shri B.K. Roy will recall that Shillong itself is suffering from acute shortage of water supply and therefore it is not a question that just because it is near Shillong, it should have plenty of water. With regard to the work at Nongmynsong, it has been examined because this will involve pumping system. I have seen the B.S.F. Scheme which is a pumping scheme at Wahkdait. One thing I would I would request the members of the august House that after the completion of the schemes, the P.H.E. will take care of them for 5 years only after which the scheme, will have to be handed over to the villagers concerned for maintenance. We have found by experience that pumping system is a costly affair and our people should be educated to know in advance about their responsibility for maintenance. So far that is the policy of the Government of India and therefore the need for educating the people in that regard. I hope with these few words, the hon. mover and the hon. Members who have taken part in the discussion are satisfied with the assurance that the Government will try its level best to have better performance.

Shri Mukul Das : May I seek clarification whether there is small scheme to construct tanks and dams to utilise those streams in order to supply water to the localities concerned from those sources.

Shri John Deng Pohrmen (Minister, P.H.E.) : I would like to be clear about that.

Mr. Speaker : As a matter of fact I have told you very often if you want to raise any point of clarification, there should be a relevance with the points made earlier. In this connection you need not made any point of this particular issue which you have just raised.

Shri Mukul Das : The point was raised by Mr. Mojibar Rahman.

Mr. Speaker : I am not aware of that, any way the Minister can reply.

Shri John Deng Pohrmen (Minister, P.H.E.) : We have apart from surface source of water there is also ground water and here in Meghalaya it has been found by the Central Ground Water Board that in many parts of Khasi and Jaintia Hills, it will not be feasible whereas in most part of the plains areas of Garo Hills it is feasible Here, I am talking about ground water.

Mr. Speaker : The discussion on motion No.15 is closed.

        Shri Albin Lamare to move motion No.16 and since he is absent, we come to motion No.17 of Shri S.P. Swer.

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the necessity of detaching the whole areas of Mawbeh Sirdarship from the present Mawphlang Development Block for inclusion in the Shella Bholaganj Block.

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

(At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the chair)

Shri S.P. Swer : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this areas known as Mawbeh Sirdarship is bounded on three sides by the Shella-Bholaganj Development Block, on one side by the Mylliem Block and on the other side by the Mawphlang Block itself and the people in this Sirdarship are potato growers and coal miners. The potato growers do not have to come and sell the potato at Mawphlang if there is any bazar at Mawphlang or its areas nearby but they had to go and sell their produces at Mawjrong bazar that is on the Shillong-Cherra Road which is only 13 kilometres from Mawbeh Sirdarship. The coal miners and a large number of people of the Sirdarship are engaged in coal mining at Laitryngew and Cherrapunjee and their bazar is always at Laitryngew and Cherra Bazar. So they are very close to  Laitryngew and Cherrapunjee. The Distance from this areas to the block Headquarters of the Shella Bholaganj Development Block is near about 23 kilometres whereas the distance from the areas to the Mawphlang Development Block, I mean if they have to go the Block Headquarters as they used to do they have to go via Mawdok Dympep Road, then Shillong-Cherra Road, Shillong-Tamabil Road and Mawphlang-Shillong Road via 7th mile and they have to spend in motor fares alone not less than Rs.10. So there is no way or communication worth the name from the Sirdarship to the Mawphlang Development Block Headquarters and the old path constructed by late David Scott was now abandoned and nobody walked on that road, and if they are to come through that piddle path crossing the big stream known as Umiam river then they have to take along with them escorts and in doing so they so they have to pay wages for escorting just for tiling the application in the office of the Block Development Officer Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel that this area according to the convenience of the people should be detached from the Mawphlang Development Block and included in the Shella Bholaganj Development Block for better Development of the area. Thank you.

Prof. M.N. Majaw (Minister, C.D.) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not only in these two Blocks of Mawphlang and Cherra-Bholaganj that there are certain anomalies in the boundaries drawn between these Blocks but there are other Blocks also. So, our Department is examining the entire question afresh by looking at the boundaries of the Blocks into the entire State. The hon. Member from Cherra has made out a strong case and I would like to assure him that we will very sympathetically look into this matter and take action at the earliest.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : The discussion on motion No.17 is closed. Now, we come to motion No.1 of the 3rd batch to be moved by Shri Manik Das.

Shri Manik Das : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House do now discuss the functioning of the Mawmluh Cherra Cements Ltd. Cherrapunjee.

Mr. Deputy Speaker : Motion moved. Now, you may raise a discussion.

Shri Manik Das : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Cement Factory at Cherra was started initially by a private concern in the year 1964-65 and it was taken up by the Government of Assam and the plant was commissioned in the year 1966. Subsequently, in the year 1972 the Government of Meghalaya took charge of this factory and today we have approximately 800 persons including casual labourers employed in the said factory. In 1972 the expansion programme was started with the intention to increase the capacity from 250 metric tonnes a day to 930 metric tonnes a day. Under the expansion programme an agreement was signed between M/S Davy Ashmore India Ltd., Calcutta for the expansion of he Plant at the cost of Rs.19,52,750 and another firm namely the M/S Development Consultancy private Ltd., Calcutta, was entrusted for the consultancy work at the cost of Rs.26 lakhs and the time limit given was 42 months. In November, 1975, in the Board of Directors' meeting it was agreed that the Government would pay a lump-sum of Rs.6.5 lakhs to M/S Davy Ashmore India Ltd. in consideration of various factors relating to expansion as would be pointed out by the said firm. Subsequently, it was also agreed upon that upto 31st December, 1976 Rs.20,000 per month would be paid to the said firm by the Cement Factory. I would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister why a total sum of Rs.20,000 per month is being paid to this firm even today. In April, 1978 the Management agreed to make some agreement with the Consultancy Firm i.e. M/S Development Consultancy Private Ltd. It was agreed that if one Supervisory Engineers remain at the site,Rs,3,000 would be paid by the Company, i.e. the Cement Factory. subsequently if some Supervisory engineering remain at the site, Rs.5,000 per month would be paid by the Company. In addition to this, the Company would pay Rs.4,000 per month to each Engineer for their extended period of stay besides their pay, cars, secretarial assistance and free quarters would be provided to these Engineers by the firm. At the moment the Cement Factory is paying Rs.25,000 per month to this said firm. I would like to know from the Hon'ble Minister as to why such a big amount is being paid to this firm. Besides this, I would like to know and for the information of this august House why the Company is paying Rs.50,000 a month to the employees of the factory as overtime payment. This is a very huge amount, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, and I would like to know whether any scrutiny or enquiry has been made to find out the authenticity whether this overtime is being paid properly for the benefit of the factory or not. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Cement Factory has been facing many break-down; there is no proper maintenance of the machineries and here I would like to give an example that during the month of December, 1977, for the whole month, the factory was closed. There was no production, there was no dispatch of cement. During the month of January, 1978 for half of the month, the factory was closed, February, 1978 for half of the month the factory was closed, March, 1978, for the whole month, the factory was closed, April, 1978, for half of the month, the factory was closed, May, 1978, for half of the month, the factory was closed and it was only on June 26th this year that the factory started its production. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the coal price in and around Cherrapunjee is very low as compared to all India level of price but the Company is bringing coal from Jaintia hills and other far-flung areas. Whereas from Cherrapunjee coal is sent to Assam and various other places but for the Cement Factory coal has to be brought from other places. Therefore, I feel, if coal is required for the Cement Factory, the Government should restrict the movement of coal from Cherrapunjee. Sir, the over-all expenditure for production of one metric tonne of Cement, the all-India figure is Rs.17.25 whereas the over-all expenditure for production of one metric tonne of cement at Cherrapunjee factory is Rs.67.35. Now the Company is losing Rs.81 per metric tonne because over-head expenditure is on high side. I would urge upon the Government to immediately intervene in the affairs of the Company. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, many employees of the Mawmluh Cherra Cement Factory are under suspension but their cases are not being disposed of for quite a long time. I would, therefore, urge upon the Government to dispose of their cases quickly and reinstate them so that they do not suffer. There are certain employees in the factory who get their pay and allowances as per wage Board's scale and there are many employees who are getting the pay and allowances as laid down for the State Government employees. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Cleaners who are employed under the Wage Board scale by the Company get pay Rs.454.74p per month, the peons who have been employed in the Company getting more pay than the Typists and Accounts Assistants employed in the State Government. The typist under the State Government gets Rs.338 and an Accounts Assistant who is employed on the Government scale by the Company gets Rs.379.82p. There is a disparity of pay between the staff. There is no uniformity and the persons like peons and Cleaners who are employed under the wage Board scale are getting more pay than those employed like Accounts Assistants and Typists who are employed on the Government scales. I urge upon the Government that there should be uniformity of pay between all categories of employees, employed permanently by the Company. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to bring to the notice of this August House that as per the agreement between the Government of India and the representatives of the Cement factory workers on 7th May, 1975, the Cement factories workers were supposed to get new pay scales and increment. But the Cement factory has implemented this agreement from October, 1976 only, but this is paid only the employees on the factory site and not to the employees in the headquarters. But the arrears of pay from 7th May, 1975 till October, 1976 has not yet been paid, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, The Company had not paid the lump sum arrears of Rs.450 from the 15th of September, 1975 as agreed between the Government of India and the representatives of the Cement Industry in the meeting held in New Delhi in May, 1975. I urge upon the Government to see that the decision taken by the Central Government and the agreement arrived at, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir,  is honored immediately by the Company. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are many officers and staff who have come to the Cement factory on deputation, from the office of the Accountant General or from the State Government . I feel, since this factory is a major industry of the State which is the only industry worth the name in our State, the Company should build up its own cadre of officers and staff who could be employed permanently in the Company. I also find that in our big Company lie the Cement Company, there is no Public Relations Officer. I strongly feel that there is a requirement for appointing a Public Relations Officer in such Company. Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Company does not have budget. I am surprised how this Company, without a budget, can plan its expenditure. Since the inception of the Company, since it has been taken over by the Government in 1964-65, the Company is always running at a loss except for a period of 1974-75 when there were some profits which can be termed as 'inflated'. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also an immediate need to keep some provision for spare parts, essential spare part, so that in case of any break-down, the factory should not remain closed for days together. I am happy that the Company is very keen to have the fast firing kiln very soon. I have seen in one of the Unstarred Questions today that by the end of July, 1978, the production would go up by 530 metric tonnes per day. I urge upon the Government that the entire plan expenditure for this factory should be completed as early as possible. This is, as I said earlier, the only industry worth the name in our State and it should deserve special attention from the Government. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.

Shri Mojibar Rahman : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to concentrate only in one point that this Cement Factory is giving a reimbursement of freight charge only to the dealers in the District headquarters. Some dealers are there who have their business from their branches in difficult areas. They are getting their cement from here and getting reimbursement of their total quantity they carry, and the other dealers who are appointed from the rural areas, even beyond the District headquarters they do not get reimbursement of freight charge. I think in this way some sort of a monopoly of business has been encouraged by the Government. While enquiring into the matter, I have been informed that it is an all India decision that only in the District headquarters they will get the reimbursement. Supposing a cement dealer having a cement industry in Mahendraganj, if the carries cement to Mahendraganj, he will have to incur more expenditure, but will not get reimbursement of freight charges whereas in Tura he is getting reimbursement. In this way this monopoly of businessmen is being encouraged where the local people are not being able to carry it out if the freight charge is not given. They cannot compete with the local market and I think the Government will take steps in this matter . Thank you, Sir.

Shri P.R. Kyndiah (Minister, Industries) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the outset, I would like to thank the Mover of the motion for giving a lot of inside information some of which that is the informations are quite new to me. But more than that, I do appreciate very much the suggestions that have been given by the Mover and also by the participants in the discussion. I would like to make it clear that in so far as the functioning of the Company is concerned, it is admitted that there is ample scope for improvement. And when I say this, I fully realise the importance and the need on the part of the Government which has a big stake in the Company to oversee and also to intervene, at time whenever a situation arises. In fact, during the very short period that this new Government assumed office, we have had a lot of exercises on the need to strengthen the management at the factory level, technical level and also streamlining the administration. Some of the question raised by the Mover are very interesting and they coincide with the thinking of the Government and the management of the Company. For instance, we have considered very seriously about one important fact of developing the Company, that is, building up of the cadre of a sort. Now, to run such a huge company like the Mawmluh-Cherra Cements Limited, it requires certain expertise and know how and it has to be run on a commercial basis in which the persons concerned have to have a large reservoir of know-how. For instance, the other day when I visited the Plant, I was keenly aware of the dearth of technical personnel, particularly in the field of engineers and other technicians. I immediately took up this question and I feel that we have to undertake a crash programme of getting engineers, not only local, whatever locals we can have, but any engineer from outside also. We are thinking seriously even to undertake a census of the engineering students who are in various engineering colleges and try to persuade them to join the M.C.C.L. immediately after their course is over. So, I agree with the suggestions made by the Mover of the motion of the need to build up our cadre of officers and men to man such a huge undertaking like the M.C.C.L. In matters of Accounts I should like to bring to the attention of this House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that we have inherited this Company as you know from a private concern, and then after a time it was taken over by the Government of Assam and it is admitted that the accounts were not only brought up-to-date, but for some time it was in a chaotic condition. Fortunately, a few years ago, the Management took a very good decision in getting officers from the Central Government and others, and they had been able to keep the accounts up-to-date and maintain a balance sheet and all that. In so far as the budget is concerned, well there is a budget, but it cannot be a formal budget as we would wish it to be. I understand the Management of the M.C.C.L. particularly the present management, is taking interest in this matter. In fact, the present management, is taking interest in this matter. In fact, even the Planning Commission people who had gone and inspected the various activities and functioning of the M.C.C.L. had come to the conclusion that the accounts have been by and large, improved and it is up-to-date and it is only a question of getting the auditors from the Central Government who will do the auditing. So, on this score, the Management has done well. Let us be very clear about it. Of course the Mover had mentioned about eh inflated profit, well I do not know what he means, but it has certain hints of something else in which the hon. Mover knows very well. But I believe he means by saying that, by and large, the Company has suffered many losses. Yes, we have suffered losses for the simple reason that this Plant was conceived to produce only 250 tonnes a day its rated capacity and it has been found then and today that this kind of Plant would not be economically viable. It is because of this realisation that a few years ago, the management with the Government , had embarked on the expansion programme. (At this stage, the Speaker occupied the Chair) on this point, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe the hon. Mover will be satisfied. The other point that was raised and prominently focused was about the break-down. The breakdown of the machines which occur incessantly to the detriment of the working of the company, I had occasion Mr. Speaker, Sir, to mention in this House that mechanical breakdowns had been besetting this Company right from the start. Of late, we had difficulties also with the raw mill and in fact, whatever we can do today, is because of the new raw mill which is a part included in the expansion programme. The original raw mill is still in the state of disrepair. We are trying to get the spare parts an we hope that we would be able to get them after some time and this problem will, to a large extent, be minimised. Of course it is also true the old machineries, some of them were of defective design..........

Mr. Speaker : You will please continue in the next Session. So, the discussion on this motion is closed for the time being.

        Let us pass on to item 5, i.e., half an hour discussion under Rule 49 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly given notice by Mr. H.L. Nongsiang.

Shri H.L. Nongsiang : Mr. Speaker, Sir, due to some unfortunate reasons, I was compelled to recall back the Question No.61 for half-an-hour discussion under Rule 49 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of this House because the replies of the minister concerned appear to be very vague and unsatisfactory. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in Question No.61 (a) my question was about the construction and repairs of the culvert whereas the reply related only to the construction but not to repairs and the words "from time to time" misleading the fact and to my knowledge the said culvert was dismantled completely and converted into a hume-pipe culvert in 1977-78. Question No.61 (b) was about the amount involved and the reply was only Rs.431.11 paise were incurred as expenditure towards the construction of the culvert and the repair up-to-date does not appear to be credible. It may be a departmental work but records should be kept. Here, it means only construction in 1969 and not repaired up-to-date. I do not know Mr. Speaker, Sir, how far the work "was" in Question No.61 (a) misleading the fact of the whole content of the question to the department. Actually, I mean here about the amount involved in the construction as well as repair. Question No.61 (c) it may be a fact that the contractor of the culvert was Shri Hollywell in 1969 but my information and knowledge is that another Contractor by name Choudhury was involved. I mean not only 1969, I also mean the new contractor of hume-pipe. Question No.61 (d) I asked about the estimated amount for the constructional repairs. But the reply was the same as (b) above. That means Rs.431.11 paise. Actually, the expenditure should have been exceeded or less than the estimated amount and this usually happened in the P.W.D. But how is it possible that the estimated amount and the expenditure are the same? This reply is not satisfactory Mr. Speaker, Sir. Also No.61 (f). My question was due to the poor workmanship of the culvert but the reply is no. I was on the spot on 30th May, about 8.30 p.m. with the magistrate and the Police and we have photographed even the culvert and the bus together that the accident was due tot he break down of the culvert. No doubt, the culvert was completed now. But my question is before the 30th and not after because I have got full proof in connection with this. That is why I am not satisfied with the replies of the Minister. I the facts are stated satisfactory I would have avoided to raise this discussion. In my opinion the answers by the Hon'ble Minister in the House are like a screw fitted to the machine. We are not supposed to fit the machine of the Government by any screw, loose or tight , fitted or unfitted. But to select an adjustable one. I expect that the Government will supply correct informations when we are asking the question because only through the questions we are able to know the facts and figures and we are able to know also how far the department has done. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, these are the things that I would like, if possible, to get a clarification through the Minister concerned.

        With these words I resume my seat.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to Question No.61 the question was when the culvert constructed and Mr. Speaker, Sir, the original culvert was constructed in 1969. I understand that the hon. Member wants to have clarification about the present culvert which is still under construction. Mr. Speaker, Sir, construction of the Nongstoin. Mr. Speaker, Sir, construction of the Nongstoin-Sonapahar road was initially taken up under the Third Five Year Plan and the slab culvert in question was complete in the year 1969. This culvert was made of dry stones masonry and with the slab stone cover and due to the increase of traffic on this road, development of the road from a classified standard of a semi-classified standard is necessary. So Sir, the scheme was taken up under the N.E.C. in the month of December, 1976. The culvert in question, I mean half of the culvert in question, was dismantled so that a new culvert would be contracted which so of hume-pipe and now, the name of contractor who construction of slab culvert was Mr. Hollywell of Nongstoin.

        But, for the present hume pipe culvert, it is one Mr. H.C. Deb Choudhury. The amount incurred in the construction of the old culvert slab drain dry stones masonry, was Rs.431.11 p. The estimated amount for the present hume pipe culvert is Rs.9,800/-, and as I have said half of the old culvert was dismantled so that tit could be replaced by the hume pipe culvert. So the potion on the down-hill side of the culvert has already been completed except other half of the road on the up-hill side, measuring about 3.30 m. At the time of the accident construction was not yet taken up. Mr. Speaker, Sir, The accident which occurred on 30th May, 1978, was not due to poor workmanship of the culvert. As I have said, the vehicle had to pass through the old culvert which is 3.30 m. and between the hume pipe culvert and the old culvert. This gap was covered with logs. So the driver instead of negotiating his driving through the old culvert, most probably due to negligence, one of the types was on the logs. The logs were displaced that 100 passenger were in the bus and some of them were on the rood of the itself. So, when the bus tilted, the majority of the passenger escaped by jumping. But, unfortunately, two of the passengers could not jump and so this accident happened.

        The work of the present culvert is still in progress although the other half, as I have said, was completed whereas the other half is still in progress. The time for completion of the work, as per contract, is upto 30th September, 1978. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hope I have made it clear to the hon. member on the points which he wants to be clarified. Thank you.

Mr. Speaker : Before we come to the last item, I have received a notice that the Deputy Chief Minister wants to make a statement.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in pursuance of the statement made by the Governor in his Address of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on the 20th March, 1978, the Government of Meghalaya have decided to constitute a pay Commission of Shri N.K. Rustomji, I.C.S.(Retd.) as its Chairman. The Commission will have, in addition to its Chairman, three members and a Member Secretary. The Finance Secretary to the Government will be the Member-Secretary of the Commission. The consent of the proposed members is being obtained after which a formal notification constituting the Commission will be issued. The Commission is expected to start functioning from the 1st August, 1978.


PROROGATION

Mr. Speaker : Now we are coming to the very last item and that is the prorogation. But before I prorogue, let me read out the message from the Governor:

"RAJ BHAVAN

JULY 8, 1978.

        In exercise of the powers conferred by Clause (2) (a) of Article 174 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby prorogue the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly at the conclusion of its sitting on the 10th July, 1978"

The House stands prorogued.

D.S. KHONGDUP
Dated, Shillong: Secretary,
The 10th July, 1978. Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

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