Proceedings of the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday, the 15th June, 1978 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker :- Since there are no questions let us begin the business of the day by taking up item No.2. So I would call upon Mr. Nongsiang to start the debate.
GENERAL DISCUSSION ON THE BUDGET
Shri Ledishon Nongsiang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very glad to associate in the General discussion of the Budget this morning. When I went through the speeches delivered by the Hon'ble Finance Minister since the last session, i.e. the whole budget for the year 1978-79 was reflected on the economical position of the State and if we compare with other States, we are left behind in all respects. Our people in the State are likely sickly children looking for medicines to course the diseases. What are those diseases? The diseases are ignorance, poverty and also the real disease yet to be diagnosed. Who will diagnose and cure those diseases? The answer is Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are not living in a dark ages like the people of the 15th century. We are fully grown up and conscious about the development, economically, scientifically educationally, socially as well as politically. So the whole structure of the State should be revised but not like "a rolling stone gathers no moss". Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are really responsible, we have got our State since the last few years back. But the people are not counting the number or years and days; they are counting our deeds that we have shown to them. No doubt, I am very happy to see the size of the annual plan for 1978-79 that has been fixed at Rs.28.11 crores. But the plan is nothing in comparison with the requirements for the development of the State. I will not dwell much on this but I would like to come straight to Departments as enumerated and mentioned in this budget speech. Number one the Agriculture Department. Under the Agriculture Department if you go through the Speech it has been mentioned clearly that estimated, 26,000 hectares of land are expected to be brought under cultivation of high yielding varieties during the year 1978-79. The target for the current year is 21,000 hectares to be developed. I do not know whether this 21,000 hectares that has been proposed by the Government for agricultural development in the State is meant for the whole State or is it only for some areas. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this connection if we are thinking very seriously and also if we pursue one after another we have seen that we are not yet developed up to the standard. I am sure if we will continue like this it is difficult for the State to attain self-sufficiency in respect of food grains as we have expected. The difficulties that we have experienced are firstly the supply of seeds to the farmers, and the cultivators is not adequate. No doubt the Government used to supply seeds from the head office at Shillong. But it is difficult to send those seeds for use because they are not sending the seeds from the head quarters timely. That is one of the most difficult problems which stand in the way of developing agriculture in our State. Secondly, the difficulties that we are faced with the is irregularities in supply of fertilizers. The Government might be sending fertilizers but the supply of fertilizers does not reach the rural areas in actual sowing season. So it seems that this supply is not meant for the benefit of the cultivators; it is purely for the sake of business. This is also one point that the Government should not take. Otherwise agricultural development in the State will remain stagnant. The third difficulties that we have seen. as for example in Nongstoin of West khasi Hills District, is that there are no power tillers, tractors, spare parts, no office of the Assistant Engineer I have contacted the DAO, Nongstoin Circle, who told me that if we want any spare we have to send for it from Shillong. Suppose one blade of the tractor has gone out of order, we are to send it to Shillong which again 2/3 months to get it repaired. So I would like to request the Government to take the initiative to create the post of Assistant Engineer at Nongstoin. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you look around the State, you will find the State of Meghalaya is full of agricultural things. But why only 26,000 hectares are sought to be cultivated if we really, aim to develop our State economically through agriculture. We should have provided facilities to all place. It should have been extended to the block Headquarters. So I would like the Government to set up seed farms in all Blocks Headquarters and also seeds should be distributed in time to the cultivators. Otherwise, I am sure agriculture development in the State will not to be effective.
Then I would like to come to the co-operation. Regarding this Department, I fell so sorry to bring this matter to this House. Lakhs of rupees from the Government are being allotted to the Service Co-operative Societies as loans. But the Government should be alive to see that the loans to these Co-operative Societies are distributed in a proper way. In my observation, and opinion, it is doubtful Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether any benefit has gone to the people. Lakhs and lakhs of rupees were sanctioned and distributed to the people but not in the proper way. I have seen so many signatories in the register of the co-operative societies, but these are false signatures and not real signatures. Now how to improve these co-operative service societies. The aims and objects of the Government through these co-operative society are to improve the condition of the people agriculturally but indirectly we are encouraging the people to resort to corrupt practices. We are not encouraging people to make the best use of these loans to improve their works. Unless and until the whole co-operation is reformed and re-organised, it is not possible that co-operation would do well in the long run. Why, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I dare say on the floor of this august House itself in order that the Government will see and pursue and also revise the whole plan. Now the co-operative societies are going on in all places and some people are actually benefited, some people are really getting impetus to the extent that they have got even trucks S model or D model trucks and what not, but the people at large are suffering and they have to pay dues to the Government plus interest. Mr. Speaker, Sir, not only that. One thing I have observed very carefully is that the office of the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Shillong has to look after so many districts and shoulder the responsibilities alone. The Assistant Registrar's office in Shillong has turned to be like a mess where the people are gathering. Therefore, I would suggest that the Government should consider posting of Assistant Registrars of Co-operative Societies in all the district headquarters and also promotion should be given to those people who deserve to get promotion otherwise cooperation will not function smoothly as expected. I am sure that the present Government will look into it.
Point No. 3 Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to mention only one thing in matters of community development. In this connection, I would like only to mention about promotion. What I know is that the S.E.Os. use to be promoted to B.D.Os but we never think about the lady S.E.Os. The lady S.E.Os may not have a chance of promotion at all I know Mr. Speaker, Sir, that the lady S.E.Os. were deputed by the Education Department and they were there from the beginning of their service to the end, there was no prospect of promotion for them. Even the Education Department never take them back. By not providing promotion for them makes them lazy to work. This is unfair and injustice is done to them. Actually, we are equal men and women alike. So I would like the Department to see that equal opportunities, equal rights and privileges should be made available to them.
Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to the Education Department. With regard to this Department, I feel so sorry as I happened to be a teacher for a few years back. I would like to mention here that this Department is the life of the country, the key of the Nation and we used to term teachers as "Nation Builders". But we are doing for them - nothing in comparison with other departments. No facilities were given to them. Their salary is equal to with the salary of the 4th grade employees of the Government specially the aided school teachers. Yes no doubt it was mentioned in the budget speech that eight thousand aided schools were benefited as a result of the revised scale of pay with effect from 1st November 1976. I do not know whether this applies to the L.P. School teachers of the District Councils or the M.E. or High Schools and whether the revised scale is given to the teachers individually or through the Managing Committees in terms of additional adhoc grant. But the sad thing is that uptil now the teachers are getting the same scale of pay fixed by the Managing Committees of the schools in their respective centres. The insufficiency of salary compels the teachers to involve themselves in other business and makes them also irresponsible and unworthy of their work. Whom shall we blame? Now shall we blame the teachers? Nobody can work and live without food. They are also earning their livelihood. So it is the duty of the State Government to look into this matter otherwise where is the development of the State. Is it possible to develop the State only physically or do we not need mental development also. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like that the Government should look into this problem more seriously. The next regarding the same subject, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that I would like to point out is about the facilities of the students. Now in this State we are getting scholarships no doubt. Students of high schools, specially college and university students, are getting scholarships but in comparison with other States, we are far behind. Also in past years the college students as well as university students used to enjoy book grants, but for two years this grant has been stopped. While the students of other States like Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram use to enjoy all these facilities, the students of Meghalaya are not enjoying them. How do we think about those students who are going outside? Those who have got brains, so that they would like to utilise their brains for study outside and actually when they comeback from outside to their own State they will be beneficial to the State. But we are not looking into it. Let cite an example, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The students of the border areas used to get a subsidy but I am so sorry to learn that only Rs.150 a year are given to them. What is this? Only Rs.150 for each student of the border area. Instead of giving them Rs.150 a year. It is better not to give them at all if help is not benefited to them. If we want to give them, we better give in proper way. About the uniforms grants to schools and M.E. Schools the Government this year sanctioned only Rs.250 for each schools. Now the minimum price of the uniforms for each student is above Rs.60. So, only Rs.250 were sanctioned for each school as grant for uniforms. So these are the difficulties that the schools are facing. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to impress upon the Education Department that this should be looked into immediately otherwise I am afraid Mr. Speaker, Sir, we may be creating unrest in future. We are really innocent people that nothing happened in our State upto this day. But if we are continuing the same thing, I am sure we will be facing some difficulties as other States are facing, especially if we neglect the students. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest that primary school should be taken over by the Government as it seemed that the District Councils are not working properly and also facilities to the students as well as the teachers should be provided immediately in order that we will be at permanently and educationally with other States. My suggestion Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that the rural schools, namely high schools as well as M.E. Schools should be brought under the deficit system. Improvement of school buildings should be done immediately. I would like that an agriculture college should be set up in the West Khasi Hills District if we are really anxious for the balanced development of all parts of the State.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me now come to the Public Works Department. In this connection I would like to remind the P. W. D. that construction of roads should be started immediately in all parts of the State wherever possible in the West Khasi Hills District. The road from Nongstoin to Rongjeng is a very important road; it is a State highway which connects the two districts. This road needs immediate improvement. I would like to press the department concerned that the road from Nongstoin to Sonapahar should be black-topped and also the road from Kranjrin to Langpih because Langpih is also one of the areas situated near Kamrup district where so many communities are being faced by the people there. I would like that this particular road should be taken into consideration immediately. Mr. Speaker, Sir, next I would like to come to the Health Department. I do know why no mention has been made in the budget speech about the Health Department. We have got one PHC at Nongstoin and we are thinking and also expecting that Government will upgrade this PHC to a full-fledged Civil Hospital. In this PHC there are no facilities, no stock medicines and no ambulance. I contacted the D.H.S. about the ambulance and he told me that the ambulance was already purchased and now the Department is making the body. But I am sorry to say that the same reply will be given years after years. Not only that. Even vehicles are not provided, nurses are not there. Now the Civil Surgeon as well as the doctors of Nongstoin PHC are living together in the same house as there are no separate quarters. There are different diseases and the population is quite big but facilities are not provided. So I would like that Government should take note of this immediately. I would like that the Government should take note of this immediately. I would like that the Government should create one PHC at Riangdo area as this area is very important, and I would request the Government that facilities should be given to the existing sub-health centre there. As it is now, there are no facilities at all, no medicines are provided and no nurses. Only a house is there and nothing else. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Department concerned to one thing, that is, the integrated child development scheme. This is the most important scheme and one should be established at West Khasi Hills District to develop and build up children physically and mentally. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make some observation on the Sericulture Department and Weaving. In connection with this, I would like to mention and also request the Government that a Sericulture Branch Office or some sort request the Government that a Sericulture Branch Office or some sort of weaving centre should be established there in the West Khasi Hills District. Why? Because that particular area is the area where silk worms are reared and where there are plenty of mulberry trees. Now, I would request the Government to set up some offices there.
The next point that I would like to come is about the minerals. In this connection I would like to bring to the attention of the house that there is one coal mine. Well, I do not know whether the Government is aware of it or not. But there is one coal mine at Pyndengeru and Balpakram within the Nongbri and Mawsor clans near Garo Hills. This is a very big area. Now, the fire burns and eats up this coal for 7 years but no action has been taken by the Government to prevent it. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that this is the wealth of the State, wealth of the country. We have got our own State. So it is our duty now to look into the matter immediately. If possible, Mr. Speaker, I would like that the Government should take up this as a State concern. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to the next State concern. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to the next point, that is, border dispute. We are really enjoying. We have heard that the boundary pillars were taken away by the Hon. Revenue Minister.
( Voices : Not by the Revenue Minister - by the Police )
Yes, by the Police and the people in some areas really enjoy things we have been making war with the neighbouring State. In my opinion. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is wrong. If we have got our boundary pillars between Assam and Meghalaya, I think we are to see that the question of boundary dispute does not arise because there is no demarcation since we got our Statehood. That is why this question still exists and we are discussing now and then especially taking out the boundary Pillars is not solving the question. In my opinion, Sir, we are creating more complicacies in the State and also the people in the neighbouring State may create more trouble and give more harassment to our people. We are laughing, we are happy with the suffering of those people living in the neighbouring areas. Who will be responsible for this? It is our duty to look into this matter carefully and discuss through negotiations after negotiations. I would also request the State Government not to pull out the boundary pillars as that would mean an encroachment. Instead, we are to render help to those neighbouring villages. It is no use telling them that if you vote for us, if I am in power, if I am elected, I will bring your areas in Meghalaya. Now we are facing the difficulty. This is the responsibility of the State Government to take up the matter. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that we are responsible to the people of the State. We are representing the people and I think it is our duty to see that our duties in the State Government are to be handled together. So, I would like to request the Government to take the initiative in this boundary dispute immediately and also to look for the general development of the country as a whole. Unless we are changing ourselves, we will not do good if we are just blaming what the past Government have done. In my opinion, we are jumping over the same river twice. Actually, we should not do so. These are the thorns to the people of the State. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank you and resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Now, Mr. Bhaskar Chowdhury. You have forty minutes.
Mr. Bhaskar Chowdhury :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to take part in the discussion on the budget for the year 1978-79 presented by the Hon'ble Finance Minister. At the outset, Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me refer to paragraph I in page 1 of the Budget speech wherein the Hon'ble Finance Minister has stated, "Before I proceed with my address, I may be permitted to point out that the budget estimates and the demands for grants circulated to the Hon'ble Members were prepared on the basis of the directives given by the previous Government, I would like to make it clear that these do not necessarily reflect our policies and priorities" Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also refer to page 20 paragraph 35 of the Budget Speech wherein it is stated that "The Budget proposals which I have submitted for your consideration seek to reflect the needs and aspirations of the people of the State, but they have had to be formulated within the framework of the limitation which are our legacy.' So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the statement made by the hon'ble Minister in his budget speech it can be very well said that the Hon'ble Minister-in-charge Finance has contradicted himself and placed the budget with lack of policies. If the budget placed by the Government does not reflect the policies and priorities of that Government why it has been presented? I put this question before the Government through you Mr. Speaker, Sir, that in view of the State of statement of the Finance Minister made in his budget speech I feel that this Government had nothing to do with the budget prepared by the previous Government and cannot question the integrity of the previous Government headed by Captain Sangma to meet the needs and aspirations of the people of the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the law and order situation in the State has deteriorated soon after the results of the last general election were out. Since after the election it has become impossible for the people to live a daily life especially those who belong to the non-tribal minorities in the State. Rowdyism spreaded will over the Shillong Capital City of the State-tension and panic are prevailing all over. The number of cases registered by the Police upto the end of May 1978 comes to as much as 61. Many cases have not been reported to the Police but nothing has been done so far. Many cases have not been reported for fear of being harassed. Police are reported to have delayed taking action on matters reported to them. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir a general feeling of fear has developed amount the people whether it is due to political pressure? Mr. Speaker, Sir, the law and order situation in the State is very much deteriorating. So, through you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to urge the Government to take necessary action immediately to restore normalcy in the State and to remove the panic and tension prevailing among the people specially those who belong to the minority non-tribal communities permanently living in the State. Sir, I would like to endorse a few words as expressed by one of the hon. Members yesterday on the discussion of the budget about distinguishing the non-tribals permanently living in the State of Meghalaya with the non-tribals from outside the State and also about the influx. So I refer to my discussion on this subject which I made during the last session about protection and safeguards the interest of the non-tribal permanently living in the State. So through you Sir, I urge upon the Government to clearly express the policies for safeguarding and protecting the rights and interests of the minority non-tribals permanently living in the State.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, coming to health, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the water scarcity in Ganesh Das Hospital, complaints against which have been received from different quarters. Sufficient water supply is a must. The Ganesh Das Hospital authorities also on several occasions have written to the Government in this regard. But I fail to find till date the water problem in the hospital has not been solved which relates to life and death question of patients. So, Sir, it is the fundamental and primary duty of the Government to give priority to water scarcity in the hospital. ( The Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair ). Through you, Sir, let me ask the Government about one case in Ganesh Das Hospital. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one specialist doctor in obstetrics and genecology serving in the hospital has been superseded by a junior and less qualified doctor for the post of Superintendent in the hospital. The same specialist has tendered his resignation from service in view of being superseded. Since we are looking for specialist in the State, is it the policy of the present Government to discourage the specialist who is in service by superseding him by a doctor of less qualification and junior in service. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me draw your attention to the Pasteur Institute Blood Bank. Originally one diesel jeep was used to the for Blood Bank to collect doctors on call from the respective residents who are not provided with quarters by the hospital authorities. But it seems now the same vehicle is not available to bring doctors as it has been allotted to the head of the Institution. The parties have to use their own vehicle for bringing the doctors in case of their need. In this respect Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to narrate my personal experience which I had on the 17th May, 1978 while I was called out from my home by one gentleman for using my car to fetch a doctor. On enquiry from office we have come to know that no vehicle is available for bringing doctors, and I had personally brought a doctor to relieve the patient for collection of the blood for immediate operation. Through you, Sir, I would like to urge upon the Government to take immediate action for arrangement of vehicles for the doctors on call in blood bank and also for providing quarters for the doctor connected with the blood bank since the blood bank service is a twenty four hours' service and nobody can say when blood is required for the patients.
Coming to transport Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Government through you, for demonopolising the Gauhati-Shillong Road vehicular traffic to cater the Gauhati-Shillong Road vehicular traffic to cater to the needs of the people. In this regard I would like to refer to a resolution unanimously passed by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council in the year 1972 in July Session which is as follows :- "This Council urge upon the State Government the necessity of demonopolising goods' traffic the G.S. Road at an early date for the purpose of relieving hardships experienced by the local people especially cultivators and for providing cheap and easy transportation of their goods particularly the perishable goods to the respective destination.
|Sd/- Chairman of the District|
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now about 6 years have passed since we have moved the Government from the District Council for the demonopolising of goods and vehicular traffic. So I impress upon the Government to take the G.S. Road case as early as possible to implement this proposal which was made from the Khasi Hills District Council. I would also refer to the demand of the Jaintia Hills District Council and their suggestion for giving priority on regular service from Jowai to Ratacherra. Sir, there is a crying need for more city buses in the town as well as in the interior. Tourist taxis are plying on the G.S. Road as well as local taxis but I do not understand what makes the Government not to issue more permits for such vehicles by imposing restriction. The Government gets revenue from the passengers' tax as well as road tax. So more vehicles on the road must be encouraged. Through you, Sir, I would draw the attention of the Government on the matter on issuing more tourist taxis and local taxis to cater to the needs of the people. The Government by not issuing permit is losing about Rs.2,000 yearly as revenue from each vehicle. If we have more vehicles on the road Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government can earn more money as revenue.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Government to the subject "Setting up of the District Selection Committees". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this respect, I would refer to the proposal of the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council, where a decision has been taken up during the budget session of the Council. The proposal to the Government reads like this. "Setting up of these District Selection Committees greatly affects the smooth procedure which the Government had all along practised. The persons whom the Board recommends for appointment feel themselves to be above their officers and the superiors and the members are not in favour of these District Selection Committees. So the Government should do away with this practice immediately and restore the former practice which had been so far adopted by the Government". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this was proposed by the Jaintia Hills District Council to the Government wherein the Hon'ble Minister of Health was the Chief Executive Member at the time. So, I like to draw the attention of the Government through you, Sir, a to this decision particularly of the Hon'ble Minister representing Jaintia Hills, who was a party to them ( voices - But this is not District Council ). Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also like to stress upon the Government for the implementation of this proposal of the Jaintia Hills District Council.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now let me come to the subject "persons now serving under the Government of Meghalaya on deputation from Assam" Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it has been reported that there are a good number of cases where the Government servants serving under this Government on deputation from Assam have expressed their willingness particularly of the Police department to go back to their parent State. But only a few of them have been sent back and I do not know why the cases of the rest huge number are still kept pending. Sir, if the Government disposes of these cases at an early date the vacancies to be created as a result of their being sent back to Assam, can be filled up by local talents which, I think, will partially solve the unemployment problem in the State. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will refer to the recent notification and Press release of the Government regarding the loan on transfer of land to the non-tribals in view of the Meghalaya land Transfer Act latest amendment. This is like a steam hammer blow an the non-tribals who were committed to the development of the State. Sir, through you, I ask the Government to clarify whether the cases of inheritance of land and property by non-tribals fall within the purview of the latest amendment or not? Further, through you, I urge upon the Government to take necessary legal steps to exclude the transfer of land to a permanent non-tribals living in the State from the purview of this Act. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I conclude my discussion, I would like to bring before the House an interesting case which will prove that due to lapses on the part of the Government development schemes can not be implemented. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was a scheme for the construction of Polytechnic Administrative building at Mawlai, since long. Tenders were called and several firms have submitted tenders. But to my knowledge and information, contractor firm M/s Doss Premier Construction Co., submitted tender. The tender value as per Government notification was for Rs.25,15,000 and M/s. Does Premier Construction Co. have quoted the lowest price in the tender and subsequently the Company was selected for work on 12th May 1978 a written work order was issued by the Chief Engineer, P.W.D. ( R&B ) vide his letter dated 12th May 1978 stating that the tender to M/s. Doss Premier Construction Co. Limited, has been accepted and the Contractor firm has been directed to deposit two per cent as security deposit within ten days. Accordingly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the firm deposited Rs.50,300 as security deposit in favour of the Chief Engineer, P.W.D. (R.&B.). Surprisingly Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on 15th May, 1978, i.e., within a gap of 3 days, M/s. Doss Premier Construction Company has received a letter from the Chief Engineer, P.W.D. (R.& B.) that "the work order issued previously is hereby withdrawn, giving no reasons at all. After receiving the work order, the contractor firm has deposited a security deposit according to the terms by investing a huge sum of money and dumped materials at the place of work. But subsequently, he finds that his work order has been withdrawn. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, through you, I bring to the notice of this House that there are serious lapses on the part of the Department which resulted in the non-Implementation of the scheme though it was about to be implemented. The party was gone to the court and God knows how many years it will for disposal of the case and how many years we will have to wait to see that the said scheme is implemented. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, through you, I urge upon the Government that there must be a thorough enquiry in the matter as to why there should be such lapses on the part of the PWD I urge the Government, through you, Sir, to come forward and express clearly as to what was the reason behind the non-implementation of this scheme. Before I conclude Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that I had raised the issue during the last Session while discussion the Governor's Address about 'permanent residence be certificate" I do not know, Sir, whether there is any instruction or any notification from the Government that permanent residence certificate is required in getting somebody's name included in the employment exchange or for a student to get admission or for getting a trading license or for getting permits for a public carrier and so and so forth. It is in practice and there are prescribed forms sold in the office of the Deputy Commissioner at 10 paise each for persons intending to get certificates. In the said form there are different clauses about that particular to be given by the applicant and at the end it is said that this must be accompanied by certificates from M.P., M.L.A., M.D.C. headman and Ward Commissioner. Sir, we have several instances that applications having obtained certificates from the members of the Legislative Assembly could not get the permanent residence certificates in the due time though applied in proper form and I do not know why these were not issued. It clearly amounts to this time the issuing authorities dishonour the certificates issued by the members of the Legislative Assembly. So Sir, I demand the refusal of the issuing authorities where it concerns certificates from the M.L.A. amounts to dishonor of this House through dishonoring the certificates issued by the hon. members. So comes the question of breach of privilege and any authority refusing such certificates should be brought to the Privileges Committee. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, necessary action should be taken by the Privileges Committee as deemed fit and proper. With these few words, Sir, I conclude my speech. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. H.L. Nongsiang.
(Voices - He has finished)
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Medras Mylliem.
Shri Medras Mylliem :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am also associating with the discussion of the Budget for the year 1978-79 presented by our Finance Minister, I consider it a privilege to participate in the discussion of this Budget. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to Page 5 of the Finance Minister's budget speech regarding agriculture. Sir, in para 9 we find that the production of potato exceeded 90,000 tonnes in the current year as against 80,000 tonnes in the previous year. We are very proud to know about the production but one thing I want to point out is that our farmers or potato growers do not get a good price while selling their potatoes in Shillong because the morning prices is different from the afternoon price or from the evening price. As far as I know, in the morning the price is higher because a small quantity reaches the market. But in the afternoon, when a large quantity of potatoes arrives at the market the price is lowered. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would suggest that our Government should help them with the price of potatoes by fixing a uniform price for the whole day.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to Irrigation, at page 6 para 10 I would like the Government to note that in our State most of the people are farmers. But when we take a look we find that many of the good places suitable for cultivation remain uncultivated. The reason for this is because of the absence of irrigation. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this regard I would like to suggest to the Government to help the farmers by constructing irrigation dams on the rivers where there are good plains nearby which can be irrigated in order to get sufficient agricultural production.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say something about co-operation. One of the hon. members had also mentioned something about this department. Sir in para 15 of page 9 of the Budget Speech, we find that there are one hundred and seventy-three societies which have been reorganised, and we know that the Government has spent a lot of money to help these societies in the interest of the people especially in the rural areas. In the Budget Speech there is no mention how many societies have been liquidated by the Government. As far as I know, there are so many societies that have been liquidated by the Government. So I hope the Government and these societies have got the liability to repay the loans and advances to the Government. So I hope the Government will check up in order to recover the money that has been given to them.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to come to health. In my constituency, there is neither a dispensary nor a Public Health Centre. But there is only one State dispensary at Diengiei. Previously, there are six buildings attached to this dispensary. But five buildings have collapsed and at present only one buildings remains. But this building also may collapse during this monsoon if no repair work is done by the Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would suggest to the Government to establish another dispensary in order to help the people in getting the medicines. I would, therefore, suggest the establishment of this dispensary either at Nongthliew or Sohiong or Umniangriang. I hope that the Government will look into this matter. I am glad to know that the Government is going to establish a new Public Health Centre at Sohiong and I hope that this will be the basic centre for the people of that area.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say something about water supply. In my constituency, there are a number of villages which do not have water supply. I hope the Government will consider a scheme of water supply in my constituency.
Before I conclude my speech, I would like to come to tourism. At page 17, we see that there are three or four tourist centres which the Government have already taken in hand. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would suggest to the Government to establish a tourist centre in a place called Ka Krem U Tirot Singh. This is the hiding place of our great freedom fighter during the British period where he hid in a particular spot known as Ka Khyrdop. This is a very good spot for tourist centre. With these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I resume my seat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Jogendra Nath Bantha.
Shri Jogendra Nath Bantha :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to take part in this budget discussion. Sir, I will not say anything against or dispute the policy of the present budget. But I shall only confine to some salient features already laid down in this budget. Sir, in my observation first of all I want to refer to the present deteriorating condition of communication system of our district, i.e., Garo Hills District. Very recently, there was incessant rain for some days and it was noticed that the entrance road from Makenpara-Phulbari to Tura was damaged and it was not possible for the vehicles to ply on this road. We know there are only two entrance road to our district of Garo Hills from Gauhati or this side one is from Paikan-Bajengdoba to Tura via Tura and another the most important road is the Makempara-Phulbari to Tura road. There is a proposal for diversion of this road to the National High-Way. Accordingly construction of the culverts has also been taken up and started. But most of the culverts have not been completed. Of course this could have been completed but because of the rain. But still some 20 to 25 persons are working but the work remains incomplete. Another thing is the construction of sub-ways. These sub-ways practically become inaccessible in the rainy season as they become muddy. Buses and vehicles are unable to ply on this road. So this is my experience. So unless and until some alternative arrangement are made to improve these sub-ways. I am afraid, if they remain like this through out the year we shall have to stop communication, that means this road will be closed totally. So, the people of Garo Hills will be facing much difficulty. It is difficult to complete the work during the rainy season. So the work has to be taken up during the dry season. So my request is that the Government should look into the matter so that we can make some alternative arrangements to mitigate this difficulty to enable the people to carry their foodgrains and other things. ( Mr. Speaker in the Chair ).
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to point out that in relation to other parts of the State this side is very backward in communication. Before the creation of Meghalaya there were some projects taken up by the Assam Government and they wanted these areas to be connected with some main roads. They have started the work from Bajengdoba-Rangsai, a distance of about 24/25 Km. Another road they started from Photamati-Jangrapara, a distance of about 10/20 Km. Another one at present, the most important, namely the Chibinang-Dadenggiri Road a distance of about 25/30 Km. It is going to be an administrative unit headquarter of our side. These three roads were almost completed. But unfortunately after the creation of Meghalaya the work on these roads was totally abandoned and it remained incomplete and I do not see any provision for completion of these three roads. But in my mind I feel that these three roads are to be developed and completed. So, I would request the Government to see whether these schemes can be taken up and completed as early as possible because these half done roads now cannot be of any service to the people. Another thing I came to know is about the road Programme from Mendipara to Phulbari Public Works Department Road. There was some grant and this was the programme which was given to the village whose population will be more than 1,000. This village has some facilities for connecting with a road. It is the most populated village in Garo Hills district. This village get some amount for a road connection two years before, i.e., in 1976 and in 1977. I do not know whether any amount will be given for this programme this year also. I do not know for what reason this programme has been abandoned and the sanction cancelled. So I request the Government to see whether the amount can be given again because link roads are most essential for the people of the village.
Sir, I wish to say something regarding agriculture. Through we have the opportunity for the last 30 long years like the Grow More Food Campaign, Green Revolution, etc., but uptil now so far, I have observed that we could not do anything for the improvement of agriculture. Still we are depending on our primitive method of cultivation.
Our people do not become convinced of the use of Fertilizers and have not properly understood and accepted the improved method of cultivation. I think our Agriculture Department is not sufficiently staffed because propaganda on modern and improved methods of cultivation could not be given to our cultivators. Naturally, our illiterate and uneducated cultivators will still be adopting their old method of cultivation and they would be in the original position if they cannot see any good fruits or good results out of the activities of the Department. Although in the Community Development Department there are gramsevaks and some other field officers and there are programmes and schemes for improvement and development of agriculture, yet our cultivators are not yet convinced to use modern method of cultivation. They do not know how to use compost manure and so on and so forth. But they are still trying to taken up old method of cultivation. They are not trying to do intensive cultivation in their fields. Therefore, if we really want to improve agriculture in our State, then in my own opinion, there should be wide propaganda about improved methods of modern cultivation amount our cultivators. For doing so, I think first of all the Government should properly search the sentiments and feelings of our cultivators. Our cultivators can be trained up and demonstration should be given to them and so on and so forth. If we speak so much about the introduction of modern methods of cultivation. I am afraid that unless and until there is a sincere attempt on the part of the Government to properly educate our cultivators as to how to adopt these modern methods of cultivation, we cannot grow more food in our State and improve agriculture.
Then Sir, I am of the same opinion with Mr. Akramozamman who yesterday commented on flood control in Garo Hills District. He said that if we could solve this problem than we could do a very good cultivation. and even it may be a granary of the State itself. I quite agree with him. Right from mouza, No.5, 6, 7, 8, and also some portions of Mouza No.10 Sir, are very good paddy growing areas. But unfortunately, almost all this area is affected by flood every year. There is great inundation during flood and so our cultivators are suffering very much when they find that their paddy crops are damaged by inundation due to heavy rain. But the poor cultivators are not getting any help even to raise subsidiary crops after the damage. When the flood occurs at any time, it does much damage to the standing paddy crops and the whole land becomes vacant till it is dried up. I know that mustard seeds, jute and other crops can be grow in that area after the flood is over. So if we have some alternative arrangement to grow some other crops or subsidiary seeds certainly we can compensate the loss as a result of flood and inundation. So I request the Government to see whether any such alternative measures can be provided in order to raise subsidiary crops and also whether any bund along the road can be constructed to prevent flood and inundation in that flood-affected area.
It is my opinion Sir, that unless we can educate our cultivators sufficiently and help them to get some alternative crops after the damage by flood and inundation, we shall not be self-sufficient in food in our State. Sir, you also know that unless and until we are self-sufficient in food-stuff our State cannot progress and we shall have to depend on other States for the supply of food. So if we sincerely require improvement and development of agriculture and be self-sufficient in food, then we must do something now. We must grow more food crops and we must do arrange for alternative subsidiary crops during food seasons. This I believe can help solve our food problem in the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it seems that we are now tired and I shall now conclude my observations.
Mr. Speaker :- No body is tired. You may carry on as you wish. We are very much alive to it. you may speak as you want as all this time is allotted to you.
Shri J.N. Bantha :- The last point is only this. There was a rumour going on in the State about the production of residential certificate by the non-tribals. Sir, there was some sort of apprehension and frustration in the minds of non tribals in the State. So it is my humble request to the Government now to see that this production of residential certificate is kept in abeyance and let the non-tribals and other citizens of the State be free and secure from this apprehension. With these few words, I conclude my observation.
* Shri Lambourne Kharlukhi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to participate in the discussion of the Budget which has been presented by the Hon'ble Finance Minister on the 27th March 1978. Welcoming the budget I would like to make some observations and at the first instance my attention was drawn, as the hon. Member from Laban Constituency mentioned earlier, i.e., to the first and second paragraphs. Before I proceed further, I would like to point out that the budget estimates that were circulated to the hon. Members were prepared on the basis of the directives given by the previous Government. I would like to make it clear that this does not reflect the true policies and programmes of the present Government. Now I would like to dwell upon some impressions that I have gathered on the Budget Speeches. To me this budget is a normal one, which I believe will just meet the financial requirements of the State. But I think there is no wonder about it taking into consideration the uncommon political situation that was prevailing in the State after the election and also taking into account the shortage of time and also the economic strain when this budget was prepared. Looking at the plan estimates in the budget my impression is that it is not very much importants as to what amount has been earmarked for the current year 1978-79 but my primary concern is that how this amount is to be utilised however meagre it may be. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the first thing which very much impressed me in the Budget Speech is the statement which appears in paragraph 4 of the Budget Speech where it is stated that the time has come therefore to lay greater emphasis on the problems of poverty and unemployment. The problem of poverty and unemployment is our traditional enemy and they have also become our problems which have to be solved at the earliest. Now I would like to make it clear that the problem of poverty in our State is really acute. As a layman, I am convinced that more than 80 per cent people of our State are living below the poverty line. Our people are really very very poor especially compared to other people of India. I think the per capita income of our people here in this State is one of the lowest and there should be some reasons for this. Now these reasons have to be found out because the problem of poverty in our State is very very acute but I think there is no problem which does not have the solution and there is no solution without problem. So it is the duty of the Government to find out a solution for this problem. According to my observation if the present pace of development continues it will take many many years for our people to come up to the standard of other people in the country. So it is the duty of the State, therefore, to see that this problem should be solved and wiped out from our people. Our State is essentially an agricultural State the main occupation of the people of the State being agriculture and I think more than 80 per cent of our people are living on the earnings from agriculture. So I think it is proper for me to say that one of the means by which poverty can be eradicated from our State is the improvement and betterment of agriculture. The way agriculture is being carried out in our State is rather traditionally primitive, old fashioned with outdated methods. But the time now has come that agriculture should be modernised and I think it is high time also for the Government to see that agriculture in our State should be modernised as soon as possible or at the earliest. As I can see from the budget speech, the Government have been trying to introduce new methods of cultivation but I would like to stress that this should be done or rather it should be taken as a very urgent need in this State. The tools, materials and appliances that are being used by our poor cultivators are outdated and it takes such a long time as they depend much also on the manual labour. This process is very slow and the cultivators could only cultivate a small area of land. Now we see that with the introduction of power tillers and tractors, the work that could be done by 20 or 25 persons is equal to one hour work by any of these machineries. This has been demonstrated to the poor cultivators - the use of modern techniques and modern machineries are far better for the development and improvement of agriculture. But the difficulty here is that the Government is not able to make them available to the cultivators according to their requirements. So the old system, old tools and old ways of cultivation should be replaced by the modern ways of cultivation.
Another thing which I have seen is that the outlook of the cultivator is very very narrow, it is not at all broad. Their outlook needs to be broadened. Now there are places which I have seen during my stay in Jaintia Hills where the cultivators are so simple that they would like to cultivate only one variety of crop, that is paddy. Actually the hillocks are lying fallow because people do not like or rather are not willing to introduce multi-variety crops. They would concentrate only on paddy cultivation. Actually the soil in the hillocks is also very fertile and vegetables, fruits and they only want to stress on paddy. As a result, this has made them to concentrate only on paddy and those cash crops could not be cultivated. As a result, they have got plenty of paddy to eat and they are not having much money and this has resulted in poverty and slackness and also in very sloe development of agriculture. So on this point stress has to be laid. We see that in these areas, especially in my constituency, where the soil is not so fertile and intensive cultivation has to be done the people have to work very hard and the amount of investment of each and every cultivator is very high compared to the yield. So in these areas where the people are conscious about cultivation of the multiple varieties of crops we find that they are to work hard and intensify their cultivation, but whereas in those fertile lands where intensive cultivation is expected to yield good result, the people are not so conscious. This is one of the factors which have contributed to the plight of our cultivators as they are today. Therefore, it is the duty of the Government to educate our cultivators in this respect also so that the outlook may be broadened and they would undertake agriculture in such a way as to make it develop in a better manner. Along with agriculture, the cultivators may also be educated to undertake other things also such as horticulture, animal husbandry and fishery so that this can be a side-income which may bring benefit to our cultivators. In this way the cultivators may get themselves trained in these lines also. One of the disconcerted features which we can see as far as agriculture is concerned is the way of cultivation by our people which is called jhum cultivation. This type of cultivation had denuded or shorn our forests and other things which are really a great natural wealth of our State. This practice has been a tradition, it has long been got used to by the people of our State and that is seems very difficult on the part of the cultivators to divorce from this way of doing their cultivation. But actually this has drained the natural resource compared with the loss which has been incurred through the loss of our natural resource. So, I think it is high time that this method of cultivation should be stopped and it is heartening to note as has stated in the budget speech that many of the poor cultivators who used to do this jhumming cultivation have been rehabilitated. This also needs a very urgent attention of the Government in order to stop this practice of jhum cultivation. At the same time, I would like also to note that by stopping this jhum cultivation our forests also would be preserved and the soil as well. So the question of soil conservation also is a very important thing which should attract the attention of the Government because if our soil continues to be eroded and being washed away by rain from year to year, a time will come when our soil will be washed away in place of soil, as in some areas like Cherrapunjee, rocks would come out to the surface. If that stage come, it is very sad for us and so it is the duty of the Government to see that our soil also should be conserved and the best way of conserving soil is to introduce soil conservation system. I have seen that terracing has served to some extent to conserve the soil as well as its fertility. The lands will ultimately be covered with forest. Actually, we the Khasi is regard our land with much respect and would compare it with a mother feeding us with milk and think that we used to suck the milk from our land. So, if the milk from the land is drained out, starvation would come to us and there will be no more place for us to like in. But one thing, Mr. Speaker, Sir, our people are becoming so much habituated with agriculture only that it has become our tradition and we are still sticking to the belief that agriculture is the only source of income as well as the main source of livelihood. The cultivators know only how to plough. They know how to produce and at the same time, they would live to see that their agricultural produces would be given to the nearest buyers on easiest terms of transaction. They are so simple. Anything which involves complications, they do not like. They would like to see that the produces would be sold by easiest means of transaction. So, here comes the practice of certain people whom we can call the middle class people, to enjoy the maximum benefit of our cultivators. They know the markets from where to buy and where to sell. They would take the maximum advantage from the cultivators, from the agricultural produces of the cultivators and sell them to different markets both inside and outside our State and in course of time, these middlemen have become the monopolists of trade in our State and so many times we used to talk that our cultivators have been exploited by these monopolists. But however from time to time there had been some friction between the cultivators and the middlemen. But what I would like to suggest this time is that Government should see that these middlemen the people who are in between the producers and the consumers should be controlled in such a way to check any economic exploitation of our poor cultivators. If the Government comes out with these measures, the poor cultivators will not be living under ignorance and poverty. I think this also is one of the thing which the Government has to take into consideration as one of the important means to eradicate and to wipe out poverty from our State.
Now, I would come to another point and that is the problem of unemployment. Now in spite of the fact that there was however, improvement on the employment front as is evident from the number of job seekers on the live register of the Employment Exchange which comes to 10,712 in January 1972. I would say that the problem of employment in our State is still an acute problem and is still a problem which is to be looked into seriously by the Government. Not to speak of employment but the salary which caters to the actual basic need of the employment but the salary which caters to the actual basic need of the employees concerned. I would like to say that many of our employed people in our State are getting a salary which is far below the requirement, whatever it may be daily, monthly or yearly. If we take this very word employment, it is not my interest here to elaborate but I would like to narrow it down just only to the meaning of getting job in Government offices or in some other institutions. Now just for the sake of employment most of our people, boys and girls of our State would resort to teaching line because teaching is the easiest and quickest job to get. But as we are aware teachers are so low paid. One of our hon. Member just expressed that the pay of our teachers is equal to that of the IVth Grade staff of the Government. I had also been a teacher and as I had experienced I have seen what is going on today that their pay is far below that of the 4th Grade staff. This is a very unfortunate plight of our teachers who are the nation builders. I think we should be realistic by realising the services of our teachers and by enhancing the salaries for them. But I would like to make that point more clear. With regard to education, actually what I intend to stress here is that this is also one of the means whereby we can have a solution to our unemployment problem. Now taking into consideration the question of recruiting on employing our people in Government services, it is highly appreciable that the reservation has been made with regard to employment of our people in the offices of our State Government. But actually what I want to make an impression is that these promises should be implemented in spirit as well as in letters because our people are so simple and so backward compared with other people of India. Even among the educated had it not been for the reservation I think even the I.A.S. officers would not have come forth as they are today.......
Mr. Speaker :- That is your opinion?
Shri Lambourne Kharlukhi :- That is what I am expressing. So this policy of employment of our Government should be strictly adhered to but whether that is the principle or not. There had been so many complaints from our people that in spite of this reservation many unemployed youths of our State have been deprived of their jobs which they deserve. This also has to be brought to the attention of the Government. Now one suggestion which I would like to make is that as we have so many Central Government offices in our State capital and also in our institutions, there has been lot of complaints from our youths that they do not get the share or a chance to be absorbed in the Central Government Offices and institutions. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like through you, to impress upon the Government to urge upon the Central Government to see that the employment policy of the Central Government Offices here in our State should be such that wherever possible local people should be given preference. So in certain categories of posts which require only general education and not technical or any extra qualification the local people should be appointed. In this way it will help our people particularly our youths to get employed in the Central Government Offices also. Now I would say also in the Police Department our youths who are attained the middle standard of education can be taken in and if necessary I would suggest to the Government that another battalion of the Meghalaya Police should be created in order to absorb our boys and girls in the Police Department. Besides I think it would be proper to say that the Government should see that the people are encouraged to get themselves involved in other means of employment. It is high time that the people should be encouraged to undertake other trades and professions like Sericulture and Weaving. This may also add another percentage of employment potential to our people.
Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in spite of our strained economy, I would like to say that our State is not at all poor. It is rich, it has got mineral deposits and mineral resources of huge quantity. Our forest resources also are rich but in spite of this potential wealth that we have in our State, due to the ignorance of our people, the blessings do not come to us. Hence, this requires that the Government should take action in this regard to educate the people in that line. I will cite some examples to illustrate my point in this respect. We see that people from outside the State had been coming to our State and they are still coming and within a year they will multiply. They are coming from the extreme west, from the extreme south and even from far away place like Nepal to our State and even from all over the country and within a year or two, they will make themselves rich and then go back to their own respective places having collected huge amount of wealth. Thus, they have rather become the exploiters of the people of our State. Our people, due to their ignorance, have become helpless spectators the benefits from our soil being taken away by others. If the Government takes proper and prompt measures in this regard, the people of our State within a very short space of time will become the richest in India. So, Sir, I hope that if we know how to explore our wealth that is contained in our State, the benefit that we can get out of the mineral deposits, forest resources. pasture wealth, agricultural and others, will make us proper an in this way, the problem of poverty as well as the problem of unemployment will no longer exist in our State.
Now Sir, I will come to Education. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will find in paragraph 21 of the budget speech references have been made with regard to technical education and other types of education laying stress on the development of science education. This is really important especially at this time when science and technology are the two important things which play a vital role on the life of man. Our State is no doubt, scientifically and technically backward and we are also industrially backward. But in spite of all that, we are trying to march at par with the advancement of time and that is why this has been the appropriate ground for this emphasis on technical education in the Government policy. But what impressed me more is that this problem should e tackled right at the grass-roots. I think it is very important in this respect that the policy of the Government is laid stress in such a way that the literacy percentage of our people should be cent per cent. Some of the hon. Members who have spoken before me have expressed the need that primary education should be taken over by the Government. I would cent per cent agree to that suggestion and I think if the Government takes over primary education that will help the people of our State in may aspects. Because first of all, to meet the requirement of literacy of our State, it would be fit and proper if the Government takes over the administration of the primary schools and pre-primary schools should make primary education compulsory to each and everyone. All children should be sent to schools and they have to get compulsory education upto primary level. This is used to be a cry in the wilderness,. So let our State set an example to others that our people should at least get primary and compulsory education.
Mr. Speaker :- How long will you take?
Shri Lambourne Kharlukhi :- Few minutes more Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- You may have much time as you want since there is no other participant in the list of names that I have received here. But in the meantime I find that there are four or five Members who have not taken part in the discussion. May I know if anybody wants to take part today in the discussion? Since there is none, so, Mr. Kharlukhi, you have all the time.
Shri Lambourne Kharlukhi :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. So, if the Government take over the administration of primary education the problem will be solved. If the primary school teachers get the scale of pay of the Government, I think thousands and thousands of our educated youths, boys and girls, would be absorbed in the primary schools. Besides giving our our people the opportunity of having education up to the primary standard, our people would also get employment. At the same time this will help the people whose mother tongues are not Khasi or Garo or Garo to learn the language of the soil by giving them chance to go to these primary schools. Other people also would learn the language of the people of the State and in this way, in that sense of fraternity, the relation will very much improve amount the different sections of the people living in our State. I think, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this will give us another indirect benefit so that we can differentiate the people, who are born and brought up here in Meghalaya from other people who are coming afresh from outside the State. By the language we can understand and this will indirectly solve the problem of influx from outside. Even now it is very difficult on the part of the Government to say who is who and how long he has been here. But when the time comes, when these people, irrespective of their communities, have been given the chance to learn the language of the soil, that will itself be the best certificate to the effect that these are the people who have been born and brought up here and we can differentiate them from others coming from other parts of the country because we know that each and every one in Meghalaya knows the language of the soil. So this will solve the problem of influx.
Now, I would like to come to another point and add that is Communication. Now due to the geographical situation of our State, roads and bridges play a very very important role in our economy; they are the blood vessels that make this land of Meghalaya throb with life for, otherwise without roads and bridges it would have been very very difficult of our State to develop. It is disheartening to note Mr. Speaker, the work actually performed in our State is very small. I would like to draw the attention of the Government to certain areas in my constituency which, uptil now, remain isolated from the Shillong-Cherra road by a distance of about 4/5 km. Therefore, I say that this isolation has rather made the people in that area very much backward and that many of their agricultural produces have to be borne at very high rate of transportation. This rather made the cultivation in that area very unprofitable. So that is very important. The net work of roads and bridges is very much important for our State.
Now, even if we have the roads and if these roads are kutcha roads, we find that the rate of transportation is relatively higher compared to the rate charged on black-topped roads and other pucca roads. So, Sir, it is the duty of the Government to see to it that not only roads are given but that these roads should be properly maintained in much a way so that the maximum benefit would go to our people. That is my opinion Mr. Speaker, Sir. So better communications in our State would result in the betterment of our economy. One point that I would like to stress here Mr. Speaker, Sir, is a high-way, which has been proposed if I am not mistaken because I have never been to that area of Nongstoin which links Shillong with Tura and the other towns of Garo Hills should be speeded up because I see that this is the backbone as far as road communication is concerned. This is the backbone of our economy. I do not know whether it is true or not; that going through the territory of Assam it is sometimes found that the Police from Assam would disturb and would make sorts of obstruction for the people especially when some articles have to be brought from the State within the State just because they have to pass through the territory of another State. I think it is time this road linking Tura and Shillong and other important towns of the State be improved and made use as early as possible I would, therefore, urge upon the Government to accelerate the development of roads but not in the bullock cart's speed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir. Now I come to water supply. The problem of water needs urgent attention and solution by the Government. Water is disappearing day by day especially with the deforestation and with the disappearance of the forests. We see that many water sources have dried up. At the same time, the population is increasing day by day. That very fact itself indicated that the problem of water supply very acute in our State. There are areas in my constituency where the people would have to go for hours together for a jar of water for one trip. This has became a time-consuming problem. Some people have to use their labourers or make use of themselves just for drawing water. One man would have to be engaged in bringing water for the whole day. If we take the services of this man for some profitable things, it would have raised his individual income. Most of the time our student have to go for drawing water instead of studying. However that compensated in one respect. It has made the body strong. But actually that is not enough. We can send them for sports and games and there are other exercises also. Out of necessity they are completed to draw water it is not a very easy thing. We are living in a modern age and this is another blessing that the Government can take water to the household even to the bathrooms of the people of our State. A time will come that whenever the people take a glass water, they will remember the benign Government. I hope under rural water supply schemes thirsty mouths would be quenched by our Government. (At this stage, the Speaker, left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker took the Chair)., I have taken so much time Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, but still I would like to say something on some other points.
With regard to industries Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have seen that our Government has been trying to develop industries. To be short, I do not want to say anything more about the Mawmluh-Cherra Cements Limited. What I would like only to say is that I hope that this additional kiln which we are expecting to be commissioned shortly would really function shortly. I think the other factors will help our Government to get the kiln commissioned shortly. With regard to the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation, I would suggest to the Government that for the assembly units in the State with the Hindustan Machine Took, our boys and girls should be trained for this purpose and with the opening of this, we are already having our boys and girls trained in this line. In this way opening of our boys and girls trained in this line. In this way opening of H.M.T. assembly unit in this State would be very much welcome and would benefit the people of our State.
Now I come to electrification. Sir, as far as electrification is concerned, we know that the Government is having rural electrification schemes. Actually I have seen that many villages have been electrified and it has also appeared here in the budget speech that a number of villages have been electrified. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I would like to draw the attention of the Government, through you, is about certain rural areas which form part of the suburbs of Shillong like some places in my constituency Lummawbah, Nongkseh, Umlyngka, Lawsohtun and Mawlai. These areas have been classified as rural areas but have got all the urban facilities with the exception of street lights. Therefore, I would urge upon the Government to find out ways and means to see that these areas are electrified by providing street lights. I think this is very important point. After crossing certain boundary of Jaiaw and Mawlai, we have to go in darkness. Under the rural electrification scheme, I would press the Government, through you, Sir, to get the streets and roads of these areas electrified.
Now I come to the boundary problem Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, actually, the characteristics of the State are sovereignty population and territory. That we know. But as far as our territory is concerned, I see that we do not have a definite territory. The boundary especially with Assam is not certain. There is no boundary at all. It is only a line of traditional control but no boundary at all. So I request the Government to know at least to position, pending settlement of any clear-cut boundary between the Governments of Meghalaya and Assam. Let us first know the line of actual traditional control instead of erecting this boundary pillar.
I would like to point out that the Police Outposts would serve the purpose of the boundary pillars. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to dwell on this point that is the need of Police Outposts. I think it is high time for the Government to see that wherever there is need for Police Outposts that should be set up. For example, in my Constituency there is a very urgent need of one Police Outposts somewhere in the 7th mile of the Shillong to Cherra Road. The present of a Police Outpost there would help to maintain a sense of security amount the people. On this I would like to say that as there is no Police Outpost in that area the people find it very difficulty as they have to go here and there just to report for a small incident. For example, on Saturday last some people came from Mylliem to report to me that a mad man there made havoc and harassed the people suddenly in this area. They went to the Central Jail and requested the Jail authorities to take him there. The people were told to get the man examined by the Doctor. I have to go personally to the Thana at Shillong as I have got no telephone connection, though I have asked for its installation but uptil now it has not yet been installed. I went personally to the Thana and met the O/C and the Superintendent of Police. Another thing is that nobody would be able to bring that man from that area to the Thana. So it is a very very difficult case. The Police told us that they would go there the next day, that is on Sunday at 11 A.M. So I asked the people to be present there. But the Police on that day did not come. So has been delayed uptil now, the Police did not come and I have myself to go. So the people there can no longer tolerate the delay. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as this area is at a distance of about 12 or 13 miles, the Police Outpost should be established in that area.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would now come to the question of health. This also is very important for our State. It is rather very unfortunate that in spite of every effort we are still facing difficulties in this line also. There are some areas which have to be looked into so that the Primary Health Centres or hospitals should be given to them to cater to the needs of the people. Once again I would like to take for instance the case of the area in my Constituency, namely the upper area which is away from the Primary Health Centre which is located at the 7th mile of the Shillong-Cherra Road. For this reason there is a need to bring the Primary Health Centre nearer to the areas in my Constituency.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member. It seems there is no quorum in the House.
(Quorum bell rang)
Shri Lambourne Kharlukhi :- With regard to the complaint of the people in connection with the Ganesh Das Hospital, especially pregnant mothers do not have the chance of going there. They have complained that instead of going to the hospital they had to go to the Clinic.
After they have been examined here in the clinic then they would be sent to that Hospital. So this is only a time consuming process. This should have been avoided and I think it is proper in the part of the Government to see that this clinic is attached to the Hospital or some place nearly so that it would not lead the people to make these unnecessary complaints. With these few words Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I once again extend my congratulation to the Finance Minister for his Budget Speech.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Since no other Member wishes to take part in the discussion, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M. tomorrow the June, 1978.
|the15th June, 1978||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly|