Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.30 A.M. of Friday, the 30th June, 1978 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.

*****

Mr. Speaker :- Let us begin the business of the day by taking up starred question No.5.


QUESTIONS

(to which oral replies were given)

Rongra P.W.D. Sub-division

Shri Manik Das  asked :

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

        (a) Whether the Government is aware that Rongra Sub-division under Barengapara Division is virtually without work after the handing over of the 84 K.M. Baghmara-Maheskhola Road to the BRTF ?

        (b) If so, how does the Government propose to utilise the Sub-division in the current year?

        (c) the total mileage of link roads the said Sub-division has to look after for maintenance purpose?

Shri Y. F. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister in charge of P.W.D. (R and B)  replied :

5. (a)-Yes.

        (b)- this is being examined as to how best the Sub-division will be utilised.

        (c)-Twenty-eight K.M.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to point out that there is a printing mistake. it should be BRTF and here it was printed as BRTE.

(Voices-No, it was BRTF.)

Mr. Speaker :- May be the printer's devil is making the mistake and might have created some havoc, and we regret for the mistake no doubt.

Shri Manik Das :- 5 (a)-When was the road taken over by the BRTF?

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

Shri Manik Das :- 5 (a) Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether the BRTF is providing the maintenance staffs for this road.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- Yes, Sir.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang :- May we know the reasons for handling over of the road to BRTF?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- That is a border road, Sir.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang :- I am not satisfied with the reply Mr. Speaker, Sir. Whether Rongra and Barangapara are under the BRTF?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- No Sir, they are in the international border.

Shri P. G. Marbaniang :- 5 (b) Sir, may we know the number of staff under the Subdivision?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- That is a new question ?

Shri P. G. Marbaniang :- But this is a starred question Sir, and he is supposed to know all.

Mr. Speaker :- That does not mean that just because it is a starred question, you can come up with any new question. Mr. P.G. Marbaniang if you go through the question, it is quite easy to see that the supplementary question put by you is quite a different question altogether and the Minister will  not be able to give a reply.

Shri P. G. Marbaniang :- But Mr. Speaker, Sir, it relates to the question. We would like to know the number of staff for the Rongra Subdivision.

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- I require notice.

Shri Maham Singh :- 5. (a). Is the BRTF more efficient than the State P.W.D.?

Mr. Speaker :- The Minister does not have to reply to that.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang :- But we do not know Sir.

Mr. Speaker :- Certainly the Minister is not supposed to know, but they are both efficient.

Kalaichar-Bolloggiri Bund

Shri Manik Das  asked :

*6. Will the Minister in charge of P.W.D. (R and B) be pleased to state-

        (a) Whether the Government proposed to take up the 8.25 K.M. Kalaichar-Bolloggiri Bund under the E. and D. Scheme?

        (b) If so, when does the Government propose to take up the scheme?

        (c) If not, the reason thereof?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh [Minister, P.W.D. (R and B.)]  replied :

6. (a)- This is under consideration of the Government.

        (b)-This year.

        (c)-Does not arise.

Shri Manik Das :- 6 (a), Since when it is under the consideration of the Government?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- It is still under the consideration of the Government.

Shri Manik Das :- Since when?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- For quite some time we have already taken into consideration.

Construction of bridge in Garo Hills

Shri Manik Das  asked :

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

        (a) Whether the Government is aware that bridge No.16/1 on Ampati Kalaichar Road and bridge No.11/5 on Ampati-Zikzak Road got the proposal for RCC construction since last four year but these have not been taken up so far ?

        (b) If so, the reasons thereof?

        (c) When does the Government propose to take up the construction of these bridge?

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

7. (a)-No.

    (b)-Does not arise.

    (c)-There is no proposal.

Construction of Roads in Garo Hills

Shri Bhadreswar Koch  asked :

*8. Will the  Minister in charge of P.W.D. (R and B.) be pleased to state-

        (a) Whether there are proposals to open new roads -

        (i) from Ampati to Mankachar ; and

        (ii) from Betasing to Ichakuri?

(b) If so, whether the survey works have been done?

(c) If not whether the Government will take up these roads ?

(d) If not, the reason thereof ?

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

8. (a)-

    (i) No.

     (ii) Yes.

    (b)-

    (i) No.

    (ii) Survey work of II above has since been completed.

    (c)- There is no proposal for construction of road from Ampati to Mankachar.

    (d)-Ampati and Mankachar is already connected by a motorable road.

Shri Manik Das :- 8. (a) When will the work start?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) replied : The estimates are being prepared and the work will be taken up as soon as the estimates are finished.

Shri Manik Das :- (a), how long will it take to complete the estimates?

Shri Y. Fuller Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D.) :- As soon as possible.

Construction of Border Roads in Garo Hills

Shri Manik Das  asked :

*9.  Will the  Minister in charge of P.W.D. (R and B.) be pleased to state-

        (a) Whether the Government is aware of the fact that although provisions were made for strategic border roads under Barengapara Division like Ampati-Mankachar-Katuli-Panbari (10Km.) Kalaichar-Zikzak-Gopinathkilla (24 Km.) and Tikri-Mahendraganj-Silkona via Bildoba (10Km.) in the budget and many earmarked for the last four years, admiistrative approvals have not been given so far?

         (b) If so, the reason thereof?

        (c) When does the Government propose to make up construction work of these roads?

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

9. (a)- These road schemes are not provided under Strategic Border Road but in State General Road Plan.

    (b)-Schemes could not be implemented due to inadequacy of fund.

    (c)-When fund position permits.

Shri Manik Das :- 9 (a) Do these roads come under the B.A.D. Schemes?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D. ) :- No, Sir. 

Mr. Speaker :- Now let us come to unstarred question No. 57.

UNSTARRED QUESTIONS

(To which replies were laid on the Table)

Construction of Roads at Cherrapunjee

Shri S.P. Swer  asked :

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

        (a) Whether the improvement of footpaths at Cherrapunjee Town will be taken up during the current financial year ?     

        (b) Whether the proposed road from Saitsohpen via Cherra Circuit House to Mot Synjong and Sohkhmie will be taken up for survey and estimate during the current year?

        (c) When will the road from Cherrapunjee Town To Nohkalikai falls be implemented?

        (d) Whether it is a fact that the  Inspection Bungalow at Saitsohpen (Lower Cherra) has abandoned?

        (e) If so, the reasons thereof?

        (f) Whether the extension of another 2 (two) kilometres of the Mawkdok-Mawbeh Road will be taken up during the financial year?

        (g) Whether Government is aware of the fact that Mawmihthied Mawsahew Road is quite suitable for consolidation and black topping?

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

57. (a)-Yes.

        (b)-Yes.

        (c)-Work is being started this year?

        (d)-There is no such Inspection Bungalow at Saitsohpen (Lower Cherra).

        (e)-Does not arise.

        (f)-No.

        (g)-No.

Shri Manik Das :- 57 (a) When was the administrative approval given?

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

Blacktopping of Nongstoin-Sonapahar Road

Shri H. L. Nongsiang  asked :

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

        (a) Whether the Government propose to blacktop the road from Nongstoin to Sonapahar?

        (b) If so, when will the work be started?

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

58. (a)-Yes.

        (b)- Work is in progress.

Shri Manik Das :- What is the distance between Nongstoin and Sonapahar ?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D. ) :- Forty-four kilometres.

Shri P.G. Marbaniang :- Is the Minister sure that the distance is 44 kilometres?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- But the Minister has already replied that the distance is 44 kilometres.

Shri Manik Das :- Will the Hon. Minister let this House know what is the total estimate for this work?

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D. ) :- Rupees 1,49,81,000.

Mr. Speaker :- A bit louder please.

Shri Y. F. Lyngdoh (Minister, P.W.D. ) :- Rupees 149.81 lakhs.

Shri Maham Singh :- So it is more than one crore of rupees Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister, Co-operation etc.) :- It is almost one and a half crores.

Expansion of Pariong-Sohiong Road

Shri Tuberlin Lyngdoh  asked :

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

        (a) Whether the Government is aware of the fact that the Pariong-Sohiong Road is very badly maintained especially the portion from Sohiong to Wallang?

        (b) Whether the Government is aware of the fact that the entire stretch of the Pariong-Sohiong including the Mawkneng-Wallang portion is very narrow?

        (c) If so, whether the Government propose to expand the said road?

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

59. (a)-No.

      (b)-The road is narrow in places.

      (c)-Yes.

The Shillong Co-operative Urban Bank

Shri B. Wanniang  asked :

60. Will the Minister in charge of Co-operation be pleased to state the number of tribals and non-tribals respectively who received loans from the Urban Co-operative bank, Shillong during the period from 2nd April, 1977 to 31st March 1978?

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister in charge of Co-operation)  replied :

60- Two hundred and twenty-eight members have received loans from the Shillong Co-operative Urban Bank Limited during the period from 2nd April, 1977 to 31st March, 1978 of which Tribal loanees and non-tribal loanees number 124 and 104 respectively.

Shri Manik Das :- On what basis these loans were given?

Shri P. R. Kyndiah (Minister in charge of Co-operation) :- On the basis of each case.


VOTING ON DEMANDS FOR GRANTS

Mr. Speaker :- Let us come to item No.2 Voting on Demands for grants Minister in charge of Co-operation to move Grant  No. 56.

Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah (Minister, Co-operation) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor. I beg to move that a sum not exceeding Rs.86,40,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1979 for the administration of the heads "312-Village and Small Industries-II-Small Industries, 251-Capital Outlay on Village  and Small Industries and 721-Loans for Village and Small Industries-II-Small Industries".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question before the House. The question is that a sum not exceeding Rs.86,40,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1979 for the administration of the heads "312-Village and Small Industries-II-Small Industries, 251-Capital Outlay on Village  and Small Industries and 721-Loans for Village and Small Industries-II-Small Industries".

(The motion is carried and the demand is passed).

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Mines and Minerals) - To move Grant No.57.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Mines and Minerals) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor. I beg to move that a sum not exceeding Rs.27,20,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1979 for the administration of the heads "328-Mines and Minerals-B-Regulation and Development of Mines and 528-Capital Outlay on Mining and Metallurgical Industries".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and I have received one cut motion which stands in the name  of Shri Manik Das. Will you move the cut motion Mr. Manik Das?

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.27,20,000 under Grant No.57, major head "328-Mines and Minerals", at page 770 of the Budget be reduced to Re.1, i.e. the amount of the whole grant of Rs.27,20,000 do stand reduced to Re.1.

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

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, our State has abundant mineral resources. With a total area of 22,489 sq. kilometres, we have a large area of our State covered by rich mineral resources. We have coal deposits of about 1200 million tonnes and the main deposits are in the areas of Siju, Balpakram and Simsang areas of Garo Hills and Lyngngam area of Khasi Hills. In spite of having rich deposits of coal, the Government has paid very little attention for exploration and exploitation of these mineral resources. There has not been any special care taken by the Government for establishment for coal-based industry in the State, and if the Thermal Station at Nangalbibra is commissioned, there will be a minimum requirement of 15 million tonnes of coal per year. Moreover, if the Government decides to set up more cement plants or increase the capacity of production of the existing Cement Factory at Cherrapunjee from 250 metric tonnes a day to the estimated amount of 950 metric tonnes per day, the requirement of coal will be more. Therefore, there is an immediate need for exploitation of these mineral resources. Limestone deposits are scattered from one end to the other  end of the State, right from the southern slope of the State towards the end in Garo Hills upto the western end of Khasi Hills. The limestone deposit in the State is estimated at 2100 million tonnes and the limestone which is found in the State is mostly of cement grade of limestone is purely of the chemical grade which is most essential for calcium carbide, caustic soda and bleaching powder  industries. It can also be used for paper, sugar, glass and textile industries. But the best use of limestone can be made in the cement industry and for this particular industry we have tremendous potentiality in the State. We have also coal and limestone which are confined in a very close proximity. The Government should go ahead with the proposal of setting up a clinker factory at Siju with the annual production of 4 million tonnes. The Government should also go ahead with the propose cement factory in Jaintia Hills with an annual production of 1.98 lakh tonnes. As far as the siliminite is concerned Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have the largest deposit in the whole world and the quality of siliminite that we have in our State is of very high grade. It cannot only cater to the industries within our own State or outside the State but but has a good export market. Siliminite is mainly found in Sonapahar in West Khasi Hills and it has spread over an area of 240 square kilometres. The total deposit is 1 million tonnes. The siliminite that is found in our State has substantial quantity of alluvium and silica contents. This is ideal for re-factory purposes in steel plants. Then we have huge deposit of clay spread all over the State but mainly in certain areas of East Garo Hills like Nangalbibra and Rongchugiri, Rongrengiri, Kherapa and in Rajabala area in West Garo Hills. There is also clay deposit in Cherrapunjee and Mawphlang areas in East Khasi Hills. If the clay is exploited, we could have a potential for setting pottery industries and ceramic industries in our State. Our State has a substantial deposit of glass. There is an estimate of 3.2 million tonnes in Khasi Hills itself and about 14 million tonnes in Garo Hills. This could enable the Government to set up glass industries in the State. We also have other minerals like feldspar with an estimated deposit of .02 million tonnes and estimated deposit of 2.03 million tonnes of based minerals like zinc, copper, nickel, etc. We also have certain packets of iron ore deposits and even we have discovered gold deposit in Khasi Hills. There is gypsum deposit in Mahendraganj of West Garo Hills and Phosphate deposit in Garo Hills and Khasi Hills. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have given a rough estimate about the mineral deposits that we have in our State. Proper exploration with exploitation of these mineral resources could make our State very rich indeed. But before we could do that, there are certain pre-requisites which unfortunately we are not looking into. We are only exploring those minerals which are accessible. Government should go ahead with exploration of mineral resources in those areas which are not accessible. There is an immediate need to set up good road communication system so that our scientists/geologists could go to those inaccessible areas and carry out their research work. The Government should also start establishing industrial complex in the area of deposits itself. This would save the Government the cost of transportation. The Government should make rapid coverage of the area by systemic geological survey. There is also a need to set up small scale mineral industries in the area where these deposits are located. The Government should also take up with the Government of India for systematic geophysical survey and geochemical investigation. There is also a need to stop the conventional methods of exploration. The Government should go ahead with using more sophiscated methods for exploitation purpose. I strongly feel that there is a need to set up an agency by the Government for promoting, developing and operating the mineral based industries in the State. The Directorate of Mineral Resources has only 6 Geologists, 6 Assistant Geologists, 2 Drilling Engineers and 1 Mineral Engineer. The technical staff are insufficient for the purpose of exploration of mineral resources. Proper exploitation can be obtained through technical know-how adequate skilled labour and adequate managerial capacity. It is high time that the Government takes interest in sending young boys and girls from the State for technical training, so that  when they came back after the training, they can be utilised for exploration and exploitation of the mineral resources in the State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with the mineral resources that are lying hidden in our State, we have a very very bright future indeed. I urge upon the Government that immediate action should be taken for carrying out proper exploitation so that these mineral resources can be utilised through setting up a mineral based industries in the State. Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Shri B. K. Roy :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the mover of the cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Roy, are you supporting the cut motion or the mover?

Shri B.K. Roy :- It comes to the same thing Mr. Speaker, Sir, to support the mover or to support his cut motion. Any way, I support the cut motion and I congratulate the mover for bringing out a very very authenticated statistical figure regarding the mineral resources in the State as also the scope of the State Government in exploring and exploiting the resources to the best advantage of raising our State's economy. Sir, it goes without saying that we have during the last six years failed to make a good progress in this direction may it be in ordinary available resources like coal or limestone or cement industries or siliminite resources and so on or in case of the rare materials that have been explored beyond doubt and estimated by the Geological Survey of India which has made a really rich and resourceful picture of our State. Our State is lacking in agricultural potentialities because of the difficult terrains and the geographical position. But God has given us a tremendous treasure in the way of mineral products and if the Government is sincere, we can utilise them and make our economically backward State a really progressive one. I for one feel that this estimated amount of Rs.27. 2 lakhs under the  head  "328-Mines and Minerals " is not sufficient. While bringing a cut motion, we mean to criticise the policy of the Government but don't  actually mean a cut. Therefore, I feel that we should divert more money to bring up our mineral resources in order to raise the economic status of the State ; because, with a population of only 11 lakhs  and having so much of resources, we can  really build up a sound economy of our State through mineral resources alone. With these few words, Sir, I support the cut motion. Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : Will the Minister reply? 

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Geology and Mining ) :Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, I must congratulate the hon. Mover of the cut motion for brining this subject before the House and who has evinced the  interest on the subject. As a matter of fact, while the hon. mover is making his observations, he is also at the same time giving suggestions for improvement and as such. I do not think  that I have much things to say since he himself has come forward and is trying to give suggestions has been mentioned by the hon. mover and I would like to deposits has been mentioned by the  hon. mover and I would like to clarify that coal reserves mentioned by the hon. mover are only the estimated reserves arrived at by the  surface survey of Geological Survey of India in the past. But I would like to inform the House that the department is now detailed survey of each and every deposit which will take some more time. Limestone deposits of about 2100 million tonnes are also estimated reserves. Government has made a feasibility report for utilising chemical grade limestone and calcium carbide also.

Shri D. N. Joshi : Mr. Speaker, Sir, will the Minister be pleased to state if the estimated reserve is speculative or based on certain.

Mr. Speaker : Why don't you be patient Mr. Joshi. It is not a point of order. It is a point of clarification.

Shri D. N. Joshi :For information, Sir.

Mr. Speaker : On information, you cannot raise a point of order.

Shri H. Hadem (Minister, Geology and Mining) : Sir, as I have already stated, all the figures collected by the hon. mover just now are only estimated  figures. As I have already stated, the department concerned is doing detailed work to find out coal quantity and the deposits. I would like also to enlighten the House  as well as the hon. mover that regarding training of young boys, not girls at present in geological survey, Government has already awarded scholarships and a good number of boys are pursuing this line in some of the institutions inside India.

    Regarding  the points raised by the hon. member who supported the cut motion, besides the amount already provided in the present grant we have also under N. E. C. scheme about Rs. 8.7 lakhs. So altogether it will come to about Rs. 35.27 lakhs. As I have already stated, I do not see that I have much scope to clarify at this stage because the hon. member while bringing forward his motion has also put forward the necessary sanctions which the Government and the  department concerned will examine and do its best in case these are feasible in exploring the mineral resources of the State. He had also given suggestions how and in what manner the Government should proceed. As such, Sir, I would like to say that all the suggestions given by the hon. member will be duty considered by the Government and every feasible step will be taken in due course. May I also bring to the notice of the hon. member that the State is, as a matter of fact, stated only about six years ago and during Assam Government's time, not much has been done in this regard. Since the last four or five years, the department is doing its best to find out the actual  amount, actual volume of mineral of any such category, this was done not only by the department alone but with the help of the Centre. I would like also to inform the hon. members that regarding the Silimite exploitation, this has been banned at present and in future, the Government will be able to proceed  with this when the Centre has given its clearance. With these few words, I would request the hon. mover to kindly withdraw his cut motion.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, will the Hon'ble Minister let this House know as to how much the Geological Survey of India has been useful to the Directorate so far as exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in the State are concerned?

Shri Humphrey Hadem (Minister, Power, Geology and Mining etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the services of the Geological Survey of India have been utilised in the East Khasi Hills District and also in the Garo Hills District and with their help, the department is able to assess the volume o content of mineral, for example, coal and others in some speculated areas of the West Khasi Hills District and the siliminite too and the department is every now and then requisitioning the services of the G.S.I. and I hope that this will continue in future. So far, we have found that the co-operation of the G.S.I. is very satisfactory.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the assurance given by the Hon'ble Minister, I withdraw my cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. member leave of the House to withdraw the cut motion?

        (Voices : Yes, yes). The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn.

        Now, I put the question before the House. That a sum not exceeding Rs.27,20,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1979 for the administration of the heads "328-Mines and Minierls -B-Regulation and Development of Mines and 528-Capital Outlay on Mining and Metallurgical Industries".

        The Motion is carried and the demand is passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Now, will the Minister in charge of P.W.D. Grant No. 58?

Shri Y. Fuller (Minister, Public Works Department) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that a sum not exceeding Rs.7,24,93,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1979 for the administration of the heads "337-Roads and Bridges and 537-Capital  Outlay on Roads and Bridges".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and since there is no cut motion, I put the question before the House that sum  not exceeding Rs.7,24,93,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1979 for the administration of the heads "337-Roads and Bridges and 537-Capital  Outlay on Roads and Bridges".

        The motion is carried and the demand is passed.

Now, will the Minister in charge of Tourism move Grant No. 59.

Shri Endro Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that a sum not exceeding Rs.16,07,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1979 for the administration of the heads "339-Tourism and 544-Capital Outlay on Other Transport and Communication Services".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and we have got one cut motion to be moved by Shri Manik Das. Will the hon. member move his cut motion.

 Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the total provision of Rs.16,07,000 under Grant No.59, Major head ""339-Tpourism" at page 787 of the Budget be reduced by Rs.100, i.e. the amount of the whole grant of rs.16,07,000 do stand reduced by Rs.100.

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

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, Meghalaya has been rightly been called the land of the Eternal Charm. The State having a population of over a million covering an area of around 23,489 sq. Kms has tremendous tourist potentials. But no sincere attempt has been made by the Government to boast up the tourist traffic in the State. As per the official report of 1976, between January and July, there were 8859 Indian tourists and 423 foreign tourists who have visited the State. But looking at these figures, one tends to think why there is such a poor response from the tourists. I personally feel that there are four major factors which are responsible for the poor tourists traffic in the State. Number 1, there is inadequate accommodation facility provided for the tourists. Number 2, there is lack of publicity. Number 3, lack of improvement of tourist resorts on the part of the Government and Number 4, restrictions laid of foreign tourists. I feel there is an immediate need to improve the tourism industry in the State. To give an example, there is not a single hotel run by the State for the low income group tourists who are pouring into the State every year.

        As far as the State run Pinewood Hotel is concerned, it is in a most deplorable condition. The charges in the hotel are extremely high. The double room costs as much as Rs.125 which could be compared to any five star hotel of any big city in India but the amenities which are provided are not to the expectation of the tourists. Pinewood  Hotel requires a complete renovation and the local boys and girls should be sent for training in management of catering in various institutes in the country so that when they come back they are an asset to the State. I also feel that the bad performance of the State owned Pinewood hotel is due to the poor scales of pay and the allowances given to the staffs. To quote some examples, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the pay of the Assistant Manager is between Rs.310 to Rs.710, the scale of pay of an Accountant is Rs.285 to Rs.610, of a Receptionist Rs.235 to Rs.435, of a steward Rs.180 to Rs.300 and of room bearer Rs.Rs.150 to Rs.210. There are no allowances for these employees. Medical Allowances is given to the tune of Rs.150 per year and gratuity for ten years of services is only Rs.1,000. Mr. Speaker, Sir, these employees serve under special conditions. There is no fixed time for duty in hotel industry. As you know in the hotel line, though they are supposed to work for eight hours, because of the demand form the guests, their time may go up to ten hours daily : The Pinewood Hotel has twenty-five single rooms and thirty-five double rooms. The rate of occupancy in 1977 .....

Mr. Speaker :- You could have brought it in a separate motion.

Shri Manik Das :- I am referring to one particular point the lack of accommodation for the tourists in the State. The rate of occupancy in 1977 in the month of January was 358, February 417. March 516, April 474, May 1,548, July 858, August 809, September 761, October 1,642, November 747, December 572 and out of these people who have stayed in the Hotel only ten per cent were tourist. The Tourist Bungalows that we have in our State are also in deplorable condition. They are not well maintained and the caretakers are quite indifferent to their duties and responsibilities. I also urge upon the Government to set up tourist bungalows at Tura and Cherrapunjee and the Government of India should be approached for setting up an I.T.D.C. Hotel at Barapani complex. I also feel that the Guest House of the Meghalaya State Electricity Board at Barapani, should be taken over by the State Tourism Department for converting it in the High-way Motel. Moreover the Pinewood Hotel should be taken over by the Meghalaya State Tourism Development Corporation. As far as the tourist resorts are concerned no serious effort has been made by the Government to improve these. The tourists who come to the State are expected to enjoy all the facilities available to them. Unfortunately though we talk much about tourism, there is no serious attempt by the Government so far for the improvement of the tourist traffic in the State. There is also need to improve the tourist resorts on the outskirts of Shillong town. Boating, Surfing and yatching can be introduced in the Barapani lake and this could attract lots of tourists from outside. The Government of India should be approached for reopening of the Umroi Airport. We have many fishing spots in the State like the Napak Lake and Siju in Garo Hills and the rivers of Lubha and the Myntang in Jaintia Hills. These fishing spots should be developed with tourist amenities so that these can attract tourists from outside the State. Wild-life is very much associated with tourism and in our State, we have some very rare species of wild-life. We have elephants, clouded leopard, golden cat, horn bill and tigers and if wildlife sanctuaries are opened in the State, our wild life can be preserved besides attracting  lots of tourists. I also suggest that a wild life sanctuary be opened at Balpakram in West Garo Hills District. Mr. Speaker, Sir, through tourism, we can improve the economic condition of our people, like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir which are sole dependent on tourism. these States are surviving because of tourism. There are tremendous efforts taken by these Governments on tourism. Why we cannot do it ? I also feel that the entire Government machinery dealing in tourism should be over handled. It is unfortunate that we have a Directorate of Tourism without a Director. The officials of the department should be trained up and the motivated so that they can cater to the needs of the tourists. We just have only one qualified tourist guide in our Directorate. I have been told that normally the jobs of tourist guides are being done by the drivers of the department. I also feel that the Government should train young boys and girls to act as tourist guides. They need not be employed on a permanent basis, but whenever their services are required, the Directorate could ask them to come and they should be employed on casual basis paid on daily wages. this is done in many western countries, where the Tourism Department have trained young boys and girls. In these countries, young boys and girls go for the training and the training is imparted to them by Tourism Department. They are trained for two or three weeks and whenever their services are required by Tourism Department, then they are summoned to serve as casual workers on daily wage basis. This system can also help our young boys and girls if they are given such training. They can also earn a few rupees during their holidays. I feel that experienced officers should be posted in our Trade Adviser's offices at Calcutta and Delhi also. Mr. Speaker, Sir, hoarding and publicity are also lacking, I suggest that in all important cities of the country hoarding and publicity should be done by our Tourism Department. Moreover Sir, there is need to make some documentary films on wild-life and tourist spots. There could be shown all over the country and abroad. This will give an idea of our tourist resources and potentials that we have in our State. It would attract a lot of tourists from outside. the Government has set up the Tourism Development Corporation since 1976. Yesterday, I had been to the office of the Chairman of Tourism Development Corporation and I found that the room was empty. There was not a single person to look after the office. I was told that the telephone of the Chairman i.e., telephone No. 4805 has been cut off because of non-payment of bills .... (laughter) ..... Sir, if this is the State of our Tourism Development Corporation, I do not see any future of tourism in our State. I would like to know from the Government why this Tourism Development Corporation has been created? Why so many facilities have been given to the Chairman and the managing Director, and Board of Directors of this Corporation. I strongly feel that if there is no necessity to have this Department, it should be closed immediately. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is also a need to have  weekly tours conducted for tourists. Yesterday, while I was in the Directorate of Tourism I found tourists pouring into the Directorate. They have been enquiring about certain information. Unfortunately, the officers could not provide them with the information. This is a very sorry State of affairs Mr. Speaker, Sir.

        Lastly, to attract foreign tourists and to earn foreign exchange for the country, I feel that our State Government should take up the matter with the Government of India. Certain restrictions imposed for entry foreigners into the State should be liberalised. If this matter is earnestly taken up with the Government of India. I am sure the, State can attract lots of foreign tourists. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can only say that our Tourism Department is in shamble, there is no co-ordination. there is no power training and the Corporation exists only in name. In actual practice, we find there are no trained personnel. The officers working there know nothing about tourism. They have not the slightest back ground on tourism and yet they are manning this Department with the result that the State is losing huge sums of money every year. I strongly urge upon the Government to revitalise the Directorate of  Tourism and to revitalise the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation, so that this particular industry could be taken advantage on and the economic conditions of our people improved. thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir.

*Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while supporting the Cut Motion, I have some observations to make regarding the functioning of this Department in our State. Sir, I had occasion to visit many places in our State in which Tourism Department has taken up schemes for improvement of tourist spots which are more beautiful to attract tourist, For example, I remember the estimates Committee previously had the occasion to go the Sweet Falls one day. there, I found that no accommodation is made for the tourists who would like to spend a few minutes to look around the beauty of this spots and falls especially when it is raining Sir, Meghalaya is a place which abounds in rain and is known as the wettest place in the world. But in the absence of any shelter at those beauty spot or at the places where beautiful things and natural beauties could be seen, tourist may find it in convenient and difficult to remain even for a few minutes. So I suggest that the Tourism Department should erect some sheds and  immediate action should be taken for the erection of some sort of shelters or small sheds of the convenience of all tourists. They should be equipped with some benches and some toilet facilities for the tourist who stay there for a few minutes so that they could drink deeply the beauties of nature in our State. Sir, in Laitkor which is called Shillong Peak also tourists from every part of the country used to come and go there. They are attempted to go and see the highest spot of Shillong. But Sir, also there is no shed and  no accommodation where the tourists could spend for a few moments. There is no facility for catering to the needs of the tourists like cold drinks, tea and coffee. There is no facility also for them to have some toilet arrangements. Now to add some injury I found that the place is occupied, a corner of the place, is occupied by the military personnel and the State Government has put little pressure on them to vacate the place by arranging alternative site if at all they require the place, in order to make the peak attractive to the tourists with all modern amenities to meet their requirements. The path leading to the top of the peak is not even track able on foot because it is so slippery. I have made suggestions that it should be roughed topped and not black topped so that the people even in summer season or in rainy season can walk up to the top without difficulty. Sir, in Jaintia Hills, for example Nartiang. There are some very old relics and a very old temple but the place, for want of any development, for want of any proper attention having been paid by this Government, remains not in  a very attractive position. I heard that the Government had, in the part, taken up the matter with the local authorities but finding little resistance from the local people they became inactive and nothing has been done again to take over the site for developmental purpose, for making that site attractive to the tourists. There is some Hindu temple of yore which would attract most of the pilgrims who come to visit Kamakya to that place also but for want of proper accommodation for the tourists, for want of proper facilities to the tourists and pilgrims, the site remains uptill now not that attractive, as it would have been had the Government done something to improve it. There are hot springs in Jakrem and in some other places in our district but excepting one small bridge and small footpath have been .....

(A voice- There is no bridge)

constructed by the Department. Oh ! There is no bridge also. I had suggested to the Estimates Committee that the construction of a bridge should be taken up for with. But the Government had turned their deaf ears to our suggestions. We had suggested that the hot springs, the land on which the hot spring lies should be acquired by the Department giving adequate compensation to the owner of the land but the Government in its zeal, in its desire to promote tourism has set up a Department with a telephone. As my friend has very aptly and rightly stated that the land compensation has  not been given although land has been acquired long back and yet we are having Chairman, Members in the Tourism Development Corporation to enjoy all the facilities admissible under the rules to them, monetary and otherwise, while doing nothing. The other day I had the occasion to go down to Gauhati and I found beyond Nongpoh and in certain vintage points some benches are erected by the Department to have an overlook below the panoramic beauty of the winding roads and forests. But Sir, the benches are all mostly covered by the jungle, thick jungles and bushes and one has to climb up the bench instead of sitting on them because you cannot put your feet down due to thick bushes. After creating these benches and chairs the Department did not take care to see the fate of those benches and chairs although they are meant  for giving maximum advantage and convenience and comforts to the tourists. So the Department and the machinery should be geared up and the Government should be earnest and prompt in taking up all the suggestion as put forward by my friend in his speech and observations without losing any more valuable time. We should do something so that more numbers of tourists would be attracted to our State to boost up our economy. He has rightly said that there are States which are depending mainly on the income accrued from the tourists, as for instance, Kashmir or even Bengal which is far advanced economically and industrially has been quite a lot to improve tourist centres in North Bengal and even different corners in the plains to attract tourists from all parts of the country, nay from abroad. So even the industrialised State also is earning additional revenues out of the Department of Tourism through the tourists providing better accommodation facilities and as suggested by my friend they have prepared documentary films and exhibited them throughout the country. 

(Mr. Deputy Speaker in the Chair)

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Even though, the Ministry of Broadcasting and Information, Government of India, some documents are sent out through some arrangement thereby a foreigner coming from outside could be attracted would like to have a look on the Kanchenjunga or the Himalayas but because there are facilities created for all the tourists. Here, in our State much has been said on the development and improvement of this beautiful State in so far scenic beauty is concerned. But the number of tourists visiting this State incidentally very poor and it should be augmented and it should be stepped up and that can be done if the Department is activised and if the officers become sincere to execute the recommendations already made and in future also plans should be made to execute that imagination so that we can get the maximum number of tourists and we can gear up our State's economy.

* Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while supporting this cut motion moved by the hon. member from Mahendraganj, I would like to participate in the discussion. Sir, the hon. mover had tried his best even to collect all the informations and data in  respect of the Tourism Department. He has mentioned all the points and there is nothing much left for me to say in this matter. But Sir, I observe that he has left out one important point which is very much connected with the Tourism Department, that is the transport facilities to these tourists who are coming from across the border, through Dawki, Bangladesh and also from other parts of the country through Gauhati, either by train or by plane. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you go down to Gauhati and happen to purchase a ticket, you will have to stand in a very long queue and as such, sometimes have to hire a taxi and even taxis are very difficult to get these days. You have to hire a taxi spending more than hundred rupees or so. Then again, Sir, as the hon. mover himself has stated, that accommodation here in Shillong rather in the Assembly hostels, Pinewood hotel or other hotels is quite inadequate and not up-to-date. We ourselves feel embarrassed when our friends from other parts of the country come here to see our beautiful State of Meghalaya. When they come to us for guidance, accommodation., etc., we feel really sorry and unhappy about it. So Sir, as has already been stated by the previous Speakers, I would request the Government or this Department through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to look into these points and improve the Department or do something to make them happy, to make them feel at home, to make them comfortable while they are staying here. Then again, the hon. mover has stated about training and management of the one and only one Government hotel in Meghalaya. Sir, I am certain that there are some of the staff who have been sent for training but even on their return, I find their management, their behavior have not been changed much. This is  a very very sorry State of affairs Sir, and I would like to request the Minister in charge or the Chairman of the Tourism Development Corporation to look into this and advise to behave properly with the tourists, not only with the tourists but even with an ordinary local customer of our State.

        Then, Sir, the local boys should be trained by providing a special curriculum in the schools or colleges also so that whenever a tourist comes to visit certain parts of our State, those local boys can act as a guide to tourists if we cannot have a good number of guides to be provided for our tourists, and such also because of lack of number of tourists, it may be uneconomical to keep our guides permanently.

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

        Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this respect, I would like to make a mention about my visit sometime back to the South with the PAC members.

Mr. Speaker :- To the South! South of what?

*Shri M. Reidson Momin :- South of India. We have visited Tipu Sultan's graveyard, we have seen the place where the Britishers were kept generally in the dark and a young boy of 12 years old or so was our guide. He was eloquent in the English and also with the history of that particular place and you will really be charmed by his eloquence and by his knowledge. So we have ultimately donated a few bakshis to his boy, a few rupees, I mean to say and so like that Mr. Speaker, Sir, it seems that he is an orphaned boy, he has no parents, no supporters to help him in education,  fooding etc. So Sir, with this sort of profession, he had been earning his bread and also continuing his education. In the same manner if we can do something say if the tourists come to Cherrapunjee, we may not be able to provide them with a guide from here because we do not have enough guides. But if some local boys are available in Cherrapunjee to take them to Kynrem Falls and other places, they will go a long way to solve one of the problems relating to this Department. Then, Mr. Speaker, Sir, Shri D.N. Joshi has stated that a tourtists' bungalow should be constructed at Cherrapunjee and also in Tura immediately so that we can attract tourists and then I may also make a mention that in Tura there is an acute shortage and accommodation and as such, if tourists' bungalow could be constructed, it will be very helpful for the tourists. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have already constructed one tourist road in the Tura Peak but uptil now, I think it is not being used by anyone. The reasons are that we do not have any approach road to go up there. It was originally intended  to provide ponies. to go up there but , unfortunately, we have not been able to do that and I do feel that instead of providing ponies to go to Tura Peak, if we can have one jeepable road then even a middle class man can go up there in the summer days on Saturday nights (Laughter) or Saturday mornings. I mean if he goes up in the morning he can come back in the evening after spending a cool evening at Tura peak.

        Then Sir, another funny thing I have been observing is that our buses, including the mini buses, go down to Gauhati or Borjhar and then at Gauhati toll tax is being collected by Assam ; whereas, when they come here, we are not doing about collecting such toils. Why this disparity, this discrepancy, is there?

(A voice- To welcome tourists.)

I think we should collect tolls on our side also.

        Another thing I find is that whenever foreigners come to Tura - I do not know about Shillong-whenever foreign tourists come to Tura, they are not allowed to stay there for more than 2/3 days. They are also not allowed to visit certain areas. I do not know Sir, why this restriction should be there when the foreign tourists area allowed to go to the border areas like Balpakram, which is one of the most beautiful spots in Meghalaya-especially in Garo Hills. When they go to certain areas we can always send security personnel in order to see that they do not monkey around (Laughter). I think this is a very relevant point which the Government should consider seriously and take up with the centre.

        Likewise, I would like to wind up my discussion by saying that there are so many beautiful and interesting spots here in Meghalaya and I am really surprised that the hon. mover of this cut motion has been able to collect these informations although he has not seen them himself. I have not seen them myself although I have been going up and down from Tura to Shillong. I have been able to visit all these spots. What I have seen of them was only in calendars-places like Jakrem and Hot Spring. I have not been able to visit all these places because of ;lack of facilities or due to lack of transport facilities.

        Lastly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would say that the Government should take interest and make something out of them to attract tourists and, as the hon. mover has stated, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are mostly living on income from tourists. So, also we should, if not altogether, at least we get something out of it. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism etc.) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I go into the necessary clarifications on the various points raised during discussions on this cut motion moved by the hon. member and also by some other hon. participants, I would like first of all to express my appreciation and gratitude for their valuable remarks which they had made. Sir, so far I could collect the main points which the hon. members have raised are mostly regarding the inadequacy of facilities under transport. Secondly, the points are regarding want of accommodation and also provision of certain regular facilities to the visitors who come and visit our State. Sir, in course of the discussions, certain remarks have been made regarding the poor condition of the Pinewood Hotel. But I think that it is not a fact that Pinewood Hotel's accommodation is so poor and not be able to cater to the need of the tourists because I think most of the tourists may not be able to afford staying in Pinewood Hotel. According to the income report, it is not also a fact to say that less tourists are staying in the Pinewood Hotel because of inadequate facilities by the Government here. The fact is that, according to the report that we have, the profit earned from Pinewood Hotel is about Rs.1,50,000 and so, according to the report itself, tourists are not coming in less number to stay in the Pinewood Hotel. This also shows that he facilities are not at all so inadequate as remarked by the hon. Members.

        References have been made to lack of provision for required facilities for the tourists who are always going to see the beauty spots and the surroundings of the Shillong Peak. That is also not a fact because we know that there is the Shillong Peak Lodge where certain facilities to tourists are being made. If the tourists are not so lustful I think the required facilities provided there will to a great extent satisfy them if they at all go to Shillong Peak. Remarks have also been made by the hon. Member from Mawprem regarding the benches which the previous M.T.D.C. had constructed along the road from Shillong to Gauhati when he stated that now these benches are becoming completely useless because they are covered with plants and bushes and so on and so forth. But that is not so. As we can see there a long the Umiam lake, it is not a fact that benches are covered with bushes and all, because we can see many people are still using these benches quietly and comfortable. I think this is entirely the look out of the previous Board and the previous Board did not exist for quite a number of months. A new Board of Directors is coming into existence only on the 6th of this month. I do not think the present Board will take the responsibility of the previous non-existing Board. Anyway, Sir, from now on, since it is a matter to be looked into, I think we shall see what we can do. I think it is not a hard task to look into all this.

Shri Manik Das :- Sir, it is not at all clear, I cannot hear whatever has been said by the Minister. May I request him to speak louder?

Mr. Speaker :- But as for the accent or prenunciation of any person, you cannot charge it. But, then the Minister should speak a bit louder.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- I will speak a bit louder so that it will serve even the deaf ears and also the clear ears. Mr. Speaker, Sir, remarks and valuable suggestions were also being made regarding the need for establishment or creation of wild-life sanctuaries in the thick forest of the State. On this, I would like to clarify that the Tourism Department recently asked the Forest Department to prepare certain plans and estimates for the establishment of wild-life sanctuary at Balpakram and Nongkhyllem Reserve Forest. Anyway, that will take a very long time to implement. For that reason, I am making this clarification.

        Regarding the restriction for the tourists to enter into our State, I would like to clarify that the permit order of 1963 from the Government of India allows only 15 days to any foreigner to enter, and stay in India. So, I do not think that the tourists who do not stay later then the limited period will be subjected to restrictions while coming to visit our State.

Now regarding transport facilities .....

Shri Maham Singh :- May I get the information from the Minister. Is the permit still required for the foreigners to come to this State?

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :-That is the reason why I want to clarify that there had been restrictions for the tourists to come and visit our State.

Shri Manik Das :- I would like to know what is the present procedure that is being followed for obtaining permits by the tourists.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- That is not the look out of the State Government.

Shri Maham Singh :- But these permits are being issued by the Tourist Officer in Delhi and Calcutta, so it is very much under the Tourism Department.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- Our Tourism Department cannot do anything else beyond the permit order of 1963. While issuing the permit we to have follow certain procedures. Regarding transport facilities Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to clarify to this august House, that since 1974, the department has paid serious attention for providing all necessary facilities in respect of transport for the tourists while visiting our State. In 1973-74 3 mini buses each accommodating 10 passengers have been purchased. In 1975 also, another mini bus accommodating 22 passengers was purchased to add to the requirements of transport facilities to the tourists. Again, in 1976-77, one similar mini bus of 22 seating capacity was purchased. All these mini buses were solely use for carrying tourists from other States who come for sight-seeing. Again in 1977-78, Ambassador cars were purchased for providing transport facilities. Those tourists who can afford financially use these cars for going inside the State for sight-seeing. Over and above these transport facilities provided by the Government, if we know fully well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that there are quite a number of tourist taxis going along the Gauhati-Shillong Road and the tourist who could not be provided with out transport facilities, I hope, can sure get in plenty. So, I do not feel reasonable to say that we are very much lagging behind the mark for providing facilities for transportation to the tourists while coming to our State.

        Regarding accommodation, so far as this question is concerned, I may state that the Department had maintained a well-furnished low income group Tourist Bungalow at Shillong with the capacity of 12 and 22 beds respectively in double and single rooms. Whatever facilities necessary for the low income group tourists, the same have been provided for such bungalows. Mr. Speaker, Sir, a well-furnished Tourist Bungalow at Tura Peak which is meant for the hikers and then picnickers was built at a cost of Rs.1,10,000 during the year 1975-76. The Government is still contemplating to build another small Tourist Bungalow even at Tura town during the current financial year. Again the 8 bedded Tourist Bungalow at Thadlaskein Lake is likely to be commissioned for the used of the tourists and the outsiders before the next tourist session. Now, with all these efforts which the Government have tried to provide, I would like also to state that these bungalows provided by the State may not of course serve the needs of all the tourists who are coming to our State. But I would like to state that in spite of these buildings which our Government can provide to the tourists, there is also an arrangement and understanding with the private hotels where the accommodation can easily be provided for tourists whenever the bungalows and buildings build by our Department cannot meet the requirements at any time. So, I think here there is not much reasonableness to remark that there is very inadequate provision of accommodation. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want also to clarify regarding the other development works which we are going ahead to take up. Mr. Speaker, Sir, while coming to this point, I would like to say that if the hon. mover of the cut motion would be very kind enough to recall the beginning paragraph of the Budget Speech it would be found that the Finance Minister has clearly stated that the budget estimates and the Demands for Grants were prepared on  the basis of the directives given by the previous Government. Now also we are lucky enough that in the same paragraph, it has been clearly stated that the present Government, I think, need for necessary reflect its policies in giving much priority to those grants or those provisions made by the previous Government. I think only in that way we can relieve ourselves (laughter .....) how to come forward with our very serious attention to develop tourism industry in our State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is so clear that an amount of Rs.16,07,000 earmarked for Tourist Development is budgeted by the previous Government and not by the present Government which came into being after the preparation of the budget. Mr. Speaker, Sir, now that this amount of Rs.16,07,000 earmarked in the current financial year for all works of development of Tourism to be taken up, what can we expect much work, from this budget provision. The previous Government also perhaps had no intention to pay serious for making Tourism Department a major department for which good amount should be spent first and from which good revenue can be drawn afterwards. Mr. Speaker, Sir, leaving aside the need to increase the present strength of staff both in the Secretariat and Directorate level, I think about one fourth of the total amount earmarked will go or will be completely consumed only in payment of salaries of the staff and provision of other amenities.

Shri Maham Singh :- That is very kind of him, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, while appreciating the suggestions made by the hon. Member, I would like to assure the House that with these suggestions which are really valuable, worth considering and reasonable, the present Government will give full attention and try its level best to see how best these suggestions can be implemented. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think we all very much appreciate the noble and liberal ideas of the hon. mover. But the only contradictory thing is that while wanting to improve Tourism Department so much he also wanted at the same time to reduce the amount of Rs.16,07,000 by Rs.100. So it is quite obvious that a layman .....

Mr. Speaker :- You must be aware of the fact that this is part of the system and is under then rule and you have no authority to question. It does not mean that the whole amount is to be reduced to Rs.100, but it is an economy cut.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand corrected. But what I mean to say is that with the valuable suggestions and noble ideas of the hon. Members for developing tourism in our State, I would have been very pleasant if the hon. mover would have suggested to at least provide some more fund to this Department so that all the necessary developmental works could be started soon. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hope the hon. mover is satisfied and convinced of the efforts and activities of the Government. I would, therefore, request the mover to withdraw his cut motion.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, through you, I would like to seek clarification from the Hon'ble Minister as to what has been the performance of this Department in boosting up tourist traffic during the last four months. I would like to know in broad outlines.

Mr. Speaker :- You have already replied in general. That is too detailed. I do not think that within the last two months after you have taken over charge of the Department in the new Government, it will be possible on your part to have gone through the details and I do not think the figures are also available with you now. 

Shri Manik Das :- In broad outline.

Shri W.A. Sangma :- What is the scheme contemplated during the current year to boost up tourism?

Mr. Speaker :- Have you got the information because I do not think that is exactly within the scope of the cut motion and it has not been raised earlier. You can call for clarification if the issue has been raised in the earlier speech and ask for clarification later on. But if you seek any new information, I do not think the Minister right here will be able to answer because he needs the help from his subordinates. 

Shri W.A. Sangma :- Last time in the absence of Minister, Tourism, the deputy Chief Minister was trying to give a reply. But since the notice has not been given .....

Mr. Speaker :- Unless you yourself give notice in writing, it does not mean you can pass on like that.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are so many schemes.

Mr. Speaker :- So many ? then that is all (loud laughter).

Shri Manik Das :- Let us know a few only.

Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Das you may seek any other clarification, but not on this point.

Shri Manik Das :- I would like to know from the Hon. Minister how Government proposes to improve functioning of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Department is now contemplating to find out ways and means to have as least its own Engineering Wing so that plans and estimates for the Development of Tourism in the State can be properly done.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- The Minister has not in course of his reply touched the area where the hot spring exists and I want a categorical reply as to what Government has done in the matter of compensation of the land for development of tourism.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am vary grateful to Mr. Joshi who has reminded me on this point. In fact,  the Government has taken steps regarding land compensation of the Hot Spring and so far, no agreeable rate has been reached. So we are still under negotiation.

Shri D.N. Joshi :- Another clarification, Sir, as regards the Shillong Peak, I had said that the portion of the peak is now being occupied by the Defence department and I wanted to know what step the Government is contemplating to have alternative arrangement in order to help the tourists, to cater to their needs such as providing cold drinks and snacks.

Shri Endro. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- The Government is not aware of this fact. But I can assure the hon. member that the suggestions will be welcomed.

Shri Mojibar Rahman :- Whether Government propose to set up tourist information centres in the various districts of our State?

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to be informed by the hon. Minister since when the post of the Directorate of Tourism is lying vacant.

Shri E. Iawphniaw (Minister, Tourism, etc) :- That, I require notice, Sir.

Shri Maham Singh :- On a point of clarification, Sir, I would like to know whether the land at Jakrem will be acquired or it will be purchased.

Mr. Speaker :- It is under negotiation.

Shri Maham Singh :- That means it will be purchased because the policy of the Government so far is to acquire land.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have already given the reply that the land at Jakrem means for this Department will be acquired.

Shri Maham Singh :- My point is, if it is to be acquired, the question of negotiation does not come in. The Government fix the value of the land according to the market value and if the party is not satisfied, the court of law will decide the power value of the land. But then there is no scope for negotiation if the land is to be acquired. So, the only point is, whether the land is to be acquired or it will be purchased and whether the price will be fixed according to the market value or according to the Land Acquisition Act or it will be fixed with the owners of the land.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :-I think negotiation is open and they have it clear that negotiation will be there. But eventually the land will be acquired according to the procedure of law.

Shri Mojibar Rahman :- What step has been taken for the improvement of communication between Tura Town and Tura Peak.

Mr. Speaker :- That is a new question. Instead of asking for clarification you are bringing new questions.

Shri Manik Das :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very grateful to the hon. Minister and we are quite satisfied with all his replies and appreciating his difficulties, I withdraw the cut motion.

Mr. Speaker :- Has the hon. Member leave of the House to withdraw his cut motion.

        (Voices : Yes, yes) The cut motion is with leave of the House withdrawn. Now, let me put the main question before the House. that a sum not exceeding Rs.16,07,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st march, 1979 for the administration of the heads "339-Tourism and 544-Capital Outlay on  another Transport and Communication Services".

        The motion is carried and the demand is passed. Now, will the Deputy Chief Minister move Grant No. 61?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that a sum not exceeding Rs.55,00,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st march, 1979 for the administration of the head "766-Loans to Government Servants".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and since there is no cut motion. I put the question before the House. That a sum not exceeding Rs.55,00,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st march, 1979 for the administration of the head "766-Loans to Government Servants".

        The motion is carried and the demand is passed.

        Now, will the Deputy Chief Minister move Grant No. 63 ?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that a sum not exceeding Rs74,42,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st march, 1979 for the administration of the head "768-Inter-State Settlement".

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and since there is no cut motion. I put the question before the House. That a sum not exceeding Rs74,42,000 including the sums already voted on account for the relevant services be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st march, 1979 for the administration of the head "768-Inter-State Settlement".

        The motion is carried and the demand is passed.

        Now let us come to Item No.3. Will the Deputy Chief Minister, beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.II) Bill, 1978.

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya  Appropriation (No.II) Bill, 1978.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now, I put the question before the House. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.II) Bill, 1978.

The motion is carried and leave is granted.

        Before we come to the next item, let the Bill be distributed first.

(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).


The Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 1978.

         Now, before I ask the Minister to introduce the Bill, let me read the message from the Governor.

"Raj Bhavan

Shillong

June 21, 1978.

O R D E R 

        Under Clause (1) of Article 507 of the Constitution of India, I Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 1978, in this current session.

LALLAN PRASAD SINGH

Governor"

        Will the Deputy Chief Minister introduce the Bill?

Shri S.D. Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 1978.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 1978 be introduced. 

The motion is carried and the Bill is introduced.

(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill).

        Before we come to the next item I would like to read again the message from the Governor.

"Raj Bhavan

Shillong

June 21, 1978.

O R D E R

        Under Clause (3) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the introduction of the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 1978, in this current session.

LALLAN PRASAD SINGH

Governor"

Now, the Deputy Chief Minister,

Shri S.D Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 1978, be taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. the question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 1978 be taken into consideration.

        (The motion was carried).

 

        Now, since there is no amendment to the Bill, I call upon the deputy Chief Minister to move the motion for passing. 

Shri S.D Khongwir (Deputy Chief Minister) :-  Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 1978, be passed.

Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. the question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No. II) Bill, 1978 be passed.

        The motion is carried and the Bill is passed.


ADJOURNMENT

        Since there is no other business for the day, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 a.m. on Monday, the 3rd July, 1978.

Dated Shillong :

D.S. KHONGDUP,

The 30th June, 1978.

Secretary, Meghalaya Legislative

Assembly.

*****