SHRI K. MURALEEDHARAN (CALICUT): Though the work to double Railway line from Shornur to Mangalore is going on, the progress of work is not up to the mark. The construction of several Railway bridges like Kallai, Moorad (Vadakara), Mahe etc., has not yet been started. The work of the bridges at Korapuzha, Thalassery etc., has not been completed yet.
There are several over-bridges in Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargode districts to be constructed for the smooth traffic through the N.H.17. It is learnt that the land acquisition process for the construction of over-bridge at Chorode Railway Gate in Vadakara in Kozhikode district has been completed. But, the construction of the bridges has not yet been started. The proposal for the construction of this over-bridge is pending for the last several years. Completion of doubling of the Railway line from Shornur to Calicut within a short period is absolutely essential for fast moving of the trains and operating more train services in Malabar area for which efforts from Government side are necessary.
MR. CHAIRMAN : The House shall now take up Constitution (Eighty-fourth Amendment) Bill, 1999 (Amendment of article 334). Shri Ram Jethmalani.
THE MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS AND MINISTER OF WATER RESOURCES (SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN): I would like to make a request because this is a Constitution Amendment Bill for which we will need the presence of Members. It is not a controversial Bill; every section of the House will support it. But, if we can fix up a time for voting, then we can inform the Members, so that they can come for voting at the appropriate time and this can be passed today in Lok Sabha. We have to pass it in the Rajya Sabha also and then send it to half of the State Assemblies in the country before 25th of January. So, if we can fix up the time for voting, then we can inform the Members, so that they can be present.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Will three hours be sufficient?
SHRI KODIKUNNIL SURESH (ADOOR): We want five hours.
MR. CHAIRMAN: It has to be passed in the House and sent to Rajya Sabha. Three hours are sufficient.
SHRI KODIKUNNIL SURESH : We want more discussion, we want more time. At least we want five hours.
SHRI BUTA SINGH (JALORE): My humble submission is that we are all with the contents of this Bill. There is no problem. Since the matter is so serious as it concerns the lives of crores and crores of Indians and the hon. Speaker has made it very clear that full discussion will take place - I agree that the time should be fixed for voting - it should not be three hours, let it be at least four hours, so that everybody is able to participate...(Interruptions)
SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: I do not mind three hours, four hours, five hours or ten hours. My problem is that at 4 o'clock we have another discussion on the flood situation. That cannot be postponed. According to the agenda it has to come at 4 o'clock. Then it will continue till the rise of the House. Please try to understand, if it is not passed today, then I am left with only one day in the Rajya Sabha. We have to pass it in the Rajya Sabha also in this session because it has to go to half of the Assemblies in the country. We have to give enough time for the Assemblies to pass it. In the interest of this Bill to become a constitution amendment before 25th January, I am begging for less time for discussion. I am not against any kind of a discussion. If the House thinks that the flood situation is not to be discussed, it is in the hands of the House. The allotted time for this discussion in the Leaders' Meeting where every leader was present was three hours. Now it is 1 o'clock. We will get three hours and at 4 o'clock we can have the voting.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Okay.
SHRI BUTA SINGH : If the ruling party does not want to field its speakers, we do not mind it.
SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: What is the time for voting?
SHRI KODIKUNNIL SURESH : As far as reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is concerned, we want to express a lot of things.
MR. CHAIRMAN: All right. Four hours are allotted for discussion. Voting will take place at the time of fifth hour.
SHRI BUTA SINGH : We do not mind the voting. They can have it any time they want.
SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: Can the discussion on flood situation be postponed?
SHRI BRAJA KISHORE TRIPATHI (PURI): There are many States which are severely affected by cyclone. How can it be postponed? Then there will be no scope for discussion in the House.
SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: I am caught between the discussion on cyclone and the Constitution Amendment Bill. I do not know which way to go.
SHRI KODIKUNNIL SURESH : We can sit in the night for voting.
SHRI BUTA SINGH : You can fix the time for voting.
SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: You cannot have voting unless the discussion is completed.
SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN (CHIRAYINKIL): Extension of reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has to be done through an amendment to the Constitution. I will submit before the House that we have many things to add before we pass this Bill. The Chair may kindly note that we were speaking even at that time that only ten years were required for the improvement of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. But we have passed amendments five times. This is the sixth time that we are required to pass an amendment.
Why such a delay? We will have to discuss those matters and I hope that at least in the next millennium, there will not be any amendment to this Act...(Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: It is not necessary for everyone to participate. Mr. Radhakrishnan, yesterday, we had discussed this point in the Leaders' Meeting and had decided it as three hours. Mr. Buta Singh requested for four hours time. But today, there is another important business regarding the natural calamities in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa.
SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN (CHIRAYINKIL): My humble submission is, it is the fundamental right of a Member to ask for a discussion.
MR. CHAIRMAN: It is all right. The importance of the early passage of this Bill has been explained by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs in the House. Kindly cooperate with the Chair. So, we have decided it as four hours and voting would be at 5 p.m.
SHRI BRAJA KISHORE TRIPATHI : Will the discussion under Rule 193 be taken up at 5 p.m.?
MR. CHAIRMAN: It will come up afterwards.
SHRI BRAJA KISHORE TRIPATHI : I have a suggestion to make. The discussion under Rule 193 may start at 4 p.m. and after 6 p.m., we can again take up this Constitution Amendment Bill. There is no difficulty in it. We can continue till 4 p.m. now and then start the discussion under Rule 193. After 6 p.m., we may have enough time to discuss the Constitution Amendment Bill. It is only a suggestion...(Interruptions)
MR. CHAIRMAN: But after discussion, it will come for voting and then we will take the important issue of natural calamities.
SHRI BRAJA KISHORE TRIPATHI : Then, will the discussion under Rule 193 be taken up at 5 p.m.?
MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes.