- NET Web Desk
The Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya are expected to meet the Union Minister of Home Affairs & Cooperation – Amit Shah on March 15 to brief him on the ongoing attempts to resolve the decades-old boundary issue; and finalizing on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two northeastern states.
The meeting, which was supposed to take place on March 9 in New Delhi, was postponed due to Shah’s schedule; informed the Meghalaya Chief Minister – Conrad Sangma.
“”I was earlier told that the meeting would be long. So, I had made plans to discuss it with the assembly speaker and figure out how to go forward as the budget session is underway. However, the Union home minister called me yesterday and requested me if the meeting could be postponed to March 15,” – stated Sangma.
“We’ll have to wait for the official word. I expect the meeting to take place in March, on the 15th or 18th, or somewhere in between. It’s a matter of convenience for the Union home minister, the Assam chief minister, and myself, therefore let’s wait till the last possible moment.” – the Meghalaya CM further added.
Its worthy to note that for settling the border disputes, Assam & Meghalaya government on the first phase had formed three regional committees each, which is led by Cabinet ministers and officials of the two northeastern states. These committees were directed to focus on 5 aspects – historical facts, ethnicity, administrative convenience, contiguity of the land, willingness and people’s sentiments.
Based on the same, the regional committees were tasked with the responsibility of making joint visits to “areas of differences” along the inter-state border, thereby interacting with all stakeholders, village heads, record their views, and finally submit their reports.
Out of 12 disputed locations, in the first phase, 6 disputed locations were mutually studied – Tarabari, Gizang, Fahala, Baklapara, Khanapara (Pilingkata) and Ratacherra. These areas fall under Cachar, Kamrup and Kamrup Metropolitan districts of Assam and West Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and East Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya.
However, both the states have agreed on the villages in the border areas, and identified natural boundaries such as rivers and forests, he said. There are 36 villages in the six places of difference, covering an area of 36.79 sq km which will be equally shared between the two northeastern states.