- NET Web Desk
The Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs – Nityanand Rai, addressing the Lok Sabha asserted that northeastern states of Assam & Meghalaya have agreed for permanent settlement of inter-state border dispute along 6 areas of disagreement.
According to Rai, discussions are taking place at various levels to find a peaceful settlement into the border conflict.
“As a result of these conversations, the chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya have agreed to a permanent settlement of the inter-state boundary in six of the total 12 areas of dispute between the states of Assam and Meghalaya,” – Rai wrote in response to a question.
The MoS further added that central government’s approach has always been to resolve inter-state boundary disputes, with the cooperation of the state governments involved.
He remarked that the central government serves as a facilitator for a peaceful resolution of the dispute in the spirit of mutual cooperation and understanding.
Its worthy to note that for settling the border disputes, Assam & Meghalaya government had formed three regional committees each, 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.