Assam-Meghalaya to resolve border issue in phased manner; identify 6 areas in first phase
The second round of the chief ministerial talks on the inter-state border dispute between Assam and Meghalaya took place in Guwahati on Friday. In the meeting, both the states agreed to resolve the row in a phased manner and identified six out of the 12 disputed border areas to work on in the first phase.
While Assam named Cachar, Kamrup (Metro), and Kamrup (district), Meghalaya identified West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, East Jaintia hills out of the 12.
Both states resolved to form regional committees, each constituting five members and headed by one cabinet minister. These committees would have to submit their findings and reports after making joint visits to the disputed sites within the next 30 days, said a joint statement issued by both the states.
“Each state will choose five members for each committee and these ten members would then visit the disputed sites, interact with the civil society members including gaon burhas, panchayat members, teachers, and other local representatives, and file a detailed report,” said Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Both the chief ministers informed that the committees will take into account historical facts, ethnicity, administrative convenience, willingness, contiguity, and people's sentiments to tackle the matter. According to Chief Minister Sangma, both the CMs will be making visits to the areas of dispute to give a positive message to the people and show their willingness to find a lasting solution to this long-standing issue.
“I and Assam Chief Minister will be making goodwill visits to some disputed areas to make the people feel that we are more than willing to resolve the issue, which we are,” Sangma said.
This meeting was a follow-up to the meeting held in Shillong on July 23 where both the CMs agreed to move beyond the status quo and consider redrawing the map by adopting a "give and take" policy.
Expressing optimism, the Assam CM said the differences would be narrowed down during the committee meeting itself but, “if they still exist between the regional committees, then the matter will be taken up by the chief ministers or the high forum”.
“Once the disputes in the first six areas are resolved we will move to the other six. We assure the people that we will not only solve the issue at hand but also the complicated ones,” said Sarma.
Both the CMs will be meeting again after 30 days either in Shillong or Guwahati, based on the recommendations of the respective committees.
Meanwhile, as a sign of goodwill, both the CMs will visit Langpih in West Khasi Hills to assure the people of their determination to resolve the issues.
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