Meghalaya-Assam border row: Over 100 disputes reported from 2018 till Feb 2021, says Conrad
By Ladiangti Rani | SHILLONG:
Sangma was replying to a short duration discussion on interstate border disputes between the two northeastern states, tabled by Nongpoh MLA Mayralborn Syiem on the second day of the ongoing budget session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
"Since the inception of the State on January 21, 1972, time and again we have been witnessing disputes and, tensions have been escalating in the villages along the inter-state border, resulting in developmental works along the inter-state border progressing at a very slow pace," the Chief Minister said.
He informed the House that in Ri Bhoi district, one incident was reported in 2019, three in 2020, while in East and West Jaintia Hills, six incidents were reported in 2018, 15 in 2019, 12 in 2020 and, three in 2021.
In Block-II under Ri Bhoi District, 12 incidents were reported in 2018, eight in 2019 and six in 2020; in West Garo Hills, one incident was reported in 2018 and two in 2020.
In West Khasi Hills District, there were nine incidents in 2018, nine in 2019, 15 in 2020 and three in 2021 and in South West Garo Hills, there was one incident in 2020.
"Disputes along the inter-state border areas have invariably led to the problems of implementing development works, and as such many developmental works initiated by the Government of Meghalaya and Assam have been halted or are yet to commence because of the border dispute," Sangma said.
Four developmental works, initiated by Meghalaya, have been completed while four others were stopped by the Assam government and two are in progress.
Whereas in the developmental works initiated by Assam, four are completed, 16 were stopped by the Meghalaya government and, four are in progress.
Sangma further informed that fourteen developmental schemes and projects in Ri-Bhoi were undertaken by both Assam and Meghalaya Government, twelve in West Jaintia Hills, six in West Khasi Hills and, two in South West Garo Hills, with effect from 2018 till February 26, 2021.
"It can be seen that not only the developmental projects initiated by Meghalaya are being impeded or obstructed. The 'Status Quo' is being maintained by both States to ensure that peace and tranquillity prevail in these areas of dispute," Sangma added.
Reacting to a question raised by a Member of the Opposition on the Inter-State Border Development Fund, the Chief Minister said that the process of funding for developmental works along the inter-state border has to go through all line departments.
"Though the fund sanctioned is not a large amount, the Government is taking note of all suggestions and, hope to sanction more fund towards the Inter-State Border Development Fund," he added.
(Edited by Iban Mawrie)