Regional

Meghalaya notifies regional committees to resolve boundary dispute with Assam

Correspondent Shillong, Sep 3 | Publish Date: 9/3/2021 12:05:17 PM IST

Meghalaya government has notified the formation of three regional committees to resolve the vexed boundary dispute with Assam, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said on Friday. 

The decision to constitute these regional committees was taken during the second Chief Minister level meeting between Conrad Sangma and Himata Biswa Sharma in Dispur on August 6. However, the Assam government is yet to notify its committees.

“Information has come to us that the committees (Assam) should be notified in the next 24 or 48 hours,” Sangma told reporters after holding a meeting and receiving the first report from the three regional committees notified by the Meghalaya government.     

The Chief Minister said the objective of both the state governments is to look at the boundary dispute from a “new perspective” and not just based on historical factors.      

The committees are headed by a Cabinet Minister, both in Meghalaya and also Assam.   

Apart from these regional committees, the Meghalaya government has formed a state level committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong.   

The Ri-Bhoi committee is headed by home minister Lahkmen Rymbui, while the Jaintia Hills committee is headed by transport minister Sniawbhalang Dhar and the West Khasi Hills committee headed by PHE Minister, Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar. 

Similarly, Assam has decided in principle that its committee would be headed by cabinet ministers Pijush Hazarika, Atul Bora, and Chandra Mohan Patowary.   

The committee have been mandated to look into historical facts, ethnicity, people’s perceptions, administrative convenience, and contiguity.

“We would like to look at this issue from the historical and current point of view and see if there are areas where we can agree. I strongly feel there are common grounds and in 20 to 30 percent villages we can find solutions, however, there are many areas where the issue is very complicated,” the Chief Minister said. 

Asked about the findings submitted by the three regional committees, Sangma said, the government wanted to get a feel of the ground situation of these areas by knowing about people’s enrolment in the census or from they draw electricity and other factors.

He said the committees have thrown light on the kind of communities dwelling in these areas, the administrative set up and also taking the feedback of the people.   

“We are serious about resolving this issue,” the Chief Minister said. 

In the past, Meghalaya had submitted documents and maps on its claims to the 12 sectors/areas of Upper Tarabari, Gizang Reserve Forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah-Matamur, Khanapara- Pillangkata, Deshdemoreah, Block I and Block II, Khanduli-Psiar and Ratacherra.

The total area of difference is 2,765.14 square km, of which Blocks I and II cover 1,583.42 square km.

The Meghalaya Assembly had in March 2011 passed a resolution to urge the central government to constitute a Boundary Commission to re-examine and redefine the inter-state boundary between the two states

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