GUWAHATI: The chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya on Wednesday in principle reached a settlement on the half-a-century border dispute between the two states in six of the 12 areas.
The two governments will sign the final MoU by end of this month after securing consent from the opposition and organisations in their respective states.
After a meeting with his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We have in principle reached an agreement on six sites out of the 12 disputed sites. In these six sites the assessments of both the governments are in consonance.”
Sarma said on January 18 there will be a meeting with political parties and different organisations. “Once the assessments are ratified we will move accordingly. The Meghalaya government will also carry out similar exercises.”
The boundary differences between the two states at 12 points along the 885-km-long inter-state border have existed since the birth of Meghalaya in 1972. A few months back, Sarma and Conrad decided to take up the six least complicated disputed sites.
6 regional border panels gave their reports last month
Those sites have been identified as at Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Baklapara, Khanapara (Pilingkata) and Ratacherra, which fall under Cachar, Kamrup and Kamrup Metropolitan districts of Assam, and corresponding districts of West Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and East Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya to resolve in the first phase.
Six regional border committees, comprising cabinet ministers of both sides for recommending the way forward, submitted their reports last month.
The more complicated disputes at the remaining six sites at Langpih, Borduar, Nongwah, Matamur, Deshdemoreah Block I and Block II and Khanduli will be taken up in the next phase.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah have been constantly monitoring the progress on resolving the dispute between the two NDA-ruled states, at least the first phase in the current month when Meghalaya will complete 50 years of statehood after being carved out of Assam.