Guwahati, March 29: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the roadmap for resolution of the state's border disputes with Meghalaya in the remaining six areas has been charted with the “historic” agreement signed today on the six ‘less complicated’ border areas,
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the chief ministers of the two states to resolve the border dispute, in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi this afternoon.
Speaking to media persons later, Sarma said “Resolution of the inter-state boundary disputes between Assam and Meghalaya would also set things in the right direction for the state to resolve inter-state boundary issues with Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
“We have already started preliminary talks with the governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. Resolution of these disputes will pave the way for a ‘united Northeast’ which has been the dream of the Prime Minister and home minister,” he said
It may be recalled that the chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya had in January submitted a draft resolution to Union home minister Amit Shah for examination and consideration by the ministry of home affairs.The draft resolution to resolve their border disputes in six of the 12 “areas of differences” along the 884-kilometre inter-state boundary.
According to the proposed recommendations for the 36.79 square kilometres of land, Assam will keep 18.51 square kilometres while Meghalaya will have 18.28 square kilometres of land. Reportedly, there are 36 villages covering an area of 36.79 square kilometres.
Sarma said the boundaries of the two states were not defined/demarcated properly by the then government when Meghalaya was carved out of Assam five decades back.
“Hence, today's signing of the memorandum of understanding is a historic development. We are developing a 'PHD' (peace, heritage and development) model,” the Assam chief minister said.
The six areas of differences where the resolution process has concluded with the inking of the agreement on Tuesday are Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pilangkata and Ratacherra – falling under West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, East Jaintia Hills districts in Meghalaya and Cachar, Kamrup Metro and Kamrup districts in Assam.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, while speaking to the media after signing the agreement, said that the “resolution of the dispute in the six areas has been possible due to the political will of the Union home minister and the leadership of the two states.”
“This is a historic day for the people of Meghalaya and Assam and the Northeast. We have taken a major step towards finding a permanent solution to a 50-year-long dispute,” Sangma said, adding that the emphasis was put on the will of the people living in the border areas, along with the other parameters such as historical facts and documents, as the talks were taken forward.
“The agreement is based on the MoU that was signed between the two states on January 29, 2022. We have identified the areas/villages but the actual survey to mark the border will be done by the Survey of India,” he said.
“We will continue to work on finding solutions in the six remaining areas of differences and I am hopeful of a solution. I am also hopeful that all the differences of other Northeast states would be resolved,” Sangma said, thanking the leadership, the regional committee members and the officials for playing key roles during the resolution process since August last year.