GUWAHATI: The Assam and
governments on Sunday resolved to settle disputes in the remaining six of the 12 disputed areas along the inter-state border. Meghalaya claims them to be located in three of its districts while Assam claims three disputed sites, which according to the state, are in the hill district of Karbi Anglong.
In the first phase, both the states came to an understanding and resolved disputes in six of the 12 disputed areas during a meeting in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi in March.
“We resolved six sites of differences in the past and six were left to be resolved. The process started with less complicated sites. Now we have made a decision to work on the remaining six disputed sites, which are a little complicated,” Assam chief minister
Himanta Biswa Sarma
said after an hour-long discussion with his Meghalaya counterpart
in the city.
Like last time, he said, it was decided to form three regional committees by both the state governments, each to be headed by a cabinet minister. Once the three regional committees are notified by both the governments within 15 days, the chairmen of the committees will meet, visit the sites and attempt to resolve the disputes as per the broader parameters laid at the time of deciding the disputes in the first phase.
“We have decided that the regional committee, which will visit the disputed sites in Karbi Anglong, will also have representatives from its autonomous council,” Sarma said.
The second phase is complicated as Karbi Anglong and areas like
witnessed violent clashes in the past.
Meghalaya CM Sangma told media that the process of finding a final resolution to the entire border dispute will continue. “Mainly Psiar, Khanduli, Block I and II, Langpih and Borduar among the six areas of difference will be taken up during the second-phase discussions. We are hopeful that once the committees are formed, site visits, public consultations and consultation with stakeholders will start. Hopefully, within a reasonable time, we should be able to complete the process for the next six locations,” he said.
Sangma added that as a confidence building measure and goodwill gesture, both the CMs will visit important locations like Block I and II.
On August 8, 2011, Meghalaya government raised the issue of the 12 disputed sites and handed over the maps to the Assam government. Under the first phase agreement of the boundary settlement, Assam got total control of 18.51 sqkm, while Meghalaya got possession of 18.28 sqkm. Meghalaya claimed 36 villages in 2011, of which 30 remained with them.