Shillong, Oct 4: Ministers from Assam and Meghalaya visited the inter-state border areas under Boko revenue circle for the first time on Monday, giving hope to the local populace that the border dispute would finally be resolved.
Atul Bora, Assam Minister of Agriculture, Border Protection and Development, led a team and Meghalaya Cabinet Minister of PHED Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar led a team to the disputed places under Boko constituency.
The teams first visited Hahim and nearby Athiabari and Aradonga areas. However, they could not enter under Athiabari village where the road was blocked by huge stones and betelnut trees.
The teams also visited Salbari, Malchapara, Gamerimura, Gohanimara and Gizang.
Bora said Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma has taken strong measures to resolve the decades-long dispute along inter-state borders. Regional Committees were formed after Sarma held talks with his Meghalaya counterpart. He added that the committee members interact with the locals, village heads and local organisations to understand the problem better and find a solution.
After completing the survey, which is an ongoing process, reports will be submitted to the respective chief ministers.
Tongkhar said the Meghalaya team visited the disputed areas for the first time with the Assam counterpart to see the ground reality. The joint team will submit their findings to the state heads, he said, adding that the Meghalaya government “wants lasting solutions”.
The public representatives from both the states interacted with villagers and members of local organisations like the All Rabha Students’ Union, Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Rabha Women Council and Garo Women Council.
The dignitaries were felicitated with gamucha, japi, pajar, gando makhal, khotip (Garo traditional headgear) and many other traditional items.
Meghalaya MLAs Gigur Myrthong, Kimfa Sidney Marbaniang, West Khasi Hills District DC Timberland Lyngwa and SP HG Lyndoh were part of the delegation. From the neighbouring state, Kamrup district DC Kailash Kartik N, SP Hitesh Ch. Roy, former MLA of Boko constituency Jyoti Prasad Das and other officials were present.
The joint team later visited Jirang and areas under Palashbari constituency.
Meanwhile, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, during his visit to the city, asserted the need for a give-and-take approach for resolving the boundary disputes among the northeastern states.
“We should have a give-and-take approach. If you sit across the tables, discuss at various levels, some of these problems can be resolved very easily,” Naidu said while addressing a workshop on changing role of North Eastern Council in development of the region on Monday.
“We may have different political parties but all of us want to do something good to the people. That being the case, the states must have constant dialogues among themselves,” he added.
He also suggested that the states can have common dialogues through the North Eastern Council. “What are the issues you want the Centre to step in, what are the issues yourselves can resolve, these are some of the issues which you have to focus…,” he said.
Lauding the country’s achievements in the 75 years of independence, Naidu observed that the progress would have been better had India not lost its wealth to foreign invasions. “Now, that is history. We should plan and we should be united,” he added.