Meghalaya to gain from Phase 1 of border area resolution

Over 18 sqkm of the 37 sqkm of disputed land to be part of state

Shillong, Jan 18: Meghalaya will get almost half of the disputed border areas which Assam had earlier staked claim on, a report of the joint committees of the two states indicated.

Media reports said Meghalaya would get 18.2 sqkm of the 36.79 sqkm of disputed land in the first phase of the land settlement between the two states. Assam will get 18.5 sqkm.

Phase 1 focuses on six of the 12 areas of dispute.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said six out of 12 areas of difference have been taken up for resolution in the first phase to end the vexed Assam-Meghalaya border dispute.

Sarma held an all-party meeting in Guwahati where he briefed the leaders of various parties about the ongoing border dispute resolution of Assam with different states of North East, including Meghalaya.

“Our efforts to resolve the Assam-Meghalaya border row have started bearing fruits as 6 of the 12 areas of difference have been identified for resolution in the first phase. During an interaction, briefed representatives of all political parties on the progress made so far,” Sarma tweeted after the meeting.

He added, “The areas of differences taken up for final settlement are: Hahim, Gizang, Tarabari, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillingkata and Ratacherra.”

“A roadmap for amicable settlement has been prepared based on recommendations of three regional committees with representatives from both the states,” CM Sarma further said.

The meeting was held at the State Guest House in Koinadhara, Guwahati.

Assam ministers Ranoj Pegu and Ashok Singhal, leader of opposition Debabrata Saikia, MLAs, chief secretary Jishnu Barua, senior government officials and representatives of all parties were present in the meeting.

Sarma and his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma, on Monday, held crucial meetings on the border issue.

Addressing mediapersons after the all-party meeting, AGP leader and West Guwahati MLA Ramendra Narayan Kalita said “some portions in the six disputed areas would be given away to Meghalaya” in accordance with the “give-and-take” policy that the two states had agreed last year.

He said that these areas have had disputes for the past five decades and despite several meetings during the period, no breakthrough was arrived.

Sources said the decisions have been taken on the give-and-take formula applied to “a disputed area of 36.79 sq km” in the six border areas comprising Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillingkata and Ratacherra – falling under West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, East Jaintia Hills districts in Meghalaya and Kamrup Metro, Kamrup and Cachar districts in Assam.

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