‘Border dispute solution to take more time’

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: There vexed Meghalaya-Assam boundary dispute would continue to linger for some more time as the talks between the two neighbouring states is yet to make and credible headway.

A lot of water has flown under the bridge since the unfortunate Langpih firing incident in 2010 which led to the death of four Khasi villagers at the hands of Assam police personnel, but no progress has been forthcoming from the rounds of discussions held between the two sides to sort out the problem.

Talking to news persons about the issue, Chief Secretary, WMS Pariat, on Thursday said that the long-pending issue was a difficult one and it would take some more time to be solved.

As of now, the boundary talks have hit a stumbling block with the State Government seeking the Central Government’s intervention in setting up a boundary commission to settle the issue, and the Assam Assembly expressing its opposition to the same.

It may be recalled that on March 16 last, the Meghalaya Assembly had passed a resolution urging the Centre to set up an inter-state boundary commission but the same was opposed by the Assam Assembly on December 19 last.

According to Pariat, Meghalaya has already submitted all the arguments and claims to the Assam Government but neighbouring state is seeking further technical details on the boundaries between the two states.

Reacting to a query about the next Chief Secretary level meeting, Pariat said, “We would immediately hold the meeting once we submit the details sought for by the Assam government.”

Pointing out that the North East Areas Re-Organisation Act, 1971 did not specify the territorial jurisdiction between the two states Pariat categorically denied that there was any encroachment by Meghalaya on Assam territory.

Presently, there are twelve ‘disputed areas’ which are being claimed by both sides.

The 12 areas of differences include Upper Tarabari, Gizang Reserve Forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah-Matamur, Khanapara-Pillangkata, Deshdemoreah, Block I and Block II, Khanduli-Psiar and Ratacherra.

Meanwhile, reacting to a query on the developmental work undertaken by the State Government in Langpih, Pariat informed that a road to Langpih was sanctioned immediately after the 2010 firing incident.

“Work has already started and major portion of the road has already been completed. Only some bridges are left to be constructed,” the Chief Secretary said.

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