SHILLONG, March 24: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will meet the chief ministers of Meghalaya and Assam on March 29 to finalise the resolution of the boundary dispute between the two states in six of the 12 areas of differences. The meeting, to be held in New Delhi, is expected to be decisive.
“I have received an official communication that the Home Minister has fixed the date (of meeting) on March 29 at 4:30 pm. This communication has come from MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) Additional Secretary Piyush Goyal directly. All preparations are being made for the meeting,” Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma said on Thursday.
He and his Assam counterpart, Himanta Biswa Sarma will submit before Shah the decision arrived at by the two states. In August last year, they had mutually agreed to find an amicable solution to the dispute in six “less complicated” areas in the first phase.
The six areas are Tarabari, Gizang, Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillangkata and Ratacherra – falling under West Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and East Jaintia Hills districts of Meghalaya and Cachar, Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup districts of Assam.
Earlier, both states had constituted three regional committees each and they submitted their reports after making ground visits and holding dialogues with the border residents. Based on their recommendations, the two states had moved forward.
On January 29 this year, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the two state governments. Sangma had stated it would yield the principles for the next phase of discussions on the remaining six areas of differences that are more complicated.
According to the MoU, 30 of the 36 disputed villages along the interstate boundary, comprising a total geographical area of 18.29 sq km, will remain in Meghalaya while 18.51 sq km will go to Assam.
All eight villages, claimed by Meghalaya in Tarabari area, will remain in the state. In Gizang of West Khasi Hills district, two of the three villages, claimed by Meghalaya, will remain in the state.
In the Hahim area, Meghalaya will get 11 of the 12 villages it claimed while in Ri-Bhoi district, Boklapara will remain in Meghalaya while Jumrigaon will go to Assam.
In Patharkuchi, areas inhabited by Meghalayans will remain in the state. In Maikhuli area, Mawmari Beel will remain in Assam while the graveyard area will be in Meghalaya. In the Khanapara-Pillangkata area, parts of Pillangkata, Barapathar and Maikoli will stay with Meghalaya while Assamese-inhabited areas of Khanapara and Dreamland Resort will go to Assam.
Areas, including the whole of Brahmaputra Realtors, will stay with Meghalaya. Malidor, Ratacherra and Umpyrdet, all in East Jaintia Hills district, will remain in Meghalaya while two other villages will go to Assam.