Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma is hopeful to find a solution to the nearly five-decade-old inter-state boundary dispute with Assam at six out of 12 disputed sites before Christmas.
Sangma said the regional committees constituted by the respective State governments are expected to submit their respective reports by November 30.
The six disputed includes Tarabari, Gizang, Hashim, Baklapara, Khanapara (Pilingkata) and Ratacherra, which fall under Cachar, Kamrup and Kamrup Metropolitan districts of Assam, and corresponding districts of West Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi and East Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya.
“Once this is done, we will start the consultative processes with political parties, autonomous district councils or different organisations, traditional heads and all the stakeholders based on the reports submitted by the regional committees. Once that is done then we will finally once again sit with Assam counterparts,” Sangma told reporters.
“If we are able to come into agreement or consensus then we will try to resolve the issues. In fact, we are trying it before Christmas, we will try to find a solution,” the Meghalaya Chief Minister added.
On Tuesday, Sangma along with his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma jointly visited Langpih, one of the areas of difference as part of confidence-building measures to resolve the long-pending border dispute.
“It is a process and there is hope and effort being made. All the chairmen (of regional committees) have really been working hard and we will try our best to see before Christmas at least the six areas to whatever extent we at least some level of resolution should be there,” Sangma said.
On the opposition Congress urging the government not to take any hasty decision on the boundary issue, the Chief Minister said, “The concerns of the opposition are noted down. Obviously, we are not going to be in haste, we are in fact the efforts being made in the last two months is very extensive.”
Sangma, however, slammed Congress for not making any effort at all to resolve the dispute.
“They (Congress) won’t even know the names of the areas of differences, forget the names of the villages. They never visited those locations and no efforts were made that time but lots of efforts are being made now,” the Chief Minister said.
Meanwhile, the Hill State People’s Democratic Party, one of the alliance partners in the Conrad Sangma-led government said Meghalaya and Assam will not be able to resolve their boundary dispute before Christmas.
“I do not think it can be resolved within December because even in the first round of talks of the regional committees, they could not complete the inspection,”’ HSPDP president, KP Pangniang said, adding that, “it might even take one year to even take a final call for settlement.”