Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday said that the first meeting for phase II to resolve the boundary dispute with Assam will be held within the next few days after Independence Day.
Sangma and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to resolve six of the 12 areas of differences between the two states in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on March 29.
According to the MoU signed for the 36.79 sq km land, Assam will keep 18.51 sq km and give 18.28 sq km to Meghalaya.
“When I have gone for the NITI Aayog meeting, the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and myself had a detailed meeting. We have decided to have the first meeting for phase II within the next few days after the Independence Day in Guwahati,” the Chief Minister told reporters after a meeting with the Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shnong (Federation of Village Chiefs) of Border Area of Raid Nongtung.
The village chiefs have urged Sangma to bring eighteen of 34 villages under Block 11 in the area under the administrative control of the Meghalaya government.
Block II is a disputed area between Meghalaya and Assam. It borders Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district with Assam’s Karbi Anglong district. Block II is under the administrative control of Assam but claimed by Meghalaya.
Sangma said that the Meghalaya government is committed to peacefully resolving the boundary dispute with Assam.
“That is the reason why we have moved forward in six of the twelve areas and we have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) after detailed consultations with the people and the people’s will is what has led to the resolution of the first six locations,” he said.
The Chief Minister informed that the village chiefs under Raid Nongtung have urged him to bring eighteen villages in the area under the administrative control of the Meghalaya government.
“They expressed their concerns on how they have faced a large number of challenges and difficulties because of the border dispute in that area. This government is very committed to resolving the border dispute,” Sangma said.
On the government’s resolve to bring about a peaceful resolution to the dispute, Sangma said, both the Meghalaya and Assam government after several decades have been able to come to a resolution on six areas of dispute.
Stating that the resolution is a “process and will take time,” the Chief Minister said the state government would allow the process to move forward through “consultations and engagements” with all the stakeholders involved.