Shillong, Jan 19: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will be meeting the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday to submit their respective recommendations for amicable solution to end the boundary dispute in six areas of difference.
This was informed by Sangma after chairing a cabinet meeting which approved the recommendations of the three regional committees on inter-state boundary dispute.
He told reporters that the recommendations of the regional committees from Meghalaya along with the recommendations from the Assam government will be forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs for further actions.
“The Assam chief minister and myself will submit the reports to the Union Home Minister in Delhi tomorrow evening (post 6pm). We will be submitting more or less a common report and then I think the government of India has to move according to the laws and the bill to be put up,” Sangma said.
He said after discussion, the MHA will have to come to a final conclusion but more or less the structure has been reached after a long drawn exercise between the two states.
The chief minister said that the actual demarcation of the boundary will be done by the Union parliament.
“…therefore, those aspects will be done at the powers of the parliament. The Survey of India will have to come in and joint inspections may have to be done and the bill has to be there,” he added.
Sangma however said the two states can agree on villages and they have been able to look at natural boundaries like rivers and forest covers to kind of demarcate the boundaries.
There are 36 villages in the six areas of difference which are about 36.79 sq kms.
Refusing to share details of the report, the chief minister said, “The important aspect is that we as a state government have felt very strongly that yes apart from historical facts that are there it is very important to keep the people sentiments in mind and therefore the wilingness of the people in specific areas has been one of the main driving forces or the principles on the basis of which we have reached to most of the conclusion in most of the areas.”
He added, “We have also seen ethnicity as something very important. Both the state governments have felt strongly that any state government may try to claim some areas but the people living in those areas if they don’t wish to be in that particular state, one cannot force people to forcifully come into a particular state.”
Terming it as historic moment, Sangma said it is important to note that the issue has been there for the last 50 years and it was very difficult to move forward but today due to efforts made by the different committees and the two state governments, a solution has been arrived at.
“We consulted multiple stakeholders, we have had multiple meetings and multiple visits and as I said this is truly very important and historic moment where we are able to move forward and resolve some of the areas of difference that are there,” he said.
Whether Meghalaya will be gaining more, the chief minister however said, “I would refrain from saying who got more and who got less as I said but the interest of the state and stakeholders has been kept in mind and the best possible solution we can come to has arrived after multiple meetings.”
If a joint declaration would be made by the two states before January 21, he said, “Once we come to common agreement in the presence of the Union Home Minister that will be the appropriate time for us to declare and share the details of this.
What is important to note is that before January 21, we actually are able to come to some kind of agreement for the six locations of difference.”
On the demand for an all party meeting, Sangma said that the different regional committees will be having meetings to share this report.
“We have taken inputs of all political parties into this aspect. We are happy to share this information with them but we will see the time
The regional committees have got representation from almost all political parties including CEMs, stakeholders,” he said.