Shillong, April 1: Meghalaya and Assam on Saturday ordered the Chief Secretaries of both the states to re-start their dialogue process to resolve the vexed inter-state boundary disputes.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma at Brahmaputra State Guest House in Guwahati.
“The Chief Secretaries of Assam and Meghalaya have been asked to continue the dialogue on the 12 areas of difference,” Sonowal told journalists after the meeting.
“We have discussed a lot of issues, and it was fruitful. The Chief Secretaries will discuss the boundary dispute. We have also decided to work together for our mutual growth,” he said.
The 12 areas of difference include Upper Tarabari, Gizang reserve forest, Hahim, Langpih, Borduar, Boklapara, Nongwah-Matamur, Khanapara-Pilangkata, Deshdemoreah, Khanduli-Psiar area, Ratacherra and Blocks I and II.
The total area of difference is 2,765.14 square km, of which Blocks I and II cover 1,583.42 square km.
Saturday’s meeting was the first official meeting between the two Chief Ministers after Sonowal assumed office in Assam in May last year.
Sangma last held discussions with then Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on June 5, 2010 following the incident in which four Khasi villagers were killed during firing by Assam police personnel at Langpih on May 14, 2010.
“We had a fruitful dialogue and as a follow up of discussions held earlier, more discussions will be held so that both the states can resolve the long pending issue mutually which will be acceptable to both the states,” the Meghalaya Chief Minister said.
Moreover, he said that issues related to disputes would be further discussed at the level of the chief secretaries.
On the Meghalaya Assembly resolution asking the central government to constitute a Boundary Commission to resolve the inter-state boundary imbroglio, Sangma said: “They (Assam) have made their stand but we will discuss mutually.”
In March 2011, the Meghalaya Assembly had passed a resolution to urge the central government to constitute a Boundary Commission to re-examine and redefine the inter-state boundary between the two states.
The Assam assembly adopted another resolution negating the Meghalaya resolution.
Meanwhile, both the Chief Ministers decided to conduct joint operations along the inter-state boundary to flush out militants along the inter-state boundary to ensure peace and tranquillity.
“We have also decided to work together to restore the environment and whoever is doing illegal activities like hill cutting should stop, and action will be taken jointly on this issue,” Sonowal said.