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Chief Minister of Meghalaya is hopeful about inter-state boundary solutions in a positive direction.

Chief Minister of Meghalaya is hopeful about inter-state boundary solutions in a positive direction.

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During the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly 2022, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya took an opportunity to make a statement on the very important matter relating to the Inter-State Boundary Issue.

Ever since the State of Meghalaya came into existence, the Inter-State boundary dispute between Assam and Meghalaya as defined by the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act 1971 has been a bone of contention between the two States.

He said, On 23rd July 2021 at Shillong in a meeting between the Chief Minister of Assam and Chief Minister of Meghalaya and on that day, it was decided that 6 (six) areas of difference i.e. Tarabari, Gizang, Hashim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillangkata, and Ratacherra would be taken up for consideration in the first phase.

In the meeting between the Chief Minister of Assam and Chief Minister of Meghalaya on 6th August 2021 at Guwahati, it was decided that Regional Committees headed by senior Cabinet Ministers and Local MLAs and other officials as members will be constituted from both sides for the 6 (six) areas of differences.

On 16th of November, 2021 at Guwahati in a meeting between the CM of Assam and Meghalaya it was decided that the three Regional Committees of each of the States will submit their reports by 30th November, 2021 to their respective Chief Ministers and may undertake further visits to their respective areas.

The three Regional Committees of Assam and Meghalaya have conducted joint inspections, visited the six areas of difference.

During the process of conducting these visits, a total of 22 visits and meetings were done by these three different Regional Committees.

To this end, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Chief Minister of Assam met on 12th January 2022 wherein it was decided that the reports of the Regional Committees will be consolidated and the joint report of both the States will be submitted to the Chief Minister of each State so that the matter can be taken up with the Government of India.

Based on the reports of the three Regional Committees, on 29.01.2022, an MoU was signed between the States of Assam and Meghalaya to record the agreed position arrived at between the two States and to conclude the process of joint consultations.

Both the State Governments have agreed that no new area of difference shall be added in the future beyond the already identified 12 areas of difference.

Of the total of 36 villages claimed by Meghalaya in 2011, a total of 30 some fully and a few parts, is being recommended to be within Meghalaya.:

The six areas will be more accurately determined during the detailed survey to be undertaken by the Survey of India in the presence of representatives from both the State Governments.

Before he ended his statement, he thanked the Regional Committees, officials, and the CM of Assam.

The 5 areas or five criteria that they brought in guided them to be able to come to this conclusion and the dominant criteria out of these five have been the will of the people of that area and the overall ethnicity of the local population.

These were the dominant criteria but while saying that a solution is something that different principles and different yardsticks and different criteria can be applied by both the States depending on the situation but they have tried to look at people’s will and ethnicity as one of the main criteria while also considering the other criteria and the past documentation in order to be able to come to a situation where both the states could come to a  conclusion on these 6 areas.

He is very confident that once they are able to resolve these 6 areas and once they are able to come to a conclusion to these 6 areas, which he hoped in the next few days they will.

He is also very hopeful and even the rest of the 6 locations also that they will be able to move forward in a very positive direction. With these words, he resumed the seat.

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