Assam – Meghalaya to resolve boundary row via ‘information sharing’ exercises

Posted in October 2012

States agree on education, health developmental activities on disputed lands

Staff Reporter
Meghalaya and Assam on Wednesday decided to have ‘information sharing’ exercises between the two states to bridge the communication gap while addressing the issue relating to inter-state boundary disputes.
The decision was taken at the nodal officers level meeting was held on Wednesday between the two neighboring states, wherein, besides the inter-state boundary dispute, the issue of militancy was also taken up.
“Sharing of information is one of most important issues taken up to ensure that whatever information from the top reaches the field level,” State Commissioner & Secretary of Home, Jopthiaw Lyngdoh told reporters after the meeting here. 
It is learnt that apart from the Chief Secretaries meeting, the mechanism of having the Nodal Officers’ meeting was decided at the recent meeting of the Chief Ministers.
According to Lyngdoh, the meeting felt that it was seen that many times small “irritants” tend to create a big problem in the inter-state border. “We have reached at a consensus that that these small irritants should be controlled and not allowed to escalate,” he added.
He further informed that the meeting agreed on the possibility of expanding the ambit of Nodal Officers by inviting the other line departments including PWDs and Health in the next sitting.
Additionally, Lyngdoh, who also headed the Meghalaya delegation, revealed the possibility of Assam-based militant outfits taking advantage of border by indulging in illegal collection from the Khasi-Pnar villagers with special reference to the case of Sabuda, Mawlasnai, Umlaper areas in Block II.
On this, he said, “Assam have agreed that issue of militancy whether from Meghalaya or Assam should not be tolerated in order to bring peace in the minds of the people living in the borders.”
Secretary to the Government of Assam in charge Home, Political and Border, GD Tripati who led the Assam delegation was accompanied by the Deputy Commissioners of Kamrup (Metro and Rural), Karbi Anglong district along with their respective Superintendents of Police (SPs). While Meghalaya was represented by the Commissioner & Secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management Department, Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of three districts – West Khasi hills, West Jaintia hills and Ri Bhoi. Representatives from the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) and Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council (KAADC) were also present.
Besides, issues pertaining to encroachment, new settlements and developmental activities in the areas of differences were also discussed during the meeting.
“Both the parties have agreed that developmental activities including implementation of the RTE Act and health should be allowed in the border after prior consultation with the respective concerned authorities from both sides,” Lyngdoh apprised.
On the proposed construction of dam by Assam on Wahkri in West Khasi hills district, the Commissioner & Secretary of home said, “The issue was taken up.”
He, however, informed that the officers from Assam said that they were not aware on such proposed construction of the dam.
“But it was agreed in principal that no development activities should take place without mutual consultation,” Lyngdoh reiterated.
Meanwhile, the next Nodal Officers level meeting would be held at Guwahati, Assam of which the date is yet to be fixed.

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