SHILLONG: The regional committees constituted by the Assam and Meghalaya governments for the second phase of border talks have tasked the Deputy Commissioners of respective states to collate names of the villages that come within the disputed areas.
“We have narrowed down the areas of conflict in the interstate border. To get the exact names of the villages in the areas, we have tasked the two deputy commissioners of the states and also the local Member of District Council (from Meghalaya) to prepare a list of villages,” Tourism Minister of Meghalaya and chairman of the West Khasi Hills Regional Committee, Paul Lyngdoh, told the press on Monday.
Lyngdoh was attending a meeting of both the regional committees at Pinewood Hotel in Shillong. Assam’s Forest Minister and Chairman of Kamrup Sector regional committee, CM Patowary, also attended the meeting and discussed the timing of an on-site visit to the disputed areas. “Discussions can solve all problems. We are hopeful that we will be able to solve this border issue through it as well,” he said.
Lyngdoh further informed that both the regional committees will pay a joint on-field visit to the disputed areas by the end of September. “Since both Meghalaya and Assam have Assembly sessions in September, we (the regional committees) will be meeting after that and go for an onsite visit. We will cater to four, five villages and would identify a common place to hold a meeting before the on-field visit,” he added.
Earlier on August 8, in a previous joint meeting in Guwahati, the regional committees had collectively agreed to embark on a visit to Langpih in Meghalaya’s West Khasi Hills district. The objective of this visit will be to engage with local representatives, stakeholders, and residents, a crucial step prior to finalizing any decisions concerning the interstate border, Lyngdoh had previously stated.
Meanwhile, pressure groups and civic bodies in Meghalaya have been demanding the involvement of all the stakeholders in the exercise. On August 17, the Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) Rimuliang circle had asked the government to address the boundary conflicts at Langpih in a manner aligned with the desires and aspirations of the local populace.