Settlement of boundary disputes
GUWAHATI: The ruling and opposition members of the Assam Assembly had a heated debate over the first phase of the settlement of Assam-Meghalaya boundary disputes, with the opposition insisting on the government disclosing ‘as to how much land currently under the possession of Meghalaya Assam has got’.
Assam Border Security and Development Minister Atul Bora informed the House that after the initial settlement of six disputed areas measuring 36.7 sq. km., Assam will get 18.4 sq. km. and Meghalaya will get 18.3 sq. km. The exact measurement of the settled lands will be clear after the completion of the Survey of India’s report, he said.
The opposition alleged that the entire 36.7 sq. km of disputed land was under four revenue circles in Assam: Boko, Palasbari, Dispur, and Katigorah. This makes it clear that Meghalaya encroached upon Assam land, and Assam has given around 50 percent of its disputed land to the neighbouring state through the agreement.
In his reply, the minister said, “The settlement of the disputed areas was reached after taking the local people into confidence by regional committees of both the states through on-the-spot visits. Had the previous government settled all these boundary disputes at the time of the creation of these states, such problems would not have arisen now. Since the present government is showing the political will to resolve boundary disputes, the opposition shouldn’t doubt it. The sooner the boundary disputes are resolved, the better the relations among the neighbouring states will be.”
The minister also informed the House that Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram have encroached upon 82,751 hectares of Assam land. He said, “We are settling the boundary disputes with these neighbouring states as well. Of the 12 disputed areas between Assam and Meghalaya, we have sorted out the disputes in six areas. Of the 123 disputed villages between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, we have sorted out disputes over 71 villages, and the settlement process is underway in the remaining 52 disputed villages. Talks are underway at various levels between Assam and Mizoram to sort out boundary disputes. The boundary disputes between Assam and Nagaland are at the disposal of the Supreme Court of India.”