Border issues with Assam to be resolved in 6 areas soon: Meghalaya guv


Meghalaya Governor Satya  pal Malik on Friday expressed hope that the state’s border issue with Assam would be resolved soon in at least six areas of dispute.


Addressing the assembly on the first day of the budget session, Malik said the state government was focused on enhancing the provision of services in the health and education sectors.

We are confident and hope that the border issue in the six areas of dispute will be resolved soon. “My government is committed to resolving the long-pending border dispute between Assam and Meghalaya so that peace and development can begin for our citizens living in the border areas,” he said.

He said Meghalaya Chief Minister Konrad Sangma and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma had held several meetings on the issue in the last six months and had agreed to resolve the dispute in six places – Tarabari, Gizang. , Hahim, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillangkata  and Ratacherra – in the first phase.


A memorandum of understanding in this regard was signed by the two Chief Ministers in Guwahati on January 29, and was forwarded to the Home Ministry for further investigation, the governor said.


Meghalaya was separated from Assam as a separate state in 1972 and challenged the Assam Reorganization Act 1971, which resulted in disputes over 12 territories in different parts of the 884.9 km long border.


In his address, the governor said his government was focusing on expanding the provision of services in the health and education sectors and investing in physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, electricity and drinking water.


However, he noted that the main focus of the state government was on improving rural livelihoods and promoting businesses in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and animal husbandry.


Stressing that the overall law and order situation in the state has been peaceful for the past one year, Malik said that the police had arrested the culprits involved in a few incidents of IED blasts.


He also told the assembly that the banned militant organization Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) had written a letter to the state government expressing its readiness for unconditional talks within the ambit of the Indian constitution.


The state government welcomes the move and has written to the interior ministry to take the process further. “This is an important step towards establishing lasting peace in the state and my government is committed to ensuring that the peace talks reach their logical conclusion,” he said.


Malik said the state government has also launched a project to strengthen the Meghalaya health system, funded by the World Bank, which aims to strengthen the overall health system in about 40 years within five years.


With a view to improving management capacity, quality and utilization of health services in Meghalaya, Malik said that so far works worth Rs. 450 million have been awarded for strengthening the infrastructure of health facilities across the state.

Under the scheme, the government is providing assistance of Rs. 5,000 to each farming family to start agricultural activities.


The governor said that the state government has started programs to promote the production of turmeric, mushrooms and jackfruit.


For CoVID-19 related expenses, the Governor said that the Chief Minister’s Secretariat had spent Rs 29.24 crore in 2021-22, which included a one-time payment of Rs 50,000 to the families of the deceased.


Noting that air connectivity is very important for the overall development of the state, the Governor said that the number of passengers at Umroi  Shillong Airport has increased tremendously and Shillong now has eight cities – Kolkata, Guwahati, Dimapur, Dabro. Connected to Garh, Lengpui, Agartala, Imphal and Silchar.


He said more flights connecting other regions are likely to be introduced in the coming year.

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