Meghalaya CM: 2nd round of border talks begin in April-May

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Meghalaya CM: 2nd round of border talks begin in April-May

Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said the second round of talks with Assam to resolve the inter-state border dispute in the remaining six disputed areas will begin in April or May.

He told the state assembly that regional committees comprising ministers and MLAs have also been appointed for six areas of Ri-Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills districts to take the talks forward.
Six contested areas are in these three districts.

“After the (Assembly) session ends, talks will resume in April or May. There should be detailed consultations at the ground level to try and understand all the problems of the people,” the chief minister said in response to the governor’s address.

He said that all stakeholders such as autonomous district councils and traditional chiefs would be consulted.
Assam and Meghalaya have identified 12 disputed areas along the 884.9 km long inter-state border. The two northeastern neighbours, who started the first round of talks in July 2021, in March last year in New Delhi in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah signed a memorandum of understanding to resolve differences in six sectors was signed.

The remaining six disputed border areas between the two northeastern states are Block-1 in West Jaintia Hills district, Block-2 in Ri-Bhoi and Langpih in West Khasi Hills.
According to the chief minister, the border talks were based on the claims of the Meghalaya government through its report on 12 areas of difference submitted to Assam in 2011.

Sangma said that while there is no complete solution to the border issues, his government will try to find the best solution to resolve the long-pending border dispute with Assam.
On the issue of drug menace, Sangma said the government has taken the issue very seriously, and in the last few years, 726 cases have been registered and more than 1,000 people have been arrested.

The Chief Minister also informed the Assembly that 1,701 cases have been registered against illegal transportation of coal and more than 200 cases have been registered against illegal coal mining in Meghalaya.

He said that 15 solar powered Lakadong turmeric slicing, washing and grinding units have been set up and are being run by women self-help groups.
Sangma said the government has increased the amount of old age pension from Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000.

He added that his government has also released Rs 80 crore for payment of dues of Asha workers for 2018 2023 and 2013 2017 which shows that “we care about them too”.
On the demand for inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages ​​in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, the Chief Minister said that an official resolution has already been passed and he is taking up the matter with the Centre.

Sangma said the government is setting up a state university which will be a permanent solution to the state’s exemption from CUET.

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