Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma signed an agreement on Tuesday, 29 March, to resolve the 50-year-old pending inter-state border dispute between the two states.
Sarma had earlier stated that there were 12 areas of dispute in the state of Meghalaya and that six areas have been resolved in the first phase of the resolution.
These areas for final settlement are Hahim, Gizang, Tarabari, Boklapara, Khanapara-Pillingkata, and Ratacherra.
The agreement took take place in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Tuesday.
After the agreement was signed, Shah attributed "numerous efforts for the development of the northeast region" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and informed that the six out of 12 border points of the dispute have been resolved, comprising nearly 70 percent of the border.
‘Will Make Northeast a Growth Engine’: Assam CM
Calling it a "historic day", Sarma informed of future plans and said that in the next six to seven months, they aim to resolve the issue of the remaining disputed sites.
"We will work towards making the Northeast region a growth engine in the country," Sarma added.
"The initiation of resolution of 50 years old border dispute between Assam and Meghalaya has been done today. This historic milestone could only be achieved because of the continuous effort of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah," Sarma said, according to ANI.
Taking a dig at the Congress party, he further said, "In 1970s, Meghalaya was carved out from Assam, but in the State Reorganisation Bill, Congress could have resolved this. Both states kept fighting internally resulting in casualties. We're working on Peace, Heritage & Development (PHD) model for Northeast's development."
Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has called it a "very important resolution" and said that it "will lead to a lot of peace in the border areas".
After the agreement was signed, Sangma thanked Amit Shah for giving "the direction to resolve the border disputes".
"Today the first phase of the resolution has been done. It could only be possible because of Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma," he added.
Sangma also thanked members of the committee and the officers from both states.
"Out of 12 areas of difference, we have come to an agreement with Assam on six areas. Further, a survey will be done by Survey of India with both states' involvement, and when that's done, actual demarcation will take place," Sangma was quoted as saying by ANI.
"There is a total of 36 sq km under the area of differences, roughly about 18 sq km plus-minus both Assam and Meghalaya," he added.
Sarma had held a meeting with representatives of all political parties back on 18 January, to discuss the border issue.
He had informed in a tweet, "A roadmap for amicable settlement has been prepared based on recommendations of 3 Regional Committees with representatives from both the states."
In August last year, the governments of Assam and Meghalaya had formed a committee to resolve the border rows in a phased manner in six of the 12 disputed sites.
Sarma had said that each panel will have five members, including a Cabinet minister of each state and bureaucrats. He also added that local representatives may be part of a committee.