Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is now focusing on the border dispute with neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, following Meghalaya. Both states will form district-level committees to resolve the issue in a “time-bound manner,” according to CM Sarma.
CM Sarma declared to settle a decades-old inter-state boundary dispute
CM Sarma made the declaration after meeting with his colleague from Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, in Guwahati to settle the decades-old inter-state boundary dispute.
Meanwhile, in January, the two chief ministers had their first official meeting.
“The district committees will undertake joint surveys in the disputed areas to identify tangible answers to the long-pending issue based on historical perspective, ethnicity, contiguity, people’s will, and administrative convenience of both the states,” CM Sarma wrote in a series of tweets.
“The great excitement for resolution on both sides is really encouraging,” Khandu remarked.
CM Sarma told the state Assembly in August 2021 that there were at least 1,200 locations of the boundary disputes with Arunachal Pradesh, and that the two states were working to resolve them.
The conflict dates back to the colonial era. Arunachal Pradesh, which was previously part of Assam, has had frequent flare-ups with its parent state along its over-800-kilometre border.
Conflicts first occurred in 1992, and there have been numerous complaints of illegal encroachment from both sides, as well as sporadic clashes, since then. In 1989, the case was moved to the Supreme Court.
The most recent tensions were reported in January at the construction site for the Likabali-Durpai road in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Siang district—Assam contends that some sections of the road, which has been under construction since 2019, lie inside its Dhemaji district.
At the meeting on Wednesday, Assam Border Area Development Minister Atul Bora, chief secretaries, and senior officials from both states were present.
Bora stated that in each of the two states, 12 district-level committees would be constituted. “In contested border areas, joint surveys would be conducted by district-level committees to identify peaceful solutions to the difficulties,” he said, adding that resolution will contribute to “all-round development and welfare of the people living in border areas.”
Assam and Meghalaya struck a contract in March, declaring the resolution of six of the border’s 12 problem zones.