Inter-state border areas to be developed: Meghalaya CM

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 17:40

Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul
Sangma on Tuesday admitted that areas along the inter-state
boundary with Assam have been long neglected and assured
measures to bring about development in these areas.
Maintaining that the incident at the disputed Langpih
area, where the Assam Police had recently opened fire killing
four Meghalayans was an "eye-opener", Sangma asserted in the
State assembly, "Enough is enough. We need to integrate our
thoughts and must utilize this opportunity to address the
issue."
Stating that funds have been earmarked for the development
of all areas along the inter-state boundary, Sangma said every
government department would be asked to set aside a "certain
percentage" of their respective budgetary allocations for the
purpose.

"We have already floated tender for construction of a
all-weather road connecting Langpih and earmarked funds for
Psiar area in the Jaintia Hills," the chief minister informed
the House even as he observed that people living along the
inter-state boundary could not be allowed to be "lured" by
neighboring Assam, with its own developmental projects.

Observing that there has been "undue delay" in the
settlement of the boundary dispute between Meghalaya and
Assam, the CM said, "We must ensure that this problem is not
inherited by the next generation."

Stating that it was not necessary to create a new
department for development of inter-state border areas as
suggested by Leader of Opposition Conrad Sangma, Mukul
concluded by saying that convergence of various developmental
programmes would be a better option.

Earlier, moving a motion to discuss the need for a
"definite policy" and a separate department for development of
the border areas, Conrad had noted that the existing
department for border areas development was catering to areas
along the international border with Bangladesh and had no
jurisdiction over areas along the inter-state boundary. The
NCP MLA even called for setting up of a separate "Border
Security Force (BSF)" by the State Police to be deployed along
the inter-state boundary with Assam.

Legislators Paul Lyngdoh, Manas Chaudhuri and E Bamon
also called for immediate measures to settle the long-pending
boundary dispute with the neighbouring State.

Calling for Central intervention in the matter, Lyngdoh
said the inter-state boundary dispute between Meghalaya and
Assam ought to be made a "national issue". According to him,
Assam had been "pro-active" in pushing "human settlements"
along the boundary with the ulterior motive of grabbing
Meghalaya land.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 17:40

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