Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Ampareen Lyngdoh on Thursday lauded the approach taken by the chief ministers of Meghalaya and Assam in solving the long pending boundary dispute between the two states.
“It is a good thing that the chief ministers of the 21st century take a new approach in solving the inter-state border issue,” Lyngdoh said on the eve of 50th year of statehood celebrations.
She said both the Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma have done a good job by realizing that the institution of a Government of India’s sponsored commissions may not be the correct approach to sort this problem out.
Lyngdoh further stated, “If you asked me why the border dispute dialogue could not be resolved positively in the previous years, I would say that today the approach to governance has changed 360 degrees.”
She cited that the regional committee, which is constituted by MDCs and MLAs, itself indicates that these are the correct people to evaluate the situation on the ground.
“…it is not the Survey of India as was done in the past and it is not a distant officer sitting in an office in Delhi that will decide our boundaries. This approach has been a good approach. We have to give it up to the state governments for coming up with this ingenious idea,” she added.
On the other hand, the CLP leader however reminded the need to remember that in the former years, all information collected by those commissions have also been part of the study of the regional committees of this generation.
“So I believe that that would have been the best thing to do and that was the best thing that could have been done,” she said.
Lyngdoh said the question now remains will the two chief ministers obey the recommendations made by the regional committees which have been kept a “secret” till now.
“We know that we are privy to the information of the regional committees even if those documents are not made public, our members will be in authority to take out to the public any other misread calculations of these committees but we must have faith in the system that has been put in place and I am sure that if they go by the recommendations by the regional committees, the state of Meghalaya stand to gain in the long run,” she said.
When asked about the decision of the two CMs to submit the report to Centre for further action, Lyngdoh said it would have been ideal if public representatives, members of the district councils and traditional heads are given the opportunity to review what is to be submitted to the Government of India with regards to the first phase of the boundary dialogue.
She however said the MLAs of the party who are members of the regional committees have taken keen interest to ensure what is projected in the (final) report should not go against the state of Meghalaya.
“We are confident that at least in the first phase, we will and we should get all of those villages as per indicated by regional committees,” Lyngdoh said adding “We know that in West Khasi Hills and Ri Bhoi district, in the first phase there is a strong probability that nine out of ten will be given to the state of Meghalaya as per the reports prepared by the committees.”
Urging the state government to continue working with the members of the regional committees in the second phase, Lyngdoh said, “we still have Langpih that is pending for phase two now that is going to be a very sensitive situation for the state of Meghalaya.”