Shillong (Meghalaya), March 8 : Conrad K Sangma on Monday said there was no inter-state boundary talks with Assam due to COVID-19 pandemic but assured that his government will pursue the matter with the new government after the election in that state.
Sangma, who was speaking in the House, informed that several development projects undertaken by both governments at the disputed areas have been stopped.
He assured to look into the demand by Opposition members to stop the alleged illegal construction of a transit camp by the Assam government at Khanapara in the border district of Ri Bhoi in Meghalaya.
Last year in January February we had communicated to the Assam government that we need to meet to discuss the border issue at the chief ministers level. The verbal communication with the chief minister of Assam during that time was that we should meet sometime during April last year,” the chief minister told the Assembly during a short duration discussion initiated by Opposition MLA M Syiem.
But beacuse of the pandemic the talks could not take place at those points of time, he said.
Now Assam is facing election so only when the new government is installed we will pursue this matter to take the discussion forward to see how we can find an amicable solution to this problem, Sangma said.
On the opposition’s demand to stop the alleged illegal construction of a transit camp in Ri Bhoi district, he assured that necessary steps will be taken to discuss the issue with the Assam Government and to figure out how such incidents don’t take place in future.
The Ri Bhoi deputy commissioner had submitted a detailed report on this issue on February 25 and had written to her counterpart in Assam to intervene and stop the construction of the transit camp and that it be kept in abeyance.
If it cannot be resolved at that level, it can scaled up to nodal officers and then to the chief secretary level. Therefore, there is a process that is followed, he said.
On development schemes under the inter-state border development programme, Sangma said the programme has a very small budget of Rs 3-4 crore for the entire state, which translates to Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh for the different constituencies along the border.
All line departments like PHE, PWD, education and tourism departments implement the programmes for the development of the border districts, he said.
Sangma also told the house that several development projects undertaken by both state governments at the disputed areas have been stopped. Meghalaya had stopped 16 developmental works undertaken by Assam, while four such works initiated by Meghalaya was stopped by Assam.
(With PTI inputs )