GUWAHATI- Assam on Thursday proposed that the regional committees formed by governments of the state and Arunachal Pradesh to resolve differences along the interstate boundary should complete their joint inspection of the disputed areas by August end.
The committees will thereafter submit reports to their respective governments by September 15, the Assam regional committee decided at a meeting here.
Assam cabinet minister Ashok Singhal, who was present at the meeting, said the decisions will be communicated to the panel concerned in Arunachal Pradesh.
”We want to complete the joint inspections by the end of this month and then submit our findings to the respective governments by September 15. We will discuss this further with our counterparts of the neighbouring state and finalise the schedule,” he said.
The committees were formed following a discussion between Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Arunachal Pradesh counterpart Pema Khandu on July 15, which resulted in the signing of the ‘Namsai Declaration’. The two North-eastern neighbours have also decided to restrict the number of ‘disputed villages’ to 86 instead of the previous 123, and try to resolve the rest of the issues by September 15.
Thursday’s meeting of the regional committee was chaired by state Border Protection and Development department minister Atul Bora. Several other ministers and senior officials were also present.
The two states share an 804.1 km-long border. The grievance of Arunachal Pradesh which was made a union territory in 1972 is that several forested tracts in the plains that had traditionally belonged to hill tribal chiefs and communities were unilaterally transferred to Assam.
After Arunachal Pradesh achieved statehood in 1987, a tripartite committee was appointed which recommended that certain territories be transferred from Assam to Arunachal. Assam contested this and the matter is in the Supreme Court.