Meghalaya thanks Assam for carrying out ''charity work''

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Shillong, Jun 23 (UNI) Meghalaya today thanked the Assam government for carrying out ''charity work'' to alleviate problems of the people living in border areas of the state.

''We welcome them (Assam) for developing our areas. Thanks for the charity work but it doesn't mean that we are going to give our land to Assam,'' Meghalaya government spokesman and State Power Minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters here today.

Mr Sangma made this remark in the backdrop of Assam Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma laying foundation stone of the Boko (Assam)-Upper Langpih road yesterday. The first phase of 12 kilometre of the road is scheduled to be completed within this year.

Meghalaya has 12 areas of difference with Assam, besides Langpih, which Meghalaya claimed that Assam government had encroached.

Langpih, bordering Kamrup district of Assam, was in the limelight in the recent weeks, ever since Mr Sarma laid the foundation stone of a health sub-centre, inspection bungalow and residential quarters for forest guards at the village on May 31 last.

Both Assam and Meghalaya claimed that Langpih belonged to them and they have documents to ascertain it.

A fortnight ago, Meghalaya and Assam buried all their differences over the border dispute and formed a coordination committee in a bid to resolve the problem in a phased manner.

The decision was taken at a high level meeting between Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his Meghalaya counterpart Donkupar Roy and senior officials at Dispur, Assam.

The committee, comprising among others the chief secretaries of both the states and deputy commissioners of Kamrup and West Khasi hills will look into the disputed area of Langpih and submit its report within six months.

The Chief Ministers said amicable solution to the disputed area would be reached by the committee in a phased manner.

Assam had dispute with Arunachal Pradesh over the boundary of forest land. Another neighbouring state, Nagaland, has similar dispute with Assam and security forces have been deployed in a large area of Upper Assam's Golaghat district adjoining Nagaland for maintaining status quo in the disputed areas.

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