Meghalaya committed to resolve inter-state border dispute with Assam : CM

The government provided about Rs 176 crore support to producer groups and individuals over the last two years, he said

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma (photo: IANS)
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma (photo: IANS)


Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Tuesday said his government is committed to recolve the long pending inter-state border dispute with Assam.

Hoisting the Tricolour in the Independence Day's main function at the Polo Grounds in Shillong, the Chief Minister said that last year, Meghalaya had signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with Assam in the presence of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah as a first step towards resolving the inter-state border dispute.

He said o resolve the dispute in the remaining six areas of difference -- Langpih, Borduar, Nongwah-Mawtamur, Desh Doomreah, Block 1 & Block 2, Psiar-Khanduli -- regional committees were constituted that have already conducted multiple meetings and also met their Assam counterparts to take the talks forward.

Sangma said that the formal tripartite peace talks between the outlawed outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Central and the state governments are making steady progress.

Announcing that the Meghalaya government has set a target of creating at least five lakh employment opportunities in the next five years, the Chief Minister said that the government would continue to strengthen the primary sector of the economy comprising agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, sericulture and fisheries.

“There is a potential to create up to three lakh employment opportunities in the primary sector alone. The high value products of the state like Lakadong turmeric, Khasi mandarin and pineapples are now being exported to overseas markets of Europe and Middle East.

"In the current pineapple season, our farmers have seen a 50 to 100 per cent increase in prices thanks to our marketing interventions. Pineapples from Meghalaya have been put on shelves in international malls at Abu Dhabi and Kuwait and closer home at Reliance Fresh outlets across Assam,” Sangma pointed out.

He said that the state’s flagship program for supporting farmers, livestock rearers, fish farmers and weavers -- FOCUS -- would benefit all the 6.5 lakh rural households.

The program, so far, has supported more than 3.5 lakh farming households organised into 18,000 producer groups.

The government provided about Rs 176 crore support to producer groups and individuals over the last two years, he said.

“Another hugely successful initiative of my government is the women Self Help Group movement. We now have more than 44,000 SHG groups, compared to less than 6,000 in 2018.”

Noting that border trade is an important component of the state's aspiration to double the economy to $10 billion, the Chief Minister said that the state government has been working with the government of India to strengthen the border infrastructure including border haats, Land Customs Stations and Integrated Check Points.

Meghalaya is one of the few states in the country that has a focussed and well-funded Early Childhood Development Mission.

Under this mission, the government is expanding the Anganwadi services to about 1,500 villages, which do not have an Anganwadi centre, Sangma stated.

Independence Day was also celebrated across the hill state through numerous functions and performances.

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Published: 15 Aug 2023, 12:33 PM