GUWAHATI, April 1 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and his Meghalaya counterpart Dr Mukul Sangma today met at Brahmaputra State Guest House in the city and discussed border and various other issues of mutual interest.
Both the Chief Ministers vowed to take forward the dialogues to resolve some long-pending issues and build a foundation for a robust relationship, an official release said.
The two Chief Ministers agreed to resolve boundary issues through dialogue taking into account views of both sides.
�Both agreed to take steps to amicably demarcate the 12 disputed areas at the border, fixing of boundary pillars, etc., so that long-pending contentious border issues can be resolved to the satisfaction of the people of both States. �Chief Secretary-level meetings were decided to be held between the two States to iron out differences and reach at acceptable conclusions,� it added.
Raising the issue of extremist activities in South Salmara and Mankachar districts of Assam bordering Garo Hills districts of Meghalaya, Sonowal said that a joint mechanism must be put in place to check criminal activities like extortion and abduction carried out by Meghalaya insurgent outfits in the border areas and intelligence-sharing and other cooperation to maintain law and order must be increased.
Saying that people of Assam and Meghalaya have age-old ties, Sonowal stated that protection of the environment must be the prime objective of both the State governments, and he urged Dr Sangma to take steps to prevent cutting of hills that causes flash floods in Guwahati.
Dr Sangma said that his Government had been able to reduce crime considerably in his State and the Assam Government had also extended full cooperation in managing crimes in border areas, and that insurgent groups would be controlled at border areas in the near future. �
�As Meghalaya depends heavily on agro-horticulture produce as a mainstay of its economy, the Government of Meghalaya is committed for facilitating a peaceful environment for Assam traders to augment the supply chain of its products,� Sangma said.
Saying that illegal cutting of hills would be stopped, Sangma said as Meghalaya shares 433 km-long international border with Bangladesh, stopping illegal migration and managing crime in the border areas remain key concerns for Meghalaya and both the States must jointly tackle these issues.