SHILLONG, March 8: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today informed the Assembly that the State government has stopped 16 developmental works since 2018 in areas that are disputed with Assam.
Replying to a ‘Short Duration Notice’ initiated by a Congress legislator from Nongpoh, Mayralborn Syiem, Sangma said that 14 developmental schemes have been undertaken by Assam and Meghalaya in the areas of difference from 2018 till February 26, this year.
Another 12 developmental works were undertaken by Assam and Meghalaya in West Jaintia Hills, six in West Khasi Hills, two in South West Garo Hills during the same period.
Providing details on the developmental works undertaken by Assam in these disputed areas, Sangma said that in the disputed areas under Ri-Bhoi district, two projects were completed, however, two were stopped and four are in progress.
In the areas bordering West Jaintia Hills district, one project has been completed, eight were stopped. In West Khasi Hills, one project was completed and four stopped and in South West Garo Hills district, two projects were stopped by Meghalaya.
“This is contrary to claims that only Assam stops developmental works initiated by Meghalaya in the areas of differences,” Sangma said in the House. Giving details on the ‘untoward incidents’ that occurred in the disputed areas with Assam, Sangma said that from 2018 till February 26 this year, 106 such incidents were reported.
Providing further details he said that in 2018, 28 such incidents were reported in 2019 (33,) 2020 (39,) and 2021 (6.)
Earlier, Syiem, while initiating the discussion, said that pending the resolution of the boundary disputes, developmental works should be allowed to be continued so that people in these areas don’t suffer.
However, he claimed that it’s only the Assam government which disrupts such developmental works in these areas initiated by the Meghalaya government.
“Assam has been constructing a transit camp in Khanapara since 2019,” the Nongpoh MLA said. He informed the House that the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council has written to the Government of Assam objecting to the construction. “Till now the construction is on,” he added.