The state government, on September 26, constituted three regional committees to examine the status of the remaining six areas of difference shared with Assam and to submit their report within a period of 45 days.
These include Langpih in West Khasi Hills District, Borduar, Nongwah-Mawtamur, Deshdoomreah, Block-II in Ri Bhoi district and Block-I, Psiar-Khanduli in West Jaintia Hills district.
The six-member regional committee for Ri Bhoi District will be headed by Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong, regional committee for West Khasi Hills District by cabinet minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar and regional committee for West Jaintia Hills District by cabinet minister Sniawbhalang Dhar, a notification issued by the Chief Secretary DP Wahlang said.
“The committees will submit their report to the Government of Meghalaya within a period of 45 days from the date of this notification based on the inspection of the villages and based on the agreed yardsticks of historical perspective, ethnicity of the local population, administrative convenience of local people, contiguity with the boundary and the perception of the people living in the area,” it said.
The decision to constitute the regional committees came after the two state governments – Meghalaya and Assam — recently started the second phase of border talks for resolving the remaining six areas of difference.
The deputy commissioners of the respective districts are member convenors.
The other members of the Ri Bhoi committee include Transport minister Dasakhiatbha Lamare, Nongpoh MLA Mayralborn Syiem, KHADC EM (Elaka) Jambor War and Umroi MDC Rangkynsai Kharbuki.
Three MLAs Macmillan Byrsat (Nongstoin) and Kimfa S. Marbaniang (Rambrai – Jyngam) and Gigur Myrthong, who is also KHADC Deputy CEM and Rambrai-Jyrngam MDC Bajop Pyngrope are members of the West Khasi Hills committee while Home minister Lahkmen Rymbui, two MLAs – Comingone Ymbon (Raliang) and Nujorki Sungoh (Mowkaiaw), JHADC CEM Thombor Shiwat are members of the West Jaintia Hills committee.
As per the terms of reference, the committees have been asked to coordinate with the relevant regional committee set up by Government of Assam, to cross-reference and verify the names of the villages (sub-villages) claimed by Meghalaya with the names of villages as per records of Government of Assam, to establish the geographical location of the villages and their contiguity, to examine the status of the population of villages as per census records including ethnicity and to prepare an ‘As-ls’ Public Asset Register in the villages, created by both the State Governments.
They have also been asked to visit each of the villages, and interact with the communities living in the villages including the elected representatives of the Autonomous District Councils and other stakeholders to learn about the perception of the people living in the area, to document the factual information regarding the physical & time-wise distances from the villages to the nearest public service delivery point administrative unit.
The regional committees can co- opt any member whenever necessary.