Meghalaya's drone survey on Assam border sparks tension

Meghalaya's drone survey along border with Assam sparks tension among locals

Boundary disputes are common between the two states, with the latest such incident reported on July 26

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

A boundary survey exercise in Assam's Khanapara area by Meghalaya using drones created confusion among locals and led to a tense situation in the area on Saturday, a day after chief minister-level talks to resolve the vexed border dispute between the two neighbouring states.

Normalcy returned following intervention of authorities of Kamrup Metropolitan district, a senior Assam government official said.

Kamrup Metropolitan Deputy Commissioner Biswajit Pegu told PTI that the decision to survey the boundaries by the respective states using drones and other means was taken at the meeting on Friday.

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"There was some confusion among the local residents and they got a bit agitated (due to the exercise)," he said, adding, the district authorities intervened and explained the matter to them.

Pegu said the survey work has been suspended for the time-being after the district administration requested the Meghalaya authorities to wait till the minutes of Friday's meeting are available before resuming the activity.

"We have allowed it (the survey) in principle," he said.

Boundary disputes are common between the two states, with the latest such incident reported on July 26 when Assam had foiled an alleged attempt by Meghalaya authorities to erect electricity poles inside its territory in Khanapara area.

The chief ministers of Assam and Meghalaya had discussed border issues here during the meeting on Friday, which was the follow-up of a similar meet on July 23 at Shillong.

At the end of the latest meeting, both the states decided to set up two regional committees, each headed by a cabinet minister, to resolve boundary issues.

Meghalaya was carved out of Assam as a separate state in 1972 and it had challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971, leading to disputes related to 12 areas in different parts of the shared 884.9-km long border.