The Assam-Meghalaya boundary dispute resolution

GS 2, Inter-State Relations.


  • Assam and Meghalaya signed a draft resolution on January 29, partially resolving a 50­ year ­old dispute along their 884.9 km boundary. 
  • An agreement in this regard, termed historic, was signed between Assam Chief Minister and Meghalaya Chief Minister in the presence of Home Minister. 
  • The agreement is expected to pave the way for resolving disputes in the remaining sectors of the Assam ­Meghalaya boundary and similar areas of difference between Assam and three other north-eastern States. 

Existing Inter-State Boundary Disputes arising out of Demarcation of Boundaries:

  • Andhra Pradesh-Odisha
  • Haryana-Himachal Pradesh
  • Union Territory of Ladakh-Himachal Pradesh
  • Maharashtra-Karnataka
  • Assam-Arunachal Pradesh
  • Assam-Nagaland
  • Assam-Meghalaya
  • Assam-Mizoram

Historical Background of the Assam-Meghalaya Boundary Dispute:

  • Meghalaya, carved out of Assam as an autonomous State in 1970, became a full-fledged State in 1972.
  • The creation of the new State was based on the Assam Reorganisation (Meghalaya) Act of 1969, which the Meghalaya government refused to accept. This was because the Act followed the recommendations of a 1951 committee to define the boundary of Meghalaya.
  • On that panel’s recommendations, areas of the present­day East Jaintia Hills, Ri­Bhoi and West Khasi Hills districts of Meghalaya were transferred to the Karbi Anglong, Kamrup (metro) and Kamrup districts of Assam.
  •  Meghalaya contested these transfers after statehood, claiming that they belonged to its tribal chieftains. Assam stance mentions Meghalaya government could neither provide documents nor archival materials to prove its claim over these areas.
  • After claims and counter­claims, the dispute was narrowed down to 12 sectors on the basis of an official claim by Meghalaya in 2011.

Major Point of Contention:

A major point of contention between Assam and Meghalaya is the district of Langpih in West Garo Hills bordering the Kamrup district of Assam.

  • Langpih was part of the Kamrup district during the British colonial period but post-Independence, it became part of the Garo Hills and Meghalaya.
  • Assam considers it to be part of the Mikir Hills in Assam.

Meghalaya has questioned Blocks I and II of the Mikir Hills -now Karbi Anglong region – being part of Assam. Meghalaya says these were parts of erstwhile United Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts.

Vision for Future:

  • Prime Minister calls the North East as Ashtalakshmi and with more efforts, the North East will not only become part of the national main stream, but will also become a driving force in national development.
  • Many initiatives has been taken including

-Narcotics Free

– Flood Free and

-Infiltrator Free North East.

  • The Centre and the Governments of the North East are moving forward in a time bound manner on all these fronts.

Way Forward

  • Boundary disputes between the states can be settled by using satellite mapping of the actual border locations.
  • Reviving the Inter-state council can be an option for resolution of an Inter-state dispute.
    • Under Article 263 of the Constitution, the Inter-state council is expected to inquire and advise on disputes, discuss subjects common to all states and make recommendations for better policy coordination.
  • Similarly, Zonal councils need to be revived to discuss the matters of common concern to states in each zone—matters relating to social and economic planning, border disputes, inter-state transport, etc.
  • In order to strengthen India’s unity, both the centre and state governments, need to imbibe the ethos of cooperative federalism.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *