Glimmer of hope

The deputy commissioners of 12 districts sharing interstate boundary with Assam have been given two months by the state government for submission of ground assessment report.

The 12 districts are West Kameng, Pakke-Kessang, Papum Pare, Kamle, Lower Siang, Lower Dibang Valley, East Siang, Lohit, Namsai, Changlang, Longding and Tirap.

It’s a step in the right direction, but the process will be fraught as many areas are disputed since both the states claim ownership. However, it is unlikely that the DCs would be able to come up with a report within the stipulated time because it’s a too vast and complicated subject that involves communities and livelihoods.

However, attempt must be made and all process must involve people living along the boundary. They have to be made the chief negotiators instead of states taking decisions on their behalf.

Interstate boundary problems have led to many conflicts in the Northeast region with states, particularly Assam, being adamant. However, with willingness shown by states including Assam, there is a glimmer of hope.

It remains to be seen whether the high-power ministerial committee’s decision to take the recommendations of the local commission appointed by the Supreme Court as the basis of the state’s boundary claims, and to take 2007 as the year of reference for the assessment of the interstate boundary demarcation will be acceptable to all.