Calling for settling on priority the problem of ongoing interstate boundary disputes in the Northeast, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today cited lack of infrastructure facilities as one of its main problems. "The problem of ongoing interstate boundary disputes is something that we have not been able to sort out. These need to be settled on priority," said Gogoi at the Conference of Chief Ministers of North Eastern states organised here by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).
"One of the main problems is that most of the interstate borders are lacking infrastructure facilities such as adequate roads, schools, health facilities, power supply, etc," Gogoi said at the meeting attended by DoNER minister Gen(retd) V K Singh and N-E Chief Ministers. "We, therefore, request that a 'Special Package for Development of All the Interstate Border Areas' should be announced by the Government of India," he said, adding, the Ministry of DoNER should also pay greater attention to funding inter-state and regional projects that develop adequate infrastructure in the border areas.
Pointing out that militancy was also a major issue affecting the N-E region, the Chief minister wanted the central government to assist the states in tackling it. "We have also not controlled the tendency for militancy that afflicts this region; indeed, militancy appears to be controlled in one area and in one community, only to resurface in another area and in another community," Gogoi said. "The effect of years of militant aggression among the larger ethnic groups has given rise to spill over effects among smaller groups, who see the benefits that the larger groups have been able to get by pressurising the system," he said.
"Our region's politicians, administrators and development planners have to take these factors into account while planning their strategies to counter militancy and develop their societies. We call on the central government to assist the states in tackling this issue," Gogoi added.