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Lampi showdown averted
- Dispur rains sops as Shillong waits & watches

Lower Lampi/Shillong, May 31: Assam and Meghalaya today avoided a showdown over the foundation stone-laying of the health sub-centre at Lampi (called Langpih in Meghalaya), while Dispur made it clear that it was in no mood to back off by declaring a slew of development measures.

Dispur’s declaration came a day after Meghalaya announced several steps to stamp its seal on Lampi and sought the Centre’s intervention to stop Assam from laying the foundation stone of the health sub-centre today.

But Dispur not only went ahead with the foundation stone-laying programme that passed off smoothly, it also announced a Rs 12-crore development package for Lampi.

According to goanburah (village headman) Chakrabahadur Chetri, however, Lampi falls in West Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.

The package will go towards constructing a 28-km all-weather road from Dakuapara to Kampatoli in Lower Lampi at a cost of Rs 10 crore, a permanent police station, a well-equipped hospital, a market shed and an inspection bungalow.

Inaugurating a dirt road at Lampi this morning, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said work on the road, police station and market shed would start soon.

Sarma, accompanied by AGP legislator Jyoti Prasad Das, Kamrup deputy commissioner R.C. Jain, superintendent of police Debojit Hazarika and deputy inspector general G.P. Singh, reached Lampi in a 20-car convoy. Hisparty colleagues Rekibuddin Ahmed, J. Pandey and Diganta Kalita were also present.

“This land belongs to India. We are all Indians. If Meghalaya feels there is a problem, it should approach the Supreme Court or any other appropriate forum for redressal. But this cannot stop development. Let us develop the part we have till Upper Lampi and they (Meghalaya) can develop it beyond that for the mutual benefit of the people of the two states. We should all co-exist,” Sarma said.”

Meghalaya has decided to adopt a wait-and-watch policy. “All is not over, we will wait and see,” deputy chief minister in-charge H.S. Lyngdoh said from Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills.

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