Inter-state border disputes in India (TH)

Context: The Opposition parties came down heavily on the Naveen Patnaik government, saying it failed to protect its own land with neighbouring Andhra Pradesh reportedly conducting panchayat elections in three of Odisha villages.

  • Both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have been at loggerhead over the jurisdiction pertaining to Kotia gram panchayat in Odisha’s Koraput district for several decades.

Analysis

  • Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra’s borders were specified in the State Reorganisation Act of 1956. But Karnataka and Maharashtra disagree, with the latter wanting Marathi-speaking border areas.
  • Karnataka and Kerala have a dispute over Kasargod district in Kerala.
  • Belagavi is a district in Karnataka, which borders Maharashtra’s Kohlapur district and the people living in Belagavi, also known as Belgaum, comprises both Kannada and Marathi speakers. 
  • After India became independent of the British rule, these areas around Belagavi became a part of Karnataka, when the state was formed in 1956. The area has been under dispute since then.
  1. The state of Maharashtra then petitioned the Centre, which in 1966 constituted the Mahajan Commission led by a retired judge which in 1967 recommended that some villages that are under Karnataka be given to Maharashtra. However, it left the city of Belagavi, then known as Belgaum, out and retained it in Karnataka.
  2. It also additionally stated that Sholapur in Maharashtra and Kasaragode, which is in Kerala, be given to Karnataka. Its verdict was not accepted by Karnataka.
  • The inter-state boundary between Bihar and Uttar Pradesh continued to fluctuate due to the frequent change in the course of rivers, “giving rise to problems in the field of revenue administration and law and order.”
  • Likewise, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh’s fluctuating boundary was sought to be solved in the 1970s.
  • But some private parties have been approaching the courts over cases pertaining to tenancy disputes.
  • Between Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, the boundary dispute relates to 63 villages falling presently in Orissa. But neither government has asked for Central intervention.
  • Similarly, Orissa and Jharkhand have a boundary dispute relating to seven villages of Mayurbhang and Keonjhar districts.
  • Orissa has claimed territories in the former princely states of Seraikela and Kharsuan, now in Jharkhand.
  • Orissa is locked with Chhattisgarh over three villages of Naupada district.
  • Orissa and West Bengal are also stalemated over five villages of Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts of Orissa.
  • In the northwest, Punjab and Haryana are locked over the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, and part of Fazilka sub-district of Punjab to Haryana.
  • Himachal Pradesh is contesting Uttarakhand over six places of Dehradun district, adjoining its Shimla district.
  • Arunachal Pradesh claims territory in Assam on the basis of history.
  • In September 2006, the Supreme Court appointed a local commission headed by retired judge SN Variava to identify the boundary there.
  • Assam and Meghalaya don’t have a major boundary dispute.
  1. Langpih, a border village, is claimed by both Assam and Meghalaya.
  2. Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram were carved out of Assam.
  • Nagaland claims 5,000 sq miles of territory in Assam “on historical grounds”.
  • Mizoram used to be the Lushai Hills district of Assam before being made a Union Territory in 1972 and a State in 1987.

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