Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma on Tuesday signed an agreement to end disputes in six of 12 locations along the border between the two states, PTI reported.

Territorial disputes between the two states began when Meghalaya was carved out of Assam on January 21, 1972, under the Assam Reorganisation Act, 1971. Disputes arose at 12 locations after Meghalaya had challenged the law. Assam is the only state with which Meghalaya shares an internal border.

A total area of 36.79 square kilometres was disputed. According to the agreement signed on Tuesday, Assam will control 18.51 square kilometres of the land and Meghalaya 18.28 square kilometres.

“Further, a survey will be done by Survey of India with both states’ involvement, and when that’s done, actual demarcation will take place,” said Sangma, according to ANI.

Meanwhile, Sarma said that even though Meghalaya was carved out of Assam, Congress – which was at the Centre in 1971 – could have resolved the matter through the State Reorganisation Bill.

“Both states kept fighting internally resulting in casualties,” he said. “We are working on peace, heritage and development model for North East’s development.”

Home Minister Amit Shah, who was also present at the signing, said this marked a historic day for the North East region. He added that 70% of the border dispute between the states has been resolved by the agreement.

In August, both Meghalaya and Assam formed three regional committees each to deal with border disputes in six areas. Two rounds of talks were held between Sarma and Sangma, during which they had decided to resolve the dispute in a phased manner.