Amit Shah to chair Northern Zonal Council meet tomorrow

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will preside over a meeting of the Northern Zonal Council to be held in Amritsar on Tuesday.

The Northern Zonal Council comprises the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territories of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Chandigarh.

The council’s 31st meeting will be held in Amritsar in Punjab on September 26, according to an official statement.

The council discusses a wide range of issues, including matters related to the Bhakra-Beas Management Board, affiliation to Panjab University, road construction work under PMGSY, canal projects and water sharing, matters related to reorganisation of states, and infrastructure development.

Other issues include land acquisition, environmental and forest clearance, regional connectivity under the UDAN scheme and issues of common interest at the regional level.

Many issues of national importance are also discussed in every meeting of the zonal councils, the statement said.

Chief ministers of the member states along with two senior ministers from each state and the lieutenant governors/administrators of the Union territories are part of the council. The chief secretary and other senior officers of the state governments and UTs and senior officers of the central government will also participate in the meeting.

The Narendra Modi government has been regularly holding meetings of the zonal councils as part of its overall strategy to strengthen and promote cooperative and competitive federalism in the country, officials said.

The regional councils provide a forum for discussion in a structured manner on issues affecting one or more states or issues between the Centre and the states.

In the last nine years under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the number of meetings of the zonal councils and its standing committees have increased by three times, they said.

Regional councils help in developing a coordinated approach through discussion and exchange of views between states on important issues of social and economic development.

The zonal councils take up issues involving the Centre and states and one or many states falling in the zone.

They, thus, provide a forum for resolving disputes and issues between the Centre and the states and among many states in the zone.

The meetings of the zonal councils are used by the states and Union territories (UTs) to also share their best practices.

The councils also discuss a broad range of issues which include boundary-related disputes, security, infrastructure matters like road, transport, industries, sharing of water, and power, matters pertaining to forests and environment, housing, education, food security, tourism and transport, among others.

There are five zonal councils in the country which were set up in 1957 under Section 15-22 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.

The Union home minister is the chairperson of each of these five zonal councils and chief ministers of the host state (to be chosen by rotation every year) is the vice-chairperson.

Two more ministers from each state are nominated as members by the governor.

Related Articles