Chandigarh: For the first time, newly created Union Territories (UTs), Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh will attend the 29th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council at Chandigarh on September 20.
J&K and Ladakh were earlier represented as one state in the meeting of the Northern Zonal Council, last held at Chandigarh in 2017. The Parliament had in the month of August passed the legislation for bifurcating J&K, paving way for creation of two UTs, Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The meeting is to be chaired by the Union home minister Amit Shah, the Northern Zonal Council comprises of the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.
The Chief Minister of Haryana is the vice-chairman and host for the meeting. The CM’s from the member states in the zone along with two ministers each, administrators of UTs, chief secretaries and senior officers from the state governments and the Central government will attend the meeting. The meeting of the Northern Zonal Council was last held at Chandigarh on 12 May, 2017.
Five Zonal Councils were set up in the year 1957 under Section 15-22 of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. Union home minister is the Chairman of each of these five Zonal Councils and CM of the host state (to be chosen by routine every year) is the vice-chairman. Two more ministers from each state are nominated as members by the Governor.
The Council takes up issues involving Centre and states falling in the Zone.
The Zonal Councils, thus, provide a forum for resolving disputes and irritants between Centre and states and among many states in the zone.
The Zonal Councils discuss broad range of issues which include boundary related disputes, security, infrastructure related matters like road, transport, industries, water and power etc., matters pertaining to forests & environment, housing, education, food security, tourism, transport etc....