20th meeting of the Central Zonal Council held in Lucknow
Union Home Minister, Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh take part in the meet
Home Ministry accepts, for consideration, a Rs 6000 crore proposal for police modernization in UP
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Akhilesh Yadav today welcomed the union home minister Mr. Rajnath Singh, and chief ministers of the member states Mr. Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Mr. Raman Singh and Mrs. Harish Rawat, Chief Secretaries, government of India officials and officials of other states at the 20th meeting of the Central Zonal Council and said the state government was working for all-round development of Uttar Pradesh.
At the meeting, agreement on police modernization and making available funds for the same was a major achievement. The union ministry of home affairs accepted, for consideration, a Rs 6,000 crore proposal for police modernization in the state.
On the issue of naxalims, UP supported the proposal mooted by the Chattisgarh government and all the member states, in unison, demanded for combating and containing naxalism and requested the union government to extend all possible help in doing so.
In changed circumstances, the states also mooted modernization of all prisons. Mr. Yadav further informed that the state government was making sustained efforts to improve the power situation in the state and sought immediate supply of coal to improve power generation, more so since the state was far away from sea shore. He requested the Government of India to promptly find a solution to this problem. Highlighting improvement and laying of road networks in the state, the chief minister highlighted how work on connecting all district headquarters by four lane roads was underway, many roads projects have been completed and that in many road projects, help from the GoI was needed.
Shedding light on the ambitious Agra-Lucknow Expressway project, Mr. Yadav pointed out that the project was being funded by state’s own resources. He also said that HCL was establishing an IT City in the state capital, dairy plants are being set up in the state with the association of Amul and added that the Kamdenu Scheme was enhancing milk production in the state.
For helping the poor and deprived, Mr. yadav said, the Samajwadi Pension Scheme has been rolled out, under which direct benefit into banks accounts would be done to 40 lakh poor families across the state.
He also assured all help to other states in inter-state issues. In a press briefing after the meeting, Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Mr. Alok Ranjan said that the density of roads in the state was taken up for discussion and the chief ministers of UP, Uttarakhand and Chattisgarh pointed out at the poor density of roads in their respective states and stressed on early completion of road projects. They also urged that the central agencies expedite work on national highways.
Vocal on projects regarding development in the state but running into environment issues, the chief ministers stressed on the need of prompt decision making in such projects and called for necessary relaxation in the Forest Act. The states also stressed on the need of desilting of rivers and canals not as an environmental issue. The states also raised the issue of problems in depositing compensatory money for clearing jungles and called for adequate arrangement for the same.
The chief secretary also informed that talks were held with the state on the Food Security Act and added that the union government wanted this to be implemented by April 15. Talks were also held on changes in the primary education and it was deliberated that a new system be discovered to ensure quality education in wake of no exams being conducted till class VIII.
Uttar Pradesh raised the issue of lowering of the water table in the state and the need of ground water recharge therefore. The chief secretary informed that for this the GoI should enable a system of 90% funding. Other than this, discussions also took place on utilization of water between Uttarkhand and Uttar Pradesh, division of properties between the two states. Uttarakhand discussed the issue of canals controlled by UP, hydro-power projects and the jamrani project after which a committee of chief secretaries of both states was constituted for the Jamrani project.
The Indian Railways requested all states to extend all possible help in closing the railway gates wherever the Railway Over bridges (ROB’s) have been constructed. The chief minister also informed that a consensus was arrived upon to call meeting of the Administrative Commission more often and not to delay it. The secretary of the Inter-State Council Mr. HK Das spoke on the historical facts of the constitution of the Central Zonal Councul and expressed happiness that it was becoming instrumental in not only resolving inter-state issues but also consolidating relations between the states.
He further said that it was the vision of the prime minister that the nation cannot progress without the states progressing and it was for this ethos that the prime minister has initiated an era of ‘cooperative federalism’ and through the Central Zonal Council, coordination between states has improved.