Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh has advised all the Chief Ministers, Ministers and Chief Secretaries that the students and youth of Kashmir wherever they are in the country should be treated nicely and decently and provided comfortable environment.
He stressed that all youth of India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari are our own children and should be treated accordingly.
Chairing the 28th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council consisting of the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh, the Union Home Minister said that no Kashmiri youth should face any harassment.
Pertinently, the Council meet also discussed and deliberated upon 18 items of common interest among the member states. The major items discussed were ‘Need for fiscal and infrastructural harmony in Northern States; Joint efforts for export of fruits, flowers and vegetables from the States; Sharing of Water of various rivers of the region and also hydropower among States; controlling pollution in the region by setting up Common Effluent Treatment Plants and Treatment, Storage & Disposal Facility (TSDF) for disposal of hazardous waste, contamination of water in canals of Rajasthan off-taking from Harike Barrage and setting up of mini hydel projects on Bhakra Main Line Canal at 27 Sites with total 63.75 MW of power in Punjab. Out of the 18 items discussed today, 7 were resolved in the meeting.
The five Zonal Councils were set up under the StatesReorganisation Act, 1956 to foster Interstate cooperation and coordination among the States. They are mandated to discuss and make recommendations on any matter as a cooperative endeavor for States linked with each other economically, politically and culturally. Being compact high level bodies, they are capable of focusing attention on specific issues taking into account regional factors, while keeping national perspective in view.
The present central government revitalized the zonal councils. Nine meetings of various zonal councils and 11 meetings of their Standing Committees have been held since 2015. Overall 699 issues were discussed in these meetings and 345 have been resolved.
Today’s meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab, Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh, Lt Governor of UT of Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Ministers of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan as well as the senior officers from Central and State Governments. The deliberations of the Council were warm and cordial in the true spirit of cooperative federalism and ended with the decision to host the next meeting in Rajasthan.