Who: 21st meeting of the Western Zonal Council
Where: In Panaji
When: 29 September 2015
The 21st meeting of the Western Zonal Council was held at Panaji on 29 September 2015. The council was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The meeting planned upon developmental issues which have mostly social and economic bearing. Issues related to internal security were also discussed in the meeting.
• The council called for the enhanced Centre–State co-operation and focused on the development of all the states in India.
• It also called upon all the states to take up issue of terrorism seriously and formulate their strategy to combat this menace.
• Every specialized agency of the central government was asked to consider providing their surplus lands for the construction ofAffordable Housing.
• The council in depth discussed on relaxation of certain provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011 and the Ministry of Environment & Forests will examine the matter on priority for bringing in suitable amendment to it so as not to affect development.
• The council helped amicably resolved the issue of pollution in Damanganga and Kolak River between Government of Gujarat and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli.
• It was decided in the meeting that the next Western Zonal Council will be held in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956.
In the light of the vision of Pandit Nehru, five Zonal Councils were set up vide Part-III of the States Re-organisation Act, 1956. These are North, South, West, East and Central Zonal Council. Besides, North-Eastern States Council was set up under the North Eastern Council Act, 1972.
The Western Zonal Council comprises the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.