Bengaluru: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday reviewed several inter-state issues at the 28th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council here.
“The Council reviewed the implementation of the recommendations made at its last meeting on security to fishermen, introduction of peninsular tourism trains, uniformity in allocation of funds in proportion to population of SCs/STs for scholarship for all courses, optimum harnessing of renewable energy in the southern states,” Singh told reporters after the meeting at the state Secretariat here.
Out of the 27 items discussed at the meeting, 22 were resolved.
“The Council discussed the Pulicat lake dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu fishermen over fishing rights, menace of red-sander smuggling in Seshachalam hills in Andhra Pradesh, supply of Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh to Chennai and issues related to fishing in the coastal states,” said the Home Ministry in a statement.
The Council’s standing committee met in Bengaluru on November 28, 2017.
Besides Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac and Andaman and Nicobar Lt. Governor D.K. Joshi participated in the meeting.
“In the previous meeting, seven issues were resolved. They were related to extension of high-speed rail corridor between Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Mangaluru up to Udupi in coastal Karnataka; giving infrastructure status to housing by the central government; promotion of oil seeds and oil palm cultivation and inclusion of Puducherry in the Central Finance Commission among others,” noted the statement.
A scheme for the modernisation of police forces in the southern states, issuance of no-objection certificates for LPG godown site plan and issues pertaining to biofuels were also discussed.
Singh also assured Kerala and Karnataka of the central government’s assistance to those affected by floods due to torrential monsoon rains in August in the two states.
“The Council expressed sorrow and sympathy to the flood victims who lost their lives and property,” said the statement.
The five Zonal Councils (Western, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Center Zonal Councils) were set up under the States’ Reorganisation Act, 1956 to foster inter-state cooperation and coordination among the states across the country.
The councils are mandated to discuss and make recommendations on issues of common interest such as economic and social planning, border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-state transportation.
Two council meetings and three Standing Committee meetings of the Southern Zonal Council were held in the last four years.
The council has decided to hold its next meeting at Chennai in Tamil Nadu.