New Delhi: Home minister Amit Shah will chair the 24th meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council (EZC), comprising of the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar on Friday.
During the meeting, the Home Minister will meet the Chief Ministers of the participating states, including West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. "Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah will chair this meeting. Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, is the Vice-chairman and host. Chief Ministers of Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand respectively, Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee and Hemant Soren, will also participate," the Home Ministry said.
The Chief Ministers will be accompanied by two cabinet ministers from each state, as members of the Council, and Chief Secretary and other senior officials of the states.
Secretaries, Additional Secretaries and other senior officers of the Central government will also attend the meeting."The upcoming meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council will deliberate upon nearly four dozen issues which inter alia include inter-state water issues, power transmission lines, royalty on and operationalisation of coals mines, land and forest clearances of rail projects, investigation of heinous offences, cattle smuggling across country's borders, lack of telecom and banking infrastructure in remote areas, petroleum projects, sharing pattern on centrally collected revenues etc," the Home Ministry added.
"With such senior level participation of political leadership and officers, a large number of issues are likely to get resolved by consensus in the meeting," it said. Five Zonal Councils were set up in the year 1957 under Section 15-22 of the States Reorganization Act, 1956.
The Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these 5 Zonal Councils and Chief Minister of the host state, to be chosen by rotation 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, and among Member-states falling in the Zone and thus provide a forum for resolving disputes and irritants between them.
The last meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council was last held in Kolkata on October 1, 2018. "The Zonal Councils discuss a 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 and environment, housing, education, food security, tourism, transport, etc," Ministry of Home Affairs said.