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Home Minister Amit Shah To Chair Western Zonal Council Meet On June 11

Amit Shah laid stress on the importance of cooperative federalism to empower states and promote a better understanding between the Centre and states in the policy framework.

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah PTI

A meeting of the Western Zonal Council, comprising Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu will be held on Saturday in Diu, officials said.

The meeting, to be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, will be held after a gap of two years due to the coronavirus pandemic and is expected to be attended by chief ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and administrator of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

The zonal council will discuss a broad range of issues, including subjects related to the boundary, security, and infrastructure-related matters like road, transport, industries, water and power, an official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating the need to leverage cooperative and competitive federalism to achieve all round growth.

The home minister too has laid stress on the importance of cooperative federalism to empower states and promote a better understanding between the Centre and states in the policy framework.

The zonal councils provide a platform to foster such collaboration through a structured mechanism for dialogue and discussion on continuous basis on the issues affecting two or more states or the Centre and states, in the spirit that strong states make a strong nation, another official said.

Shah in the past had emphasised on using the platform of zonal council for resolving disputes and promoting cooperative federalism. The issues related to coastal security are expected to figure prominently as all western states have maritime boundaries.

Gujarat has a coastal length of 1,214 km, Maharashtra 652 km, Goa 105 km and the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu about 42 km.

The zonal councils take up issues involving the Centre and states and one or many states falling in the zone. The councils, thus, provide a forum for resolving disputes and irritants between the Centre and states and among states in the zone.

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, matters pertaining to forests and environment, housing, education, food security, tourism and transport.

Five zonal councils were set up in 1957 under Section 15-22 of the States Re-organisation Act, 1956.

The Union home minister is the chairman of each of these five 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.

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