The issues of sharing water and power dominated the 29th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah here on Friday. The issues were not resolved, and Shah requested all the Chief Ministers that in addition to the Zonal Council meetings, regular meetings may also be held among them to discuss and resolve the issues, and asked them to meet again at Government of India level.
Shah also called upon the states to give their suggestions for improvements in the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code. The next meeting of the Council will be held in Jaipur.
A government release said, "Quite a few inter-state water and power issues were discussed in detail to consider view points of various sides involved. Convergence on data sets was evolved to a large extent. Finally, it was decided that all Chief Ministers concerned need to sit once again together at the Government of India level along with organisations concerned to resolve the same in a time-bound manner."
J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik explained the ground situation after the recent decisions on scrapping special status and Article 35-A, adding, "It will entail bringing Kashmir into the mainstream of the country and help in its overall development."
While Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar requested the Centre to set up a "statutory empowered Board or Authority for effective coordination among member states in the region on the pattern of NCR planning board", Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur pointed out five issues including "rehabilitation of Pong Dam oustees; representation of Himachal Pradesh as partner State in the BBMB".
While Khattar thanked member states for signing MoUs for Renuka and Lakhwar Vyasi Dams, Anil Baijal, Delhi’s Lt. Governor, said these dams should be completed in a time-bound manner.
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh raised the problem of drug-addiction. On the water issue, he said, "Punjab has no surplus water to share with them."
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot mentioned his government’s recent meeting with Punjab to resolve issues.