21St Meeting of Eastern Zonal Council Held in Patna, 16-January, 2015 .

21St Meeting of Eastern Zonal Council Held in Patna, Centre Ready to Provide All Necessary Assistance to Boost up Internal Security Scenario in Four Eastern States

16-January, 2015

Union Home minister Shri Rajnath Singh has assured all possible assistance to four eastern states – Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal for strengthening the internal security. Presiding over the 21st meeting of ‘Eastern Zonal Council’ today at Patna (Bihar), Shri Singh emphasised the need for better coordination between state and central agencies, particularly in combating naxalism. On the issue of fund requirements for modernization of state police, Shri Rajnath Singh said that centre would consider it on merit. He also assured to consider the demand of deployment of additional central forces in the naxal dominated ‘Red Zone’ areas of these four states.

Bihar chief minister Shri Jitan Ram Manjhi and Jharkhand chief minister Shri Raghubar Das and representatives of Orissa and West Bengal were also present on the occasion. During the meeting various issues such as naxalism, police modernisation, border dispute, road connectivity, railway projects, water management, flood control, food problem, rural housing and more central allocation for developmental activities were discussed.

The Council met after a gap of two years also reviewed the progress of the implementation of the recommendations made at the last meeting of the Council held in Calcutta in 2013. The Council also took up issues relating to release of water by West Bengal for upper Mahananda irrigation project in Bihar, allocation of additional rice to the State, modernization of State Police, maternal and child nutrition for addressing malnutrition, measures for Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India ( BGREI) and governance issues in relation to States for export promotion, Issues relating to Geological Survey of India (GSI) concerning States of Eastern Zone, implementation of India Statistical Strengthening Project (ISSP) in the States of the eastern zone.

The meeting decided to increase the cross border coordination and emphasized on timely sharing of information. The issues relating to disaster management and curbing of drugs trafficking in the Eastern Zone were also discussed.

The Eastern Zonal Council also undertook items suggested by the Inter-State Council in relation to amendments in the EZC rules and in relation to holding meeting of the Council as well as of the Standing Committee regularly.

In the meeting Bihar raised the demand for grant of special status to the state. Further, issues of power shortage, management of river water for draught & flood control were also primarily raised by Bihar during the meeting. Whereas, Jharkhand put forth its concern about pending railway projects, need of better road connectivity for development besides other issues.

The next meeting of the Council would be held at Ranchi later this year.

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