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| Last Updated:: 13/05/2017

Northern states resolve to jointly tackle water pollution











Chandigarh: The northern states today unanimously agreed to jointly tackle the problem of water pollution as per the guidance of the central pollution control board. 




This was decided at a meeting of the Northern Zonal Council (NZC), chaired by Union home minister Rajnath Singh and attended by chief ministers of Haryana and Punjab, deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, several ministers of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi. 




There are interstate problem of effluents generated from industrial areas as well as from sewage from towns draining in rivers Yamuna and Ghaggar as well as canals of Rajasthan. 




In a major step forward, all member states unanimously agreed to jointly tackle the problem of water pollution under the guidance of central pollution control board, an official statement said. 




For export promotion of fruits, flowers and vegetables, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has sanctioned projects to Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. 




The states were urged to try to settle the contentious matters of sharing water and hydro-power amicably through the mediation of the Union ministries of water resources and power. This will help harnessing potential hydel power at very low cost. 




The council discussed and deliberated upon 18 issues of common interest among the member states. The major subjects discussed were need for fiscal and infrastructural harmony in northern states, joint efforts for export of fruits, flowers and vegetables from the states, sharing of water of various rivers of the region and also hydropower among states. 




Controlling pollution in the region by setting up common effluent treatment plants, and treatment, storage and disposal Facility (TSDF) for disposal of hazardous waste, contamination of water in canals of Rajasthan off-taking from Harike barrage and setting up of mini hydel projects on Bhakra main line canal at 27 sites with total 63.75 MW of power in Punjab. 




Out of the 18 issues discussed today, seven were resolved in the meeting, the statement said. 




The zonal councils provide a forum where irritants between the Centre and states and amongst the states themselves can be resolved through free and frank discussion and consultations. They are mandated to discuss and make recommendations on any matter as a cooperative endeavour for states linked with each other economically, politically and culturally. 




Being compact high level bodies, they are capable of focusing attention on specific issues taking into account regional factors, while keeping national perspective in view. Since these are advisory bodies, there is full scope for free exchange of views at these meetings. 




In particular, a zonal council may discuss, and make recommendations with regard to any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning, any matter concerning border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter- state transport and any matter connected with, or arising out of, the reorganisation of the states. 




The zonal councils aim to discuss and resolve many substantive issues of development concerning regional interest and national programmes through its consultative mechanism. 




The zonal councils are headed by the union home minister and each zone nominates one chief minister as its vice- chairman on rotation basis.