Amit Shah seeks joint solution to southern water disputes
Addressing the 30th Southern Zonal Council meeting in Kerala’s capital, Shah also asked Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to mutually resolve their pending issues, said a release issued by the council.
Thiruvananthapuram: Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday urged southern states to explore joint solution for river water sharing issues and to ensure better co-ordination to fight the drug menace.
Addressing the 30th Southern Zonal Council (SZC) meeting in Kerala’s capital, Shah also asked Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to mutually resolve their pending issues, said a release issued by the council.
“The Union home minister called on all states of the Southern Zonal Council to explore a joint solution to the issues related to the sharing of waters,” it said.
While the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka dates back to the British era, the Krishna river water-sharing dispute remains a major contentious issue between the two Telugu states —Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
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The meeting was attended by the chief ministers of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu — Pinarayi Vijayan, MK Stalin and Basavaraj Bommai, respectively, while Andhra Pradesh and Telangana chief ministers sent their representatives. The lieutenant governors of Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the administrator of Lakshadweep also participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, Vijayan urged the Centre to expedite the permission to the proposed high-speed corridor Silverline and added that it can be extended to Mangaluru in Karnataka. He said the chief ministers of the two states will soon meet to discuss the issue. Stalin also sought a high-speed rail corridor connecting specific locations within Tamil Nadu and to neighbouring states.
Representing Andhra Pradesh, state’s finance minister Buggana Rajendranath said growth prospects of his state diminished due to loss of Hyderabad and other industrially developed areas, consequent to the state bifurcation in 2014.
“Steps for promoting industrialisation are imperative for the development of the successor state. Section 94 of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 and assurances made in Parliament provide for tax incentives,” he said. “The state requests for extending the tax incentives on the lines of those being provided to the special category states and north eastern states.”
“In the 30th meeting of South Zonal Council, 26 issues were discussed, nine issues were resolved, 17 issues were reserved for further consideration, out of which nine related to reorganisation of Andhra Pradesh,” said the release.
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The home minister, who is also the chairman of the council, said for the all-round development of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put the concept of Team India before the nation and all the states together form Team India, the release said.
Shah, in his address, said under the PM Modi’s leadership, the nature of the zonal councils has changed in the last eight years. Before 2014, the zonal councils used to have an average of two meetings in a year, which this government has increased to 2.7, the minister said.
Shah said the main objectives of the zonal council meeting are — amicable settlement of disputes between the Centre and the states and interstate through mutual agreement, promotion of regional cooperation between states, providing a forum for all of them to brainstorm on issues of common national importance and setting up a collaboration system for strengthening cooperation among all stakeholders.
(With agency inputs)