New Delhi: Development of road and air infrastructure, Naxal menace and child welfare will be among the issues in focus during the meeting of the Central Zonal Council comprising Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand to be held in Lucknow on Monday.
The Chief Ministers of all four states will attend the 20th meeting of the Council, Home Ministry officials said.
Increasing density and upgradation of existing roads, child welfare programmes, combating Left wing extremism and improvement of the airport infrastructure are the key issues to be discussed at the meeting to be presided by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, they aid,
Substantial issues of Centre-State and Inter-State relations will be flagged by the Chief Ministers.
As a precursor to today's meeting, the Standing Committee of the Central Zonal Council was held in New Delhi on October 31, 2014 to finalise the agenda items proposed to be placed before the Council and see if they merit bringing up before the council or can simply be dealt with at their level.
The zonal councils are headed by Union Home Minister and each zone nominates one CM as its vice-chairman on the basis of rotation.
The Zonal Councils provide a forum where irritants between Centre and states and amongst states can be resolved through free and frank discussions and consultations.
Being advisory bodies, there is full scope for free and frank exchange of views in these meetings.
Though there are a large number of other fora like the National Development Council, Inter State Council, Governor's/Chief Minister's Conferences and other periodical high-level conferences held under the auspices of the Union government, the Zonal Councils are different, both in content and character.
They are a regional fora of cooperative endeavour for states linked with each other economically, politically and culturally.
Being compact high-level bodies, specially meant for looking after the interests of respective zones, they are capable of focusing attention on specific issues taking into account regional factors, while keeping the national perspective in view.
The main objectives of setting up Zonal councils are bringing out national integration; arresting the growth of acute state consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies; enabling the Centre and the states to cooperate and exchange ideas and experiences and establishing a climate of cooperation amongst the states for successful and speedy execution of development projects.
During the UPA regime, most of the Central Zonal Council meetings as well as Zonal Standing Committee meetings took place in Delhi.
The meeting of Eastern Zonal Council comprising states of Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand was held in Patna on Friday.