States discuss issues of river water sharing, women’s safety, fast-track courts with Shah

Three states and as many Union Territories discussed issues of river water sharing, safety of women, setting up fast-track courts, cyber security and the issue of strengthening rural banking with union Home Minister Amit Shah during a meeting of the Northern Zonal Council in Jaipur on Saturday.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Shah asked the states to resolve the issues amicably and through discussion.

The “complex problems” of sharing river water among the member-states were discussed, and Shah asked the states to take a “cordial approach to the issue and find a time-bound solution”, the MHA said in a statement. “Shri Amit Shah said that all stakeholders should come together to establish a strong cooperative mechanism for development, for which purpose the regional councils were created.”

The meeting was attended by Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur, Delhi L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena, Ladakh L-G Radha Krishna Mathur, Chandigarh Administrator Banwarilal Purohit, who is also the Governor of Punjab, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema, and senior ministers of the member-states.

In the meeting, Shah said although the Council’s role is advisory, he is happy to note that in his three years (as Home Minister), more than 75 percent issues in the Council have been resolved by consensus. “A total of 47 issues were discussed in the 30th meeting of the Northern Zonal Council held in Jaipur today and the 19th meeting of its standing committee,” the MHA stated. “Of these, four issues have been identified as important topics at the national level; these are being regularly discussed and monitored in the meetings of various zonal councils. These include improving banking services in rural areas, monitoring cases of rape and sexual offenses against women and children, setting up fast-track courts for such cases and implementing Direct Benefit Transfer.”

Of 47 issues discussed, 35 have been resolved, according to the ministry. The growing threat of cybercrime and strategies for its prevention were also discussed, the MHA stated.

Shah “stressed upon the States and Union Territories to conduct awareness campaigns on cyber-vigilance through various mediums”, it stated. “In view of the profound impact of cyber crimes on national security, public order and economic activity, the Council emphasized the need to ensure security of the nation’s cyber space and the security of citizens as a whole.”

It was also decided in the meeting that a committee chaired by the Union Home Secretary, along with all departments concerned and state governments, will prepare a strategy to deal with growing menace of cybercrime.

“The Union Home Minister said that in the northern region, inter-state interaction and resolution of problems between the Centre and States are very important for development of the country and for strengthening the federal structure…,” it added.


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