RAIPUR: The 22nd meeting of Central Zonal Council was held today at Nava Raipur Atal Nagar, under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The meeting was attended by Vice-Chairman of Central Zonal Council and Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamalnath, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Ravat and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath. In the meeting, various inter-state subjects and important topics related to Chhattisgarh were discussed.
Chief Minister Baghel requested permission for international flights from Raipur Airport and starting of flights from Bilaspur. Besides, he requested for permission to operate cargo flight in Raipur Airport at an international-level. In the meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah gave consent for development of Raipur Airport as an international airport. Union Home Minister assured of discussing the proposal to start flights from Bilaspur with Civil Aviation Ministry. He said that the state should have at least one international airport. Chief Minister said in the context that Chhattisgarh state shares borders with seven other states. Hence, Chhattisgarh should be developed as logistics hub and aviation hub for these seven states.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel demanded construction of roads for connectivity between two villages, other than the implementation of PMGSY in naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh state, to which Union Home Minister gave consent in principle. Chief Minister said that Government of India has declared 10 districts of the state as aspirational districts, which includes seven districts of Bastar Division and three other districts namely Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund and Korba. For the requirements of these districts and for rebuilding the LWE-affected regions, special package worth Rs 11,443.76 crore is pending with Government of India. Immediate sanction of the aforementioned fund is required.
In the meeting, Bhupesh Baghel demanded proper arrangements for optimal utilization of paddy stock remaining after fulfilment of PDS requirement. He said that under the provisions of Government of India’s Bio-Fuel Policy, 2018, Chhattisgarh Government has released advertisement inviting private investments to promote establishment of bio-ethanol plants. We request National Bio-Ethanol Coordination Committee should fix the selling rate of paddy-based ethanol at par with sugar/sugar syrup based ethanol, and permission for utilizing paddy for ethanol production should also be given to make ethanol production more commercially profitable. CM Baghel said that the way Paddy Procurement at Support Price has provision of compensation to FCI, similarly State Government’s agency should also be given compensation. Union Home Minister has assured of deliberating upon the suggestion.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said that 44% of the land in Chhattisgarh is covered in forests. Hence, development works such as irrigation and electricity expansion should be sanctioned for deforested areas. Union Home Minister has assured of considering the proposal in the light of Supreme Court’s decision.
Chief Minister Baghel has demanded handing over of Jheeram Valley case investigation to the probe agency of Chhattisgarh. He added that NIA has overlooked many points. He said that State Government had handed over case diary to NIA. NIA completed the investigation and closed the case. Chhattisgarh Government needs that diary for investigation of few other facts. For this, NIA was requested thrice to provide that diary. CM requested Union Minister to issue instructions in the context to NIA.
Chief Minister requested inclusion of eight castes of Chhattisgarh under tribe, on which Government of India has given recommendation to five of these castes. Central Government would soon pass this in the cabinet and present in the parliament. The issue of nearly one lakh tribal people, who have migrated from naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh to Telangana, being unable to avail benefits of caste certificates was also raised in the meeting.
CM Baghel said in his address to the meeting that Chhattisgarh’s nothern part Sarguja comes under Ganges River basin. Central Government is conducting Namami Ganga Project to keep River Ganges clean. 2.8% of Ganges river water that flows from Gangotri to Bay of Bangal is from Chhattisgarh. Hence, Chhattisgarh should also be provided a part of the funds sanctioned for Namami Ganga Project. This fund can be utilized for flood control, ground water recharge, water-supply for agriculture and to maintain water-flow in River Ganges round the year.
CM Baghel demanded in the meeting that the amount of incentive provided under Kisaan Samman Nidhi, to the beneficiaries who have been provided forestland rights certificates, should be increased from Rs 6 thousand to Rs 12 thousand. He said that in the inter-state council, Chhattisgarh has been paired with Uttarakhand group, which is not compatible with the needs of Chhattisgarh. Chief Minister requested Union Minister to include Chhattisgarh in the group that includes the states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Mahrashtra, so that planned efforts can be made for all round development of the state.