Himachal CM to raise border, funding issues at NZC meeting today


Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu on Monday left for Amritsar, Punjab to attend the meeting of the Northern Zonal Council that is to be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah today. During this, he is expected to raise many important issues related to Himachal before the Home Minister. Sukhu will also inform the council about the steps taken to make Himachal a green state.
The most prominent among these are the border dispute with Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, Himachal’s share in Chandigarh, and the biggest issue—the state’s share in the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB). Earlier, Lahaul-Spiti MLA Ravi Thakur had, in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, raised the issue of encroachment into the state border by Leh Ladakh at 35 km in Shinkula and 14 km in Sarchu.
The North Zonal Council meeting will be attended by Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and the Union Territories of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Chandigarh. The meeting is being organised by the Inter-State Council Secretariat under the Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the Government of Punjab.
Now this issue will be taken up in the meeting of the Northern Zonal Council. Apart from Punjab and Haryana, the border dispute with Jammu and Kashmir has also been raised again and again in Chamba.
The issue of royalty of about Rs 4,000 crore from the BBMB will also be raised in the meeting of the Northern Zonal Council. Himachal has not yet received this amount, despite the orders of the Supreme Court.
The state has also not gotten royalty from the BBMB’s power project; all other projects have paid the stipulated royalty amount to Himachal. Chief Minister Sukhu might raise this issue during the meeting as well.
As for Himachal’s share in Chandigarh—about 7.19% under the Punjab Reorganisation Act—CM Sukhu had earlier constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Agriculture Minister Chandra Kumar. Sukhu is expected to present the committee’s preliminary findings to Home Minister Shah in today’s meeting.
During this time, Chief Minister Sukhu can also raise the issue of the devastation caused by the disaster in Himachal with the Home Minister—the state has been pushing for additional funds from the Centre in addition to the Disaster Fund in order for it to rebuild and rehabilitate after the floods.