The Zonal Councils were created vide Part-III of the States Re-Organisation Act, 1956 ( [size:17.4kb]) as a part of the scheme of the reorganisation of the States and matters connected therewith.
Section 15 of the States Reorgnization Act 1956 provides that there shall be a Zonal Council for each of the five zones of the country. The present composition of each Zonal Council is as under:
Northern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh
Central Zonal Council, comprising the States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh;
Eastern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal;
Western Zonal Council, comprising the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli; and
Southern Zonal Council, comprising the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Functions of the Councils:
(1) Each Zonal Council shall be an advisory body and may discuss any matter in which some or all of the States represented in that Council, or the Union and one or more of the States represented in that Council, have a common interest and advise the Central Government and the Government of each State concerned as to the action to be taken on any such matter.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the above provisions , a Zonal Council may discuss, and make recommendations with regard to:
(a) any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning;
(b) any matter concerning border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport; and
(c) any matter connected with, or arising out of, the reorganisation of the States under this Act.