Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday officially inaugurated 13 new districts in the state, doubling the number to 26 through a major administrative change, which he said aims to bring decentralization and governance closer to the people. However, the opposition parties do not agree that the district has been reorganized for the welfare of the people.
In a gazette notification issued on Saturday, the YSRCP-led Andhra Pradesh government said all new districts would start from April 4.
Shortly after the notification was issued, the state government reshuffled IAS and IPS officers and appointed collectors and police superintendents in the newly formed districts.
What are the new districts?
The new districts are: Parbatipuram Manyam, Aluri Sitharamaraju, Anakapalli, Kakinada, Konasima, Iluru, NTR, Palanadu, Bapatla, Nandiala, Sri Satya Sai, Annamaya and Tirupati.
Inaugurating the de facto districts, CM Jagan Reddy said that his government would continue the policy of decentralization and the new districts would provide better governance, transparency and smooth and efficient distribution of welfare.
Compared to other states in India, he said that even a small state like Arunachal Pradesh has 25 districts for better governance and Andhra Pradesh is the only state out of all 727 districts in the country with an average population of 38.15 lakh each. Districts He said that with the creation of new districts, the average population density has come down to 19.06 lakhs.
Jagan Reddy has named a district after Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (popularly known as NTR). Another existing district has already been named after another former CM YSR.
A tribal area has been named after Aluri Sitaramarajur, a tribal leader who fought with the British during the independence movement, along with Parbatipuram Manyam, who also has a history of rebellion. Palanadu and Baptlar have historical significance during and before the independence struggle. The district has been named Tirupati, Annamoy and Sri Satya Sai keeping in mind the sentiments of the people.
Anakapalle, Kakinada and Eluru are parliamentary constituencies which were earlier in Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari districts, while Konseema is an extension of the former Amlapuram constituency.
When and how was this planned?
Jagan Reddy, while campaigning for the 2019 Assembly elections, promised that if his party came to power, it would turn every Lok Sabha constituency into a district. There are 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state. A district was also created by carving out tribal areas in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam.
Thus, the state government, in January, issued a draft notification to create the existing 13 to 26 districts and called for suggestions and objections.
Shortly afterwards, officials informed Chief Minister Jagan Reddy that the state government had received 16,600 suggestions and objections from the people regarding the new districts, adding that they had been considered and added that the district collectors had made recommendations after consultation with the people and people’s representatives.
Officials prepared proposals for the formation and restructuring of the new district administration, taking into account all factors, including the personnel department, the six-point formula and the president’s order.
Officials further said that they have prepared a checklist to ensure that all arrangements are on track and have prepared new websites and new processes for the new districts and added that they have made changes to the software accordingly. They also said that a handbook containing information of the new district has also been prepared.
The Chief Minister was informed that the offices and camp offices of the District Collectors and SPs in the new districts were finalized and as far as possible government buildings were selected and private buildings were leased where government buildings were not available.
Opposition groups called the new district “politically motivated.”
The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and the Jansena Party (JSP) led by actor-politician Pawan Kalyan have condemned the YSRCP-led Andhra Pradesh government for the way it has restructured districts. Opponents allege that the government did not take into account the views of the people.
Naidu described the new district formation as “unscientific” and “politically motivated”. He said the TDP would definitely come to power in the next elections when it would correct all the mistakes made by the current regime.
Naidu alleged that the government did not take into account the objections and protests of the people against the new district and the revenue department.
However, Jagan Reddy said that he had complied with the request of Leader of the Opposition Naidu and had given the status of Revenue Department to Kuppam at the request of the latter. “Based on the appeal made by Kuppam MLA (Chandrababu Naidu), we have included Kuppam in the list of 21 new revenue departments,” he said.
On the other hand, Pawan Kalyan said, the district has been reorganized ignoring the opinion of the people. “The rulers have proceeded according to their own perceptions without considering and evaluating public opinion in the process of restructuring the districts of the state,” he said, referring to the restructuring as “one-sided”.
He questioned why the government did not take into account the aspirations of the people, distance problems in the new district and other limitations. “Similarly, there is not an exact story of long-standing unresolved claims for districts. Indigenous people of the submerged zone will face many obstacles in the district consisting of Paderu as their headquarters. People from Itapaka and Kukunuru constituencies have to walk at least 300 kilometers to reach the district headquarters, ”he said.
(With input from the agency)
Read all the latest news, breaking news and IPL 2022 live updates here.