Suspense continues as Andhra Pradesh set to create new districts

With the Andhra Pradesh government set to issue the final notification for reorganisation of the existing 13 districts into 26 districts in a couple of days, suspense continues over how the new political map of the state would look.

Amaravati: With the Andhra Pradesh government set to issue the final notification for reorganisation of the existing 13 districts into 26 districts in a couple of days, suspense continues over how the new political map of the state would look.

On April 4, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will inaugurate new districts created in tune with his government’s decentralised model of development.

A notification on district reorganisation is likely to be released on April 2 or 3.

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The government on January 26 had issued gazette notification for formation of new districts, and had sought suggestions and objections to the proposal within 30 days.

However, some proposals triggered protests by people in few districts raising demands ranging from reorganising the proposed districts to changing the district headquarters to naming the new districts after literary, historic and political figures of the respective regions.

Planning Secretary Vijay Kumar revealed on Friday that over 17,500 suggestions and objections were received from the public with respect to the formation of new districts.

Stating that submitted memoranda dealt with 284 aspects, he claimed that the Chief Minister resolved 90 per cent of them.

He said some changes were made in the proposals in view of the demands. These include transfer of some mandals (blocks) to other districts.

Claiming that bifurcation is done in a fully scientific manner, he said the exercise is aimed at ensuring convenience for the people and to achieve steady growth.

Vijay Kumar said every district will have at least two revenue divisions. The government had added more revenue divisions and the new districts setup would be conveyed to the Planning Wing of the Central government after April 4.

With the authorities completing the process of forming new districts, people in different regions are keeping their fingers crossed.

A couple days ago the Chief Minister held a review meeting to examine the reorganisation efforts done. Four sub-committees were constituted under the guidance of the CM to ensure a smooth reorganisation process.

Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed officials to streamline the office allotment procedure, stating that officers will be required to assume possession of the district office on April 4.

The government has claimed that new districts are being formed to fulfill the promise made by YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in its election manifesto to ensure good governance and efficient delivery of service.

Jagan Mohan Reddy had promised during 2019 elections that every parliamentary constituency in the state will be turned into a district. The state has 25 Lok Sabha constituencies.

As per the notification issued on January 26, the Andhra Pradesh government split the existing 13 districts to create new districts and also finalised their names. The new districts and their headquarters are Manyam district (Parvathipuram), Alluri Sitharama Raju district (Paderu), Anakapalli (Anakapalli), Kakinada (Kakinada), Kona Seema (Amalapauram), Eluru (Eluru), NTR district (Vijayawada), Bapatla (Bapatla), Palnadu (Narsaraopet), Nandyal (Nandyal), Sri Satyasai district (Puttaparthy), Annamayyia district (Rayachoty), and Sri Balaji district (Tirupati).

As per the proposal, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts in north coastal Andhra region will be reorganised to create Manyam district with Parvathipuram as the headquarters.

Alluri Sitharama Raju district, named after revolutionary freedom fighter, will be created by merging some parts of existing Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts. Anakapalli district will be carved out of Visakhapatnam district.

Kakinada and Kona Seema districts will also be created from the existing East Godavari district.

The proposed Eluru district will comprise parts of West Godavari and Krishna districts. NTR district, carved out of Krishna with Vijayawada as the headquarters, is named after N.T. Rama Rao, the legendary actor and former Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, who had founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Parts of existing Guntur and Prakasam will be merged to create Bapatla district while Palnadu district will be carved out of Guntur. Few mandals of Prakasam district will now become part of existing SPS Nellore district.

Existing Kurnool district will be split to form Kurnool and Nandyal districts. Sri Satya Sai district will be carved out of Anantapur with Puttaparthy as its headquarter. The new district is named after spiritual leader Satya Sai Babu who died in 2011 at the age of 84 and has his Samadhi at Puttaparthi.

Few mandals of existing Chittoor and Kadapa districts will be merged to create a new district Annamayya, named after 15th century saint poet Tallapaka Annamacharya.

Sri Balaji district will be created by merging parts of SPS Nellore and Chittoor districts. The new district will have the temple town of Tirupati as the district headquarter and it is named the deity of the famous Balaji temple.

However, some proposals have evoked criticism and triggered new demands. Most of the suggestions and objections have come from Anantapur district. More than 350 pleas have been filed demanding formation of Hindupur district. Similarly over 300 memoranda were received for the formation of Dharmavaram as a revenue division and for making Penugonda the new district headquarters.

People from Krishna district have also demanded that NTR’s name be added to Krishna district.

There are also demands giving the name of famous poet Gurram Jashuva to Palnadu district and Bhavapuri name to new Bapatla district.

The government has also received suggestions to name the new Rajamahendravaram district after Sir Arthur Cotton, Kandukuri Veeresalingam Panthulu, or Pushakara Godavari.

There have been protests for formation of Markapuram in Prakasam district as a new district while a section of people have sought formation of Rajampet as a new district in Kadapa.

Political analysts say the final reorganization of the districts may again spark protests. As the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is supporting demands coming from some districts, it may look to politically capitalise on any dissatisfaction among people in few districts.

Some believe that like the three-capital formula, the reorganization of districts may open Pandora’s box for the ruling YSRCP.

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