Andhra Pradesh

Creation of new districts evokes mixed response



In the exercise to create new districts, Visakhapatnam district has been proposed to be split into three — Visakhpatnam, Anakapalle and Alluri Sitharamaraju district.

In the proposed bifurcation, the residual Visakhapatnam district will primarily comprise GVMC area and two revenue mandals such as Bheemunipatnam and Visakhapatnam.

Under Bheemunipatnam revenue division - Anandapuram, Padmanabham, Visakhapatnam (Rural) and Maharanipeta, have been named as new mandals. Similarly under Visakhapatnam revenue division, the new mandals have been identified as Gajuwaka, Pedagantyada, Gopalapatnam, Mulagada and Seethammadhara. In total, the Visakahaptnam district will now have 10 mandals.

As per the proposed carving out, now the two new districts Anakapalle and Alluri Sitharamaraju, which will be carved out of a larger Visakhapatnam, appears to have not only more mandals, but also seems to be bigger in size.

Anakapalle will have two revenue divisions — Anakapalle and Narsipatnam. While Anakapalle division will have 15 mandals, including existing ones such as Devarapalli, Kasimkota, Yelamanchili and Rambilli. It will also include Parwada, Pendurthi and Sabbavaram, carved out of Visakhapatnam.

Similarly, Narsipatnam division will have 10 mandals which include mandals such as Payakaraopeta, Golugonda, Makavarapalem, Ravikamatam and Kotauratla. In total, Anakapalle district will have about 25 mandals.

The district of Alluri Sitharamaraju is again partly carved out of Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts and will comprise of two revenue divisions — Paderu and Rampachodavaram.

It will retain all the 11 Agency mandals that are presently under Visakhapatnam district such as Koyyuru, GK Veedhi, Pedabayalu, Araku, Anantagiri, Paderu, Munchingput and Chintapalli, but will also have addition of seven mandals such as Rampachodavaram, Y. Ramavaram, Addateegala and Maredumilli from Rampachodavaram division of East Godavari district and four mandals such as Yetapaka, Kunavaram and Chintoor from Yetapaka division also from East Godavari. In total, as per the proposal it will have 22 mandals

Though across sections of people, the decision to carve out new districts have been welcomed, as they believe that the idea behind is for better administration, a number of social thinkers among them say that the proposal lacks in-depth research.

The idea of creation of smaller districts is good, but doing it on the basis of Parliamentary constituencies is a bit unsound, said V.S. Krishna of Human Rights Forum.

Alluri Sitharamaraju District is proposed from Araku Lok Sabha Constituency, but extending it up to Ramachodavaram in East Godavari is a bit too much. The distance from Rampachodavaram to Paderu, the proposed district headquarters, is over 280 km, and the distance can be covered in 10 hours. What is use of carving out districts, if the logistic problems exist? he questioned.

Ajay Kumar of All India Agricultural and Rural Labour Association (AIARLA) said that it would be ideal if Rampachodavaram and Yetapaka divisions were merged to form another district, he said.

There is nothing wrong in having more districts, as both our neighbouring States Odisha and Tamil Nadu have more districts, despite their geographical area being less than Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Welcoming the proposal, former bureaucrat E.A.S Sarma said that the government should have organised gram sabhas in the tribal region before proposing the district, especially in the case of Alluri Sitharamaraju district, which is predominantly going to be a tribal district.

Tribals should have been part of the decision making process, as this right is enshrined in the Constitution, he said.

Mr. Sarma also suggested that once the districts come into force and infrastructure building begins, the State should ensure that tribal region is not taken over by realtors and entrepreneurs. “Safeguards should be in force,” he said.

The former bureaucrat also expressed apprehension on the fate of 533 villages, which despite being inhabited by tribals are still to be included in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. “This is a long-pending demand and this is the time that such villages, which exist on the fringes of Agency areas be included into the schedule area,” said Mr. Sarma.

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Printable version | May 26, 2022 1:47:17 am |