Andhra Pradesh

Disappointment writ large in Madanapalle

Ever since the YSR Congress Party came to power in 2019, the people of Madanapalle revenue division, which currently consists of Tamballapalle, Madanapalle, Punganur, and Piler Assembly segments in Chittoor district, have never been in doubt that Madanapalle would be the district headquarters. Despite sporadic reports that Rajampeta would be the other choice, their confidence level has never fallen. Now, with Rayachoti proposed as their district headquarters, Madanapalle denizens are crestfallen.

The thought of the Madanapalle division, the largest in Asia considering its administrative area of 32 mandals, losing its importance is quite depressing for them.

Known for its cool climate round the year, Madanapalle boasts of many feathers in its cap. Horsley Hills in the region has become a popular hill station. The Arogyavaram Medical Centre, formerly known as Union Mission Tuberculosis Sanatorium, is a well-equipped 350-bedded general hospital that caters to the needs of a large section. Neerugattuvaripalle is home to about 15,000 weavers’ families engaged in the manufacture of some of the finest silk saris in India. Madanapalle, with its 20,000 tomato growers, remains Asia’s largest tomato belt, with exports to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, and many Southeast Asian countries. The region is also known for rapid growth in the sericulture and dairy sectors. People of Madanapalle take pride at Besant Theosophical College, which has recently completed its centenary.

Many locals deplore that they have no geographical affinity with Rayachoti, which is 75 km away. Similarly, they hardly needed to visit Chittoor, the district headquarters, in the last several decades. “We have the Sub-collector’s office here. During the British Raj, Madanapalle had served as an administrative centre for the whole of present-day Chittoor, Kadapa, and parts of Karnataka. Even now, people of 32 mandals (out of 66 in Chittoor district) get their works done at the sub-collector office here, without visiting Chittoor,” explains Viswanatha Reddy, a retired bank employee.

Sankarapu Swathi, the chairperson of Madanapalle-based NGO Dhatree Foundation, says if Madanapalle is not made the district headquarters, it’s a disgrace to the people and the timeless history and legacy of the region.


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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 10:15:11 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/disappointment-writ-large-in-madanapalle/article38350823.ece