Published: 04th April 2022
What The FAQ: Why and how did Andhra Pradesh create 13 new districts?
On Monday, April 4, the Government of Andhra Pradesh officially created 13 new districts. Let us learn about the reasons behind why they took and implemented this decision
On Monday, April 4, the Government of Andhra Pradesh (AP) officially created 13 new districts, taking the total to 26. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy inaugurated the new districts virtually between 9:04 am to 9:45 am. According to the draft notification under the Andhra Pradesh Districts (Formation) Act, 1974, the decision has been taken for better administration and development. The 13 new districts are Parvathipuram Manyam, Alluri Sitharama Raju, Anakapalli, Kakinada, Kona Seema, Eluru, NTR, Bapatla, Palnadu, Nandyal, Sri Sathya Sai, Annamayyia and Tirupati.
In today’s edition of What The FAQ, we look at how the coastal state arrived at the decision of carving out new districts and how exactly they went about the process.
Why is it happening now?
In order to find out why the Government of AP felt the need to create 13 new districts, one has to go back to the Assembly elections of 2019.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced his plan for creating new districts based on the parliamentary constituencies in the state. So, the idea of creating 13 new districts in the state wasn’t an instant one. The main reason for creating the new districts, as cited by the state government, is to decentralise the administration. This is because, with the creation of more districts, the district administration has the chance to grow closer to the people thereby, enhancing the transparent mode of development at all levels.
How did the government initiate the creation of 13 new districts?
The government received and considered 16,600 suggestions and objections from the public. The state officials then prepared the proposals for the formation of new districts and reorganisation of administration after tackling all the issues with a six-point formula, staff division and presidential orders into consideration.
Particularly, why are there issues surrounding the creation of new tribal districts?
Among the 13 new districts, there are two tribal districts: Manyam and Alluri Sitarama Raju. Manyam has its headquarters in Parvathipuram whereas Alluri Sitarama Raju has its headquarters in Paderu. Several activists and intellectuals have opposed the decision when it comes to the headquarters for tribal districts. For example, in the case of Alluri Sitarama Raju district, its headquarters Paderu is considered to be located far away from the district. The tribes also asserted their fears stating that their rights could be trampled upon and the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 is violated, which affects the transparency of rendering govt services to the tribal people.
What is the impact of the formation of new districts on the revenue divisions?
With the formation of new districts, the revenue divisions have been increased from 51 to 72. The government also states that every new district will at least have one revenue division. The government is in consideration to have two revenue divisions each for ten districts while 12 districts will have three revenue divisions each and four districts have four each.
Why is the move drawing flak from people?
Though the idea of forming 13 new districts covers a majority of issues faced by the people, it evoked criticisms with regard to a few areas of the proposal.
For instance, people requested the government to change the name of Tirupati to Sri Balaji district, after the name of the famous Balaji temple. Several objections came from the Anantapur district as the residents requested the government to form the Hindupur district. Similarly, people want the formation of Dharmavaram as a revenue division and want Penugonda to be its district headquarters. These are some of the minor issues which people are concerned with in respect to the formation of 13 new districts.