On this Dussehra the district collectors in Telangana would lose their days of glory. Thanks to a system introduced by Warren Hastings during the British Raj in 1772, district collectors in the country enjoy a lavish lifestyle with huge bungalows with gardens and with servants at their beck and call. However, with the introduction of 21 small districts—which have been carved out of larger districts—collectors would be forced to move out to smaller houses with limited facilities.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao would inaugurate Siddipet district which has been carved out of the larger Medak. The other districts would be inaugurated by his cabinet colleagues. The chief minister had spoken about the formation of smaller districts when the state was formed, saying such a move would facilitate ease of administration. It was 38 years ago that such a disorganisation took place in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh when N.T. Rama Rao was the chief minister—as many as 1,100 mandals were formed from 280 blocks.
While the formation of smaller districts would deprive collectors of a few privileges, the move is expected to be people-friendly as it would become easier for people to interact with collectors. However, there are some who say that this would make collectors vulnerable to political pressures.
Chandrasekhar Rao had explained that formation of smaller districts would ensure that middlemen would not interfere with welfare schemes. Collectors of smaller districts would have details of the status of each family on his computed, the CM said, adding that development should not to be restricted to district headquarters.
According to current proposals, 19 of the proposed districts would have population between five to nine lakh and six with more than 10 lakh and less than 15 lakh. Only five districts would have a population of more than 15 lakh, with Hyderabad topping the list with 39,43,323 people.
The creation of smaller districts would also provide more jobs. There is a catch for the chief minister as well. He would be able to gift his loyal friends nominated posts in the newly-formed districts.
The impact that smaller states would have on the state politics is yet to be seen. As of now, each of the district in the state had a minister. As the number of districts has been increased to 31, as many as 17 districts would be without a minister. While it is not a constitutional requirement for a district to have a minister, it would certainly do a lot of good for the development of the state. After the reorganisation, Siddipet district is likely to get a lot of limelight as the district would have two ministers including the chief minister.
Although the opposition parties have been claiming that the division of districts is being done for political gains of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the chief minister paid no heed to such allegations, instead said the parties fear that the formation would endanger their political prospects.