With the intention of ensuring better administration in the state, Telangana government is planning re-organisation by adding 21 more districts. If everything goes as planned, the new districts would begin functioning from early next week.
On Friday, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao ratified the proposal for increasing the number of districts from the present 10 to 31 at a cabinet meeting.
The government had already issued a preliminary notification for creation of 17 new districts. However, following demands from people and political parties, it was agreed that four more districts would be formed. A committee, headed by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP K Keshava Rao, received representations from public and recommended formation of four more districts. The cabinet is
believed to have approved the committee’s report.
“The number of additional districts will be above 17, that is for sure. But I cannot give a final figure as allocation of district collectors, revenue officers and police officers have to be finalised,” Deputy Chief Minister K Srihari after the cabinet meeting.
There has been a flurry of demands from people across Telangana to declare their towns as new districts. Such demands have come in from various parts of Warangal, Mahaboobnagar, Adilabad, Karimnagar and Medak. According to reports, after the chief minister agreed to the creation of four more states, locals leaders from Sircilla, Janagaon, Gadwal and Asifabad said they would start the second round of agitation, demanding creation of more districts.
Nalgonda leaders have been demanding that Miryalaguda and Devarakonda town be made districts. There has been similar demands from Narayanpet in Mahbubnagar district. Some of the leaders have been demanding that Mulugu be made a separate district by renaming it as `Sammakka-Sarakka'. Demands for Sathupally district in Khammam and Husnabad in Karimnagar are increasing.
To make themselves heard leaders of political parties have called for bandhs, rallies, dharnas and rasta rokos. This is despite the chief minister asserting that no more new districts would be considered. The TRS MLAs are under pressure from people to press for setting up of states.
The state government’s exercise to re-draw the district boundaries has stirred a hornet’s nest with the opposition parties claiming it as move by the ruling party to reap political benefits. The chief minister’s claim that this was only with the administrative and public convenience failed to convince the opposition. Noting that creation of smaller districts would improve management and administration, the CM had asked the district collectors to adopt scientific methods while making the recommendations for new districts.
The basic criteria for re-drawing the boundaries is that every district should have four to five assembly constituencies and an average of 20 mandals (revenue administrative units). “Reorganisation should be based purely keeping in mind the administrative ease and convenience to people. At present, the districts in Telangana are very large in size. There are several benefits to having smaller districts but it will not be done based on the demands of political leaders and parties. Convenience of the people will be given top priority,” the CM had said.
But those in favour of more districts are arguing that when five districts can be carved out from Warangal and four from Adilabad, why can’t there be three districts in Khammam.
While the demand for separate districts increases, there is also a hue and cry about proposed mergers. People of Gundala mandal in Nalgonda district do not want a merger with the proposed Janagaon, but
want to be part of Yadadri district. People of Maktal want to be part of Mahbubnagar district.
A notable feature of the exercise is that Hyderabad would remain untouched.