VISAKHAPATNAM: The proposal to carve out a new district, to be named after Alluri Sitaramaraju, the 14th district of Andhra Pradesh, has been put on hold due to lack of funds and the government’s decision not to disturb the status quo as there are similar proposals for formation of new districts. The issue, which came for discussion during the recent Cabinet meeting in Hyderabad, was dropped due to lack of funds and also to avoid needless controversy over the reorganisation of districts in the wake of such proposals.
The Andhra Pradesh government came up with a proposal for formation of a new district exclusively with the Agency areas from East and West Godavari districts and 11 Polavaram project-affected mandals including seven from Khammam district of Telangana which were recently merged in Andhra Pradesh, with Rampachodavaram as headquarters. However, the issue has been kept pending by the government after various opinions were voiced in the Cabinet meeting.
The proposal was initially made to please the residents of seven mandals of Khammam district which were recently merged with Andhra Pradesh. “It was observed that the villagers were over the merger of these mandals in Andhra Pradesh despite their opposition and expressed displeasure over travelling all the way to Kakinada for any official work. Hence, a proposal was floated for carving out a new district with Rampachodavaram as the headquarters which is in proximity to all tribal areas,” a top official in the government said. There was also another proposal to make Polavaram as district headquarters. Through the proposal, the TDP government also wanted to woo the tribal population in the Godavari districts.
Later, certain issues were brought to the notice of the government prompting it to keep the proposal on hold. “The non-tribal population with a strong lobby in the government, is opposing the proposal as it would become an obstacle for their growth. The officials too brought up the issue of fund mobilisation for constructing a new district headquarters which is difficult at this juncture as the state government itself is struggling to build its state capital due to poor financial conditions,” a minister told Express.
The minister further pointed out that there were several other demands including formation of a tribal district comprising areas under Araku parliamentary constituency, new districts from the Godavari, Guntur, Prakasam and Rayalaseema areas. He said that the government was keen on carving out new districts for administrative purposes but would act only after establishing minimum infrastructure in the proposed new capital near Vijayawada-Guntur area.
Stem the Tide
There are demands for carving out new districts from the Godavari districts, Araku Parliamentary constituency, Guntur and Prakasam districts, and also Rayalaseema region. The proposal was kept pending for lack of funds for constructing new headquarters and stem the growing demand for creation of new districts.