VIJAYAWADA: Reorganisation of districts in Andhra Pradesh has been taken up in tune with the State government’s objective of decentralisation and inclusive development, Planning department secretary Vijaya Kumar G said.
Speaking to mediapersons on Thursday, he said for administrative convenience, the reorganisation of the districts was done not only based on the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies but also on geographical boundaries and demographic situation, and keeping public sentiments and balanced growth of all the districts on various fronts including industries, educational and economic development in mind.
Further, public convenience in reaching district headquarters was also kept in mind while reorganising the districts, he said.
Vijay Kumar said to ensure people and people’s representatives do not face any problems, it was decided not to divide the Assembly constituencies between the districts. The district headquarters have been selected in a way that they are accessible to all. “Specific attention was paid to ensure there is a balanced regional growth and every district will have two or three revenue divisions,” Vijaya Kumar explained.
To ensure comprehensive development of tribals, Araku Lok Sabha constituency, which is spread over a large area, has been made into two districts. “Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was specific that focus should be on development of backward areas. Now with two districts, collectors, SP and other officials will be separate for them and as there will be no plain areas, more focus will be on development and welfare of tribals,” he explained.
The Planning Secretary said care has been taken to ensure that no district is bereft of a region that is developing in industrial, education, health infrastructure and other aspects. “For this very reason, Etcherla, which is a part of Vizianagaram Parliamentary Constituency but located in Srikakulam district, has been retained in Srikakulam district, even if the number of assembly constituencies will be eight. On the other hand, Rajam has been retained in Vizianagaram while Palakonda has been moved to the newly created district from Araku Lok Sabha constituency. S Kota from Visakhapatnam Parliamentary Constituency was brought to Vizianagaram,” he explained.
After reorganisation, Visakhapatnam and Vizinagaram would be left with only one revenue division, hence it has been proposed to make Bobbili and Bheemili as revenue divisions.
In fact, for the ease of administration, in addition to the existing 51 revenue divisions, another 15 new revenue divisions have been created. He said Pendurthi near Vizag has been made part of Anakapalle as per the policy to ensure balanced development. With regard to East Godavari, he said demand for a separate district for Konaseema has been there for several years now.
“Though Dwaraka Tirumala is near Eluru, it was decided to retain its Rajamahendravaram Lok Sabha constituency, which will be made into a reorganised East Godavari district in accordance with policy not to divide assembly constituency between two districts. Narasapuram, Eluru, Vijayawada, Machilipatnam, Guntur, Narasaraopet have not been disturbed. In the case of Bapatla, Santhanuthalapadu has been added,” he said. Vijaya Kumar said similar decisions were taken in case of adding Panyam to Kurnool district and Rapthadu to Anantapur district from the neighbouring Lok Sabha segment for administrative ease and balanced growth.
“Though Punganoor is part of Rajampet constituency, it was added to Chittoor for administrative convenience given the vast distance between Rajampet and Punganoor. Considering the distance aspect, we have proposed Rayachoti as the new district headquarters. Though Chandragiri is part of Chittoor Lok Sabha segment, we have made it part of the proposed Tirupati district, given its proximity to Tirupati city,” he explained.
After reorganisation of the districts, Ongole, Anantapur and Kadapa are the first three largest districts in the state area wise. Population wise, Kurnool, Anantapur and Nellore will occupy first three places. He said any objections over reorganising the districts can be represented to the state government. “We are always open to any suggestions, provided they are logical and rational,” he said.