Chennai: Divide and rule seems to be the policy of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. But, he has been doing this for the better administration of Tamilnadu and to fulfil long-pending requests of people.
In just eight months, he has announced the splitting of four districts, with the latest being the trifurcation of Vellore.
In his Independence Day address after unfurling the tricolour at Fort St George here, Palaniswami said dividing Vellore district was following the consideration of representations from ministers, MLAs and the general public.
Two new districts with Ranipet and Tirupattur as headquarters will be carved out from Vellore and K V Kuppam in Vellore district will be upgraded into a new taluk, he said. Vellore will continue to function as a separate district.
With this move, Tamilnadu is set to have a total of 37 districts. While Palaniswami announced in January this year that Villupuram district would be bifurcated and a new district with Kallakurichi as headquarters would be created, he revealed the decision to create Chengalpet district carved out of Kanchipuram, and Tenkasi district by bifurcating Tirunelveli, in July.
According to sources, though districts were divided in the past regimes too, creation of five new districts in a span of eight months was something new to Tamilnadu.
“The government has to invest a lot if a new district is formed. An entire administration set-up including collectorate, police headquarters and other things have to be created. But dividing of larger districts will benefit the people immensely, as they need not travel long distances to get their grievances redressed and demands addressed. The burden of officials will also be eased as they can focus on a limited area. Hence the decision to split districts,” says a highly-placed source.
Even after these many districts were created in the recent past, there are demands for more. Recently, there was a three-day protest to create a new district headquarters in Mayiladuthurai by bifurcating Nagapattinam district.
And, PMK founder S Ramadoss, an alliance partner of the AIADMK, while welcoming the trifurcation of Vellore district, urged the State government to bifurcate more districts to ensure easy governance.
Calling Telangana a ‘fast progressing’ State, the Pattali Makkal Katchi leader said smaller districts were one of the reasons for it. “If bifurcation of the united Andhra Pradesh is the first reason for the fast progress of Telangana, division of districts is the second main reason,” he said.
Ramadoss said with larger districts administration and implementation of development schemes had become a cumbersome process while smaller districts were easy to govern.
Asked about this, government sources said genuine requests of people and leaders in creation of new districts would be fulfilled.