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PoliticsIndiaWhy Chhattisgarh needed 3 new districts

Why Chhattisgarh needed 3 new districts

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel inaugurated three districts in the states on 3 September. They are Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki, Sarangarh-Bilaigarh and Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai. With this, the total number of districts in the state has climbed to 31.

The proposal was for four new districts: Mohla-Manpur, Sakti, Sarangarh-Bilaigarh and Manendragarh. The four new districts would have taken the total number of administrative districts in the state to 32.

The new districts have been named by clubbing two-three blocks. This is because the state government does not want to antagonise the people of any block by leaving it out.

Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki district was inaugurated yesterday. Sarangarh-Bilaigarh and Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai were inaugurated today.

It is a significant achievement for the state to form three new districts in two days, the Chhattisgarh government said.

During the inauguration of Sarangarh-Bilaigarh and Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai, Baghel gifted the residents of these two districts development work worth over Rs 931 crore.

The chief minister had earlier said insurgency had been plaguing Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki for a long time. 

Why Chhattisgarh needed new districts

The formation of a separate district will offer new opportunities for development in health, education and connectivity, he said, which this explainer will study subsequently. There are 499 villages in Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh Chowki with a population of 2.83 lakh, while Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai has 494 villages with a population of approximately 3.68 lakh.

The formation of the new districts is expected not only to benefit the common people but also to lead to rapid development in these areas. Implementing public welfare schemes in remote zones will become easier, the government said.

The chief minister had said last week that the smaller districts were being formed for better administration. People earlier had to travel 100 km to reach the district headquarters. The distance will now be reduced to half.

Baghel had said during his Day address to the state that decentralisation would facilitate implementing government schemes, ensuring better fund utilisation, covering more people under various programmes, and accessing people with greater ease.

The landlocked, thickly forested and mineral-rich state has been focusing on decentralisation since it was bifurcated from Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.

At the time of its inception, Chhattisgarh had 16 districts. After Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh has the highest number of districts.

When the Indian National Congress, under Bhupesh Baghel, came to power in November 2018, Chhattisgarh, the ninth-largest state in India in area, had 27 districts.

The districts of Sarangarh-Bilaigarh and Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai have minor minerals. Their formation will facilitate utilising the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Fund.

Nature of new districts

The Mohla-Manpur-Ambagarh district adjoins Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli region. The pocket straddling the two districts has been a hot bed of Maoist activities. According to officials, monitoring law and order from Rajnandgaon, which is 110 km from Mohala, Manpur and Ambagarh, has been difficult.

With the start of a new district, anti-Maoist operations could be effective.

Officials said the result was seen in Bastar, infamous for Maoist violence. Just before the formation of Chhattisgarh, the region had three districts. Now it has seven.

Over the period, Maoist violence has come down.

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