After the bifurcation of Kancheepuram and Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday (August 15) announced that Vellore district would be trifurcated. This will increasing the number of districts in the state to 37.
The Chief Minister said that Vellore would be trifurcated, creating two more districts — Ranipet and Tirupattur.
Last month, he had announced in the Assembly that Tirunelveli would be bifurcated to form Tenkasi district and Kancheepuram would be bifurcated to form Chengalpattu district. Earlier this year, Villupuram was bifurcated to form Kallakurichi, a move that was hailed by the residents of the district.
According to sources, the bifurcation and trifurcation of the districts were done based on demands raised by the people in these districts.
“The bifurcation and trifurcation of the districts would ease communication between the public and the officials,” said an official, who is privy to the developments. For instance, he said that earlier, a resident of Kallakurichi had to travel 30-40 kms to the Villupuram district headquarters to petition the District Collector or the police chief.
Another IAS officer, requesting anonymity, said that the state government took this decision after analysing the economic condition of the districts.
Besides easing the administrative process, he said, the formation of a new district would also affect the region’s economy. “If a larger district is bifurcated or trifurcated, a new headquarter would be formed and an economy will evolve around it,” he said. He added that it will also ease the process of business approvals once the district headquarters change.
Apart from these districts, there has been demands to bifurcate Coimbatore and form Pollachi as a new district. In this regard, a couple of months ago, political party functionaries from the region had submitted a representation to the state government.
The Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi party general secretary ER Eswaran had questioned whether the Chief Minister was not willing to bifurcate or trifurcate the districts in the western region due to the fear of losing political support.
“Why don’t Chief Minister bifurcate the Erode and Coimbatore? Is he scared of losing his party’s support base in the district?” he asked.
However, an IAS officer in the western region said that the bifurcation of the said districts is also on the cards and that they are exploring possibilities to make Pollachi a separate district.
“Udumalpet municipality may be separated from Tiruppur since it is far from its district headquarters, and added to nearby Pollachi,” he said, adding that a report has been sought from the District Collectors and that there would be an announcement soon.
The formation of new districts and separate headquarters benefit the locals but requires investment of huge amount of money for the setting up basic administrative infrastructure, said a Sub-Collector, who is overseeing the bifurcation of Tirunelveli.
“After marking the boundaries of the new districts, we have to find space for the new Collectorate and the offices for the district and local police chiefs. Also, the police station limit boundaries should also be marked before they start functioning,” he said.