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New Telangana districts face teething problems

Most districts face a dearth of basic infrastructure and shortage of staff

Gulf News

Hyderabad: The ceremony’s over, and now it’s time to face the harsh realities of the newly inaugurated districts in Telangana.

While officials at the top, including collectors and superintendents of police, were quick to take on responsibilities and lead from the front, the administration in most of the districts face the dearth of the basic infrastructure and shortage of staff.

Colourful new flexi boards saying “Welcome to Kamareddy” on the National Highway 44 announce the birth of a new district out of Nizamabad. Old government buildings on the outskirts of Kamareddy town have been turned into offices for the collectors and the superintendent of police. Earlier, the buildings had been neglected, so much so that new roads had to be laid to make them easily accessible.

In Adilabad, which was divided into four districts, only the older collector’s office was fully functional while newly opened collectorates in three new districts of Mancherial, Nirmal and Komaram Bheem (Asifabad) were facing teething problems in the absence of the required facilities.

Asifabad, the headquarters of the tribal-dominated Komaram Bheem district in the dense forest area, was an epitome of what could be the birth pangs of a new district. Not only is the district collector, Champa Lal, yet to take charge, but the office is facing a severe shortage of staff.

In Mancherial and Nirmal districts, collectors took charge and visited different places and held meetings with the available staff. Mancherial’s collector, RV Karnana, visited the government hospital to assess functioning.

In some places the division of the districts had impacted the original district collectorates. In Karimnagar, which was also divided into four, the reallocation of offices and employees has affected the city adversely, and the level of activity has gone down drastically. A large number of employees from here were relocated to the new districts of Jagtial, Rajanna Sircilla and Peddapalli.

In the new Yadadri district, carved out of Khammam, was another tribal-dominated forest area where the administration will take time to find its feet in the absence of the necessary infrastructure. Headquartered in Kothagudem, known for coal mines, the new district will serve areas that were largely at the back of the mind of the administration. On the first day, collector Rajeev Gandhi Hanumanthu braved it out and hosted a review meeting with officials to set the agenda and to fix priorities for various departments.

Employees who were transferred to the new headquarters of the districts were also facing the challenge of finding accommodation and relocating their families.

In Hyderabad, the state administration was busy dealing with its own challenges arising out of the formation of 21 new districts with a single stroke of a pen. Assigning new numerical codes for the districts as well as the new mandals was one of them. Officials said consultations were on with different agencies and the process will be completed in a couple of days.

Only after releasing the numerical codes will the Survey of India release standard maps of the new districts.