Administrative decentralization gives relief to people

Mr. Sheikh Abdul Kadir

Assistant Professor - Department of Science Kalinga University, New Raipur

During the times of undivided Madhya Pradesh, only the districts Raipur, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Raigarh, Bilaspur, Bastar, and Sarguja existed in the Chhattisgarh zone. Two years before the Chhattisgarh state formation, i.e. in 1998, the district Kabirdham was formed by separating some parts of the districts Bilaspur and Rajnandgaon. The Korba district was also formed by separating some parts of Bilaspur. Similarly, Mahasamund and Dhamtari were formed as new districts by separating parts of the Raipur district. Moreover, the districts Kanker and Dantewada were formed from Bastar, and Koriya and Jashpur were formed from Sarguja by the contemporaneous Government.

The Chhattisgarh state was formed on 1 November 2000. At that time, only 16 districts existed in the state: Bastar, Kanker, Dantewada, Raipur, Mahasamund, Dhamtari, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Kabirdham, Bilaspur, Raigarh, Janjgir-Champa, Korba, Sarguja, Koriya, and Jashpur. In 2007, the district Narayanpur was formed from Bastar, and Bijapur was formed from Dantewada. In this way, Chhattisgarh came to be known as a state with 18 districts.

In 2012, 9 more districts were formed that included the Kondagaon district formed by joining some parts of Bastar, and the Sukma district was formed by separating some parts of Dantewada. In the same way, Balodabazar-Bhatapara and Gariyaband falling under the Raipur district were formed as two independent districts. Mungeli under Bilaspur was declared a district. Balod and Bemetara under Durg were also declared as new districts. Balrampur-Ramanujganj and Surajpur under Sarguja were formed as new districts. As a result, the number of districts in the state increased from 18 to 27.

The administrative decentralization done by the Chief Minister has given immense relief to the common people and is indeed commendable. It had just been 14 months of him being the Chief Minister that he created history by making “Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi” a district on February 2020, fulfilling the much-awaited demand of the zone. After the formation of the GPM (Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi) district, about 3.5 lakh people could get rid of physical, mental, and economical difficulties and save considerable time while completing the various schemes, works, and requirements of the Government/administration. In layman’s terms, decentralization means instead of centralizing the Government in one place, it is divided at local levels so that it ensures the contribution of the common man in the governance and the people can also secure their contribution in the operation of the Government while considering their benefits and requirements. This is the fundamental of administrative decentralization, meaning that the ease of the reach of administration/governance to the common people is decentralization. In this way, the Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel, while imparting more significance to decentralization created the new districts Mohla-Manpur-Chauki, Khairagarh-Chuikhadan-Gandai, Sarangarh-Bilaigarh, Manendragarh-Chirimiri-Bharatpur, and Sakti besides Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi and gave an important gift to the residents of the state. Chief Minister Baghel has formed 6 new districts in a mere quarter to four years. The thought process behind the formation of these new districts was that he aimed for the holistic development of the tribal people, Scheduled Castes, and backward classes and also the cultural, religious, historical, and archeological development of the zone. People should reap the benefits of the Government’s schemes and the state’s mineral resources. Infrastructure like roads, electricity, water, hospitals, schools, colleges, and ration shops, and other basic facilities should be extended. The local youth should secure employment easily. The formation of these new districts will definitely speed up development and the administration/governance will conduct more social welfare works while keeping the trust of the common people intact.

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