Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday announced the creation of a new district by bifurcating Villupuram district.
Kallakurichi will be the headquarters of the new district and its creation has increased the number of districts in Tamil Nadu to 33.
Mr. Palaniswami said Law Minister C.Ve. Shanmugam, Ulundurpet MLA Kumaraguru and local residents had made a request for the creation of a new district.
“An IAS officer will soon be appointed as a special officer of the district,” the Chief Minister added.
Mr. Shanmugam said Villupuram, with 1,099 panchayats, was the biggest district in the State, and there was a need to bifurcate it to facilitate better administration.
The residents of Kallakurichi welcomed the announcement.
Villupuram district, which was bifurcated from the erstwhile South Arcot district in 1993, has 11 Assembly segments, including Mailam, Tindivanam (Reserved) Vanur (Reserved), Gingee, Villupuram, Vikravandi, Thirukovilur, Ulundurpet, Rishivandhiyam, Sankarapuram and Kallakurichi (Reserved).
A. Selvakumar, president of Kallakurichi All Traders’ Association said, “We have been pushing for this move since 2005. With Kallakurichi getting ‘district headquarters’ status, local residents as well as traders will benefit a lot as they wouldn’t have to visit Villupuram to get their grievances redressed. Kallakurichi has been growing rapidly, and it should have a separate identity for better administration and efficient services to the locals.”
The AIADMK’s Kallakurichi MLA, A. Prabhu, who joined the T.T.V. Dhinakaran camp in February last year, said he was in favour of carving out Kallakurichi from Villupuram district to make the administration more responsive to the growing needs of the people.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Prabhu said a long-pending demand of the residents had been fulfilled. The creation of the new district was promised by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in her election manifesto.
The new district, with Kallakurichi as its headquarters, would pave the way for uniform development, he said.
“Villupuram district is large and several villages in Sankarapuram and Kallakurichi are located in far-flung areas and are difficult to administer from Villupuram. The creation of a new district will improve the delivery mechanism of the government machinery and help the poor,” he contended.
The new district will also bring in industries and generate employment opportunities for local youth. The contours of the district is likely to include the Assembly segments of Kallakurichi, Sankarapuram, Rishivandhiyam, Ulundurpet and Thirukovilur, he said.