With trifurcation, East Godavari poised to lose its identity

With trifurcation, East Godavari poised to lose its identity
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With trifurcation, East Godavari poised to lose its identity

Highlights

The division makes Sir Arthur Cotton a neighbour in Kakinada

Kakinada: What the State government proposed as geographical boundaries for East Godavari district would not be accepted even by Sir Arthur Cotton, were he alive. The trifurcation of East Godavari district would create hurdles and problems in future for the progress and development. In the event of trifurcation of East Godavari district, Kakinada becomes a bird without wings. And there is likelihood of losing the importance of developing the industrial belt in East Godavari district.

The district has lost its sheen on all fronts including its geographical and demographic diversity. Until now, it's the largest district in Andhra Pradesh as it is surrounded by sea, hills, agency tracts and mighty river Godavari. As the new districts come into being, the pride of the river may be lost to the inhabitants of other districts like Kakinada and Eluru.

On the coastline, the district thrives on maritime trade posts, Coringa mangroves and Godavari basin flourishing with oil exploration are a few unique features of the district spread in the Eastern Godavari delta. On the Papikondalu hill range, it has Papikondalu National Park, Koya and Konda Reddy tribes along the tri-State borders – Telangana, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh.

In the Madras Presidency, the District of Rajahmundry was created in 1823. It was reorganised in 1859 and was bifurcated into Godavari and Krishna districts in 1925. When the Godavari district was divided, Kakinada became the headquarters of East Godavari and Eluru became headquarters of West Godavari.

The Godavari region is known for its linguistic diversity as each region – Konaseema, agency and Delta – has its own slang in Telugu-speaking. The Godavari slang is itself an identity in India and abroad.

The State government's proposal to form a new district of East Godavari to be headquartered at Kakinada without Konaseema and agency and river Godavari had frustrated the idea of 'diversity' of the East Godavari district. From this Ugadi, Sir Arthur Cotton would become a neighbour in Kakinada. The irony is that a majority of Godavari delta irrigation system including Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage and his house falls outside the new East Godavari district.

On the administration front, the mighty East Godavari district has shrunken into a revenue division as a new district would be formed with 19 mandals without even a single Tribal mandal. Except mangrove cover, the entire reserve forest patches would fall out of the district. Major onshore assets of the oil and natural explorations have been attached to the neighbouring Konaseema region. Given the existing industrial development plans, it will become an industrial hub with all the industrial activities on all the sides and would no longer be a 'Pensioners' Paradise' of South India.

Again in 1959, Bhadrachalam and Nuguru Venkatapuram taluks were separated from East Godavari district to carve out Bhadrachalam Revenue division, which was merged into Khammam for geographical contiguity and administrative viability, the East Godavari district with its headquarters at Kakinada emerged as the most popular district in the State of Andhra Pradesh. The idea of Godavari delta as dreamt by Sir Arthur Cotton would literally be frustrated if the Godavari region is divided into many districts. For those, who share a bond with river Godavari, the new district headquartered at Kakinada would mean a human-desert.

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