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Bengal Likely To Get Three New Districts By End Of Year

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Kolkata, April 22 (PTI): The West Bengal government, in its bid to simplify administrative operations, is planning to trifurcate South 24 Parganas, creating new districts of Baruipur, Sundarbans and Diamond Harbour, a top official said on Friday.

Work was being undertaken on “war footing” to complete formalities necessary to split South 24 Parganas – the largest district in the state – into three parts, the official said.

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“We are planning to create three new districts – Baruipur, Diamond Harbour and Sundarban by the end of the year. Once the proposal gets chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nod, South 24 Parganas – currently stretching from the city to the coastal villages along Bay of Bengal will cease to exist,” he told PTI.

Currently, Diamond Harbour, Baruipur and Sundarbans are police districts.

Explaining the rationale behind the division, the bureaucrat said geographical location of different blocks of South 24 Parganas often caused problems to people who had to travel miles after miles to get administrative work done.

The split was being planned in a certain way to ensure that the new districts get to have one sub-divisional court each, he stated.

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Baruipur, spanning around 2,500 sq km, is likely to have 11 blocks.

“With 11 blocks, Baruipur will be the biggest of the three proposed districts. Suggestion to make Gosaba a part of Baruipur has been made,” he said.

Sundarbans was likely to have eight blocks – four in the entire Kakdwip sub-division and an equal number in Diamond Harbour sub-division, he said.

The Diamond Harbour district was expected to constitute the entire Alipore Sadar area and a part of the current Diamond Harbour sub-division, the official elaborated.

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“Kakdwip has been proposed as the district headquarters of Sundarban, and Tongtala of Baruipur. We are yet to decide on a zilla head office for Diamond Harbour,” he said.

Asked if the creation of the three proposed districts would in any way affect the configuration of assembly segments in South 24 Parganas, the official said that Baruipur was likely to have 11 assembly constituencies, Diamond Harbour nine and Sundarban six.

“All paperwork is ready for the division. Lack of adequate IPS and IAS officers was one reason why the process was getting delayed. As of now, we are waiting for her (Mamata Banerjee) to sanction the proposal and make an announcement,” the bureaucrat maintained.

Last week, the state government had written to the Centre asking it to increase allotment of IAS and IPS officers in the state.

The Mamata Banerjee government had in the past eight years created three new districts – Alipurduar (in June 2014), Kalimpong (February 2017) and Jhargram (in April 2017).

It also split Bardhaman into two districts.

Currently, West Bengal has 23 districts.

Notably, prior to March 1980, 24 Parganas was the largest district in the country. It was then bifurcated into North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas.

 

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