Palghar : Maharashtra's 36th District

Maharashtra will soon get its 36th district, Palghar, as the Cabinet on Friday approved bifurcation of the country’s biggest district Thane.
Palghar with eight tribal-dominated talukas — Palghar, Vasai, Dahanu, Talesari, Wada, Jawahar, Mokhada and Vikramgad — will be formally set up on August 15. The bifurcation of Thane was a long-pending demand of over two decades. The new Thane district will be made up of seven talukas — Thane, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Murbad, Ulhasnagar, Shahapur and Ambarnath.
The cost of setting up the new district with 56 new administrative offices and over 4,300 staffers is Rs.465 crore. An administrative headquarters on the lines of Konkan Bhavan building will be built in Palghar. The timing of the bifurcation is clearly political, with an eye on the upcoming polls. Thane district votes in 26 legislators.
The state government had set up a committee under the Konkan divisional commissioner in 1994 to study the bifurcation of the district. However, the committee’s report submitted in the same year recommending such a split was not implemented. In 2011, a revised committee was set up, which submitted its report in 2012.
“This was a long-pending demand. Thane has been urbanising rapidly and such a split was the need of the hour. There is lot of land available for setting up administrative headquarters; we have made resources available. This will benefit adivasis as it will bring good officials in their areas and give a push to development,’’ said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
However, the split will see the urban sprawl of Thane city along with five other corporations combined into district, while the backward and tribal-dominated talukas administered largely by municipal councils as another. “This is an opportunity to develop much-needed infrastructure in the region so far neglected and not on anyone’s radar. But unless there is concentrated effort by the government to develop and make Palghar self-sufficient, it will continue to lag behind and remain backward,’’ said a senior official.
Chavan also announced setting up of a committee led by revenue secretary to consider other such demands of announcing new districts. The Shiv Sena alleged the ruling alliance had kept it in the dark about the decision to reap political dividends.

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