Chhota Udepur was carved out of parts from Vadodara and the Panchmahals districts Chhota Udepur,Kawant,Naswadi,Sankheda and Jetpurpavi qualifying it as a tribal-dominated entity. One of the most mineral rich districts of the state,Chhota Udepur has a rich forest area of 75,704 hectares. Not only that,several mining units of minerals and sand are now in the treasure of the newly carved district. This mainly includes 5.39 lakh tonnes of dolomite,52,000 tonnes of fluorite,90.77 lakh tonnes of sand and 4,000 tonnes of granite. In fact,with its rich mining resources,Chhota Udepur is all set to become one of the highest revenue-earning districts in the state. The district will contribute about Rs 20 crore annually to the state treasury only from the mining exploits it has to offer. Chhota Udepur is also a major hub for dairy and milk production,churning about 1.20 lakh litres of milk daily.
One of the main reasons being attributed to the division of the district is to ensure smooth and accessible administration. Parts that have now become the new district of Chhota Udepur are located about 150 km away from the city of Vadodara,where all the district administrative offices are located. People in these areas feel that bringing the administrative offices closer will make it easier for them to put up their complaints and demands before the officers. Congress leader Narayan Rathwa says,Until now,the villagers had to travel all the way to Vadodara for even the smallest of paperwork and permissions. The officers visited this area once in three months. This will surely change as they will now be available to the locals in these areas,which will automatically bring better implementation of the schemes awarded by the government for this area,especially the road infrastructure and education schemes.
While the area has been saddled with several incidents of illegal sand-mining,according to officials,the division of the administration will only make it easier to keep a watch on the sand mafia. The newly appointed collector of the district,Jenu Devan,told The Indian Express,My focus will be on developing the infrastructure,human resources and ensuring smooth implementation of various policies. The illegal sand mining is certainly an important issue and once the mechanism of the revenue district is in place,we will have the district police stepping in too. In the near future,there might also be a District Officer for Mining,so that we will be more equipped to tackle them in an organised manner with a quick response time.
The district headquarters of Chhota Udepur is still awaiting an official administrative office. Currently,provisions are being made for an ad hoc arrangement at the unoccupied hostel of the Girls Polytechnic College in Chhota Udepur.
Vadodara District Development Officer (DDO),Ravikant Arora,has requested the principal of the college to grant permission to run ad hoc Zila Panchayat office of the district from its hostel premises until the state government makes provisions for the same.
Arora,who has been given the additional charge to manage the affairs of Chhota Udepur until a stable administration is set up,has written to the Principal of the …continued »