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Andhra Pradesh: 250 years of institution of collector celebrated in Palnadu

By P. Samuel Jonathan

The national emblem, a sculpture of four lions standing on a base which has other animals, called as Lion Capital of Ashoka, is the symbol of authority, power and responsibility. The emblem stands on the wall at the Office of the Collector and District Magistrate, which is the authority in which the will of the State and authority meet. 

One of the lasting relics of colonial legacy, the institution of collector was established 250 years back on this day — May 14 , 1772 — by the East India Company. Along with the changing times, the institution of collector and district magistrate too has evolved combining multi-dimensional aspects of administration, such as revenue, magisterial, judicial and administrative.

The collector was informally known as ‘Huzur’, a person vested with supreme authority whose aura enveloped the region. He is the central authority around which the massive revenue and administrative foundation was built and later Lord Thomas Munro initiated reforms separating the revenue, magisterial and judicial powers.

In the colonial era, the collectors were vested with the power to determine the demand from land revenue, survey and assessment of all kinds of land, sea and land customs, liquor and drug excise taxes, personal and professional taxes and managing all state property.

Celebrating the occasion, the c organised a special photographic exhibition explaining the origin and evolution of the office of collector.

The Collector Office in Guntur which was constructed in 1912. arrangement (Source: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT)

Among the exhibits were the pictures and a brief description of the previous collectors who had served in Guntur district and a timeline of various historic moments in administration. Nathaniel Vet was the first Collector of Guntur, appointed in 1791. In 1912 the present building housing the Collector Office was completed in Guntur.

Mr. Siva Sankar had earlier organised a similar exhibition at Paderu in 2016 celebrating 244 years of the institution.

“The role of Collector and District Magistrate has evolved with changing times. Though the office carries a vast amount of administrative and ministerial responsibilities, it has evolved into a more facilitating role, coordinating and leading the line departments, ensuring efficient delivery of government’s welfare schemes and drawing plans for district development. The restructuring of districts has given a tremendous opportunity for more focussed growth and rapid development of backward regions,” said Mr. Siva Sankar.

Joint Collector of Palnadu A. Shyam Prasad also spoke of changing times and the responsibilities of a collector.

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