PLANS are underway to restructure Hong Kong's 18 districts into five management areas in an effort to strengthen administration. A Home Affairs Branch will be established today, while the two regional headquarters will merge next year to streamline the structure of the City and New Territories Administration (CNTA). It is understood the Government will seek to strengthen management of district affairs through the creation of more directorate posts in the new department to work directly at district levels. Proposals under consideration are that the as-yet-unnamed department will be headed by an officer at D6 level ($117,400 a month) followed by six deputy directors at the rank of D3 ($92,250). The 18 districts will be restructured into five management areas, each supervised by one deputy director, with the remaining officer staying at headquarters. Each merged district will contain three or four smaller ones. The four districts on Hong Kong Island will form one group, while those in Kowloon and the New Territories will merge into the other four. Islands, Kwai Tsing, Shamshuipo and Yau Tsim will become one management area as they will be affected by the new airport project. The reason for merging several districts was to improve co-ordination between them, according to a source. The CNTA reorganisation was necessary because the existing structure caused confusion, the source said.