After J&K's bifurcation, now two UTs to be merged

The Bill was cleared by the Union Cabinet recently. Photo/Reuters

After bifurcating the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, the Narendra Modi government is now embarking on merging two union territories of 'Daman and Diu' and 'Dadra and Nagar Haveli' that will help in better administration.

The Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019 will be placed in Parliament in the ongoing Winter Session.

The proposal to merge the two union territories, which are on the western coast, comes three months after the Centre bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh after revoking special status to the state.

Ministers of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Meghwal in Lok Sabha and V Muraleedharan in Rajya Sabha said on Friday that this bill is part of the proposed government business during the week commencing the November 25. The Bill was cleared by the Union Cabinet recently.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu are located just 35 km apart and the decision of its merger came as there was a feeling that such a move would ensure better administration of the two tiniest federal divisions of the country. Both the union territories are administered by a single administrator.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli has just one district while Daman and Diu have two. There is a lot of duplication in work and it is not a feasible proportion to have separate secretariats and budgets, a senior official said adding it will save a lot of unnecessary costs.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which is spread over 491 sq km landlocked between Gujarat in the north and Maharashtra in the south was liberated from Portuguese rulers by people themselves on 2 August, 1954. People established free administration of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which was finally merged into Union of India in 1961.

After its liberation on 19 December 1961 from Portuguese Rule of more than four centuries, Daman and Diu became a part of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu. Goa attained statehood in 1987 while the union territory of Daman and Diu with an area of 112 km came into existence on 30 May 1987.

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