Bill to merge Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli passed

The Parliament House Building. PTI photo

Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill to merge two Union territories Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli into one union territory, which is aimed at strengthening administrative efficiency and fast track the development.

The merged Union Territory will be named as Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

The Lok Sabha has passed this bill on November 27 and it will come into effect after President Ram Nath Kovind signs the Bill and government announces an appointing day.

Minister of State for Home G Kishen Reddy said the merger would also help in cutting down the administrative cost.

On the name, Reddy said, "the name is long but we have taken this keeping in the sentiments of the local people there."

Participating in the debate, CPI(M)'s K K Ragesh asked whether such bill requires two-third majority of the house as it is amending the first schedule of the Constitution.

Replying to him, Home Minister Amit Shah said this is not a constitutional amendment. It is changing the Union Territories, hence it is not required.

CPI's Binoy Viswam also said that there is a lack of development in Lakshadweep as there are no basic facilities such as hospitals, colleges etc and asked the government to consider an assembly there as the earliest.

RJD's Manoj Kumar Jha said there is a need of small states in the country for governance and creation of small states as Bundelkhand and Mithalanchal should be considered.

The country currently has nine Union territories after the creation of the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. However, with the merger of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the number of UTs will come down to eight. 

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