Govt to merge Daman and Diu & Dadra and Nagar Haveli union territories

After abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, the Cenral government is now going to take another major decision. The government is planning to form a Union Territory (UT) by merging two union territories Daman and Diu & Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Union Minister Arjun Meghwal said in the Lok Sabha on Friday that a bill in this regard will be introduced in Parliament next week. He said that the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill 2019 is part of the proposed government’s work for the next week.

Officials say that the merger of these two union territories located on the west coast near Gujarat will provide better administration and prevent duplication of works. Dadra and Nagar Haveli has one district while Daman and Diu has 2 districts.

Located just 35 kilometers away, both states have their own secretariat and separate budget. The administrative expenses are also expected to decrease with the merger of Dadra and Nagar Haveli with one district and Daman and Diu with two districts. The restructured Union Territory is likely to be named as Dadra Nagar Haveli-Daman & Diu. Daman and Diu is likely to be made its headquarters.

After the formation of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as union territories, UTs number increased to nine. Now when the two union territories will merge then the number of union territories will reduces to 8.

Updated on 26.11.2019: Home Minister Amit Shah introduced “The Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019” in Lok Sabha on November 26, 2019.

This Bill will merge two Union Territories: (a) Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and (b) Daman and Diu. The new UT will be named as “Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu”

Aims behind the merging of these two UTs?

  • Better delivery of services to the citizens of both Union territories by improving efficiency and reduction in paper work
  • Reduction in administrative expenditure;
  • Bringing uniformity in policies and schemes;
  • Better monitoring of schemes and projects;
  • Better management of cadres of various employees

According to official Bill text, The Government has given following reasons to merge these Two UTs:

The Union territories of Daman and Diu and the Dadra and Nagar Haveli are located in western region of the country. Both Union territories were under the Portuguese rule for a long time. They were liberated from Portuguese rule in December, 1961. Since 1961 to 1987, the Daman and Diu were part of the Union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu. In 1987, when Goa got statehood, Daman and Diu were made a separate Union territory. The Dadra and Nagar Haveli was occupied by the Portuguese in June, 1783. Residents of Dadra and Nagar Haveli got liberated themselves from the Portuguese rule on the 2nd August, 1954. Since, 1954 to 1961, the territory was administered by a citizen’s council called the Varishta Panchayat of Free Dadra and Nagar Haveli. In 1961, it was merged with the Republic of India and made a Union territory.

2. The Union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu share a lot in terms of administrative set up, history, language and culture. The Secretaries to various Departments, Chief of Police and Chief Conservator of Forest of the both Union territories are common and the officers of All-India Services posted by the Ministries of Home Affairs, Environment and Forests serve both these territories as per their work allocation. Further, the policies and development schemes in various sectors including Tourism, Industries, Education, Information Technology are similar.

3. Besides these, there are two secretariats and parallel departments which consume infrastructure and manpower in each Union territory. The Administrator, Secretaries, and Heads of certain departments functions in both the Union territories on alternate days affecting their availability to people and monitoring functioning of subordinate staff. The subordinate employees of both the Union territories are separate. Further, various departments of the Government of India have to co-ordinate with both the Union territories separately, causing duplication of works.

4. Having two separate constitutional and administrative entities in both the Union territories leads to lot of duplicacy, inefficiency and wasteful expenditure. Further, this also causes unnecessary financial burden on the Government. Besides these, there are various challenges for cadre management and career progression of employees.

5. In view of the policy of the Government to have “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”, considering small population and limited geographical area of both the Union territories and to use the services of officers efficiently, it has been decided to merge the Union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu into a single Union territory. Hence, a Bill, namely, the Union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union territories) Bill, 2019 is proposed for that purpose

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