Parliament passes bill to merge Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli UTs
The new union territory will be called Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
Daman Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli Merger: The Parliament has passed the bill to merge the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. The Rajya Sabha gave its approval to the bill on December 3, 2019. The Lok Sabha had passed it earlier on November 27.
The Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019 proposes to merge the two union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu for better utilization of manpower, boost administrative efficiency, reduce expenditure and enable better monitoring and implementation of schemes.
The name of the new Union Territory, which comes into existence, will be the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. It will fall under the jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court.
The main objective behind the merging of the two union territories is to increase their administrative ease and ensure development. It would not only increase the administrative efficiency, bring uniformity in policies but also improve service delivery, reduce paperwork and ensure better management of cadre of various employees.
Daman Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli Merger Bill: Key Highlights
• The bill proposes to merge the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union Territory with Daman and Diu Union Territory.
• The Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli currently has only one district, while the Daman and Diu UT has two districts.
• There is only a distance of 35 km between the two islands, but both have a different budget. Daman and Diu have two districts while Dadara Nagar Haveli has one district.
• The new union territory will be called Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
• When the bill becomes a law, the assets and liabilities of both Union Territories will be merged and will belong to the new UT.
• The new union territory will be allocated two Lok Sabha seats.
• There will be no change in the reservation, administration and service conditions in the new UT. The SCs and STs in the new UT will continue to get reservation like before.
Why is the merger important?
The two Union Territories reportedly share a similar history, culture, language and administrative setup and thus, maintaining them as two separate secretariats and parallel departments only resulted in inefficiency, duplicity, wasted manpower and wastage of expenditure.
There have also been challenges around cadre management in the two UTs. The key administrators in the two union territories functioned on alternate days, affecting the monitoring of the subordinate staff.
The central departments also had to coordinate with the two UTs separately, causing duplication. It causes an unnecessary financial burden on the state exchequer and the government.
History of Daman Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G.D. Kishan Reddy had introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha on November 27, 2019, proposing to merge the two union territories for better administration efficiency.
Both the union territories were ruled by the Portuguese for a long time. Daman Diu was freed from Portuguese rule in December 1961. Daman Diu was part of the Goa Union Territory till 1987, but then it became separate when Goa became a full state. Dadara Nagar Haveli became independent on August 2, 1954. It later joined India in 1961.
List of 8 Union Territories
There were 9 Union Territories and 28 states in the country after Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two union territories by the central government. Now, the number of union territories will be reduced to eight. List of 8 Union Territories: Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, Puducherry, NCT of Delhi, Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep.