Karaikal residents hope for upgrade as Union Territory’s administrative centre

Public welfare organisations in Karaikal enclave are watching the political discussion on Statehood for Puducherry with curiosity, as they surmise that it would mean automatic upgrade of Karaikal as administrative centre of the union territory of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam.

Citing the case of Statehood granted for Goa that resulted in de-linking of Daman and Diu and retention of their status of Union Territory, the Convenor of Karaikal Struggle Group, S. P. Selvashanmugam, said a separate union territory status has been a long-pending demand of the people of Karaikal.

In accordance with the Union Government’s objective of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’, considering small population and limited geographical areas, the union territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli were merged into one. “Statehood, if granted, will have to be confined to Puducherry,” Mr. Selvashanmugam said.

Earlier this year, Puducherry adopted a resolution urging the Centre to grant full statehood to the Union territory. It was the 10th such resolution adopted by the Puducherry Assembly since 1987.

The line of thinking of the political parties is that Statehood was a must from both administrative and financial angles, for implementation of welfare and developmental schemes.

According to proponents of Statehood, Puducherry has sunk into a deep financial crisis due to the reluctance of the Central Government to sanction funds. The status of a State, they believe, will enable sanction of 41% grant from the Centre.

Welfare organisations in Puducherry say Karaikal has been neglected for a long by successive governments in Puducherry, and that emancipation of the enclave was possible only by its upgrade into administrative headquarters of a newly constituted union territory.

“Be it healthcare or transport connectivity, Karaikal residents have been getting a raw deal. For instance, the Puducherry government has not cared to take steps for creating the necessary infrastructure for economic progress of Karaikal enclave,” V. R. Dhanaseelane, president Karaikal District Citizens Welfare Association, said.

A glaring example is the lack of interest in setting the greenfield airport project for Karaikal, Mr. Dhanaseelane alleged.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 5:28:40 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/karaikal-residents-hope-for-upgrade-as-union-territorys-administrative-centre/article33812963.ece