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Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Endowed with nature's munificence, it's a land of spell-binding beauty, green forests, winding rivers, unimaginable waterfronts, gentle gurgle of streams, distant dotting mountain ranges, a gorgeous kaleidoscope of flora and fauna. Owing to its serenity and quaint sylvan surroundings, this territory is a heaven for those who hunt around for a tranquil holiday.

The area of Dadra &Nagar Haveli spread over 491.00 sq.kms. land locked between Gujarat in North and Maharashtra in South was liberated from Portuguese Rulers by people themselves on 2nd August 1954 . The people of the U.T. established free Administration of Dadra & Nagar Haveli, which was finally merged in to Union of India in the year 1961. The U.T. of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu is located on the western side of the foot hills of western Ghat and has undulating terrain 40% of the total geographical area is covered with forests and thus offers it a look of woodland. The major river Damanganga and its tributaries criss-cross the U.T. and drain into Arabian sea at Daman . The U.T. has population of 2.20 lakhs as per the 2001 census which has predominance of tribals forming a major chunk of 62% of the total population.

The major tribes are Varlies, Kokana, Dhodia and Dublas. The tribals have their distinct culture of their own consisting of curious rituals and colorful folk-lore. No occasion in tribal life is complete, be it a marriage or harvest without a folk dance. The major dances are Tarpa, Dhol, Bhavada and Gherria. The performers of these foot-tapping dances are equally good in other arts and art forms and are almost independent for most of their daily requirements.

As per census 2001, the tribals constitute 62.24 % of the total population of the territory . the main tribes are Dhodia, Kokna and Varli with small groups of Koli, Kathodi, Naika and dubla scattered over the territory. The Dhodias and Dublas are mainly confined to the Northern part of the territory whereas the Koknas and Varlis and found all over. From the total population of Tribals, the Varlis consitute 62.94 % and the Koknas and Dhodias comprise 16.85 and 16.90 % respectively of the tribal population., 2.29 % Dublas, 0.08% Kathodis, 0.84% Kolghas and 0.08% Nayakas being the smallest groups represents 3.31% of the population together situated between the foothills of Western Ghats on one side, and the Arabian Sea on the other, this land of colorful tribals is known as Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

This area of 491 sq.kms. is the home land of nearly one lakh people of various tribes. It has seen many rulers, ranging from the mighty Marathas to the fiery Portuguese. Yet, the essence of tribal life, its richness and variety, its art, myth, song and folklore, have all remained unchanged.

These territories were earlier ruled by the Koli chiefs who were defeated by the Hindu kings of Jawhar and Ramnagar. The Marathas conquered and annexed these territories to their kingdom.

In order to keep the English at bay and to enlist their support against the Mughals, the Marathas made friends with the Portuguese and signed a treaty in 1779. According to this historic treaty of friendship, the Maratha-Peshwa agreed that the Portuguese will be allowed to collect revenue from Dadra and Nagar Haveli which consisted of 72 villages, then known as parganas in compensation for their loss of a warship called " Santana " which had earlier been captured by the Marathas but not surrendered to the Portuguese inspite of their many entreaties. The Maratha Government assigned the aggregated revenue of Rs 12,000 in a few villages of this territory to the Portuguese as compensation to ensure their friendship.

The Portuguese ruled this territory until its liberation by the people on 2 August, 1954. From 1954 till 1961, the territory functioned almost independently by what was known as "Free Dadra and Nagar Haveli Administration". However, the territory was merged with the Indian Union on 11 August, 1961, and since then, is being administered by the Government of India as a Union Territory. After liberation of the territory from Portuguese rule, a Varishtha Panchayat was working as an advisory body of the Administration. This was dissolved in August 1989, and a Pradesh Council for Dadra and Nagar Haveli District Panchayat and 11 Village Panchayats were constituted as per constitutional amendments at All India level. The UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli has an area of 491 sq km, and it is surrounded by Gujarat and Maharashtra. It consists of two pockets namely, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The nearest railway station is at Vapi, which is 18 km from Silvassa.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a predominantly rural area with about 79 per cent tribal population. It has about 21,115 hectares under cultivation. Major crop is paddy (Kharif) while Nagli and other hill millets are crops of the area. Among fruits Mango, Chiku and Banana, etc., are also produced. Forests cover 40 per cent of the total geographical area.

Sugarcane cultivation has also been taken up in a big way since the last few years. And efforts are afoot to adopt a multiple cropping system in assured irrigated areas. The organic farming scheme will shortly be implemented in Dudhani and Mandoni patelads. To this end, 60 Kisan Credit Cards have been issued. The Wadi Development programme in the tribal area of both Dadra and Nagar Haveli is implemented by the N.G.O., B.A.I.F. with the financial allocation from NABARD, a total of 800 tribal and scheduled caste families will benefit.

Prior to liberation of the territory, there was no irrigation facility and cultivators had to fully depend upon rainfall. After the merger of the territory with the Indian Union, adequate steps were taken under minor irrigation sector. So far 128 lift irrigation schemes have been completed on irrigation wells, surface water sources like rivers; check dams at various places in the territory creating additional irrigation potential of 1,851 hectares. Under medium irrigation project viz., Damnganga Reservoir Project, about 115 km of minor canals and distributaries are falling in the area of this Union Territory. Development works have been completed in field channels in all respects in 4,300 hectares and testing is done in 4,049 hectares.

There was no rural electrification prior to liberation of this territory. The electricity was provided with only one DG Set which was installed and operated in Silvassa Town for VIPs at Circuit House.

After liberation, the UT Administration commenced rural electrification work with the co-operation of neighbouring State of Gujarat and completed electrification work in 25 villages by 1976. The power demand of the UT is met by Gujarat Electricity Board through a single Circuit from Vapi-Silvasa and distributed amongst limited number of consumers. The first 66 KV Sub-Station was established at Amli in 1979. With the commissioning of the said Sub-Station, the electricity department is in a position to provide electricity to all villages.

One more 220/66 KV, 2x160 MVA sub-station at village Khadoli has been approved by the Ministry of Power. The Power Grid Corporation of India will execute this work, which is likely to be completed within three years. In addition to this, a proposal for the establishment of various 66/11 KV sub-stations at Vaghdhara, Athal, Piparia, Sayli, Velugam etc is in the pipeline. The Power requirement of the territory is being met from Central Sector Power Generating Stations located in the western region. At present the power allocation from the Central Sector is 270 MW. The power demand has increased tremendously due to rapid industrialisation with the extension of Tax Holiday benefit to this UT by the Government of India.

Prior to 1965-66 there was no industry in the Union Territory. There were a few traditional craftsmen who used to make pots, leather items, chappals, shoes, and some other items of bamboo. Industrial development started on a low key during 1967-68 with the establishment of an industrial estate under the cooperative sector by Dan Udyog Sahakari Sangh Ltd. Thereafter, three Government Industrial Estates have been developed at Silvassa, Masat and Khadoli in the U.T. with the inception of the economic liberalization policy, a real boost in industrial development was seen. There are 1863 small sector industrial units and 430 MSI/LSI units functioning in the U.T. providing gainful employment to over 46,000 people.

The Union Territory depends heavily on Maharashtra and Gujarat road network as the territory can be accessed only after crossing these two States from Mumbai. At present road length is about 635 km. out of which 570 km. is surfaced. Almost all villages are connected with all weather roads. The rail route from Mumbai to Ahmadabad links Vapi also. Mumbai is the nearest airport. Recently, the work of widening of roads in the Union Territory has been taken up to meet the requirement of increasing vehicular traffic.

To meet the need of rapid industrialisation, four-laning work has been taken up in Silvassa and adjoining areas, besides other spill over works. Converting of two lane road to four lane road for a length of 17.69 kms has been completed. The Dadra - Tighra road is under progress and during the current financial year i.e. 2007-08, another 5.70 kms length of road connecting Silvasa and Naroli is likely to be converted into a four-lane drive.

Normally, all festivals of Hindus, Muslims and Christians are celebrated in the territory, while tribals celebrate their own festivals. Diwaso is celebrated by Dhodia and Varli tribes, and Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by Dhodia tribe. Other festivals include Bhawada amongst Varlist, Koli tribes and Khali Puja by all tribes after harvesting of crops and Gram Devi before harvesting of crops.

Tourism sector has been assigned high priority, keeping in view the dense forest area and favourable climate. The prominent places of tourist interest are Tadekeshwar Shiva Mandir, Bindrabin, Deer Park at Khanvel, Vanganga Lake and Island Garden, Dadra, Vanvihar Udhyan Mini Zoo, Bal Udhyan, Tribal Museum, and Hirvavan Garden at Silvassa. To encourage tourism activities, some traditional and modern cultural activities like celebration of Tarpa Festival, Kite festival, World Tourism day, etc., are organised every year.

The nearest Railway station is Vapi on Western Railway.All major Mail/Express trains are available at Vapi including August Kranti Rajdhani, Satabdi, Ahinsa, Karnavati etc. The UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu is almost touching Mumbai - Baroda - Delhi National Highway No. 8 (Western Express Highway). Silvassa is about 14 Kms from Bhilad & 18 Kms from Vapi. Mumbai 180 Kms, Surat 140 Kms, Nasik 140 Kms and Daman 30 Kms.

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Page last modified: 24-10-2021 15:29:47 ZULU