Daman and Diu

Daman and Diu

The Union Territory of Daman and Diu

The Union Territory of Daman and Diu (often abbreviated as D&D) is the smallest union territory in India, consisting of two islands located at the mouth of the Gulf of Khambhat on the Arabian Sea coast and separated from Gujarat state by a 12 km causeway. The territory came into existence in 1961 after being separated from Maharashtra State on linguistic grounds. The main town and headquarters are at Daman, while Diu town is the capital and most populous city in the territory.

Introduction

Located in northernmost India, with an area of 44.6 km2 and a population of 1,54,294 (at 2001 census), Daman and Diu are one among three union territories in India. Prior to 1976, it was part of Portuguese India. The territory became a separate colony later that year on December 19th when it was incorporated into India upon its liberation from Portugal. Politically, it is administered by an administrator appointed by the Indian Government. The present administrator appointed by the Indian Government is Mr. Pankaj Srivastava who took over from Mr. Dhanendra Kumar Singh on August 8th, 2016 for a period of two years or until further orders whichever is earlier

Geography of Daman and Diu

It has an area of 400 km2. It is bounded by Valsad District to the north, Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the north-east, Maharashtra to the south, the Arabian Sea to the west, and South Goa to the east. The territory is divided into two regions: (1) Daman – area governed directly by the government (2) Diu – area governed through its own assembly. They are separated by a small creek which is dry except during the monsoon season.

Demographics

The demographics of Daman and Diu are representative of their location, being a city-state comprising two small separate islands. The larger (and more populous) island, located to the north, is called Dame-Parin or Greater Island, while to its south lies Diu-Makhun or Lesser Island. As per the census of 2011, there are 1563 inhabited villages on these two islands. The total population as per census 2011 stood at 1,77,705 persons in 603 villages.

Economy

The economy is primarily driven by its port, fishing, cement factories, shipbuilding industries, and tourism. Local industries include salt production, pottery making, hand-loom weaving of cotton, and agar fiber saris. However, agriculture is still an important occupation for a large number of people living in Daman. Fishing contributes 20% to its GDP with lobster as major export followed by prawns. The government has undertaken a project on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in three areas covering 44 villages with involvement from community-based organizations for conservation activities along with coastal areas. This project aims at increasing fish production in coastal regions by improving nursery habitats for marine fisheries.

History of Daman and Diu

The territory was a former Portuguese colony until its liberation in 1961, which happened during India’s fight for independence. It is situated near Surat on Gujarat’s coast, next to Vapi. The territory was ceded to India on December 19, 1961, as a result of an agreement between India and Portugal; it became part of Goa state when Goa achieved statehood in 1987. In November 2000, following demands from nationalists and local leaders to make it into a separate union territory, it was granted that status by the Indian government but at present, there is no separate legislature for it.

Tourism

Basilica de Bom Jesus

Being small states, Daman and Diu do not attract many tourist crowds. Some of its interesting places include Basilica de Bom Jesus, St. Thomas Fort, Port of Nagoa Beach, Pattaya Beach, and Fort In Hill among others. The events held here have great popularity among Goans living in India or abroad; mainly due to their religious significance. Also, some national festivals like Republic Day Parade (held at Gandhi maidan), Independence Day Celebrations (celebrated in Rani-ki Vav), Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations (festival honoring Lord Ganesha) are held here in such a grand manner that attracts thousands of tourists every year.