History and Geography
The Portuguese ruled this territory until its liberation by the people in 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 in 1961
and since then is being administered by the Government of India as a Union Territory. After
liberation from the 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. 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, which is also the capital of this UT.
Silvassa Municipal Council came in existence in 2006 and is formed of two towns namely-
Silvassa and Amli. Another five villages viz., Dadra, Naroli, Samarvani, Mast and Rakholi are
treated as non-statutory census towns in population census 2011.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli is a predominantly rural area with about 79 per cent tribal
population. It has about 21,115 hectare land under cultivation. Major crop is paddy (Kharif)
while Nagli and hill millets are the other crops of the area. Among fruits mango, chiku, 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 in the UT. Efforts are afoot to adopt a multiple
cropping system in assured irrigated areas. The Wadi Development programme in the tribal area
of both Dadra and Nagar Haveli is being implemented by the Bhartiya Agro Industries
Foundation (BAIF) an NGO with the financial allocation from NABARD.
Prior to 1965-66 there was no industry. There were a few traditional craftsmen who used to
make pots, leather items, viz., 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 were developed at Silvassa, Masat and Khadoli. 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 Union Territory providing
gainful employment to over 46,000 people.
Irrigation and Power
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
creating an additional irrigation potential of 1,851 hectare. Under medium irrigation project viz.
Damanganga Reservoir Project, about 115 km of minor canals and distributaries are falling in the
union territory. Development works have been completed in field channels in all respects in
4,300 hectare and testing is done in 4,049 hectare.
The Union Territory depends heavily on Maharashtra and Gujarat road network as the