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Puducherry comprises four unconnected districts, as seen in the map above; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, April 7, 2016

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The source of this article

INDIA 2012


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Area : 479 sq km

Population : 9,74,345 (Census 2001) 12,44,464 (prov. Census 2011)

Capital : Puducherry

Principal Languages : Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, English and French


The territory of Puducherry comprises the former French establishment of Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam, which lie scattered in South India. Puducherry, the capital of the territory was once the original headquarters of the French in India. It was under the French rule for 138 years and merged with the Indian Union on 1 November 1954. It is bounded on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the three sides by Tamil Nadu. About 150 kms south of Puducherry on the East Coast lies Karaikal. Mahe is situated on the Malabar coast on the Western Ghats surrounded by Kerala. It can be reached from Calicut Airport, which is 70 kms from Mahe. Yanam is situated adjoining the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh and is about 200 kms from Visakhapatnam airport.


Nearly 24.37 per cent of the population of the Union Territory is engaged in agriculture and allied pursuits. 80.7% of the cultivated area is irrigated. Paddy is the predominant crop (65%) followed by pulses. Mahe region contributes to the plantation wealth of this territory. Crops like coconut, arecanut, condiments and spices are grown here. Paddy is a major crop and pulses, groundnut and chillies are the other rainfed crops grown in Yanam.


7,982 Industrial Units in total with an aggregate investment of Rs. 2,177.78 crore provided employment to 93,044 persons. The total value of production of these industrial units worked out to Rs.13,455.34 crore.


Under the assistance from the European Union many tanks were rehabilitated. 8 bed dams have been constructed across the river Sankaraparani and Pennar at various places. In addition to the above, necessary proposal to construct bed dams for ground water recharges at Aratchikuppam, Pambaiyar confluence point at Sellipet, across Malatar in Vadukuppam at Puducherry and across Mullaiyar, Pravadayanar and Vanjiar at Karaikal and also the construction of a bridge-cumbarrage at Villanur are under progress.


The Power requirements of the Union Territory of Puducherry are met by availing share of power from the Central Generating Stations and by purchasing power from the neighbouring State Electricity Boards viz., Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, Kerala State Electricity Board and from the Puducherry Power Corporation Limited. The total power available for Union Territory of Puducherry is 396.58 MW.


Roads nearly 677.525 km. of various category are being maintained by Roads Division of PWD Puducherry. Construction of bridges and improvement of roads are under progress.


Located about 160 km south of Chennai, Puducherry (known in Tamil as Pudducherry), the former French Colony of the early 18th century, is a charming Indian town with a few enduring pockets of French Culture, and an Ashram set beside the sea. Together with the other former French enclaves of Karaikal (also in Tamil Nadu), Mahe (Kerala), Yanam (Andhra Pradesh), it now forms the Union Territory of Puducherry. The uniqueness of this town invariably lies in skilful town planning and Franco Tamil architecture. The town is built on the model of "bastide", a fortified French coastal town of the late 18th century.

Being the legendary abode of renowned saints, ancient trading settlement with Rome and Greece, once capital of French India, a spiritual Power house, Puducherry has touristic resources in the backwaters, rivers, beaches and other areas developed as sustainable eco-tourist facilities. Influenced by East and West, Puducherry has unique handicrafts in leather pottery, hand made paper, incense and antique colonial furniture. Late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru rightly described Puducherry as "the Window of French Culture".

Sri Aurobindo, the great seer, poet and prophet of Indian spirituality, preached his vision and ideals staying in Puducherry till his end. His Ashram is still a unique institution with its distinctive way of life attracting people from all over the world.


Lt. Governor : Dr. Iqbal Singh

Chief Secretary : Manoj Kumar Parida

Chief Minister : V. Narayanasamy

Jurisdiction of High Court: Falls under jurisdiction of Chennai High Court

Extent of powers of the Lieutenant Governor

Maneesh Chhibber, Delhi, Puducherry, different LGs, varying powers: January 16, 2017, The Indian Express

Special constitutional provisions make the Delhi LG’s office more powerful, but if Bedi chooses to be difficult, there is little that the Puducherry govt can do.

The powers of the LG of Puducherry are different from the ones of the LG of Delhi, the other UT that has an elected legislature and government. The LG of Delhi has “Executive Functions” that allow him to exercise his powers in matters connected to public order, police and land “in consultation with the Chief Minister, if it is so provided under any order issued by the President under Article 239 of the Constitution”. Simply put, the LG of Delhi enjoys greater powers than the LG of Puducherry.

While the LG of Delhi is also guided by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, and the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1993, the LG of Puducherry is guided mostly by the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963.

Articles 239 and 239AA of the Constitution, as well as the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, clearly underline that Delhi is a UT, where the Centre, whose eyes and ears are the LG, has a much more prominent role than in Puducherry.

The Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 provides for a Legislative Assembly of Pondicherry (as Puducherry was then called), with a Council of Ministers to govern the “Union Territory of Pondicherry”. The same Act says that the UT will be administered by the President of India through an Administrator (LG).

At the same time, Section 18 of the Act, which deals with “Extent of legislative power” of the Assembly, says that MLAs “may make laws for the whole or any part of the Union Territory with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the State List or the Concurrent List”.

And Section 44 of the Act, which deals with the Council of Ministers and its working, says the Council of Ministers headed by a Chief Minister will “aid and advise the Administrator in the exercise of his functions in relation to matters with respect to which the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory has power to make laws”. But there is a catch. The same clause also allows the LG to “act in his discretion” in the matter of lawmaking, even though the Council of Ministers has the task of aiding and advising him. In case of a difference of opinion between the LG and his Ministers on any matter, the Administrator is bound to refer it to the President for a decision and act according to the decision given by the President. However, the Administrator can also claim that the matter is urgent, and take immediate action as he deems necessary.

Under Section 22 of the Act, prior sanction of the Administrator is required for certain legislative proposals. These include Bills or amendments that the Council of Ministers intends to move in the Legislative Assembly, and which deal with the “constitution and organisation of the court of the Judicial Commissioner”, and “jurisdiction and powers of the court of the Judicial Commissioner with respect to any of the matters in the State List or the Concurrent List”.

Section 23 of the Act also makes it obligatory on the part of the UT government to seek the “recommendation” of the LG before moving a Bill or an amendment to provide for “the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax”, “the amendment of the law with respect to any financial obligations undertaken or to be undertaken”, and anything that has to do with the Consolidated Fund of the UT. Once the Assembly has passed a Bill, the LG can either grant or withhold his assent; or reserve it for the consideration of the President. He can also send it back to the Assembly for reconsideration.

The manner in which the LG functions vis-à-vis the elected government (Council of Ministers) is also spelt out in the Rules of Business of the Government of Pondicherry, 1963, issued on June 22, 1963.

Under Rule 47, which deals with persons serving in the UT government, the Administrator exercises powers regulating the conditions of service of such persons in consultation with the Chief Minister. In case the LG has a difference of opinion with the Chief Minister, he can refer the matter to the central government for the decision of the President. Under the constitutional scheme, the Delhi Assembly has the power to legislate on all subjects except law and order and land. However, the Puducherry Assembly can legislate on any issue under the Concurrent and State Lists. However, if the law is in conflict with a law passed by Parliament, the law passed by Parliament prevails. But like the AAP government in Delhi, the Congress government in Puducherry too can do little but watch helplessly if the LG appointed by the Centre starts making life difficult for it.


S.No. District Area (sq km) Population * Headquarters

1. Puducherry 290 7,35,332 Puducherry

2. Karaikal 161 1,70,791 Karaikal

3. Mahe 9 36,828 Mahe

4. Yanam 20 31,394 Yanam

  • Census 2001

See also

Delhi: Statehood- legal, constitutional issues

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