|Minister says due care will be taken for all-round development of UT|
NEW DELHI : The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed a Bill to rename the Union Territory (UT) of Pondicherry as Puducherry. The Bill seeks to fulfil the aspirations of the people, first expressed through a unanimous resolution by the legislative Assembly 26 years ago.
Replying to a brief discussion, Minister of State for Home R. Regupathy assured that due care would be taken to ensure the all-round development of the UT.
Earlier, moving the Bill Mr. Regupathy recalled that the people of Pondicherry had been demanding for long the renaming of the UT because in ancient time, the territory was known as Puducherry. After the legislative Assembly first passed a resolution in 1980, the UT's Council of Ministers also requested the Centre to change the name of Pondicherry in 1996. Three years later, the Chief of Minister of Pondicherry again reiterated the proposal for change of name.
The Bill seeks to amend Part VIII, the First and Fourth Schedules of the Constitution and the Government of Union Territories Act 1963.
Su. Thirunavukkarasar (Bharatiya Janata Party) welcomed the renaming but felt no prosperity would accrue to the region by this move. He wanted the Centre to transfer more funds. V. Narayanaswamy (Congress) pointed out that Puducherry meant "new colony" and would encompass four regions — Puducherry, Karaikal (near Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu), Mahe (near Thalassery, Kerala) and Yanam (near Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh).
Mr. Narayanaswamy demanded that the UT be declared a special category state, the Central allocation for the temple town of Puducherry be doubled and the Centre encourage more employment opportunities for the people. He also wanted the Centre to assist in port development and frame special packages for the tribal population.
Supporting the demands made by the Congress leader, R. Shunmugasundaram (DMK) suggested a ferry service between Chennai and Pondicherry.
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