The Centre on Tuesday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to merge two Union Territories – Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli – into one. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy introduced the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill 2019, in the Lower House.

Unidentified officials told PTI that the Centre believes the merger will improve the administration and check duplication of major works. So far, the two Union Territories, just 35 kilometres apart on the Gujarat coast, had different budgets and secretariats.

The merged Union Territory is likely to be named Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and its capital could be Daman and Diu, PTI reported.

The move comes three-and-a-half months after the Narendra Modi-led government abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and divided it into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. This had taken the number of Union Territories in India to nine. However, with the merger of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, the number will be back to eight.