HT This Day Jan 17, 1956: CENTRE TO ADMINISTER BOMBAY CITY
By Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI- THE Government of India announced tonight their decisions on most of the States Reorganization Commission proposals. While generally accepting the proposals, the Government have made a major departure from the Commission's recommendation regarding the Bombay region.
In place of the two States, bilingual Bombay and Vidarbha, as proposed by the Commission, there will now be: Maharashtra State, including Vidarbha, Gujerat State, including Saurashtra and Cutch, and one Centrally-administered area comprising Bombay city and some surrounding villages.
The announcement says the proposals for the reorganization of the Punjab and Andhra-Hyderabad regions are still under consideration.
The Government have accepted in full the proposals to abolish the institution of Rajpramukhs and to end the constitutional disparity between different States.
The Government have also accepted the Commission's recommendation regarding the formation of the new States of Kerala, Karnataka (to be named Mysore) and Madhya Pradesh.
The Commission's recommendation in regard to the continuance of the States of Madras, Rajasthan, U.P., Bibar, West Bengal, Assam and Orissa has also been accepted.
A Home Ministry communique running into 11 foolscap typed sheets, carrying the Government decisions was issued tonight.
Simultaneously with the release of the communique, the Prime Minister in a nationwide broadcast tonight made a fervent appeal to his countrymen for "unity cooperation and hard work.” Mr Nehru asked the people to approach every problem in " a spirit of sweet reasonableness and cooperation."
He added: " We all go forward together or not at all. Violence is the very negation of what we stand for and our progress."
In his broadcast Mr Nehru made a special mention of the decision regarding the Bombay region and of the discussions held with the representatives of various viewpoints.
He said, significantly: " In particular, we were anxious to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Maharashtrian people. Bombay city, as is well known, is geographically surrounded by Maharashtra and may be considered to be a part of it. Even in this city, the dominant and largest linguistic group consists of Manarashtrians. Whatever the fate of Bombay, the Maharashtrians are bound to play a dominant role there."
About Punjab the Prime Minister said: " The only major issue that remains is that of Punjab. It is clear that the future of Pigljab depends on the goodwill and cooperation of the Sikhs and Hindus there. Whatever the decision, this is essential. I trust this will be forthcoming."
He emphasized that it was necessary to have a number of safeguards which would protect the linguistic minorities as well as others
TEXT OF 'COMMUNIQUE
The following is the text of the communique.
The Government of India have had under careful consideration the S.R.C. report since it swas submitted on September 30. 1955. They have naturally been anxious to ensure that the point of view of every party, section, or interest should be taken into consideration before any decisions are reached. With this end in view, the Government arranged for early publication of the report. It has now been before the country for more than three months and has been fully considered by all the political organizations and important sections of public opinion.
A conference of Chief Ministers of States was convened in October, 1955, to consider the first reactions in the different States to the proposals made in the report. All the State Governments have now been consulted, and there has been a preliminary discussion of the report in the various State Assemblies in advance of the formal consultation under Article 3 of the Constitution. The report has also been debated in considerable detail in Parliament.
After giving careful and anxious thought to the views which have been expressed on the subject, the Government of India have arrived at conclusions which are being embodied in the States Reorganization Bill. This Bill will be placed before Parliament after the legislatures of the States concerned have been consulted.
The report of the Commission is a weighty document based on a thorough and objective examination of a complicated problem. Public opinion in India has also by and large welcomed the scheme proposed by the Commission. The Government of India have, therefore, generally accepted the Commission's recommendations.
The departures which have been made from the Commission's scheme are restricted to a few cases in which it has been found that the minimum measure of agreement necessary for the efficient working of administrative units would not be forthcoming on the basis of the Commission's recommendations. In regard to certain disputed border areas, some minor adjustments have been made, largely by agreement.
The decisions which have been taken are briefly summarized in the paragraphs which follow.
The Government of India have accepted the Commission's recommendation that the existing constitutional disparity between the different States of the Indian Union should disappear as a necessary consequence of reorganization. They have also accepted the further recommendation that the existing Part 'B' States should be equated to Part 'A' States by omitting Article 371 of the Constitution and abolishing the institution of the Rajpramukh, and that the existing Part ‘C' States should also disappear as a category of States. As recommended by the Commission, such of the existing Part C' States as cannot be merged in the adjoining States will be directly administered by the Central Government. The question of devising suitable arrangements for associating the representatives of the people of these areas with their administrations is under consideration.
STATES OF THE INDIAN UNION
The Government of India have accepted the Commission's recommendation regarding the formation of the new States of
(b) Karnataka to be named as Mysore, and
(c) Madhya Pradesh,
and also the recommendations regarding the continuance of the States of
(c) Uttar Pradesh,
(e) West Bengal,
(f) Assam, and
broadly on the basis proposed by the Commission. Some minor adjustments have, however, been made as regards the areas to be included in some of these States.
The Government of India have carefully considered the Commission's recommendation regarding the formation of Bombay and Vidarbha States. The proposal appears to be fair and reasonable. But in view of the strong opposition from the Marathi-speaking areas to the creation of the proposed bilingual State and in view also of the special position of the City of Bombay and public opinion in this area generally, the Government of India have arrived at the conclusion that two States, namely, fi) a Gujarat State comprising the Gujarati-speaking areas with its capital within the State; and (ii) a Maharashtra State comprising the Marathi-speaking areas. including the areas of the proposed Vidarbha State, with its capital within the State; and one centrally administered area, namely, Bombay, comprising (1) Greater Bombay; and (ii) the areas of the villages of Kopari, Mulund, Nahur and Turmbhe in the Thana taluka and the Borivli taluka except the villages of Bheyandar, Dongri, Ghod Bunder, Kashi, Maroshi, Mire, Rai Murdhe and Uttan; should be constituted in Blace of the States of Bombay and Vidarbha as proposed by the Commission. The Government of India hope that it will be possible to make suitable arrangements on an agreed basis to meet the wishes of the people of Vidarbha.
The question of devising a suitable form of administration for Bombay and associating the people of this area with its governance is under examination.
The Government of India have also taken into account the wishes of the people in the existing Part C State of Tripura. They have come to the conclusion that Tripura may for the time being be continued as a centrally-administered area.
The attention of the Government of India has been drawn to the need for the development of the Laccadive and Minicoy Islands, which now form part of Malabar district and the Amindive Islands which now form part of South Kanare district of Madras State. The Government of Madras has suggested that the development of these areas is likely to be accelerated, if they are transferred to and administered by the Centre, and this suggestion has been accepted.
The Commission's recommendations about the formation of (i) a Punjab State comprising the territories of the existing States of Punjab, P.E.P.S.U. and Himachal Pradesh; and (ii) a residuary Hyderabad State or in the alternative a larger Andhra State are still under consideration.
In regard to border adjustments, the Government of India have proceeded on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission. Some minor adjustments have, however, been made, largely by agreement. Some further adjustments may follow in the event of similar agreements being reached.
In accordance with the decisions which have so far been taken, the States of the Indian Union will be as indicated in the Appendix.
The Government of India attach great importance to the recommendations made by the Commission in respect of safeguards for linguistic minorities and certain suggestions in the report intended to correct parochial trends or to secure greater inter-State co-ordination. These recommendations have been accepted in principle. Final decisions in regard to some of them will, however, have to be taken in consultation with the State Governments.
The Government of India feel that if the implications of the fact that the Constitution of India recognizes only one citizenship, a common citizenship of the entire. Indian people with equal rights and opportunities throughout the Union, are fully appreciated and accepted, undue importance wiU not be attached to the question of territorial redistribution between the States of the Union.
As a further step in the direction of inter-State co-ordination, the Government of India propose, simultaneously with the creation of the new States, to establish zonal councils, which may deal with matters of common concern to the States in different zones, including economic planning and questions arising out of reorganization. The zonal councils will be deliberative and advisory bodies; their creation will not, therefore, in any way detract from the content of the legislative and executive authority of the States. If properly worked, however, these bodies should serve to promote inter-State concord and arrest the growth of acute State consciousness.
It is proposed to group the States and areas in the following zones for the purpose of establishing zonal councils:
(1) NORTHERIT ZONE: Comprising the existing States of Punjab, P.E.P.S.U., Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan with such territorial adjustments as may be made;
(2) CENTRAL ZONE: Comprising U.P. and the proposed Madhya Pradesh States;
(3) EASTERN ZONE: Comprising the proposed States of Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam (including N.-E.F.A.), Manipur and Tripura:
(4) WESTERN ZONE: Comprising the proposed States of Maharashtra and Gujarat and the centrally-administered area of Bombay; and
(5) SOUTHERN ZONE: Comprising the States of Andhra and Madras together with the proposed States of Mysore and Kerala and the residuary State of Hyderabad as proposed by the Commission.
The Government of India also contemplate the appointment of common Governors and the establishment of common High Courts and common Public Service Commissions in certain regions.
The task of finalizing a co-ordinated scheme of reorganization of the territories of the States of India has been an extremely complex and delicate one. It has involved reconciliation of the national interest with regional interests and the balancing of one important factor bearing on reorganization against other such factors. Each claim has also had to be considered in relation to other competing claims. It is obviously impossible for any Commission or authority entrusted with a task of such dimensions to satisfy all interests. The impossibility of achieving universal acceptance of decisions of this nature can well be realized. when it is borne in mind that in a number of cases, serious controversy rages on the merits of the proposed readjustment of territories one side contending that the transfer is utterly unjustified and the others seriously questioning the adequacy of the transfer:
The Government of India have endeavoured to seek the largest measure of agreement regarding the changes which have been proposed, in the hope that as a result of the proposed changes, an environment may be created in which the nation will be able to devote itself to the more immediate and urgent problems which face it, including in particular economic reconstruction and development.
The Government of India would conclude with an appeal to all sections of public opinion in the country to approach the problem of reorganization from the national rather than from sectional or parochial points of view. The readjustment of State territories on a rational basis is undoubtedly of some importance. But what is of even greater moment is to ensure that in the process of these adjustments, larger ends like national unity and economic progress of the country are not impaired.
The aim and motive behind re- organization is the formation of units which may lead to greater administrative convenience facilitating the implementation of national development plans and promoting the well-being of the people of the country as a whole. The Government of India sincerely hope that the decisions which have been taken will be viewed in this perspective and that it will be possible to implement them within the contemplated time-schedule in an atmosphere of tolerance and goodwill
MADRAS: As proposed by the Commission, with the modification that the portion of the westernmost pakuthy of Shencottah taluk lying to the west of the ghats will be excluded from the areas proposed for transfer to Madras.
KERALA: As proposed by the Commission, with the modification that the portion of the westernmost pakuthy of Shencottah taluk lying to the west of the ghats will be retained in Kerala and the Amindive, Laccadive and Minicoy islands will be Centrally-administered.
KARNATAKA TO BE NAMED MYSORE: As proposed by the Commission, with the modification that Alampur and Gadwal tehsils of Raichur district and Tandur and Kodangal tehsils of Gulbarga district will be excluded from it and Humnabad, Bidar, Bhalki, and Santpur (Aurad> tehsils of Bidar district will be included in it. The Commission's recommendations regarding the transfer to Andhra f rom Mysore of certain portions of Bellary district is being discussed with the State Governments concerned arid a decision regarding these areas will follow.
MAHARASHTRA: This State will include the following areas:
(i)the districts of Thana (subject to certain minor adjustments mdicated in paragraph 9 of the Press communique), Nasik, Ahmecyagar, West Khandesh, East Khandesh, Poona, Sholapur, Kolnapur, North Satara, South Satara, Ratnagiri, Kolaba and Dangs of the present State of Bombay;
(ii) Chandgad taluk of Belgaum district of present State of Bombay.
(iii) districts of Akola, Amravati. Yeotmal. Buldana, Nagpur. Wardha, Chanda and Ahandara of the present State of Madhya Pradesh; and
(iv) the districts of Aurangabad. Bhir, Osmanabad, Nanded, Parbhani and tehsils of Nilanga, Udgir and Ahmedpur of Bidar district of the present State of Hyderabad.
GUJARAT: This new State wU1 be constituted so as to include the following areas: (i) districts of Amreli, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Kaira, Surat, Panch Mahals, Broach, Mehsana, Sabarkantha and district of Banaskantha (except for Abu Road taluk) of the present State of Bombay; (ii) Saurashtra; and (iii) Kutch.
MADHYA PRADESH: As proposed by the Commission.
RAJASTHAN: As proposed by the Commission.
UTTAR PRADESH: As at present constituted.
BIHAR: As proposed by the Commission, with the modification that the Chandil thana and the Patamda Dolice station of the Barabhum thana of the Purulia sub-district of Manbhum district will be retained in Bihar.
WEST BENGAL: As proposed by the Commission, with the modification that the Chandil thana and the Patamda police station of the Barabhum thana of the Purulia sub-district of Manbhum district will be excluded from the areas proposed for transfer from Bihar to West BengaL
ASSAM: As proposed by the Commission, with the modification that the present Part C State of Tripure will not be included in its territories.
ORISSA: As proposed by the Commission.