7. PUDUCHERRY The territory of Puducherry comprises of the former French establishment 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 km 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 km from Mahe. Yanam is situated adjoining the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, and is about 200 km from Visakhapatnam airport. It has a total area of480 sq km with a population of 974,345.The principal languages are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, English and French

Puducherry

Agriculture

Nearly 45 per cent of the population of the Union Territory is engaged in agriculture and allied pursuits. Eighty seven per cent of the cultivated area is irrigated. Paddy is the predominant crop followed by pulses. Mahe region contributes in the plantation wealth of this territory. Crops like coconut, areca nut, condiments and spices are grown here. Pulses, groundnut and chillies are the other rainfed crops grown in Yanam.

Industry

7,677 Industrial Units in total with an aggregate investment of Rs 2,090.23 crore provided employment to 89,296 persons up to March 2006. The total value of production of these industrial units worked out to Rs 12,938.25 crore. Further, during the financial year 2004-2005 (upto March 2005) the value of exports in respect of the various products manufactured by the export oriented units is Rs 601.14 crore.

Irrigation

Under the assistance from the European Union 84 tanks were rehabilitated. One bed dam across Pennaiyar at Sitheri was completed and another across Chunnambar at Nonankuppam is nearing completion. In addition to the above necessary proposal to construct bed damps for ground water recharges at Aratchikuppam, Pambaiyar confluence point at Sellipet, across Malatar in Nettapakkam in Pondicherry and across Mullaiyar, Pravadayanar and Vanjiar at Karaikal are proposed. Also the construction of a bridge cumbarrage at Villanur is under progress. Fishing harbour is proposed at Karaikal and in Mahe is under model study through IIT, Chennia.

Power

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.

Transport

Four lane bridge at Ariyankappam has been taken up . Bridge across Sankaraparani River at Sellipet has been completed . Improvement to ECR roads as four lane roads are being implemented. Improvements to Beach road at Pondicherry is proposed . Draft plan on traffic and Transportation Engineering, whcih envisages short-term, long-term, and rapid action plan has been obtained and the works will be taken up in phased manner. New bridges are been taken up in Karaikal region.

Tourism

Pondicherry (known in Tamil as Puddcherry), 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 othe former French enclaves of Karaikal (also in Tamil Nadu), Mahe (Kerala), Yanam (Andhra Pradesh) display skillful 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 home to renowned saints, ancient trading settlement with Rome and Greece, once capital of French India, a spiritual Power house, Pondicherry has touristic resources in the back waters, rivers, beaches and other areas developed as sustainable eco-tourist facilities. Influenced by East and West, Pondicherry has unique handicrafts in leather pottery, hand made paper, incense and antique colonial furniture. Sri Aurobindo, the great seer, poet and prophet of Indian spiritually, preached his vision and ideals staying in Pondicherry till his life. His Ashram is still an unique institution with its distinctive way of life attracting people from all over the world. The new Pondicherry Tourism Development Corporation was evolved on 1 April 2005 with the aim on new tourism projects, diversification and expansion of the existing tourism activities.