History and Geography: The territory of Pandicherry comprises the former French establishment of Pondicherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam which lie scattered in South India. Pondicherry, the capital of the territory was once the original headquarters of the French in India. It is bounded on the east by the Bay of Bengal and on the other three sies by the South Arcot district of Tamil Nadu. About 150 km south of Pondicherry on the wast coast lies Karaikal.
Economy: Nearly 45 per cent of the population in the Union Territory is engaged in agriculture and allied pursuits. Ninety per cent of the cultivated area is irrigated. Besies rice other minor food crops, viz, ragi, bajra and pulses are grown in the Union Territory. The principle cash crops are sugarcane, groundnut and cotton.
With an investment of over Rs. 1,429 crore, industries are providing a livelihood to 77,341 people as in March 2001. The industrial units are manufacturing items such as textiles, sugar, yarn, spirit and beer, potassium chlorate, rich-bran oil, auto parts, soap, talcum powder, amino acids, disposable syringes, roofing sheets etc.
Irrigation in Pondicherry is mainly through tanks and tubewells. There are 84 tanks with an ayacut of 6,456 ha of which two are comparatively bigger (Qustery and Bahour). The tubewell irrigation system is almost in the private sector. There is a major proposal to rehabilitate Commission in order to improve ground water recharge and stabiles the existing anicut.
There is no power generating station in the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The power requirements are met by availing share from the Centra Generating Station and by purchasing power from neighbouring State Electricity Boards. A combined cycle Gas power plant of 32.5 Mw at Karaika is under operation since, Jan. 2000.