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or 34 per cent., were irrigated in 1903-4. The chief sources of irriga-
tion are: Government canals, 118 square miles; private canals, 206;
and other sources, 56. Throughout Sind nearly every canal is fed by
the Indus; and in 1903-4 nearly 34 per cent, of the total irrigated area
of the District was supplied by the Pinjari canal, fed by the Shahbandar
embankment of the Indus. The Baghar, a small canal on the right
bank, irrigated nearly 43 square miles, the Kotri 24, and the Kokwari
23 square miles. Of the irrigated land, 87 per cent, is sown for the
kharlf or autumn harvest. There are only twenty-seven wells in the
District used for irrigation.

Sea-fishing is carried on by the Muhana tribe of Musalmans, who
reside for the most part in hamlets near Karachi. The principal fish
caught on the coast are sharks, rays, and skates.
The pearl oyster is found at several places, and the '

Mlrs conducted pearl operations on their own account. Under British
rule, the right has been let for a small sum, but the pearls are very
inferior in size and quality, so that the industry has greatly declined
during the last twenty-five years. At present practically no pearl fish-
ing is carried on. Considerable fisheries also exist in the river Indus,
chiefly for the fish known as />a//a, which are annually leased out by
Government for about Rs. 20,000.

The forest lands include tracts in the Jherruck forest division, south
of Kotri, producing timber and fuel, with an area of 212 square miles
in charge of a divisional forest officer. A portion of the Hyderabad
forest division, measuring 48 square miles and situated north of Kotri,
also lies within Karachi District. The forest lands are situated on
the banks of the Indus, for the most part in the Shahbandar taluka.
The principal trees are the babul and tamarisk, the latter being found
chiefly in the Shahbandar jungles. Forest receipts in 1 903-4 amounted
to Rs. 52. Good building stone occurs among the arenaceous lime-
stones of the Gaj group near Karachi.

Local manufactures are confined to cotton cloth, silk scarves, carpets,
rugs, and the ordinary metal and earthenware. Besides a few factories
in Karachi city, there are few industries of importance.

Tatta is noted for lungfs, used by women as robes or *raae ana

. , , • communications.

shawls. Extensive salt deposits of the purest descrip-
tion occur in the Shahbandar taluka, on the Sirganda creek, a branch of
the Indus, accessible for small craft of from 50 to 60 tons burden. Salt
is manufactured from salt water by artificial means at the Maurypur
works on the sea-coast, a few miles from Karachi. Out of 15 factories,
5 are cotton-gins and presses, employing 356 persons, and the rest


include 2 metal foundries, 2 hone-mills, an arsenal, a printing press,
and a railway workshop.

The traffic centres mainly in the city and port of Karachi. The
staple exports consist of grain, principally wheat, cotton, wool, hides
and skins ; and the chief imports are sugar, kerosene, piece-goods,
liquor, and metals. Karachi District contains three seaports : namely,
Karachi, Keti, and Sirganda. The average value of the foreign trade,
which is practically confined to Karachi port, for the five years ending
1902-3 was: imports, 505 lakhs; exports, 712 lakhs; total, 1217
lakhs. In 1903-4 the value of the imports was 591 lakhs, and of the
exports 1345 lakhs; total, 1936 lakhs, or 719 lakhs above the average
of the previous five years. The average value of the coastwise trade for
all ports for the five years ending 1902-3 was: imports, 34c lakhs;
exports, 251 lakhs; total, 591 lakhs. In 1903-4 the coastwise trade
was returned as follows: imports, 375 lakhs ; exports, 188 lakhs; total,
563 lakhs, or 28 lakhs below the average of the previous five years,
which resulted from a decrease in the exports to Bombay of raw cotton,
wheat, and rapeseed. The coast-borne trade includes reimports and
re-exports from and to Karachi, which are included in the values of
the foreign trade given above.

Besides being the port of call of various steamer lines, chief among
which is the British India Steam Navigation Company, Karachi is con-
nected with two important railway systems and a number of trade routes
from Afghanistan, Kalat, and Central Asia. The North-Western Rail-
way links the District with the Punjab and the United Provinces, while
the Jodhpur-Bikaner Railway supplies railway communication with the
Thar and Parkar District and, by a circuitous route, with Bombay.
A line running for 54 miles from Hyderabad town to Badin, the head-
quarters of the Badin taluka of Hyderabad, was opened in 1904. This
line is to form part of the proposed direct railway between Sind and
Bombay, which will run through Karachi District and pass either
through Cutch or through the Thar and Parkar District. Three im-
portant trade route converge at Karachi, placing it in direct communi-
cation with the interior of Sind, with Las Bela, and with Kalat. The
total length of metalled roads in the District outside the municipal
towns is 7 miles, and of unmetalled roads 1,321 miles. The total cost
of their maintenance in 1903-4 was Rs. 19,631, of which Rs. 16,700
was paid from Local funds. Avenues of trees are maintained along
185 miles.

The District has three subdivisions, comprising nine tdlukas and three
ma/id/s, in charge of two Assistant Collectors and a Deputy-Collector.

. . , . . The nine tdlukas are each under a mukhtidrkdr.
Administration. ,. L . _.,.. - . _, ,

corresponding to the mamlatdar ot the Bombay

Presidency proper. The three mah&ls are Keti Bandar, Manjhand, and


Kohistan. The city of Karachi forms a separate charge under the
City Deputy-Collector.

The functions of the former District and Sessions Judge are now-
performed by two Additional Judicial Commissioners, who, together with
the Judicial Commissioner, compose the Chief Court in Sind. Sub-
ordinate to them are a Judge of the Small Cause Court and a Sub-
ordinate Judge, sitting at Kotri. The city is under the separate charge
of a City Magistrate, and there is a Cantonment Magistrate for the
Karachi and Manora cantonment. Magisterial work in the District
is, as usual, carried on by the administrative staff. Cattle-lifting is a
very prevalent form of crime, and, as in other Districts, blood-feuds
arising from intrigues with women are common among the hill tribes.

Before the introduction of the present settlement rates into all talukas
between 1876-7 and 1889-90, there were only two rates of land revenue
levied in the District: that is to say, garden and 'dry-crop' rates, the
former at R. 1 and the latter at 8 annas per acre. The present revenue
system of Karachi is adapted to the system of cultivation, depending
almost entirely upon irrigation. The irrigation settlement (.swSind) is in
force in all talukas of the District, and is fixed for a term of ten years.
Kohistan is settled under a special lease system, which expires in 1909,
but the lease has been extended for another five years. Under this
system the landholder is allowed to cultivate on payment of a fixed
annual rent, amounting to about 8 annas per acre. Owing to the pre-
carious water-supply of this tract, which is entirely dependent upon the
rainfall, the irrigation settlement has not been introduced into Kohistan.
The average land revenue rates per acre in the District are : garden
land, Rs. 3-9 (maximum Rs. 4, minimum Rs. 2-10); rice land, Rs. 2-14
(maximum Rs. 3-8, minimum Rs. 2-4) ; and ' dry ' land, Rs. 2-0
(maximum Rs. 2-8, minimum Rs. 1-4).

Collections on account of land revenue and revenue from all sources
have been in thousands of rupees : —

1 880- 1.


1 900-1. 1 1903-4.

Land revenue .
Total revenue .

7, 21

1 3,05

12,02 ; 8,53
69.22 60,06



There are five municipalities in the District : namely, Karachi,
Kotri, Manjhand, Tatta, and Keti Bandar. Elsewhere, local
affairs are managed by the District and tdluka boards, the total re-
ceipts of which in 1903-4 were nearly \\ lakhs, the principal source
of income being the land cess. The expenditure in the same year
amounted to one lakh, of which Rs. 30,000 was spent upon roads and


The District Superintendent of police has two Assistants and seven
inspectors. There are nineteen police stations in the District. The
total number of police in 1904 was 1,142, of whom 23 were chief con-
stables, 184 head constables, and 935 constables. The District contains
a District jail (at Karachi), n sub-jails, and 6 lock-ups. The daily
average number of prisoners in 1904 was 254, of whom 2 were females.
A new jail with accommodation for 374 prisoners is under construction.

Of the total population, 3-3 per cent. (5-6 males and 0-5 females) are
literate. As in other Sind Districts, education is backward as compared
with the Presidency proper, and such advance as has been made is
more observable in Karachi city than in the towns and villages in the
interior. The least backward tdlukas are Kotri and Tatta. In 1 880-1
there were 65 schools, attended by 4,581 pupils. The number of
pupils rose to 13,856 in 1891 and to 16,602 in 1901. In 1903-4 there
were 297 educational institutions, public and private, including an Arts
college at Karachi city, 6 high schools, 8 middle schools, 2 training
schools, 2 special schools, and 186 primary and elementary. These
institutions were attended by 13,605 pupils, including 3,028 girls. Of
the 205 institutions classed as public, 2 were managed by Government,
69 by the local boards and municipalities, while 134 were aided. The
great majority of the pupils are in primary schools. Attempts have re-
cently been made by the Muhammadan community to encourage educa-
tion, and a society has been formed to promote this object. The total
expenditure on education in 1903-4 was z\ lakhs, of which about
Rs. 50,000 was derived from fees. Of the total, 55 per cent, was
devoted to primary education.

The District has 2 hospitals and 13 dispensaries and other institu-
tions, containing accommodation for 186 in-patients. The existing civil
hospital at Karachi is being replaced by a more modern building. In
these institutions, 104,000 cases were treated in 1904, of whom 1,928
were in-patients, and 3,473 operations were performed. The expendi-
ture was Rs. 64,000, of which Rs. 30,000 was met from Local and
municipal funds.

The number of persons successfully vaccinated in 1903-4 was 12,359,
representing a proportion of 27 per 1,000, which exceeds the average
for the Presidency. Vaccination is compulsory only in Karachi city.

[A. YV. Hughes. Gazetteer of the Province of Sind (1876, new edition
in the press).]

Karachi Taluka. South-western taluka of Karachi District, Sind,
Bombay, lying between 24° 46" and 25° 39' N. and 66° 42' and 67° 53'
E., with an area of 1,678 square miles. It contains one city, Karachi
(population, 116,663), the head-quarters of the District and of the
taluka ; and 14 villages. The population increased from 124,274 in 189 1
to 136,297 in 1901. The density is 81 persons per square mile. The


land revenue and cesses in 1903-4 amounted to R^. 32,010. The

aspect of the tdluka, excepting the portion bordering on the sea, is

hilly, especially towards the north and west where ranges of lofty and

barren hills run from north to south, with wide valleys between them.

A small chain of hills runs within the tdluka for some miles parallel to

the Hab river, terminating in the headland of Ras Muar or Cape Monze,

a landmark for sailors making the port of Karachi. After a heavy

fall of rain these hills afford abundant pasturage. The tdluka contains

no canals, but is drained by several mountain torrents, the chief of which

are the Malir and Layari. Salt marshes occur along the sea-coast, and

abound with mangroves and other trees. Much of the fertile portion

of the tdluka is devoted to raising vegetables and fruit for the Karachi

market. Agriculture depends chiefly upon wells and springs, the

principal crops being jozvdr, bdjra, barley, and sugar-cane, which are

chiefly grown at Malir.

Karachi City. — Capital of Sind, Bombay, and head-quarters of the

District and tdluka of the same name, situated in 24° 51' N. and

67' 4' E., at the extreme northern end of the Indus delta, near the

southern base of the Fab mountains and close to the border of

Baluchistan. It is 993 miles distant from Bombay by rail, the distance

in nautical miles being 483. Two routes connect the city with Lahore,

by Sukkur, and by the Kotri-Rohri railway, the distance by each being

about 800 miles. Population has increased rapidly : _ , .
/ o s ^ / 00 \ r / o \ 1 Population.

(1872) 56,753, (1881) 73>5 6o > ( lb 9i) i°5>i99> and

(1901) 1 16,663, °f whom 8,019 resided in the cantonment. Muhamma-

dans number 60,003, Hindus 48,169, Christians 6,158, and Parsis 1,823.

The bay of Karachi is formed by the projecting point of Manora

Head, the extremity of a reef 10 miles in length, which supplies a

natural barrier against the Arabian Sea. The open- _ . .

c 1 1 , nr j ., v Description.

ing of the bay between Manora and the opposite

sanitarium of Clifton has a width of about 3| miles ; but the mouth is

blocked by a group of rocky islets, known as the Oyster Rocks, as well

as by what was formerly the larger island of Kiamari, now part of the

mainland owing to the action of sand-drifts. The harbour stretches for

5 miles northward from Manora Head to the narrows of the Layari

river, and about the same distance from the old town of Karachi on

the eastern shore to the extreme western point. Only a small portion

of this extensive area, however, is capable of accommodating large

vessels. Manora Head, the first object visible to a voyager approaching

Karachi from the sea, is crowned by a lighthouse, having a fixed light

148 feet above sea-level, and visible for 20 miles around in clear

weather. The point was formerly guarded by a fort, said to have been

first erected in 1797 ; but this has now yielded place to a modern

fortification, the port and pilot establishment, the buildings in

VOL. xv. 1:


connexion with the harbour improvements, and a portion of the Indo-
European Telegraph department. Besides a library, billiard-room, and
European school, Manora possesses an English church, intended for
the crews of vessels frequenting the harbour. It has recently been
made a cantonment, and is shortly to be constituted a military
sanitarium in place of Ghizri, lately abandoned.

On the opposite side of the mouth, Kiamari forms the landing-place
for all passengers and goods bound for Karachi, and has three piers.
A road running along the Napier Mole, three miles long, connects the
island with the city and mainland, and is traversed by the East India
Tramway. The North-Western Railway also extends to Kiamari ; but
instead of following the mole, it takes a more circuitous route, to the
south, by the edge of a large lagoon, the waters of which are passed
through the mole by a screw-pile bridge, 1,200 feet in length, erected
in 1865 at a cost of about 5 lakhs, so as to allow them to flow uninter-
ruptedly into the harbour as a means of scouring the channel. At the
northern extremity of this bridge, and running in a westerly direction,
stands the native jetty, built of stone at an expense of 4A lakhs. At
the end of the mole, on the mainland side, the custom-house runs right
across the road, which pierces it by five arches, thus intercepting all

Two principal thoroughfares lead from the custom-house to the
Karachi cantonment, known respectively as the Bandar and the
M c Leod Roads, at the junction of which stands a handsome clock-
tower, the public memorial to Sir William Merewether. The oldest
portion of the town is situated along the former route, close to the
harbour, containing the most thickly populated quarter in Karachi.
The municipality has widened and paved the streets, and effected other
improvements which must conduce to the health of the inhabitants,
who are chiefly Hindu and Muhammadan merchants. The Eayari,
a river merely in name, as it contains water only three or four times
a year, separates this quarter from the Layari suburb. On the M c Leod
Road are situated the Chief Court, the Bank of Bombay, the National
Bank of India, the city railway station, the general post office, the
telegraph office, the Mansfield import yard, Messrs. Herman & Co.'s
ironworks, and three important cotton-presses — the McLeod Road
presses, owned by the Sind Press Company, capable of turning out
daily 350 pressed bales of cotton ; the Tyabji presses, erected in 1865
at a cost of z\ lakhs, and turning out 250 bales \ and the Albert
Tresses, leased to the Sind Press Company, and turning out 390 bales.
This quarter also contains the Edalji Dinsha dispensary, several
schools, the Sind College, a new Hindu temple, and most of the
offices belonging to European merchants. The Afghan sarai, intended
for the use of caravans from Kandahar, and rebuilt by the municipality


in 1873 at a cost of Kn. 20,000, covers an area of about 3 acres.
Nearer to the cantonment, a number of bungalows stand on the inter-
vening space, while the civil lines skirt the cantonment itself to the
eastward. The military quarter, which is situated to the north and
east of the city proper, consists of three portions : the depot lines, the
artillery lines, and the European infantry lines. The depot lines are
the oldest military portion of Karachi, and were originally intended to
supply accommodation to troops passing up-country from the sea or
vice versa. Here also is the arsenal. The public garden, distant about
half a mile from cantonments, covers an area of 40 acres, neatly laid out
with trees and shrubs, and contains an excellent zoological collection.

The architecture of Karachi is essentially modern and Anglo-Indian.
The Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity is situated just outside the
cantonments. It stands in a large open space, 15 acres in extent, and
consists of a heavy, ungainly Italian nave, with an ugly tower, the
upper portion of which has recently been removed as unsafe.
St. Patrick's Roman Catholic school, formerly a church, is a fine
stone building, capable of accommodating 40 boarders and 200 day-
scholars. The European and Indo-European school, known as the
Karachi Grammar School, founded in 1854, under the auspices of
Sir Bartle Frere, then Commissioner of Sind, occupies a handsome
stone structure in the depot lines. The other chief modern institutions
include a Muhammadan college, the Presbyterian Church of St. Andrew,
Christ Church and the Anglican Mission schools, the Napier Barracks, the
Sind Club, the Empress market, the Pars! Vlrbaiji school, and the post
office. The Frere Hall, a municipal building, stands near the Sind
Club. It was opened in a somewhat unfinished state in October,
1865, up to which date if lakhs had been expended upon its erection.
This hall, which is a comparatively good specimen of slightly adapted
Venetian Gothic, contains the Karachi general library. A fine statue
of the Queen-Empress Victoria, erected by public subscription in the
grounds of Frere Hall, was unveiled by His Royal Highness the Prince
of Wales in March, 1906. Government House, the residence of the
Commissioner of Sind, is situated in the civil quarter, and consists of
a central building with two wings, approached by five separate carriage
drives. Though commodious and comfortable in its interior arrange-
ments, the exterior can lay no claim to architectural beauty. It was
originally built by Sir Charles Napier when governor of the province,
and has now been improved and fitted with an electric light and fan

The climate of Karachi, owing to the prevalence of sea-breezes
during eight months of the year, is more healthy than any other in
Sind. The low situation of the city, and the near neighbourhood of
marsh land, render the atmosphere moist and warm ; but the heat

B 2


during the hottest months cannot compare with that experienced in
the interior. The mean annual temperature, calculated from data for
twenty-five years ending 1901, may be stated at 65 in January, 85 in
May, and 75 in November. The hottest weather occurs in April,
May, and June, though September and October are also often close
and sultry. The annual rainfall averages about 5 inches. The first
case of plague occurred early in December of 1896, the locality
attacked being the old town quarter, and nearly 3,400 persons died
in the first year. The total mortality from plague until the end of
March, 1904, was 19,010.

Karachi came into British possession in 1843. The town may be
regarded as almost a creation of British rule, its extensive commerce,
splendid harbour works, and numerous flourishing
institutions having all sprung up since the introduc-
tion of settled administration. Before 1725 no town whatever appears
to have existed on the site ; but a place named Kharak, with a con-
siderable commerce, is mentioned as lying on the other side of the
Hab river at the confluence of the river and the sea. The entrance
to Kharak harbour having become blocked with sand, a migration was
made to a spot near the present head of Karachi harbour, and at that
time (1729) called Kalachi Kun ; and in time, under Jam Daria Khan
Jokia, trade began to centre upon the convenient harbour. Cannon
brought- from Muscat protected the little fort, and the name of Karachi,
supposed to be a corrupt form of Kalachi, was bestowed upon the rising
village. The hopeless blocking up of Shahbandar harbour shortly
afterwards drove much of its former trade and population to Karachi.

Under the Kalhora princes, the Khan of Kalat obtained a grant of
the town, which he garrisoned from his own territory. Within the short
period r 792-5, three Baloch armies appeared before the town: but
only on the third occasion did the Talpur chief of Hyderabad, who led
the Baloch troops, gain possession by force of arms. A fort was built
at Manora, at the mouth of the harbour. The Talpur chiefs made
considerable efforts to increase the trade of Karachi, so that in 1838
the town and suburbs had a population of 14,000, half of whom were
Hindus. The houses were all flat- roofed, and built of mud, very few
of them having more than one storey : each house had its badgir or
wind-catcher for the purposes of ventilation. The government under
the Mirs was vested in a civil and military official, the Nawab, who
ruled despotically over the town and neighbourhood.

Even before the period of British rule, the commerce of Karachi had
attained to some importance, owing to the value of the river Indus as
a channel of communication. Nevertheless, the sparse
population of the country, combined with the short-
sighted policy of its rulers, prevented it from reaching its proper develop-


ment. Under the Talpur Mirs, nil imports were subjected to a j per
cent, and all exports to a z\ per cent. duty. In 1809 the customs
revenue amounted to Rs.

Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 2 of 50)