William Wilson Hunter.

The imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 3) online

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after being once dyed, is marked with the desired pattern, the outline
of which is picked and twisted so as to form a raised surface ; the cloth
is then again put into the vat to be dyed a fresh colour, and when taken
out the raised threads are removed, leaving the pattern of the original
colour underneath. Carpets, rugs, horse-cloth, towels, napkins, etc.,
are manufactured in the jails throughout the Presidency, especially in
Sind. Ahmadnagar is celebrated for its carpets, and Khandesh and
Dharwar for drugget rugs and bullock-cloths. The raw material
employed in manufactures of silk is imported from China. The chief
seats of silk-weaving are Ahmadabad, Surat, Poona, Ndsik, and Yeola.
The two first of these places produce kifikhdbs, or brocades of silk and
gold and silver thread, which are famous throughout India ; the three
last have a reputation for silk or cotton saris, finished off with rich
borders of gold, silver, or silk lace, and beautifully filled in with designs
executed on the looms. The silk dhotars and pitdmbars of Yeola are
in great request. The preparation of gold and silver thread is performed
with great skill. It is said that one rupee's worth of silver can be
drawn out into a thread 800 yards in length. The metallic thread is
either twisted with silk before being used in the looms, or sometimes
beaten out flat to form a warp by itself. The embroidery of various
articles with gold and silver thread for the use of the Muhammadan
and Parsi communities, or for the European market, is carried on at
Haidarabad in Sind, in Kathiawar, and at Baroda, Surat, and Bombay.
The manufacture of coarse paper from raw vegetable fibres is conducted
in several of the large towns, especially at Ahmadabad and Baroda ;
also at smaller local centres, such as Junar in Poona District.
The manufacture of coir rope is an industry which thrives in the
Konkan and Kanara, and coarse kamblis or blankets are made in
Khandesh, Nasik, Sholapur, and Ratnagiri. Toys in ivory and clay are
made in Surat and Poona, and the carpets of Sind enjoy a wide reputa-
tion. Among articles of leather work may be mentioned the debaro, or
large vessel used for holding oil, etc., which is formed by stretching a



60 BOMB A Y PRESIDENCY.

fresh skin round an inner mould of clay. Saddle covers and cloths,
shoes, leggings, blankets, felts, and accoutrements are made in Sind,
and the ancient manufacture of shields at Ahmadabad has not yet
entirely died out. The common pottery of the Presidency is of a very
rude description, but Sind produces some of the best potters' ware of all
India. The art is thought to have been introduced by the Amirs, or
former Muhammadan rulers, whose mosques and tombs attest the
degree of excellence attained. The Bombay School of Art is now
successfully promoting the revival of this industry. Special qualities of
pottery are made at Patan in the State of Baroda, and at Ahmadabad.
Nasik and Poona are celebrated for their brass-ware. Bombay city and
Ahmadabad also turn out large quantities of brass utensils, which
are hammered by native workmen out of sheets imported from Europe.
In the department of cutlery, spear-heads are made at Ahmadnagar, and
hunting-knives, swords, and chain armour in Cutch, Kathiawar, and
Baroda. Ironwork, besides cutlery, is still hammered with great skill
at Ahmadabad, where the beautiful gates of the tomb of Shah Alam
afford an example of an extinct industry in perforated brasswork. Fine
art is represented by a large number of ornamented articles manufac-
tured in all parts of the Presidency. The personal decorations of the
women of Gujarat are distinguished by solidity, and those of Marathi
women by intricacy of design. The Muhammadans and Parsis also
have each styles of ornament peculiar to themselves. The goldsmiths'
work of Sind is very beautiful. The embossed gold and silver work of
the Cutch workmen is much sought after, an d they have established a
colony at Ahmadabad and Bombay. Ahmadabad and Surat are also
celebrated for wood-carving. Most of the houses are ornamented in
this way, and furniture and boxes are carved in ebony and blackwood.
The best sandal-wood carving comes from Kiimpta (Coompta) in
Kanara. Sculpture has been practised by the stonecutters of Cutch
and Kathiawar from time immemorial. The more elaborate portions of
the stonework on the recently erected public buildings in Bombay were
executed by these workmen, trained in the School of Art and the Public
Works Department.

Cotton Mills. — Within the last twenty years the spinning and weaving
of cotton by steam machinery, and under European supervision, has
become an important industry. The local cotton mills have certain
natural advantages. Both the raw material and the market for the
manufactured produce lie at their feet. The first mill was started
in Bombay in 1857 ; and according to the latest returns, there are now
(1 881) 36 mills at work in Bombay city and its suburbs, and 13 in other
parts of the Presidency, not including those in contemplation or in
course of erection. These 49 mills employ a total of 1,237,536 spindles
and 13,046 looms; and probably consume about 157,000 khandis



BO MB A Y PRESIDENCY. 6 1

(candies) of 784 lbs. each of cotton. They are almost without exception
the property of joint-stock companies. The hours of work for the
operatives are from six in the morning to six at night, with an hour
allowed in the middle of the day for meals and smoking. A Factory
Act regulates the hours of labour for children. The average number of
hands employed is 37,567; and the average wages per month are,
for a girl, 10s. ; a woman, 16s. ; a man, jQi, 12s. The natives are
gradually learning to qualify themselves for the posts requiring superior
skill, which are at present mostly occupied by operatives brought from
England. Besides supplying the local demand, these cotton mills are
beginning to find a market in foreign countries, especially for their
twist and yarn, which meets with much favour. During the year 1 880-8 1 ,
the exports of Indian twist were 26,442,671 lbs., valued at ^1,260,296,
of which by far the larger portion was sent to China. The value of the
exported piece-goods manufactured at the mills of the Presidency was
returned in the same year at ^405,370.

Roads and Railways. — The roads throughout the Presidency are
chiefly constructed and maintained out of local funds by the agency of
the District officers. A two-thirds share of the 1 dnnd cess levied on
every rupee of land revenue is set apart for this purpose, and augmented
by contributions from tolls, ferries, etc. In 1880-81, the receipts of
the District Road Fund amounted to ^229,560, and the expenditure
to ^224,782. Certain trunk roads, and the construction of important
buildings and bridges, are under the charge of the Public Works
Department, which in the same year expended ^"298,219, of which
;£8o,oi4 was appropriated to original works, and ^"165,287 to repairs.
The total expenditure on Public Works (including establishment) in the
Bombay Presidency in the year 1880-81, was ^640,186 in the Roads
and Buildings branch; the outlay on military works was ,£144,7 12.
Works for the protection against the sea of the harbour defences at
Manora Point at Karachi are in progress, as well as the improvement of
the fortifications of Bombay harbour. At the close of the year 1880-81,
there were 3150! miles of railway open under the Government of
Bombay. This does not include any of the railways in Sind, which are
now under the administration of the Government of India. There were
100 miles under construction at the end of 1880-81, and 227 under
survey. The two chief railways under the control of the Bombay
Government are the Great Indian Peninsula, with 1287 miles open in
1881 ; and the Bombay, Baroda and Central Indian, with 421 miles.
Both these are guaranteed railways of the standard gauge of 5 feet 6
inches ; and both have their terminus in Bombay Island. The former,
after running a few miles east of Thana, bifurcates into two branches
at Kalyan. One of these branches runs north-east via the Thai Ghat

[Sentence continued on p. 64.



62



BO MBA Y PRESIDENCY.



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64 BOMB A Y PRESIDENCY.

Sentence continued from p. 61.] b

through Nasik and Khandesh Districts, and after again bifurcating at
Bhusawal, passes into Berar and the Central Provinces, where it joins
the East Indian extension at Jabalpur (Jubbulpore). The other original
branch of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway from Kalyan Junction
turns south-east, and, after climbing into the Deccan by the Bhor Ghat
below Poona (Puna), finally joins the Madras Railway. In 1880, the
net earnings of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway within the Presi-
dency amounted to ;£i, 110,555; the gross expenditure amounted to
^1,384, 7 70. Up to the same year the cost of construction amounted
to ^21,311,591; cost of rolling stock, ^3,686,128; stores, ,£591,891.
The Chond and Manmad State Railway, 145 miles in length, connects
the northern and southern branches of the Great Indian Peninsula
Railway by a chord line above the Ghats at Dhond and Manmad
stations from which it takes its name. This chord line was con-
structed as a State line, but the Great Indian Peninsula Railway now
works it. It admits of traffic between Madras and Northern India,
without compelling passengers and goods to descend and re-ascend
the Bombay Ghats. The Bombay, Baroda and Central Indian
Railway runs due north along the sea-coast past the cities of Surat,
Broach, and Baroda, and terminates at Palanpur, with a westerly branch
from Ahmadabad to Viramgam. This line lies wholly within the limits of
the Bombay Presidency. Up to 1881, the total capital expended upon
it has been ,£8,473,162 ; the gross receipts were for the year ^824,437,
and the expenses ^35° 5 972, leaving as net earnings £tf$A^ The
Patri State Railway, 22 miles, leaves this line at Viramgam terminus
in a north-westerly direction ; while the Kathiawar and Bhaunagar-
Gondal line, 194 miles, leaves the same terminus in a direction fir^t
south for a distance of 100 miles, and then west through the peninsula
of Kathiawar, to the terminus at Dhoraji. The Rajputana State
Railway, with a total length of 717 miles from Ahmadabad to Ajmere,
Delhi and Agra, northwards, has been made over to the charge
of the Bombay Government. The total length of the State Railway
lines under the Government of Bombay at the end of 1881, was
1188 miles. The Rajputana-Malwa Railway, 389 miles, from Khandwa
station on the north-eastern branch of the Great Indian Peninsula
Railway, to Neemuch, Nasi'rabad and Ajmere, has since been trans-
ferred to the control of the Bombay Government. Other small lines
of narrow gauge, aggregating a length of about-60 miles, and belonging
to the Gaekwar of Baroda, branch off from the main line of the
Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway. There are no navigable
canals in the Presidency, but the main channel of the Indus is kept
open by the State at an annual cost of about ^"6000.

Commerce and Trade.— The table on pages 62 and 63 gives the



B OMB A Y PRESIDENC K 65

principal items of the import and export trade of the Bombay Presidency,
including Sind, for the year 1880-81.

The total sea-borne foreign trade of Bombay Presidency, including
both imports and exports, reached a total value of ^57,287,885.
These figures are exclusive of the coasting trade, which in 1880-81
amounted to a total value of £15,450,126 imports, and £14,723,700
exports; total, £30,173,826; grand total, £87,461,711. The
foreign trade, exclusive of treasure and Government stores, was thus
distributed among the chief countries : — United Kingdom — imports
£18,041,382, exports ,£7,860,205; China — imports £2,698,896,
exports £7,483,278; Mauritius — imports £1,239,531, exports
£99,168; Arabia— imports £885,218, exports £715,881 Persia-
imports £528,425, exports £1,004,681 ; Italy— imports £1,036,027,
exports £2,031,869; France— imports £416,844, exports £3,579,1 13 ;
United States— imports £230,639, exports £8609 ; Ceylon— imports
£79,133, exports £88,331; Austria— imports £366,820, exports
£1,476,689; Straits Settlements — imports £182,701, exports
£271,653; other countries— imports £1,434,5 18, exports £3,026,677.
The number of vessels that entered the ports of Bombay Presidency
with cargoes from foreign countries during the year 1880-81 was 1500,
with a tonnage of 1,070,358 tons, of which 647 vessels (773* 1 J 7 tons )
were steam vessels. In addition, 45 vessels, with a tonnage ot
38,049 tons, entered in ballast. The coasting trade was carried
on by 84,812 vessels, with a tonnage of 2,026,645 tons, of which
83,049 vessels (1,296,173 tons) were native craft. Excluding the two
great harbours of Bombay and Karachi, the remaining ports in the
Presidency are divided into two groups— the northern, comprising 22
ports between Gogo and the Bassein creek ; and the southern, which
includes 51 ports between Bassein and Bhatkal, in North Kanara.
About four-fifths of the coasting trade is conducted by the southern
group.

Administration.— Thz Government of the Presidency of Bombay is
administered by a Governor and his Council. This body is the chief
executive and legislative authority of the Presidency, and consists of the
Governor as President, the Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay Presi-
dency, and two members of the Covenanted Civil Service. The various
departments of the administration are portioned out among the several
members of Council, and for each department there is a separate
secretariat staff. There is also a Legislative Council, composed
of the Governor and his Executive Council above described, togethei
with four to eight other members nominated by the Governor. Not
less than a certain proportion of these additional Legislative members
of the Council must be non-officials, with a view to the representation
of the European and native communities. For administrative purposes

VOL. III. E



CC) B OMB A Y PRESIDENC Y.

the Presidency is divided into four Divisions, called the Northern
(- Districts), Central (7 Districts, including Bombay city and island),
?nd Southern (5 Districts), in Bombay Proper, and the Sind Division
of 5 Districts; these Divisions embrace (including Bombay city and
island) 24 Districts, each Division being placed under the control and
superintendence of a Commissioner. The District is the actual unit
of administration for both fiscal and judicial purposes. The Regulation
1 districts of Bombay number 17, each under the control of a Magistrate-
Collector, who must be a member of the Covenanted Civil Service.
The Province of Sind, and the Panch-Mahals in Gujarat, form 7 non-
regulation Districts, under officers who may be either military, covenanted
or°uncovenanted servants. The city of Bombay is regarded for many
purposes as forming a District by itself. Each District is on the average
divided into 10 taluks, or Sub-divisions, each of which again contains
about 100 Government villages, or villages of which the revenue has
not been alienated by the State. Every village is, for fiscal and police,
as well as social purposes, complete by itself. It has its regular com-
plement of officials, who are usually hereditary, and are remunerated by
grants of land held revenue free. The more important of these officials
are the pdtel or head-man ; the taldti or kulkarni, who is the clerk and
accountant ; the m/idr, who is a kind of beadle ; and the watchman.
Over each taluk or Sub-division is set a Government officer termed
a mdmlatddr ; and on an average about 3 taluks are placed in
charge of an Assistant or Deputy Collector. General supervision is
exercised by the Commissioners, as above stated, who are 3 for the
Regulation Districts and 1 for Sind. The supreme administration of
justice in the Regulation Districts is entrusted to the High Court,
consisting of a Chief Justice and seven Puisne Judges. This Court
exercises both original and appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal
cases. In Sind, the same functions are discharged by the Judicial
Commissioner. The superior administration of both civil and criminal
justice is vested in officials styled District and Assistant District Judges.
Original civil suits (if not against the Government) are decided as a
rule by two classes of Subordinate Judges, and by the Small Cause
Courts ; and the greater part of the original criminal work is disposed
of by the executive District officers, who in addition to their revenue



Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 56)