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B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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28-20 lakhs in the four years to 1895 : on Channels, 2'i8, 10-56, and
1033 lakhs in the same periods. For Repairs were spent 9-06, 5-41,
and 3-43 lakhs on Tanks, and 2-66, 2-35, and 2-81 lakhs on Channels,
in the same periods. It is impossible in this place to give any full list
of the numerous works, though of the highest utility, that have been
carried out under these heads. It may suffice to state that the river
•channels in Mysore and Hassan Districts had, in 1895, attained to a
length of 869 miles, and to mention the following as among a few of
the more considerable works carried out: — Improving and extending
Rampur channel, Nanjangud taluq ; constructing Borankanve reser-
voir, Chiknayakanhalli taluq ; restoring the Rekalgere tank, Chellakere
taluq ; restoring Sulekere tank, Malavalli taluq ; improving Hesar-
ghatta tank, Nelamangala taluq ; constructing Srinivasa Sagara tank
across the North Pennar, Chik Ballapur taluq ; constructing Ramasa-
mudram tank across the Chitravati, Sidlaghatta taluq ; improving and
extending Hulhalli channel, Nanjangud taluq ; improving and extend-
ing north channel from the Sriramdevar dam, Chanraypatna taluq.

Railways. — At the time of the Rendition, in March 1881, in
addition to the Bangalore branch of the Madras Railway from Jalarpet
to Bangalore, 55 miles within Mysore limits, on the broad gauge,' there
■was the Mysore State Railway, from Bangalore to Mysore, completed
as far as Mandya, 58 miles on the metre gauge. The latter was
opened to Mysore in February 1882, and was constructed almost
entirely out of current revenues. In October 1882, the line from
Bangalore to Tumkur, 43 miles of metre gauge, was commenced, a
loan of 20 lakhs at 5 per cent, interest having been raised for the pur-
pose, and was opened for traffic in August 1S84. A further portion
to Gubbi, II miles, was opened in December 1884. Surveys and
estimates for extending the line to the frontier at Harihar were pre-
pared, and it was decided to hand over the construction to the
Southern Mahratta Railway Company, to whuni the open line of 140
lines was hypothecated for the amount of its cost, to be worked by
them on terms similar to those in force with regard to the Deccan
railways. The transfer was effected on the ist of July 1886,

' The connecting link of two miles between Banj^alore Cantonment and City was
really opened in July 18S2.



7 7 8 ADMINISTRA TION

The contract thus concluded by the Secretary of Stute, acting on
behalf of Mysore, was to be in force for 46 years. The Company,
under his guarantee of interest at 4 per cent., payable by Mysore,
raised a loan of ^1,200,000, which, at a premium of 2 per cent.,
realized ;^i, 224,000. Out of Rs. 16,382,801, the equivalent in Indian
currency, the sum of Rs. 6,860,508 was paid to Mysore for the actual
outlay on the Mysore Gubbi line, and the balance, or such portion as
was necessary, not to exceed 80 lakhs, was to be devoted to the exten-
sion of the line to Harihar, 156 miles. The whole line from Mysore
to Harihar, 296 miles, was to be worked by the Company as a separate
system, distinct from their railways in British India, the cost of manage-
ment being apportioned according to their respective gross earnings. Out
of the net earnings of the Mysore line the Company were to retain one-
fourth, and pay three-fourths to Mysore. In February 1889 the line was
opened from Harihar to Birur, 795 miles, and in August 1889 it was
opened throughout, establishing direct communication between Mysore
and Poona, and thus with Bombay. In December 189 1 an exten-
sion of the line from Mysore to Nanjangud, 15^ miles, was completed
from State funds.

In December 1890 a line from Yesvantpur Junction to Hindupur,
5i| miles within Mysore, was undertaken by the State engineers. The
first section to Dod Ballapur was opened in December 1892, and the
remainder in September 1893, forming through connection with
Guntakal on the Madras-Bombay line. The Kolar Gold-Fields Rail-
way, ten miles on the broad gauge, from Bowingpet Junction to the
Mysore Mine, was completed by the State in June 1894. These are
all the lines at work up to 1895. The further projects surveyed are a
line from Arsikere, via Hassan and the Manjarabad ghat, to Mangalore ;
lines from Nanjangud to Gudalur, and from Nanjangud to Erode ;
lines from Birur to Shimoga, from Dod Ballapur to Chik Ballapur, and
from Mudgere to Sivasamudram ; a line from Mysore through Yedatore
and Coorg to Tellicherry or Cannanore. The first and fourth are in
course of execution.

The metre gauge lines, additional to that from Mysore to Harihar,.
are worked for the State by the Southern Mahratta Railway Company,
and the Kolar Gold-Fields line by the Madras Railway Company, on
triennial agreements, the net earnings, after deducting working expenses,,
going to Mysore.

The total capital outlay on Railways has been Rs. 20,363,427,
including Rs. 1,707,793 unexpended in the hands of the British
Government from the proceeds of the English loan. This outlay has
been met from the English and Local railway loans mentioned above,.



P0S2' OFFICE 11^

and from Rs. 1,980,626 provided by the State from current revenues.
There is a deficit on the working of the Mysore-Harihar line of about
3^ lakhs a year. But of the remaining railways, the Mysore-Nanjangud
and Bangalore-Hindupur lines earned 2 "3 and 2-5 percent, respectively,
and the Kolar Gold-Fields line as much as S'l per cent, on the capital
outlay.

Post Oj//ce.- -The Anche, as the Local Post was called, was an old
institution, dating from the time of Chikka Dera Raja in the
seventeenth century. It continued to meet the wants of the public,
and many improvements in working were introduced from time to time
l)y the Anche Bakshi, the head of the department. The number of
rural post-offices was greatly increased after 1882 by entrusting them
to the Hobli schoolmasters, who received for the work a small allowance
in addition to their pay. But the system of levying all postage in cash,
granting receipts for the same, and keeping detailed registers of
letters received and delivered, though safe, was behind the times.
Difficulties, however, arose in regard to the proposal to introduce
postage stamps. Eventually, after much discussion, the Anche was
amalgamated with the British Postal Service in April 1889, and the
management transferred to that department. The terms of the
transfer were, that the whole of the postal expenditure should be borne
by the British Government, and that the whole of the official
correspondence of the State should be carried within the limits of
Mysore free of any cost to the Durbar. The result has been a saving
of Rs. 60,000 a year to Mysore, with additional postal facilities.

REVENUE AND FINANCE

The designation of the Deputy Accountant-General, who had lieen in
charge for twenty years, was altered in 1882 to that of Comptroller,
and he was also placed in charge of Registration and of the Govern-
ment Press. Since 18S6 the office of Comptroller has been separately
held by Native officers.

Provincial Funds. — The revenue under all heads, excluding railways,
rose from 106^ laklis in 1881-2, with a fall in 1884-5 to loof lakhs
(due to an unfavourable season and the loss of the C. & M. Station of
Bangalore), to 174I lakhs in 1894-5. During the same period, the
expenditure, also excluding railways, was 103^ in 188 1-2, fell to
995 lakhs in 1884-5, ^^'^^ ^^en increased every year to 149 lakhs in
1894-5. After allowing for railway charges, there was a net surplus at
the latter period of 127} lakhs.

The following is a detailed statement of the revenue year by year : —



78o



ADMINISTRA TION



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REVENUE 781

The increase in Land Revenue is principally due to extended
cultivation. In 189 1-2 it was made payable in four equal instalments,
in February, March, April, and May in the western districts, and in
March, April, May, and June in the eastern districts. Under the
previous system, l)y which the collections were from December to
March, the revenue having to be paid before the proceeds of the
harvest were fully realized, agriculturists were often driven either to sell
their crops at a disadvantage, or to raise loans and mortgage their crops.
In consequence of the change thus made, it became necessary that the
official year should thenceforward commence on the ist of July instead
of the I St of April.

The increase under Forests from 1885-6 was chiefly due to a revivaF
in the market for sandalwood from previous depression, and to a
greater supply of sleepers for the railway. Subsequently the returns
fell, owing partly to the war between China and Japan having
temporarily crippled one of the principal sandalwood markets, and
also to the fact that while, on one hand, the supply of railway sleepers
came to a close with the completion of the lines, on the other hand,
the Southern Mahratta Railway substituted Singareni coal for wood-fuel
for their engines.

The great increase under Abkari or Excise is due mainly to an
improved system of control, but also to a larger consumption arising
from higher wages and the influx at the gold-flelds, and for work on
railways, public works, and coffee plantations, of classes habituated to
drinking. A separate Excise Commissioner was appointed in 1889.

The following extracts, compiled from the Dewan's addresses in 1892
to 1894, explain the policy in regard to this subject : —

Our revenue from Excise is derived from two principal sources, toddy and
arrack. Toddy, the milder and comparatively innocent drink, is the
immemorial beverage of the aj^ricultural classes, while arrack, which is f;xr
stronger and more harmful, is chiefly consumed by the industrial labourer.
The average alcoholic strength of toddy is 2| per cent., while that of arrack
is 39^ per cent. The former is used by the prudent conservative agricul-
turist with a settled course of life and regular work, while the latter is
consumed mostly by the labourer and the artisan attracted to new places by
the prospect of profitable employment. There is every reason to believe
that the consumption of toddy is fairly stationary, while tliat of arrack has a
decided tendency to increase year after year.

The old system in regard to Toddy was one of eight large District Farms
for the entire Province. These farms were given out for terms of three
years for an annual rent, the amount of which was the highest tendered by
a limited number of persons whose standing in the business practically
excluded all outside competition. Under this system, owing to the existence



782 A DMTNIS TRA TION

of a scries of middlemen between the (Government and the contractor, the
State did not derive its proper sliare of the revenue. And owing to the want
of sufficient control, the date groves were themselves deteriorating to such an
extent as in some places to imperil the toddy revenue of the future, while in
many instances the quality of toddy supplied to the public was so bad as to
drive many persons accustomed to this comparatively innocent drink to
resort to the more harmful arrack. In order to remedy these defects, the
Government issued orders for dividing each taluq into a number of
convenient farms. Attempts to introduce a similar system had failed on
previous occasions, and it is therefore particularly gratifying that we have
now succeeded in placing it on a satisfactory and workable basis. In the
place of the eight District Farms which before existed, we have now 1,236
farms distributed over the whole Province. The increase of revenue is due
not to any increase in the number of shops for the sale of toddy — for their
number remains the same as before— but entirely to the abolition of
needless intermediaries between the Government which owns the date
o-roves and the small farmer who supplies a certain number of shops from
a particular grove or part of a grove. This arrangement, in addition to the
increased revenue it secures to the State, is expected to lead to several
indirect benefits, such as the better preservation of our date groves,^ and
the improvement of the condition of the Idigar or toddy-drawing class, who
have suffered much under the contract system hitherto in force.

As regards Arrack, our policy has been essentially one of gradual enhance-
ment of the duty upon the article. In 1S81 there existed differential rates
of duty. The general rate was Rs. 2.3 and Rs. 2.4 throughout the Province,
with Rs. 2.7 for the outlying district of Chitaldroog and special rates of
Rs. 3.3 and Rs. 3.4 for the cities of Bangalore and Mysore. By a process
of o-radual assimilation and enhancement we have now arrived at the high
uniform rate of Rs. 4 per gallon 20° under proof, equivalent to one of Rs. 5
for proof. The selling price under our system is fixed as high as Rs.5.5
for 20° under proof, equivalent to Rs. 6.10.3 for proof. These rates are as
hio-h as they can be pitched consistently with the sound policy of preventing
illicit distillation or contraband importation. The causes which, in addition
to the enhanced duty, have tended to secure the increased arrack revenue,
j^re— the abolition in 1884 of all outlying distilleries and the introduction of a
system of manufacture and distribution under centralized control ;- the
separation in 1892 of the business of manufacture from that of distribution ;
and the system adopted in the same year for the sale of the privilege of
retail vend. The increase due to the last-named cause represents an

' Eft'orts are being made by planting to form date groves in those Districts where
the uumber is small, and also to replenish the groves where ihey are in danger of
being overworked.

" Only two distilleries were retained, one near Bangalore, which supplied all the
Districts, including the C. & M. Station of Bangalore, except Shimoga and Kadur,
which were supplied by a distillery at Shimoga. From ist April 1S88 the distillery
at Shimoga was abolished and the Central Distillery at Bangalore supplied the whole
State.



EXCISE 783

addition of Rs. 0.8.8 to the Rs. 4 duty. By separating the manufacture
from the sale of arrack, we were able to attract to the business of manu-
facture the capital, resources and technical knowledge of a large Madras
firm (Messrs. Parry & Co.), and thereby to reduce the price of the manu-
factured article to \o\ annas per gallon. This very moderate price has
enabled us (while retaining the old rate of retail price, namely, Rs. 5.5 per
gallon) to enhance the rate of duty correspondingly, from Rs. 3.5 to Rs. 4.
The right to vend the liquor has been sold throughout the Province ; in the
case of the Bangalore and Mysore cities and the Kolar Gold-fields, individual
shops have been sold under what is called " the separate shop system " ;
elsewhere the right to vend has been sold by circles of villages, and in a
few special cases by entire taluqs, under the " vend rent system." The



Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 92 of 98)