AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION

FAMINES

Famine or scarcity is caused by partial or total failure of the crops due to insufficient or untimely rainfall, and also due to other natural calamities such as floods, locusts, etc. The effects of these natural gaps arc widely felt as the major section of the population subsists on agriculture for its livelihood. Mostly affected are; the agricultural labourers usually employed in the fields. Not only then are prospects of losing their employment but at the same time they are sure to face hardships as a result of rising food prices.

1396-1407.

An account of the famines which occurred in the old Khandesh district, of which the present Dhulia district formed a part, will be extremely illustrative. Most of these famines were caused by drought, floods, the depredations of rats and locusts as well as by wars Besides the Durgadevi famine (1396-1407), which is said to have greatly reduced the population of Khandesh, the only scarcity mentioned before was in 1629 when the ravages of war were followed by a total failure of rain which together caused widespread distress. The description of this famine and the subsequent famines given in the old Khandesh Gazetteer of 1880 is as follows: -

1629.

"In that year, following the ravages of war, came a total failure of rain. Lands famed for their richness were utterly barren; life was offered for a loaf, but none would buy, rank for a cake, but none cared for it. The ever-bounteous hand was stretched out to beg; and the rich wandered in search of food. Dog's flesh was sold, and the pounded bones of the dead were mixed with flour.

"The flesh of a son was preferred to his love. The dying blocked the roads, and those who survived fled. Food houses were opened at Burhanpur. Every day soup and bread were distributed, and each Monday Rs. 5,000 were given to the deserving poor. The Emperor and the nobles made great remissions of revenue.

1802-03.

"In the troubles which followed Bajirav's establishment as Peshwa, Khandesh suffered more than any part of the Decean. The year 1802-03 was not, as regards rainfall, unfavourable, nor had any scarcity in the neighbouring districts caused immigration. The country was prosperous, well watered, and thickly peopled, when two seasons of lawlessness spread desolation and famine from one end to the other. The disorders were too great to allow of grain being imported, and the price rose to more than a shilling the pound (1 sher the rupee). Vast numbers died from famine or disease, and many left their homes never to return. To lessen the pressure of distress the Peshwa's government abolished import duties and remitted revenue; the export of grain was stopped, prices were regulated and measures taken to repress Bhils, Arabs and other free-hooters. By the end of 1804 the country was again quiet, but traces of this time of frightful misrule and misery still remain.

1824-26.

"From 1824 to 1826 was a time of great scarcity. Except a few slight showers no rain fell. There was much distress among the poor, and about Rs. 9,11,760 of the district revenue was remitted in three years.

1833-36

Owing to short rainfall, from 1833 to 1836 was a time of great scarcity and distress, Indian millet prices ranging between sixty-two and seventy-three pounds.

1838-39.

In 1838-39 prices rose from 121 to 80 pounds, and remissions amounting to 66,581 18,s. (Rs. 6,65.819) were granted.

1844-45 and 1845-46. 1855-56.

In 1844-45, and again in 1845-46, the failure of the latter rain caused much distress and made large remissions necessary. In 1855-56, on account of want of rain, a large area of land remained unsown, and where sown, the crops, especially in Chopda and Savda, failed. A great part of the labouring population left the district, and even some of the well-to-do cultivators were hard pressed. In some cases from 60 to 75 per cent of the assessment was remitted.

1862-66.

Between 1862 and 1866 the rainfall was scanty, and on account of the very high price of cotton, the grain-growing area was much reduced. Indian millet rose from fifty-two to thirty-five pounds the rupee. But wages were high and work was plentiful, and labouring classes passed through this period of famine prices without much suffering.

1868-69.

"In 1868-69, the latter rains failed entirely in several sub-divisions and were scanty throughout the district. The early crops were in many places below the average, and the late ones were almost everywhere inferior. Cotton, especially in Chalisgaon, was only half an average crop and the scarcity of grass was great. Fears were entertained that the Bhil population, suffering from want of food and of labour, would take to robbing and plundering. These fears were increased by the arrival of large numbers of destitute persons from Marwar and Rajputana, where the failure of the rain was more complete and the scarcity amounted to famine. Jvari prices rose from seventy to twenty-four pounds the rupee. Relief works were started, many new roads were made, several irrigation works were begun or repaired; and 833 (Rs. 8,330) of the land revenue were remitted.

1871-72.

"In 1871-72, except a few partial showers in September, there was total failure of rain, and most of the crops withered. In the middle of November there was heavy rain, but it came too late to save the early crops and did little good to the late harvest. Owing to large importations from the Central Provinces there was no want of grain, prices falling from thirty-seven to fifty pounds the rupee. Relief works works undertaken and remissions to the extent of 37,520 16s. (Rs. 3,75,208) granted.

1876-77.

"The scanty rainfall of 1876, 14.4 inches compared with an average of 24.24, led to failure of crops and distress over about half of the district.[ The estimate was in area 5.500 square miles of a total of 10.162 and in population 646,944 out of 1.028,642. ] The east and north-east suffered most severely. In addition to the failure of the early crops, only a few showers fell in September and October, and most of the cold-weather crops that were sown perished. With high grain prices, millet at 26 instead of fifty-four pounds[ Fifty-four pounds for millet, bajri. and fifty-six pounds for Indian millet jvari, were the ordinary piices. ] the rupee, and very little demand for field work, the poorer classes fell into distress, and about the middle of September, the need for Government help began to be felt. As the grain dealers were holding back their stores, about the middle of November several of the municipalities opened grain shops and sold grain to the poor at cost price. [ The followins: statement shows the details: -- (contd. on the next page.)] :This had no appreciable effect on the market. Through all the cold and hot weather, prices remained high, and distress, though not very severe, was widespread. The next rains (June 1877) began well. But again there came a long time of dry weather. In August, prices rose to an average of 16 5/8 pounds and affairs seemed critical. A good rainfall at the end of August revived the failing crops. Prospects rapidly brightened, and at the close of November, the demand for special Government help had ceased. Though prices were high and there was much distress, grain was always available and the scarcity never deepened into famine. Though there were many cases of individual suffering, the distress was by no means general. One village had good crops, another bad, and field differed from field as much as village from village. The distress was most felt by the labouring classes, the Rhils and Mahars, the latter of whom seemed at one time likely to give trouble, and by the petty local manufacturers whose industries suffered greatly from the failure of the ordinary demand. Still the distress was not so keen as to drive people away for any length of time, and from the more seriously affected districts, Ahmednagar, Sholapur, Poona and Satara, many outsiders came and some have permanently settled.

The following details show, month by month, the state of the district and the measures taken to relieve the destitute :

1876. September.

"Early in September (1876), a good fall of rain over most of district considerably lowered prices, bajri falling from twenty to thirty-seven pounds (10 shers) the rupee, and Jvari from twenty-five to forty-five pounds (13 shers). In the Tapti villages of Savda the early crops had been completely lost, and employment was provided for about 1150 of the poorer cultivators and labourers on the Savda-Cata and Jalgaon-Nasirabad roads. Encouraged by the rain a second crop of bajri was sown in places where, owing to the previous lack of moisture, the first had failed. Later in the month no rain It'll and prices again began to rise. The early crops, except in the west and north-west where they were still fair, were last withering or had perished. By the close of the month relief works were opened in many parts of the district.

October.

"October passed with only one slight shower at Nasirabad. The early crops were fair only in the west and north-west, elsewhere they ranged from middling to very bad, and in some parts the failure was complete. Cotton was suffering, and the young shoots of the cold-weather crops were withering. In Jalgaon and Parola there was great scarcity of drinking water, and grass was everywhere scanty and poor. Grain prices were fast rising, and distress was spreading among the poorer classes. Relief works, mostly repairs to roads and ponds, were opened in the distressed parts and employment given to over 2,600 people.

November

"In November there was no rain and no improvement in harvest prospects. The scanty early harvest was reaped, but most of the cold-weather crops perished. In a few towns on the railway there were light grain importations from Berar and the North-West

KHANDESH FAMINE GRAIN SHOPS, 1876-77

Name

Dale

Cost

Opened

Closed

     

Rs.

Dhulia

November 1877

November 1877

2,700

Amalner

18th December 1876

August 1877

500

Parola

1st December I876

24th January 1877

3,450

Erandol

28th November 1876

29th November 1877

975

Dharangaon

13th November 1876

2nd August 1877

967

Nandurbar

20th November 1876

26th April 1877

475

Taloda

for about two years

1,200

Sindkheda

14th January 1877

18th September 1877

248

Betavad

28th May 1877

16th November 1877

84

Shirpur

16th November 1876

27th April 1878

1.000

Varangaon

31st August 1877

16th September 1877

223

jalgaon

5th November 1876

18th December 1877

4,103

Total

15,925

Besides these, four grain shops, at Nizampur, Shahada, Prakasha and Savda, were opened by private contribution.

Provinces. In spite of this, prices rose for bajri to 26 and for jvari to 32 pounds the rupee. The Bhils began clamouring for work. During the month the average daily number of persons on relief was 3.287.[ The rates of wages originally fixed for the workers were for a man 3d. (2 annas) a day, for a woman 2 d. (1 annas), and for a boy or girl lid. (1 anna). About the middle of November when prices rose over 16 pounds the rupee, a sliding scale was introduced which provided that the money rate should vary with the price of grain, and that a man should always receive the price of one pound of grain in addition to one anna.] These were all able-bodied workers, expected to do a full day's work and superintended by ordinary public works officers. In the first days of the month a sum of . 300 (Rs. 3,000), presented by His Highness Holkar for the relief of the famine-stricken in Khandesh, was placed at the Collector's disposal.

December.

"December passed without rain and there was no change in crop prospects. During the month there were large grain importations, and bajri fell from twenty-seven pounds, about the beginning of the month, to 28 pounds at the close. During the greater part of the month jvari remained steady at thirty-one pounds, but about the end it rose to thirty. The average daily number receiving relief rose to 4,714; 3267 of them on public works and 1,447 aged or feeble people on works superintended by assistant collectors or mamlatdars.

1877.January.

"On the 19th of January a very heavy storm of rain and hail passed over the district. The rain destroyed the river bed tillage, and the hail stones, weighing from two ounces to 1 pounds, besides seriously damaging such of the cold-weather crops as had survived the drought, caused the deaths of many cattle. Small-pox and fever were prevalent in some parts. Bajri prices remained steady at 28 pounds the rupee, and Jvari prices fell from thirty to 34 About the middle of the month (19th) the pay of non-ablebodied workers[- The new rates were: for a man, the price of one pound of grain and d. ( anna) instead of 1 d. (1 anna); for a woman, the price of one pound of grain and ⅜ d. ( anna) instead of 3/4 d. ( anna); and for a boy or girl the price of half a pound of grain and ⅜ d. (1/4 anna).] was reduced, and at the same time the task test was enforced. The result of this was that the numbers on relief fell, on public works from 3,267 to 2,125, and on civil works from 1,447 to 803.

February.

In the first half of the month there was a fall of about 68 tents of rain. The grain importations were slight, and prices rose lor bajri from 28 pounds at the beginning of the month to 26 pounds at the close, and for jvari from 34 to 31 pounds. Small-pox was prevalent during the whole month. The numbers on public works rose from 2,125 to 3,735, against a fall on civil works from 803 to 288.

March.

"In the first days of March hail storms considerably damaged the crops in three sub-divisions. In the beginning of the month jvari prices fell from 31 to 36 pounds the rupee, and then rose to 34 pounds; bajri prices fell from 26 to 28 pounds. The numbers on public works fell from 3,735 to 2,982, and on civil works from 288 to forty-seven. During the month 106 persons received charitable relief.

April.

"April passed without rain. The grain importations were small. Bajri remained steady at 28 pounds the rupee, but jvari rose from 34 to thirty-one pounds. In some sub-divisions fever and small pox were prevalent. The numbers on public works rose from 2.982 to 3,378 and on charitable relief from 106 to 163. against a small fall on civil works from forty-seven to twenty-one.

May.

"During May there were a few slight showers, especially in the east. Cattle were dying from want of water and fodder. Prices rose for bajri from 28 to 26 pounds the rupee, and for jvari from thirty-one to 29 pounds. Fever and small-pox continued. The numbers on public works fell from 3,378 to 2,594, on civil works from twenty-one to fifteen, and on gratuitous relief from 163 to fifty.

June.

"In the first days of the month there were slight showers in the western sub-divisions, and about the end good rain fell all over the district, varying from 20 cents to 5.5 inches. In parts where the fall was light more rain was wanted. The sowing of the early crops was begun and made fair progress. Cattle disease and ague wore prevalent during the month. Jvari prices fell from 27 to 28 pounds the rupee, while bajri remained pretty steady at 26 pounds. with a slight rise in the middle of the month to twenty-five pounds. The numbers on public works fell from 2,594 to 2,295 and on charitable relief from fifty to four, against a rise on civil works from fifteen to ninety-one.

July.

"In July an average of 3.17 inches of rain fell, but it was badly distributed. In the first four days of the month there were some good showers in a few sub-divisions, then followed a break for a week and sowing operations were stopped. When rain again fell the people came back to their fields, but much seed was lost, and as the fall was insufficient except in the west, the young crops began to wither. More rain was everywhere wanted. There was no fodder except on the hills, and cattle were being driven back to the Satpudas. Prices rose for bajri from 25 pounds at the beginning of the month to 20 pounds. Cholera was slightly prevalent. The numbers on public works rose from 2,295 to 2,428 against a fall on civil works from ninety-one to seventy-four. During the month no one received charitable relief.

August.

"Most of August passed without rain. The withering crops were attacked and much damaged by insects. Prices rose for bajri from 18 to 15 pounds the rupee, and for jvari from 19 to 17 pounds. This in some parts caused much distress, especially among the Bhils. Cholera increased and large numbers left the district for a time. The numbers on public works rose from 2,389 on the 4th of the month to 9,698 on the 25th, and on civil works from 582 to 10,729. During the month 165 persons received charitable relief. About the close of the month a general and plentiful rainfall, lasting for four days, greatly revived the crops. Prospects were much improved and people began leaving the relief works, so that in the last week or the month there were only 6,670 people on public and 1,354 on civil works.

September.

"In the beginning of September there was good rain over the whole district, and the crops wonderfully revived. Later in the month only slight showers fell and more rain was generally waited. There was considerable mortality among cattle and cholera was prevalent. The grain importations were very small and rupee prices rose for bajri from seventeen to sixteen, and for jvari from nineteen to seventeen pounds. The numbers on public works fell from 8,010 in the first week of the month to 7,191 in the last week, and on civil works from 1,013 to 600, against a rise on charitable relief from 165 to 519.

October.

"In October with an average of 1.52 inches of rain, the early crops were generally fair except in Taloda. Edlabad. and pachora where they were poor, and in Erandol where thev were bad. The sowing of the cold-weather crops was over, but in some places more rain was wanted. Rupee prices fell for bajri from17 to twenty-five pounds and for jvari from 20 to 32 pounds. The numbers on public works fell from 7.468 to 3,663, on civil works from 830 to 298. and on charitable relief from 519 to 384.

November.

"In November no rain fell. The early kharif harvest was almost finished. The late, rabi, crops, stunted by the heat and want of moisture, gave but a poor promise. Jvari prices rose from 32 to thiry pounds. and bajri prices fell from twenty-five to twenty-six pounds the rupee. The numbers on public works fell from 1,309 in the beginning of the month to twenty-four at the end. on civil works from 122 to eighty-three on the 10th of the month when the civil works were closed, and on charitable relief from 384 to ten. At the end of the month the relief works were closed.

December.

"In December there were light showers in a few places but more rain was required, for the rabi crops. Bajri prices rose from twenty-six to twenty-five pounds, and jvari prices fell from thirty to thirty-five pounds the rupee. Though Government continued to to offer it no one required charitable relief.

Summary.

"The following statement of millet prices and of the numbers receiving relief shows that during the first five months of 1877, grain kept pretty steady at twenty-eight pounds the rupee or about twice the ordinary rates, that its price rose rapidly in June and July till it reached 16 5/8 in August and September, and that it then quickly fell to twenty-five pounds. As early as December 1876, the numbers on relief works reached 4,714. By lowering wages and enforcing the task test, the total was in January reduced to 2,928. From this it rose to 4.023 in February, and then fell till in June it was as low as 2,386. Then it steadily advanced till in August it reached 8.622. From this it rapidly fell to 857 in November when the relief works were closed. The numbers on charitable relief rose from 106 in March to 163 in April, and then fell to four in June. In July there was no one on charitable relief. From 165 in August, the number rose to 519 in September, and then quickly fell to ten in November.

KHANDESH FAMINE, 1876-77

Month

Average daily number

Average price

*Rainfall

On relief works

On charity

Bajri

Jvari

Civil

Public

Total

November  1876

--

3,287

3,267

--

26

32

--

December 1876

1,447

3,267

4,714

--

28

30

--

January 1877

803

2,125

2,928

--

28

32

Storm of rain and hail on the I9th January

February. 1877

288

3,735

4,023

--

26

31⅜

0-68

March 1877

47

2,982

3,029

106

28

34⅞

Hailstorm and rain.

April 1877

21

3,378

3,399

163

28

31⅞

--

May 1877

15

2,594

2,609

50

27

29

Rain.

June 1877

91

2,295

2,386

4

25⅜

27⅝

4.89

July 1877

74

2,428

2.502

--

23

24

3.17

August 1877

3,044

5,578

8,622

165

16⅝

18

8.33

September 1877

830

7,468

8,298

519

16⅝

17

2.32

October 1877

298

3,663

3,961

3 84

204/5

24

1.52

November 1877

72

785

857

10

25⅞

29

--

December 1877

--

--

--

--

25

34

--

Total

7,030

43,585

50,595

1,401

--

--

21.19

Average

586

3,353

3,893

175

--

--

--

 

 

Rs.

3,02.801

3,359

--

--

--

Total cost

 

 

3,06,160

 

*These figures are only approximate. The average total fall for the whole district up to 1st December 1877 was 21.19 inches.

"The scarcity caused no change in the rates of cart-hire.[ These are 2 d. a mile (3 annas a kos) for cart and pair of bullocks in the dry season and 3d. (4 annas a kos) in the wet. A pair of bullocks car, be hired for 1 d. a mile (2 annas a kos) in the fair, and for 2 d. a mile (3 annas a kos) in the wet season. Toll bars are paid by the hirer. These are the official rates, but private individuals and traders manage, as a rule to hire carts and bullocks at lower rates.] And as the distress never deepened into famine, it was not necessary to open relief-houses or camps, or to organise a special relief staff.

"At the beginning of the famine, dealers held back their slocks of grain in hopes of a rise in prices. Afterwards, as they found that grain could be brought in large quantities by rail, they opened their stores, and though prices ruled high, there was no lack of grain. Grain was imported to a small extent from Holkar's and the Nizam's territories. Nemad, and Berar. It was also exported by rail to Bombay, Poona and Sholapur, the exports on the whole exceeding the imports.

Famine Census.

"A special census, taken on the 19th May 1877, when fimine pressure was general and severe, showed that of 2745 workers. 1683 belonged to the sub-divisions where the work was carried on; 388 belonged to different sub-divisions of the same district; 648 were from other districts, and twenty six from neighbouring states. As regards their occupations, 155 were manufacturers or craftsmen. 598 were holders or sub-holders of land, and 1992 were labourers.

Cost.

"The total cost of the famine was estimated at .30.616 (Rs. 3,06,160), of which 30,280 2s. (Rs. 3,02,801) were spent on public and civil works and 335 18s. (Rs. 3,359) on charitable relief.

Famine Effects.

"Compared with the former year the criminal returns showed a total increase of 871 offences [The details are: an increase, under offences against public justice, 9; under rioting or unlawful assembly, 3; under murder, 1; under dacoity, 9; under robbery, 9; under lurking house-trespass or house-breaking, 25; under hurt, 17; under mischief, 18, under theft of cattle, 61; under ordinary theft, 629; under receiving stolen property, 46 and under criminal or house-trespass, 8. Police Reports, 1877.] mainly due, in the Commissioner's opinion, to the scarcity and high prices which ruled throughout the year. The estimated special mortality was about 474 souls. There are no trustworthy statistics of the numbers of cattle who left and returned to the district. Though the loss of stock was great, it did not interfere with the carrying of grain or with field work; nor in other respects was the rent-paying and working power of the district affected. The tilled areas in 1877-78 and in 1878-79 exceeded that in 1876-77 by 64,445 and 118,880 acres respectively. Of .301,780 4s. (Rs. 30,17,802) the land revenue for collection for 1876-77, and 2114 4s. (Rs. 21,142) outstanding balances for former years. .301,563 18s. (Rs. 30,15,639) and 355 (Rs. 3,550), respectively were recovered by the close of the year, and 658 (Rs. 6,580) were written off as irrecoverable. In 1877-78 the land revenue for collection was 303,800 10s. (Rs. 30,38,005) and the outstanding balances amounted to 1,290 10s. (Rs. 12,905), of which 303,777 6s. (Rs. 30,37,773) and 329 4s. (Rs. 3,292) were recovered, respee-tivelv and 38 10s. (Rs. 385) written off, thus raising the outstanding balances for next year to 946 (Rs. 9,460). Of 310.069 (Rs. 31,00.690), the land revenue for collection for 1878-79. .309,399 2s. (Rs. 30,93,991), and of the balances 377 8s. (Rs. 3,774) were recovered before the close of the year and 5 12s. (Rs. 56) written off, leaving for future recovery a balance of 1,232 18s. (Rs. 12,329). On the 1st of January 1880 the sum outstanding was 595 6s. 11 d. (Rs. 5.953-7-8); of this in June, 1880, 229 2s. 10 d. (Rs. 2,291-7-2) were written off as irrecoverable.[Government Res. 2002 (Financial), 9th June 1880.]

"No special works were started for the relief of the famine stricken. Only the ordinary budgeted works were taken in hand, and they helped to give relief to those who chose to avail themselves of it".

1896.

In 1896 the population suffered from a general rise in the prices of food, rather than from deficient rainfall which was copious till the end of August. The rabi harvest, however was a failure. Distress was most severe in the tract bounded by the Tapi and Burai rivers, and a line running north and south through the town of Nandurbar. The hill tribes, who could obtain plenty of coarse grains, jungle fruits and edible roots, did not suffer at all.

1899-1900.

In 1899-1900 the conditions were the same as in East Khandesh.

1900.

In 1900 the poor rainfall caused considerable distress in the talukas of Nandurbar, Taloda, Shahada and Pimpalner. Relief works which had been closed in December 1900 were reopened on a small scale in March 1901.

1901.

In 1901 the rains were unseasonable and unevenly distributed. Crops were again poor in the four western talukas, while locusts and rats damaged what was produced. Relief works which had been closed in September 1901, were opened again in January 1902 for about eight months.

1911.

In 1911 failure of crops occurred in nearly two-fifths of the district and suspensions and remissions of land revenue and tagai advances were granted. The gratuitous relief was granted to persons who were acutely distressed. Over forty seven lakhs of pounds of grass had to be imported to meet the shortage.

1918.

IN 1918 scarcity prevailed in the major portion of the district but it nowhere amounted to a regular famine. Dole to village servants and decrepit persons, opening of poor houses, tagai advances and grant of remissions and suspensions were found to meet the situation adequately.

1920.

In 1920 again the rains failed in some parts of the district and scarcity prevailed. The same measures as were adopted in 1918 were undertaken. [ Based on the information supplied by the Collector of Dhulia District.]

1936-37.

In 1936-37 scarcity conditions were declared in the Sakri and Nizampur circles in Sakri taluka and 34 and 3 villages were affected, respectively.

1951-52 and 1952-53.

The following statement shows the areas affected by the scarcity conditions that prevailed in the district in 1951-52 and 1952-53:-

Taluka

Circle

Year in which affected

No. of villages affected

No. of times

Dhulia

Whole taluka

1952-53

150  

Once

Shirpur

Arthe

1951-52

16

Once

Shirpur

 

11

Once

Sindkheda

Sindkheda

1952-53

34

Once

Nardhana

25

Once

Chimthana

25

Once

Dondaicha

35

Once

Naadurbar

Dhanora

1951-52

Whole-

Twice

Nandurbar

1952-53

Whole

Twice

Nizar

1952-53

Whole

Once

Ranala

1952-53

Whole

Once

Shahada

Vadali

1951-52

14

Twice

1952-53

20

The total population affected by the scarcity conditions in 1952-33' was 6,57,237 of which more than 90 per cent were agriculturist and 38 per cent were people belonging to the backward classes. The scarcity was due to inadequate and untimely rainfall. It. however. neither caused any loss of human beings nor it was so severe as to drive the people away from the district. The Government took timely action to relieve the people from the distress by starting relief works almost at the very commencement of the agricultural season. The construction of roads, such as, Shirpur-Shahada, Nandurbar Korit. Nawara-Nawari-Mohadi and Nawapur-Songad was started. Contour bunding which provided work for 4600 labourers was also started during the scarcity period. The total number of relief works started by government was as follows:-

(1) Irrigation works

8

(2) Afforestation scheme

1

(3) Bunding works

23

(4) Road works74

These works provided work for 73.031 labourers and the expenditure incurred on them amounted to Rs. 72,32,094. A gratuitous relief of Rs. 85,754 was distributed among 11.756 persons. The district famine relief committee which was then formed in the district collected Rs. 10,000. It also collected a considerable quantiy of grains and clothes. The committee also received an amount of Rs. 40.000 from the Government and Rs. 2,000 from the revenue minister. Some of this amount was spent on arranging transport of labourers, supplying them free rations etc. About 120 barrels or 90.718 kg. (200 lb.) each of skim milk powder received from the UNICEF was also distributed to the affected persons. 16,148.27.220 kg. (3,564.740 lb.) of grass costing Rs. 71.024-5-1 and 1,240-536 metric tons (1.221 tons) of groundnut oil-cakes costing Rs. 83,684-9-0 were also distributed. Tagai loans amounting to Rs. 16,33,547 were disbursed during the period of scarcity to the needy and deserving agriculturists. This included Rs. 1,70,884 being the cost of 62 oilengines which were given to the agriculturists on tagai for irrigating their lands.

1961-62.

Due to insufficient rainfall in the beginning of the rainy season in 1961, about 56 villages out of 157 villages of Dhulia taluka were facing conditions akin to scarcity. A group of about eight villages around the village Avadhan were the most affected part and next to it, were the villages Nawara, Navvri, Satarne and Vadagaon. The circle officer was directed to tour vigorously and to submit report. On enquiry it was revealed that 128 villages were found affected due to inadequate and untimely rainfall. In those villages the kharif crops viz.. jowar. bajri, udid, mug, groundnut and cotton were affected. A slight rainfall of an inch or more in the second week of September 1961 could not undo the damage to crops already caused by shortage of rainfall. On the other hand, this rainfall was again followed by complete drought for four weeks and it was during this period that the area facing scarcity condition widened considerably so as to cover almost the entire taluka. After the drought the rains abruptly came in and continued for three days from 7th October 1961 onwards and the rainfall recorded during those, three days all over the taluka amounted to 241.3 mm (9.5 inches). These rains were welcome as they lessened the severity of the scarcity conditions. However, the standing crops had little to gain thereby. As the groundnut crop had completely grown up. there was no change of its bearing new pods, but existing pods-gained vitality due to rainfall on the 8th and 9th September 1961. Only the cotton crop benefited by these late rains. However, these rains were beneficial for sowing of rabi crops and to some extent for easing the situation of fodder as some green grass could be available.

To ensure that at least fodder, if not grain, should be available, the agriculturists were advised to sow rabi jowar in as much area as possible and seed tagai was advanced liberally to the needy agriculturists in these villages. An amount of Rs. 98,480 was granted as tagai loans to the agriculturists for rabi seed. The demand for fodder in the affected villages was however, met by allowing the agriculturists to purchase" baled grass from sale purchase unions and also by allowing their cattle for free grazing in nearby forest kurans. To avoid migration of labourers timely steps were taken in this direction from the beginning of the season. A few test searcity works which were sanctioned by the government also provided labour to the maximum number of villages from the affected area.

The eastern portion of Sakri taluka was affected by inadequate rains. The taluka however, was not facing either the scarcity or semi-scarcity conditions. Fodder as well as drinking water supply were not insufficient.

In Sindkheda taluka about 15 villages on the adjoining border of Dhulia taluka suffered due to lack of rains. The annewari of these villages was above six annas. No scarcity conditions were declared in those villages. However, to meet the situation an amount of Rs. 5,000 from the seasonal employment funds was sanctioned for the test work of Chimthane-Tamthare road. An additional amount of Rs. 5.000 was also placed at the disposal of the Collector of the district for test works.

 
 

TOP