Electricity Generation.

As late as 1950 no place in the district was supplied with electricity except Dhulia town which was electrified in 1929. in 1950 two more towns were supplied with electricity. In the early fifties many electric supply companies were started which increased the scope of electrification. By 1963. six places viz. Dhulia. Nandurbar, Khandbara, Shirpur, Shahada, Dondaicha had been electrified. [By March 1972. all towns (7) and 468 villages covering a population of 9,51,923 in the district were electrified. The total consumption of electricity was 35.414.000 KWH of which 12,150.000 KWH was for agricultural and 12,216.000 KWH for industrial use in 1971-72.] The total population of the electrified places was 13.23 per cent of the total population of the district.

The following statement from the District Statistical Abstract shows the amount of electrical energy generated, purchased and consumed in the district in 1962-63 and 1963-64.



Total Electricity Generated

Domestic consumption

Commercial light and small power

Industrial power

Public lighting

Other purposes



























































3 8















































The Statement shows that only the town of Dhulia uses electricity for industrial purposes. The complete absence of rural electrification is A point worthy of note as it shows the urban bias of electricity development.

Mining and Quarrying.

Most of the district is covered by Deccan trap and only small deposits of pleistocene are found in the district. No mineral deposits of any importance are found in the district. Hence, mining activities are restricted to only quarrying of stones, clay, etc.

The Census of 1961 reports 561 workers in this industry. Of these, males and females were 347 and 214 respectively. The chief stone workers are Patharvats, Beldars and Khandars. Of these Beldars and Khandars are quarrymen. The Patharvats usually dress the stone. They usually work for eight to ten hours a day.

Cotton Textile.

The cotton textile industry is an old industry of Dhulia district as could be seen from the following extract.

"Steam spinning, weaving, ginning and cotton-pressing. have been introduced into Khandesh within the last twenty years.........

The cotton most used is the long stapled Khandeshi, Hinganghat and Dharwar. There is also a demand for the short stapled Varhadi. But as in Khandesh, the growth of the Varhadi is as much as possible discouraged, the local supply has to be supplemented by imports from Indore, Jabalpur and Gardevada. About 5,000 pounds of yarn are made a day, the wholesale price varying from,. 12 to 14 (Rs. 120―Rs. 140) a bale. Most of the outturn is used locally, bought by local dealers, and distributed over the chief market towns and used by the handloom weavers. A good deal is worked into cloth, the chief varieties of cloth being sheets, towels, sail cloth and coarse cloth of every sort, which sells wholesale at Rs. (8 annas) a pound. Almost the whole of it is bought by local dealers and sold in Khandesh, Berar and the Nizam's dominions. It is chiefly used by the poorer classes for shirts and waistcloths. They also make cotton rope and twine for use in the mill." [(Khandesh Gazetteer, 1880) The industry used to operate on a very small scale and it was only during this century that a large scale unit came to be established in 1923. That was the New Pratap Spinning and Weaving Mills, Dhulia.]

At present there is one textile mill in the district. It is fairly large with a capital investment of Rs. 22,16,594, working capital to the tune of Rs. 1,38,55,230 and stock-in-trade worth Rs. 56,50,522. Machines and appliances used by the factory are looms, spindles, warping and spinning and sizing machines and oil engines. The whole machinery was valued at Rs. 12,71,629. There were as many as 47.000 spindles and 1034 looms working double shift in 1963. The main raw-materials for textile industry are cotton yarn of different counts, colours and chemicals. Cotton yarn is purchased in local market and also imported from the Gujarat state. The purchase of cotton alone accounted for Rs. 1,07,74,496 in 1963. The chemicals purchased were, valued at Rs. 17,59,937. Besides, coal required for the generation of power accounted for Rs. 13,20,797.

The factory undertakes manufacture of dhotis, saris, long cloth, shirting, coating, chaddars, mattress cloth and yarn. The total production of cloth in 1963 was 2,80,55,281 yards valued at Rs. 2,14,47,524. The total yarn produced in the same year was 1,25,000 kilograms. The finished products i.e. cloth and yarn had a very wide market and was in demand from various places in Maharashtra. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh. Bihar. Orissa, Punjab and the West Bengal. Of the total produce, about 8 per cent, was sent to foreign countries.

The total number of persons employed was 3,003 in 1963 of which 2,527 were skilled and 476 were unskilled. Female workers were found employed in departments like warping, winding etc. The wage bill for the year 1962-63 amounted to Rs. 51,89,462. In addition, salaries of office and managerial staff accounted for Rs. 5,39,433.

Ginning and Processing Factories.

In 1880 besides the spinning and weaving mill, there were eleven steam factories in Khandesh, three of them ginning factories and eight presses. (Khandesh Gazetteer, 1880)

The position of presses and ginning factories was as under in 1880:-

"Of the eight steam cotton presses, seven are in Jalgaon and one in Dhulia. In the Jalgaon presses, the pressing charge is 5 s. (Rs. 2 as. 12) a bale, with an additional 3 d. (2 annas) for carriage. In 1879-80. 91,614 bales against 16,624 in 1871-72 are reported to have been pressed. The size of the bale is four feet one inch long, one foot six inches high, and one foot five inches wide. During January. February, March, and April, when cotton comes forward in large quantities, the presses are at work night and day, the men being paid from 3d. to 5d, (2―3 annas) on each bale pressed, and dividing the amount among themselves. Sometimes the presses work for a few hours a day only. They have no fixed hours and their working time depends upon the stock of cotton.........During the busy season the pressmen, who are chiefly Marathas and Musalmans. earn from 1 10s. to 2 10 s. (Rs. 15―Rs. 25) a month. The carriers are Deccan Marathas. They art; paid from 10s. to 1 10 s. (Rs. 5―Rs. 15) every hundred bales according to the distance from the factory to the station." (Khandesh Gazetteer, 1880)

With a large-scale production of cotton providing ample raw material, the ginning and pressing industry has acquired a significant place in the industrial set-up of the district. In 1961, there were 26 ginning and pressing factories registered under the Factories Act.

The industry was mainly located at Dhulia, Dondaicha, Nandurbar, Shahada and Shirpur. The aggregate fixed capital of five units came to Rs. 7.95,000 giving a per unit average of Rs. 1,59.000. The total working capital of these five units amounted to Rs. 1,33,500.

This industry is largely seasonal in nature. The maximum and minimum number of working days were 200 and 65 respectively. On an average each unit worked for 124 clays in a year.

Of the seven factories surveyed, four had employed 249 persons with a total wage bill of Rs. 1,30,000. The labour force comprised engineers, engine drivers, boiler attendants, firemen, roll-cutters and ginmen.

The Socio-Economic Review and District Statistical Abstract of Dhulia district for the year 1961-62 (published by the Bureau of Economics and Statistics, Government of Maharashtra) places the figure of average daily employment in the industry at 3.055 for 1960 and 2,873 for 1961.

The products of the industry were marketed especially at Bombay and to some extent in other cloth-producing centres in Maharashtra.

The machinery required for ginning and pressing consisted of oil engines, boilers, single or double roller gins, high or low pressure presses, drilling machines and cotton operators. Electricity was used mainly as fuel besides diesel oil. ground-nut oil, coal and wood.

Oil Industry.

Dhulia district is a leading groundnut producing area. The cultivation of ground-nut is highly concentrated over a wide range of area. The total area under ground-nut cultivation in 1962-63 was 322,100 acres and the total out-turn was 85,200 tons. Dhulia district is therefore said to be the granary of ground-nut. Consequently, oil industry has become important in the district economy. The industry is widely diffused over the whole of the district. Even a century ago, Dhulia had its leading position in the production of oil which could be seen from the following paragraph from the old Khandesh Gazetteer published in 1880:―

"Oil pressing is an important industry giving employment to about 2.000 Hindu and Musalman families. The chief oil seeds are sesamum, grown mostly in rains, and linseed, a cold weather crop. Oil is also pressed from castor seeds, earth nuts, and cocoanuts. The oil-presser generally buys the seed from the cultivator. He sells part of the oil to the people of the village, and sends the rest in large leather jars to the chief district trade centres. The mill is kept in one of the rooms of oil-presser's house and is worked by a blindfold bullock driven round and round in very small circles. The mill is rough and clumsy, allowing so much vegetable matter and dirt to mix with the oil that it quickly becomes rancid. Of the different kinds of oil, sesamum and cocoanut are used chiefly for cooking and linseed and castor oil for burning. Of late, the profits of local oil-pressers have been much reduced by competition from Malwa and the Nizam's territories, and from growing use of Kerosene which is brought by rail in considerable quantities and is now used in many Kunbi households in the district. On market days the oil-man's wife generally takes some oil to sell in the neighbouring towns. The craft is said to be at present so depressed that its members are taking to other employments. The average price of oil is from 2 d. to 4 d. (1 ― 3 annas) a pound."

For years, therefore, the production of oil was carried on with the help of antiquated " ghanis " and on a smaller scale, so as to cater to the local needs. In recent years, however, there has been a growing tendency to use the most modern methods of production for oil extraction. This has helped in saving time, energy and money and to carry on production on a large scale. Recently. ".Nutan Ghanis" have been introduced by the oilmen who are encouraged by the Government by means of loans and subsidies. There were as many as 29 oil mills in the district in 1961 located at Dhulia, Dondaicha, Shirpur and Shahada. The rest were at Nandurbar, Nardhana and Sakri. Most of the units were seasonal. Some of them also undertook the work of ginning and pressing side by side with the extraction of oil. Out of 23 units surveyed. 21 units had employed 455 persons as workers. A worker was paid from Rs. 2.50 to Rs. 3 per day.

The total investment of the units surveyed amounted to Rs. 30,25,174. The average working capital was of the order of Rs. 37,920. The machinery of an oil mill comprises a decorticator for dehusking. an expeller for crushing the seeds, filter or filter pump for oil purification and electric motor for the generation of electric power. The investment in machinery varies from unit to unit depending on the size as well as the capacity of the unit.

Raw materials.Ground-nut is the major raw material required for an oil-mill. In Dhulia. being a leading groundnut producing area, it is available in abundance. However, sesamum and castor are, to some extent, imported from neighbouring districts. The value of the total purchase of raw materials exceeded more than Rs. 2 crores in the year 1963-64.

Markets.―The oil extracted in the district, besides being sold in the local markets, has wide demand from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. Continuous demand from a wide range of area, availability of cheap and locally-produced raw materials and handsome returns, have led to an extensive, growth of this industry which augurs well for the future.

Saw Mills.

There has been a considerable development of saw milling in recent years. This could be attributed to the availability of abundant supply of wood from the forests of Akrani Mahal, Navapur, Akkalkuwa, Shirpur, Sakri, Nandurbar and Shahada talukas. Important varieties of wood such as teak, sadada, khair and shisam are also obtained.

Almost all the factories (four in number) surveyed were established after 1954. The aggregate amount of fixed capital of the reporting units was about Rs. 75,000 as against the working capital of Rs. 2,10,000. The value of machinery varied from unit to unit hut in no case exceeded beyond Rs. 12,000. Almost all the reporting units were located at Dhulia and were situated in rented premises, the rent varying from Rs. 50 to Rs. 110. Electric power was used by all the units, the electric charges varying from unit to unit from Rs. 200 to Rs. 225 per month.

The main raw material was wood. The total purchase of wood by the units surveyed amounted to Rs. 200,000. There were 32 persons employed in the industry of whom 20 were skilled.

The finished products of the industry were sawn timber and timber waste for which there was sufficient demand in the local markets. However, a part of it was sent to Bombay, Poona and to adjoining markets.

Rice and Dal Mills.

There were four factories in 1961 which undertook parching of grains and preparation of dal. Of these, three were located at Nandurbar and one at Dondaicha. They provided employment to 100 persons and were seasonal.

The aggregate fixed capital of the reporting factories was of the order of Rs. 2,17,400 as against the working capital of Rs. 5,15,000. Crude oil and lubricating oil were used as fuel. They cost approximately Rs. 20,000 per year.

The machinery used comprised grinding stones, rollers, elevators and fillers. Crushers and hullers were used for polishing and husking rice or for crushing pulses. Where flouring was undertaken, investment in the factory was found to be more.

The raw materials required were rice, tur dal and gram dal. The total raw material requirements of the reporting factories were valued at Rs. 5,15,000 in 1963-64.

The units hardly faced any difficulties for marketing their products since there: was a good demand for the products in the local markets.


There were eleven bidi-making factories mainly located at Dhulia in the district in 1964 providing employment to 900 persons.

All the reporting factories worked throughout the year, though not always in full swing. They employed 306 persons and paid approximately Rs. 2,46,200 as wages in 1963-64. Of these units, one had invested Ms. 2,98,889 in fixed capital as against Rs. 1,95,269 in working capital. The total purchase of raw materials amounted to Rs. 5,72,261.

The entire work was carried on by hand without any aid of machinery. The tools required were simple such as brick furnace, metal trays for heating tobacco, a pair of scissors and a knife. The process of baking bidis required 12 hours after which they were packed and sent to different destinations. Tobacco, tembhurni leaves were the only raw materials required for this industry. Tobacco of different qualities was brought from Kolhapur, Nipani and tembhurni leaves were available in plenty from the forests of the district. Packing paper and labels were brought from Bombay. The quantity of tobacco required for 1,000 bidis varied between 349.91 and 524.87 gm. (30 and 45 tolas).

The wage position of the workers was, however, not very satisfactory. The minimum wage-rates paid per 1,000 bidis were Rs. 1.62 and Rs. 1.36 in case of male and female workers, respectively.

The bidis were marketed in the adjoining districts and were in good demand.