Wells used for irrigation are circular, eight to ten feet across and
twenty to fifty feet deep. They are sometimes pitched with brick or stone and mortar, more usually they are lined with dry cut-stone, and frequently they are built only on the side on which the bag is worked. An unpitched well costs £10 to £20 (Rs. 100 - 200), a well lined with dry stone £25 to £50 (Rs. 250-500), and with brick or stone and mortar £40 to £200 (Rs. 400 - 2000). The water is raised in a leather-bag or mot, one half of which is two feet broad and is stretched open at the mouth by an iron ring,
the other end is much narrower and is not stretched. A thick rope is fixed to the centre of two stout bars, which, at right angles to each other, cross the broad mouth of the bucket, and is passed over a small wheel some four feet above the lip of the water-trough or tharole where it is supported by a rough wooden frame. A second thinner rope is fastened to the small mouth of the bucket and passed over a roller which works on the lip of the trough. Both these ropes are fastened to a yoke drawn by oxen. The length of the ropes is so adjusted that the narrow half of the bucket doubles along the broad half and in passing up or down the well the two mouths are
brought on a level with each other. When the full bucket reaches the top of the well the narrow mouth follows its own rope over the roller into the trough and allows the water to escape while the broad mouth is drawn up by its rope to the wheel four feet higher. The water-bag or mot is of two sizes, one measuring about ten feet from mouth to mouth and worked in deep wells and by four oxen, the other five to six feet and worked in small wells and by two oxen. The bag and its appliances cost about £1
10s. (Rs. 15). [The details are: The leather part 16s. to £1 (Rs. 8 -10), the iron ring 2s. to 3s. (Rs. 1 -1½), the upper or thick rope 1s. 6d.to
2s. (Re. ¾-1), the lower rope about 6d.(4 as.), the wheel including its iron axle 1s. 6d. (12 as.), the roller from 9d. to 1s. (6-8as.), and the rough wood frame 2s. (Re. 1).] The bucket lasts ten or twelve months and the wooden work and the ring four or five years. The thicker rope lasts a year and the thinner rope six months. A six feet long bag on an average raises 57 gallons and 3 quarts of water each time it is emptied. In this way a man and a pair of bullocks raise 2931 gallons of water in an hour or 20,517 gallons in a working day of seven hours. The same man with two buckets and two pairs of bullocks raises 41,034 gallons of water which at eight pounds to the gallon is equal to 328,272 pounds Troy.
In 1882-83, of 18,651 wells about 3203 were step-wells and 15,448 dip-wells. [Of these 3105 were used in 1881-82 for drinking and washing, and 15,423 for watering the land.] A well generally waters one to thirteen acres and the depth varies from twenty feet in Haveli and Sirur to fifty feet in Junnar and Bhimthadi. The cost of building varies from £30 to £500 (Rs. 300 - 5000) in the case of a step-well, and from £10 to £200 (Rs. 100 - 2000) in the case of a dip-well. There were also 888 ponds or reservoirs:
A class of people called Panadis. that is water-showers who are generally Marathas, Mhars or Gosavis is by caste, are employed to point out where water will be found. They examine the soil and the adjoining wells and sometimes lie down with one of their ears to the ground to ascertain the flow of water below. The people still consult, them though they are said to be less trusted than they used to be. The water-shower is paid a small fee in advance and a larger fee if water is found.
Patasthal or channel-watering from the great saving of labour is far more profitable than well-watering. At the same time it is much less common as the number of sites with a sufficient head of
water and command of land is limited. The chief channel water-works are across the Mina at Kusur, Vaduj, and Narayangaon, which water respectively twenty-five, seventy-eight, and 367 acres of garden land. The Narayangaon work is of some magnitude, the irrigating channels being two miles in length. None of these last through the year; the supply in almost all cases fails in February or March. Where sugarcane and other twelve-month crops are grown the channel supply is eked out from wells. Except the Government canals, channel water-works on a large scale are hardly known. The majority of the dams or bandharas are built of mud, and are renewed every year after the rains. A masonry dam which commands 500 to 600 acres and has cost £300 to £400 (Rs. 3000-4000) is considered a large work. The channels are not bridged, hedged, or otherwise sheltered, and the village cattle and carts cause much injury and waste. When the water in the river begins to fall below the level of the dam or channel head it is usual, if the distance is not great, to lift the water into the channel by a large wooden shovel or scoop hung by a rope at the proper level from a rough tripod of sticks. The scoop is swung to and fro by one or two men in such a way as at each swing to scoop up and throw a small quantity of water into the channel. This method does not raise water more than a foot or eighteen inches, but is useful when perhaps only one watering is required to complete the irrigation of a crop. The wells are the property of individuals, but the channel water is shared by all who originally built or who yearly rebuild the dam. The shares are portioned out in time, hours or days. This system of division by time works smoothly. The arrangement is superintended and regulated by one or more men called patwaris or channel-keepers who prevent disputes and keep the canals in working order. They are paid sometimes by grants of land and more often by small shares of garden produce.
[The Poona Water Works Account owes much to corrections and additions by Mr. W. Clerke, M. Inst. C. E.,
Executive Engineer for Irrigation, Poona.] The chief water-works made or
repaired by the British Government are the Mutha and Nira canals, and the Kasurdi, Matoba, Shirsuphal, and Bhadalvadi reservoirs. Of these the Mutha and Nira canals draw their supply from the Mutha and Nira rivers which rise in the Sahyadris and have a never failing flow of water. The Matoba reservoir is fed from the right bank Mutha canal; the remaining reservoirs entirely depend on local rain. No landholders are forced to make use of water. Landholders who wish to have water apply to the subordinate resident on the works, and, either at the time of asking or at some later time, sign a form showing for how long and for what crop water is required. At the end of the season the areas watered are measured by the canal staff and the area and the charges sanctioned by Government are shown in a form which is sent to the Collector to recover the amount. The water rates,
which are in addition to and distinct from the land rates, arc fixed under the orders of Government on a scale which varies according to the crop for which water is required.
Since the beginning of British rule the scanty and uncertain rainfall in the country to the east of Poona had caused frequent failure of crops and much loss and suffering. In 1863-64, a more than usually severe drought caused such distress that Government determined to find how far this tract could be protected from famine by water-works. The inquiry was entrusted to Captain, now Lieutenant-General, Fife, R. E., who, as small reservoirs were then in favour, spent the season of 1863-64 in surveying the district to find sites for storage lakes. In a report dated the 25th of February 1864, Colonel Fife submitted the result of his investigation. This comprised detailed plans and estimates for six small reservoirs at Kasurdi where there was an old work, at Matoba, Khateka Durva, Khambgaon, Bhadgaon, and Chutorlkur, all in Bhimthadi. Many other sites were examined and found unfavourable. His experience in this part of Poona satisfied Colonel Fife that small reservoirs were enormously costly and were open to the fatal objection that in any season of severe drought they would be useless as the streams that feed them entirely fail. He recommended that water should be led from the Mutha river by a high level canal starting from above Poona and extending to near Indapur, a distance of about a hundred miles. The Bombay Government agreed with Colonel Fife that small lakes were useless and that the only certain means of protection from famine was the water of rivers whose source is in the Sahyadris. The Mutha canal works were sanctioned, and the experience since gained, which embraces both river and lake works, leaves no question that Colonel Fife was right in holding that small storage lakes would fail to guard east Poona from famine. [Colonel, now Major-General, Strachey, then Inspector-General of Irrigation, exrpressed similar opinions with regard to Gujarat, Khandesh, and the Deccan. Mutha Canals Report, 14th-February 1879.]
Of the water-works which have been made since 1864 the chief are Lake Fife and the Mutha Canals. The final plans and estimates for the Mutha Canals scheme were submitted in 1868 and the work was begun in December of that year. The scheme included a large storage reservoir or lake at Khadakvasla on the Mutha river ten miles west of Poona, which has since been named Lake Fife. [By placing the headworks on the Mutha river an unfailing supply of water was secured as the source of the Mutha is among the Sahyadri hills where there is a certain rainfall of about 200 inches. The suggestion to use the Mutha river Water for irrigation was recorded by the Honourable
My. Reeves in 1855. Mutha Canals Report, 14th February 1879.] From Lake Fife two canals start, one on each bank of the river. The right bank canal was designed to be 99½ miles long, but the actual completed length is 69½ miles ending in the village of Patas. The discharge at the head is 412 cubic feet a second and this can be increased to 535 cubic feet. The canal passes through the station of Poona. It was designed to command 230 square miles or 147,200 acres of land. As the complete design has not been carried out the actual area under command is 147 square miles or
94,080 acres, the whole of which suffers from scanty and uncertain rainfall. [The details of the rainfall at six places on the canal during the three years ending 1881 are:
HEAD-WORKS. LAKE FIFE.
POONA, 10TH MILE.
URULI, 35th Mile.
KASURDI, 45TH MILE
KEDGAON, 60TH MILE.
PA'TAS, 70TH MILE.
The left bank canal is eighteen miles long, passing a short distance beyond Kirkee. It commands an area of 3500 acres and the full supply discharge at the head is 38.5 cubic feet the second. The area which the complete scheme commanded was thus 150,700 acres which by shortening the right. bank canal has been reduced to 97,580 acres. Besides providing water for this parched tract of country, the work furnishes an abundant supply of pure drinking water to
the city and cantonment of Poona, the Powder Works at Kirkee, and the numerous
villages along the course of the canals. [The Poona Municipality pays £1000 (Rs.
10,000) a year for the supply of about 750,000 gallons daily delivered at the
canal. bank. This supply is practically unlimited. Any excess is charged 4½d. (3 as.) the 1000 gallons. The following are
the results of analyses of the water made by the Chemical Analyser during the
years 1878, 1879, and 1880.
ALBU. MENOID AMMO. NIA.
Grains per Gallon.
Parrs per Million.
No. 1. Taken from the canal near head-works at 4 P.M. 11th June 1878.
Sediments, In Nos. 1 and 2, small in quantity; contain vegetable debris, paramacia, and rotifers. In No. 3, very scanty, only. vegetable debris; no infusoria.
No. 2. Taken from the canal near St. Mary's Church, Poona, 10 A.M. 12th June 1878.
No. 3. Taken from dispense reservoirs at 10 A.M. 12th June 1878.
No. 1. Taken from the canal near head-works at 6 P.M. 20th March 1879.
Sediments. In No. 1 vegetable debris, paramacia. In No. 2 the same but scanty. In No. 3 vegetable debris only.
No. 2. Taken from the canal near St. Mary's Church at 6 A.M. 21st March 1879.
No. 3. Taken from dispense reservoirs at 6 P.M. on 21st March 1879.
No. 1. Taken from the
canal near head-works at G. P.M. on 23rd January 1880.
Sediments. In Nos.1, 2. and 3: all scanty, chiefly vegetable debris with confusoria, diatoms, and paramacia; a few rotifers in No. 2.
No. 2. Taken from the canal near St. Mary's Church at 6 A.M. 24th January 1880.
No.3. Taken from the canal from distribution pipe in Poona at 6
P.M. on the 24th January 1880.
Lake Fife is formed by a masonry dam founded on solid rock. The dam is of partly coursed and partly uncoursed rubble masonry and is one of the largest works of its kind in the world. Exclusive of the waste weir which is 1393 feet long, the dam is 3687 feet long and rises ninety-nine feet above the river bed; the greatest height above the foundation level is 107 feet. The crest of the waste weir is eleven feet below the top of the dam. The contents of the reservoir are 4911 millions of cubic feet and the area of the water surface is 3535 acres or 5½ square miles. To gain sufficient elevation to command the station of Poona and the country beyond, the bed of the canals is fixed at fifty-nine feet above the river bed or bottom of the reservoir. The volume of water stored above the canal level is 3161 millions of cubic feet. At the site of the dam the river has a catchment area of 196 square miles. During an average season it is calculated that the reservoir will fill sixteen times. The canals are completely bridged and regulated throughout. The right. bank canal is navigable in the ten miles to. Poona. In the tenth mile the water. supply for the city is drawn off. To avoid interfering with the buildings and the parade. ground, the canal is carried through the station of Poona in two tunnels. On leaving the first tunnel in the centre of the cantonment, there is a drop in the canal bed. By means of an undershot wheel this fall is used to drive pumps for raising the water for the supply of
the cantonment into the settling tanks, filter beds,
and covered dispense-reservoirs of the high and middle service systems. From the canal itself low service mains and branches are led off. For irrigation beyond Poona there is provision for complete distribution. The total estimated cost of the works, including the Poona water-supply and indirect charges, that is capitalization of abatement of land revenue leave and pension allowances and interest on direct outlay, is £937,400 (Rs. 93,74,360). The works were partly opened in November 1873. Enough of the dam and was
be weir was completed to store the water of the lake twelve feet above the level of the canal sluices and the canal was nearly finished to Poona. At first water was supplied only for house purposes in Poona. In February 1874 it was made available for crops, the area under command up to Poona being 30 10 acres. Before June 1874, the depth of storage was increased to fourteen feet and the distribution arrangements in the station of Poona were begun, and with the exception of the high service distribution were completed during the two following years. By 1877-78 the depth of storage was increased to twenty-five feet. The right-bank canal earthworks wore completed as far as the sixty-fourth mile, but water was admitted only as far as the forty-fourth mile. By the fifteenth of January 1878 the eighteen miles of the left-bank canal were opened commanding 3500 acres, and the high service distribution for water-supply to the station of Poona was completed. In 1879-80 the parapet of the dam at Lake Fife and the earthwork on the rear side of the dam were completed. The unfinished parts of the waste weir were raised by temporary earthen banks so as to impound water up to the full supply level, twenty-nine feet above the sill of the sluices. The masonry works on the right-bank canal were completed and water admitted as far as the sixty-fifth mile. By 1882 the waste weir was completed with the exception of 500 feet at the west end, which was one foot below full supply level; the masonry works of the seventh portion to Patas were completed and the whole of the 691/2 miles of the right-bank canal were made available for use, thus practically completing the work. The following statement compares the areas irrigated and assessed, and the actual revenue, working expenses, and net revenue during the nine years ending 1881-82:
MUTHA CANALS RECEIPTS, 1873-1882.
The following statement gives a comparison of the area watered and the rainfall during the same period:
In 1880-81 the area watered was sixty-six per cent greater than in 1879-80. This was partly due to short rainfall but mostly to the extension of distributing channels. In 1880-81 the crops irrigated under the canals were cereals 8339 acres, pulses 967 acres, sugarcane 1966 acres, and other garden produce 929 acres. The irrigation rates at present in force belong to five classes with an acre charge on the first class of £1 to £2 10S. (Rs. 10.25), on the second of 8s. to 10s. (Rs.4-5), on the third of 3s. to 4s. (Rs. 1½.2), on the fourth of
6d. to 1s. (4-8 as.), and on the fifth of 9d. (6 as.). After the opening of the Mutha canals the amount of vegetables and green fruits booked at the Poona station rose from 4574 tons (128,094 mans) in 1871 to 7008 tons (190,236 mans) in 1876. The first effect of the opening of the canal was that the people gave up their wells and took to canal water. Of ninety-nine wells on the lands commanded by the canal by the end of 1876 sixty-five had ceased to be used. Since its opening the sowing of babhul seed and the planting of trees along the banks of the canal have been steadily carried on. In some places the trees have grown freely and the line of the canal is marked by a belt of green. Other places are too rocky for trees. Still year by year as the sowing of babhul seed is persevered with the breaks in the line are gradually becoming fewer and shorter. The Mutha canals project is in every respect the most promising of the water works yet undertaken in the Deccan. The
rapid spread of irrigation has been satisfactory and there can be little doubt that it will ere long pay the interest on its borrowed capital. So much of the canal passes through crumbly trap or murum that loss from leakage is serious and somewhat interferes with the original estimate of the area which the canal can water. Besides the direct ' receipts the canal confers many indirect gains on the country through which it passes. Villages in which during the greater part of the year there was formerly a great scarcity of water have now an abundant supply for drinking and for cattle.
A white marble tablet with the following inscription cut in black letters, and a companior Marathi tablet, have been let into the bridge by which the right bank canal crosses the Sholapur road about thirty-eight miles east of Poona:
V R. E T I.
THE MUTHA CANAL
Supplied by Lake Fife situated 10 miles west of Poona,
Extends to Fatas, in the Bhimthadi Taluka.
Its total length is 69½ miles.
The earthworks of this section, extending from 29 to 6½ miles,
afforded employment for the people during the Famine of
On an average, 10,000 people of all ages were employed daily
for a period of fourteen months,
the highest number on any one day being 21,000.
The expenditure was Es. 3,90,000
on wages and charitable relief,
and the value of the work executed was Rs. 2,17,000
The masonry works were subsequently completed,
and water was admitted up to the 65th mile
in September 1879.
William Clerke, M. Inst. C. E., Executive Engineer for Irrigation, Poona.
E. B. Joyner, C. E, Assistant Engineer, in immediate charge of the Works
[Contributed by Mr. J. E, Whiting, M.A., M. Inst. C. E., Executive Engineer for
Irrigation Nira Canal,] The Nira Canal is designed to irrigate the left bank of the Nira
valley and a part of the Bhima valley near the meeting of the two rivers, to
supply towns and villages along the valley with water for household purposes
wherever the wells are insufficient or brackish, and to utilize the water power
that will be generated at the head-works and near the tail of the canal at Indapur. In 1864 as part
of his inquiry into the best means of protecting East Poona from
famine Colonel Fife, R. E., organised surveys of the Nira river.
These surveys showed that, by starting near Shirval about thirty-two
miles south of Poona, a canal would reach the parts of Bhimthadi and
Indapur which. chilly required water. Nothing further appears to
have been done till January 1868,when,in consequence of a threatenod
failure of crops, a committee consisting of Colonel Francis, Survey
and Settlement Commissioner Northern Division, Mr. J. E. Oliphant
C. S., Collector of Poona, and the late Lieutenant Buckle, R. E.,
Executive Engineer for Irrigation, were appointed to consider what
survey operations should be undertaken for irrigational works.
This committee reported that the tract most deserving of attention was the part of Indapur which lies between the Bhima and the Nira. In this tract the annual rainfall was so uncertain and capricious that the crops frequently failed several years in succession; it might with reason be termed a drought-stricken region. In these opinions Mr. A. F. Bellasis, C. S. the
Revenue Commissioner concurred and Mr. J. W. Hadow, C. S. Revenue Commissioner Southern Division, in forwarding Colonel Francis' report, speaks of Indapur as having a worse rainfall than almost any part of the Deccan or of the Bombay Karnatak. In consequence of these recommendations in 1868 the surveys of the Nira project were resumed by Lieutenant Buckle. At the close of 1868 the Mutha works required Lieutenant Buckle's whole attention, and early in 1869 Mr. J. E Whiting, M.A. M. Inst. C. E., was appointed to the survey under Colonel Fife's orders. Detailed surveys for the canal alignment, the choice of the site for the reservoir and the site for the canal head works, together with the making of plans and estimates and writing the final report, occupied Mr. Whiting and his staff for two and a half years. During this period, in consequence of a severe drought, fifty per cent remissions were granted in forty-three dry-crop villages and twenty-five per cent in thirteen other villages of Indapur. The plans had been reviewed by the Chief Engineer, but further progress was stopped by order of the Government of India. Mr. Whiting was appointed Executive Engineer for Irrigation in Poona, and nothing more was done until the failure of rain in 1876. Towards the close of 1876 Mr. Whiting, with four of the staff that had formerly helped in making the Nira surveys, was sent to recover the old line and to modify the plans so as to make the work suitable for famine relief. Early in 1877 earthworks were opened for gangs sent by the Collectors of Sholapur, Satara, and Poona. The numbers rapidly rose from 5000 to 24,132 persons, who, with their sick and children, were employed or received relief on the Nira canal. Towards the end of 1877 as the famine was over relief-works were closed; but the high price of gram caused so much distress that for six months in 1878 relief-works had to be re-opened on the Nira canal and again on account of damage done to the
crops by rats in 1879. The relief works were finally closed in March 1880. During twenty six
months they had given employment to an average of 8096person
of all ages Mr. Moore C. S. Collector of Poona Mr. Richey, C. S.
acting Collector, and Mr. Robertson, C. S. Revenue Commissioner
Central Division, urged the necessity of completing the works.
Petitions from forty-six villages representing over 60,000 acres of land in Indapur were received praying for the early construction of the canal and promising to pay the water rates. The matter was strongly pressed by the Government of Bombay and their views were submitted by the Government of India to the Secretary of State in August 1880. Sanction to complete the head-works and the first thirty-five miles of
the canal from ordinary funds was granted by the Secretary of State in November 1880. In 1881 the Government of India accorded sanction to the first two stages of the Nira
canal project as a protective work at an estimated cost of £415,000 (Rs. 41½ lakhs). Of this £80,000 (Rs. 8 lakhs) had been
spent. To complete the project funds were provided from the grant for Protective Public Works and the execution of the project was entrusted to Mr. Whiting, Executive Engineer 1st Grade, Mr. J. H. E. Hart being Chief Engineer for Irrigation.
The Nira canal lies along the left bank of the Nira river.
It has a length of 103 miles exclusive of distributing channels,
and commands 280,000 acres of arable land in ninety villages
in the Purandhar, Bhimthadi, and Indapur sub-divisions. The
works will furnish an unfailing supply of water to 100,500
acres. The Nira and its three large feeders rise in the Sahyadris
and up to the canal head have a catchment area of over 700
square miles. During the south-west monsoon, that is from mid-June
to mid-October, the Nira continuously discharges far more water
than can be used in the canal. It has also in ordinary seasons a
considerable flow to the end of December. To ensure the supply
during the rest of the dry season very extensive storage works were
required. A reservoir nineteen miles long and with an area of 7¼ square miles, or nearly two square miles more than the area of Lake
Fife, is to be formed on the Velvandi, a feeder of the Nira, at Bhatghar
near the town of Bhor by a masonry dam over 3000 feet long and
over 100 feet high. This lake will have a capacity of 4641 million
cubic feet, which by the use of falling shutters designed for the
weir can be increased to 5500 millions. This gives a storage cost
of £18 2s. (RS. 181) per million cubic feet, a low rate compared
with the cost in other reservoirs. Twenty large under-sluices are
provided to carry off the early silt-laden floods. The headworks of
the canal are at Virvadi in Purandhar, nineteen miles further down
the river, where a weir of concrete faced with rubble masonry
forty-two feet high and 2300 feet long and backed by subsidiary weirs
about half its height has been built across the Nira and the Vir near
their meeting. This will raise the water to the full supply level in
the canal, to which it will be admitted by large iron sluice gates.
The supply basin above the weir will extend about eleven miles to
Shirval, which is half-way between Vir and Bhatghar. After leaving
Vir the canal crosses the old Satara road about two miles north of the
Nira bridge and passes above all the larger villages in the valley.
These are, Vadgaon at the 26th mile, Korhale at the 29th mile,
Pandar at the 35th, Malegaon at the 40th, Baramati at the 48th,
Sansar at the 64th, Haturne at the 70th, Shegaon at the 81st,
Gotundi at the 87th, and Nimgaon at the 92nd. Near Nimgaon
the canal crosses the water-shed above the town of Indapur into
the Bhima valley and ends at Bijavdi at the 77th mile of the
Poona and Sholapur road. The Mutha right bank canal ends
near the 40th mile of that road and the Shirsuphal and Bhadalvadi
reservoirs with their distributaries have been constructed between
the ends of the two chief irrigation canals. In addition to the Nira
canal two large reservoirs have been designed, one just above the
town of Indapur and the other at Vadapuri near Nimgaon. These
have little or no natural catchments, but will be tilled from the
canal during the south-west monsoon and will thus increase the
supply available during the dry weather at the end of the valley
most distant from the main reservoir at Bhatghar. A branch canal
has also been proposed, which will leave the main canal near Pandar at the thirty-fourth mile, and cross the river Nira at Kamleshvar in order to water the drought-stricken sub-division of Malsiras in Sholapur on the right bank of the valley. These extra works and the necessary widening of the canal will probably be undertaken only if famine breaks out afresh and if employment is again required for the relief of neighbouring sub-divisions or if the demand for water under the canal exceeds the supply available from the first two stages, namely the Bhatghar reservoir and the present canal.
In many places the hilly nature of the ground has made the course of the canal winding. In several cases, as at Korhale, Malegaon, and Nimgaon, rocky spurs have been cat through to avoid long detours. At those places the cuttings are thirty-five feet deep at the centre and half a mile long. Many large watercourses had also to be crossed so that twenty aqueducts, ninety-four culverts, and nine over-passages had to be constructed. Of the watercourses the largest is the Karha, which drains 440 square miles and has a steep and generally rocky bed. The canal crosses it at the forty-fifth mile near Baramati by an aqueduct of thirteen spans of thirty feet and twenty-three feet headway. This is probably the most favourable crossing
in India of a large and dangerous torrent by an aqueduct. The over-passages are of somewhat novel design and appear like huge inverts over which the streams are passed while the canal runs underneath, through double galleries arched across. In two of the over-passages, one near Vadgaon and one at Pandar, the inverts have a span of ninety feet. There are thirty-seven road and accommodation bridges and several foot and cattle bridges. Most of the aqueducts and culverts have been made so as to allow carts or cattle to pass under them, so that on an average there is some crossing provided at about every half mile of the canal. First class bungalows have been built at Bhatghar, at Virvadi, and at Baramati, and smaller bungalows at the Nira bridge, Vadgaon, Pandar, Sansar, Haturne, Gotundi, and Tarangvadi. The population of the valley has greatly decreased of late years, but the soil is generally good and capable of maintaining a much larger population than it now supports. It is expected that the first fifty-two miles of the canal will be opened so as to utilize the Nira water in the monsoon of 1884. There can be little doubt that when the valley is protected from drought capital will flow into it and enable the people to utilize the water to the utmost. It is hoped that this canal, whoso primary object is to protect the area under command from the effects of drought, will ultimately develope a net revenue more than enough to cover the interest on the outlay.
A white marble tablet with the following inscription cut in black letters and a companion Marathi tablet have been set at the canal headworks twenty miles cast of Bhatghar:
V. K. ET I.
THE NIRA CANAL.
Designed for the irrigation of the lands of 90 villages.
On the left bank of the Nira River.
Comprising a culturable area of 437 square miles.
Is 103 miles in length, excluding branches.
Its supply is rendered perennial by a storage lake at Bhatghar
on the Velwandi river, 20 miles west of this place.
The canal was commenced for the employment of the people
during the Famine in 1876-77.
For twenty-six months an average of 8096 persons of all ages were employed,
the highest number in any one day being 24,132.
The expenditure was Rs. 7,56,873 on wages and charitable relief.
The value of the work executed was Rs. 5,00,365.
On the cessation of the distress caused by the Famine and subsequent
period of high prices, the works were suspended in March 1880.
They were resumed in January 1881, and the canal was first opened for irrigation in 1884. J. E. Whiting, M.A., M. Inst. C. E., Executive Engineer, Nira Canal.
[Mr. Whiting mentions the names of Messrs. E. Behrman, assistant engineer, D. Henry and Ravji Trimbak sub-engineers, Rokmaji Narayan, supervisor, and Ganesh Janardan and Narayan Vishnu overseers. The chief contractor was a Nagar Brahman of Surat named Navtamram
At Kasurdi in Bhimthadi, twenty-four miles east of Poona, at a cost of £1182 8s. (Rs. 11,824) a reservoir was made in 1838 under the
advice of the Revenue Commissioner Mr. Williamson. In 1843, the
whole of the earthen embankment was washed away, but the masonry
was unhurt. Its restoration was begun by the irrigation department
as a famine relief work in 1864, and it was completed as an ordinary
work when the necessity for relief ceased. It is a small reservoir,
dependent for its supply on the local rainfall over an area of six square
miles. It was finished to test the value of reservoirs which depended
for their supply on local rainfall. The restored reservoir holds 14½
millions of cubic feet of water and is furnished with two distributing
channels commanding 585 acres. The work was finished in 1869
and the pond was filled for the first time in August of that year.
The total cost was £4749 12s. (Rs. 47,496), that is at the rate of £8
(Rs.80) on every acre under command. From 1869 to 1883, the supply
has been most uncertain. In some years the reservoir has filled;
in others it has remained almost dry. The irrigation rates at present
in force are the same as those sanctioned for the Mutha canal beyond
the eight mile radius from Poona, Babhul seed has been sown below
the embankment and has thriven fairly. A few trees of other kinds
have also been planted. As this work depends for its supply on a
restricted area in a tract of very uncertain rainfall, the results can
never be satisfactory.
in the village of Pimpalgaon in Bhimthadi, twenty-eight miles east
of Poona, near the railway station of Yevat, a reservoir called Matoba after a neighbouring temple of Matoba or Matakmal, was made in 1876-77. The reservoir is designed to store the surplus waters of the right bank Mutha canal and water the laud between it and the Mutha-Mula river. At full supply level it has an area of 470 acres and a capacity of 229 millions of cubic feet. The site was chosen and surveyed by Colonel Fife, R. E., in 1863, when examining the best means for irrigating the country east of Poona. As the Mutha canal project was undertaken the scheme for the Matoba reservoir
was laid aside. In 1876-77, when famine relief works were started, the Executive Engineer for Poona, Mr. Clerke, revised the plans and estimates and recommended the project because as the Mutha right-bank canal passes close above the site of the lake it would form an auxiliary to the canal, whose surplus waters might during the south-west monsoon be stored for use in the dry season. The work was begun in December 1876 and completed almost entirely by famine labour in August 1877. The reservoir is formed by an earthen dam 6095 feet long and forty-eight feet in greatest height. The full supply level is nine feet below the top of the dam. The waste weir on the left flank of the dam is 600 feet long. The outlet whose level is ten feet above the bottom consists of a masonry culvert under the dam where it abuts on the right flank and three twelve-inch iron sluice valves of the ordinary pattern in use for water-supply mains. These valves are attached to lengths of pipes set in concrete at the inner end of the culvert and are worked by iron rods laid along the dam slope. The main distributing channel is 114 miles long and is capable of discharging twenty-six cubic feet a second. It has a main branch to the village of Pimpalgaon which again divides into two branches of a total length of six miles. Of 8550 acres under command, 3600 acres are in Pimpalgaon, 2900 in Delavdi, fifty in Khatbai, and 2000 in Pargaon. The catchment area is only ten square miles and the average rainfall under twenty inches, but with the aid of the surplus water from the right bank Mutha canal the monsoon demand for water can be supplied and the reservoir can always be left full in October when the south-west monsoon closes. A regulating bridge is built across the Mutha canal at the 49¾th mile from Poona by which the water in the canal can at any time be turned into the reservoir. From the fifth of August 1878 water from the Mutha canal began to be available. The irrigation rates at present in force are the same as those sanctioned for the Mutha canals beyond the eight mile radius from Poona. For a length of four miles the boundary of the land taken for the reservoir is fenced with aloe. The margin above the water level has been sown with babhul seed, which at the upper end has grown remarkably well.
A white marble tablet with the following inscription carved in black letters and a companion Marathi tablet have been set at the west end of the dam:
V. R. ET I.
THE MATOBA TANK
Designedfor storing surplus water from the Mutha Canal
and irrigating the tract of land lying between
the Tank and the Mutha-Mula River
Hasan area of 470 acres and a capacity of
229 millions of cubic feet.
The earthworks of the dam were commenced for the
employment of the people
during the Famine of
For eighteen months they afforded employment for,
on an average, 3100 people of all ages,
the highest number on any one day being 8300.
The expenditure was Rs. 1,98,000
on wage.; and charitable relief,
andthe value of the work executed was Ra. 1,40,000.
The Tank was completed
and opened for irrigation in October 1873.
William Clerke, M. Inst. C. E., Executive Engineer for Irrigation, Poona.
One and a half miles above the Bhirathadi village of Ravangaon, fifty miles east of Poona, on the Rotimal, a small feeder, is the Shirsuphal reservoir called after the village of that name three miles further up the stream. The reservoir was designed to water the lands on the left bark of the Rotimal. At full supply it has an area of 834 acres and a capacity of 307 millions of cubic feet. In January 1877, when it became necessary to provide work for the destitute people of East Poona, plans and estimates were prepared by Mr. Clerke the Executive Engineer for Irrigation. Work was begun in February 1877 and finished in October 1878. The dam is of earth, 2200 feet long and fifty-three feet in greatest height. The full supply level is eleven feet below the top of the dam, and the outlet level is eleven feet, above the bottom of the reservoir. The waste weir channel, which is on the right flank of the dam, is 300 feet wide. The outlet, a masonry culvert under the dam where it abuts on the right flank and three twelve-inch iron sluice valves, is of the same pattern as that described for the Matoba reservoir. The canal leading from the reservoir is 12½ miles long, with a fall of three feet a mile and a discharging capacity at the head of thirty cubic feet; a second. Of 4500 acres under command 800 are in Ravangaon, 1500 in Kharki, and 2200 in
Chincholi. The catchment basin has an area of twenty-three square miles, with an average rainfall of eighteen to twenty inches. The reservoir tills only during years in which the rainfall is considerably above the average, but the additional storage capacity admits of the supply of favourable years being stored
for use in years of short rainfall and thus ensures a large average supply. In
1880-81 the irrigated crops were cereals 661 acres, pulses 55 acres, sugarcane 4
acres, garden produce 4 acres, and condiments It acres. The water rates at present in force are based on the classified lists sanctioned for the Mutha canals. There are five classes with an acre charge on the first class of £1 (Rs. 10), on the second of 8s. (Rs. 4), on the third of 4s. (Rs. 2), on the fourth of 2s. (Re. 1), and on the fifth of 8s. (Rs. 4). The margin of the reservoir above the line of full supply has been fenced with aloe and sown with babhul seed, but owing to the stony soil the babhul has not done well. Babhul seed sown below the dam has thriven remarkably well and now forms a belt of good-sized trees. As the rainfall on the catchment is very uncertain the supply of water is precarious and in some years the irrigation has to be much restricted; this is to
be regretted as the holders of the land commanded by the reservoir have shown themselves anxious to obtain a supply of water.
A white marble tablet with the following inscription cut in black letters and a companion Marathi tablet have been set at the west end of the dam:
V. B. ET I.
THE SHIRSUPHAL TANK.
Designed for the irrigation of the lands lying
on the Left Bank of the Rotimal Nala,
Has an area of 834 acres and a capacity of
367 millions of cubic feet.
The earthworks of the dam were commenced for the
employment of the people
during the Famine of
For sixteen months they afforded employment for,
on an average, 2100 people of all ages,
the highest number on any one day being 9000.
The expenditure was Es. 1,58,000
on wages and charitable relief,
andthe value of the work executed was Es. 1,45,000.
The Tank was completed
and opened for Irrigation in October 1878.
William Clerke, C. E., Executive Engineer for Irrigation, Poona Division.
In the Indapur village of Bhadalvadi, on a feeder of the Bhima, about sixty four miles east of Poona, the Bhadalvadi reservoir wag begun as a relief work in the famine of 1876-77, and finished and opened for irrigation in May 1881. It was designed to water the lands of the villages of Daluj and Palasdev. At full supply it has an area of 335 acres and a capacity of 222 millions of cubic feet. It is formed by an earthen dam 2725 feet long and fifty-rive feet at its greatest height. The drainage area above the dam is twenty-three square miles. During the five years ending 1882-83 the average rainfall has been 21.53 inches. The waste weir on the left, flank is 400 feet long with a crest eleven feet below the top of the dam.
A white marble tablet with the following inscription cut in black letters and a companion Marathi tablet have been set at the north end of the dam:
V. E. ET I.
THE BHADALVADI TANK
Designed for the irrigation of lands in the villages
of Daluj and Palasdev.
Has an area of 335 acres and a capacity of
222 millions of cubic feet.
The earthworks of the dam were commenced for the
employment of the people
during the Famine of
For twelve months they afforded employment for,
on an average, 1600 people of all ages,
the highest number on any one day being 5400
The expenditure was Es. 54,000
on wages and charitable relief,
and the value of the work executed was Rs 48,000
The Tank was completed
and opened for Irrigation in May 1881
William Clerke, M. Inst C. E., Executive Engineer for Irrigation, Poona.
The outlet, which is on the right flank of the dam, is of similar construction to those described in the Matoba and Shirsuphal reservoirs. Its sill is thirty-five feet below full supply level. From it a
canal or distributing channel, with, at the head a discharging capacity of fifteen cubic feet the second, is led 6¼ miles along the right bank of the stream. The area under command is 1900 acres. A distributing channel heading from the same outlet in the left bank of the stream is also projected. Its length will be 3½ miles and it will command 1100 acres. The work was opened in 1881. The irrigation rates are the same as those mentioned under the Shirsuphal reservoir.
Besides these works designed for irrigation, there are two large
reservoirs at Katraj and Pashan and two more at Patas and Supa.
The Patas and Supa reservoirs were made as relief works during the
In the high land about two miles to the north of the; Katraj pass
and about six miles south of Poona is the Katraj lake, which was built in 1750 by Peshwa Balaji Bajirao. It covers an area of 5½ acres and has a dam of rubble masonry 1000 feet long and forty feet high. It holds water all the year round and has a greatest depth of forty feet. The water is used only for drinking. Masonry conduits lead to Poona where there are cisterns or hands in different parts of the town.
In the Bhimthadi village of Patas, about thirty-seven miles east
of Poona, a reservoir was begun as a famine relief work in January 1877 and finished in 1879. It is a small reservoir with a full supply area of forty-six acres, a capacity of fifteen millions of cubic feet, and a catchment area of three square miles. The earthen dam is 2900 feet long and twenty-nine feet in greatest height. The waste weir is 170 feet long and is seven feet below the top of the dam. The total cost was
£3400 (Rs. 34,000). The site is very unfavourable and the cost is out of proportion to the capacity of the reservoir. Its only use is to provide water for house purposes and cattle in the village of Patas. It was carried out only to afford relief which was urgently needed.
About one mile north-west of the Bhimthadi village of Supa and
thirty-live miles end of Poona, the Supa reservoir was begun as a famine relief work in November 1876 and finished in 1877. An earthen dam is laid across a gap in an old embankment thrown up from the excavation of a small pond many years old. The total cost was £220 (Rs. 2200). This is a trifling work useful only for cattle. It was carried out solely to relieve distress in the immediate neighbourhood.
On a feeder of the Mula in the village of Pashan six miles
west of Poona a reservoir was made in 1867-68 at a cost of £16,700 (Rs. 1,67,000) to furnish water for the station of Kirkee and Government House, Ganeshkhind. It is formed by an earthen dam 2750 feet in length with a greatest height of fifty-two feet. The waste weir is 400 feet long and its crest is ton feet below the top of the dam. The full supply
area of the lake is 153 acres. Its available! capacity is seventy-three millions of cubic feet, and the catchment area is sixteen square miles. The water is led from the reservoir in a ten-inch cast-iron main which goes through the Government House grounds, by the cantonment of Kirkee, on to the Powder Works. The water is fully distributed in Government
House and in Kirkee barracks and cantonment. It was of great use before the left bank Mutha canal was made.