IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE BRITISH RULE IN INDIA in the absence of orga­nised labour the question of having any separate department for labour did not arise. During the later British rule, when with the development of industries, a labour force came into existence, the Deputy Secretary of the Labour Department worked as an Ex officio Commissioner of Labour. After Independence many labour laws were amended and new ones were enacted. It was also decided on the basis of the recommendations of the Administrative Enquiry Committee that the post of Commissioner of Labour should be a full-time independent post. Accordingly the office of the Commissioner of Labour with the three directorates was created with the Director as the head of each. These Directors were later designated as Deputy Commissioners of Labour. One of the directorates was put in-charge of various labour welfare centres, Government industrial training workshops and the Bombay Labour Institute. With the constitu­tion of the Bombay Labour Welfare Board, the labour activities were transferred to that Board, while Government industrial training work­shops, the Bombay Labour Institute and decentralisation scheme, looked after by the Director of Employment, were transferred to the Commissioner of Labour.

The offices dealing with labour matters are under the control of Industries and Labour Department. The Commissioner of Labour is the head of the organisation and is assisted in his work by the Additional Commissioner of Labour, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commis­sioners, Chief Inspector of Factories, Chief Inspector of Steam Boilers and Smoke Nuisances and Chief Government Labour Officer.

The Commissioner of Labour performs the statutory functions under the Industrial Disputes Act, the Trade Unions Act, the Minimum Wages Act, the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, etc. The working of these Acts is narrated below:

(1) Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926 : One of the Deputy Commissioners of Labour at Bombay works as Registrar of Trade Unions. His duties under this Act include registration of trade unions, registration of constitution of unions, etc. During 1976, the number of registered trade unions in Greater Bombay was 1,079.

(2)Minimum Wages Act, 1948 : The Minimum Wages Act is an impor­tant legislation passed by the Central Government in 1948. Its object is to prevent ' sweated labour' and exploitation of labour. The Government of Maharashtra have fixed minimum rates of wages under this Act in respect of employment in flour mills, oil mills, public motor transport, residential hotels and restaurants, etc. The enforcement of the provisions of this Act in Greater Bombay applicable to Scheduled employment is looked after by the Government Labour Officer.

(3) Bombay Shops and Establishments Act,1948 : This Act is to regulate working conditions of employees employed in shops and commercial establishments, hotels, restaurants, eating houses, etc. The provisions of the Payment of Wages Act are also applicable to the shops covered under this Act. This Act is made applicable to the area under the jurisdiction of Greater Bombay Municipal Corporation.

(4) Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 : The industrial disputes arising in establishments other than those amenable to the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, in Greater Bombay are dealt with by the Commissioner of Labour. The Assistant Commissioner notified as the conciliation officer under the Act handles the disputes. The State Government also refers disputes to the Industrial Tribunals/Labour Courts. Ten such Industrial Tribunals and four Labour Courts have been constituted in Greater Bombay. The Deputy Commissioner of Labour (Administration), Bombay is vested with powers to refer industrial disputes to a Labour Court/Industrial Tribunal where parties to such dispute apply in pres­cribed manner. The Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner are empowered to decide the applications made to them for recovery of money due to a workman under the settlement, agreement or an award under this Act.( The Act is applicable to engineering, chemicals and chemical products, pharmaceuticals, petroleum and other industries but not to textile industry.)

(5) Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946 (This Act is applicable to textile industry only.) : This Act, which is a State legislation, provides for the registration of unions, settlements, agreements, etc. The Commissioner of Labour is the chief administrative authority under this Act. One of the Deputy Commissioners has been delegated powers regarding settlement of standing orders. The conciliators appointed for the purpose of the Act, try to settle the industrial disputes between employee and employer amicably. During 1976, 39 disputes were settled under this Act in Greater Bombay.

Labour Unions (A detailed history of Labour Movement in Bombay is given in Chapter 5— Industries.) : The Assistant Commissioner, Bombay, is appointed as the Registrar under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act. His work is of a quasi-judicial nature and is entrusted with the recognition of under­takings and occupations, registration of unions, agreements, settlements, etc. In Greater Bombay area there were in, 1976 seven unions registered as representative unions under the said Act. These were Rashtriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh, Mill Mazdoor Sabha, Woollen Workers' Union (Red Flag), Co-operative Bank Employees' Union, BEST Workers' Union, Bombay Electric Workers' Union, and Tata Hydro Company Employees' Union.

During 1976, 148 agreements, 39 settlements, 25 awards and 9 Wage Board orders were registered under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act.

Undertakings : The number of undertakings registered under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act in Greater Bombay in 1976 was 622.

Wages and Earnings : The wages and earnings of the employees engaged in industries covered under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act are fixed by various awards of industrial courts, settlements and agreements. In cotton textile industry in Greater Bombay the basic wage rates and dearness allowance have been standardised by the Industrial Court.

Industrial Court : This court was constituted under the Bombay Industrial Disputes Act, 1938, to provide permanent official machinery for arbitration in order to decide industrial disputes. The court has jurisdiction to decide disputes arising in cotton, silk and woollen textiles, sugar, electricity industries and co-operative banking in the State of Maharashtra. It acts as a court of industrial arbitration in disputes referred to it by the union, employer or employees. Under its appellate jurisdiction it decides appeals referred from the decision of the Labour Courts, Wage Boards, Registrar and Commissioner of Labour. Reference on the point of law is also made to it. The Industrial Court also decides applications made by employees, or representative unions as regards the interpretation of award, agreement, settlement, etc.

The industrial court exercises superintendence over all the wage boards, labour courts in the State and over the courts of the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation. It has its benches at Nagpur, Pune and Thane.

Industrial disputes arising in the industries not covered by the Bombay Industrial Disputes Act, 1946 are referred to the Industrial Tribunal. The president and the members of the industrial court are also appointed as one man industrial tribunal. The tribunal decides the cases referred by the Government regarding wages, allowances, hours of work, bonus, provident fund, etc. It also decides questions of interpretation of the awards and settlements referred by the Government. There are 10 indu­strial tribunals functioning in the State of which 6 are in Bombay. In the following are shown number of cases pending, filed and disposed off since 1947 for a few years in the industrial courts/tribunals, in Bombay.

No. of cases


Pending at the beginning of the year

Filed during the year


Decided during the year

Pending at the end of the year











































Labour Courts : Labour Courts constituted under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946 decide disputes regarding the orders passed under the standing orders governing relations between employer and employees. It has also power to decide the legality or otherwise of a strike, lock-out, closure, etc. The judges of the Labour Courts are also notified as presiding officers of the courts. These officers decide disputes regarding propriety or legality of an order passed by the employer under standing orders. They also decide complaints made by aggrieved employees during pendancy of a dispute, the question of interpretation of awards or settlements referred to them by the Government. Under the Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971, labour courts deal with cases and offences under the Act. The Judges of the court also deal with cases under various labour laws.

In 1975 there were sixteen Labour Courts in the State, out of which five were functioning in Bombay. In the following are shown cases filed and decided by Labour Courts, in Bombay, under various Acts during 1975:—

No. of cases


Pending at the beginning of the year

Filed during the year

Decided during the year

Pending as on 31-12-1975

Bombay Industrial Relations Act,   1946





Industrial Disputes Act, 1947





Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972           





Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act. 1971





Other Labour Acts





Wage Boards : Wage Boards have been constituted under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946. There are three Wage Boards for cotton, silk and woollen textiles and sugar industries. Recently one more Wage Board has been constituted for co-operative banking. Disputes about items in Schedule II of the Act, disputes about reduction or increase in permanent posts, rationalisation of wages, workload, hours of work, etc., are referred to the Wage Boards for decision by the Government.

Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation : Under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1924 the office and the court of Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation was established. Assistant Judges, Civil Judges, Judges of Small Causes Courts, Judges of Labour Courts are qualified to be appointed as the Commissioner. At present there are 3 Commissioners working for Greater Bombay area.

The Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, Bombay, apart from having original jurisdiction over Greater Bombay area, has also exclusive jurisdiction over all cases of accidents occurring on railway lines of the Central and Western railways and in the Hydro-Electric Companies within the limits of the State. The Commissioner has all the powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Functions of the Commissioner are not limited to deciding cases but he is supposed to be the guiding force in the settlement of the claims under the Act by mediating disputes, by tendering advice/opinion as regards admissibility of compensation, etc. An appeal lies to the High Court only on substantial question of law.

The Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, Bombay, is the authority under the Minimum Wages Act and the Payment of Wages Act for Greater Bombay area. He is appointed as a judge of the Employees Insurance Court constituted under the Employees State Insurance Act. Under the Bombay Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1953 the claim for pay­ment of unpaid accumulations preferred by workmen are forwarded to the authority under the Payment of Wages Act. The Commissioner and the Additional Commissioner have been appointed as controlling autho­rities under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 for the administration of the Act. They are also appointed as presiding officers of the Labour Courts constituted under the Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971 to decide complaints relating to unfair labour practices and to try offences punishable under the Act.

Index Numbers : The office of the Commissioner of Labour was publishing consumer price index numbers for Bombay with 1934 as the base year. The Bombay old series were based on family budget enquiry and had become outdated because of change in the consumption pattern of working class over a period of time. There were several complaints that the index numbers were not properly worked out because the prices of several articles were not collected and recorded. For examining those complaints and determining the extent of readjustment in the Bombay old series, the Government appointed the Expert Committee in 1963. The recommendations of the committee were accepted and the new index numbers were published in 1964.

As stated earlier the old series of index numbers for Bombay were based on family budget enquiries conducted long back. The necessity of new index numbers based on the latest family budget was also felt. The Government of India had conducted fresh family budget enquiry in Bombay in 1958-59 and the report was published in 1964. Thus the new series for Bombay on base 1960 = 100 was introduced in 1965. The new series was linked with the old one by linking factor 4.44. The dearness allowances in textile and most other industries in Bombay is generally paid at the rate linked to Bombay Consumer Price Index Numbers. The Government of India had conducted fresh family budget surveys at different centres including Bombay during 1971. The work of preparation of weighing diagrams for the fresh series of 1971 based on these surveys is in progress.

Labour Welfare : Welfare activities for the industrial labour outside the factory premises are conducted by the Maharashtra Labour Welfare Board, a statutory body constituted under section 4 of the Bombay Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1953. These activities are being conducted in the industrial towns and cities including Greater Bombay through labour welfare centres. During 1977, there were 174 such centres in the State, of which 37 were located in Greater Bombay.

Among other things, the labour welfare activities include community and social education including reading rooms and libraries, community necessities like shishu sanskar shalas and shishu mandirs, games and sports, excursions, tours, entertainment, home industries and subsidiary occupations for women and unemployed persons, etc. These activities are classified as daily or institutionalised activities.

In the following are shown the location of labour welfare centres in Greater Bombay :—

Kamgar Kalyan Bhavan (1) Dadar.
Lalit Kala Bhavans (4)

Worli, Naigaum, N. M. Joshi Marg,Lalbaug.

Vishishta Kendras (4)

Prabhadevi, Sewree,   Kalachowki,Goregaon.

Labour Welfare Centres (14)

Lalbaug,    Ghodapdeo,    Mazgaon, Love Lane, Kamathipura, Madan-pura, Jacob Circle, Acharya Donde Marg, Dharavi, Chembur, Transit Camp-Sion, Gandhi Nagar, Malwani and Vikroli.

Sub-Centres (3)

Chinchpokli, Kurla, Malwani.

Shramik Vasahat Kendras (11)

Santacruz,    Dharavi,     Jogeshwari,Malad, Wadala, Chembur, two at Parel and three at Andheri.

The total attendance as on 31st March 1977 in these centres was 33,158,439.

A worker's stadium project constructed at a cost of about Rs. 40 lakhs on a centrally located plot of 19,760 sq. yards between Elphinstone Road and Dadar is an unique institution for workers. Various facilities such as football ground, open air theatre, library and information centre, ground for indoor games, auditorium, swimming pool, etc, have been provided at this stadium.

Bombay Labour Institute : The Bombay Labour Institute, established in 1947 imparts specialised training to men and women intending to join industries, trade union movement and labour management and administration. It is a post-graduate institute, recognised by the Bombay University, working for specialised training and research in the fields of labour welfare and industrial relations. The institution conducts a course leading to master's degree in labour welfare and industrial relations of the Bombay University and provides facilities to the students in their doctoral research.

Since 1959 this institute is recognised as a post-graduate institution imparting specialised instructions leading to a two years diploma in labour welfare of the Bombay University. With the growing complexities of modern industrial work and life, the whole perspective of labour welfare has considerably widened rendering it necessary to rationalise the training programme enabling the trainees to discharge their duties and responsibilities. With this view in mind the diploma in labour welfare was upgraded to master's degree in labour welfare of Bombay University in 1970. The University has instituted the master's degree in labour welfare and industrial relations in place of master's degree in labour welfare from the academic year 1974-75.

The institution also runs a full-time nine months leadership training programme in trade unionism and industrial relations with specific emphasis on participative management. Besides, it undertakes the specialised in-service training programmes for Government labour officers.

The diploma course in trade unionism and industrial relations provides intake capacity for 120 students every year. The duration of the course is nine months. From 1975-76 fresh graduates are also admitted to the course.

The institute publishes a journal, viz., Bombay Labour Journal, an annual devoted to scientific study of labour problems.

The Professor-Director, who is in-charge of the institute, looks after the teaching as well as administrative work.

During 1969, a labour cell was set up at the Bombay Labour Institute with a view to scrutinise labour items appearing in newspapers and to point out the suitable action in time; to compile statistical data having a bearing on labour matters; and to study the comparative labour problems and labour trends in the country and abroad.

The following statement shows the statistics regarding the number of students completing diploma course for a few years:—

No. of students completing Diploma or Degree course. 14 83 32 44
No. of teaching staff including Professor Director. 5 8 8 9
No. of administrative staff 8 9 9 11

Factory Department : The first Factory Act was brought into force in July 1881. This Act was amended for the first time in 1891 and several times afterwards. In 1981 the centenary of the Factory Act was celebrated. Factories are governed at present by the Factories Act of 1948.

The Chief Inspector of Factories ensures that the provisions of the Factories Act, 1948 are observed by the factory owners. Besides, he has to administer the Payment of Wages Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Employ­ment of Children Act, so far as section 9 of the said act is concerned. Although the department is not directly concerned with the administration of the Workmen's Compensation Act, it helps the injured workers and heirs of the deceased in getting compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act.

Steam Boilers and Smoke Nuisance Department : It is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Indian Boilers Act, 1923; the Indian Boilers Regulation, 1950; the Maharashtra Boilers Rules, 1962; the Maharashtra Economisers Rules, 1965; and the Bombay Smoke Nuisances Act, 1912. The department is primarily concerned with the registration and inspection of steam boilers and their certification in order to ensure that they are maintained as per the conditions prescribed by the above Acts. The Inspectors appointed under the Bombay Smoke Nuisances Act, 1912 deal with approval of plans for erection, renewal of furnaces and chimneys in the industrial establishments.



Prior to the imposition of prohibition in the State there were no restrictions on drinking. In the absence of any industrial production of wine or liquor, the country liquor was a favourite drink of the people. As a matter of fact drinking is known from times immemorial and in history we find instances of puritanical Emperors like Aurangzeb, making drinking an offence. The free use of country liquor proved dangerous to health and affected social morale. There was growth in crime and the Government was hard put to deal with it. Taking these factors into considera­tion the Government decided to prohibit consumption of intoxicant liquor and accordingly prohibition was imposed in the then Bombay State in 1950. This step was aimed at the moral, ethical and economic uplift of the common man and achievement of peaceful living conditions in society.

The restrictions were thus put on consumption, sale, use, etc., of intoxicant liquor. It was thought that this would find an effective check on manufacture of country liquor. But this policy proved ineffective as the law could not check effectively the drinking habits of the people. The lack of social education was also one of the major factors responsible for this failure.

The Maharashtra Government, therefore, relaxed its prohibition policy in 1973. As per the new prohibition policy a licenced person above 21 years can consume, use, transport any quantity of liquor. A number of sugar factories and firms in the State were allowed to manufacture wine, liquor, beer which to some extent checked the production of country liquor by illicit methods. This policy also resulted in an increased revenue due to excise.

Organisation : The Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise posted at Bombay is the head of the department. The different activities of the department are controlled and co-ordinated by the Commissioner with the assistance of Director of Prohibition (Education), Deputy Commis­sioner, Chief Assessment Officer and Assessment Officer. Field staff such as Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Constables and Prohibition Propaganda Officers assist the Superintendent of Prohibition and Excise in carrying out the functions assigned to him. The number of Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors of Prohibition and Excise was 25 and 180, respectively in 1976; while that of constables was 258.

Functions : The main functions of the department are confined to licencing, inspection of licences and enforcement of various controls enacted under the prohibition laws particularly the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949. The officers of the department have also to do the prohibition propaganda and supervise recreation centres in their charge and co­operate with the Police Department in their duties of prevention and detection of prohibition crimes. In respect of responsibilities of officers of this department, they are expected to take cognizance of all offences committed by or in the establishments licenced by it or expected to be inspected by it as also other offences that may come to the notice of the prohibition and excise officers during the course of their duties. These officers have powers under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 to prosecute independently the offences in respect of cases detected by them instead of passing them on to the Police. The prohibition staff is responsible for supervision over bonded manufactories, warehouses, foreign liquor shops, neera centres, distilleries, sugar factories for supervision over molasses, management of the drug sale depots and inspection of various other excise licences. They are also required to associate themselves with the ameliorative and social aspect of prohibition and tighten the loopholes where such loopholes exist.

Foreign Liquor : Under the Bombay Foreign Liquor Rules, 1953 framed under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 various licences such as trade and import licence, vendors licence, hotel licence and club licence are granted. The details regarding number of each kind of foreign liquor licences granted in Greater Bombay and in the State as on 1st September 1974 are given below:—

State of Maharashtra
Trade and Imports

In addition to the above, licences authorising storage in bond of foreign liquor are granted under the Maharashtra Foreign Liquor (Storage in Bond) Rules, ,1964. In Greater Bombay there were 27 such licencees as on 1st October 1974. There were 375 licencees in Greater Bombay who were permitted to sale mild liquor (Beer) in hotels and restaurants under the Special Permits and Licences Rules, 1952.

Various permits under the Bombay Foreign Liquor Rules, 1953, viz., temporary resident's permits, health permits, emergency permits, special permits for priviledged personage and visitor's permits have been prescribed.

The Government recently rationalised its policy in so far as the grant of foreign liquor permits to persons above 21 years of age are concerned. The health permits which were in existence on 14th September 1972 have been made valid for an indefinite period and the persons holding these permits are entitled to any quantity of foreign liquor. These permits are now available on payment of Rs. 2. The Government also relaxed its policy by reducing the rate of excise duty and sales tax on Indian made foreign liquors.

Toddy : The Government of Maharashtra sanctioned the introduction of the toddy scheme in the State with effect from 1st December 1968. Under this scheme the free sale of toddy upto 5 per cent alcohol by volume to persons over 21 years of age is permitted. The licences for sale of toddy are disposed off by public auction.

Neera : The neera scheme is implemented by the Maharashtra State Khadi and Village Industries Board through Neera Tad Padarth Sahakari Mandali Ltd., Bombay. The total number of neera centres in Greater Bombay during 1970-71 was 67 which rose to 110 in 1976-77.

Medicinal and Toilet Preparations : The aims of the Medicinal and Toilet Preparations (Excise Duties) Act, 1955 are to provide for the levy and collection of excise duties on medicinal and toilet preparations containing alcohol, opium, Indian hemp, other narcotic drugs and narcotics at the rates prescribed in the Act.

The rules provide for the licencing of the manufacture of allopathic, ayurvedic, unani, homoeopathic and toilet preparations requiring alcohol.

Industrial alcohol : The Konkan Development Corporation Ltd., Bombay was granted a licence in form 'I' under the Maharashtra Distillation of Spirit and Manufacture of Potable Liquor Rules, 1966 for the manufacture and sale of industrial alcohol. The actual issue of industrial alcohol during 1971-72 and 1973-74 was as shown below:—

Captive use Actual issue of alcohol  Estimated requirements for the year
  1971-72 1973-74 1974-75
  Lac Liters Lac Liters Lac Liters
(1) Union Carbide Ltd., Bombay. 169.84 172.52 180.20 imports
(2)Polychem Ltd., Bombay 17.90 19.28 20.00

Messrs.Konkan Agro-Marine Industries Pvt. Ltd., Bombay was granted licence in form ' I' in 1972 for the manufacture of alcohol for use in the manufacture of Indian made foreign liquor under P.L.L. licence held by it.

Potable Liquor, Beer and Wine : After the enforcement of the Maha­rashtra Distillation of Spirit and Manufacture of Potable Liquor Rules, 1966 and the Maharashtra Manufacture of Beer and Wine Rules, 1966 the following parties were granted the licences for the manufacture of potable liquor (Indian made foreign liquor) and beer and wine:—

Name of Company

Year in which Licence was issued

(1) Konkan  Agro-Marine Industries Pvt. Ltd.,Bombay.

August 1972

(2) Messrs. Sanghi Motors (Bombay) Pvt. Ltd., Bombay. November 1969

The following parties hold the letters of intent issued by the Government of Maharashtra for the grant of licences for the manufacture of potable liquor, beer and wine :—


Year in which issued

(a) Potable Liquor

(1) Shri S. D. Lalla, Bombay

January 1973

(2) Kay Distillery Industry Ltd., Bombay February 1974
(3)Jayem Distilleries Ltd., Bombay January 1974
(4)Shri S. K. Shirodkar, Hindustan Beverages Co., Bombay. September 1974

(b) Manufacture of Beer

(1) Hanson Breweries Ltd., Bombay September 1974
(2)Western India Steel Traders, Bombay January 1973
(3) Messrs. Indian Engineering and Commercial Corporation Pvt. Ltd., Bombay. January 1973
(4) Shri S. D. Lalla, Bombay July 1973
(5)Messrs. S. S. Miranda Pvt. Ltd., Bombay October 1972
(6) Messrs. Alok Mandalia, Bombay November 1973
(7)Shri  J. M. Nadkarni  of Jayam   Breweries, Bombay.

November 1973

(8) Shri J. N. Rathi, Bombay November 1973
(9) Shri K. G. Nariman, Bombay November 1973
(10) Bombay Breweries Ltd., Bombay

November 1973

(c)  Manufacture of Wines

(1)Messrs. A. R. P. S, (India) Ltd., Bombay January 1973
(2 )Shri S. D. Lalla, Bombay

July 1973

Denatured Spirit : The ordinary denatured spirit is used in the manufacture of French polish, varnish and thinners. This spirit is manufactured by the distilleries by adding 0.5 per cent caoutchoucine and 0.5 per cent pyrine as denaturants to rectified spirit produced by them. There were 29 parties in Bombay who held licences for the whole­sale distribution of this spirit. For retail sale of ordinary denatured spirit to the domestic consumers etc., in bottles there were 146 retail licences in Bombay during 1973.

Drugs Sale Depot : There are 24 sale depots throughout the State for the sale of opium, ganja and bhang in packets of various denominations to the permit/licence holders. The requirements of various sale depots are now being met from the opium and hemp drugs packing and supply depot at Boribundar Excise Station, Bombay. The packing depot is placed under the control of the Superintendent of Prohibition and Excise, Bombay.

Country Liquor : In order to combat effectively illicit liquor trade in the State, the Government announced in 1973 the introduction of liquor (country liquor) at cheaper rate. The country liquor is permitted to be manufactured under licences granted to the distilleries holding licences for distillation of spirit and persons holding licence for possession and use of rectified spirit issued under the Maharashtra Country Liquor Rules, 1973. The second category of persons are granted licences to manufacture country liquor provided they import spirit from outside the State and no manufactory is allowed to be located in Greater Bombay area.

The manufacture of country liquor is under licence and under excise supervision, and the cost of the supervisory staff is borne by the manu­facturers. Warehouses for the storage and wholesale sale of duty paid country liquor are required to be opened and managed by the manufac­tories holding licences for manufacture of country liquor. Such manufac­tory holding licence to manufacture of country liquor is required to open its Warehouses at Bombay, Pune, Nagpur and in such other two districts as may be specified by the Commissioner of Prohibition and Excise.

The permits for possession, use, consumption and transport of country liquor are issued on payment of Rs. 2. These permits are valid for an indefinite period. 14 C.L.II licences, 171 C.L.III licences and 250 C.L./F.L./TOD-III licences were in force in Greater Bombay as on 30th June 1974.

Propaganda and Recreation Activities : For successful implementation of prohibition education, propaganda and recreation activities are conducted throughout the State. While carrying out these activities, advice of the various committees such as the Maharashtra State Prohibi­tion Board, District Prohibition Committee is sought for. This propaganda is carried out through Prohibition Propaganda Officers and Honorary Prohibition Organisers, most of whom have been provided with vans to enable them to arrange film shows, meetings etc., and entertainment programmes such as kalapathaks, dramas, bhajans and kirtans. Recreation-cwm-amelioration facilities are provided through departmental sanskar kendras. An essential part of the rationalisation of prohibition policy by Government is education of the people about the evil effects of drinking by vigorous prohibition propaganda and ameliorative activities to wean the poor people, especially the younger generation, away from the drink habit. Government has sanctioned grants for intensifying educational and propaganda activities against the drink evil. There were 7 such kendras in 1960-61 in Greater Bombay run by the department. This strength has however reduced to 6 in 1980-81.

Offences : Various offences committed under prohibition and excise laws are shown in the Table No. 1.

Revenue : Total collection of excise revenue in Greater Bombay in 1970-71 was Rs. 57,255,124 which increased to Rs. 113,284,595 in 1975-76.

Offences under Prohibition and Excise Laws

1960- 61
1965 - 66
1970 - 71

(1) Offences relating to liquor

(a) Illicit distillation and possession of implements etc. for the same.
(b) Illicit importation, exportation and transportation.
(c) Illicit possession 
(d) Unlicenced sale
(2) Offences relating to hemp drugs
(3) Offences relating to opium

During 1980-81 the regular executive staff detected 1,548 prohibition offences.



The creation of a department of this nomenclature is the result of the new concept of a welfare State, where priorities are given to weaker sections of the community. At the secretariat level a new department of Social Welfare was created after the reorganisation of States in 1956, whereas at the directorate level the department came into existence in 1957. The backward class welfare work done by former Backward Class department was entrusted to this newly created department.

The Department of Social Welfare deals with the welfare of weaker sections of the society, viz. the backward classes like scheduled castes and tribes, etc., and socially handicapped persons like the destitutes and needy children, women in distress or in moral danger, beggars, physically handicapped persons like blind, deaf-mute as well as aged and infirm and leprosy affected persons.(Information about many institutions for beggars and physically handicapped is given in Chapter 18.)

Welfare of backward classes : The term backward classes consists of scheduled castes including neo-Buddhas, scheduled tribes, nomadic tribes, vimukta jatis and other backward classes. As per the 1971 Census the population of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in Greater Bombay was 2,10,497 and 30,016, respectively.

The schemes for the welfare of backward classes fall into three main sections viz., education, economic and housing and others. Under educa­tional uplift are included grant of freeships and scholarships, examination fees, running of hostels, grants to hostels run by voluntary agencies, etc. These educational concessions form a very important part of the back­ward class welfare programme. During 1978-79 the number of backward class students was 39,332 of which 13,632 were girl students.

As regards post-S.S.C. scholarships, 3,866 backward class students including 356 girl students were awarded scholarships amounting to Rs. 31,64,000 during 1977-78, the per capita expenditure being Rs. 818. An expenditure of Rs. 21,24,000 was incurred on account of tuition fees and examination fees during 1977-78. The number of beneficiaries was 38,213 including 2,097 girls. During 1978-79 an amount of Rs. 16,10,000 was awarded as freeship to the students belonging to backward classes.

In order to encourage students from the backward classes, the Government have started Government hostels for boys and girls. In the following statement are shown the details of Government hostels located in Greater Bombay:—

Name of Hostel
Sanctioned strength (1978-79)
Sant Meerabai Girls' Hostel, Worli
Sant Eknath Vasatigriha for Boys, Worli
Government Hostel for Boys, Goregaon (W)
Government Boys Hostel, Jogeshwari (opened in March 1979)

During 1977-78 three hostels accommodated 628 students including 290 girls and the expenditure incurred amounted to Rs. 12,31,825, the per capita expenditure being Rs. 613. Besides there were six hostels for backward classes run by voluntary agencies. Under the economic uplift, financial assistance is given to the backward class persons for improvement of agriculture, starting new business, etc. A separate employment cell was created for the backward class candidates in Bombay in 1978. This cell is entrusted with registering backward class candidates and sponsoring and seeking employment for them. As many as 15,628 candidates were on the live register during 1977-78, of whom 300 candidates were placed in employment.

The Government established the Mahatma Phule Backward Class Development Corporation in 1978-79 with its headquarters at Bombay to undertake the economic development of backward classes.

In Bombay are located the offices of the Divisional Social Welfare Officer and the Social Welfare Officer, Greater Bombay. The Social Welfare Officer, Greater Bombay, executes the schemes of the department and also co-ordinates work of other departments relating to backward class welfare in Greater Bombay district. The Placement Officer looks after the employment cell.



Though the office of the Charity Commissioner as such was not in existence in the past, there was a convention of taking over the estates of the deceased or minors in mediaeval times under State Administration though the reasons for the same were totally different. Even in the time of the Peshwas this system appears to be current. The British under their various rules and regulations continued it after they established them­selves finally.

The religious and charitable trusts in the State prior to 1950 were governed under various enactments, Central as well Provincial based on religion. In 1950 a composite legislation called the Bombay Public Trusts Act of 1950 was passed which was made applicable to all public trusts without any distinction of religion.

The State Government is empowered to apply this Act to any public trust and on such application the provisions of the previous Acts cease to apply to such trust or class of trusts. The Act was made applicable in the old Bombay State from January 1952 to the various classes of public trusts such as temples; maths; wakfs \ public trusts other than temples, maths and wakfs created or existing solely for the benefit of any community or communities; societies formed either for religious or charitable purposes, or for both and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860; dharmadas i.e., any amounts which according to custom or usage of any business or trade or agreement between the parties relating to any transaction are charged to any party to the transaction or collected under whatever name as being intended to be used for a charitable or religious purpose; and all other trusts, express or constructive, for either public or religious or charitable purpose or for both.

The Act has not been made applicable to the charitable endowments vested in the treasurer of charitable endowments under provisions of the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890.

The Charity Commissioner with headquarters at Bombay has been appointed to administer the Act. The Deputy Charity Commissioner with assistance of two Assistant Charity Commissioners looks after the Greater Bombay region.

Duties of Trustees : The Act imposed a duty on the trustees of a public trust to make an application for the registration of the trust within three months of the application of the Act or its creation giving particulars of approximate value of movable and immovable property owned by the trust, gross average annual income and expenditure. Every trustee has to keep regular accounts of the trust which are to be audited annually by a chartered accountant or a person authorised under the Act. The trustee of a public trust is bound to invest the surplus funds of the property in public securities or first mortgage of immovable property.

Application of funds by cypres : If the original object of a public trust fails wholly or partially, or in case of public trust, other than a trust for religious purpose, if it is not in the public interest practicable or proper to carry out the original intention of the author of a public trust, an applica­tion can be made to the City Civil Court, Bombay for application cypres of the property or income of the public trust or its portion.

If there is a breach of trust or a declaration is necessary that a particular property is the public trust property or a direction is required for the administration of any public property, two or more persons having interest in the trust or the Charity Commissioner can file a suit in the City Civil Court, Bombay to obtain reliefs mentioned in the Act.

Sole Trustee : The Charity Commissioner may with his consent be appointed as a trustee of a public trust by a court or by the author of a trust, provided his appointment is made as a sole trustee. The Court is however not empowered to appoint the Charity Commissioner as a sole trustee of a religious public trust.

Charitable Endowments : The Charity Commissioner is deemed to be a treasurer of charitable endowments for the State of Maharashtra appointed under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890. In case of religious and charitable endowments which vest in the State Government they are to be vested in the committees of management to be appointed by the State Government.

Statistics : The total number of public trusts in Greater Bombay as on 31st December 1953 was only 5,003, which increased to 10,915 on 31st December 1968 and again to 16,473 on 31st December 1976.

The break-up of these trusts is shown below:—


During 1976 as many as 811 public trusts were registered in the Greater Bombay region. The highest number of 442 trusts belonged to F section.



Bombay, being one of the leading business centres, attracts population from every corner of the country. The inflow of population has been heavy since the Second World War. The network of transport and other infrastructure facilities considerably helped the growth of industries, business and trade. The heavy inflow of people created however many civic problems including housing accommodation. The shortage of accommodation in turn caused a rise in rents of premises and prices of open land. Private landlords added fuel to fire by introducing the pagdi system. To overcome the situation the Government stepped in the house building activity and established a board to take up the responsibility for constructing houses for low income group and middle income group persons.

The Bombay Housing Board was created in 1949 for the then Bombay State. After the bifurcation of the Bombay State, it was renamed as the Maharashtra Housing Board. Although this board was to look after the Western region of the State its activities confined mainly to the Greater Bombay area. During 1960-61 the number of tenements in Greater Bombay was 21,425. There was considerable increase in the next ten years and in 1970-71 the number of tenements stood at 56,593.

In 1965 the Government of Maharashtra appointed a committee to investigate into the cases of collapse of the old buildings in Bombay city. The recommendations of this committee led to the formation of the Bom­bay Building Repairs and Reconstruction Act, 1969 and accordingly a board was constituted to carry out structural repairs to old and dilapidated buildings.

Another statutory body dealing with housing problem was the Slum Improvement Board created under the Maharashtra Slum (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1973. This board was charged with the responsibility of providing basic amenities to the people living in slums.

These three above mentioned statutory bodies were brought in 1976 under the newly created body, viz., the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority with its headquarters at Bombay. The Bombay Housing and Area Development Board, a regional body for the Bombay region was also constituted. This board having its jurisdiction over Bombay, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts is functioning as the principal public agency in providing shelter in Greater Bombay.

The earliest housing schemes included houses for industrial workers, and rental schemes for the lower, middle and higher income groups. Now the public housing agencies are not constructing housing tenements on rental basis due to problems of rent recoveries, maintenance, etc. Most of the newly constructed tenements are under the ownership scheme with financial assistance of the HUDCO.

The Bombay Housing and Area Development Authority in the recent past has been constructing on an average 2,800 housing units per year. In the following statement are shown the number of housing units constructed and the expenditure incurred on them since 1973-74:—



Economically weaker section

Lower income group

Middle income group

Higher income group


Expenditure (Rs. in millions)

























































Of the 19,964 housing units, a major share (65.38 per cent) was for the economically weaker section. The percentage shares for the lower, middle and higher income groups were 24.75, 8.77 and 1.10, respectively.

Along with public housing agency, the private sector is busy in cons­tructing houses. The following statistics based on the building permissions granted by the Bombay Municipal Corporation in Greater Bombay show the performance of the private sector:—


Housing units constructed


Private sector

Co-operative Societies

Employers for employees




































The private and co-operative sectors together have been contributing around 12,000 housing units per year. The performance of all the agencies put together, namely private and co-operative sectors and the Bombay Housing and Area Development Authority accounts for the annual creation of conventional new housing stock of about 15,000 units, in recent years.

In older parts of the city there are a number of buildings constructed during the pre-war period. On account of low rent the landlords found it difficult to maintain these dilapidated buildings. By the end of 1960 the problem of such old buildings assumed alarming proportion, and in 1969 the Government opted to accept the responsibility of repairs or reconstruction of such buildings. About 20,000 buildings in the city were identified in 1971 as requiring urgent repairs. The task of carrying out repairs has been completed by the Bombay Housing and Area Development Board in respect of 5,582 buildings. Transit camp facilities are provided to the tenants of the buildings under repairs. One such transit camp at Sion-Koliwada provides 5,458 tenements.

Slum Improvement : The growth of slums in cities is one of the difficult problems brought in by industrialisation and urbanisation. Bombay city presents a classic picture where provision of housing does not keep pace with increased influx of population on account of job opportunities. For decades, thousands of families have migrated to Bombay in search of livelihood. It was estimated that on an average 350 migrants are added daily to the city's population. Under these circumstances it is impossible for the State or Local Authority to provide well built houses. When the migrants find well-built homes beyond their means, they start building shelters wherever open space is available in the city with whatever building material available. This led to the development of slums in Bombay.

Greater Bombay which attracts thousands of people in search of job has the highest density of slum dwellers in the country. According to the survey undertaken by the Municipal Corporation in 1956-57 there were 144 localities having a total area of 350 hectares in Bombay city designed as slums. The number of residential buildings in these areas was 7,591, besides 4,238 huts and 1,360 non-residential structures. In all 83,451 families were staying in these areas. The number of slum areas in suburbs and extended suburbs was 65 accommodating nearly 35,000 families. According to 1961 Census the slum population in Greater Bombay was put at 7,61,079. Thus, nearly one-sixth of the population was living in slums. City's slum population was estimated at 13 lakhs in 1971, which accounted for more than 20 per cent of total population. This figure does not include a large number of houseless persons living on road side, railway bridges and along the railway lines.

Initially in the first decade after Independence the Government adopted the policy of slum clearance by eradication of shanty colonies and re­housing of slum dwellers in permanent structures built on the same site by subsidising cost  of construction.   In   1958   a  centrally  sponsored programme was started for clearance and improvement of slum areas and rehousing of slum dwellers whose income did not exceed Rs. 350 per month. As per the programme nearly 21,000 units were constructed. However the construction activity could not keep pace with increased demand. The cost of construction was on the increase, and thus the houses built were beyond the paying capacity of slum dwellers. It was soon realised that eradication of slums was nearly impossible and hence the Government decided to undertake a scheme of providing minimum amenities to the slum dwellers. In 1971 the Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act was passed. This Act enables the Government to undertake improvement of slums on all lands. The improvements under this Act include provisions of water supply, drainage, common toilets, etc. The slum dwellers are protected from eviction by landlords and are ensured reallocation upon development.

A census of hutments was undertaken by the Government of Maharashtra in January 1976. This census however was restricted to the hutment colonies on the lands which belonged to the Government, the Bombay Municipal Corporation and the Housing Board. With the help of 7,000 enumerators, 847 colonies consisting of 2,60,337 huts were covered in a single day. This was the first measure to gauge the magnitude of the problem and to regulate and control the existing slum colonies. The results of the Census were as follows:—

Land belonging to
Government 440 89,571
Municipal Corporation 306 1,12,764
Housing Board 101 58,002
Total 847 2,60,337

The Government thereafter formulated a policy for protection, removal, rehabilitation and improvement of slum colonies. The entire cost of demolition, transport, etc. is borne by the Government and local authorities. In order to prevent proliferation of slums and to protect the existing colonies from being encroached upon by new slum dwellers and to bring about a co-ordination between the various public authorities, the State Government appointed a Controller of Slums. The staff working under him is entrusted with the work of management of colonies and patrolling of open areas and for recovery of compensation and service charges. The slum dwellers are required to pay a sum of Rs. 20 per month for an area of 150 square feet occupied by them for residential purpose.

As per the comprehensive plan for removal and resettlement nearly 6,000 slum families were shifted and settled before 1976. In addition to this, the Bombay Municipal Corporation had shifted the Janata Colony near Anushaktinagar, Trombay, consisting of 5,000 hutments to the other area.

Before formation of the Bombay Housing and Area Development Board, the Maharashtra Housing Board, the Slum Improvement Board alongwith the Municipal Corporation were actively concerned with the issue of slum clearance.

Housing Board : A slum clearance scheme sponsored by the Govern­ment of India was undertaken by the Board in 1960-61. This scheme covered slum dwellers whose income did not exceed Rs. 350 per month. As many as 14,510 tenements were constructed by the Housing Board upto March 1975. The areawise distribution of these tenements were: Andheri, 880 tenements; Bandra, 288; Goregaon, 3,700; Ghatkopar, 672; Malwani, 1,500; Mahim, 1,200; Sion-Koliwada, 128; Tardeo, 128 and Vikhroli, 5,814.

The Board had also undertaken the Western Express Highway Slum Clearance Redevelopment and Rehabilitation Project in Bombay. Under this project it was proposed to construct 1,700 tenements and 9,200 beds in night shelters and dormitories costing Rs. 16.70 crores to rehabilitate slum dwellers.

Municipal Corporation : The Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay has opened a slum improvement cell to deal with slum improve­ment and to prepare civic environmental improvement schemes. Initially the emphasis was laid on slum clearance. As a step towards it, the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act was amended in 1954 introducing anew section which empowered the Corporation to clear slums legally. The civic authority in the public interest as well as on humanitarian grounds has undertaken an ambitious programme to help improve a lot of hutment colonies on Municipal lands and prepared a detailed inventory in some of the hutment colonies. The cell also prepared schemes for provision of amenities to various colonies, and the work was executed through a zonal construction department.

As per the Corporation's programme, 63 colonies located on municipal land were taken up for improvement upto March 1974. Various amenities provided at the cost of Rs.. 1.98 crores included 4,567 w.c. seats, 1,836 water taps, 18,600 square metres paved passage, 73,600 metres drains and 1,000 poles of street light.

Slum Improvement Board : The Maharashtra Slum Improvement Board, a principal executive organ of the State Government for implementing the programme to provide common basic amenities to the slum dwellers, was established in 1974. As per the provisions of the Maharashtra Slum Improvement Board Act, 1973 and the Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971 the Board was authorised to deal with the slums that have sprung upon private lands. Accordingly the Board had completed preliminaries of the slum areas on private lands. The work done during 1975-76 was as follows:—.

Total population   1,407,644
Slum population benefited under improvement programme. 592,484
Estimated cost (Rs.) 57,423,266
Cost incurred (Rs.) 45,300,000
Amenities provided—  
W.Cs. 7,430
Water taps 2,559
Sewer and drains 211,126  sq. mtrs.
Roads and pathways 1,789,304  sq. mtrs.

The Government has so far spent Rs. 171.5 millions on slum improvement covering about 1.50 million population in Greater Bombay. In the following statement are shown annual expenditure on environmental improvement and the population covered under the programme:—

Investment (Rs. in millions)
Population (in lakhs)