Mumbai

Famine in Bombay

Bombay, February 26.

A Bombay Government press note indicates the development of the famine situation in the Bombay presidency. A declaration is made under Section 35 of the Famine Relief Code of the existence of famine and scarcity in respect of certain areas.

Briefly the areas affected either by famine or by scarcity consist of North Gujarat including Kathiawar and a small tract on eastern confines of east Khandesh, the Deccan with the exclusion of almost the whole of Sholapur district and of Mawal country of Satara and finally, the adjacent portions of southern division, namely Bijapur and the Northern part of Belgaum district. The aggregate area under famine measures 8,697 square miles of territory, with a census population of 12,50,000 souls. The scarcity area measures 55,694 square miles.

The press note proceeds to describe the nature and extent of direct relief operations which are in progress in each district together with a brief indication of the famine conditions prevailing in it and of the character of direct relief measures adopted to meet them. The aggregate number of persons on relief works is 22,000 and on test works 6,000. The number of recipients of government gratuitous relief other than village servants is 19,000. These figures do not take account of the persons employed on ordinary P.W.D. and Local Board Works.

With regard to fodder situation the controller of faminer fodder is releasing large quantities of grass stored for army purposes at Manmad and Bhusawal and taking measures to supply over thousand lakhs of pounds to Gujarat districts. Besides the controller’s operations, grass cutting and baling has been organised in various localities. Throughout Deccan and parts of Gujarat, systematic efforts are being made to popularise the use of prickly pear fodder and demonstration camps have been opened in Ahmednagar and Poona districts, where the cattle are kept and fed for a time on this fodder. Regular cattle camps have been established in some districts maintained by charitable funds.

Beside the measures adopted for preservation of plough cattle in the affected areas, the Bombay Presidency Famine Relief Fund has made large purchases of grass for distribution to owners of milch cattle. Suspension and remission of land revenue amounting to many thousands of rupees had been made in the declared areas. Stringent measures are being taken against profiteering in food grains and cheap grain shops have been opened everywhere. Reports from several affected areas indicate that the general condition and health of the people is adequate for the present to give rise to no special anxiety.

(The Hindu taps into its 140-year rich archives to bring you glimpses of Mumbai’s eventful past, and, lest we forget, remind us all how we got to where we are today)

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 4:01:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/famine-in-bombay/article26380013.ece

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