Famine is chronic in India. It has occurred at intervals for centuries past, as long as records have been kept, as long as man remembers, and undoubtedly will recur for centuries to come, although the authorities who are responsible for the well-being of the empire are gradually organizing to counteract forces of nature which they cannot control, by increasing the food supply and providing means for its distribution. But there must be hunger and starvation in India so long as the population remains as dense as it is. The reason is not because the earth refuses to support so many people. There is yet a vast area of fertile land untilled, and the fields already cultivated would furnish food enough for a larger population when normal conditions prevail, although there's but a bare half acre per capita. There is always enough somewhere in India for everybody even in times of sorest distress, but it is not distributed equally, and those who are short have no money to buy and bring from those who have a surplus. The export of grain and other products from India continues regularly in the lean as well as the fat years, but the country is so large, the distances so great, the facilities for transportation so inadequate, that one province may be exporting food to Europe because it has to spare, while another province may be receiving ships loaded with charity from America because its crops have failed and its people are hungry.

The health and happiness of three hundred million human souls in India and also of their cattle, their oxen, their sheep, their donkeys, their camels and their elephants are dependent upon certain natural phenomena over which neither rajah nor maharaja, nor viceroy, nor emperor, nor council of state has control, and before which even the great Mogul on his bejeweled throne stood powerless. It is possible to ameliorate the consequences, but it is not possible to prevent them.

Whether the crops shall be fat or lean, whether the people and the cattle shall be fed or hungry, depends upon the "monsoons," as they are called, alternating currents of wind, which bring rain in its season. All animal and vegetable life is dependent upon them. In the early summer the broad plains are heated by the sun to a temperature higher than that of the water of the great seas which surround them. In parts of northern India, around Delhi and Agra, the temperature in May and June is higher than in any other part of the empire, and is exceeded in few other parts of the world. This phenomenon remains unexplained. The elevation is about 2,100 feet above the sea; the atmosphere is dry and the soil is sandy. But for some reason the rays of the sun are intensely hot and are fatal to those who are exposed to them without sufficient protection. But this extreme heat is the salvation of the country, and by its own action brings the relief without which all animal and vegetable life would perish. It draws from the ocean a current of wind laden with moisture which blows steadily for two months toward the northwest and causes what is called the rainy season. That wind is called the southwest monsoon. The quantity of rain that falls depends upon the configuration of the land. Any cause which cools the winds from the sea and leads to the condensation of the vapor they carry - any obstacle which blocks their course - causes precipitation. Through all the northern part of India there is a heavy rainfall during April, May and June, the earth is refreshed and quantities of water are drained into reservoirs called "tanks," from which the fields are irrigated later in the summer.

The quantity of rainfall diminishes as the winds blow over the foothills and the mountains, and the enormous heights of the Himalayas prevent them from passing their snow-clad peaks and ridges. Hence the tablelands of Thibet, which lie beyond, are the dryest and the most arid region in the world.

As the sun travels south after midsummer the temperature falls, the vast dry tract of the Asiatic continent becomes colder, the barometric pressure over the land increases, and the winds begin to blow from the northeast, which are called the northeast monsoon, and cause a second rainy season from October to December. These winds, or monsoons, enable the farmers of India to grow two crops, and they are entirely dependent upon their regular appearance.

Over 80 per cent of the population are engaged in farming. They live from hand to mouth. They have no reserve whatever. If the monsoon fails nothing will grow, and they have no money to import food for themselves and their cattle from more fortunate sections. Hence they are helpless. As a rule the monsoons are very reliable, but every few years they fail, and a famine results. The government has a meteorological department, with observers stationed at several points in Africa and Arabia and in the islands of the sea, to record and report the actions of nature. Thus it has been able of late years to anticipate the fat and the lean harvests. It is possible to predict almost precisely several months in advance whether there will be a failure of crops, and a permanent famine commission has been organized to prepare measures of relief before they are needed. In other words, Lord Curzon and his official associates are reducing famine relief to a system which promotes economy as well as efficiency.

It is an interesting fact that the monsoon currents which cross the Indian Ocean from South Africa continue on their course through Australia after visiting India, and recent famines in the latter country have coincided with the droughts which caused much injury to stock in the former. Thus it has been demonstrated that both countries depend upon the same conditions for their rainfall, except that human beings suffer in India while only sheep die of hunger in the Australian colonies.

The worst famine ever known in India occurred in 1770, when Governor General Warren Hastings reported that one-third of the inhabitants of Bengal perished from hunger - ten millions out of thirty millions. The streets of Calcutta and other towns were actually blocked up with the bodies of the dead, which were thrown out of doors and windows because there was no means or opportunity to bury them. The empire has been stricken almost as hard during the last ten years. The development of civilization seems to make a little difference, for the famine of 1900-1901 was perhaps second in severity to that of 1770. This, however, was largely due to the fact that the population had not had time to recover from the famine of 1896-97, which was almost as severe, although everything possible was done to relieve distress and prevent the spread of plagues and pestilence that are the natural and unavoidable consequences of insufficient nourishment.

No precautions that sanitary science can suggest have been omitted, yet the weekly reports now show an average of twenty thousand deaths from the bubonic plague alone. The officials explain that that isn't so high a rate as inexperienced people infer, considering that the population is nearly three hundred millions, and they declare it miraculous that it is not larger, because the Hindu portion of the population is packed so densely into insanitary dwellings, because only a small portion of the natives have sufficient nourishment to meet the demands of nature and are constantly exposed to influences that produce and spread disease. The death rate is always very high in India for these reasons. But it seems very small when compared with the awful mortality caused by the frequent famines. The mind almost refuses to accept the figures that are presented; it does not seem possible in the present age, with all our methods for alleviating suffering, that millions of people can actually die of hunger in a land of railroads and steamships and other facilities for the transportation of food. It seems beyond comprehension, yet the official returns justify the acceptance of the maximum figures reported.

The loss of human life from starvation in British India alone during the famine of 1900-1901 is estimated at 1,236,855, and this is declared to be the minimum. In a country of the area of India, inhabited by a superstitious, secretive and ignorant population, it is impossible to compel the natives to report accidents and deaths, particularly among the Brahmins, who burn instead of bury their dead. Those who know best assert that at least 15 per cent of the deaths are not reported in times of famines and epidemics. And the enormous estimate I have given does not include any of the native states, which have one-third of the area and one-fourth of the population of the empire. In some of them sanitary regulations are observed, and statistics are accurately reported. In others no attempt is made to keep a registry of deaths, and there are no means of ascertaining the mortality, particularly in times of excitement. In these little principalities the peasants have, comparatively speaking, no medical attendance; they are dependent upon ignorant fakirs and sorcerers, and they die off like flies, without even leaving a record of their disappearance. Therefore the only way of ascertaining the mortality of those sections is to make deductions from the returns of the census, which is taken with more or less accuracy every ten years.

The census of 1901 tells a terrible tale of human suffering and death during the previous decade, which was marked by two famines and several epidemics of cholera, smallpox and other contagious diseases. Taking the whole of India together, the returns show that during the ten years from 1892 to 1901, inclusive, there was an increase of less than 6,000,000 instead of the normal increase of 19,000,000, which was to be expected, judging by the records of the previous decades of the country. More than 10,000,000 people disappeared in the native states alone without leaving a trace behind them.

The official report of the home secretary shows that Baroda State lost 460,000, or 19.23 per cent of its population.

The Rajputana states lost 2,175,000, or 18.1 per cent of their population.

The central states lost 1,817,000, or 17.5 per cent.

Bombay Province lost 1,168,000, or 14.5 per cent.

The central provinces lost 939,000, or 8.71 per cent.

These are the provinces that suffered most from the famine, and therefore show the largest decrease in population.

The famine of 1900-01 affected an area of more than four hundred thousand square miles and a population exceeding sixty millions, of whom twenty-five millions belong in the provinces of British India and thirty-five millions to the native states.

"Within this area," Lord Curzon says, "the famine conditions for the greater part of a year were intense. Outside it they extended with a gradually dwindling radius over wide districts which suffered much from loss of crops and cattle, if not from actual scarcity. In a greater or less degree in 1900-01 nearly one-fourth of the entire population of the Indian continent came within the range of relief operations.

"It is difficult to express in figures with any close degree of accuracy the loss occasioned by so widespread and severe a visitation. But it may be roughly put in this way: The annual agricultural product of India averages in value between two and three hundred thousand pounds sterling. On a very cautious estimate the production in 1899-1900 must have been at least one-quarter if not one-third below the average. At normal prices this loss was at least fifty million pounds sterling, or, in round numbers, two hundred and fifty million dollars in American money. But, in reality, the loss fell on a portion only of the continent, and ranged from total failure of crops in certain sections to a loss of 20 and 30 per cent of the normal crops in districts which are not reckoned as falling within the famine tract. If to this be added the value of several millions of cattle and other live stock, some conception may be formed of the destruction of property which that great drought occasioned. There have been many great droughts in India, but there have been no others of which such figures could have been predicated as these.

"But the most notable feature of the famine of 1900-01 was the liberality of the public and the government. It has no parallel in the history of the world. For weeks more than six million persons were dependent upon the charity of the government. In 1897 the high water mark of relief was reached in the second fortnight of May, when there were nearly four million persons receiving relief in British India. Taking the affected population as forty millions, the ratio of relief was 10 per cent. In one district of Madras and in two districts of the northwestern provinces the ratio for some months was about 30 per cent, but these were exceptional cases. In the most distressed districts of the central provinces 16 per cent was regarded in 1896-7 as a very high standard of relief. Now take the figures of 1900-01. For some weeks upward of four and a half million persons were receiving food from the government in British India, and, reckoned on a population of twenty-five millions, the ratio was 18 per cent, as compared with 10 per cent of the population in 1897. In many districts it exceeded 20 per cent. In several it exceeded 30 per cent. In two districts it exceeded 40 per cent, and in the district of Merwara, where famine had been present for two years, 75 per cent of the population were dependent upon the government for food. Nothing I could say can intensify the simple eloquence of these figures.

"The first thing to be done was to relieve the immediate distress, to feed the hungry, to rescue those who were dying of starvation. The next step was to furnish employment at living wages for those who were penniless until we could help them to get upon their feet again, and finally to devise means and methods to meet such emergencies in the future, because famines are the fate of India and must continue to recur under existing conditions.

"I should like to tell you of the courage, endurance and the devotion of the men who distributed the relief, many of whom died at their posts of duty as bravely and as uncomplainingly as they might have died upon the field of battle. The world will never know the extent and the number of sacrifices made by British and native officials. The government alone expended $32,000,000 for food, while the amount disbursed by the native states, by religious and private charities, was very large. The contributions from abroad were about $3,000,000, and the government loaned the farmers more than $20,000,000 to buy seed and cattle and put in new crops.

"So far as the official figures are concerned, the total cost of the famine of 1900 was as follows:


  Direct relief $31,950,000 
  Loss of revenue 16,200,000 
  Loans to farmers and native states 21,300,000


  Relief expenditure and loss of revenue 22,500,000 
                     - - - - - - 
  Total $91,950,000

"Some part of these loans and advances will eventually be repaid. But it is not a new thing for the government of India to relieve its people in times of distress. The frequent famines have been an enormous drain upon the resources of the empire."

The following table shows the expenditures for famine relief by the imperial government of India during the last twenty-one years:

  Five years, 1881-86 $25,573,885 
  Five years, 1886-91 11,449,190 
  Five years, 1891-96 21,631,900 
  1896-1897 8,550,705 
  1897-1898 19,053,575 
  1898-1899 5,000,000 
  1899-1900 10,642,235 
  1900-1901 20,829,335 
  1901-1902 5,000,000 
                     - - - - - - 
  Total (twenty-one years) $127,730,825

Among the principal items chargeable to famine relief, direct and indirect, are the wages paid dependent persons employed during famines in the construction of railways and irrigation works, which, during the last twenty-one years, have been as follows:

                     Direct Construction 
                     famine Construction of irrigation 
                     relief. of railways. works. 
  Five years, '81-'86 $379,760 $9,113,165 $3,739,790 
  1886-1891 277,030 666,665 1,384,570 
  1891-1896 411,065 12,056,505 921,675 
  1896-1897 6,931,750 156,100 
  1897-1898 17,752,025 125,055 
  1898-1899 133,515 2,301,175 38,900 
  1899-1900 10,375,590 119,650 
  1900-1901 20,626,150 155,570 
  1901-1902 2,645,905 353,465 
                     - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
  Total (21 years) $59,531,790 $24,137,610 $6,994,775

The chief remedies which the government has been endeavoring to apply are:

1. To extend the cultivated area by building irrigation works and scattering the people over territory that is not now occupied.

2. To construct railways and other transportation facilities for the distribution of food. This work has been pushed with great energy, and during the last ten years the railway mileage has been increased nearly 50 per cent to a total of more than 26,000 miles. About 2,000 miles are now under construction and approaching completion, and fresh projects will be taken up and pushed so that food may be distributed throughout the empire as rapidly as possible in time of emergency. Railway construction has also been one of the chief methods of relief. During the recent famine, and that of 1897, millions of coolies, who could find no other employment, were engaged at living wages upon various public works. This was considered better than giving them direct relief, which was avoided as far as possible so that they should not acquire the habit of depending upon charity. And as a part of the permanent famine relief system for future emergencies, the board of public works has laid out a scheme of roads and the department of agriculture a system of irrigation upon which the unemployed labor can be mobilized at short notice, and funds have been set apart for the payment of their wages. This is one of the most comprehensive schemes of charity ever conceived, and must commend to every mind the wisdom, foresight and benevolence of the Indian government, which, with the experience with a dozen famines, has found that its greatest difficulty has been to relieve the distressed and feed the hungry without making permanent paupers of them. Every feature of famine relief nowadays involves the employment of the needy and rejects the free distribution of food.

3. The government is doing everything possible to encourage the diversification of labor, to draw people from the farms and employ them in other industries. This requires a great deal of time, because it depends upon private enterprise, but during the last ten years there has been a notable increase in the number of mechanical industries and the number of people employed by them, which it is believed will continue because of the profits that have been realized by investors.

4. The government is also making special efforts to develop the dormant resources of the empire. There has been a notable increase in mining, lumbering, fishing, and other outside industries which have not received the attention they deserved by the people of India; and, finally,

5. The influence of the government has also been exerted so far as could be to the encouragement of habits of thrift among the people by the establishment of postal savings banks and other inducements for wage-earners to save their money. Ninety per cent of the population of India lives from hand to mouth and depends for sustenance upon the crops raised upon little patches of ground which in America would be too insignificant for consideration. There is very seldom a surplus. The ordinary Hindu never gets ahead, and, therefore, when his little crop fails he is helpless.

The munificence of Mr. Henry Phipps of New York has enabled the government of India to provide one of the preventives of famine by educating the people in agricultural science. A college, an experimental farm and research laboratory have been established on the government estate of Pusa, in southern Bengal, a tract of 1,280 acres, which has been used since 1874 as a breeding ranch, a tobacco experimental farm and a model dairy. No country has needed such an institution more than India, where 80 per cent of the population are engaged in agricultural pursuits, and most of them with primitive implements and methods. But the conservatism and the illiteracy, the prejudices and the ignorance of the natives make it exceedingly difficult to introduce innovations, and it is the conviction of those best qualified to speak that the only way of improving the condition of the farmer classes is to begin at the top and work down by the force of example. During a recent visit to India this became apparent to Mr. Phipps, who is eminently a practical man, and has been in the habit of dealing with industrial questions all of his life. He was brought up in the Carnegie iron mills, became a superintendent, a manager and a partner, and, when the company went into the great trust, retired from active participation in its management with an immense fortune. He has built a beautiful house in New York, has leased an estate in Scotland, where his ancestors came from, and has been spending a vacation, earned by forty years of hard labor, in traveling about the world. His visit to India brought him into a friendly acquaintance with Lord Curzon, in whom he found a congenial spirit, and doubtless the viceroy received from the practical common sense of Mr. Phipps many suggestions that will be valuable to him in the administration of the government, and in the solution of the frequent problems that perplex him. Mr. Phipps, on the other hand, had his sympathy and interest excited in the industrial conditions of India, and particularly in the famine phenomena. He therefore placed at the disposal of Lord Curzon the sum of $100,000, to which he has since added $50,000, to be devoted to whatever object of public utility in the direction of scientific research the viceroy might consider most useful and expedient. In accepting this generous offer it appeared to His Excellency that no more practical or useful object could be found to which to devote the gift, nor one more entirely in harmony with the wishes of the donor, than the establishment of a laboratory for agricultural research, and Mr. Phipps has expressed his warm approval of the decision.

It is proposed to place the college upon a higher grade than has ever been reached by any agricultural school in India, not only to provide for a reform of the agricultural methods of the country, but also to serve as a model for and to raise the standard of the provincial schools, because at none of them are there arrangements for a complete or competent agricultural education. It is proposed to have a course of five years for the training of teachers for other institutions and the specialists needed in the various branches of science connected with the agricultural department, who are now imported from Europe. The necessity for such an education, Lord Curzon says, is constantly becoming more and more imperative. The higher officials of the government have long realized that there should be some institution in India where they can train the men they require, if their scheme of agricultural reformation is ever to be placed upon a practical basis and made an actual success. For those who wish to qualify for professorships or for research work, or for official positions requiring special scientific attainments, it is believed that a five years' course is none too long. But for young men who desire only to train themselves for the management of their own estates or the estates of others, a three years' course will be provided, with practical work upon the farm and in the stable.

The government has solved successfully several of the irrigation problems now under investigation by the Agricultural Department and the Geological Survey of the United States. The most successful public works of that nature are in the northern part of the empire. The facilities for irrigation in India are quite as varied as in the United States, the topography being similar and equally diverse. In the north the water supply comes from the melting snows of the Himalayas; in the east and west from the great river systems of the Ganges and the Indus, while in the central and southern portions the farmers are dependent upon tanks or reservoirs into which the rainfall is drained and kept in store until needed. In several sections the rainfall is so abundant as to afford a supply of water for the tanks which surpluses in constancy and volume that from any of the rivers. In Bombay and Madras provinces almost all of the irrigation systems are dependent upon this method. In the river provinces are many canals which act as distributaries during the spring overflow, carry the water a long distance and distribute it over a large area during the periods of inundation. In several places the usefulness of these canals has been increased by the construction of reservoirs which receive and hold the floods upon the plan proposed for some of our arid states.

In India the water supply is almost entirely controlled by the government. There are some private enterprises, but most of them are for the purpose of reaching land owned by the projectors. A few companies sell water to the adjacent farmers on the same plan as that prevailing in California, Colorado and other of our states. But the government of India has demonstrated the wisdom of national ownership and control, and derives a large and regular revenue therefrom. In the classification adopted by the department of public works the undertakings are designated as "major" and "minor" classes. The "major" class includes all extensive works which have been built by government money, and are maintained under government supervision. Some of them, classed as "famine protective works," were constructed with relief funds during seasons of famine in order to furnish work and wages to the unemployed, and at the same time provide a certain supply of water for sections of the country exposed to drought. The "minor" works are of less extent, and have been constructed from time to time to assist private enterprise.

The financial history of the public irrigation works of India will be particularly interesting to the people of the United States because our government is just entering upon a similar policy, the following statement is brought down to December 31, 1902:

  Cost of construction $125,005,705 
  Receipts from water rates (1902) 7,797,890 
  Receipts from land taxes (1902) 4,066,985 
  Total revenue from all sources (1902) 11,864,875 
  Working expenses (1902) 3,509,600 
  Net revenue (1902) 8,355,275 
  Interest on capital invested 4,720,615 
  Net revenue, deducting interest 3,634,660 
  Profit on capital invested, per cent 6.97

  Net profit to the government, per cent 3.04

In addition to this revenue from the "major" irrigation works belonging to the government, the net receipts from "minor" works during the year 1902 amounted to $864,360 in American money.

In other words, the government of India has invested about $125,000,000 in reservoirs, canals, dams and ditches for the purpose of securing regular crops for the farmers of that empire who are exposed to drought, and not only has accomplished that purpose, but, after deducting 3-1/2 per cent as interest upon the amount named, enjoys a net profit of more than $3,500,000 after the payment of running expenses and repairs. These profits are regularly expended in the extension of irrigation works.

In the Sinde province, which is the extreme western section of India, adjoining the colony of Beluchistan on the Arabian Sea, there are about 12,500,000 acres of land fit for cultivation. Of this a little more than 9,000,000 acres are under cultivation, irrigated with water from the Indus River, and the government system reaches 3,077,466 acres. Up to December 31, 1902, it had expended $8,830,000 in construction and repairs, and during that year received a net revenue of 8.5 per cent upon that amount over and above interest and running expenses.

In Madras 6,884,554 acres have peen irrigated by the government works at a cost of $24,975,000. In 1902 they paid an average net revenue of 9.5 per cent upon the investment, and the value of the crops grown upon the irrigated land was $36,663,000.

In the united provinces of Agra and Oudh in northern India the supply of water from the Himalayas is distributed through 12,919 miles of canals belonging to the government, constructed at a cost of $28,625,000, which irrigates 2,741,460 acres. In 1902 the value of the crops harvested upon this land was $28,336,005, and the government received a net return of 6.15 per cent upon the investment. The revenue varies in different parts of the provinces. One system known as the Eastern Jumna Canal, near Lucknow, paid 23 per cent upon its cost in water rents during that year. In other parts of the province, where the construction was much more expensive, the receipts fell as low as 2.12 per cent.

In the Punjab province, the extreme northwestern corner of India, adjoining Afghanistan on the west and Cashmere on the east, where the water supply comes from the melting snows of the Himalayas, the government receives a net profit of 10.83 per cent, and the value of the crop in the single year of 1902 was one and one-fourth times the total amount invested in the works to date.

This does not include a vast undertaking known as the Chenab Canal, which has recently been completed, and now supplies more than 2,000,000 acres with water. Its possibilities include 5,527,000 acres. As a combination of business and benevolence and as an exhibition of administrative energy and wisdom, it is remarkable, and is of especial interest to the people of the United States because the conditions are similar to those existing in our own arid states and territories.

If you will take a map of India and run your eye up to the northwestern corner you will see a large bald spot just south of the frontier through which runs the river Chenab (or Chenaub) - the name of the stream is spelt a dozen different ways, like every other geographical name in India. This river, which is a roaring torrent during the rainy season and as dry as a bone for six months in the year, resembles several of out western rivers, particularly the North Platte, and runs through an immense tract of arid desert similar to those found in our mountain states. This desert is known as the Rechna Doab, and until recently was waste government land, a barren, lifeless tract upon which nothing but snakes and lizards could exist, although the soil is heavily charged with chemicals of the most nutritious character for plants, and when watered yields enormous crops of wheat and other cereals. Fifteen years ago it was absolutely uninhabited. To-day it is the home of about 800,000 happy and prosperous people, working more than 200,000 farms, in tracts of from five to fifty acres. The average population of the territory disclosed at the census of 1901 was 212 per square mile, and it is expected that the extension of the water supply and natural development will largely increase this average.

The colony has been in operation fat a little more than eleven years. The colonists were drawn chiefly from the more densely populated districts of the Punjab province, and were attracted by a series of remarkable harvests, which were sold at exorbitant prices during the famine years. The land was given away by the government to actual settlers upon a plan similar to that of our homestead act, the settlers being given a guarantee of a certain amount of water per acre to a fixed price. The demand caused by the popularity of the colony has already exhausted the entire area watered by the canals, but an extension and enlargement of the system will bring more land gradually under cultivation, the estimates of the engineers contemplating an addition of 2,000,000 acres within the next few years.

The value of the crop produced in 1902 upon 1,830,525 acres of irrigated land in this colony was $16,845,000, irrigated by canals that cost $8,628,380, and the government enjoyed a net profit of 14.01 per cent that year upon its benevolent enterprise. Aside from the money value of the scheme, there is another very important consideration. More than half of the canals and ditches were constructed by "famine labor" - that is, by men and women (for women do manual labor in india the same as men) who were unable to obtain other employment and would have died of starvation but for the intervention of the government. Instead of being supplied with food at relief stations, these starving people were shipped to the Rechan Doab besert and put to work at minimum wages.

You will agree with me that the government has a right to feel proud of its new colony, and its success has stimulated interest in similar enterprises in other parts of the empire. It has not only furnished employment to thousands of starving people, but by bringing under cultivation a large tract of barren land with a positive certainty of regular harvests it has practically insured that section of the country against future famines.

The following figures will show the rapid development of the colony from the first season of 1892-93 to the end of the season 1901, which is the latest date for which statistics can be obtained:


  1892-93 L721,233 1897-98 L1,512,916 
  1893-94 878,034 1898-99 1,616,676 
  1894-95 995,932 1899-1900 1,677,982 
  1895-96 1,174,781 1900-01 1,725,676 
  1896-97 1,362,075


  1892-93 157,197 1897-98 810,000 
  1893-94 270,405 1898-99 957,705 
  1894-95 269,357 1899-1900 1,353,223 
  1895-96 369,935 1900-01 1,830,525 
  1896-97 520,279


  1892-93 L4,084 1897-98 L111,041 
  1893-94 3,552 1898-99 131,566 
  1894-95 9,511 1899-1900 155,302 
  1895-96 51,632 1900-01 421,812 
  1896-97 92,629


  1892-93 0.57 1897-98 7.34 
  1893-94 0.40 1898-99 8.14 
  1894-95 0.96 1899-1900 9.26 
  1895-96 4.40 1900-01 14.01 
  1896-97 6.75

The system of allotment of land may be interesting. As the area under irrigation was entirely open and unoccupied, few difficulties were met with, and the engineers were perfectly free in plotting the land. The entire area was divided into squares of 1,000 feet boundary on each side, and these squares were each divided into twenty-five fields which measure about one acre and are the unit of calculation in sales and in measuring water. Sixty squares, or 1,500 fields, compose a village, and between the villages, surrounding them on all four sides, are canals. Between the squares are ditches, and between the fields are smaller ditches, so that the water can be measured and the allowance made without difficulty. The government sells no smaller piece than a field of twenty-five acres, but purchasers can buy in partnership and afterwards subdivide it.

Each village is under the charge of a superintendent, or resident engineer, who is responsible to a superior engineer, who has charge of a number of villages. Each field is numbered upon a map, and a record is kept of the area cultivated, the character of the crops sown, the dates or irrigation and the amount of water allowed. Before harvest a new measurement is taken and a bill is given to the cultivator showing the amount of his assessment, which is collected when his crop is harvested. As there has never been a crop failure, this is a simple process, and in addition to the water rate a land tax of 42 cents an acre is collected at the same time and paid into the treasury to the credit of the revenue department, while the water rates are credited to the canal department.

The chief engineer fixes the volume of water to be furnished to each village and the period for which it is to remain flowing. The local superintendent regulates the amount allowed each cultivator, according to the crops he has planted. There are six rates, regulated by the crops, for some need more water than others, as follows:

Class. Crops. Rate per acre. 
    1 - Sugarcane $2.50 
    2 - Rice 2.10 
    3 - Orchards, gardens, tobacco, indigo, 
       vegetables and melons 1.66 
    4 - Cotton, oil seeds, Indian corn and all cold 
       weather crops, except grain and lentils 1.66 
    5 - All crops other than specified above .83 
    6 - Single water to plow, not followed by a crop .40

As I have shown you from the figures above, this enterprise has proved highly profitable to the government, and its management is entitled to the highest compliments.

The main canal was originally forty miles long, averaging 109 feet wide, with an average slope of one foot to the mile, and capable of carrying seven feet four inches of water, or 10,000 cubic feet, per second. Twenty-eight miles have since been enlarged to a width of 250 feet and the remaining twelve miles to a width of 150 feet. The canal has been deepened to nine feet six inches, and the intention is to deepen it one foot more. The banks of the main canal are twenty-five feet wide at the top and are built entirely of earth. A railway ninety-six miles long of three-foot gauge has been constructed down the main canal, which is a great convenience in shipping crops and pays a profit to the government. It was constructed by the canal engineers while the ditch was being dug. There are 390 miles of branch canals from thirty to fifty feet wide and from six to eight feet deep, and 2,095 miles of distributaries, or ditches running between villages and squares. The banks of the branches and ditches are all wide enough for highways, and thus enable the people to go from village to village and get their crops to market. Several towns of considerable size have already grown up; the largest, called Lyallpur, having about 10,000 inhabitants. It is the headquarters of the canal and also of the civil authorities; and scattered through the irrigated country are about 100 permanent houses used as residences and offices by the superintendents and engineers.