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were borne from the kiln to the indignation, restrained only by the

, works when so hot that they could soldier's sense of discipline; its hardly be touched by hand. withering complaints of the want

When it is further remembered of support; its entreaty for inquiry that, among the six thousand and inspection, for his " disappointnatives employed, not one was a ment is that too little, not too much, skilled workman, and that this interest has been shown respecting great work — as it still stands- the works.” was finished within three months An angry reply from the Govof its commencement, we can un- ernor seemed likely to bring things derstand how Colonel Baird Smith, to an impasse, but the tide had an eminent officer of the Bengal happily turned, and the next report Engineers, on visiting the spot in was so highly encouraging that the following year, could hardly henceforth money was more readily find words to express his aston- granted ; so that on one page we isbment and admiration. "Any- find a list of sums sanctioned on where,” he says, “it would have these works at thought of which a been a noteworthy achievement, few years earlier the revenue aubut under the circumstances it thorities would have stood aghast. was an extraordinary feat." For The pace now quickens, and in 1882 this exploit the credit was due to we have a notable despatch from Lieut. (now General) Haig of the the Secretary of State in which Madras Engineers, of whom Col- the total expenditure of £1,300,000 onel Cotton recorded that he had is reviewed, and which contains a

never yet seen such energy dis- cordial and gratifying acknowplayed by any other man.” But ledgment from the Home Govthe whole chapter will repay ernment of the success of the perusal, ending as it does with works. some general remarks on the policy We are now rapidly brought of public works in India, which down to the year 1891, when a may well be laid to heart at the full report is submitted on the present day.

“Construction Estimates” by Mr The interest of the next suc. G. T. Walch, the able compiler of ceeding pages lies mainly in the the present record, who was himincidents of the hot official self for twenty years in charge of warfare which raged round this the works as Chief Engineer for gigantic enterprise from beginning Irrigation. to end, and which seems to have How completely the tone of been in no way relaxed even when those in authority had now changed the victory had been assured. The we may read in the order of Gov. records teem, we are told, with ernment on this report : "In reremonstrances from Colonel Cotton, cording the completion of this and with replies, “now wrathful, magnificent project, which, while now penned more in sorrow than amply remunerative to the public in anger," on account of surprises exchequer, has conferred tenfold sprung on the authorities in ever- benefits on the people of the disincreasing demands for funds. trict, the Governor in Council canWell worth reading, as a com- not but claim for the works that, mentary on Indian administra in conception and execution, they tion, is Colonel Cotton's despatch are such as any State might well of November 1852 (sent direct to be proud of.” Government in violation of all The two following chapters, filled ordinary routine) with its pent-up though they are with technical and


professional details, contain a mass Sir Arthur Cotton has long ago of information of great general written with great earnestness, interest, rendering complete in pointing to the noble example set every detail the history of the by the natives themselves in their construction of this monument of innumerable works, and showing engineering skill.

that "there are very few countries Before parting with our author, that have such facilities as India we are acquainted with the actual for the storage of water, which he main results of the work in the regards as one of the very first two great departments of Irrigation questions” in the management of and Navigation.

the country, for “the returns from As regards Irrigation, it is well it alone would be far beyond those known that rice, the staple crop from any gold-mine." of the district, requires throughout Under the head of Navigation its growth an abundant supply of we catch sight for the first time of water;

and under this head we one of the principal battlefields of may be content to learn that "it Indian administration,

a field enables valuable crops to be grown where the fight still rages, and with certainty year by year over where the victory is even yet not 1000 square miles, where without finally declared, though the spoils it there would be but a of war have so far gone almost paratively small area of uncertain exclusively to one side. In the cultivation; and it thereby not great war of canals versus railways only prevents the famines which the genius of Arthur Cotton has used to ravage the district, but for years maintained an unequal provides a large surplus of food struggle against the advocates of grains for export to less favoured land-transport; and notwithstandregions.” Incidentally we gathering such evidence as is furnished

" also that the "aggregate length of by the too little known story of irrigation distributaries in the the Conquest of the Godavery,' his whole Godavery delta system is opponents have hitherto prevailed. nearly 2000 miles.” Moreover, a The case for and against the further indefinite extension of the employment of irrigation canals irrigated area seems to be only for navigation is here presented subject to provision for the regu- with great fairness, and if it is lation of the water supply of this made clear that there are difficulties inexhaustible river—which, while in the system, and much room for excessive during one period of the development in the means of year, is inadequate at another. transport by water, the net result,

For such a state of things the as illustrated by the example of main remedy seems to be arrange- the Godavery delta, seems to be a ment for the storage of water, of distinct triumph to those who have which even yet vast quantities so strenuously maintained the “flow uselessly to the sea. And superiority of water-carriage over it is to measures for effecting this land-transport for India—both as on an adequate scale that the regards economy of construction attention of hydraulic engineers and cheapness of carriage. will probably be devoted at an An interesting comparison is early date, whenever the value of added with the Erie Canal in the water to India is fully understood New York State, where after and its utilisation undertaken in many trials steam is now increasearnest.

ingly used. But we need not go On this most important subject to the far West for an example of

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how water-carriage has been the them, a very large portion would making of great countries. Noth- never have been sown." ing is perhaps more striking in There is at least nothing visionthese papers than to learn how ary in such a statement as this, much knowledge of practical en- and the pity is that it should have gineering was possessed by natives to be followed by the Times' of the East from very ancient correspondent's pointed remark times. And if India has had her that “the annual Imperial grant early hydraulic engineers, we may for irrigation is still only 75 lakbs, go still farther East and learn a while over ten crores yearly are lesson from the great Imperial being allotted to railways." For canal of China, which serves, that it is in the reversal of these through a course of near 700 proportions that the salvation of miles, for both irrigation and India lies, the story of the Godav. navigation, and regarding which ery delta is surely enough to we read that “the fertility of prove. its soil and the advantages re- Meantime the lesson has not sulting from the internal naviga- been wholly lost, and the example tion afforded by the great canal of the Godavery works bas already and its numerous branches, have been imitated with great success rendered this plain” – a plain in the Bengal provinces of Orissa seven times as large as that of and Behar, and in the Punjab, Lombardy - "the most populous as well as in the North-West spot on the earth."

Provinces. On this subject much As regards irrigation, signs are light is thrown by a most interindeed not wanting that some

some esting lecture lately read to the effect has been produced by the Society of Arts by Sir Charles spectacle of the contrast presented Elliott, one of the first authorities this very year between the irrigated on Indian famine, who takes a districts of India and those de- broad and statesmanlike view of pendent only on the aid given by the whole question. Nowhere has a network of railways. So high more emphatic testimony been an authority as the Lieutenant- borne to the efficacy of water as Governor of the North-West Pro- the primary agent in dealing with vinces—the most famine-stricken famine. By fact and figure the region of the continent--writes as lecturer demonstrates not only follows in reviewing his Provincial that "irrigation is the only possiBudget estimates for the current ble remedy for drought," but that year :

wherever the remedy has been ap

plied, there is perfect immunity “It is an interesting fact that the from famine, and this at less than total area irrigated by canals will, for no cost to the State; for while in the first time in the history of canals in these Provinces, exceed 3,000,000 nearly every case the works are

even financially remunerative, the acres, and that the receipts, direct and indirect, of the canals will, also for least "paying” of them have at the first time, exceed a crore of rupees. all events saved the region affected The estimated value of the crops from both the expenses and the raised on canal - irrigated lands is horrors of famine. The lecturer likely to be more than twelve times proceeds to show that the result that sum, or about 50 per cent more

even of the partial adoption of than the total capital cost of canals from their beginning to the present this remedy is that “the irrigated time. The whole of these crops

area raises half the food - supply been secured by canals, and but for required by the entire country.” It is a surprise, therefore, to find peninsula there exists a supply that, with such evidence before of water abundantly sufficient for him, Sir Charles Elliott here turns this purpose ; that at present in aside, and abandons as hopeless the greater part of the country any attempt to place this one ac- (as in the Godavery delta prior knowledged panacea in the fore- to 1847) almost the whole of this front of our future measures. With plentiful supply (a supply of unstrange inconsistency he argues told value) is allowed to flow usethat “a famine arising from lessly into the sea; that, given drought is a calamity which human the engineering skill competent to efforts are unavailing to prevent.” deal with the continent on a large “For,” says he, as if with con- and comprehensive plan, there is clusive emphasis, “canals cannot no reason whatever why the greater be constructed everywhere”; for part, if not the whole, of the area success in their construction cer- should not be permanently rescued tain conditions are essential, and from all fear of scarcity ; that the “there are not many tracts which cost of such plans would be as satisfy these conditions”!


nothing compared with that alWe wonder who was consulted ready devoted to railways; and before this lamentable conclusion that once the necessary hydraulic was reached. The point is not re- works were in active operation, vealed; but on this high authority the outlay on their construction the word goes forth that it is not and maintenance would be repaid to prevention but to mitigation again and again in the ever-inonly that we can look, and even creasing prosperity of the country. the Secretary of State feels quite When the truth of such propohappy in drawing the conclusion sitions has been fully realised by that "railways are almost a panacea public opinion, no long time will for the mitigation of famine.” Be elapse before the necessary steps it remembered here that the famine are taken, and among them we is upon man and beast alike; that may look forward to a modificaon their cattle largely depends the tion in the direction given to the welfare of the population, and that training of our Indian engineers. in the railway there is at least no Whenever Cooper's Hill devotes salvation for cattle.

its energies more exclusively to We are far indeed, however, the subject of hydraulic engineerfrom having any quarrel with rail. ing, there will be better hope for ways, which in their place are in the future prosperity of India valuable. We grudge only the than there is at present. absorption, by this avowedly par- But there must be no hasty tial remedy for the evil, of the submission to the apparently imlavish funds which would suffice possible, and the spirit which for one of an infinitely more far- should animate our teaching is reaching and permanent nature. that expressed in some well-known What is wanted, in short, is that lines of Arthur Clough, where the certain elementary truths should be forces of outward Natureborne in upon the minds of all who have at heart the welfare of India. “Rise to provoke thee against them ; These are: That India can be set Hast thou courage ? enough, see them free for ever of famine only by an

exulting to yield. adequate supply of water to the

Yea, the rough rock, the dull earth,

the wild sea's furying waters land under cultivation ; that in

(Violent, say’st thou, and hard, mighty the great river - systems of the thou think'st to destroy),

of a

All with ineffable longing are waiting acres of precarious cultivation to their Invader,

near 700,000 acres on which the All, with one varying voice, call to him, Come and subdue ;

crops are grown “with almost

absolute certainty." While for Still for their Conqueror call, and but for the joy of being conquered

communications, in lieu of mere (Rapture they will not forego) dare to rough and devious footpaths, the resist and rebel ;

delta has been furnished with 500 Still when resisting and raging, in soft miles of navigable canals and an undervoice say unto him,

equal length of roads constructed Fear not, retire not, O man; hope ever- from local funds, raised through more and believe."

the prosperity of the country. Let this veritable fairy tale of

In the words of the District science tell its own story in con- Manual,' with which the record is clusion of the wonders it has brought to a closeworked, and which in truth read more like some fable of the Ara

“ Famine is unknown. It is the bian Nights' than the dry record garden of the great Northern provGovernment department. than it has ever been-its population

Its revenue is more elastic The record is a professional one, has more than doubled-its commerce but it needs no professional know- has flourished, and its trade has de ledge to understand the evidence veloped to a marvellous degree, and of " direct money returns," or of a it may be confidently asserted that it clear surplus of receipts over ex

is in as peaceful, happy, and prosperpenditure down to the end of 1894

ous condition as any part of her of 284 lakhs of rupees.


Imperial Majesty's dominions.”

“That these results,” adds the writer, in the twenty years preceding the

are largely due to the great Enconstruction of the works the gineering works of which this history yearly revenue of the Godavery treats is not open to question." district had dwindled from 21 to 17 lakhs, in the twenty succeeding One word more of the hero of this years it rose by steady yearly in- memorable episode in the making of crements to 88 lakhs of rupees. India. It is a strange thing that, During the same period it is offi- for all his triumphant justification cially recorded that the imports by the inexorable logic of results, were increased tenfold, the exports the name of Arthur Cotton is to twentyfold.

this day regarded in influential Whether the rapid increase of quarters as that of a "visionary. ” population, which is one of the " His estimates are not to be consequences of English rule, is an trusted,” they say, “his figures unmixed blessing to India may be are too large," “ the scale of his questioned; but we cannot omit plans too heroic for practical adopfrom the list of the fruits borne by tion. He deals in nothing less this great work that a gradually than millions.” But, in the name dwindling population of 560,000 of common - sense, in what else has been transformed to a popula- should he deal, with an area to tion of over 2 millions, showing a provide for like that of India ? density greater than that of Bel- And what are his millions to gium, the most populous country those which crowd the columns of of Europe. The area of irrigated our daily Famine reports at this land rendered safe for a yearly moment?

millions of

rupees crop has been increased in the thrown into the breach, like the same period, and by the same stone into the Godavery, and means, from less than 150,000 millions of famished people barely

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