51. The area and population of the District in 1901 were 3840 square miles and
751,844 persons. Nagpur now stands the
thirteenth in area and fifth in population among the Districts of the Central Provinces and Berar. It is divided into four tahsils, Nagpur lying in the centre, Katol to the north-west, Ramtek to the north-east, and Umrer to the south-east. The figures of area and population of the four tahsils in 1901 are shown below:-
Area in square miles.
Ramtek tahsil is the largest in area and Nagpur in population, while Katol has the smallest area and Umrer the smallest population. The total density of population is 196 persons per square mile as against 120 for the Central Provinces and Berar, this being the highest figure of density in the combined Province. The rural density is 135 persons per square mile or somewhat higher than the average. Nagpur tahsil has naturally the highest total density with 340 persons to the square mile, but the rural area of Katol is the most thickly populated with 170 persons; while Umrer has only 116. This last figure is due partly to the decline of population in Umrer between 1891 and 1901. The Katol Station-house area contains 241 persons to the square mile excluding Government forest. As yet however the District is very far from having reached the limit of population, as
though less than 70 per cent. of its residents are directly dependent on agriculture, the cropped area reaches the high figure of 2 acres per head. The District contains 12 towns and nearly 2300 Villages, of which 1700 only are inhabited. The large number of uninhabited villages was thus explained by Mr. Rivett-Carnac [Wardha Settlement Report, 1867, para. 87.] in Wardha:-
'Villages of this description are called masras. They are numerous and are sometimes marked by the sites of deserted houses, whose inhabitants have forsaken them to take up their quarters at some more favoured spot in the vicinity, from which they come daily to till the fields of the masra. More generally however the uninhabited estates are the dependencies or offshoots of some parent village, the cultivators of which, growing too numerous for the village fields, have extended the cultivation and broken up land in the vicinity. Many villages also were deserted during the troublous times at the commencement of the century, and many more were thrown up by court favourites to whom they had been granted and who absconded after the peace of 1818.
52. The following places were classed as towns in 1901,
their population being shown in
brackets: - Nagpur (127,734),
Kamptee (38,888), Umrer (15,943),
Ramtek (8732), Narkher (7726), Khapa (7615),
Katol (7313), Saoner (5281), Kalmeshwar (5340), Mohpa (5336), Kelod (5141), and Mowar (4799). Of these towns,
all except Kamptee, Kelod, Katol, Mohpa and Narkher are
municipalities, Kamptee being a Cantonment. The urban
population in 1901 was 240,388 or 32 per cent. of that of
the District, and was the highest in the Province. The
increase in urban population since 1891 was 10 per cent.,
and between 1881 and 1891 it was 7 per cent. The towns
of Nagpur, Umrer, Ramtek, Katol, Saoner and Mowar
increased in population during the last decade, and the
other towns showed a decline. In the five years since the census, most of the towns have an excess of deaths over births in the returns of vital statistics and in the case of Nagpur and Kamptee the decrease according to this test is very substantial. But it has probably been more than counterbalanced by immigration. Besides the towns no less than 26 villages contained 2000 or more persons in 1901, while 38 villages contained between 1000 and 2000 persons. This frequency of large villages, is however an old feature of the District and has not arisen within the last few years. According to statements given by Mr. Craddock the population of the large villages had only slightly increased between 1866 and 1891; and he explains their origin as follows:-'The administrative revenue unit was the pargana and the Kamaishdar or pargana officer drew together a small colony of officials, traders and artisans in the kasba
or headquarters of his charge. The Pindari raids were a further inducement to the patels and cultivators of the surrounding country to collect in these kasbas for purposes of protection; and in this way a practice sprang up which remains to this day for cultivators to live in the kasba, and cultivate land in other villages for several miles round. The movements of the population for the last thirty years have not been very marked, but there has been a tendency for weavers to collect in their chief strongholds, for the labouring population to migrate to the large towns, and to a small extent for the agricultural population to leave the kasba and settle in the village in which their lands are situated. For the cultivator's preference for living in a small town, in its origin the outcome of necessity, is now a luxury, and as the struggle for existence becomes harder, we shall see him more and more ready to live near his land.' As a general rule the small towns and large villages which are solely agricultural are declining in importance, but those which are favourably situated for trade or for the establishment of, cotton factories
are growing rapidly. Excluding the towns the average
size of a village in 1901 was 60 houses and 300 persons.
53. A census of the District has been taken on five
occasions. No important transfers
of territory have taken place, and
the differences in area at successive enumerations have generally been due to correction of survey. In 1866 the population was 634,000 and decreased slightly to 631,000 in 1872, on account of the emigration of Koshtis to Berar, and of the scarcity of 1868-69. In this the Umrer tahsil suffered most. In 1881 the population had risen to 697,000 persons or by 10½ per cent, on that of 1872. Nearly half the increase was attributed to immigration induced by the construction of the railway and the growth of trade. In 1891 the population was 758,000, showing an increase of nearly 9 per cent. on 1881. The largest advance took place in the Umrer and Nagpur tahsils, while in Ramtek and Katol the increase was only 6½ per cent. The decennial birth-rate between 1881 and 1891 was 41½ per mille or slightly higher than the Provincial average, while the death-rate was 32 or a little less. In 1901 the population was 752,000, showing a decline of 6000 or nearly 1 per cent, on that of 1891. The results of the census were however very different in the four tahsils; the population of Katol increased by 3½ per cent. and that of Nagpur by about ½ per cent.; Ramtek showed a very slight loss and Umrer decreased by 8½ per cent. Over the whole District the number of deaths exceeded that of births in every year from 1894-97 inclusive. Cholera was prevalent in all these years and in 1895 an epidemic of small-pox also occurred. Nagpur was not severely affected by the famine of 1897 and a considerable proportion of the mortality of 50 per mille of population may be assigned to the immigration of starving wanderers from other Districts. In 1900, however, the District suffered severely, the death-rate being more than 57. During the six years from 1901 to 1906 the excess
of births over deaths was 17,000 and the deduced population at the end of 1906 was 769,000. The increase would have been considerably greater but for the mortality from plague.
54. In 1901, just over 86½ per cent. of the population
were shown as having been born
within the District. Of 101,000 residents of Nagpur born outside the District, the majority came from Bhandara, Wardha, Chhindwara and Chanda. There were about 10,000 immigrants from the United Provinces and nearly 10,000 from Berar. Natives of Upper India are known locally as Pardeshis and a considerable number of them are employed in the factories and railway workshops. There is a fairly large emigration from Nagpur to Wardha and Berar, but these movements are, Mr. Craddock thinks, largely of a temporary nature.
55. The following note on diseases prevalent in the
District has been furnished by
Lieutenant-Colonel Roe, I.M.S.,
Civil Surgeon. The period from the beginning of April till the end of June is usually the healthiest part of the year. During July and August diarrhoea and dysentery are prevalent and cholera frequently appears at this time; from 3000 to 5000 cases of dysentery are treated annually in the dispensaries. Malarial fever rages from August to December, and for this disease the returns show an average of 50,000 admissions annually. Chronic malarial characterised by aneamia, enlargement of the liver and spleen, and fever of an irregular type is not uncommon throughout the District, In this type of cases the spleen often obtains an enormous size. During the cold months of the year pneumonia and pleurisy are met with. In the case of children worms and diseases of the ear are common affections throughout the year. In Nagpur itself, tubercular disease has in recent years increased to an alarming extent. In 1901 only 42 cases of this disease were treated, while in 1905 the numbers had reached 621. This is believed to result
from working in the factories and mills, the minute particles of cotton penetrating to the lungs of the factory hands and predisposing them to the disease. Leprosy is slightly on the decline, the last census report giving 409 males and 140 females, or a total of 549 lepers as compared with 773 in 1891. The leper asylum, which has been established since 1901, contains 47 inmates.
56. The District suffers considerably from cholera and severe epidemics in which
the number of deaths exceeded 1000 have occurred in 12 out of the last 36 years; the worst outbreak was in 1883, when the mortality was 5000 or 7.2 per mille, while in 1878 and 1900 the number of deaths exceeded 3000. Since 1900, however, there have been no serious visitations. Small-pox has not decreased in Nagpur to the same extent as in other Districts. Epidemics causing more than 1000 deaths have occurred in seven out of the last 36 years, and four of these have been since 1899. The worst outbreak was in 1889 when neatly 3200 deaths were reported. Vaccination has suffered considerably since the appearance of plague owing to the temporary migrations of the people.
57. Plague first appeared in epidemic form in 1899-1900,
in which year it caused about 1000
deaths, nearly all of which were in
Nagpur. In 1902-03 a more severe visitation took place and
7500 deaths were reported, of which 6300 were in Nagpur.
This was followed by another bad year in 1903-04, causing
nearly 18,000 deaths or 24 per mille of population. Of these,
8000 were in Nagpur and 3700 in Kamptee. In the next year
the disease was practically absent from the large towns, but
1400 deaths occurred in the smaller towns and villages. In
1905-06, there was another severe outbreak and more
than 6000 deaths were recorded, of which 4600 were in
The mortality from plague is generally greatest in the
first four months of the year, and next to this in the last
four months, while between May and August it is very small. As it commonly appears in August or September, the infection spreads gradually and the mortality rises three or four months later. It has been found that when the mean temperature goes above 80° to 85,° plague practically ceases. In 1906-07 a vigorous campaign for the slaughter of rats was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Dewar, and the Civil Surgeon, Major Buchanan. About 100,000 rats were killed, and the results appeared to show that substantial results were achieved in preventing the spread of the disease. Between August 1906 and March 1907, less than 8000 deaths occurred, though the disease appeared in most of the towns and large villages. And, moreover, the highest mortality was in September and October, and the epidemic declined in November and December instead of following the normal course of increase in virulence.
[In the statistics given in this paragraph, persons dependent on each occupation are included.]
58. In 1901, a proportion of 58 per cent. of the total population were supported
by pasture and
agriculture as against the provincial figure of 72½. Landowners numbered 32,000 or 4 per cent. of the population, tenants 190,000 or 25 per cent. and labourers 194,000 or 26 per cent. Another 23,000 persons or 3 per cent. of the total are returned as being supported by earth-work and general labour. About 25,000 persons or 3¼ per cent, are supported by personal, household and sanitary services. These are principally
barbers,. cooks, indoor servants and washermen. The number of door-keepers or chaukidars is the highest in the Province. Water-carriers, however, are less numerous than in the northern Districts, as a separate servant is not usually employed for this purpose. About 43,000 persons or nearly 6 per cent. of the population deal in food, drink and stimulants, the most numerous classes being fishermen and fish-dealers, and oil-pressers and sellers. Vegetable oil is more
commonly used for food in the southern Districts than in the north. Occupations returned under textile fabrics and dress support 86,000 persons or 11 per cent. of the population, this proportion being the highest in the Province. Of these, 13,000 are engaged in the silk trade and 62,000 in the cotton trade including 9000 workers in factories with their dependents. In 1901 the mining industry was insignificant, but the latest returns show 2345 persons engaged in this calling. No less than 10,000 persons or nearly 1½ per cent. of the population are shown as supported by banking and money-lending, while of 14,000 persons engaged in transport and storage, nearly 4000 belonged to the railways. Nearly 8000 persons were maintained by Government service, excluding the forest, medical and public works departments. Of these 5900 were in menial service. About 4500 persons were supported by music, acting or dancing and nearly 12,000 or more than 1½ per cent. of the total were beggars. Nearly 4000 persons were engaged in religious services. About 3000 were pensioners, this being much the highest number in the Province, and 962, including dependents, were medical practitioners without diploma.
59. The principal language of the District is Marathi, which is spoken by just over three-fourths of the population. The form of the language known as the Nagpuri dialect [From Dr. Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India, Vol. VII] is in general use; it differs in a number of points from the pure Marathi of Poona, but resembles in all essential points the dialect of Berar, which was formerly distinguished from it under the name Of Berari. The Koshtis have a jargon of their own, differing slightly from ordinary Nagpuri. Hindi is returned by 70,000 persons or 9 per cent. of the population. The Bundeli dialect of Western Hindi is the basis of the Nagpur form of the language, but as used in the town of Nagpur it is a regular jargon, grammar and idioms being mixed up with other forms of Hindi and with Marathi
in indescribable confusion. The number of Urdu or Hindustani speakers is 38,000, being the highest in the Province. The bulk of the Muhammadans return themselves as speaking Urdu. Gondi is returned by 41,000 persons or 5 per cent. of the population; nearly all the Gonds are still shown as speaking their tribal language. Owing to the large mixed character of the population of Nagpur, languages of other Provinces or of foreign countries are returned in more strength than in other Districts. There are 9000 speakers of Telugu, 3600 of Tamil, 3000 of Marwari, 1500 of Gujarati and nearly 3000 of English; and other tongues recorded in the census tables are Bengali,
Punjabi, Afghani; Burmese, Persian, French and Portuguese.