Upper Doab before British rule, and during the early years of the
nineteenth century scarcity occurred several times. Famine.
In 1837 famine was severe, and its effects were
increased by immigration from Hariana and Marwar and the Districts
of Etawah and Mainpuri. The worst-affected tracts were the areas
along the Jumna; but the construction of the grand trunk road provided
employment for many, and other works were opened. In 1860 the
same tracts suffered, being largely inhabited by Gujars, still impoverished
owing to their lawlessness in the Mutiny. The Mat branch canal was
started as a relief work. About Rs. 32,000 was spent on relief and
Rs. 5o,ooo advanced for purchase of bullocks and seed, much of which
was repaid later, and spent in constructing dispensaries. In 1868-9,
though the rains failed, there was a large stock of grain, and the spread
of irrigation enabled spring crops to be sown. In 1877 and 1896-7 no
distress was felt except among immigrants, and able-bodied labourers
could always find work. In the latter period alone 1,518 wells were
made, and the high price of grain was a source of profit.
The ordinary staff consists of a Collector, assisted by one member
of the Indian Civil Service and three Deputy-Collectors recruited in
India. There is a lahsildar at the head-quarters of
each of the four lahsils. Bulandshahr is also the Administration.
head-quarters of an Executive Engineer of the Upper Ganges Canal.
For purposes of civil jurisdiction the District is divided between
two judgeships. The Sikandarabad tahsil belongs to the munsifi of
Ghaziabad in Meerut District, and appellate work is disposed of by the
judge of Meerut. The rest of the District is divided into two munsifis,
with head-quarters at Bulandshahr and Khurja, subordinate to the
judge of Aligarh. The additional Sessions Judge of Aligarh exer-
cises criminal jurisdiction over Bulandshahr. The District has a bad
reputation for crime, cattle-theft being especially common. Murders,
robberies, and dacoities are also numerous. The Gujars are largely
responsible for this lawlessness, being notorious for cattle-lifting.
Part of the District was acquired by cession from the Nawab Wazir
of Oudh in 1801, and part was conquered from the Marathas in 1803.
For twenty years the area now included lay partly in Aligarh, and partly
in Meerut or South Saharanpur Districts. In 1819, owing to the law-
lessness of the Gujars, a joint-Magistrate was stationed at Bulandshahr,
and in 1823 a separate District was formed. The early land revenue
settlements were of a summary nature, each lasting one, three, four, or
five years. Talukddrs, who were found in possession of large tracts,
were gradually set aside. Operations under Regulation VII of 1822
were completed in only about Goo villages, and the first regular settle-
ment was made between 1834 and 1837. The next settlement was
commenced before the Mutiny, and was completed in 665 ; but the