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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 12, p. 138.


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138 UPPER GANGES CANAL
near Hardwar. The next year a terrible famine, which devastated the
DOab, increased the anxiety of Government to provide a satisfactory
scheme. Major (afterwards Sir) Proby Cautley commenced a survey in
1839, and prepared a project which was warmly approved by the Court
of Directors in 1841, the estimated cost being over a million sterling.
In April, 1842, the actual works were commenced by opening the
excavation between Kankhal and Hardwar. The work had, however,
hardly begun when Lord Ellenborough abruptly stopped it, on the
grounds that money could not be spared and that the project was
unsound from an engineering point of view. Subsequently the totally
inadequate grant of 2 lakhs a year was made. In 1844 Mr. Thomason,
shortly after assuming office as Lieutenant-Governor, made a strong
representation on the subject, and was informed that the main object
of the canal was to be navigation, not irrigation. The grant was, how-
ever, increased by a lakh a year, and surveys were pressed on. A com-
mittee considered the arguments raised, and in 1847 reported favourably
on the scheme. Lord Hardinge visited the head-works in the same
year, and reversed the decision of his predecessor: an annual grant of
20 lakhs a year was sanctioned, with a promise of more if it could be
usefully spent. The revised estimate of r z million sterling was passed
by the Directors in 185o, and the canal was opened in April, 1854.
The works were, however, not complete ; in particular, those at the
Solani river gave way, and irrigation really commenced from Mdy,
1855. Although the canal had been extraordinarily successful, owing
to the genius of its projector, Sir Proby Cautley, ten years' experience
pointed out defects in the system, and in 1866 a committee sat to
examine the proposals which had been made. The result of their
report was the expenditure of large sums on improvements and re-
modelling, the chief objects of which were to increase the supply, and
to reduce the excessive slope of the channel by providing more falls.
They also recommended a site near Rajghat in Aligarh as a point from
which a supplementary supply might be drawn, and this was carried out
later in the LOWER GANGES CANAL.
The expenditure on capital account up to 1904 has been about 3
crores (2,ooo,ooo at present rate of exchange). The total area com-
manded by the canal at the end of 1903-4 was 3,8oo,ooo acres in the
Districts of Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Aligarh,
Muttra, Agra, Etah, and Mainpuri, of which 978,ooo acres were
irrigated. There is not much room for further increase. The canal
also supplements the supply available in the LOWER GANGES and AGRA
CANALS (by means of the Hindan cut). The gross revenue first
exceeded the working expenses in 186o-1. The net revenue has been
larger than the interest charges can the capital expended since 1873-4.
The most successful year of working was 19oo-1, when the net
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