The preparation of spirits, a business entirely in the hands of Parsis,
is restricted to Uran, where there are numerous large distilleries.
The principal trade centres of the District are Pen, Panvel, Karjat,
Nagothana, Revadanda, Roha, Goregaon, and Mahad. The chief
articles of export are rice, salt, firewood, grass, timber, vegetables, fruits,
and dried fish. The supply of vegetables of various sorts to Bombay
from the Alibag and Panvel tdlukas has increased on a remarkably
large scale, and also the provision of fuel from the Alibag, Pen, and
Roha hiluhas. Grass is sent to Bombay in large quantities from the
Panvel and Pen tâluhas. The imports consist of Malabar teak, brass
pots from Poona and Nasik, dates,. grain, piece-goods, oil, butter, garlic,
potatoes, turmeric, sugar, and molasses. The District appears on the
whole to be well supplied with means of transporting and exporting
produce, a great portion being within easy reach of water-carriage.
There are five- seaports in the District. During the ten years ending
1902-3 the total value of sea-borne trade averaged nearly 177 lakhs,
being imports about 31 lakhs and exports about 1.46 lakhs. In 1903-4
the imports were valued at 32 lakhs and the exports at 121 lakhs ; total
value, 1531akhs. Minor markets and fairs are held periodically at thirty
places in the District. Banias from Mârwar and Gujarat are the chief
shopkeepers and money-lenders.
The District is served by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, which
passes through the Karjat tâluka and the Khalapur petha. In addition
to a steamer ferry between Bombay, Dharamtar, and Ulwa, there is
direct steamer communication for passengers and freight between
Bombay and the coast ports during the fair season.. There are three
main roads over the Bor,, the Fitzgerald, and the Varandha ghdts,
which connect the District with the interior and are available for traffic
all the year round. The total length of metalled roads is 87 miles,
and of unmetalled roads 160 miles. The Public Works department
maintains 78 miles of the former and 85 miles of the latter. Avenues
of trees are planted along 37 miles.
The largest bridge is one of 5,6 spans at Mangaon across the Nizam-
pur-Kal. At Nagothana there is a masonry bridge, built in 1580 at
a cost of 3 lakhs to facilitate the march of the Ahmadnagar king's
troops into Chaul.
The oldest scarcity of which local memory remains was the famine of
1803. The distress caused by want of rain and failure of crops was in
creased by the influx of starving people from the Deccan. Famine.
Many children are said to have been sold for food. The
price of rice rose to about a seer for a rupee. To relieve distress,
entire remissions of revenue, during periods varying from eight months
to two years, were granted. In 1817-8 there was a great scarcity of
food, approaching to a famine. In 1848, in the old Sankshi division, part