308 ME, RGUI TOWN
in the entire District, including the miners, returning themselves as
Chinese, is only 2,roo. No doubt most of these are in the town, many
Chinese miners being imported for the monsoon only. Practically
no persons called themselves Siamese or Karens, but there must be a
very large admixture of these races in the population. No Malays
reside in the town.
The Burmese name of Mergui is written Mrit, but pronounced Beik.
The Siamese write and pronounce the name Marit. The origin of the
name used by Europeans (and also by Malays and natives of India)
is quite unknown. It is by no means certain that it is connected with
the Siamese name, for no plausible explanation of the second syllable
has ever been given.
Mergui was formed into a municipality in 1887. The receipts during
the ten years ending rgo1 averaged Rs. 27,6oo. In 1903-4 the income
was Rs. 34,700, of which Rs. 14,700 was derived from a tax on houses
and lands, Rs. 9,200 from market dues, and Rs. 6,8oo from lighting
and conservancy rates. The chief items of expenditure were con-
servancy (Rs. 5,8oo), lighting (Rs. 4,3oo), hospital (Rs. 3,9oo), roads
(Rs. 3,700), markets (Rs. 3,ooo), and education (Rs. 3,ooo). There are
two bazars, one of brick on the shore, and the other of wood and
thatch, behind the ridge which runs along the centre of the town.
The hospital, school, and municipal office are situated on this ridge,
near the courthouse and police station.
The Port fund has an income of Rs. 3,5oo a year. Passengers and
cargo from foreign ports are landed at the main wharf, which was built
of stone in rgoo, at a cost of Rs. 38,ooo. Cargo from Rangoon and
coast ports usually goes to a smaller wharf in the south of the town,
and there are in addition numerous private jetties. The total value of
the exports in 1903-4 was 16 lakhs, of which 1 r lakhs went to Indian
ports and 5 lakhs to the Straits and England. The imports were valued
at 14 lakhs, of which 11 ā lakhs came from Indian ports.
The principal exports are fish-paste and salted fish, sent mostly to
Rangoon and Moulmein, and mother-of-pearl shell, sent to the United
Kingdom; cotton piece-goods and husked rice are the two principal
imports, coming mainly from Rangoon.
Merkā.ra.-Tāluh and town in Coorg. See MERCARA.
Merta.-Head-quarters of a district of the same name in the State
of Jodhpur, Rājputana, situated in 26° 39' N. and 74° 2' E., about
9 miles south-cast of Merta Road station on the Jodhpur-Bikaner Rail-
way. Population (1901), 4,361. The town was founded by Dada, the
fourth son of Rao Jodha, about 1488, and was added to by Rao
Maldeo, who about 1540 built the wall (now somewhat dilapidated)
and the fort called after him Mālkot. In 1562 Akbar took the place
after an obstinate and sanguinary defence, but about twenty years later