the most important trade-routes. Previous to the opening of the
railway to Saugor, Kareli was a place of considerable importance, as
it was the station for Saugor, with which it is connected by a metalled
road crossing the Narbada at Barmhan. It now only retains the trade
of the southern part of the Rehli tahsil and the centre of Narsinghpur.
A metalled road is projected from Narsinghpur town to Lakhnadon
in Seoni District, and has been constructed for 17 miles; but it passes
through poor country and there is not much traffic on it. The old
road from Jubbulpore to Bombay runs through the District, but as
it adjoins and is parallel to the railway, it is no longer of any impor
tance. The length of metalled roads in the District is 79 miles, and
of unmetalled roads 135 miles. The expenditure on maintenance in
1903-4 was Rs. 33,ooo. The Public Works department maintains
94 miles of the more important roads and the District council the
remainder. There are avenues of trees on 117 miles.
The earliest scarcities of which accounts are available resulted rather
from political disturbances than climatic causes. War and its effects
caused distress in the upper Narbada Valley during
Famine. the years 1771, 1783, and 18o9. It is recorded that
in 1771 wheat sold in Narsinghpur at 5 seers to the rupee. In 1832-3
severe distress occurred, owing to a poor harvest caused by excessive,
followed by deficient, rain. The failure of 1868-9 was not severe in
Narsinghpur. In 1894 and 1895 the spring crops were spoilt by
excessive winter rain. A little relief was given by opening works in
1895, and the forests were thrown open. In 1895 the rains stopped
prematurely and the harvest was only 6o per cent. of normal. This
was followed by a total failure of the crops in 1896-7. Famine
prevailed throughout the year 1897, when 59,ooo persons, or 16 per
cent. of the population, were on relief in June. The total expenditure
was 1o lakhs, the principal form of relief consisting of road works.
In 1899-igoo two-fifths of a normal crop were obtained, and the
District was not severely distressed. The expenditure was 1-5 lakhs,
and some useful work was done in the eradication of kdns grass
(Saceharum spontaneum) and the construction of field embankments.
The Deputy-Commissioner is aided by three Assistant or Extra-
Assistant Commissioners. For administrative purposes the District
Administration. divided into two tahsils, each of which has a
. tahsilddr and a nail-tahsilddr. The Forest officer
usually belongs to the Provincial Service.
The civil judicial staff consists of a District and a Subordinate
Judge, and a Munsif at each tahsil. The Divisional and Sessions
Judge of the Nerbudda Division has jurisdiction in Narsinghpur. The
crime of the District, which was serious a few years ago, is now petty.
Civil work is very heavy, and the people are noted for their fondness