i G 2 S UI'A T DISTRICT
x8o3. From the commencement of British rule, however, until x899
no famine was sufficiently intense to cause suffering to the people.
Famine. Owing to the failure of the late rains in x899 distress
rapidly developed ; and, in December of that year,
there were 4,goo persons on relief works. By March, igoo, the
number had increased to r5,ooo. In July, xgoo, there were 35,000 on
the works, including zq,ooo in receipt of gratuitous relief. Surat,
however, escaped the severity of the famine in the adjoining Districts.
The total increase in the number of deaths from all causes during the
famine was 30,000, and the population decreased z per cent. between
x8gx and xgox. The total expenditure in connexion with famine relief
in this and the adjacent District of Broach cexceeded 48z laIchs, and
4 lakhs of land revenue was remitted in Surat District. It is calculated
that over 50,000 cattle perished in the drought. Floods on the 'l'āpti
river have frequently caused great damage to StJRAT Cloy, in the article
on which some particulars of the most disastrous floods are given.
The District is divided into three subdivisions, in charge of an
Assistant Collector and two Deputy-Collectors. It contains 8 tālukas
namely, BARDOLI, BULSAR, CHIKHLI, CHORASI, JALALPUR, MANDVI,
Administration. OLPAD, and Pt1RDI. Bārdolr includes the petty sub-
division (petha) of Vālod. 1'he Collector is Political
Agent for Sachin State, which is administered by the Assistant Col
lector, subject to his control. The States of 13~,nsda and Dharampur
and the Dāngs estate are also under his political control, the Assistant
Political Agent for the latter estate being the divisional Forest officer.
The District and Sessions ;Judge, with whom is associated a Judge of
a Small Cause Court, is assisted by one Assistwt Judge and four Sub-
ordinate Judges, sitting one a,t Olp~d, two at Slzrat, and one at Bulsār.
'There are twelve officers to administer crimitral justice. 'The city of
Surat forms a separate magisterial charge under a City Magistrate. The
District is remarkably free from crime, offences against the excise law
being the most numerous.
At the time of annexation, the āarāsiās, or large landowners of Surat,
claimed, as the representatives of the original Hindu proprietors, a share
of the land revenue, and levied their dues at the head of an armed force.
In x8x3 Government undertook to collect the amount of these claims by
its own officers. In addition to the garāsiās, thc;re were numerous desais
or middlemen to whom the land revenue wa;~ farmed under the old
régime. To decrease the power and influence of these desais, the British
Government (x8x4) appointed. accountants to each village, who collected
the revenue direct from the cultivators, thus rendering the practice of
farming unnecessary. No change was made in the old rates until x833,
when, in consequence of the fall in prices, they were revised and con-
siderably reduced. In r836 committees were appointed to divide the