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Census of India, 1931 Volume- VI Calcutta Parts I & II

Census of India, 1931 Volume- VI Calcutta Parts I & II
Item Code: NAZ878
Author: A.E. Porter
Language: English
Edition: 2001
ISBN: 8173043922
Pages: 198 (60 B/W Illustrations and 1 Map)
Other Details: 11.20 X 8.60 inch
weight of the book: 0.75 kg

The enumeration of the city of Calcutta, figures for which are included in this volume, was done under a special officer, Mr. Prafulla Chandra Sen of the Bengal Civil Service. Correspondence with the Calcutta Corporation was initiated as early as May 1930 but a more than governmental leisureliness of procedure in the municipal office made it impossible for Mr. Sen to join before the 11th August. In the meantime all that could be done was to arrange for the preparation of such maps as were available and of a list compiled from the Corporation registers showing the municipal number and situation of all premises assessed to tax. When Mr. Sen joined the date of the census was very little more than six months ahead, and it vas clear that he had no grounds for expecting that his appointment would prove to be a sinecure. It soon became clear also that no better selection for the post could have been made. He threw himself into very intricate, difficult and complicated work with energy and enthusiasm. Working often in indifferent health he was entirely unsparing of himself and by tact and force of character he succeeded in getting the best possible work out of persons of every race and condition with whom the enumeration brought him into contact. It is no reflection whatever upon his ability that lie failed to make headway against obstruction by one class only, viz., Marwaris and Gujarati Hindus, whose intractability has on occasion discomfited bodies more august than the census department. From the 13th of January 1931 Mr. Sen was assisted by Babu Durgapada Banarji of the Bengal Junior Civil Service whose services were so satisfactory that he was subsequently appointed a deputy superintendent of census in a post elsewhere filled by officers of the Bengal Civil Service.

The general procedure under which the census was taken is described in sufficient detail in the introduction to volume V, part i. For the census of Calcutta the same general procedure was adopted with such modifications as were rendered necessary by conditions in a great city. Municipal wards formed a convenient basis for the formation of charges. These were divided into provisional circles and the houses in each circle were numbered. So far as possible municipal premises numbers were employed and they were extended in order to show separately houses not coming under or omitted from assessment as well as the room or rooms occupied by each commensal family in a structure counting as one municipal house. After house-numbering blocks were formed and were combined into fresh circles for enumeration. During January and February a preliminary enumeration was made and on the night of the 26th February this preliminary enumeration was checked. The procedure outlined refers particularly to the municipal area. More than half the charges formed of or based on municipal wards were superintended by municipal councillors. A paid agency was employed for house-numbering but a paid enumerating agency was employed only for just over one-fifth of the 3,778 blocks of the 335 circles into which the municipal area was divided. These census divisions do not include areas for the enumeration of which special measures were taken. Within municipal limits special arrangements were made for jails, hospitals, police-stations and quarters, government and public institutions, the larger hotels and boarding houses, mills and industrial quarters and municipal institutions such as markets, etc., and the co-operation of those in charge of them was enlisted in the conduct of the enumeration. In the enumeration of the port of Calcutta several agencies co-operated. The Port Commissioners' land property was dealt with by the Estates' Superintendent and later by the Assistant Secretary of the Port Commission : the Deputy Superintendent, Port Police, Calcutta, arranged for the census of vessels lying in port and was assisted by the returns for their own vessels made by the big steamer companies of Calcutta : and both the Bengal Pilot Service and the Preventive Service of the Calcutta Customs assisted in securing the enumeration of persons on sea-going vessels. Fort William and the military areas in Hastings and Ballygunge were enumerated by the military under an officer specially deputed for that purpose. For the canals area for which the population is shown separately special arrangements were also made under officers of the Irrigation Department. In the census of railway stations, railway quarters, etc., the services of railway employees were enlisted. An acknowledgment of services rendered is owing both to those who assisted in the enumeration of special areas and also to those councillors of the Corporation and other voluntary workers who contributed to the success of the enumeration in the city. In particular acknowledgments are due to the permanent officers of the Calcutta Corporation, Messrs. J. C. Mukharji, the Chief Executive Officer, B. V. Ramiah, the Secretary, and P. L. Trivedi, the Assessor, from whom throughout the special officer has left on record that he received continuous and valuable assistance. An expression of appreciation is also due to the Calcutta Electric Supply Company, the Bengal Telephone Corporation and the Calcutta Tramways Company for the assistance which they rendered by affording publicity to the census as the date of the enumeration approached.

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