246. The system of communications in Berar and in
this District in particular may be roughly compared to the human
anatomy. The Great Indian Peninsula Railway running the whole length of the central valley is the backbone: on it converges a network of roads, metalled and unmetalled, communicating with most of the important towns and centres of trade. There is a short arm reaching from Badnera to Amraoti, and it is hoped that at no very distant date branch railways will bring most of the more distant tracts in touch with the main line.
247. The Nagpur branch of the Great Indian Peninsula
Railway enters the District on the
south-west and quits it on the southeast at the Wardha river after a run of about 45 miles. It was opened for traffic in 1866 and has now nine stations
in this stretch: Kuram, Takli, Badnera, Anjangaon Bari, Malkhed, Chandur, Dipori, Dhamangaon and Talni. Of these Badnera, Chandur and Dhamangaon are important places at which the Mail trains stop and there is a considerable goods traffic. The Amraoti branch above alluded to is a State-owned line worked by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and was opened in 1871. Both lines are single and the heavy traffic carried over tbem in the cotton season leads to frequent unpunctualities and delays,
248. From Amraoti city branch out roads which connect
the north of the District with the rail.
Of these the longest is that which runs through Balgaon jagir and Assegaon to Ellichpur and Paratwada, and on thence into the Melghat to Ghatang, Sembadoh and Dharni debouching into Nimar at Dhertalai, a distance in all of 98 miles of which 21 are first-class or fully metalled road. The main branches of this great artery are one from Balgaon due northwards to Chandur Bazar, a distance of 16½ miles fully metalled; one from Ghatang to Chikalda, winding up the hillsides for some fifteen miles on a sufficiently easy gradient for most motor cars, and others maintained by the District Board which branch east and west from Ellichpur to Chandur Bazar and Anjangaon Surji; the first of these being continued as a fair weather road to Morsi, and the latter as a gravelled road to Daryapur. From Ellichpur a gravelled road shortly to be raised to the first-class runs to Betul, crossing the border at Bairamghat about the
11th milestone. The main road is also crossed at Assegaon by a fair weather track from Chandur Bazar to Daryapur, and the last mentioned place is connected with Amraoti by a very good country road and with Murtizapur, a railway station in the Akola District, by a high road, partly metalled and partly gravelled, of 14 miles. The Morsi taluk is served by another first-class road which runs from Amraoti by Sawarkhed close to Ner Pinglai and Sirkhed to Morsi and thence to Hiwarkhed, Benoda, Warud, and Pusla to the Wardha river which it crosses soon after the sixty-sixth milestone into the Nagpur District. The whole length of this is now first-class road. Its only branch of importance, however,
is that from Warud to Multai via Bikatghat, a distance of 8 miles first-class road in this District. Country roads from NandgaonPeth to Tiosa and thence to the Wardha border, from Warud to Amner and from Morsi to Chandur Bazar (already alluded to) carry a great deal of traffic and it is proposed to make them all first-class, the two former being continued to Nagpur.
Amraoti, on which the above system of roads converges, is connected with Badnera not only by the railway line already mentioned but by a first-class metalled road of seven miles. Thus the arrangements connecting the north and east of the District with the outside world are, or will be when the proposed additions are made, extremely good.
It is otherwise with the south and south-east of the District. This portion derives a far greater advantage from the railway line which connects three of its most important towns (Badnera, Chandur and Dhamangaon) and is not very far from any of them; but there is only one metalled road and that is rather for the convenience of Yeotmal than of Amraoti, connecting the headquarters of the former District with the railway at Dhamangaon. It has a length of 8 miles in the Chandur taluk. The lack of first-class or second-class roads, however, is not so serious a matter as might at first sight be supposed, for the country tracks, except in the rainy season, are excellent and their soft surface is probably less tiring to the bullocks' feet than a more permanent roadway would be. Of these tracks that from Nandgaon Peth to Tiosa, as already mentioned, is to be raised to the first-class, and a second-class branch from Tiosa via Kurha will connect it with the railway at Chandur. Along the extreme south of the District runs the old Nagpur Dak line and a few hundred rupees yearly are still spent on keeping it in moderate repair. Its Amraoti branch is similarly maintained as far as Badnera. Though passing by one or two large villages, it is now of little importance: its place as a through route has been taken by the railway, and the only roads of importance now are those communicating directly or indirectly with the latter. Finally mention should be made of the excellent short roads for local purposes in Amraoti Camp, Ellichpur Civil Station, Chikalda and one or
two other places, and of the splendid system of communications maintained by the Forest Department in the Melghat reserves. This is chiefly useful for forest purposes; and for through traffic the taluk depends chiefly on the P.W.D. roads already mentioned and on a road from Akot to Selu which is in charge of the Executive Engineer West Berar. In the C III tract the great local road is one which follows a semi-circular course from Jhiri in the extreme south-west through the Amner pargana into Bairagarh.
249. The Great Indian Peninsula Railway propose in the
course of the next few years to lay
down a broad gauge line from Amraoti
by Morsi and Warud to Saoner in the Nagpur District,
connecting with the Itarsi-Nagpur line now under
construction. This will bring the whole Morsi taluk within
easy distance of headquarters. A similar line from Khandwa
to Akola and Basim shortly to be constructed will also be of
use to the remoter parts of the Melghat, and it is hoped that
before long it may be found possible to connect Ellichpur
with the main line by a light railway.
(h) Sarais. The following is a list of those maintained by the District Board:—
(1) Anjangaon Bari
(7) Dhanora Fasi
(1) Chandur Railway
(5) Talegaon Dashasar
(6) Mangrul Dastgir
(8) Nandgaon Kazi
(10) Sendurjana Buzurg
(II) Kalasi (12) Kaudinyapur (13) Dipori
(13) Ner Pinglai
(2) Chandur Bazar
(7) Sirasgaon Bund
(15) Brahruanwada Thadi
In addition to these there are in various places dharamshalas maintained by private munificence for native travellers, and it is a point of honour with every village that can afford it to maintain a musafirkhana of some sort.