ACHALPUR CIVIL STATION
Acalpur Civil Station, also called Paratvada and Acalpur
Cantonment, is situated at a height of 386-740 metres (1268 feet)
above sea-level, and lies 51.49 km. (32 miles) north-west of Amravati and 3.21 km. (2 miles) north of Acalpur City. It is connected with Amravati and Cikhaldara and the Betul border by metalled high roads. There is also a metalled road to Anjanganv Surji (16 miles = 25.749 km.) and another to Candur Bazar (14 miles = 22.531 km.). This road is crossed by two rivers, viz., Pival and Purna. There is a small bridge over the former while over the latter a much bigger one is under construction. Its total population, according to the Census of 1961, is 17,490 of which 9,176 are males and 8,314 females.
Timber brought from Melghat to the bazar on Thursdays, is
by far the most important article of trade. The depot
established here by the Forest department is one of the biggest
depots in India and forms a considerable source of income to the
Government. Cattle is the next most important item of sale in
the bazar. The bazar cess collected in 1961-62, amounted to
Paratvada is quite a modern town, its existence being due to
its selection as a military station when Salabat Khan's Reformed Troops were converted into the Acalpur Brigade and made a part of the Hyderabad Contingent. It was in 1823 according to the Nurul Berar that the cantonment was formed, Captain Sayer being at that time Commandant. The station at Jaipur Kothi was in the same year abandoned. At one time, a whole brigade with cavalry, artillery and infantry was stationed here. Meadows Taylor in 1840 notes that it was particularly the Brigadier's privilege to spend bis summers at Cikhaldara but on various occasions since the assignment the numbers were reduced, and in 1903 only one battalion of infantry was left to evacuate the place. The old military buildings which were valued at Rs. 2,11.782 then, consist of infantry and artillery lines with a military hospital which are now occupied by the agricultural farm and its research section as Paratvada has long since ceased to be a military station.
Paratvada is divided by the river Bican into two parts, the two being joined by bridges, one near the post office on the Cikhaldara road, and the other close to the ''Khuni Bungalow" a private house so called for some unknown reason. The bridges are named as Temblo bridge and Woodhouse bridge. The Circuit House or Lal Bungalow lies in an open space a few hundred yards to the north of the town. The basti is divided into seven puras or quarters named Chota Bazar, Motha Bazar, Moglai pura. Gatarmalpura, Vakil line, Pensionpura, etc. Its chief buildings are the Recreation lodge, a club with a fine tennis-court and a billiard table, a town hall, three high schools including one for girls, a newly built sarai and a civil hospital. The municipal office has been accommodated in the military hospital. There are also two temples dedicated one each to Datta and Vitthal. On the northern side of the town is an open space provided with cabutaras for the daily market and beyond this lies the unused parade ground. The Civil Station is a well laid out area with broad roads and excellent bungalows and public offices. Though now wearing a somewhat deserted appearance since its reduction at one stroke from the headquarters of a district and military centre to the suburb of a second class town, it is still a picturesque place, being well shaded with splendid trees. The climate- is much cooler than Amravati in the cold weather, and warmer in the summer, both on account of its proximity to the hills and of the trees which prevent the wind. In the rains the same causes, together with the proximity of the river, make it very damp
and unpleasant. In this portion of the town lie, besides the private residential bungalows, the site of the weekly bazar
and the former District Offices, where now the Court of the Sub-
divisional officer is held. There is also a police station and a
rest-house. The old district jail serves as the premises for the office of the Executive Engineer. The station has both an Anglican church and a Roman Catholic church; there is a joint cemetery. Paratvada is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Mission to the Dheds and of the Korku and Central India Hill Mission. The latter body manages an orphanage and an industrial school at Paratvada and Khudavandpur, and a leper asylum at Kothare about 4.82 km. (3 miles) away. The Anglican church here conducts a Civil Hospital.
There are separate municipalities for the area covered by Acalpur camp and Acalpur City. The Acalpur camp municipality was established in 1893 and has under its control an area of 6.16 km.2 (2-38 sq. miles). The President, elected by the councillors from amongst themselves, is responsible for the municipal administration.
Income and Expenditure.
In 1961-62, the municipal income amounted to Rs. 3,35,075.04.
This amount excludes receipts under extraordinary and debt heads. The income comprised municipal rates and taxes contributing Rs. 1,36,438.15; realisation under special acts, Rs. 2,043.66; revenue derived from municipal property and powers apart from taxation, Rs. 83,327.76; grants and contributions for special and general purposes, Rs. 1,09,804.01 and miscellaneous, Rs. 3,461.46. in the same year expenditure was Rs. 3,22,907.20. The expenditure figure also excludes expenditure on extraordinary and debt heads. The item-wise expenditure was general administration and collection charges, Rs. 24,893.89; public safety, Rs. 9,038.84; public health and convenience, Rs. 1,46,578.73; public instruction. Rs. 1,33,662.37; grants and contributions for general purposes, Rs 2,379.00 and miscellaneous, Rs. 6,354.37.
Cremation and Burial Places.
Burial and cremation grounds are managed and used by the respective communities. The Hindus have two burial grounds and the Muslims only one.
Health and Sanitation.
The town has pucca as well as kutcha drains. Waste water is
allowed to gather in cess-pools and is then removed. Work of converting the kutcha drains into pucca ones which was taken up in 1961-62, is estimated to cost Rs. 74,518.00. Water-supply is obtained from wells, private as well as public. No shortage of water is experienced. There is only one civil dispensary and is managed by Government. It receives an annual contribution of Rs. 1,500 from the municipality. There is a maternity home run by the municipality. The CTB Misson of America maintains a hospital in the town.
Primary education is compulsory and is under municipal
management. The number of primary schools is five. In the year ending March 1962, there were 1,406 pupils on the rolls of the schools with 41 teachers. The net expenditure incurred on
primary education during the same year was Rs. 61,920.74. There
are two montessori schools, one private and the other public. The
municipality also manages a high school having two sections, one
with Marathi as its medium or instruction and the other with
Hindi. The strength of both these sections was 772 (1961-62) with
32 teachers. The expenditure on secondary education came to
Rs. 71,261.63 in the same year. The total sum spent on education
and learning, thus stood at Rs. 1,33,182.37. In addition to the
above stated institutions there are two private high schools one
each for boys and girls. The Girls' High School received a grant
of Rs. 500 m 1962-63. Likewise Boys School received Rs. 1,001
as grant-in-aid in 1962-63. The Government runs a B.Ed. Training
College and a S.T.C. College.
The total length of roads in the town is 17.501 km. (10 miles
and 7 furlongs) of which 10.05 km. (6 miles, 2 furlongs) are metalled.
There are two markets one daily and the other weekly. Besides, there are two other markets, one dealing in cotton and the other in grains. All these are built by the municipality. The markets are proposed to be renovated and extended at an estimated cost of Rs. 18,000.
The town has three private libraries. They are the Balmitra Library, the Sarvajanik Vacanalaya and the Christi Sahitya Kendra. The first two of these receive grant-in-aid from the municipality.