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     The renewal of Navlakha palace requires more money and it was like pouring new wine into old bottles.

     Thakore Saheb returned from Europe in 1883. He longed for a wide-open expanse where he could work quietly for the benefit of his people. At one time he wished to build a new palace according to his own design. He thought that the expense was much and it is not suitable to built new palace. So he moved to bungalow vacated by Major Nutt.

     The ‘Huzur Bungalow’ as the people christened it, was fitted up to enable him to ordain his life according to the scheme he had worked out, it was the amalgam of the east and west. His interest extended to the point of personally examining the proofs of his orders after they had been set up in type. Woe to the compositor if he had been careless. The Thakore Saheb would not tolerate broken or worn out letters or wrong founts. Till then palace employees had been paid partly in cash and partly in rations. He increased the salaries and stopped the practice of issuing provisions, thereby bringing down the expenditure upon the Kothar (Provision Store).

     Bhagvatsinhji therefore ordered that they be disposed of. Nearly Rs. 85,000 was realized from their sale. Extravagance of every description was banished from the household. As far simpler but much more wholesome mode of living was adopted.

     Everybody having claims upon him were however treated with liberality. He increased the allowance paid to Ranis and made. Increase in payment to his brother’s widow. He also arranged the admission of his Kinsmen Kunvers Balubha and Bhaubha – into the Rajkumar College and promised to meet all expenditure. He contributed Rs. 25,000 towards the endowment fund, gave Rs. 5,000 for the purchase of books and bookcases and Rs. 2,500 for establishing the Gondal prize of Rs. 100 a year to be awarded “to the first Kunver in the first class”.

     Save for horse – flesh that every Rajput inherits made him transfer the stud established during his minority from the state to the Household Department. Two Arab horses were purchased and their services given to owners of mares on application. Jackass was appointed to took after mules and donkeys. At first impression spread that the state had some ulterior motives and the people did not much avail themselves of the facilities provided. At the horse – show a Rajkot in 1884, Gondal won five first – class prize.

     The same interest was shown in improving the administrative machinery. Thakore Saheb appointed Rao Saheb Krishnashankar Lalshankar Dave and asked him to make an investigation into the revenue system.Shortly afterwards two Revenue Assistants were appointed for detailed supervision of the work of collecting assessments and crediting the amount collected to the Treasury. They were provided with horses to move in the state and look after the irregularities and prevent injustice. A little later a special department was created for surveying land all over the state of making a new settlement ultimately put an end to the vagaries of the Bhagbata’s system.

     Feeling that officials with some knowledge of forming were needed ‘Agriculture class’ was opened in August 1886 and Mr. Mulchand Jadavji Bharvada, a graduate in agriculture from, the Saidapet (a Madras Suburb) College was placed in charge of it. Young men carefully selected by means of stiff examination, and were though physics, chemistry and agronomy in class – room and laboratories specially fitted for the purpose.

     Practical training in agronomy vegetable gardening and horticulture was given. A land of 8 acres was given for the practical studies. A class was also opened for training talatis, (village accountants) who play an important role in the collection of land revenue. Their efficiency otherwise therefore affects the entire administration.

     The Thakore Saheb organized a Forest Department to speed up arboriculture. The rate at which road – side trees were being planted appeared to him unduly tardy. Mr. Valubhram Mulji was appointed as the head of forest department, he was borrowed from the Government of Bombay. He allotted money for preserving plantations as existed and gave power to acquire waster lands for creating new reserves and had hundreds of mounds of babul and other seeds.

     A beginning was made in increasing the efficiency of the police. Mr. Madhav Rao Pandurang, who had distinguished himself in putting down dacoits in the Bombay Presidency, certain charges were made in the organization of officials was instituted and a small body of detectives was created to “watch the doings of suspected characters. The police, acting in concert with the magistracy displayed great fact during Dassera. If coincided with the Muslims Tazia. As there had been considerable friction between the Hindu and Muslims during the minority regimes, fears were entertained lest collision may occur between these two religions.

     The Thakore Saheb’s desire to place his capital on the railway map led him to make the a thorough going investigation into the matter. In 1871 a line from Gogo to Gondal had for instance, been planned by a group of individuals but this project was still – barn. If her subjects were to enjoy the benefits of a rapid system of communication, as he wished them to do, he waited have to take the initiative.

     About this time a proposed was afoot to build a railway from Veraval in the South Dhoraji via Junagadh. The line had been surveyed but the Junagadh authorities expressed their inability to finance construction and the scheme had to be abandoned for the time being. Two year later another project came to connect Bhavnagar with Wadhwan. It also failed to mature.

     Fortunately the impasses did not last long. Maharaja of Bhavnagar died, and a minority regime was developed. The administration went into the hand of two administrator.Colonel J. W. Watson and Azam Gaurishankar Udeyshankar, (C.S.I) deploring the lack of railway communications, directed the Executive Engineer to make a survey for a line to run through that state a. The agreement was made that the project would connect Bhavanagar and Gondal line to the railhead of Wadhwan. A through from the southeastern extremities of Kathiawar to Bombay.

     On March 20, 1879 Sir James Fergussan opened the first sod for traffic on December 18, 1880. A month later Dhoraji was linked up with it. It was therefore anxious to connect his seat of government with some junction in Kathiawar and through that junction with the rest of world.


Sir Bhagvatsinhji

The Maker of Modern Gondal



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