Development of the Means of Transport and Communication

  • Initially, East India Company neglected the development of transport and communication.
  • It was busy for expansion of authority and trade.
  • They soon realised importance of transport to bring raw materials like jute, saltpeter, and cotton to the port for export.
  • British merchants and Chamber of Commerce grumbled for absence of suitable road transport and communication in India.
  • Lord Dalhousie, the Father of Indian Railways, remarked, “England is calling aloud for cotton of India in sufficient quantities which can only be conveyed by railways.”
  • British capitalists were eager to invest in India in different unexplored sectors.
  • British East India Company’s court of Directors assured them guarantee against possible losses.
  • Lord William Bentinck ordered building of a trunk road between Calcutta and UP.
  • With the development of railways, port cities – Bombay and Calcutta were linked with interior markets.
  • The Revolt of 1857 forced British to improved transportation and communication.
  • The Public Works Departments (P.W.D) was started by British Government.
  • The Joint Stock Companies of England charged 5% interest on invested capital. Investment was done under guarantee system.
  • But Guarantee system was abolished by British Parliament on the recommendation of Acworth Commission.
  • Through Mont Ford Act, a system for road building and transport was developed.
  • Lord Dalhousie reorganised and refounded the Indian Posts and Telegraph Department.
  • He built telegraph lines between different parts of the country.
  • Industrial Revolution in Britain replaced domestic production in England with machines and factories.
  • England was saturated with surplus products.
  • The Lancashire and Manchester merchants pressed the government to open up India’s vast market for their products.
  • The resale of Indian handicrafts and calicos were prohibited in England.
  • Napoleon imposed continental blockade closing European markets to British trade.
  • Total de-industrialisation affected the Indian economy.
  • On top of that, the British Chambers of Merchants had another set of demands for the British government.
  • Lord William Bentinck cut down the custom duties for British goods and the Charter Act of 1833 increased the economic exploitation of India.
  • British invested in promoting tea, coffee and indigo plantations.
  • By the Immigration Act of 1882 and by Regulation VIII of 1859, labourers were forced to sign contract to work in tea gardens.
  • A part of India’s land revenue collected by the Company was siphoned off to England under “Home Charges”.
  • Warren Hastings made a five year settlement with the highest bidder of revenues.
  • British Chamber of Commerce advised the government in India to recover the losses from import duties by raising land revenues of the cultivators.

 

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