Cotton Textiles : The first organised industry to be started in the district was the cotton textile mill which was established in 1877. The subsequent period of 20 to 25 years was marked by the establishment of a large number of cotton textile mills in Sholapur and Barshi which are the most important textile centres in the district even today. It is noteworthy that all the factories in the district are owned by persons from outside the district.

The year 1860 marked the laying of a railway line which facilitated the establishment of cotton textile mill at Sholapur. While the new railway line provided a convenient means of transport, the Ekruk tank made available sufficient water-supply to cotton crop. It resulted in an increase in the area under cotton cultivation. The production of cotton in 1964-65 was 0.12 lakh bales whereas the irrigated area under cotton was 8,993 acres during the same year.

The old Gazetteer of Sholapur district published in 1884, has furnished a vivid account regarding the steam factories in the district which is summarised below:—

Besides hand-spinning and weaving, a steam-spmning and weaving mill, the property of the Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Company Limited, began working at Sholapur in March 1877. This company had a nominal capital of Rs. 8 lakhs in 1884, an actual capital of Rs. 6,78,500, and was managed by Messrs. Morarji Gokuldas and Company of Bombay. The machinery, driven by two engines, each of forty horse-power, worked 20,888 spindles and 175 looms and employed 850 hands at a monthly wage expenditure of about Rs. 7,700. About half of the staff was paid fixed wages and the rest were paid by piece-work. Of the hands who are paid by the piece, weaver was paid Rs. 8-20 and frame tenders Rs. 8-12. Of the persons who were paid fixed wages, the men earned Rs. 6-12 while the women about Rs. 5, and the boys Rs. 4-9 a month. The total amount paid as wages m 1883-84 was Rs. 86,200. The workers worked sun-rise to sun-set, half an hour being allowed for rest. Two or three holidays were given in the month. Of 17,58,000 pounds or 784 tons of cotton, the average yearly consumption in the mill, about two-thirds came from Barsi and one-third was bought in the local market. The daily out-turn of yarn was 5,500 to 6,000 pounds. Most of the out-turn was used locally, bought by local dealers, distributed over the chief market towns, and used by handloom weavers. A portion was worked into cloth, the chief kind being long-cloth and occasionally sheets, dangri, sail-cloth and towels. Besides being used in Sholapur, the cloth went to Barsi, Bijapur, and the Nizam's territory. In addition to the weaving mill at Sholapur, there were at Barsi two steam press houses, one was started in 1866 and another in 1876.

In 1903, there were three cotton mills in Sholapur town, which employed 4,930 persons. The number of cotton mills at Sholapur increased to 5 in 1911 which absorbed 9,439 operatives. There were 1,08,408 spindles and 500 looms in these cotton mills in 1903, which had a paid-up capital of Rs. 29,98,000. The year 1911 witnessed an increase in spindles and looms in these mills to 2,22,724 and 2,890, respectively. The paid-up capital also similarly increased to Rs. 65,78,150.

In 1921, there were six cotton mills at Sholapur town and one cotton mill at Barshi town. The mills at Sholapur had 17,132 operatives and that at Barshi town employed 1,223 operatives during the same year. In 1921, there were 2,44,868 spindles and 4,479 looms in all the cotton mills in the district.

Some of the observations regarding employment and production in the textile industry at Sholapur taken from the study of the industry undertaken by Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics in 1938-39 are given below. These observations give the clear picture of the size of employment and also of size of production of the textile mills prevalent during that period: —

" In 107 units of work 1,648 persons were covered by our survey. Amongst, them, 125 belonged to the managerial staff. The remaining 1,523 persons were engaged in work involving manual labour of skilled or unskilled type. Out of them; 848 were skilled and 675 unskilled. Generally speaking, adult males were found in the skilled type of work, viz., weaving and females and children in unskilled work. Of the 1,648 persons, 109 persons of the managerial staff, 89 from the skived and 203 from the unskilled workers belonged to the Karkhandars' families. The remaining 1,247 were employed on a remuneration basis. All the above figures bring out clearly the relative position and importance of each class of workers.

In the 107 weaving establishments, selected in our sample, there were 848 weavers in all. Out of them, only nine weavers were producing men's garments. On classifying them it was found that only one was engaged in producing turbans, one in producing dhoties and uparnis and the remaining seven in producing shirting. Thus the production of men's garments in Sholapur was quite negligible as compared to that of women's. Out of 339 weavers producing women's garments, only one was producing khans or bodice pieces and 832 coloured sarees with silk or cotton borders. Sholapur specialises in producing sarees. The average annual out-turn of sarees per loom was about 239, while the average annual production in value per loom amounted to Rs. 503 28.

Only two sections of Factories Act—one relating to the hours of work and the other concerning a weekly holiday had been made applicable in Sholapur in 1940. A big hue and cry was raised in the beginning by local Karkhandars against this. Every Wednesday was observed as holiday, not only in factories, but also in small workshops. Night shifts were no longer witnessed in factories.". In 1946, the number of looms and spindles installed in these units amounted to 3,01,438 and 7,000 respectively and the average number of persons employed in these units was 21,629.

As per the 1951 Census cotton textile industry provided employment to 40,922 workers (37,529 males, 3,393 females). Of the total workers employed in cotton textiles, 37,375 (including 3,083 females) or 71 per cent were in urban areas. The 1961 Census recorded the number of persons employed in cotton textiles at 61,727 (46,553 males and 15,174 females). Of these, 31,465 males and 3,672 females worked in non-household sector, and remaining worked in house-hold industries.

As per the 1961 Census, there were 100 cotton mills in the district, of which 98 submitted returns. The total number of man-days worked during the same year in those mills was 71,16,720 and the average daily employment was 24,895. In 1964, the number of factories engaged in spinning, weaving and finishing of cotton textiles was 127 which submitted returns. The number of man-days worked during the year 1964 in these working factories was 56,60,671 and the average daily number of workers employed was 18,620.

There were eight large-scale cotton textile units and 100 small cotton textile mills registered under the Factories Act of 1948 by the end of 1962. The eight large units employed 19,651 workers and the small units employed 1,818 workers. Out of these eight mills, two were composite units, four weaving units and the remaining two spinning units. Five mills were located at Sholapur, two at Barshi and one at Tikekarwadi, a place about five miles from Sholapur city. These units consume about one lakh bales of cotton every year.

In 1965, there were 129 factories undertaking spinning, weaving and finishing of cotton textiles which employed 18,268 persons.

The production of mill-made yarn in the district amounted to 28 lakh, kilograms and to 20 lakh kilograms during the years 1963-64 and 1964-65, respectively. The manufacture of mill cloth (cotton) was to the tune of 1139 lakh metres in 1963-64 and 1039 lakh metres in 1964-65. The district ranks fourth in the State as regards the manufacture of cotton yarn and cloth.

The following statement gives statistics of textile factories in the district as per the Annual Survey of Industries, 1966:—


Number of registered factories

Productive capital (Rs.'000)


Gross output (Rs. '000)

Value added (Rs.'000)

(i) Spinning, weaving and finishing of textiles.






(ii) Manufacture of textiles not elsewhere classified.






In 1971, there were 128 registered factories undertaking spinning, weaving and finishing of textiles in the district which submitted returns. These units employed 13,576 persons. The total number of man-days worked by these factories during the same year amounted to 42,57,258.

The 1971 Census records 263 registered units undertaking manufacturing cotton textiles, and employed 29,441 persons. Of the total registered textile units, 233 are located in urban areas and absorbed 27,849 persons.

At present, there are three large-scale composite textile mills situated in Sholapur city. There are also five cotton yarn spinning mills in the district, of which two are in the co-operative sector, and three in Barshi town. All these mills together provide employment to about 15,000 people.

The existence of a number of mills led to the development of Sholapur into a very big yarn market. The market gets its supplies from two sources. Of these, the most important source constitutes the local spinning and weaving mills. The Vishnu Cotton Mill and Laxmi Cotton Mill have their own guarantee brokers in Sholapur. These brokers guarantee that a particular dealer is solvent upto a particular limit and the mills might deal with him to that extent. The brokers charge some rate for underwriting of risk and are required to deposit a fixed sum as security with the mill concerned, on which the mill pays interest at a rate higher than the local bank rate of interest. The group consisting of Sholapur Mills, the Raja Narsingji Mill and the Jam Mill which have no guarantee brokers, deal with their customers directly. The guarantee brokers and other eminent yarn merchants in Sholapur have their accounts with the local mills. The other source of supply to local market consists of the import of yarn from outside. The imports comprise yarn of coarse, medium and high counts. Yarn of coarse and medium counts is brought at Sholapur from Barshi, Madura, and sometimes from Gokak and Coimbtore Mills. The goods are imported by rail and wherever convenient by motor trucks.

The brief history of some of the textile mills is furnished below:— (1) Sholapur Spinning and Weaving Co. Ltd., Sholapur.—The mill was established in 1877 with a capital investment of rupees eight lakhs and employed 350 labourers during the year of establishment. At present, the mill works in two shifts employing more than six thousand workers. As per the 1961 Census, of the 2,234 looms and 95,232 spindles installed, 1,772 looms and 82,652 spindles were working. At the time the mill was started the female workers in the waterwheel section were paid about Rs. 5 to Rs. 9 per month, and the weavers were paid Rs 8 to Rs. 20 per month, whereas the monthly wages of an average male worker were. Rs. 6 to Rs.,12, of a female worker Rs. 5 and of a child Rs. 4. The wage position in May 1914, May 1921, and August 1923 in cotton mills was as follows. The average monthly earnings per head in cotton mills in Sholapur are given below [P. A. Wadia and K. T. Merchant, Our Economic Problems, 1957, p. 541.]:—











May 1914







May 1921







August 1923







(2) Narsingji Girji Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Sholapur.—The mill is one of the oldest, and was once one of the biggest mills in the whole of Asia. The mill was established in 1898. Upto the year 1905 the mill undertook the production of cotton yarn, while in 1906, a number of spindles and looms were installed in the mill. The mill was closed down in 1957 due to loss and about 4,500 labourers lost their jobs. The Government therefore intervened in the management of the mill and administered it with the co-operation of workers. In 1961, there were 1,170 looms and 55,488 spindles, of which 1,166 looms and 55,272 spindles were working and more than 4,500 workers were employed in this mill.

The Government has invested about Rs. 70 lakhs in the management of the mill. Under the management of the Government the concern earns a sizeable amount of profit which is shared with the workers in the form of bonus.

(3) Laxmi Cotton Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Sholapur.—This is the only textile unit manufacturing cloth of fine texture and is the biggest of three composite units in the district. Established in 1898, the mill was under the managing agency system since 1901. As per the 1961 Census there were 1,219 looms and 56,272 spindles and over 4,200 workers were employed in this mill Among the three composite mills, Laxmi-Vishnu is the only mill undertaking modernisation of machinery and production with the help of medium-term finance from Maharashtra State Industrial and Investment Corporation. The mill is now equipped with ninety automatic looms.

(4) Vishnu Cotton Mill Ltd., Sholapur.—The mill was established in 1908. In 1961, there were 1,495 looms and 54,280 spindles and over two thousand workers working in this mill.

(5) Shri Jam Ranjitsingji Mill, Sholapur.—The mill was established in 1909. This is a composite unit. In 1961, it operated 512 looms and 22,132 spindles and employed more than 2,000 workers. The production of the mill was confined to cotton yarn till 1926.

(6) Lokmanya Mills Ltd., Barshi.—This spinning unit was established in 1928 when it had 11,840 spindles. During the year 1952-53, the number of spindles in the mill increased by 1,032. As per the 1961 Census there were 12,872 spindles in the mill and it employed more than 1,000 workers.

(7) Jayashankar Mills Ltd., Barshi.—Established in 1928, the mill had 14,520 spindles and employed about 800 workers. This is a spinning unit.

(8) Tikekar Textile Mills, Tikekarwadi.—This is a power-loom unit manufacturing cloth, cotton blankets and bed-sheets, and employed about 120 workers in 1961. This mill was purchased by the employees of the mill and is now managed on co-operative basis.

The Census of 1961 enumerates four more units in addition to those described above. They are Messrs. Rajan Textile Mills Private Ltd. licensed to produce cotton cloth; Messrs. Jan Shri Ratansingji Spinning and Weaving Mills Co. Ltd. and Messrs. Jayashankar Mills— both licensed to produce cotton yarn and Messrs. Laxmi Cotton Manufacturing Co. Ltd. licensed to manufacture cloth from staple fibre yarn.

Table No. 7 gives the detailed statistics [The statistics is based on the Lead Bank Survey Report, Solapur District, 1971.] of the well-known big textile mills in the district by the end of 1971.

Dyeing: The dyeing industry has been in existence in Sholapur for a long time as ancillary to the local handloom industry. Till recently yarn dyed only in Turkish red was imported from Bombay. Subsequently, however, dyeing in all colours and shades was being done locally. The progress made by the local dyeing industry during the past few decades has been remarkable. Formerly dyeing of yarn was done by the weavers as well as by professional dyers. Of the total of 1,000 Hindu Rangaris and Niralis, about 300 were at Sholapur and 100 at Valsang. The dyers of Sholapur and Karmala had earned good reputation. The industry, however, was not so prosperous though calico printing was carried on to a large extent in Sholapur. The chief dye-stuffs were safflower or kusumb, red ochre or kapila, cochineal or kirmaj dane, sandars wood or surangi, indigo or nil. Of these dyes, about 500 acres of sandars wood were yearly tilled in Barshi sub-division. The cost of tillage of plant was estimated at about 2s. 6d. (Rs. 1) the acre and the profit at 6s. (Rs. 3). About twenty tons of sandars wood was yearly grown at Barshi. Of this, about a ton was locally used and the rest was sent to Sholapur, Pune and Ahmadnagar. The silk was dyed magenta and yellow with the help of cochineal and oil of karadai (safflower), respectively. Cloth was dyed red and blue. The red colour was produced by sandars wood or by safflower, and cloth was dyed blue with indigo.

In 1940 there were about sixty to seventy dyeing houses in the city employing over 250 workers. Annually they dyed about 5,00,000 boxes of yarn, consuming about 70,000 lb. of dye-stuffs and about 65,000 lb. of chemicals. For dyeing of rayon and silk yarn dye-stuffs manufactured in foreign countries, viz., Great Britain, U. S. A., Germany, France, Switzerland and Japan were used in the district.

In 1962, there were two small-scale factories undertaking dyeing of hand-loom yarn registered under the Factories Act, and employing 69 workers. At the end of 1970, there were about eighteen cotton and silk processing and dyeing factories registered as small-scale industries. The total fixed capital of these eighteen units was about Rs. 6,09,200. The total number of employees engaged in these units was 251 (141 workers, 110 others), and the value of annual productive capacity amounted to Rs. 27,42,443 approximately. Besides dyeing, these factories undertake doubling and twisting of cotton and silk yarn.

Dyeing in Sholapur is done by using napthol, sulphur, indanthrene, direct colours and basic colours. The process of vat-dyeing by fermentation exists though on a very small scale. Almost all colours can be obtained by using any one of the above dye-stufts.

Napthol colours are used in Sholapur for obtaining light, medium and full shades in all colours except green, black and blue. They are comparatively costly and more lasting. They are particularly used for obtaining different shades in chocolate, yellow, red, pink and orange colours. In Sholapur, sulphur dye-stuffs are used for producing black, green and yellow shades. The charges for dyeing black colours are the lowest, and are therefore largely used in Sholapur. Almost all light shades are produced by indanthrene colours. Some shades are costlier in this series of colours. Direct colours are used for dyeing both cotton yarn and silk. All possible shades are obtained by these colours though the shades in direct colours look dull. Base colours are used for topping, i.e., for increasing the shining of the previous shade. In Sholapur, there are not more than five or six dyeing houses where the process of vat-dyeing by fermentation is still practised. It is used for the dyeing of indigo blue. In this process unlike others naturally occurring substances are used for dyeing. The charges for dyeing as existed in 1940 are as given below.


Price for dyeing per box of 10 lb.

Napthol basic

Re. 1 to Rs. 1-4-0.


(i) black

Ten annas.

(ii) shades other than red

Rs. 2-8-0 to Rs. 3-0-0.

Indanthrene colour—

(i) light shades

Rs. 3-0-0 to Rs. 3-4-0.

(ii) for green and violet shades

Rs. 3-8-0

(iii) blue

Rs. 5-0-0

Direct colour

Rs. 0-12-0 to Re. 1-0-0.

The equipment of a small dyeing house comprises one or two dyeing vats, a number of wooden rods and bamboos. A well-built furnace facilitates the work of dyeing. All this equipment requires an initial expenditure of about Rs. 100. The dye-bath is prepared by the proprietor of a dyeing house, while the actual work of dyeing is left to one or two employees. In some cases clerks are also employed on part-time or full-time basis in addition to dyers.

The dyers are provided with hand and foot gloves to be worn at the time of work so that the dyeing solutions which contain acids should not harm their bare hands and feet.

Almost all the dye-stuffs are purchased locally. Some of the dyeing establishments, besides dyeing the yarn supplied to them by customers, deal in dyed or grey yarn.

The season of dyeing industry depends upon the season of hand-loom weaving industry as the production of the former is dependent upon the production of the latter.

The dyeing industry requires sufficient open space for dyeing yarn, and a large supply of water for dyeing and washing yarn. The dyeing establishment has to pay the water tax at double the ordinary rate.

At present cloth dyeing is practised extensively at Sholapur, Valsang and Karmala, while calico printing is carried on to a large extent in Sholapur, Barshi and Pandharpur.

Ginning and pressing: The ginning and pressing units have sprung up in the district at a few cotton marketing centres as some parts of the district are cotton-growing areas. Natepute in Malshiras taluka is the main ginning centre in the district. The existence of several ginning and pressing factories was recorded by the 1881 Census, the number of persons engaged in them being 20,301.

In 1903, there were six cotton ginning and pressing factories at Barshi town which absorbed 473 operatives. In 1911, the number was reduced to 5 with an employment of 360 workers. The year 1911 recorded the establishment of a ginning and pressing unit at Barshi Road, and one cotton ginning factory at Karmala, which employed 74 and 80 workers, respectively. In 1921, there were thirteen ginning and pressing factories at Barshi, three at Kurduwadi and five at Karmala which employed 633, 89 and 183 operatives, respectively. Prior to the establishment of these factories, cotton was cither ginned by the hand process or sent to the nearest centres for ginning.

There were six large-scale and twenty small-scale cotton ginning and pressing factories registered under the Factories Act, 1948, by the end of 1962. While the large-scale units employed 742 workers, the small-scale units employed 815 persons in the above-mentioned year.

The cotton ginning and pressing units are located at Pandharpur, Akluj, Kurduwadi, Sholapur, Natepute, Karmala and Mohol. In 1971, there were 22 registered gins and presses (submitting returns) employing 395 workers daily on an average and five registered units not submitting returns employing 230 workers daily on an average. The man-days worked by 22 units amounted to 84,450.

Of these, five cotton ginning and pressing factories were surveyed. These factories were seasonal in character and their working period stretched for 90 to 150 days between the months of October and April. Of these factories, one undertook manufacture of cement pipes and fertilisers in addition to ginning and pressing during the off-season.

The fixed capital investment of every unit was locked up in land and buildings, plants and machinery, and furniture and fixtures. The fixed capital of these five surveyed factories stood at Rs. 4,42,885 and working capital of two factories for which information was available amounted to Rs. 3,84,360. The working capital was required for the purchase of fuel, raw material, etc.

Machinery and equipment used by these factories is composed of steam or oil engines, boiler, roller, gins, cotton presses, electric motors, etc.

The fuel required by these units comprises different types of oils, charcoal, wood, and electricity and each unit on an average spent about Rs. 10,000 per annum upon the same. During the off-season the plant and machinery remain idle.

Cotton was the main raw material consumed by these factories. In 1965-66, the area under all kinds of fibres in the district was 11,131 hectares, of which an area of 8,219 hectares was under cotton, and the production of cotton amounted to 5,300 bales during the same year. Generally, these factories did not purchase the cotton they required but was sent to them by the local merchants for pressing. Cotton seed was sold in local markets and bales of cotton were marketed to Bombay, Miraj, Sangli, Akluj, Pandharpur, etc.

The quantity of bales exported to various centres differed according to the rates. The industry does not suffer from shortage of demand.

The process of separating of seed from raw cotton and pressing of cotton in bales is spread over two phases. During the season a unit separated cotton seed from 750 to 15,000 quintals of cotton.

Of the five factories surveyed, the number of workers employed varied from factory to factory and ranged between 25 and 60 workers. The total number of workers in the five factories was 185 (including skilled, unskilled and others). A skilled worker employed in the surveyed units was paid between Rs. 110 and Rs. 175 per month. A male worker was paid Rs. 2 to Rs. 7 per day while a female worker was paid Rs. 1.50 to Rs. 2 per day. The skilled worker was paid about Rs. 2.50 to Rs. 7 per day. A unit on an average disbursed about Rs. 10,000 by way of wages.

The annual turn-over of all the existing units is estimated at about Rs. 1.75 crores.

Dal mills: In 1962 there were thirteen small-scale dal mills registered under the Factories Act providing employment to 256 workers. At present there are about 22 large dal mills and one registered small dal mill in the district. The total number of workers employed in the above-mentioned large-scale industries is 564 whereas the total fixed capital invested in the small unit is about Rs. 60,000, and the value of annual productive capacity of the same unit is about Rs. 12,000.

Of the total number of dal mills, five were surveyed, of which two were located at Karmala and three at Barshi. Generally, the units worked seasonally for eight to ten months, except one which worked throughout the year.

The fixed capital of the five surveyed units ranged between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 1,50,000.

The machinery of these units consisted of crusher, huller, roller and filler. The units utilised electric motive power.

The dal mills were found to decorticate various pulses such as gram, tur, mug and udid. A unit on an average decorticated about 5,000 to 11,500 quintals of tur, 4,500 quintals of mug and 800 quintals of udid.

The charges for milling dal varied slightly depending upon the type of dot milled.

Most of the dal mills operated on a job-work basis. The customers of the mills used to bring the pulses for milling and the mills were paid for that work at certain rates.

The units employed both men and women workers and paid daily wages at rates varying from Rs. 2.50 to Rs. 3 and Rs. 1.50 to Rs: 2, to them respectively.

Oil-mills: The district being an important ground-nut growing centre, there are a number of ground-nut expeller units. Oil-pressing in the past was followed by Teli families who were mostly Hindus. In 1884, oil-pressing supported about 2,000 Teli families scattered all over the district. The chief oil-seeds pressed were sesame, groundnut, safflower, castor, linseed or niger seed and ambadi or hemp.

In 1962, there was one large-scale and 22 small-scale oil-mills registered under the Factories Act of 1948. While the large unit employed sixty persons, the total number of workers engaged in small-scale units was 327. Of the small units, three were engaged in ground-nut decorticating and the remaining in oil-extraction. As the small-scale expeller units are exempted from central excise, about eighty units had sprung up in the small sector upto 1971.

In 1970-71 there were 25 large oil-mills in the district. The four fairly big units are situated one each in Sholapur City, Barshi, Pandharpur and Vairag. Of these, 22 are engaged in the production of oil (other than hydrogenated) and three in the production of edible oils (ground-nut). The number of workers engaged in the former is 555 whereas in the latter it is 110. The consumption of electricity in them amounted to 1,197 kw. and 65 kw., respectively. (There is one oil refinery in Sholapur City with an output of about 35,000 tins of 16.5 kg. each, per annum.)

Information was collected from five oil-mills located at Barshi, Karmala and Mohol. Of these, four were seasonal in character, while one was perennial. The average number of working days in these oil-mills was about 120 days in a year.

The fixed capital of all the oil-mills surveyed amounted to Rs. 3,78,500 and was locked up in land, buildings, plants and machinery The working capital was required for purchase of raw materials and for the payment of wages to the labourers.

Ground-nut is the main raw material. Safflower and sesamum are the other oil-seeds which are also used for extraction of edible oil. In 1965-66, the total area under oil-seeds was 1,29,344 hectares, of which ground-nut occupied 81,630 hectares. The out-turn of groundnut during the same year was put at 30,600 metric tonnes, of sesamum at 1,400 metric tonnes, of linseed at 500 metric tonnes and of castor seed at 100 metric tonnes. The increase in production of oil-seeds has facilitated the establishment of oil-crushing industries and oil-ghanis. It may be noted that besides the oil-seeds grown in the district, the same are available in plenty from outside as well. The oil-seeds are stocked by mill-owners at the harvest season when their prices are usually low.

Ground-nut husk, coal, crude oil, fire-wood, steam power and electric power were used as fuel. Machines and appliances used by the oilmills were steam engines, boilers, expellers, rotary machines filter presses, decorticators and electrolyser for producing hydrogen gas. Dehusking of oil-seeds was done by the decorticators whereas oil-crushing was done by expellers. Oil-cake was obtained as a bye-product.

A small unit on an average employed seven workers including skilled workers who were generally fitters, boilers, oil-men, etc. The unskilled workers were paid daily wages, the wage-rate varying from Rs. 1.75 to Rs. 3.00 per day. The fitters were paid Rs. 125 per month.

The extracted oil was sold locally in the district as also to outside markets, viz-, Bombay, Pune, Baramati, etc.

Some of the mill-owners purchased oil-seeds at the market yard at the harvest season, while others undertook oil-milling on a job-work basis. Most of the mill-owners were found to have invested their own capital.

The growth of the industry is arrested due to more and more land being diverted from oil-seeds cultivation to sugarcane cultivation. The mill-owners encounter difficulties due to lack of credit in pursuance of selective credit controls in operation. As a result, most of the expeller units are not working to full capacity while some of them have been closed down.

Still, there are some tracts which are not suitable for sugarcane cultivation and therefore will have to continue its ground-nut production. It would be therefore advisable for the oil-mill-owners to explore the possibilities of using the ground-nut husk for making hardboard, and manufacturing protein isolates from ground-nut which would not only bring down the cost of operation but also develop a subsidiary industry. These measures will help in providing the necessary stability to the existing oil-mill industry in the district and also in providing more employment opportunities.

Sugar industry : The district possesses considerable potentialities for the production of sugarcane due to availability of irrigation facilities. The sugar industry though established 40 years ago, its development and expansion is only of recent origin. The co-operative sector is playing the most important role in its development.

In the year 1961, there were 68 registered sugar factories and refineries in the district, the total productive capital of which was estimated at Rs. 23,81,18,000. The gross output of these units was to the tunc of Rs. 3,35,71,000 and the total number of workers employed in these units was 1,947 during the same year.

As per the Annual Survey of Industries (1966), the number of registered sugar factories and refineries decreased from 68 in 1961, to 56 in 1966 but the amount of productive capital and gross output, as also the number of persons employed therein increased as compared to those in 1961. Tn 1966, the total productive capital, gross output and value added of 56 units amounted to Rs. 4,51,81,000, Rs. 5,75,94,000 and Rs. 25,62,000, respectively. The number of persons employed in those units was 2,313 in 1966. The total number of man-days worked during the same year in this industry was 3,17,242. During the year 1969-70, 6,71,792.25 quintals of sugar was produced in the district, of which 50,949 quintals worth Rs. 56,10,370.44 was exported.

At the end of 1970, there were five large-scale sugar factories and 41 gur factories in the district. The number of workers employed in sugar and gur factories was 2,537 and 954. respectively. The total electricity consumed by these two types of factories was about 5,375 and 1,006 kw., respectively.

At present there are five sugar factories in the district, all of which are situated in and around Akluj in Malshiras taluka. Two of them, viz., Brihan Maharashtra Sugar Syndicate at Shreepur, and Saswad Mali Sugar Factory Ltd. at Malinagar are public limited companies while the other three are in the co-operative sector. The crushing capacity of these three factories is 205 tons per day during the season. The first one also manufactures rectified spirit due to the availability of molasses from the sugar factory and the capacity per year of this unit is 2,00,000 bulk gallons.

One of the important features of the sugar industry in the district is the organisation of sugar factories in the co-operative sector. The establishment of Yeshwant Co-operative Sugar Factory in 1960 has played a major role in the transformation of economic life of people staying in and around Akluj. It has given a good fillip to sugarcane cultivation in the area and more and more land is brought under sugarcane cultivation. The factory is seasonal in character and works for about 200 days from October to May and has a crushing capacity of; 1,300 tonnes. The share-capital of the members was to the. tune of Rs. 45,92,065.98, while the Government share-capital contribution was Rs. 12,00,000 in June 1969. The working capital of this factory amounted to Rs. 85,49,132 in 1969. During 1968-69, this co-operative unit produced 2,88,890 quintals of sugar valued at Rs. 4,57,41,380. The unit exported 27,254 quintals of sugar to foreign countries. During 1968-69, the factory paid its members about Rs. 3.6 crores as a price for cane supplied.

Another co-operative unit, viz., Shankar Co-operative Sugar Factory at Sadashivnagar near Akluj has invested Rs. 102 lakhs in blocked capital and Rs. 6.11 lakhs in working capital, the total investment being to the tune of Rs. 108.11 lakhs. It employs 131 persons on daily wage basis and 135 on monthly wage basis. The unit annually produces 3,622 quintals of sugar. This sugar factory is replacing the Chitale Sugar Works Ltd. which went into liquidation.

Shri Siddheshwar Sakhar Karkhana Ltd., a co-operative sugar factory, is situated at Kumthe village, about four miles from Sholapur City. It has a crushing capacity of 250 tonnes per day. Its capital investment was to the tune of Rs. 2.20 crores in 1968-69.

The position of the other two sugar factories which are public limited companies as existed in 1968-69 was as follows:—

(Figures of rupees in lakhs)



Paid-up capital

Borrowings from financial institutions

Fixed deposits

Crushing capacity in tonnes per day

Sugar produced (in '000 bags)

Average recovery percentage

Sale (Rupees in lakhs)








Brihan Maharashtra Sugar Syndicate (Established in 1935).









Saswad Mali Sugar Factory Ltd. (Established in 1932).








The gul factories in the district are located at various places, viz., Malinagar, Chitalenagar, Malkhambi, Akluj, Morochi, Karbhari, Sinde-wadi, Malshiras, Akkalkot, Karmala, Mohol, Chakar, Natepute, Shelagi, Degaon, etc.

The tools and equipment of gul-making industry included scum strainer, juice boiling pan, wooden ladle, wooden churn, wooden spade, cooling pit, wooden scrapper and gul moulder. The quality of gul was chiefly dependent upon the composition of juice, which varied with locality, climate, soil conditions and finally the degree of maturity.

The process of gul manufacturing [Source.Sugar cane Cultivation in Bombay State.] consists of a number of stages commencing with the harvesting of cane and ending with the storage of gul.

Preliminary operations are: (i) maturity of cane and (ii) harvesting of cane. The first step in the manufacture of gul is extraction of juice with the use of crusher. The primitive method of cane-crushing consisted of grinding bits of cane in a stone mortar by means of wooden pestle. This crude method was replaced by a simple two rollers, wooden or iron crusher and further replaced by the three rollers crusher, either bullock-driven or engine-driven. Fresh cane having a low fibre percentage gives more juice with great ease. After extraction, cane juice is immediately transferred to the boiling pan or a storage tank, depending on the arrangement. The extracted juice at the crusher is first filtered through fine wire net before it is pumped to the boiling pan. The precaution is taken to keep the accessories and equipment used for transport free from rust, which would otherwise cause a certain deterioration in the colour of the product. The proper quality of gul is governed by the amount of sucrose and glucose present in the juice. The turbid and viscous juice obtained from the crusher is freed from undesirable impurities before it is boiled. The suspendent impurities and the gummy colloidal constituents in the juice are removed by coagulation during the first heating. When the entire scum after the addition of a vegetable flocculent such as bhendi mucilage is carefully removed, the boiled juice looks clear, transparent and brownish yellow in colour. The stage is important to get good coloured gul and every endeavour is made to remove all the flocculated scum. On further heating, the juice begins to froth, and it is just at the beginning of frothing that chemical clarificants like superphosphate are added to remove the remaining impurities and so to improve the colour of gul.

At the last stage of boiling, kagadi lemon juice or lime is added to help easy solidification of gul depending upon the quality of juice. The fifth step is the boiling of juice and concentration to striking point. The striking point temperature generally ranges between 118 and 123C. The last step in manufacturing is cooling and moulding of gul into blocks. The semi-solid mass is then put into galvanised gul moulds (buckets) with a perforated bottom to allow draining of molasses. As regards the size of the gul block, it may be mentioned that necessary steps are taken to keep the size of the gul block to a certain specification. The block normally weighs between 20 and 25 kilograms.

More than 50 per cent of the total production of sugarcane is used in gul preparation. Even with the development of sugar industry, the importance of gul industry is not likely to be minimised. Inspite of large-scale production of gul the methods of manufacture leave much to be desired.

Electricity generation: Sholapur City got its first electric supply in 1925 through generating sets driven by steam turbines and reciprocating steam engines owned by a private concern. This supply, however, was not sufficient to meet the increasing demand due to industrialisation during the subsequent period. The generating station was, therefore, taken over by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board and steps were taken to increase the load. The electric supply to other towns in the district however continued to be through generating sets run on diesel oil and owned by private concerns for some time. Now, the district gets its electric supply through the generating sets driven by steam turbines, diesel oil as well as from the Koyna Project. Electricity in rural areas was first introduced in April 1960 at Akluj in Malshiras taluka.

The district receives the Koyna hydro-electric power from 220/ 110 KW. Karad Sub-station through 110 KW. double circuit Karad-Pandharpur-Sholapur line and 110 KW. Pandharpur-Barshi single circuit line. The power-supply is alternatively fed through Koyna Grid or through Sharavati Grid (from Mysore State).

In 1961 [District Census Handbook, Sholapur District, 1961.], only six towns and one village in the district was electrified. The total population of these electrified places was 2669 per cent of the total population of the district. The per-capita consumption was lower as compared to the State average. By the end of March 1968. 169 villages and eight towns were electrified in the district.

As per 1971 Census, out of 948 inhabited villages, 440 or 46 per cent villages have been electrified. By the end of April 1973, 11.001 pumps were supplied electricity for irrigation purposes.

The mileage covered by the power-lines as on 31st March 1971 was as follows:—

110 KW. double circuit lines

227 km.

110 KW. single circuit lines

70.80 km.

133 KW. trans lines and

167.50 km.

11 KW. trans lines

1,570 km.

On 31st March 1971, the installed capacity at the three major substations at Sholapur, Pandharpur and Barshi was 64 MW. or 64,000 KW. Power to the extent of 80 per cent of this total installed capacity Was utilised.

The following statistics [The figures of units sold are for the urban and rural areas under the jurisdiction of this Division.] show the category-wise sale of electricity units to the consumers in the district during the period from 1st April 1970 to 31st March 1971:—


Domestic consumption

16,80,869 Kwh.


Commercial light and power

9,19,395 Kwh.


Industrial power

6,48,93,687 Kwh.


Public lighting

7,43,764 Kwh.


Other purposes

1,95,21,460 Kwh.

Tables Nos. 8 and 9 give the statistics of consumption of electricity and number of electrified towns and villages in the district.

The rural electrification programme being executed by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board has been included in the minimum needs programme of the Government of Maharashtra, and it aims at electrifying 40 per cent of the villages in each taluka by the end of the Fifth Plan. As a matter of fact, the 40 per cent target has already been achieved in all the talukas except those of Akkalkot, Mangalvedha, Madha and Karmala. Efforts are being undertaken by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board to achieve the target of electrification of 40 per cent villages in the above-mentioned talukas. During the Fifth Plan, it is proposed to electrify 399 more villages and to extend power to 11,000 pumps, thereby raising the percentage of rural electrification to 91 per cent. During the first year of the Fifth Plan, viz., 1974-75, 35 villages are proposed to be electrified and power will be supplied to 2,000 pumps. The rural electrification programme under the Fifth Five-Year Plan is estimated to cost Rs. 428.99 lakhs. The programme is to be financed by the commercial banks.