The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.H. Hutton tour diaries in the Naga Hills

caption: Bridge, rail and road problems at Borjan; land conflict between Kongan and Colliery; Kongan's sale of thatching grass
medium: tours
location: Borjan Nazira Manipur Road
date: 29.9.1920
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 31.8.1920-7.10.1920
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 29th
text: From Borjan down to Naginimara Station and thence to Nazira by a Coal train. There I caught the down Mail reaching Manipur Road in the early hours of the morning.
text: The road down to the Railhead is bad in places, and I am not sure that it would be worth while taking a new line from Kongan to Borjan till it is better. I want the Sub-divisional Officer to report on it again when he goes down before Christmas. If it can be improved a little (and the Manager is now building iron suspension bridges to replace the rotten timber ones) it might be better to drop the present path from Borjan to Kongan and open a new one direct, on the line more or less of the Naga path, but if this is done a suspension bridge must be put across the Borjan Nullah by the Manager. If the Manager will do that we might open a new path for the same mileage from Kongan downwards as we now keep up the Manager doing the rest.
text: He would score of course even if we only calculated our distance as far as the stream above the Borjan up to which he has extended, but he can put up a suspension bridge at a comparatively small cost with discarded Colliery materials. We cannot.
text: The manager says that he wants more land for housing his coolies. His idea now is to take it up at the railhead. I think he would like to get control of the little bazar that is growing up on Kongan land, but that is not necessary. If he really needs land I should prefer to go below the railhead and give him land between Naginimara Station and the Ladaigarh which is not wanted by Kongan. The piece of land he asked for is under thatching grass which Kongan cut and sell yearly, making Rs. 50/- or so a year from it, and it would be most unfair to them to take it away from them, of course the Manager would like to get his thatch for nothing. He paid rather more last year as the Head Constable bought it all from Kongan and resold it to the Colliery at a profit. In any case if more land is to be given to the Colliery care must be taken that Kongan do not suffer. When the railway took over land they got an open space covered with thatch for nothing though Kongan had for years been accustomed to sell the crop to the Assamese in the plain. The fault was Kongan's for not pointing it out till a long time after the land had been acquired.