was begun with vigor, but so many unforeseen difficulties occurred that up to the 1st
September 1820 not more than four square miles had been effectually cleared.Amongst other
obstacles it was found that as the woods were cut down, the sea enroached, the sandy beach
not having sufficient tenacity to resist its invasion. Twenty-five families of Maghs from
Arakan were settled at the confluence of two creeks, and a road constructed for the
accommodation of pilgrims to the temple of Kapila.4
"In 1819, Mr. Trower, Collector of the 24-Parganas, originated a company, called the
Saugor Island Society, for the systematic reclamation and development of the island; he
himself was a considerable shareholder, and the central part of the island was called
Trowerland after him.
The company obtained a grant of
the whole island, subject to certain conditions (the breach of which entailed forfeiture
of the grant) and carried on operations
vigorously until 1833, when their work was destroyed by a cyclone and they abandoned the
project. Their interest in the northern part of the island was then taken over by
four European gentlemen, who combined the manufacture of salt with the cultivation of
rice. The progress of the island was again interrupted by the cyclone of 1864, when
4,137 persons or three-fourths of the population perished, only, 1,488 being left.
4 Hamiltons East India Gazetteer, 1828.