CHAPTER XXVIII – THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SHIPS
1THE Superintendent of Ships shall examine the accounts relating to navigation not only on oceans and mouths of rivers, but also on lakes natural or artificial, and rivers in the vicinity of stháníya and other fortified cities.
2Villages on seashores or on the banks of rivers and lakes shall pay a fixed amount of tax (kliptam).
3Fishermen shall give 1/6th of their haul as fees for fishing license (naukáhátakam).
4Merchants shall pay the customary toll levied in port-towns.
5Passengers arriving on board the king’s ship shall pay the requisite amount of sailing fees (yátrávetanam).
6Those (who make use of the king’s boats in) fishing out conch-shells and pearls shall pay the requisite amount of hire (Naukáhátakam), or they may make use of their own boats.
7The duties of the superintendent of mines will explain those of the superintendent of conch-shells and pearls.
8The superintendent of ships shall strictly observe the customs prevalent in commercial towns as well as the orders of the superintendent of towns (pattana, port town).
9Whenever a weatherbeaten ship arrives at a port-town, he shall show fatherly kindness to it.
10Vessels carrying on merchandise spoiled by water may either be exempted from toll or may have their toll reduced to half and let to sail when the time for setting sail approaches.
11Ships that touch at harbours on their way may be requested the payment of toll.
12Pirate ships (himsríká), vessels which are bound for the country of an enemy, as well as those which have violated the customs and rules in force in port towns shall be destroyed.
13In those large rivers which cannot be forded even during the winter and summer seasons, there shall be launched large boats (mahánávah) provided with a captain (sásaka), a steersman (niyámaka), and servants to hold the sickle and the ropes and to pour out water.
14Small boats shall be launched in those small rivers which overflow during the rainy season.
15Fording or crossing the rivers (without permission) shall be prohibited lest traitors may cross them (and escape).
16When a person fords or crosses a river outside the proper place and in unusual times, he shall be punished with the first amercement.
17When a man fords or crosses a river at the usual place and time without permission, he shall be fined 26¾ panas.
18Fishermen, carriers of firewood, grass, flowers, and fruits, gardeners, vegetable-dealers, and herdsmen, persons pursuing suspected criminals, messengers following other messengers going in advance, servants engaged to carry things, provisions, and orders to the army, those who use their own ferries, as well as those who supply villages of marshy districts with seeds, necessaries of life, commodities and other accessary things shall be exempted (to cross rivers at any time and place).
19Bráhmans, ascetics (pravrajita), children, the aged, the afflicted, royal messengers, and pregnant women shall be provided by the superintendent with free passes to cross rivers.
20Foreign merchants who have often been visiting the country as well as those who are well known to local merchants shall be allowed to land in port-towns.
21Any person who is abducting the wife or daughter of another, one who is carrying off the wealth of another, a suspected person, one who seems to be of perturbed appearance, one who has no baggage, one who attempts to conceal, or evade the cognisance of the valuable load in one’s hand, one who has just put on a different garb, one who has removed or renounced one’s usual garb, one who has just turned out an ascetic, one who pretends to be suffering from disease, one who seems to be alarmed, one who is stealthily carrying valuable things, or going on a secret mission, or carrying weapons or explosives (agniyoga), one who holds poison in one’s hand, and one who has come from a long distance without a pass shall all be arrested.
22A minor quadruped as well as a man carrying some load shall pay one másha.
23A head-load, a load carried on shoulders (káyabhárah), a cow, and a horse shall each pay 2 máshas.
24A camel and a buffalo shall each pay 4 máshas.
25A small cart (laghuyána) 5 máshas; and a cart (of medium size) drawn by bulls (golingam) shall pay 6 máshas and a big cart (sakata) 7 máshas.
26A head-load of merchandise ¼ másha; this explains other kinds of loads. In big rivers, ferry-fees are double the above. Villages near marshy places shall give (to the ferry-men) the prescribed amount of food-stuff and wages.
27In boundaries, ferry-men shall receive the toll, carriage-cess, and road-cess. They shall also confiscate the property of the person travelling without a pass. The Superintendent of Boats shall make good the loss caused by the loss of the boat due to the heavy load, sailing in improper time or place, want of ferry-men, or lack of repair. Boats should be launched between the months of Ashádha, the first seven days being omitted, and Kártika; the evidence of a ferryman should be given and the daily income should be remitted.