REVENUE AND FINANCE
DEPARTMENT OF LAND RECORDS.
AFTER THE MERGER OF STATES AND JAHAGIRS ETC. in the former Bombay State the whole of the Kolhapur district has been newly formed since 1st August 1949 of the former State areas of Kolhapur Darbar (Kolhapur Government), eight Jahaghis, Kurundwad State and the villages transferred from Miraj State and eight villages of Belgaum district. After the Reorganisation of States in November 1956, the Chandgad Taluka of the Belgaum district was included in Kolhapur district.
There was no uniform system of land assessment upto the time of 1864, when Ramrao Tadpatri undertook the work of measuring the land which is called "Dagawari Mojani" and determining the classification value of each piece of land to fix the assessment. But it was not based on any scientific basis. The land revenue system then prevailing in the State was a kind of rayatwari, under which an annual agreement was entered into with the individual cultivator who had to pay rent only for the lands which he cultivated with the further concession that he was entitled to abatement should he prove that they were not productive. The management of the State came under British supervision in 1844, and Mr. G. S. A. Anderson, serving in the Revenue Survey of British India was appointed Political Agent of Kolhapur. Mr. Anderson had the original survey and settlement carried out by the British Survey Department between 1869 and 1895. Similarly the revision survey and settlement works were entrusted to the British Survey Department in 1898 and were completed in 1906.
The charge of boundary marks was devolved on the Collector (Sarsubha) as per Section 124, Land Revenue Code, Revision Survey Settlement. Some talukas in which revision survey rates were introduced in 1898 became ripe for settlement in 1928. The Record of Rights was introduced in two mahals and Pot Hissas were to be measured to complete the work in all its aspects. To undertake all this work under their control the Ex-Kolhapur State Government, started their own Survey department in 1928.
Thus the whole of the district, though formed of former State and Jahagiri villages, has been scientifically surveyed, classified and settled as stated above, except 33 former Bavada Jahagir villages. As regards introduction of settlement in these villages, the work is in progress (September 1957. The survey and classification work has been completed.
The current settlements have long expired in almost all the
talukas of the district and they are due for further revision
Survey was done by chain and cross staff. The unit of area
is the English acre with its sub-divisions like gunthas etc. i.e., 121 square yards equal to one guntha and 40 gunthas make an acre. The area of each survey number is separately entered in the land records under an indicative number. That of the sub-division too is so entered under an indicative number subordinate to that of the survey number of which it is a portion.
Village, Taluka and District Map for all surveyed villages.
Accurate village maps have been prepared for all surveyed
villages showing the survey numbers and their boundary marks
and other topographical details such as roads, nallas, trees,
forests, wells etc. From these village maps, taluka and district
maps were constructed on a scale of 1" = 2 miles.
The main classes of lands recognised were dry crop, garden and rice and each field as classified with reference to the texture of the soil, its depth and deteriorating factors, extra advantages, if any, and distance from the village market. In the case of rice and garden lands in addition to the soil factor, the water factor was also classified in consideration of the duration of the water supply and kind of crops grown. The classification value was expressed in terms of annas, 16 annas representing the standard. The soil classification as originally made and confirmed at revision or made during the revision survey is final and no general reclassification of soil is made again at any further revision settlement (section 106, Land Revenue Code). However in case of physical deterioration the holder is entitled to reclassification of his lands and consequent reduction of assessment.
All improvements made at the cost of the holder are exempt from taxation for a period of 30 years
immediately preceding the year in which settlement is introduced (section 117-H, L. R. C). Thereafter they are liable to taxation.
Settlement and Assessment.
The whole district has been surveyed and settled. The maximum groups proposed in any one taluka are eight. The standard rates represent the normal assessment per acre of land in a group of that of 16 annas classification value.
After the rates are sanctioned by Government, the assessment of each holding is calculated with reference to its relative classification value. The following note describes the procedure of settlement and assessment current in the Bombay State at present (December, 1957):-
Prior to 1939, the settlement procedure was prescribed by administrative orders of Government under the Land Revenue Code. The settlement procedure was first brought on to the Statute Book under the Amendment Act, 1939 (Bombay XX of 1939). Under the Land Revenue Code Amendment Act (XXVIII of 1956) certain changes have been made in the settlement procedure. The changes in brief involve a shift in emphasis from the general
economic conditions of the area and rental values to the prevalent prices and yields of principal crops. The various provisions governing the settlement procedure are contained in Chapter VIII-A of the Land Revenue Code and Chapter III-A of the Land Revenue Rules. The prescribed procedure is, in brief, as under:-
"Settlement" is defined as the result of operations conducted in a zone in order to determine the land revenue assessment [Section 117-C(1)].
"Zone" is defined as a local area comprising a taluka or a group of talukas or portions thereof of one or more districts, which is contiguous and homogeneous in respect of:-
(i) Physical configuration,
(ii) Climate and rainfall,
(iii) Principal crops grown in the area, and
(iv) Soil characteristics.
[Section 117 C(1-A)].
The Settlement Officer (appointed by the State Government under Section 18, Land Revenue Code) examines fully the past revenue history of the zone with a view to assessing the general effect of the incidence of assessment on the economic conditions of the zone. He then proceeds to divide the lands to be settled into groups and fixes the standard rates for each class of land in such groups.
The groups are formed on a consideration of the following obligatory factors viz.: -
(i) Physical configuration,
(ii) Climate and rainfall,
(iii) Prices and
(iv) Yield of principal crops.
If the Settlement Officer thinks it necessary to do so, he may also take into account the factors specified in clause (a) (i) of proviso of the sub-section (2) of Section 117-G viz.: -
(c) Standard of husbandry,
(d) Population and supply of labour,
(e) Agricultural resources,
(f) Variations in the area of occupied and cultivated lands during the last 30 years.
(h) Ordinary expenses of cultivating principal crops, including the wages of the cultivator for his labour in cultivating the land,
(i) Sales of lands used for agriculture.
[Section 117 G-(2)].
"Standard rate" is defined with reference to any particular class of land in a group, as the value of one-sixteenth of the average yield of crops per acre on land in that class of sixteen annas classification value [Section 117-C (5)].
Improvement made at the cost of the holders are exempted from enhancement of assessment for a period of 30 years immediately preceding the date on which the settlement expires (Section 117-H). The Settlement Officer is required to
formulate his proposals for settlement on the above basis and submit a comprehensive report, to the Collector(s) concerned. The report would contain:-
(i) the various statistics and data collected by him in the prescribed forms,
(ii) a statement showing the effect of his proposals as compared to that of the previous settlement in force [Land Revenue Rule 19-B(1)].
The settlement report is published in the regional language in each village in the prescribed manner, together with a notice stating the existing standard of rates for each class of land and the extent of increase or decrease proposed by the Settlement Officer. A period of three months from the date of notice is allowed for any objections to the settlement proposals (Section 117-J).
Provision is made for referring settlement proposals to the Revenue Tribunal by the State Government at the instance of aggrieved persons (who have to deposit the prescribed amount of cost) within two months from the date of the notice (Section 117-K).
After taking into account the objections, the Collector forwards the Settlement Officer's report to the State Government through the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records, with his remarks (Section 117-K).
The settlement report together with the objections and the recommendations of the Bombay Revenue Tribunal is required to be placed on the table of each chamber of the Legislature and the proposals can be discussed in the Legislature (Section 117-L).
Thereupon, the State Government passes final orders on the settlement report (Section 117-L) and, after a notice of the orders has been given in the prescribed manner, the settlement is deemed to have been introduced (Section 117-O).
The assessment to be imposed on each holding in the case of an original settlement is determined by the application of the standard rates to the classification value of the land through the medium of Jantris (table of calculation) prepared by the Superintendent of Land Records, and in the case of a revision settlement, it is worked out by increasing or decreasing the old assessment in the same proportion as there is an increase or decrease in the new standard rates over the old ones (Land Revenue Rule, 19-H).
A settlement ordinarily remains in force for 30 years (Section 117-E).
Government may, after the expiry of every ten years from the date on which settlement was introduced under Section 117-O, enhance or reduce the assessment on lands in any zone by placing a surcharge or granting a rebate on the assessment by reference to the alterations of prices of the principal crops in such zone (Section 117-M).
Additional water advantages accrued at the cost of Government can be assessed during the currency of the settlement. (Section 117-Q).
Record of Rights.
The Record of Rights Law (contained in chapter X of the Land Revenue Code) was enacted in 1913 in the Union area and it was introduced in the former State areas in 1928 except the Jahagiri villages. The introduction of Record of Rights work in the Revenue Department under the Post-War Reconstruction Scheme No. 75, in 288 Jahagiri villages is in progress. According to Section 135-B (i) of the Land Revenue Code, the Record of Rights contains the following particulars:-
(a) the names of all persons who are holders, occupants, owners or mortgagees of the land or assignees of the rent or revenue thereof;
(b) the nature and extent of the respective interests of such persons and the conditions or liabilities attached thereto;
(c) the rent or revenue, if any, payable by or to any of such persons;
(d) such other particulars as the State Government may prescribe under the rules made in this behalf.
The State Government has now applied the law to all the tenancies also under section 135-B(2). Any acquisition of a right in land is to be reported to the village officers by the person acquiring it unless it is registered (Land Revenue Code 135-C). Failure to carry out this obligation is liable to fine by way of late fees (Section 135-E, Land Revenue Code).
Land Records Department.
The Land Records department was created in 1884 when the Revision Survey and Settlement operations were nearing completion in the Union areas. But in Kolhapur State, the original and revision survey settlement operations having been completed by the British Survey department under the Superintendent, Revenue Survey, Maratha States and the Survey Commissioner, the necessity of creating a separate, department was not felt by the former State authorities till some of the talukas became ripe for second revision survey in 1928 and the necessity of up-to-date maintenance of the Record of Rights arose. To undertake all these works in all aspects, the Kolhapur Government started their own Survey Department in 1928. The Department so started was known as Survey and Settlement Office and the officer in charge of it for the Kolhapur State was designated as the Survey and Settle-ment Officer, Karvir Ilakha, and was a gazetted officer of the prant officer's grade of the former State. He was directly under the control of the Sarsubha (Collector). After merger the staff working under the Survey and Settlement Officer was absorbed in the Land Records department on 1st August, 1949 and thus commenced the working of the Land Records department in Kolhapur district. The functions and duties of the Survey and Settlement Office were the same as of the Land Records department. They are as under: -
(i) to maintain all survey and classification and settlement records up-to-date by keeping very careful notes of all changes, and for this purpose to carry out field operations preliminary to incorporation of the changes in the survey records;
(ii) to collect and provide statistics necessary for the sound administration of all matters connected With land;
(iii) to help to reduce, simplify and cheapen litigation in revenue and civil courts by providing reliable survey and other records;
(iv) to supervise the preparation and maintenance of Record of Rights and of the periodical inspection of the boundary marks;
(v) to conduct periodical revision settlement operations;
(vi) to organise and carry out village site and city surveys and arrange for their proper maintenance;
(vii) to undertake special surveys for private individuals or for public bodies (such as survey of inam villages, surveys in connection with railway, municipal and local boards, community projects, town planning schemes, extension of village sites etc., and for the defence and other Government departments;
(viii) to maintain up-to-date all village maps and to reprint and arrange for their supply to various departments for administrative purposes and for sale to the public;
(ix) to train the revenue officers in survey and settlement matters; and
(x) to undertake the survey of pot hissas.
In addition to the normal duties of the Department referred to in the foregoing para, this department is, at present (September, 1957) entrusted with the execution of three major schemes viz. schemes No. 74, 75 and 77-A, under the Five-Year Post-war Reconstruction Plan.
The pre-merger situation and organisation is given above in detail. After merger, the District Inspector of Land Records, Kolhapur, is the principal officer in charge of the Land Records department in the district. He is a gazetted officer (of the Mamlatdar's rank) appointed by the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records and is directly
subordinate to the Superintendent, Land Records, Poona Circle, in all technical matters. He is also a subordinate of the Collector of Kolhapur and has to carry out all administrative orders of the Collector of the district in the matter of survey and land records.
His present subordinate staff after merger comprises of:-
(a) clerk to District Inspector of Land Records;
(b) one District Survey, ten Cadastral Surveyors;
(c) District Survey Office staff consisting of one headquarter
assistant, record keeper, deputy record keeper, scrutiny
clerk, record karkun, two utara karkuns (one permanent
and one temporary).
(d) staff of four maintenance surveyors, one City Surveyor, clerk and two City Surveyor's copying clerks under the City Survey Mahalkari.
(e) staff of 66 pot hissa surveyors under six Nimtandars and two clerks;
(f) staff of 30 Circle Inspectors (including Circle Officers) working under the Collectors.
The staff shown under (a), (b), (c) work directly under the District Inspector of Land Records and that under (d) under the City Survey Mahalkari, a revenue officer in charge of City Survey Office at Kolhapur, and that at (e) under the special Superintendent of Land Records for pot hissa survey. The staff under (f) works under the control of the Collector.
Duties and Functions of the District Inspector of Land Records and his staff.
The main duties of the District Inspector of Land Records are:―
(a) to supervise, and take a field test of the measurement, classification and pot
hissa work done by the district, cadastral, maintenance and pot hissa surveyors;
(b) to exercise check over the proper and prompt disposal of all measurement and other work done by the survey staff and the district survey office establishment, by scrutinising their diaries arid monthly statements (Mahewars);
(c) to take a small test of the work of as many Circle Inspectors and village officers as possible with a view to seeing that they understand their duties in respect of (1) Record of Rights, (2) the tenancy and crop registers, and (3) the boundary marks, repairs work etc. During his village inspections, the District Inspector sees that the Government waste lands are not being unauthorisedly used (his test is meant to be qualitative and not merely quantitative);
(d) to be responsible for the maintenance of the theodolite stones in the village surveyed in the minor triangulation method and to arrange for their inspection and replacement where necessary;
(e) to compile the Huzur statistical (Agricultural) forms Nos. I, II and III with the clerical aid placed at his disposal by the Collector;
(f) to maintain the accounts and watch the recovery of city survey and pot
(g) to inspect the city survey offices every year, and to send the inspection memoranda (in triplicate) to the Superintendent; of Land Records, who forwards one copy to the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records, and one to the City Survey Officer through the Collector of the district, with his own remarks thereon;
(h) to arrange, in consultation with the Collector of the district concerned, for the training of the Junior Indian Administrative Service officers, the District Deputy Collectors, the candidates for the posts of Mamlatdars, and Circle Inspectors, clerks, talathis in survey and settlement matters;
(i) to advise the Revenue Officers in the district in all technical matters concerned with the maintenance of the survey records and the Record of Rights (referring cases of doubt to the Superintendent, Land Records);
(j) to see to the correctness and punctuality of the work done in the District Survey Office; and
(k) to inspect the work of repairs of boundary marks in at least one village in each circle, according to the fixed programme.
District and Cadastral Surveyors.
The staff of district and cadastral surveyors deals with the routine measurement and classification work, whether done for Government (e.g., in land acquisition cases etc.) or on private applications, civil court partition decrees etc. In the case of private work, the prescribed measurement fees, on the fixed fees system, are recovered from the parties in advance. The District Surveyor deals with such measurement and classification cases as cannot be ordinarily entrusted to the cadastral surveyors on account of their complicated nature, size, importance or urgency. During rains the district and cadastral surveyors assist the Head Quarter Assistant in such work as clearing of arrears of correction work of survey records in measurement and classification cases, etc.
District Survey Office and the Head Quarter Assistant.
The district survey office is in charge of the Head Quarter
Assistant who acts under the orders of the District Inspector of Land Records. The Head Quarter Assistant and his staff are responsible for keeping the survey records up-to-date and in proper order. He deals with all correspondence connected with records (under the signature of the District Inspector of Land Records). In urgent circumstances, the Head Quarter Assistant disposes of the references under his own signature in the absence of the District Inspector of Land Records, informing the latter of the action taken by him. He recovers and accounts for the fees received for private measurement work, according to the prescribed procedure. He also issues certified extracts from the survey records and supplies printed maps to the applicants on payments of prescribed charges. The district survey office also issues the measurement cases to the surveyors for measurement and keeps a watch over their prompt and proper disposal, scrutinizes the survey work in the office and takes action to get all changes effected in the survey records. In this connection necessary kamjasti patraks (with their abstracts) signed by the District Inspector of Land Records and countersigned by the Superintendent of Land Records and akarphod patraks signed by the District Inspector of Land Records, are sent to the revenue authorities for the correction of the village and taluka records and maps.
The Maintenance Surveyor staff is responsible for the maintenance of the city surveys and the records including the Record of Rights and maps connected therewith and assist the revenue administration of the city surveyed areas. They therefore, work under the immediate control of the revenue officers in charge of the city survey, but the technical and administrative control of the staff lies with the District Inspector of Land Records and the Superintendent of Land Records. Such survey has been introduced in the Kolhapur city during the former State regime originally in 1884 and revised in 1939:
The city surveys at Ichalkaranji, Wadgaon Bavada, Jaisingpur, Panhala and Gadhinglaj though originally surveyed during the former State regime are not under regular maintenance, mainly due to incompleteness in them as compared with city surveys in Union areas. The work has, therefore, been completed after merger under the provisions of the Land Revenue Code, Section 131, and in the City Survey Manual.
The cost of maintenance of the city survey, is, as usual, borne by Government in the case of city survey at Kolhapur and the same procedure is to be followed in the remaining city surveys as soon as they come under regular maintenance.
There are no village sites surveyed so far, in the Kolhapur district or any proposals in progress in this connection.
Pot Hissa Surveyors.
The pot hissa surveyor staff started its working in Kolhapur state on 15th November, 1928.
The pot hissa surveyor staff does the measurement work of the sub-divisions of the Survey Numbers for keeping the Record of Rights up-to-date. Out of the 977 villages of the district, the original pot hissa survey work has been completed in 805 villages and it is in progress in the remaining 172 villages spread up in 3 talukas.
The measurement of new sub-divisions, is, therefore, not carried on except in the case of villages taken up for consolidation schemes.
During the rains, the staff reforms the task of working out hissawar assessment (akarphod patraks) and preparation of duplicate sketches etc. for the use of the village officers. The cost of the pot-hissa survey operations is recovered from the land-holders under Section 135-G (b), Land Revenue Code.
The staff of Circle Inspector is primarily meant to assist the
revenue officers in the up-to-date maintenance of the village
records and land records kept at the village and to assist the
revenue administration, and are, therefore, under the control
of the Collector. They supervise the work of village officers,
and their technical work of the maintenance of the land
records at the village is supervised by the District Inspector of
Land Records. Therefore, their diaries pass through the District
Inspector of Land Records.
Post-War Reconstruction Schemes.
In addition to the normal duties of the department referred
to in the foregoing paragraphs, the Land Records Department
is, at present, (September, 1957) entrusted with the execution
of the following three post-war reconstruction schemes.
Consolidation of holdings under the Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947.
Survey of inam villages in the State for the introduction of Record of Rights.
Settlement of unsettled inam villages.
Though these schemes are for the premerger areas of the State, they are made applicable to the Kolhapur district even after its merger in the former Bombay State.