The land revenue system prevalent in Ahmadnagar district is rayatwari which is based on the complete survey, soil classification and settlement of assessment of every field.

Survey and settlement: The original revenue survey and settlement of different talukas in the district was completed between 1843 and 1852. The first revision settlement was completed between 1875 and 1889 and the second revision settlement between 1913 and 1923. The third revision settlement was introduced in Kopargaon and Sangamner talukas between 1923 and 1934.

The land revenue rates have not been revised since then inspite of the expiry of the term of the revision settlements.

In the original settlements, lands were assessed separately on the basis of individual soil classification, though the general level of assessment was fixed empirically with reference to the dependability of rainfall, crop-pattern, average yields, prices, rate of rents, nearness to the markets, facilities of communications and other similar factors observed from tract to tract. Individual lands were never re-classified during the second revision settlements and the land-holders were generally allowed the benefits of improvements effected by them during the term of settlements un-taxed. The comparative incidence of land revenue from field to field is thus generally the same as it was at the time of the first revision settlement and the enhancements made from settlement to settlement were brought about only by raising the levels of land revenue assessments over a tract uniformly.

The method of land revenue assessment is broadly the same as in the other districts of Maharashtra. In the case of lands irrigated by wells and small bandharas, the land revenue is integrated and is inclusive of the charge for water supplied. For lands irrigated under Government canals, the land revenue at dry-land rates is assessed and recovered by the Revenue department while the water rate determined annually on the basis of actual crops raised is assessed by the Irrigation department and recovered by the Revenue department.

The areas and number of villages for each taluka in the district have varied from settlement to settlement. Inam or jagir villages had not been covered by most of them. In fact, some of the inam or jagir villages were unsurveyed and unsettled as late as in 1947. That work has now been completed. Because of such recently settled villages and because of the territorial changes in the taluka boundaries from time to time, most of the talukas to-day have a more varied pattern of land revenue assessments than what is seen in the reports of earlier settlements. Even then the maximum rates fixed at each settlement or revision settlement or the average land revenue rates per acre should be quite reliable in case of the incidence of land revenue as obtaining in the district from taluka to taluka or in the same taluka from settlement to settlement.

Record-of-Rights: The Record-of-Rights Law (contained in Chapter X of the Land Revenue Code) was enacted in 1913. The Record-of-Rights has been introduced in all the villages of this district (according to section 135-B(1) 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 rents 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) the names of tenants and mode of cultivation; and

(e) 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-section 135-C). Failure to carry out this obligation is liable to fine by way of late fees.

Functions: The Land Records Department was created in 1884 when the revision survey and settlement operations were nearing completion and old "Survey Settlement Department" was brought to a close. The department is an adjunct to the Revenue Department. Its functions are:

(i) to maintain all survey, classification and settlement records up-to-date by keeping very careful notes of all changes and for this purpose to carry out 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 concerned with the land;

(iii) to help reduce, simplify and cheapen litigations 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 on an extensive scale and arrange for their proper maintenance;

(vii) to undertake special surveys for private individuals or for public bodies, surveys in connection with railways, municipal and Zilla Parishad projects, town planning schemes and survey for defence and other Government departments;

(viii) to maintain up-to-date all village maps, and to re-print them and arrange for their distribution to various departments for administrative purposes and for sale to the public; and

(ix) to train the Revenue Officers in survey and settlement matters.

The District Inspector of Land Records, Ahmadnagar, is the principal officer in charge of the Land Records Department in the district. He is a Class II Gazetted Officer (of Mamlatdar's rank) appointed by the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records, and is directly subordinate to the Superintendent of Land Records, Pune Circle, Pune, in all technical matters. He is also subordinate to the Collector of Ahmadnagar and has to carry out all administrative orders of the Collector in the matter of survey and records.

The District Inspector of Land Records is assisted by one District Surveyor and eight Cadastral Surveyors and four Maintenance Surveyors and other ministerial staff. The pot hissa survey operations are being carried out by the Surveyor Mamlatdar (P.H.S.), Pune, since 1957.

Duties and functions : Being both a Revenue and a Survey Officer the duties of the District Inspector of Land Records are:

(a) to supervise and take field tests of measurement and classification work done by the District. Cadastral and Maintenance Surveyors;

(b) to exercise check over the prompt and proper disposal of all measurement cases and other works done by the survey staff and the District Survey Office establishment by scrutinizing their diaries and monthly statements (Mahewars);

(c) to take a test of the work of as many circle inspectors and village officers as possible with a view to ensure that they understand their duties in respect of (i) the Record-of-Rights, (ii) the tenancy and crop registers and (iii) the boundary marks, repairs work, etc., during his village inspection. The District Inspector sees that 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 villages surveyed on minor triangulation method and to arrange for their regular inspection and replacement where necessary;

(e) to compile the huzur statistics (Agricultural Returns Nos. II and III) with the clerical aid placed at his disposal by the Collector.

District and Cadastral Surveyors: The staff of the District and Cadastral Surveyors deals with the routine measurement and classification work, whether done for Government (i.e., in land acquisition cases, etc.), or on private applications, civil court decrees, etc. In the case of private work, the prescribed fees are recovered from the parties in advance. The District Surveyor deals with such measurement cases as cannot be entrusted to the Cadastral Surveyor on account of the difficulties, their size, importance and urgency. The staff does the work of effecting necessary changes in the survey records by preparing kami jasti patraks during the monsoon.

District Survey Office and the Headquarters Assistant: The District Survey Office is in charge of the Headquarters Assistant who acts under the orders of the District Inspector of Land Records. The Headquarters Assistant and his staff are responsible for keeping the survey records up-to-date and in proper place. He deals with all correspondence connected with records (under the signature of the District Inspector of Land Records). In urgent circumstances, the Headquarters 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 payment 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, scrutinises the surveyors' work in the survey office and takes action to get all changes effected in the survey records. In this connection necessary kami jasti patraks (with their abstracts) signed by the District Inspector of Land Records and countersigned by the Superintendent of Land Records, Pune and Hissa Form No. XII (after preparing akarphod patraks) signed by the District Inspector of Land Records, are sent to the revenue officers for correction of the village and taluka accounts, records and maps.

Maintenance Surveyors: The staff of the Maintenance Surveyors is responsible for the maintenance of the city surveys (introduced under section 131 of Land Revenue Code) and the records including the Record-of-Rights and the maps connected therewith and for assisting the revenue administration of the city survey area. 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 surveys have been introduced in the following important cities and towns in Ahmadnagar district in the year shown against them:-

Name of city or town

Year of introduction

Staff in-charge of maintenance

(1) Ahmadnagar


2 Maintenance Surveyors.

(2) Shrirampur


1 Maintenance Surveyor.

(3) Kopargaon


1 Maintenance Surveyor.

(4) Sangamner


1 Maintenance Surveyor.

Pot-Hissa Surveyors : The scheme of measurement of pot hissas was sanctioned in the year 1956 for a period of two years. The execution of the scheme was entrusted to the Pot Hissa Survey Mamlatdar, Pune. The Survey Mamlatdar is a Gazetted Officer in the cadre of the District Inspector of Land Records appointed by the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records. He works under the control of the Special Superintendent of Land Records, Pot Hissa Survey, Pune.

Circle Inspectors: The Circle Inspectors are primarily expected to assist the revenue officers in the up-to-date maintenance of the village records and the land records kept at the villages, and assist the revenue administration and are, therefore, under the control of the Collector. They supervise the work of the village officers and their technical work of maintenance of Land Records at the village is supervised by the District Inspector of Land Records.

Post-War Reconstruction Schemes: The Land Records Department is at present entrusted with the execution of the Post-War Reconstruction Scheme No. 74, i.e., Consolidation of Holdings as per the Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947, as amended in the year 1969.

There are four Assistant Consolidation Officers working in this district with a Consolidation Officer above them, with head-quarters at Ahmadnagar. The Assistant Consolidation Officers are in the cadre of the District Inspector of Land Records and the Consolidation Officer in the cadre of Prant Officer.

The Assistant Consolidation Officer is assisted by a Nimtandar, a Circle Inspector and six Consolidation Surveyors and other staff in making up-to-date measurement of sub-divisions, the Record-of-Rights and to prepare a scheme of consolidation. The Consolidation Circle Inspector assists the Assistant Consolidation Officer in the execution of the scheme of consolidation of holdings after confirmation of the scheme by the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records or Government, as the case may be.

Settlement of landless labourers: The settlement of landless agricultural labourers is one of the ambitious programmes that has been undertaken by the State Government in the Third Five-Year Plan. Two schemes, viz., (1) Scheme for Resettlement of Landless Agricultural Workers on forest lands and (2) Agricultural Labourers' Model Colonisation Scheme have been formulated under this programme. Both these schemes were included by the Government of India in the Centrally-sponsored agricultural programme.

Resettlement on forest lands : Under this scheme forest lands from many districts of the State including Ahmadnagar was released for cultivation in accordance with the recommendations of the High Power Committee. The land was distributed to landless agricultural families at the rate of four hectares per family. In order to enable the allottees to bring their land under cultivation, provision for payment of (1) reclamation of grant at the rate of Rs. 250 per hectare (to be treated as subsidy) and (2) resettlement grant for purchase of bullocks, agricultural implements, seeds, etc., at the rate of Rs. 750 per family (75 per cent to be treated as subsidy and 25 per cent as loan) was also made. The actual implementation of the scheme was started from the year 1965-66.

Agricultural Labourers' Model Colonies : Under the scheme compact blocks measuring 100 to 400 hectares of land consisting of 25 to 100 families of landless agricultural labourers were proposed to be established. The beneficiaries of these colonies are provided financial assistance in the form of subsidy and loan for land reclamation purchase of bullocks, agricultural implements, seeds, etc., construction of houses and providing public amenities such as drinking water wells, roads, school buildings, dispensaries, etc. The beneficiary in a colony is eligible to get 2 to 4 hectares of land free of cost for cultivation and a small plot for construction of house.

The actual implementation of this scheme was started in the year 1968-69. So far as Ahmadnagar district is concerned, one such colony was sanctioned wherein 55 families were to be settled. The area to be covered was 263 hectares.