Original Survey and Settlement.

The Chandrapur district originally consisted of eleven parganas and 20 Zamindaris comprising an area of 25123 km2 (9,700 sq. miles) containing 2273 inhabited villages and 328 deserted ones. The present Sironcha tahsil excluding the Ahiri estate was not a part of the present Chandrapur district. This portion of the Sironcha tahsil was taken in exchange from the Nizam of Hyderabad in the year 1860. Subsequently in the year 1907, the Ahiri Zamindari was included in it, thus forming the present Sironcha tahsil. Similarly, Gadhchiroli tahsil as it exists at present was carved out of portions taken from Chandrapur and Brahmapuri tahsils in the year 1905. The present Chanda district consists of the above tahsils on the east of Wainganga river and three cis-Wainganga tahsils of Chanda, Warora and Brahmapuri on the west of Wainganga. Rajura tahsil which was formerly attached to Nanded district in Aurangabad Circle is now transferred to Chandrapur district. But it is technically a district and a division administered under the Hyderabad Land Revenue Act.

Rayatwari, zamindari and malguzari systems of land revenue were prevalent in the district prior to the implementation of the Abolition of Proprietary Rights Act, 1950, in March 1951. The rights of intermediaries were abolished under the provisions of this Act. The land revenue system now prevalent in the district is rayatwari and is based on a complete survey, soil classification and settlement of assessment of every field. The original survey settlements were introduced in the district between 1820 and 1826 and the revision settlements between 1863 and 1870. On the expiry of the 20 year term of the revision settlement, the second revision settlement was undertaken between 1897 and 1906. Further revision settlements of cis-Wainganga tahsils and of Sironcha and Gadhchiroli tahsils, introduced between 1918 and 1923 and 1922 and 1924, respectively, still continue in force. The entire district, with the exception of 410 Maskati villages, has been surveyed and settled. The district is however overdue for revision.

The boundaries of villages are surveyed by fixing traverse stones with the help of theodolite machine and field to field survey is carried out, according to possession on spot, by chain and optical square method. Survey records in respect of theodolite survey are maintained by the District Superintendent of Land Records but no field books of individual survey numbers in respect of survey undertaken have been maintained. Boundary marks have not been fixed for each survey number in ex-zamindari and ex-malguzari villages but such boundary marks have been constructed in Rayatwari villages.

In the earlier period of settlement, the exterior boundaries of villages were laid down and the interior measurements proceed-ed with. But subsequent to the promulgation of the ' Excess Work Rules ', the outer boundaries were defined only after the measurement of the fields, tanks and village sites and calculation of the proportionate allowable work.

Soil Classification.

Work regarding Soil Classification was undertaken at the time of settlement effected during the years from 1897 to 1906 and was again taken at the resettlement effected between 1918 and 1923. Village maps were prepared showing the fertility of the soils in different colours. No new soil classification has been undertaken thereafter. The maps showing fertility of the soils in different colours prepared during the resettlement are preserved in the Revenue Record Room of the Collectorate. Survey number-wise classification is shown in the settlement misal which too is preserved in the Revenue Record Room of the Collectorate.

Settlement and Assessment.

Before the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1954, came into force, the settlement procedure, as prescribed under the Settlement Code of the Central Provinces Land Revenue Act of 1891 was followed. This Act after being in force for nearly 35 years was repealed by the Central Provinces Land Revenue Act, 1917, and subsequently by the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code of 1954 (II of 1955). Under the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1954:-

(1) ' Settlement' indicates the results of the operations of a " Revenue Survey " carried out in order to determine the land revenue payable on all agricultural lands and the period during which such results are to be enforced is called " term of settlement " (Section 55) and this period shall in no case be less than 20 years [Section 80 (2)].

(2) The Settlement Officer appointed by the State Government under Section 59 (1) is required to examine fully the past revenue history of the area under settlement with a view to assessing the general effect of the existing incidence of assessment on economic conditions of the area during the period of current settlement with particular reference to  the various statistical data available.

The Settlement Officer collects information in respect of the following matters in the manner prescribed under Section 70 and the rules under Section 73 by local enquiries in as many villages as possible-

(l) Position of the group and the number of villages which it contains.

(2) Important natural features, communications and trade; (3) Population;

(4) Soils and any distinctive features in the system of agriculture in the group;

(5) Cultivation, irrigation and the number of ploughs;

(6) Cropping;

(7) Distribution of the occupied area between different classes of holders of land;

(8) History of assessment and the present pressure of assessment of soil class;

(9) Appreciation of general circumstances of the group with special reference to:-

(a) whether the area under cultivation has expanded or contracted;

(b) whether the existing assessment has been collected with care or not;

(c) whether the material conditions of the people are prosperous or otherwise;

(d) markets and communications;

(e) history of prices of main staple crops;

(f) selling and letting values of land, consideration paid for leases, sale prices of land and principal money on


(g) figures of profits of cultivation, and

(h) such other factors as may be directed to be dealt with under separate instructions.

(10) Extent of enhancement, if any, and the justifiable

standard rate: and

(11) Estimated increase in the revenue demand as a result of

his settlement proposals and proposed term of settlement.

The standard rates approved by the State Government will be so fixed that the aggregate enhanced assessment on the agricultural lands shall not exceed the existing assessment by 50 per rent as laid down under Section 76 (6).

The assessment of a holding in which improvements have been effected at any time during the period of current settlement by or at the expense of the holder there of, is fixed, as if no such improvements had been made, under Section 76 (6) in order to induce the cultivators to invest money for improvement  of their lands.

The Settlement Officer formulates his proposals of settlement on the above basis and submits the same to the State Government in statements 1 and 2 prescribed by rules made under Section 73.

The assessment is fixed khatawise and on the whole due consideration is given to the practical side of fixation of assessment with a view to its unimpeded recovery during the period of settlement. Assessments whether original or revised, are notified in the village in form C and are proclaimed by beat of drums in the village concerned at least a fortnight prior to the date specified for such a declaration. During the announcement of assessment of each survey number any error in area or assessment of any holding due to mistake of survey or mathematical miscalculations pointed out by any person, are corrected.

Provision is made for putting forth any objections by the agriculturists and the notice of the intention of the State Government to make settlement is duly published together with the proposals based on the forecast for determination of " Revenue Survey " [Section 63 (2)].

The forecasts and the proposals together with the objections received thereunder from agriculturists and other persons interested are placed before each of the two Houses of the State Legislature before issuing the notification of proposed Revenue Survey (Section 64).

On approval of the proposals regarding the ' Factor Scale ' and assessment rates made under rule 27 of Section 87 of the Code, assessment on each holding is calculated. The revised assess-ment is not to exceed the prior assessment by 50 per cent. The unit rate suited to each village is fixed in the group. This unit rate multiplied by the factor for each class of soil is the acreage rate applicable to the village and on the basis of this acreage rate, the deduced assessments on individual holdings are calculated and final figures of assessment eventually fixed (Rule 28 under Section 87).

A settlement, ordinarily remains in force for 30 years [Section 80 (1)] but the State Government may, for reasons to be recorded in detail, fix the term which may be less than 30 years ' but which shall in no case be less than 20 years [Section 80 (2)].

The Settlement Officer prepares the following papers (Section 45):-

(a) khewat or statement of persons possessing proprietary rights in the mahal, including inferior proprietors or leases or mortgages in possession, specifying the nature and extent of  the interest of each;

(b) khasara or field book, in which shall be entered the names of all persons cultivating or occupying the land, the  right in which it is held and the rent, it any, payable;

(c) jamabandi or lists of persons cultivating or occupying land in the village;

(d) field map of the village except when otherwise directed;

(e) the village administration paper (wajib-ul-arz); and

(f) such other papers as may be prescribed under the rules.

Every Record of Right must necessarily contain (i) khewat, (ii) khasara, (iii) jamabandi and (iv) field map.

Record of Rights.

Prior to the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1954, no  Record of Rights was introduced in the district.

In the districts of Nagpur, Wardha, Bhandara and Chandrapur only interim Record of Rights was introduced as per Section 115 (1) of the Code. The full-fledged Record of Rights under Section 103 is yet to be prepared. The Record of Rights under Sections 103 and 115(1) of the Code includes:-

(a) names of all persons, other than tenants, who are holders of land;

(b) names of all occupancy tenants and protected lessees and other tenants;

(c) nature and extent of the respective interests of such per-sons and the conditions of liabilities, if any, attached thereto;

(d) rent or land revenue, if any, payable by such persons, and

(e) such other particulars as may be prescribed.

The provisions of the Central Provinces Grazing and Nistar Act of 1948 specify the rights of public in Government land. As per Section 3 (1) of the Act, the right of a resident of a village in respect of cattle grazing and collection of jungle produce (called as Nistar rights) is regulated.


Functions of the Land Records department are as follows:-

(i) to maintain all survey, classification and settlement records up-to-date by keeping a careful note of all changes by conducting field operations preliminary to incorporation of the changes in survey records;

(ii) to collect and provide statistical information necessary for the sound administration of all matters connected with land;

(iii) to simplify the procedure and reduce the cost of litigation in revenue and civil courts by providing reliable survey and other land records for the purpose;

(iv) to supervise the preparation and maintenance of Record of Rights by periodical inspection and maintenance and repairs of the boundary marks of individual fields;

(V) to conduct periodical revision settlement operations;

(vi) to organise and carry out surveys of village sites on an extensive scale and arrange for their proper maintenance;

(vii) to maintain up-to-date all village maps by incorporating necessary changes as and when they occur;

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

(ix) to train revenue officers in survey and settlement matters.

Administrative set-up.

The district formed a part of the Madhya Pradesh State till the Reorganisation of States in November 1956. There was a separate survey and settlement department in Madhya Pradesh State. The Chief Controlling Officer for the Land Records Department in Maharashtra State is the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records with headquarters at Poona. He is assisted at regional levels by two Deputy Directors, of Land Records with headquarters at Bombay and Nagpur, respectively. The Deputy Director of Land Records, Bombay Region, is in charge of Bombay, Poona and Nasik circles while the Deputy Director of Land Records posted at Nagpur controls Nagpur and Aurangabad circles. Each of these five circles is supervised by a Circle Superintendent of Land Records who is responsible to the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records through the Regional Deputy Director of Land Records. The jurisdiction of the Superintendent of Land Records, Nagpur Circle, extends over all the eight districts of Vidarbha region. Under him are the District Superintendents of Land Records (District Inspectors of Land Records) who in turn are assisted by District Assistant Superintendents of Land Records.

District Superintendent of Land Records.

The land records work in the district is directly supervised by the Collector who is the administrative head of the department in the district. The District Superintendent of Land Records, Chanda, works under the direct guidance of the Collector. He is the principal inspecting agent in respect of all technical work and is responsible to the Collector for exercising effective control over the land records staff and for maintaining or exacting the requisite quota of work. He is subordinate to the Superintendent of Land Records, Nagpur Circle, in respect of technical matters only.

The District Superintendent of Land Records, Chandrapur, is assisted by two Assistant District Superintendents of Land Records, the one posted at headquarters, assisting him in his office work and the other in his field work. His field staff consists of Nazul Maintenance Surveyors, District Surveyor, Cadastral Surveyors, Nimatandar and Pot-hiss Surveyors. The District Superintendent of Land Records is both a Revenue and a  Survey Officer. His main duties are-

(a) to supervise, and take a field test of the measurement,  classification and pot-hissa work done by the district, cadastral  and maintenance surveyors;

(b) to inspect land records work of villages in Patwari Circles including khasara (Crop Statement), Record of Rights, tenancy work and also certification of mutation;

(c) to check Land Revenue Demand Register, Day Book and rasid Bahis, etc.;

(d) to check vital statistics, siwai income, grazing list, mining or quarrying leases;

(e) to see that the mining or quarry areas are not used or occupied without payment of compensation for surface rights;

(f) to determine surface rent for mining of quarrying leases;

(g) to inspect the work done by the Revenue Inspectors and 'Patwaris borne on Collectors' establishment doing mainly land records work with a view to secure uniformity without forsaking local peculiarities of procedure throughout the district;

(h) to detect cases regarding diversion of agricultural lands to other purposes and their regularisation through the Sub-Divisional Officers;

(i) to detect encroachments on Government lands;

(j) to inspect rain gauges; and

(k) to check sub-divisions (pot-hissas).

The main duties of the other Land Records Officials are as follows: -

Nazul Maintenance Surveyors and Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyors.

The Nazul Maintenance Surveyors and Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyors look after nazul surveys and maintain them up-to-date. Nazul surveys, unlike in Western Maharashtra districts, are restricted to Government land including roads, public places, etc., used ordinarily for residential purposes. There is a nazul map and maintenance khasara for each one of the three nazul towns in the district, i.e., Chandrapur, Ballarpur (commonly known as Ballarshah) and Desaiganj (Wadsa). The detail survey is done in all these towns on a traverse frame work by optical square. On this survey is constructed a maintenance khasara which is a sort of a Record of Rights. The nazul staff of the Nazul Maintenance Surveyors and Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyors maintain the traverse frame work, the detailed survey and the maintenance khasara up-to-date by periodical inspections according to the programme sanctioned by the Nazul Officer, who is ordinarily the Deputy Collector of the sub-division in the district in which the nazul town falls. Thus the nazul staff is under the administrative control of the Nazul Officer for day to day administration and under the technical control of the District Superintendent of Land Records.

District and Cadastral Surveyors.

The District and Cadastral Surveyors look alter the district measurement work arising from:-

(i) land acquisition;

(ii) Civil Court decrees; (iii) alluvion and diluvion;

(iv) grant of land for agricultural and non-agricultural purposes;

(v) division or conversion of agricultural land into non-agricultural use;

(vi) encroachment cases;

(vii) application for confirmation of boundaries, and

(viii) applications of family partitions, sales, etc.

Pot-hissa Surveyors.

The Pot-hissa Surveyors attend wholly to the measurement of new sub-divisions as appearing in village Record of Rights under the supervision and control of the nimatandar. It is the duty of the nimatandar to supervise the work of the Pot-hissa Surveyors and take percentage test of the work.

Special Schemes.

In addition, the Land Records department is entrusted with the execution of the following special schemes: -

1. Consolidation of holdings under the Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947.

2. Survey of village gaothans.

The Consolidation Officer, Chandrapur, is the District Officer entrusted with the preparation and execution of consolidation of holdings schemes under the Bombay Prevention of Fragmenta-tion and Consolidation of Holdings Act. He is assisted by four Assistant Consolidation Officers. The subordinate staff of each Assistant Consolidation Officer comprises  six Surveyors under one nimatandar to asssist him in the measurement of sub-divisions and bringing the Record of Rights up-to-date and preparation of the scheme of consolidation, and one Circle Inspector to assist him in the execution of the scheme of consolidation of holdings after confirmation by the Settlement Commissioner or Government as the case may be. The Consolidation Officer is expected to test work in each village before the scheme is sanctioned and has also to see that it is properly enforced after it is sanctioned. The work on the consolidation scheme was started in the beginning of 1960 in Chandrapur, Warora and Brahmapuri tahsils of the district.

The work in respect of scheme of survey of village gaothan is in progress in the district and by March 1967, survey work in respect of 20 villages had been completed. The survey in respect of four other villages was in progress in addition to the city survey of Ballarshah which was sanctioned along with eight other towns of Vidarbha region.