The Collector plays a pivotal role in the administration of the district. Not only is he at the head of the Revenue Department in the district, but, in so far as the needs and exigencies of the district administration are concerned, he is expected to supervise the working of the officers of other departments as well.

(i) Revenue.- The Collector is the custodian of Government property in land (including trees and water), wherever situated and at the same time the guardian of the interests of the members of the public in land in so far as the interests of Government in land have been conceded to them. All land, wherever situated, whether applied to agricultural or other purposes, is liable to payment of land revenue, except in so far as it may be expressly exempted by a special contract (vide section 45, Land Revenue Code). Such land revenue is of three kinds: (i) agricultural assessment, (ii) non-agricultural assessment, and (iii) miscellaneous. The Collector's duties are in respect of (1) fixation, (2) collection, and (3) accounting of all such land revenue. The assessment is fixed on each piece of land roughly in proportion to its productivity. This assessment is revised every thirty years taluka by taluka. A revision on survey and settlement is carried out by the Land Records Department before a revision is made, and the Collector is expected to review the settlement reports with great care. The assessment is usually guaranteed against increase for period of thirty years. Government, however, grant suspensions and remissions in bad seasons and the determination of the amount of these suspensions is decided by the Collector. As regards non-agricultural assessment, section 48 of the Code provides for alterations of the agricultural assessment when agriculturally assessed land is used for a non-agricultural purpose. In the same way, unassessed land used for a non-agricultural purpose is assessed to non-agricultural rates. These functions rest with the Collector according to the provisions of the rules under the Land Revenue Code. Miscellaneous land revenue also has to be fixed by the Collector according to the circumstances in each case, when Government land is temporarily leased. It is also realised by the sale of earth, stones, usufruct of trees etc., in Government land.

The collection of land revenue rests with the Collector, who has to see that the revenue due is recovered punctually and with the minimum of coercion and that the collections are properly credited and accounted for.

The Collector is also responsible for the collection of fees and taxes under various other Acts, such as the Bombay Irrigation Act (VII of 1879), the Indian Stamp Act (II of 1899), the Indian Court Fees Act (VII of 1870), the Bombay Entertainment Duty Act (I of 1923) and the Bombay Prohibition Act (XXV of 1949). There are also other revenue Acts which contain a provision that dues under them are recoverable as arrears of land revenue, and the Collector and his establishment have to undertake the recovery of such dues when necessary.

In regard to the administration of Forest Act, the ultimate responsibility for the administration of the Forest Department so far as his district is concerned, lies with the Collector, and the Sub-Divisional Forest Officer is his assistant for that purpose, except in matters relating to the technique of forestry.

As regards the Prohibition Act, the Collector has to issue personal permits to liquor and drug addicts and recover the assessment fees from shops permitted to sell liquor and drugs.

The administration of the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act (LXVII of 1948) in its proper spirit rests with the Collector. He is also an appellate authority to hear appeals under the various sections of the Act.

(ii) Public Utility.-The Agriculturists' Loans Act (XII of 1884) and the Land Improvement Loans Act (XIX of 1887), regulate the grant of loans to agriculturists at cheap rates for financing their operations. The Collector has to estimate the needs of his district in accordance with the policy of Government and in the event of bad season to make further demands for as much money as can be usefully loaned for the purpose of tiding over the scarcity. He has to take necessary steps for the most advantageous distribution of the amount placed at his disposal and to see that the advances so made are recovered at the proper time.

The Collector of Dhulia is the Court of Wards for the estates taken over under the Bombay Court of Wards Act (I of 1905). Most of the estates which were under the charge of the Collector have now been released.

(iii) Accounts.- The Collector is in charge of the treasury and is personally responsible to the Government for its general administration, the due accounting of all the amounts received and disbursed, the correctness of the treasury returns and the safe custody of the valuables which it contains. In matters of accounts and audit, the Collector (with the Treasury Officer under him) is responsible to the Accountant General, whose instructions he has to obey. He does not, however, take part in the daily routine of treasury business. For that work his delegate and representative is the Treasury Officer.

(iv) Quasi-Judicial junctions in revenue matters.-Among the Quasi-judicial functions of the Collector on the revenue side, apart from hearing appeals from the decisions of the Prant Officers under the Land Revenue Code and various other Acts, may be mentioned:-(i) the revisional powers exercised under section 23 of the Bombay Mamlatdars' Courts Act (II of 1906) in respect of Mamlatdars' orders under the Act (this power is delegated to an Assistant or Deputy Collector), (ii) appellate powers under sections 53 and 67 of the Bombay Irrigation Act (VII of 1879), (iii) the work which the Collector does in connection with the execution of Civil Courts' decrees, and (iv) proceedings and awards under section 11 of the Land Acquisition Act (I of 1894).

(v) Local Self-Government.-With the passing of the Bombay Village Panchayats Act, vital changes were effected in the village panchayat administration. It is now looked after by village panchayats constituted for the villages. The Collector is empowered to hold elections to the municipalities and village panchayats. The various Acts governing local bodies have conferred upon the Collector, as the chief representative of Government authority, to supervise the actions of the local bodies and give them advice.

(vi) Officers of Other Departments.-The officers of other departments stationed at the district headquarters can be divided into two groups, viz., (A) (1) the District Judge, (2) the District Superintendent of Police, (3) the Executive Engineer and (4) the Civil Surgeon and (B) (1) the District Prohibition Officer, (2) the District Agricultural Officer. (3) the District Health Officer and (4) the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies.

The District Judge has a separate and independent sphere of work, and as Sessions Judge he exercises appellate powers over the decisions of all judicial magistrates in the district. The Bombay Separation of Judicial and Executive Functions Act (XXIII of 1961) was enacted to meet a long standing and widespread public desire for the separation of judicial functions from executive officers. It has separated the magistracy into " judicial magistrates" who are subordinates to the Sessions Judge, and "executive magistrates", who are subordinates to the District Magistrate. It has withdrawn from executive magistrates practically all powers of trial of criminal cases, and only in certain cases the Sessions Judge has to hear appeals from the decisions of the executive magistrates. Before the enactment of this legislation, the Sessions Judge used to exercise appellate powers over the decisions in criminal cases of the District Magistrate and other First Class Magistrates.

The District Superintendent of Police and the police force of the district are under the control of the District Magistrate in so far as their functions regarding maintenance of law and order are concerned. As regards discipline, training and other administrative matters they are under the control of the Range Deputy Inspector-General of Police.

The position of the Executive Engineer is slightly different. Since his work is of a technical nature, he is not directly subordinate to the Collector though in a sense he plays a part subsidiary to the general administration of the district, of which the Collector is the head, and he is expected to help the Collector whenever he is required to do so. The Collector can ask him to investigate the utility of minor irrigation works likely to be agriculturally useful in the district. At the time of actual execution of any work, the Collector can requisition the services of the Executive Engineer for making immediate arrangements for procuring the necessary establishment, tools, plant, building material, etc. (Famine Relief Code, section 81).

The Civil Surgeon has also a separate and independent sphere of his own, but must place his professional and technical advice and assistance at the disposal of general district administration whenever required.

The officers in B group are all of subordinate status. Their services in their particular sphere can be requisitioned by the Collector either directly in case of necessity if the matter is urgent, or through their official superiors. The District Prohibition Officer is subordinate to the Collector except in technical matters.

The following are some of the other Officers of the district who have more or less intimate contact in matters relating to their departments and have to carry out his general instructions:-

(1) The Backward Class Welfare Officer, (2) the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies. (3) the Animal Husbandry Officer, (4) The District Inspector of Land Records, (5) The District Officer, Industrial Co-operatives and Village Industries, and (6) the Superintendent of Fisheries.

(vii) As District Magistrate.-The Collector's duties as District Magistrate are mostly executive. He is the head of all executive magistrates in the district. He exercises the powers under the Criminal Procedure Code and Indian Penal Code.

When authorized by the State Government, the District Magistrate may invest any magistrate subordinate to him with the necessary powers. Besides being in control of the police in the district, the District Magistrate has extensive powers under the Criminal Procedure Code and the Bombay Police Act (XXII of 1951) and other Acts for maintenance of law and order. It is his duty to examine the records of police stations so as to gain insight into the state of crime in the limits of police stations and satisfy himself that cases are being promptly disposed of.

In his executive capacity, the District Magistrate is concerned with the issue of licences and permits under the Arms Act (II of 1878). the Petroleum Act (VII of 1899), the Explosives Act (IV of 1884), and the Poisons Act (I of 1904). He has also to supervise the general administration of these Acts and functions laid down thereunder.

(viii) As District Registrar.- As District Registrar, the Collector controls the administration of the Registration Department within his district.

(ix) Sanitation and Public Health.-The duties of the Collector in the matter of sanitation are:-

(a) to see that ordinary and special sanitary measures are initiated in cases of outbreaks of epidemic diseases; (b) to watch and stimulate the daily sanitary administration of the municipalities and other sanitary authorities; and (c) to advise and encourage local bodies to improve the permanent sanitary conditions of the area under their jurisdiction in so far as the funds at their disposal permit. He can freely requisition the advise and technical assistance of the District Health Officer in this regard.

(x) District Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Board.-The Collector in his capacity as President of the District Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Board exercises overall control of the Board with the assistance of a paid Secretary duly appointed from the retired military officers cadre. He maintains liaison between the ex-servicemen and their dependents. The constitution of the Board is as under: -

The District Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Board is composed of members, who are ex-servicemen. It has a vice-president and a President. The Collector is the ex-officio President of the Board while a retired military officer acts as the vice-president. The Board meets periodically and considers problems, connected with the welfare of the ex-servicemen and their dependents.

(xi) Control of essential articles.-The supply of essential articles such as foodgrains, sugar, etc. is controlled by the Collector and the distribution made according to the policies laid down in this behalf. The distribution is made in the district through 465 fair price shops which are managed by the co-operative societies, village panchayats and private bodies.