revenue administration

In 1853 Berar, which formed a part of Nizam's dominion was assigned to Hast India Company in liquidation of the large debt due on account of arrears of pay of Hyderabad contingent and as a security for future payments of that force. At that time Berar was divided into two districts, South Berar i.e., Balaghat with headquarters at Hingoli and North Berar, with headquarters at Buldhana. After 1857, Hingoli with its neighbouring area was restored to the Nizam and Berar was reconstituted into two districts, East Berar with headquarters at Amravati and West Berar with headquarters at Akola. In 1903, the treaties of assignment were superseded by an agreement under which the Nizam leased Berar to the Government of India in perpetuity in return for an annual rent. Thus, the administration of Berar was transferred from the Resident of Hyderabad to the Chief Commissioner of Central Provinces.

The area which now makes Buldhana district was separated from West Berar district in 1864. Some area was also transferred in 1875 to the Basim (Washim) district. Mangrul tahsil was newly created in that district in the same year. The district and tahsil boundaries were completely overhauled in 1905. Murtizapur tahsil was transferred from Amravati to Akola district and Khamgaon and Jalgaon tahsils were transferred from Akola to Buldhana district. The Washim district was split up and two of its tahsils (Washim and Mangrul) were included in the Akola district. With the Reorganisation of the States in 1956, the district was transferred from Madhya Pradesh to the then Bombay State. The district forms a part of Maharashtra State since May 1, 1960. For the administrative purpose the district is at present divided in 6 tahsils. The area of the district is 10,596 Sq. kilometres (4.091 Sq. miles).

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

The revenue survey was started in the district in 1864 and completed in 1872. The assessment was fixed for thirty years. At the time of original settlements the general level of assessment was fixed with reference to dependability of rainfall, crop pattern, average yields, prices, level of rent, nearness to market, facilities of communications, etc. The first revision settlement and second revision settlement were carried out in the district in the year shown below against each tahsil.

Name of the tahsil

Number of villages

Year in which first revision settlement was completed

Year in which second revision was completed






















The period of settlement was for 30 years and has expired long hack in the district.

Survey: The survey in this district is done with a chain of 33 feet and cross-staff in all the villages in the district. The unit of area is the English acre with its sub-division the "guntha" (which is 1/40 part of the acre). The area of each survey number is separately entered in the district, tahsil and village records under an indicative number. Since the adoption of metric system of weights and measures, the unit of area is changed from British acre to hectare. The area of each parcel of land is now being converted into metric units i.e., hectares and ares (Are being 100th part of an hectare).

Village, Taluka and District Maps for all surveyed villages : After completion of survey of individual fields in the village, accurate village maps were prepared for all the villages in the district, showing therein the position of survey numbers and the topographical details. From these village maps, tahsil and district maps were prepared and printed to a scale of 1" =1 mile and 1"=4 miles, respectively. In 1956, the tahsil and district maps were printed on a scale of 1" = 2 miles.

Classification: The classification of lands of individual fields was done for assessing the lands according to their fertility. The main classes of land recognised were "Jirayat, Bagayat and Tari " (dry crop, garden and rice land). Each parcel of land was classified with reference to the texture and fertility of the soil. In case of irrigated and rice lands, in addition to the soil factor, the water factor was also classified after taking into consideration the duration of water supply and kind of crops grown. The classification value was expressed in terms of annas in a rupee scale.

Prior to 1954, the settlement procedure prescribed under Sections 78 to 105 of the Berar Land Revenue Code was applicable to this district. Consequent upon the introduction of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1954, the procedure laid down in Sections 54 to 87 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code was made applicable to the district in so far as lands in non-urban areas were concerned. The procedure is briefly described below: 'Settlement' is defined as the result of operations conducted in a local area in order to revise the land revenue assessment (Section 55 of Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code). The Settlement Officer (appointed by the State Government) under Section 59 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code fully examines the past revenue history of the area with a view to assessing the general effect of the existing incidence of assessment on the economic condition of the area and with reference to the various statistical data and by careful enquiry in villages, he collects information required for the revision of assessment.

If the settlement of any local area is to be made a forecast of the probable results of the settlement is to be prepared under the order of State Government under Section 63 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code.

A notice of the intention of the State Government to make settlement together with the proposals based on the forecast is to be published for inviting objections. Such forecast proposals are to be sent to every member of the State Legislative Assembly, 21 days before the commencement of the session of Legislative Assembly. After considering the objections, if any, and the resolution of the proposals that may be passed by Legislative Assembly, notification of proposed revenue survey under Section 64 is to be issued. The local area notified is held under such survey from the date of notification till another notification for closing the operations is issued.

For the purpose of assessment, the Settlement Officer divides the area to be settled into groups and in forming such groups he takes into consideration the physical features, agricultural and economic conditions and trade facilities under Section 70. The Settlement Officer prepares the proposals of assessment rates of each group and submits them for the approval of the State Government vide Section 73. The assessments are so fixed that the increase in fair assessment of an agricultural holding does not ordinarily exceed 50 per cent of the original. The principles laid down in Section 76 are followed while fixing the fair assessment. Improvements made at the cost of the holders are exempted for the purposes of enhancement of assessment, vide Section 76 (5). The announcement of settlement is done by giving a notice under Section 77. The assessment finally announced under this Section is the land revenue payable annually on such land during the term of settlement unless it is modified in accordance with the provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code or any other law. There is no provision for hearing objections regarding assessment rates or fair assessment in the said Code. Once the assessment rates are approved by the State Government, the Settlement Officer calculates the fair assessment on each holding in accordance with those assessment rates. The term of settlement is to be fixed by the State Government and it is not to be less than 30 years (Section 80 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code). The State Government can reduce during currency of settlement the assessment, if it finds necessary, after considering the general condition for any period as it may deem fit. The term of settlement can be reduced to 20 years by the State Government for special reasons.

For the assessment or reassessment of lands in urban areas, no forecast report is required to be prepared nor is the notification required to be published.

The following statement shows the land revenue collections in the Akola district from 1955 to 1960 and 1973-74.



























Record of Rights: The record of rights in Form A was introduced in khalsa villages of all the tahsils in 1912. As regards the then jagir villages it was prepared, in the first instance, in the Forms B, B, C, CC, and O. After the abolition of the proprietary rights in these villages, it was revised in Form A (prescribed under Rule 2 of Rules under Section 103 of Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code) under the supervision of the Record of Rights Officer. Berar, in the year 1957-58. The record of rights was beirg maintained in the district by the revenue staff under Section 108 of the Berar Land Revenue Code and rules framed thereunder. Since 1954 those were being maintained vide Section 103 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code and rules made thereunder. After the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966, came into force from August 1, 1967, the record of rights are maintained under the provisions of Section 148 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966. The record of rights contains the following particulars:—

(a) The names of all persons (other than tenants) who are holders, occupants, owners or mortgagees of the land or assignees of the rent or revenue thereof.

(b) The names of all persons who are holding the land as Government lessees or tenants, including tenants within the meaning of the tenancy law.

(c) The nature and extent of the respective interests of such persons and the conditions or liabilities, if any, attached thereto.

(d) The rent or revenue, if any, payable by or to any such persons.

(e) Such other particulars as prescribed by the State Government.

Any acquisition of a right in land is to be reported to the village officers by the person acquiring it unless it is registered vide Section 149 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code. Negligence to make report regarding acquisition of a right or to furnish information or to produce the document required by Section 151 within the specified period is liable to fine not exceeding five rupees.

Administrative Set-up: The district formed part of Madhya Pradesh till 1st November, 1956. There was a separate Survey and Settlement Department for Madhya Pradesh. Now the head of the Land Records Department is the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records, Maharashtra State, Pune.

Settlement Commissioner: The Settlement Commissioner and the Director of Land Records, Maharashtra State, Pune, is the head of the department. He is assisted in his work by the Regional Deputy Directors. The Superintendent of Land Records is the officer next to the Regional Deputy Director. The jurisdiction of the Superintendent of Land Records, Nagpur, who is responsible to the Regional Deputy Director at Nagpur, extends over all the eight districts of the Vidarbha region. Under him are the District Superintendents of Land Records (District Inspectors of Land Records) assisted by the Assistant District Superintendents of Land Records. The District Superintendent and the Assistant District Superintendent are assisted in their work by Measurers, Nazul Maintenance Surveyors (for the District Survey Record Room), Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyors, Revenue Inspectors, Patwaris and Survey Clerks.

The District Superintendent of Land Records: The District Superintendent of Land Records has to supervise and inspect the works of Revenue Inspectors, Patwaris, Measurers, Survey Clerks, Nazul Maintenance Surveyors and Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyors.

He is to arrange for the training of patwaris and holding of their examinations. He has to see that all Revenue Inspectors under him know their duties. He has also to satisfy himself that the District Survey Records are properly maintained.

The District Superintendent of Land Records is under the immediate control of the Collector and his immediate superior in all matters of leave, allowances and discipline is the Settlement Commissioner and Director of Land Records. The Assistant Superintendent of Land Records works under the supervision of the District Superintendent of Land Records and is otherwise, controlled by the collector and the Settlement Commissioner and the Director of Land Records in the same way and manner as the District Superintendent of Land Records. He is to assist the District Superintendent of Land Records in all the inspections and office work.

The main duties of the other land records officials are as follows:

Revenue Inspector: He is to supervise the work of patwaris in his circle and to check the village accounts of all the villages under his charge. He is to detail the defaulters of Government dues and to see that every patwari has maintained the register of records up-to-date and all mutations have been recorded. He has to check the following records prepared by the patwaris :

(1) Crop statements, (2) Jama bandi statements, (3) bound any marks statements, (4) Statement of live-stock and Agricultural Implements, and (5) Village Accounts. The circle of Revenue Inspector consists of 70 to 80 villages with an area of 70,000 to 80,000 occupied acres. About 20 patwaris work under him. He keeps close watch over the recovery of Government money by village officials and has to see that all government money received by them is credited to the Government without delay. He is held responsible if there is any defalcation of Government money by the village officers.

He has to get prepared the annewari statements of crops in case of a crop failure. He has to do all the measurement work except 'pot-hissa' measurement in all the villages in his circle and has to prepare sketches, etc.

Measurers: There is a permanent staff of 5 measurers in the district. They are to measure the sub-divisions in their tahsils and to work out the areas of the measured sub-divisions. They have also to prepare 'Gat Maps' for the patwaris.

Survey Clerk: He has to maintain the district survey records, make corrections in the survey records and issue kami-jasti patraks regarding the changes in the area and assessment according to orders in revenue cases. He has to issue village and tahsil maps to Government officials and public after due corrections and has to keep account of them. He has to supply tipan utaras to all Revenue Inspectors or Tahsildars in the district. He is directly subordinate to the District Superintendent of Land Records.

Nazul Maintenance Surveyor and Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyor:—

Nazul Maintenance Surveyor is responsible for the proper maintenance of the register of records of the towns maintained by the Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyor. He has to certify the mutations recorded by the Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyor and has to check the base lines and traverse stones in the towns. He has to correct the maps and has to prepare the field books for new changes. He has to write the figures of demand of nazul revenue in the demand register. He is directly subordinate to the Nazul Officer.

The main duty of the Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyor is to record mutations after due enquiry and to maintain the register of records up-to-date. Although they are directly subordinate to the Nazul Officers, they are under the technical and administrative controf of the District Superintendent of Land Records and the Superintendent of Land Records, Nagpur Circle, Nagpur.

Patwari and Cadastral Surveyors: The Patwari is the Land Record official at the village level. He prepares the original annual records and maintains record of rights and other records concerning land. He is subordinate to the Revenue Officer. The charge of the patwari consists of 3,740 acres of the occupied area, on an average. He maintains the village accounts and helps the patel for recovery of Government money.

All the measurement work except that of a pot-hissa in the district is carried out by the Revenue Inspectors mentioned above. A temporary staff of cadastral surveyors is created now-a-days, when the volume of measurement work increases and where it is beyond the scope of the normal staff to take up the work of measurement connected with the land acquisition cases.

Settlement of Nazul Towns: Nazul surveys were carried out at Balapur, Akola, Murtizapur, Karanja and Akot towns in the district during the period from 1928-29 to 1932-33 and the enquiry work into titles and rights has also been completed. The settlement of the towns in the district was carried out in the years as shown below:

Name of the Town

Year of settlement of N. A. lands.











In addition to the above five Nazul towns, the survey of Washim town was completed in 1966-67 by the special staff sanctioned by Government [ Vide. G, R. R. and F. D. No. C. T. S.—2463/82074—C dated 22nd September, 1964.] and the work of enquiry of rights and titles was undertaken. The work of maintenance of the survey in these towns is done by the 6 Nazul Maintenance Surveyors and three Assistant Nazul Maintenance Surveyors who are working under the supervision of the Nazul Officer viz., Sub-Divisional Officer in charge of the Division. The technical work is supervised by the District Inspector of Land Records.

Special Schemes : In addition to the normal duties of the Department referred to in the foregoing paragraphs, the land Records Department is at present entrusted with the execution of the following schemes:

(a.) Consolidation of holdings under the Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947.

(b) Scheme of village site survey.

(c) Scheme of city survey of urban towns in the Vidarbha region.

(d) Scheme of adoption of metric system of weights and measures in Land Records Department, and

(e) Forest survey work.

Consolidation of Holdings Scheme : The Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947, is made applicable to this district. The scheme of consolidation of holdings is completed in respect of 10 villages in the district.

Survey of Village Gaothan.—The Government [ Vide Resolution No. C. T. S.—5760/22408—C dated 16th March. 1964.] have sanctioned the scheme of survey of village gaothans in non-urban areas. Accordingly, the village site survey work in Akola district is in charge of the Special District Inspector of Land Records (C. T. S.) Akola. Survey work of 38 villages has been so far completed and the work of enquiry into titles is completed in respect of 13 villages.

Scheme of City Survey of Urban Towns in Vidarbha : The Government have sanctioned the scheme [Revenue and Forest Department Resolution No. C. T. S. 2463/82074—C dated 22nd September, 1964.] of city survey of urban towns in the Vidarbha region and the survey work of Washim and Balapur town is in progress.

Adoption of Metric System of Weights and Measures in Land Records Department: The scheme of adoption of metric system in the final survey records has been sanctioned by Government and the Special District Inspector of Land Records, (Metric) Akola, and his staff was entrusted with the work of conversion of final survey records into metric system. The conversion work of final survey records of all the villages and six nazal towns in the district has been completed.