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CHAPTER IV SCHEME OF REVENUE ADMINISTRATION

203. Revenue divisions, districts and tahsils. For the purposes of revenue management, the Punjab divided into 29 district, each in charge of a Deputy commissioner or Collector. These districts are grouped into five divisions, each under a commissioner. The commissioner exercises control over all the revenue officers and courts in his division and is himself subject to the general superintendence and control of the Financial Commissioner, who, under the Revenue Member of Government, is the head of the revenue administration. At the headquarters of a district there are in addition to a large ministerial staff, several officers appointed by the local Government who exercise executive and judicial functions under the orders of the Deputy Commissioner. They are known as assistant commissioners if they are members of the Indian Civil service, and as Extra Assistant Commissioners if they belong to the Punjab civil service. One of these assistant or Extra Assistant Commissioners , chosen for his special aptitude for revenue work, and called the Revenue Assistant, devotes almost the whole of his time to business connected with land administration. A district is divided into several tehsils, to each of which a tehsildar and naib-tehsildar are appointed. The Poisson of the naib-tahsilder with reference to the tahsilder are appointed. The Poisson of the naib-tahsildar with reference to the tahsidar is like that of an Assistant Commissioner with reference  to the head of the distrait. Tahsildars and naib-tahsildars exercise administrative and  judicial functions within the limits of their  own tahsils. In the few there are two naib-tahsildars. In such cases the one who possesses the larger experience sometimes has a definite part of the tahsil assigned to him as a sub-tahsil within the limits of which he resides. In the saw way in some districts one or more thrills are formed into an outpost or sub-division, and put in special charge of a resident Assistant or Extra Assistant Commissioner. Within his own sub-division such an officer performs all the duties usually entrusted to a Revenue Assistant.

 

204.    Villages and zails - The unit of revenue administration in the Punjab is the estate or mahal. Which is usually is enticed width the village or mauza. Of  these estates ,large and small, a tahsil as a rule, contains from two to four hundred . each of them is separately assessed to land revenue which it is the business of the duty commissioner to collect and has a separate record of rights and register of fiscal and agricultural statistics , which it is his duty to maintain. All its proprietors are by law jointly responsible for the payment of its land revenue, and in their dealings with Government they are represented by one or more headmen or lambardars. The bound which unites the proprietary body may be a strong and natural, or a weak and artificial, one. At the one end of the scale are the compact village communities of Rohtak and Karnal, whose landowners are held together by real or assumed ties of kinship; at the other. The estates of the south-western Punjab. Which are often mere collections of independent well holdings. While in the new colonies there is little bond beyond such similarities of tribe, religion and home of the original colonists as the colonization officer may had been able to secure. No deputy commissioner can rightly perform his duties without a full knowledge of the land tenures of his district. A careful perusal of the gazetteer ,and the reports of past settlements, will supply the foundation, but the superstructure must be built up by personal observation and enquiry and by the examination of village note books and records of rights. The village system of north western India, properly organized and wisely worked forms a powerful engine of administration. To make it still more effective clusters of villages which are quitted by the bond of tribal  or historical association, or of common interests, are usually formed into circles or zails over each of which the appointed a zaildar chosen by the Deputy commissioner from among the leading village headmen. The jaildars receive their emoluments from Government by the deduction from the land revenue, the headmen are paid by the communities which they represent by the surcharge of five percent on the revenue. Together they form the valuable unofficial agency, through which the deputy commissioner and the tahsildar convey the wishes of the government to the people and secure the carrying out of their own orders.

 

205.    patwaris’ and kanungos’ circles. But there is also an official chain connecting the village which the tehsil for the purpose of the maintains of  revenue records and agricultural statistics, estates are grouped into small circles to each of which a patwari or village register is appointed. About twenty of these circles form the charge of a field kanungo, whose duty it is  to supervise the work of the  patwaris. Kanungos are  servants of Government .

 

206      The director of land records. To aid deputy commissioners and commissioners in the maintenance of records of rights and revenue registers, and to advise the Financial commissioners and Government on these matters and on measures for the promotion of agricultural efficiency, an officer  known as the director of land Records, is appointed. He has no administrative functions; his business is to inspect, advise, record or lesson the powers and responsibilities belonging to Deputy commissioners and commissioners and to the financial commissioners in connection with every batch of revenue administration.

 

207.    Duties of Director of land Records. Among the principle duties of the director of land Records are-

(a)   the supervision of the patwari and kanungo agency and the inspection of the records of  rights and statistical records compiled through its means. The posting of settlement kanungos and maps. His duties with regard to settlements and defined in appendix vi-B of the Settlement Manual;

(b)  the control of the income and expenditure of mutation fees and of all expenditure on contingencies connected with the kanungo and patwari establishment and with  the revenue records;

(c)   crop, price and weather reports, return of wages and of agricultural statistics, crop experiments by district officers and cattle census;

(d)  rain-gauges

The director of land records brings to the notice of the deputy commissioner or commissioner any failure to carry out properly the provisions regarding these matters contained on the land revenue Act and rules or in administrative instructions issued by the Financial commissioners. On points of detail his recommendations should usually be accepted as those of an expert charged with duties of a technical character. But all doubtful and important questions should be referred  by the director for the orders of the Financial commissioner. when a districts under settlement., or when special measures adopting taken  for the bringing of maps and records up to date as preliminary to re-assessment, the Director will make this reports to the Financial commissioner. He must not himself issue instructions to the  officer on charge. Any orders which the Financial commissioner may issues will be sent through the commissioner. In other cases reports by the Director of Land Records on his inspections of the land records if any distract are submitted to the commissioner of the division. The Director of Land Records is also inspector-General of Registration.

 

208. Duties of Director of agriculture. In order to promote the technical efficiency of Agriculture a separate department  has been consisted under a director. The director of agriculture has charge of the following subjects.

(a)   agricultural education and research at the Punjab agriculture college and research institute, Lyallpur, and at the agricultural farms.

(b)  Experimental seed and demonstration farms.

(c)   Agricultural engineering, including well- boring lift irrigation, implements etc.

(d)  Measures for  encouraging the adoption of improved seed, implements methods of cultivation, and for controlling plant diseased, insects pests etc.

(e)   Agricultural associations , competitions, exhibitions and produce shows.

(f)   Rural industries , silk, bees, lac and poultry.

(g)   Crop experiments when carried out by officers of the department.

(h)  The Lawrence gardens, Lahore.

(i)    Administration of the cotton ginning and pressing factories act of 1925.

(j)    Crop forecasts.

 

208-A. Development of agriculture Department. The need for more attention being paid to the application of science to agriculture was repeatedly brought to the notice of the Government of India , and in 1871 a department of revenue, agriculture and commerce was established. In the provinces the subject of agricultural improvement was similarly allotted to the revenue department, but little was done beyond the organization of a system of agricultural statistics and  few attempts at the introduction of implements and seeds from abroad. The famine commission of 1880 made a through review of the whole agricultural situation and recommended, amongst other matters, the constitution of an agricultural department each province with a director at its head; this departments main functions were to be agricultural enquiry and  improvement and famine relief. The next ten years saw many conferences and the position in the provinces was carefully investments to the royal agricultural society , to advise as to the best methods of applying to Indian agriculture the teaching of agricultural chemistry and his recommendations were later embodied in his book “ the improvement of Indian agriculture .” shortly after the government of India began to recruit of its first experts, but little progress in this direction was made in the provinces until the famine commission of 1901 recommended the strengthening of the expert stead in the provinces; Lord curzon’s government took speedy action on these recommendations, and the dispatch to the secretary of state of 1905 led to the inauguration of a separate department of agriculture in 1906. Previous to this, the only attempt at experiment on modern lines had been confined to the farm of 56 acres opened at Lyallpur . in 1901 which was staffed with agricultural assistants trained at cawnpore. The first deputy director of agricultural was sanctioned in 1904, and about the same time the province shared an economic Botanist with the united provinces.

The dispatch to the secretary of state above mentioned(no. 16, dated 12th jan.1905)enunciated the following policy:-

 

“in a country s largely agricultural as India, a government which owns the largest landed estate in the world, should do far more than we are now doing for the improvements of local agriculture. The ultimate aim, which we set before ourselves, is the establishment of an experiments farm in each large tract of country , of which the agricultural college, teaching up to a three years course in each of the larger provinces, and the provision of and expert staff in connection with these colleges for purposes of research as well as of education …. These establishment of seed and demonstration farms will certainly form part of our program.”

In the same year the government of India announced their policy of setting aside annually a sum of twenty lakhs of rupees, subsequently increased to Rs. 24 lakhs, for the development of agricultural research, experiment, demonstration and education in the provinces. The aim was to establish agricultural colleges, with expert staffs, for instruction and research under a whole time director and the experts were provided for by the constitution of an imperial agricultural service 1906. Progress along the lines prescribed in 1905 continued steadily, except for the interruption caused by the war, until the introduction of the reforms.

With the inauguration of the reforms scheme in 1921, agriculture became a transferred department under the charge of a minister. The functions of the department are divided into three main heads:-

(1)  education;

(2)  research and investigation;

(3)  demonstration and propaganda.

 

Education:- the Punjab agricultural college, Lyallpur, was opened in September, 1909. Its main object is to give such training in scientific agriculture as will enable the student to promote the progress of agriculture in the providence on the most approved modern lines. In 1917 the institution was affiliated to the Punjab university , and since then it has had a four years degrees course. Combined with the college is a well equipped research institute which is the main center of agricultural research in the province.

The botanical section of the research institute works on improved types of wheat’s, cotton, grams, barleys, millets oil seeds, fodder crops, etc. and also deals with fruit cultivation and mycological problems.

The chemical section undertakes analytic work on soils, manure’s, fodders, etc. the determination of the nutritive value of crops and other animal foods work on the reclamation of bara lands; bacteriological research, including seed inoculation, etc.

The entomological section conducts researches on insect and other animal pests, and studies means to combat them. It also deals with  sericulture apiculture and lac-culture.

The engineering section so engaged on the preparation of schemes for lift irrigation, the augmentation of water from ordinary wells and the installation  of tube wells . it also conducts research work on well boring machines strainers, agricultural   implements etc.

Investigations conducted outside the Lyallpur institution –there are experimental farms at Gurdaspur, Hansi, Sirsa, Lyallpur, multan, montgomery, rawa;pindi and sargodha, in addition to various seed and demonstration farms. The experimental farms carry out experiment with different types of crops in order to ascertain their suitability to particular tacts, to show the effects of different methods of cultivation, irrigation and manuring, and to test the relative usefulness of different types of agricultural implements. They also afford demonstrations to the zamindars who visit them.

Demonstration and propaganda – this work is conducted by means of demonstration plots established on cultivators fields throughout the provide, also by demonstrations of implements and exhibition of crop produce at fairs and other gatherings of farmers, sale of seed from department, district lectures, ploughing matches, campaigns for the eradication of crop pests, agriculture; association, department publications etc.

 

209.    Duties of the director of veterinary services. In order to encourage all possible measures for the prevention of cattle disease, the cure of sick or injured animals and for the improvement of the breeds, a separate veterinary department has been constituted under a director of veterinary services, the director, veterinary services has charge of the following subjects;-

(a)   veterinary education at the Punjab veterinary college Lahore.

(b)  Veterinary research.

(c)   Treatment of cattle disease throughout the province , and of equine disease in the “non selected” districts.

(d)  Cattle breeding throughout the province, and horse breeding in the “non selected districts.

(e)   Supervision of horse and cattle fairs and shows.

(f)   Control of the veterinary arrangements in Delhi and north –west fronter provinces.

(g)   General control of veterinary dispensaries and buildings.

 

209-A. General development of the civil veterinary department. Cattle –breeding far at Hissar has an area of 42,000 acres, and is thus the largest of India: it was originally established in 1809 for camel- breeding, but work was the supply of artillery and ordnance bullocks. In 1899 the charge of the farm was transferred to the civil veterinary department of the government of India and on the abolition of the post of inspector general . it was transferred by the government of India to the Punjab government. Since then it has been the largest single source of pedigree bulls in the province, and has produced over 4,000 of these for service in villages. It is estimated that over 3,000 of there are still available and the number turned out at Hissar is sufficient to replace casualties and added to the total bull- power of the province. Most of the bulls are supplied to district boards at confessional  rates.

Liberal grants are given annually for the improvements of the Dhanni and Hariana breeds of cattle to the following district boards on suitable conditions:-

Attock, rawalpindi, jhelum, shahpur and mianwali district boards, for the improvements of the dhanni breed of cattle.

Hissar, rohtak and gurgaon district boards, for the improvements of the Hariana breed.

In accordance with the policy of the department to concentrate attention on certain areas best suited for cattle- breeding, the above system of grants was introduced for the dhanni cattle tract in 1919-20 and for the hariana cattle tract in 1924-25.

Five cattle farms of a total area about 15,300 areas have been allotted to grantees in the lower Bari Doab Canel Colony. Out of these , 2 are intended for pure-breed Montgomery cattle and the remaining 3 for Hissar cattle. In addition, a grantee dairy farm comprising an area of 485 acres, has been started in the town of Montgomery. Besides, there are in the neighborhood of shergarh, district Montgomery,” shergarh small holders grants” comprising  218 ½ rectangles of land in 7 different chaks. The condition on which the grants are allotted is that the grantee must maintain two cows of the Montgomery breed approved by the veterinary department for each rectangle of 25 acres.

 

209-B. Erosion. Erosion is the collector’s worst  enemy. It occurs in both cultivated and in uncultivated land and an instance of the disastrous effects it can have. Will be seen in chapter vi (728 and following paragraphs)

 

(1)      Cultivated land- When rain falls on sloping land, it will, unless checked. Flow away down hill carrying with it part of the top-soil and leaching out valuable chemicals form the rest of the top-soil. In addition so much water which might have soaked into the ground to reinforce the sub-soil moisture and so keep the field moist till the next shower, is utterly lost. The top-soil contains most of the fertility to the soil and as both manure and rain are all too limited in many parts of the Punjab, they must be most carefully preserved noticed either by the cultivator or by the revenue staff.”

The next stage is “gully erosion” the surface of sloping cultivation is generally uneven and is characterized by longitudinal depressions which even if they are barely perceptible, draw off water from the land on the both sides of them. Water flow from the higher ground into these drainage lines increasing the volume and speed. The result is increased erosion align the depressions : the water cuts downwards and backwards into the fields, forming gullies which increase in size according to the steeples of the slope and area and promote desiccation by acceleration the drying out of the sub-soil moisture. This form of damage, called gully erosion, is fortunately obvious to everyone.

Practically all land in the Punjab lies on  slope, almost imperceptible in irrigated fields, but generally noticeable in barani lands, irrigated land is usually protected by the banks called wats of dauls made for retaining the irrigation water. Unirrigated lands require the same kind of protection and require also to be leveled so that rain water shall be evenly on them and not of top soil. Careful owners terrace and embank their fields, thus increasing the available moisture in the soil and conserving fertility by preventing the valuable top-soil from being eroded. but many landlords are careless and neglect this duties to the land. Both gully and sheet erosion occur in sloping fields and in fields which are not embanked or where the banks are neglected and allowed to break. Much land can be lost in a very short time and once gone can never be recovered. At the best, the top-soil, instead of being improved by farming, as it should be, steadily deteriorates through erosion. Where conditions of slope and soil however are favourable for such a  thing to happen, heavy rainstorms may wash away the shoal of the top-soil ,leaving the farmer to start allover again, with only the criss-cross marks of the plough tip on top of the hard sub-soil to remind him of his precious labours.

Land well terraced  and embanked does not erode, and wherever the slope is appreciable fields must be labeled and embanked. The principle is that where rain falls there it must stay until it has either soaked in or the cultivator has done with it there is ordinarily no harm in bringing sloping ground under cultivation if this observed; but the indiscriminate breaking up of slopes means the  rapid destruction of their value and must be resisted by all means possible.

The hard surface of follow land resist the absorption of rain water and contributes largely to the amount of run –off from a given area. Recently ploughed land will absorb rainfall and therefore the breaking up of stubble’s by dry proughing if necessary, as soon s possible after harvest, should be given every encouragement.

Unassored storm water standing for long in terraced fields with clay soils is, however, harmful to certain crops, and where conditions indicate the necessity for it the field system should be such as to ensure the draining await harmlessly of the surplus water.

Water gathering volume and force as to flows and soon becomes uncontrollable, making it offer impossible for the landowners lower down the slopes to protect their fields till the water has been brought under control higher up. This implies collective action on the part of the zamindars, and soil conservation, therefore, requires organization and is eminently suited to co-operative enterprise; but  all cases the attention of the revenue staff will make it easier to accomplish and to maintain.

Consolidation of holdings can often be of great assistance giving each landholders control of as much as possible of the catchment area of his fields, sitting the boundaries of the holdings along the contours and enabling drains to be provided for surplus storm water.

 

Where holdings are large, the fields at a distance from the abide are often very much neglected, and being in the hands of temporary tenants with no interest in improving the soil, they suffer most from erosion.

 

(2) Uncultivated land:- it is unusual to terrace and embank uncultivated land and therefore it must be protected from sheet and gully erosion by  adequate cover or mat of vegetation, either grail, bushes or trees or a mixture of all there. If left to itself, nature will maintain a balance and there will be no serious erosion, but if grazing, browning, and the feeling and lopping of trees are uncontrolled, both sheet and gully erosion will start causing all the harm described above. The technique of erosion is simple. The removal of vegetation exposes the soil, the feet of the animals break it up and the rain washes it away. The top soil goes, the good grasses die out, the trees are unable to reproduce themselves , the hillside becomes dry and unstable. Landslides start, and those who depend on the hillsides, both man and beast, find their livelihood reduced. Storm water, no longer impeded and restrained by vegetation, rushes down the slopes to the streams and fails to percolate into the soil, with the result that the sub-soil water level sinks both in the hills and in the plains below, the violence of the floods in the plains is increased fertile land is covered with sand, fields and villages are cut away, vast quantities of silt choke the canals and river beds, the hillsides and hill streams quickly dry up after the monsoon, and the run –off of the rivers during the dry seasons is seriously reduced.

There are several ways of dealing with uncultivated land. Where there is no valuable tree crop the shamilat may be partitioned with advantage, when every owner puts a dry stone wall or a thorn fence round his share and protects it from outside men and beasts. Panchayats of co-operative societies with expert supervision may organize the preservation and utilization of common grazing grounds and forests or government may use the chos act of the forest act to exercise control through its own servants. A hillside yields most grass, timber and other produce when there is no gracing or browing , when the grail is cut with a sickle the trees felled when mature and the fodder trees are lopped in rotation, and timber cut no faster than it can be replaced by fresh growth. The interest of both government and villager, therefore, are best served by strict preservation of the hillsides and the stall-feeding of cattle. In certain circumstances, however and under strict control, grassing and browsing are harmless but they can only be safety done under the guidance of experts and where the fertility of the locality is such that the rate of recovery of the grass and bushes equals or exceeds the rate of their consumption by animals.

 

Where erosion is serious, whether in cultivated of uncultivated land, the result is the formation of board sandy nullahs, which are continually widening at the expense of the cultivated lands on both banks, and cause increasing devastation throughout their course. Although these torrents-such a torrent is called a chain the siwaliks and a has in the salt range-often take their rise in the hills, they usually get most of their water from cultivated lands. Once counter erosion measures have begun to take effect in the catchment area of a kas of cho, reclamation of the cho-bed itself can start and the co-operative method is particularly helpful in this work.

The people themselves have a shrewd knowledge both of the evil and of its cure. Good cattle are never driven on to a hillside to graze. They are tied up and stall-fed. When shamlat land has been partitioned, may owners carefully protect their own share. In general however, the people are disorganized and what is every men’s care is no one’s. moreover, the people treatment of hillsides and grazing grounds involves a complete changing of the whole routine of work and life and in what country will villagers adopt new methods willingly? The menace, however is insistent. The top-soil of an agricultural country is its principal capital asset and those who left it be washed away are not only losing their own livelihood but are robbing posterity and the nation. Nothing therefore must be left undone to enable the best use to be made of the rain to preserve the soil and to increase its fertility. The revenue staff is expected to do everything possible to ensure that methods of cultivation and pastoral habits and practices shall be such as to secure the stability of the soil both in fields and pastures. It is the duty of the collector to study the land fr which he is responsible, to in list the goodwill and co-operation of the villagers, and with the assistance of the forest and other departments to apply whatever methods are best suited to the people and the locality for the checking of erosion and the conservation of the soil both in cultivated and in uncultivated land.”

Hon'ble Revenue Minister

Hon'ble Minister-In-Charge
Shri. Gurpreet Singh Kangar

 


 

Special Chief Secretary, Department of Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Mangement
Shri. Karan Bir Singh Sidhu, IAS

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