Emperor Akbar instituted a new system called the ‘Dahsala’.
Under this system, the average produce of different crops as
well as the average prices prevailing over last ten (dah) years
was calculated and one-third of the average produce was the
state share. Later on, a further improvement was made by not
only taking local prices into account; parganas having same type
of productivity were grouped into separated assessment circles.
Thus the peasant was required to pay land revenue ion the basis
of local produce as well as local prices. Being deeply
interested in the improvement of land records, the peasants were
given loans for seeds, implements, animal etc. in times of needs
and loans were recovered in easy installments during the period
of good produce. In order to keep track of all such information,
the records were maintained to know the extent of
ownership/possession, cultivation, land types etc.
the colonial period, the Britishers used the records maintained,
after carrying out such modifications as were deemed necessary,
primarily for the purpose revenue collection. At the time of
independence in 1947, the lands were broadly held under two
system including its variants like jagirs, imams etc. composed
of large estates comprising sometimes-even hundreds of villages.
Zamindars, themselves seldom cultivated the land rather mostly
got it cultivated through tenants, sub-tenants, share croppers,
labourers etc. and exploited them. They enjoyed administrative
and judicial powers and patronage of the Britishes.
system, the land belonged to the agriculture class.
aim of British’s for enforcement & strict administration
of land records was mainly focused on the collection of land
Pradesh with an area of 55673 sq. Kms comprises of 12 districts
having 110 Tehsils. The districts are further put under three
revenue divisions namely Shimla, Kangra & Mandi. The class
of Revenue Officers who administer and exercise the general
superintendence and control over all the other revenue officials
are as under:
Financial Commissioner (Revenue)
Divisional Commissioners of Shimla, Kangra & Mandi Division
Collector or Deputy Commissioners
Assistant Collector of the 1st Grade
Assistant Collector of the 2nd Grade
nodal officer for the state is the Director of Land Records.
basic functions of the Revenue administrative set-up in Himachal
. Maintenance of various documents and regular updations
. Implementation of various laws and policies announced by the
government from time to time
Land Records Maintenance in Himachal Pradesh
land records are maintained in the manner prescribed under
Section 31 - 37 of Himachal Pradesh Land Revenue Act. Under this
Act elaborate procedures for making the new records at the time
of new settlement and their periodical updating have been laid
down. The system of land administration is similar to a great
extent to that in Punjab and is perhaps one of the best in the
the present manual system, the revenue authorities maintain the
following types of periodical documents.
1. Shajra Nasb (Pedigree Table)
2. Jamabandi and associated statements (Records of
3. Intkal (Mutation Register)
4. Khasra Girdawari(Harvest Inspection) Register
6. Village, Tehsil & District Note Book (Lal
introduction about the documents mentioned above is given below:
NASAB (Genealogical Table)
Manual Sample View
in every estate at the time of settlement, it forms a part of
record of rights. Shajra Nasb is a pedigree table showing
succession to ownership rights occurring from time to time in an
estate. It is revised after every five years along with
Jamabandi and in the interval; changes occurring from time to
time are reflected in the Patwari's (Village Accountant) copy
through suitable references.
Shajra Nasb also serves as an index for locating an owner’s
accounts (Khata Numbers) in the Jamabandi. In the new Jamabandi
owner's accounts are arranged as per arrangement in the Shajra
Nasb. The name of owner in the Shajra Nasb is arranged according
to caste and sub-caste.
is a unique record in itself where the records of last 10
generation is available and is prepared only in North India.
Though other states in North India prepare it at the time of
settlement but do not update it five yearly but in Himachal
Pradesh, this information is being maintained & updated
prepared quinquenially in duplicate for every estate on the
basis of entries existing and changes recorded on the Mutation
Register, Khasra Girdawari Register and Fard Badr(Errata) over a
period of 5 years. It is the document to which a presumption of
truth is attached. The form of the Jamabandi has 12 columns and
gives Khewat / Khatoni number‑wise information of total
holding of each owner of land in a particular revenue estate. It
also indicates cultivation, rent and revenue and other cesses
payable on land and constitutes an up to date record of various
rights in land. The new Jamabandi is prepared by the Patwari and
is attested by the Revenue Office in a public meeting of local
villages. Two copies of the revised Jamabandi are prepared, one
copy is filed to the District Record Room and other copy remains
with the Patwari. All changes in title/interests of the revenue
estate coming into the notice of Revenue Authorities are duly
reflected in the Jamabandi according to set procedures.
changes in title or interest are incorporated into the Jamabandi
through attestation of mutation. The Patwari enters the
mutations on the basis of a document/verbal information
presented by the concerned parties for the change in
title/interest on land. This information is first entered into
the Patwari’s Diary (Roznamcha Wakyati) giving serial no. And
date and then into the mutation register referencing the
Roznamcha no. However, the final changes in the Jamabandi are
made only after the Revenue officer has attested the mutation.
The mutation form has 15 columns and every entry is given a
Serial Number, which is called Mutation Number. This Mutation
Number runs continuously from one settlement to another for each
estate. The Patwari maintains the Mutation register and all
entries are made in duplicate. The Patwari’s copy (PARAT
PATWAR) contains the brief substance of the Revenue Officer’s
order, while the other copy (PARAT SARKAR) contains the detailed
order and is kept in the Tehsil in separate estate-wise bundles.
Whenever a mutation is entered, the Patwari makes a note in the
remark column of the Jamabandi in pencil giving the Mutation No.
and type of mutation. When the mutation is attested, he makes
the entry in Red ink, giving Mutation No., type and date of
the new Jamabandi is written, all the mutations accepted are
attached to the new Jamabandi for cross-reference and an index
sheet linking the mutations to the Khatas is placed in the
a register of harvest inspections unlike the Jamabandi, which is
Khewat-wise, the Girdawari, is Khasra-wise. The Patwari conducts
a field-to-field harvest inspection every six months in the
month of October and April. He records the plot‑wise
details regarding crop grown, land description and status of the
cultivator. This register is considered important as it acts as
master file for the preparation of many returns and reports.
This document is retained in the custody of Patwari for the
period of 12 years after which it is retrieved from him and
destroyed. No presumption of truth is attached to this record
though entries in it are often used as evidence in courts.
Changes in the tenancy however are made through mutations in
view of Section 10-A on the Tenancy Act.
field map for every revenue village is prepared at the time of
the Settlement. The original map is called ‘MUSAVI’. Its
updated version is called ‘SHAJRA KISTWAR’ and these are
kept in safe custody in the Record Room. A wax copy called
‘MOMI’ is available in the Tehsil.
changes in field boundaries occurring due to partition, sale
etc. attested in Mutation are entered from the Parat
Sarkar(Government Copy) Mutation onto the Momi. A copy on cloth
called ‘LATHA’ is kept and updated by the Patwari.
known as "LAL KITAB” these are prepared at the time of
settlement. The kitab has valuable information regarding crops
grown in the estate, soil classification, area under different
crops, land use, transfers in land, wells and other means of
irrigation in the village and abstract of the livestock and
cattle census in the village. The data is updated regularly
through harvest inspections and revisions of other records,
which are the main source of the data to this kitab. These Lal
Kitabs are prepared at village, tehsil and district level and
maintained in the Patwari Office, Kanungo and Sadar Kanungo
The database maintained is not effectively used for policy
decisions for further
analysis and policy planning.
Data at Tehsil and district level is not up to date and data has
to be called from
the field whenever required.
Changes in ownership over a period of time are not easily
without consultation of numerous records.
Manual compilation/tallying of records is time consuming and
besides legibility of the record. The record prepared
is very different from the
ways and procedures mentioned in the
The importance of land administration has become very customary
complete disregard to the present day requirements.
Though in the manual system, the record is kept for previous
years, but tracing
any information out of it is a very
cumbersome and painful.
Enforcement of various Acts & Orders passed by the
Government is not possible
to be effectively monitored.
Virtual Monopoly of Patwaries over the land records as records
are not open to
the general public.
Normally it is seen that Patwari are not monitoring the
government land and
many encroachments were observed to be the
result of this laxity.
Many a times farmers faced harassment and extortion for not only
land records to them by the village officials but
also for processing requests for
change in land title not to
mention the delays in the services to be provided.
Though on many occasions delay in delivery of records was
many times such delays were intentional. On
the pretext of manning more than
4-5 villages, many a times the
situation was exploited by many scrupulous
Patwaries to their
benefits. Therefore besides, no certainty about timely
availability of such records when a farmer required them, money
to be transferred for giving the copies of record.
No linkage of Land Records and registration of property and
thereby leading to
It is not possible to extract the lands owned by a particular
owner across the
Tehsil or district. This is required to for the
purpose of Land Reforms for
assignment of surplus land to Land
It is extremely difficult for the Revenue Department to cull out
perform analysis for decision making on the land
records due to the large
volume of data.
Land records contain various useful data like soil, irrigation,
etc. All such data is very valuable for various
administrative purposes. As data
is manually maintained, it is
not possible to collate and analyze such data in
Courts often require various land records for disposing land
litigations. Records are not forth coming easily and
in time, resulting delay in
disposal of cases.
The Patwari is struggling to write a new Jamabandi after
changes from the mutation register, old
Jamabandi, Khasra Girdawari involving
tedious calculation of
shares and generation of Pedigree Table. In cases even
change took place, whole Jamabandi is to be rewritten.
time involved to write an average Jamabandi was
around 3-6 months.
Non-standardized form of writing Jamabandi. If there are 3000
state then there are 3001 ways of writing Jamabandi
including the one
prescribed by the Land Record manual.
Records being handwritten sometimes were not legible by anyone
the concerned Patwari who had written it.
Difficulty in uniform and standardized enforcement of office
Various Instances of Government land being illegally transferred
in names of
influential persons had come to the notice due to
connivance of Patwari with
influential people of the area.
Problems in getting timely data by the peer department and hence
making right policy decisions.
some of the drawbacks are system generated but many problems
which have crept into the system are man-made and still many for
not keeping up the pace with new requirements, technologies etc.
The revenue functionaries have become burdened as record has
multiplied besides the host of other regulatory and
developmental work which is assigned to them from time to time.
Following specific reasons are there in the deterioration in the
the post-independence period, neglect of land administration
has continued for
several reasons. First, the share of land
revenue in the overall state revenues
kept on declining thus
reducing any incentive the state had to keep records up to
date. With decline in the importance of land revenue for
maintenance of land records too lost its
significance both amongst administrators
and politicians causing tremendous harm to rural communities.
staff looking to land administration was allotted other
administrative, regulatory and
developmental such as conduct of general
elections, issue of
various certificates, implementing and monitoring
schemes, and providing relief in natural
programmes were taken up in land administration, such as
tenancy laws, and distribution of ceiling
surplus land and house-sites to the poor,
attention of the staff from the routine but vital function
maintaining land records. Village common lands have also
disregard, leading to encroachments.
department has been put in the non-plan category; no new
was undertaken with state government funds to
modernize the department.
has been general deterioration in discipline, supervision
affecting all departments.
actual practice there is no administrative or political
pressure on a Tehsildar to
correct land records or dispose
off court cases in time. A long pendency of cases
suits the local lawyers, who are politically powerful, and
can get the
Tehsildar into trouble, if he believes in quick
disposal of cases. Lawyers also
benefit from chaotic land
records, as that gets them more clients. It is
unfortunate that the system has developed perverse incentives. Poor
and distortion in priorities, rather than
technical capacity, is the main factor in
administration. Lack of accountability has provided
opportunities for unauthorized changes to land records. This
leads to litigation
which is expensive and time consuming.
is observed that wherever the survey has been sanctioned,
the staff does not
join in time or does not work, so much so
that it is not uncommon to find Tehsils
where survey process
has been going on for more than 10-30 years without any
tangible output. The field staff has become insensitive and
lax, whereas the
survey skills have become scarce. Of
course, on paper the maintenance of the
land record is to be
done in the same time-tested manner as was done in the age
of Todarmal five centuries ago but actually it is not. While
it was possible to keep
all this going with the sheer weight
of the state behind this activity, the gradual
erosion in discipline and work-culture has meant that the focus on
satisfactory completion of survey has blurred.
The result is that changes in the
are not reflected in the maps and records at all.
Mafias, political pressure and also the ulterior motives
have led to the
deterioration in the maintenance of land